Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive
My way of living before COVID-19 has suffered two important losses because of the Pandemic Stay-at-Home regimen: concert-going and travel.
I was going to two or three concerts a week with my friend Mary. I had progressively discovered how many excellent musical organizations we have in our larger community, focused as much in La Jolla as in San Diego, particularly with the opening of the Conrad. I had joined the Board of Camarada, which produces outstanding concerts in diverse genres: classical, jazz and tango, and later the Board of Bach Collegium San Diego. Most recently I became chair of the DMF Cultural Arts Committee which produces the First Thursday Concerts. This was a main locus of my existence.
These musical organizations and many others have tried to fill the vacuum of our Stay-at-Home regimen with virtual concerts. Beth Ross Buckley has been sending out wonderful daily videos of Camarada performances. I have loved classical music and some jazz and popular music throughout my adult life, but I went to live concerts only sporadically. It took me a while and some effort to learn to spend the money after my retirement ten years ago. What has progressively dawned on me is that, for me, it makes a great difference whether I am listening to a live performance in person or to a broadcast or recording.
I have always been a traveler. My wife Dagmar was German; we both had academic careers that took us to Europe most summers. We went on the cheap since we didn’t have much money. After her death in 2008 and my retirement I reluctantly discovered that organized tours and even cruises, which we had always looked down on, were actually wonderful. I still try to make each trip at least in part “on my own” and spontaneous. Now my two archeology-themed trips to Cyprus and Turkey and to Greece have been cancelled, and I am waiting to hear about others in October and November.
While hardly filling the void, two types of hybrid entertainment on TV and Internet have enhanced my virtual travel. The hybrids are cooking shows and detective stories that double as travelogues: Ciao Italia, Diane Kochilas’s My Greek Table, and Pati’s Mexican Table et al. and Murder in Aveyron, Luberon, Aigues-Mortes, ad infinitum, (choose a nice background for your next crime) or the richly-sited European TV series, Commissario Brunetti (Venice) and Commissario Montalbano (Sicily).