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The festival is in full swing when I arrive at the Green, a 16 acre park in the center of the city. A dark skinned gal known as Mother Turtle, sporting pumpkin colored slacks and Hollywood sunglasses, bangs away on a guitar and belts out reggae ballads while accompanied by two drummers on the Elm Street Stage at the far end of the Green.

Air Huarache Kids

Air Huarache Kids

I wiggle my hips to the raucous reggae beat, but except for a few old folks gathered near the stage, no one else pays any attention to Mother Turtle.

university town offers myriad attractions

Air Huarache Kids

Air Huarache Kids

Majestic statuary a 14 foot relief sculpture cast in bronze dominates the square in front of City Hall.

At the Air Huarache Kids family stage nearby, the exact opposite is true. Without making a sound, Paul Rajeckas and Neil Intraub two goofy, supple mimes mesmerize children of all ages as they leap and swoop in a skit titled "Imagination in Motion."

Opera lovers flock to the Schubert Theater to take in Mark Morris' dance production of Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas." The staging is unusual in that the dancers are kept onstage and the singers in the pit, where Morris conducts.

to me.

She adds, "And by the way, the Black Panther trials took place in 1970 right here."

"This is the Amistad Memorial," a docent Huarache Nike Black

named Betsy informs a gathering of gawking tourists.

Air Huarache Kids

she leaves India for America; the other (circa 1765) commemorates the wedding of Hannah Anne Gore to George Earl Cowper. I nearly lose the group when I stop to take pictures.

Amistad America, a national nonprofit foundation, keeps alive memories of the Amistad incident. Its Freedom Schooner Amistad departs from Long Wharf Pier, New Haven, and is open to the public for tours, excursions and educational productions.

The Yale Center for British Art, given by Paul Mellon to Yale University in 1966, houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. The docent in the hour long tour has to talk fast and move quickly to cover a representative sample of all the paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture, ranging from the Elizabethan period to the present. To conserve time, she doesn't pause to take second questions.

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The gallery is a world apart from the staid, narrowly defined Yale Center for British Art. The gallery embraces cultures from all over the world. You name it, it's here: Vincent van Gogh's "The Night Cafe"; Edward Hopper's "Sunlight in a Cafeteria"; a smiling Buddha with his right foot standing on an armrest; an eerie Chief's Chair composed of three gaunt wooden men encircled by stalking wooden canines; a mid 20th century Guinean headdress in the form of a winged woman, with a slit for peeking through.

A little girl frolics in the pool at the base of a World War I monument just inside the entrance to the park. A blond ponytail jogs by wearing headphones and listening to something on her iPod. People stand in groups chatting or sit on benches munching on yummy, cheese laden pizza covered with clams, probably from Frank Pepe's famed pizzeria causing my mouth to water.

Two oil paintings by Johann Joseph Zoffany especially intrigue me: the one (circa 1783 87) depicts Patrick Heatly waving goodbye to his sister as Nike Air Huarache Gray

This history is fascinating, don't you think? I'm reminded of historian Richard Norton Smith's note, included in the program for a panel on the first 159 days of the Obama presidency: "There's no excuse for a dull book, a dull museum, or a dull speech, especially when dealing with history the most fascinating subject I know."

It's a bit of a shock when once the pantomime is done, the speechless performers burst into speech, engaging the youngsters in a lively give and take about the three fundamental C's: concentration, cooperation, commitment. The energy that's generated by this exchange is palpable.

"Jonah Lehrer is brilliant," says the man who sits next to me in the auditorium at the Yale Center for British Art as he shoves a copy of "Proust Was a Neuroscientist" in my face.

Also departing from Long Wharf Pier is the Quinnipiack, a 91 foot gaff rigged research vessel that offers up to three hour sails from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Not far from the Amistad Memorial is a fantastic, rainbow colored David statue, standing by itself in a quiet square. It was crafted by Steve Defilippis for Ideat Village as part of its maverick New Haven Street Festival. I find the statue to be strangely appealing.

Betsy's answer is quick: "The New Haven jail used to be located on this very spot, and in 1839, 35 African slaves from the schooner La Amistad were imprisoned in that jail while awaiting trial."

Artist patriot John Trumbell triggered the foundation of the Yale University Art Gallery in 1832 when he donated to Yale College more than 100 of his American Revolution paintings, making it the oldest university art museum in the Western Hemisphere.

The gallery's busy restoration department holds the statue of a first century Roman woman, whose broken arm is being repaired. Plus, there are more than 185,000 other objects ranging in date from ancient times to the present.

Air Huarache Kids

My sojourn to New Haven coincided with the last four days of the International Festival of Arts Ideas, an annual mid June cultural celebration that draws people from all over the world. The festival is scheduled for June 12 26 this year.

Air Huarache Kids

When Lehrer claims that a group of 19th and 20th century artists, including Proust, Cezanne and Gertrude Stein, each discovered basic truths about the brain that neuroscientists are rediscovering only now, the professor counters with, "Is it not possible you are engaging in cherry picking?"

The mimes remain after the show to interact one by one with some kids and their moms.

On this panel, no excuse is needed, because all four participants deliver animated, thought provoking speeches concerning Obama's young, historic presidency.

This psychodrama is loaded with multiple layers of profound meaning, most of which I don't get. Despite my ignorance, I thoroughly enjoy the sinuous, stark gyrations of the dancers.

Air Huarache Kids

Air Huarache Kids

A man is cast in the dual role of Dido Sorceress. I can't take my eyes off the long, glittering, bloody red fingernails worn by the Sorceress, who looks like the devil Nike Huarache Ultra Br

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