In the heart of the Armenian community of Boston, there is Cafe Anoush in Watertown within the courtyard of the ACEC building on Nichols Street. Every thursday night for 8 weeks in the summer, Armenian food is served and the courtyard with reservations usually needed. The local AYF chapter and the ARS chapters take turns making and serving the food. It's a great way to enjoy some food and connect with friends during the dog days of summer.
The big social event of the summer ends of being the AYF Olympics, which will be held in Washington, DC during Labor Day weekend. AYF chapters from the midwest and East coast compete against each other while everyone else watches. The games aside, it is a massive get together of people from around the country to connect every year. Generations have participated and the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night dances end up being the main attractions. This year, everybody's favorite (according to our cilicia logs) Nune Yessayian will perform.
Speaking of Nune Yessayan, it has been interesting reading the logs from both sides regarding her and other aritsts. I've never interacted with her so I don't have a personal opinion regarding her behavior, but reading the comments have been interesting. There seems to be a lot of resentment toward her, while other fawn over her music. I think she has a pretty good voice and she fills the void of a manufactured Armenian pop star that pleases the Diasporan Armenian masses outside of LA. Of course, there are other talents that are better in my opinion. The one I am curious to see live is Alla Levonyan.
Don't get me started on the image of Mr. X. Cheese central, my friends. (Sorry Hagop B., the mask, THE MASK, babam!) I don't mean to come down hard on the performer who I am sure is a nice guy and has a great voice. Just some good natured ribbing.
I have been in contact with Glendale legend Stepan Partamian, who has been back from Armenia (his first trip) and has relayed his experiences on his local cable program. Love him or hate him, he is interesting and lends a gadfly voice to our community. Also, Gor and I have been working towards a Boston gig this fall. Our August 27th show had to be postponed since System of a Down is playing on that day.
It is hard to believe that 4 years ago at this time, I had a one way ticket in my hand to move to Armenia. I eventually decided to stay and complete my MBA, start a music label, and get married. There are days I regret not going and experiencing the evolution of Armenia (good or bad). Having taken care of my education and getting things in order, I am now looking to make good on my goal to spend a good chunk of time in Hayastan like I had originally planned. Visiting is one thing, living there is another. I suppose many readers out there have had the same dillema- stay or go? After attending picnics, Olympics, Nune concerts, Camp, and getting a grip on how your Armenian identity is part of you, what is next? More picnics, bakesales, and Nune concerts? For me, those days are pretty much over. Like the loggers on the other side at one point in their lives, the decision to move and live in Armenian is a seductive one. Crossing over is the next step, I suppose.