07.18.2009 - 07.18.2009
If AAA interns and Birth Right volunteers were ever strapped for cash, we could start a band to make money. The musical talents were revealed one night when we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. Someone recommended an inconspicuous little place called Chez Garo so we headed towards the restaurant on Pushkin Street. After an ordinary meal of regular Armenian fare, someone sat down at the old out-of-tune piano in the corner to play a few notes, and that was the beginning of our impromptu jam session.
The restaurant owner - Chez Garo himself - encouraged us to keep playing and even the other patrons joined in. We gathered around the piano and one after another played music while the rest sang and clapped along. We had traditional Armenian songs, jazz, pop, classical, and everything in between. Among the pianists were Gapo, Liz, Armen, and me. Kathryn captured some great melodious moments on video that I've been trying to upload (with the slow Internet connection, it tells me it's going to take 5 hours to complete a 30 second vid).
We were made to feel very much at home, as if we had come to a close friend's house to hang out and not as customers at a diner. The familiarity with which we were treated was very endearing and we became fast friends with Chez Garo and his pals. The lively spontaneous couple of hours around that piano could not have been more memorable if they were planned.
Ever since that first night, we've been back two more times to make ourselves at home and hang out around the piano. Here are some pictures from the various visits.
Gapo at the piano
Marianna with Chez Garo and his friends
Liz playing for us
At dinner with the gang and Chez Garo's friends