Monday, May 5, 2008

Ganas Nights

Hawina, Corb, Angie, Willow and i all went up to Tarrytown, New York this weekend did a craft fair where we (principally Hawina and i) sold hammocks and hanging chairs. On the way up, we stopped at Ganas on Staten Island and spent the night, both to break up the drive and to visit this unique and interesting community.

On our second night there, the lovely and talented Susan Patrice showed up. Susan is actaully the person who helped build my relationship with Ganas. She was living there when i first visited and we had a wonderful romantic connection which has morphed over the years into a rich if iratic friendship. Part of my love for Susan comes from her stunning organizing capacity. She makes stuff happen. Often without the appropriate skills or resources herself, she still is able to convert good ideas into functioning stuff you can point at and kick with your foot. From urban gardens in Savannah, to overhauled institutional food systems for children in Ashville, to artists workshops and more.

At one point early in our relationship i came to visit Susan in NYC and we emerged from the subway station and boldly strolled down the street. After about 5 blocks i asked "Where are we going ?" she started laughing. "i was following you." The nature of who we are is to charge off boldly, sometimes the destination is secondary.

So Susan is thinking of returning to Ganas. Her daughter, Gracie, is likely going off to school in LA, leaving Susan free to return to the city life and more importantly community again.

I also briefly reconnected with Andy and Katie, who are youth activist superstars in my book. Katie is studying Chinese Medicine in nyc, with the intention of returning to China to study it there for a year or so. They both are conversational in Chinese which is slightly mind bending for me. They also have strong politics, did amazing work at East Wind while they were there witht he nut butters biz and are good conversation.

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