Pictures included at the links on this post. First I decided to walk to City Hall. It’s not far from the Drake a little over a mile all told. I left the Drake and the well-dressed doorman. Then I walked past Macy’s smoke-breathing dragon.
A nice walk really, but the folks at the hotel said a block or two were “bad” meaning a couple of blocks of homeless folks nodding out in front of closed strip clubs. “Like New York” the guy at the hotel told me. I was reminded by myself that I had spent part of Friday night listening to Chris Moran and Sally and several folks from Campus Y and Intervarsity talk about homelessness in the Pit back in Chapel Hill. Easy to make the decision to walk after that.
There was a wonderful green market going on at the UN Plaza on the way to City Hall. It was almost entirely Asian run and Asian patronized.
There was a little park nearby with an interesting restriction to access.
The park in front of City Hall was filling up for a festival (more of which later). The festival appeared to be almost all Latino based on the food and music and t-shirts.
I had some time to kill since the walk was much shorter than advertized so I went to the Asian Art Museum. Great ancient art of which no pictures may be taken, but some interesting contemporary Asian art too, including this Chinese dino outside the entrance (echoing Macy’s).
The City Hall is magnificent. The Awards ceremony took place in the rotunda. The crowd of awardees were as different from the crowd at, say, the O’Reilly Emerging Tech Conference, as Computerworld is from Wired. That is to say that hair there, to mention one thing was business friendly as was the dress. It was a serious occassion and folks were awarded for project with names like “Centralization and Optimization of Performance Metrics, Data Sources, and Analysis Activities” and “Bridging the Communications Gap Between Business and IT” or the least modest title “University of Pittsburgh Maximizes Its Information.” That is to say that this is working IT in the old sense and that the awards with all their formality are really about recognizing labor and creativity in labor. I’m not sure the folks at the awards would recognize the occassion as such, but folks were awarded for things that improved their businesses sometimes for making new products. “Innovative integration of multi-party applications to provide services to security and wellness industry” read one. U of Pittsburgh immodestly nominated no less than 7 projects by far the most of any organization.
Dan Morrow begin the ceremony and Don Tennant, editor-in-chief of Computerworld, gave a talk in which he described his father’s battle with ALS touchingly and then begin quoting at length from ‘Abdull-Baha, son of the founder of Bahi World Faith. Great quotes about work and service and faith confirming that these awards are a labor celebration.
We were announced and walked forward and were duely recorded — this recording being a major part of the project, to record the labor for future research in the form of our case studies and to record the event. I will have a medal picture later along with my penguin suit. We were medaled and recorded and then took our places on the impressive stone stairway.
There was more photography, videography and general congratulations. Then we left to relax and then slip into less comfortable clothes for the evening.
Outside several limos awaited Laureates, but I went into the festival to walk home. There another kind of labor celebration was underway.
At the far end of the park, a parade appeared with banners announcing “The Ceasar Chavez Holiday Parade.” Dignitaries appeared in quite different cars from the limos. With drivers wearing very different uniforms.
At this event, there were marching Aztecs in extravagant costumes dancing to compelling drums. Many local union and syndicates were represented. The crowd was addressed by the Police Chief Ms Fong, the Fire Chief (didn’t catch her name) and others. Here the talk about labor was very direct. The crowd was dressed in a more relaxed and more confrontational manner.
The music at the Laureate ceremony was provided by an Air Force Band which played a patriotic program for the most part.
Across the street at the Chavez celebration, a rap/hip-hop station blasted songs at the booth of a new Spanish station which was equal to the challenge. The drums of the Aztecs were unavoidably in the mix.
Labor having been so widely celebrated and honored on the day of rest, I walked back to the Drake.