28 April 2010

National Geographic Blogs & Genocide Memorial Day

I know it's a few days late, but in recognition of the 95th anniversary of the Armenian genocide (April 24), I would like to share two interesting articles I came across while surfing National Geographic online.

First, a personal story by photojournalist Alexandra Avakian, from her blog, Windows of the Soul:
Tough Situations in Difficult Countries.

And in contrast, here's a post from NatGeo News Watch, a blog authored by David Braun:
How Trees are Restoring Hope to Armenia.


We didn't go to Tsitsernakaberd this year as it was pouring rain, but that didn't stop everyone. The memorial was packed with Armenians and genocide sympathizers who had come from all corners of the globe to commemorate the atrocities of 1915. Everything was televised, and Armenians in other parts of the country who chose not to travel to Yerevan held their own remembrance services in their hometowns, as witnessed and recorded by Emily Haas, a Peace Corps volunteer currently stationed in Yeghegnadzor, a town in the Vayots Dzor region of southern Armenia. (She has an interesting blog, too!)

To see what the Yerevan proceedings are like on a sunny day, check out my entry from 2009.

05 April 2010

Spring Break in pictures

What did we do during spring break?

Easter Sunday

It rained all day, but Nathan enjoyed egg-citing indoor activities.


A beautiful day to enjoy the city! We spent the morning in Republic Square, bought Nathan new shoes, and went swimming at Gold's Gym.


Nathan came down with a cold, so we had to scratch our picnic plans. Instead, we had an imaginary tea party in the living room, and watched Disney's Aladdin.


Nathan's fever went down, so we spent a little time outdoors.


We enjoyed sushi and green tea ice cream with friends at Samurai.


Since we were off work, we were able to host this week's playgroup at our place. Five toddler boys - what fun!


Nathan braved the dentist's chair for a cleaning and more fillings for his geminated teeth. He didn't shed a single tear!


Jarred and Nathan baked M&M cookies, and Maria and I participated in Yerevan's night life. We first visited the Opera Club, a discotheque in the basement of the city Opera House...but being that it was only about 9:15, the place was empty, aside from a few lovers in the lounge area. We killed some time by walking around town, indulging in one macaron each from Cafe la Bohème, then sharing a plate of nachos at Taco Maco (a new Mexican fast food joint that has been very well-received by locals and foreigners alike). After 10, we made our way to Kami Club, behind the Moscow Cinema on Abovyan. We definitely burned off our high-calorie snacks, as we were the first ones on the dance floor, and among the last to leave. No photos, unfortunately...but we'll be back for sure!


Another cold, rainy day to bookend this restful and rejuvenating spring break.


New videos are up on our YouTube channel, Our Life in Motion.

03 April 2010

Karin Folk Performers and Cafe la Bohème

This morning, Mary Ann and I attended the 2010 Women's Expo at the Yerevan Marriott Hotel. It was great to relax and browse the tables of beautiful merchandise local merchants and artisans had on display. But even more than the splendid batik scarves, Murano glass jewelry, decadent Easter cakes, and other hand-crafted goods and souvenirs, we were impressed by the music and dancing of the Karin Folk Performers. As with the Christmas show our family witnessed at Nork Orphanage back in December, I was amazed by the level of talent and discipline demonstrated by these very young Armenian children. I managed to record two of their dances for your entertainment here...enjoy!

For dinner, Nathan, Jarred, and I went out to Cafe la Bohème, a charming French-inspired bistro that just opened last year, and I believe has the same owner as Gusto, a great little pizzeria on Abovyan Street. Nathan was well-behaved, and ordered a carrot soup, though he seemed to enjoy the croutons and my Greek salad more!

The place has an air of casual elegance, and most if not all items on their extensive menu are very affordable. Fresh ingredients, home-style cooking, and simple presentation of generous portions left us feeling comforted and satisfied. Conveniently, our server spoke English, and the cafe's location right by the Cascade can't be beat. However, the number one reason to visit is to sample their Parisian macarons - but I'll let Arpine Grigoryan tell you more about that!

Here's a photo I took of the Easter display in the cafe's front window:

For information on the way many Armenians observe Easter and Lent, visit the web site of The Armenian Church in the USA. Shnor-havor dzer Zateekə - Happy Easter!