Since you’ve already endured Fashion Week and President’s Week—and it’s not even March—why not try Wales Week! The Welsh, after all, have blessed the world with more than just Richard Burton, Dylan Thomas and Anthony Hopkins—such as, for example, the band Super Furry Animals (oh, go ask your 21-year old assistant!) and a number of fine golf courses. “We’re best known for the performing arts,” said Catrin Brace, the festival director, who added that her countrymen are to be commended for maintaining their own language in the face of worldwide Anglodomination. The Welsh tongue is “older than English. Much, much older … English is Anglo-Saxon and Welsh is Celtic. It has a bit of Latin lasting influence on it, because the Romans came to Britain before the English were there,” she noted. The Italians were charming even then, you see! Ms. Brace informed us that Wales has “the longest place name in Britain, possibly in the world. I can say it for you if you want.” Naturally, we do want. “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogery- chwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch,” replied Ms. Brace. It means “St. Mary’s Church by the white aspen over the whirlpool and St. Tyllio’s Church by the red cave.” Got that? And in some local news, your sweet, doting grandparents may remember the days when New York subways were covered in graffiti. Today “train muralist” James Top, who teaches a class on graffiti at Hostos College in the Bronx, opens an exhibit, “Afrology,” featuring artistic representations of the Afro hairstyle. Mr. Top started out in the late 70’s: “I did an awful lot of train hatin’ back then—train painting,” he said. “Some people might say bombing, but we’re train painters. If Picasso painted canvases, our canvases were the trains in New York City.” He honed his art, he explained, because “the community offered me very few alternatives. It offered me no outlet for creative expression. The only thing that was fulfilling to me at the time was graffiti art. The alternative was not to learn art at all.”
[Wales Week schedule, www.walesweekusa.com; Afrology, Essex Street Gallery, 27 ½ Essex Street, 6 p.m.]
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