From Emma – The Greenway, The Pavilion, and the Turning Seasons

September, 2012
My boyfriend and I move to an apartment on the northeast side of town. As a result, my drive to Touchstone every day now takes me directly past a stretch of the Greenway that I don’t usually see, down by the Steel Stacks and the Minsi Trail Bridge.

My favorite part of the Greenway, I discover, is the corner of Third Street and Hayes, where the path is first framed by the trees – it looks like the Greenway is disappearing into a slightly ominous tunnel or a road into a mystical place.

February, 2013
Working on the Member E-newsletter, I find myself in need of an image to go with our first official teaser for “Journey from the East” and take a walk down the Greenway to Lehigh’s Chinese Harmony Pavilion. The ground is mostly bare, and the cars in the background aren’t exactly scenic, but the pavilion still stands out nicely.

Like our Chinatown tourists, it stands out as something a little out of place from its setting.

The Pavilion in WinterMarch, 2013
We rehearse outside for Ulysses Dreams as often as we can. The more of the show we have set, the less useful it is for us to be rehearsing inside. Even when the spring weather is treacherous– warm one minute, freezing cold the next, sunny one minute, dumping rain on us the next– it’s still worth taking the time.

Along with the ability to rehearse outside, spring means the tourists walking the Greenway return in full force. As we rehearse, passersby stop to watch, including a number of Chinese tourists. We greet them in limited Chinese, and they’re delighted when we do. We engage with them, not sure whether they speak English, and we’re delighted when they do.

May, 2013
The trees on the Greenway are fully green, from the lush emerald green of the canopy near Steel Stacks to the chartreuse of the pollen that covers the cars. My mystical tunnel at Hayes looks even more like a path to another world than usual.The Mouth of the GreenwayJune, 2013
A meeting about something else ends up accidentally steering towards our early preparations for “Journey from the East.” We talk about the way our marketing “pitch” has been evolving, as we discover more and more what this project could be; in the current language that Jp has developed, the focus is on “the changing face on the street.”

Christopher proposes another idea that relates more closely to the idea of a journey: the Chinatown tourists being deposited at the Sands depot, perhaps having less interest in the casino. They see a path along the green grass and, not knowing what else to do, they travel it. At the end of the path, they find a pavilion with Chinese characters. What does this journey mean to them?

Yesterday
Working on some promotional material for next season, I decide that our old photos of the Harmony Pavilion are too drab to keep using. There’s a gap between thunderstorms, and I scamper down the Greenway to get some photos while the weather holds. Two Chinese tourists sit on a bench nearby, reading their newspapers as I take pictures; I wonder if they wonder what I’m doing. The cooperative sun makes an appearance, and the clouds part briefly to reveal patches of pale blue sky.

In the summer greenery, the pavilion seems less out of place.

The Harmony Pavilion (1)The Harmony Pavilion (2)The Harmony Pavilion (3)The Harmony Pavilion (4)

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