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Blues photos, a Burmese scoop, and yoga wars

The wonderful black-and-white photographs of blues musicians that hung for years in the Lafayette Tap Room have a new home.   In an exhibit called “Blues in Buffalo,” they're gracing a long wall at a just-opened Hertel Avenue bar and restaurant: Canvas@1206.   More than 100 of Buffalonian Cheryl Gorski's images take up an entire wall of this attractive place, which offers a mix of a casual neighborhood atmosphere and touches of fine-dining class, such as single red roses atop white-clothed tables.  Co-owner Dawn Kirchmeyer says that she and partner Stephen McCarthy “want to provide a blank canvas for people's passions, whether it's music, comedy or the arts."  To that end, Canvas@1206 (that's 1206 Hertel, between Delaware and Colvin) features live music on weekend nights and a comedy open mic on Monday evenings, and introduces a regular featured artist, such as Gorski.   As for the photos, they make an impressive display and it's great to see them again. 


Buffalo News reporter Lou Michel last week brought us a fascinating profile of Burmese photojournalist Law Eh Soe, who is now a translator in Buffalo.  Law’s photographs helped expose the brutal military regime in the Southeast Asian country also known as Myanmar. Meanwhile, on a related subject, Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth had the rare opportunity to scoop the world with a story reported and written by none other than her mother. Lally Weymouth, senior associate editor for the Post, scored the first extensive interview in the American press with Burmese President Thein Sein.  In that interview, conducted in the president’s office in Naypyidaw, Thein Sein asks for the United States and other nations to lift economic sanctions against Burma in acknowledgment of its recent reforms. Coincidentally, Michel’s front-page piece and Weymouth’s interview appeared on the same day last week.  The following day, the Post ran a companion piece by Weymouth, this one an interview with Burmese democracy advocate and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, an inspiring figure.  In all --  Washington, Buffalo and Naypyidaw -- a striking example of our interconnectedness, brought to you by the Internet.  Marshall McLuhan's Global Village is alive and well.


Yoga practitioners, and I count myself among them, have been mesmerized in recent weeks by the fallout from a New York Times piece entitled, “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body.”  The long cover story in the Times magazine detailed all the yoga-related injuries that are supposedly plaguing a Western world that’s increasingly in thrall to Eastern practices. As a result, dark clouds appeared over many a sun salutation, and the state of centeredness was knocked askew. This Boston Globe story sums up the controversy, and notes that it has given the yoga-averse still another reason to avoid the mat while saving astronomical sums on those high-end yoga duds from lulu lemon.  As for me,  I’m planning to consider the whole troubling matter from the point of view of my center-floor headstand, and hope I don’t break my neck doing it.