Skip to main content

Urba Semajnfino: Sirakuso a Success

The following is an translation of the article I wrote for La Ondo de Esperanto to share the Urban Weekend: Syracuse event. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make the event a success.

Urban Weekend: Syracuse, the third Urban Weekend event to happen in the United States, took place during the weekend of August 31 in Syracuse, New York. Esperantists came from near and far to meet new friends and explore the city.

As the main organizer, I was a bit nervous. I had never organized an Esperanto event before. Would the weather hold out? Would anyone come? Would they enjoy their time together? But indeed the weather was beautiful, and people came from Rochester NY, Virginia, and even Brazil! Everyone had fun and Urban Weekend: Syracuse was a success.

A little before noon on Saturday, four of us met the city's central park and then walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch. The restaurant is popular for its beer, brewed on-site, and also for its support of Central New York agriculture by using locally-grown ingredients.

After lunch we walked about in the city for a bit and made our way to two museums. The Erie Canal Museum remembers the Erie Canal which connected Lake Erie to the Hudson River, and there we met two more esperantists. The canal no longer exists in its current form, but it has historical significance to both the region and the United States because it opened the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean and enabled westward migration. Everyone enjoyed learning how the canal helped shape the country and seeing how life was like for those who traveled it almost 200 years ago.

The second museum, the Everson Museum of Art, is an art gallery known for its ceramics, pottery, and film exhibits. The collection may not be as impressive as the ones found in larger museums, but it has its several pieces worth enjoying. And perhaps even more special, the museum building was designed by the internationally acclaimed architect IM Pei who also designed the Pyramide du Louvre in Paris.

After exploring some of the art and history of Syracuse, we were hungry and were ready to eat. The six of us went to a Mexican restaurant occupying a former church building. Even this building had significance; the church was a station in the Underground Railroad in the 19th century. A secret tunnel under the church was a refuge for slaves running north in search of their freedom.

To finish the first day, we socialized and watched a film - House of Ghosts, a comical horror film dubbed with Esperanto voice and subtitles.

Most of the day Sunday was spent visiting the zoo, home to over 700 animals. A family of five esperantists who couldn't attend the first day joined us. The children in the group loved looking at the elephants, penguins, and lions. It was also a good opportunity for the adults to improve their animal-related vocabulary.

We ate lunch after the zoo in a near-by popular Irish restaurant; the food was great, and there were some local musicians playing in the pub that we enjoyed. The neighborhood where the restaurant is located was settled by Irish immigrants who came to work on the Erie Canal, and near the restaurant is the famous green-on-top traffic light. As the story goes, the settlers wouldn't allow red (the color of the British) to sit above green, and they threw tones at the light in protest anytime the city tried to hang the light correctly.

Weekend events similar to Urban Weekend are good for busy esperantists who are not able to attend the longer major events, and like all Esperanto gatherings, is a good opportunity to meet new friends, explore new places, and take part in Esperantujo. If one is held near you, I highly recommend that you participate. If not, why not organize your own? It's easier than you might think (I speak from experience!). The Manlibro pri Urba Semajnfino is a good place to start.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Geolocation Search

Services that allow users to identify nearby points of interest continue to grow in popularity. I'm sure we're all familiar with social websites that let you search for the profiles of people near a postal code, or mobile applications that use geolocation to identify Thai restaurants within walking distance. It's surprisingly simple to implement such functionality, and in this post I will discuss how to do so.

The first step is to obtain the latitude and longitude coordinates of any locations you want to make searchable. In the restaurant scenario, you'd want the latitude and longitude of each eatery. In the social website scenario, you'd want to obtain a list of postal codes with their centroid latitude and longitude.

In general, postal code-based geolocation is a bad idea; their boundaries rarely form simple polygons, the area they cover vary in size, and are subject to change based on the whims of the postal service. But many times we find ourselves stuck on a c…

Composing Music with PHP

I’m not an expert on probability theory, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. And even my Music 201 class from years ago has been long forgotten. But if you’ll indulge me for the next 10 minutes, I think you’ll find that even just a little knowledge can yield impressive results if creatively woven together. I’d like to share with you how to teach PHP to compose music. Here’s an example: You’re looking at a melody generated by PHP. It’s not the most memorable, but it’s not unpleasant either. And surprisingly, the code to generate such sequences is rather brief. So what’s going on? The script calculates a probability map of melodic intervals and applies a Markov process to generate a new sequence. In friendlier terms, musical data is analyzed by a script to learn which intervals make up pleasing melodies. It then creates a new composition by selecting pitches based on the possibilities it’s observed. . Standing on ShouldersComposition doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Bach was f…

Creepy JavaScript Tracking

I recently began allergy shots so my new Monday morning routine includes me sitting in a doctor's office for 30 minutes (I must wait after receiving the shots and be checked by a nurse to make sure there was no reaction). With nothing else better to do while I waited last week, I started playing around with some JavaScript. This is what I came up with:
<html> <head> <title>Test</title> <script type="text/javascript"> window.onload = function () { var mX = 0,  mY = 0, sX = 0,  sY = 0, queue = [], interval = 200, recIntv = null, playIntv = null, b = document.body, de = document.documentElement, cursor = document.getElementById("cursor"), record = document.getElementById("record"), play = document.getElementById("play"); window.onmousemove = function (e) { e = e || window.event; if (e.pageX || e.pageY) { …