NYMysteries Feb. 15

On the Judson Memorial Church list serve there were comments about education. One person wrote, We could do so much more to equalize opportunities by supporting early childhood education and focusing on process over product!! She went on to say there were underpaid care providers who work with low income families and are committed to making a difference for children. 

I worked in the private school world. There was emphasis on status. Not all, but a considerable number of parents, thought private schools guaranteed their child would gain entrance to a fancy college. It was competitive and commercial.  It came home to me once again with the college admissions fraud. 

The Frick Concert series featured the Ensemble Caprice, a German group now based in Montreal. The five musicians played the recorder, flute,  baroque cello, baroque guitar, and various percussion instruments. The 17th and 18th century music was superb and lively. Unfortunately, the ensemble drifted into coy territory with some rigamarole about the joys of chocolate. 

Several friends and I ventured to former Amazon territory, Long Island City, to have a delightful lunch in the Indian Restaurant, Adda, Indian Canteen . We feasted on Dilliwala Butter Chicken and Mumbai Lamb Curry, Garlic Naan, Vegetable Samosa. All delicious and washed down with Thums Up, an Indian cola drink.    https://www.addanyc.com/menu/ 

Indian Lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thums Up
Have a slurp!

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries Feb. 9

What do these dance companies have in common? They’ve all appeared at the Joyce in the heart of Chelsea. The 472 seat Joyce is named after the daughter of the donor who underwrote the building in 1982 for $225,000. Sigh, pocket change in 2019. The building had begun life in 1941 as the Elgin, a movie house. Even if you don’t like modern dance, it’s a treat to go to the Joyce. Not a bad seat (maybe an exaggeration about the first two rows) in the house and the 1981-2 renovation was perfect. 

On Monday, a friend and I went to a half hour showing of the Royal Ballet of Flanders. The program included Sidi Large Cherkaoul’s Faun and an excerpt of  Drew Jacoby’s Supreme. Beautifully presented to a packed house (at least the main seating section). 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries Feb. 2

What’s that white stuff? Oh, it’s snow. I’ve just returned from the land of sunshine, Florida. Glorious weather, Cumulus clouds, friendly, POLITE people, lovely drinks, delicious wholesome and not wholesome food and poker.

When you say you’ve been to Florida you’re asked where in Florida. i.e. how rich are you. Well, showing you my bank account, I was in Stuart, Ft. Pierce and Fort Lauderdale. Two hospitable friends shared the honors of entertaining me. First, in Ft. Pierce, my host  arranged for us to go to several natural farms and have a late stupendous lunch in one and a five course dinner at Kai-Kai. We planned a dinner party for the last night I was there. Such excitement. Any excuse to buy far too much at food stands. He also took me to the Flaglier Museum, known as Whitehall to the locals. In addition to a scrumptious tea, after a light breakfast of bloody marys, we walked around the mansion built by the railroad magnet. We climbed the stairs down which Flagier fell (pushed?) to his death. The highlight of the day was a lecture given by Professor Erica Ryan, When the World Broke in Two: The Roaring Twenties and the Reshaping of American culture. Her account of the KKK’s rise was chilling. 

Home Sweet Home
The Flagier Museum, Whitehall
Mr. Flagier’s Private railroad car

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mine host and I drove to Fort Lauderdale and lunched with my friend who was putting me up and putting up with me for a few days. That evening she and I played poker. We went to Kelly’s with a group of her friends. What a great experience. How patient people were with my attempt to learn Texas holdem. We ducked in and out of the unusual shops on Las Olas Boulevard.

Kelly’s

 

 

A Roman soldier waiting for you in a Las Olas shop
It’s in the mail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we took the water taxi to Margaritaville. Down the river we went. It was a lovely day, not too hot, a hint of rain. After a hamburger large enough for a family of four, we walked down the beach stopping to listen to an outdoor concert by Paul Anka era musicians. So beautiful, so calm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margarita Hollywood Beach Resort               Will it fit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. How’s that for a chandelier?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries Feb. 23

KGB is at 85 East 4th Street. Its speakeasy bar, the Red Room, is squashed into the second floor up a steep flight of stairs that would have given Alfred Hitchcock ideas for another Psycho sequel. I went to an open mike session sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America. Nervous? Yes. Excited? Yeeees. I read the first chapter of my revised version of Graphic Lessons and received an enthusiastic response. KGB features nightly performances of writers of different genres: fiction writers, mystery writers, trumpet writers. (What’s that?) Monday night is poetry night. The atmosphere is prohibition cozy: dark, crowded with lots of chairs and a bar that runs one side of the room.  It’s a rainy fall or winter night atmosphere twelve months of the year.

 

 

 

KGB
KGB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it fun to surprise friends with a restaurant that’s different in design but great in what counts: delicious food, efficient and friendly service. IchiUmi at 32nd Street and Fifth fits the bill. Its buffet runs for miles and don’t forget desserts and other goodies on the other side of the restaurant. 

IchiUmi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IchiUmi

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries Feb. 16

We’re sitting in tiny $100 seats in the Minetta Lane Theatre on Minetta Lane waiting for Colin Quinn’s show, Red State Blue State to begin. But wait. A vagrant in a hand-me-down shirt, Salvation Army jeans, and a batch of new whiskers moseys onto the set.  Should we call Security? No. It’s Colin Quinn, everyman’s everyman. Quinn dives into the state of the nation. He has a pleasant edge. If you were arguing with him, bar stool to bar stool, he would make you listen even though he’s pro-guns and pro-death penalty . He’s also pro-choice and pro-marriage equality. In other words, he’s a mix. Colin Quinn for vice president on the Howard Schultz ticket! 

Red State Blue State is a one man show with a cast of thousands. Well, a crew of nineteen including Quinn. Edward T. Morris’s set is great. It’s a  back wall of wooden planks with splotches of U. S. states. Quinn has a great riff describing the various qualities of all fifty.  Red State Blue State is 75 minutes of manufactured simplicity and honesty and it works.

 

 

Edward T. Morris’s Red State Blue State set

 

 

 

 

An annual event I dearly love is our Chinese New Year’s dinner at Evergreen. I have all the fun. A wonderful friend from hiking days does all the work. We were twenty four old friends who spun with gusto the gigantic lazy Susan laden with Shanghai-influenced dumplings, noodles, pork buns and more.

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries Feb. 9

 

 The February 3 Frick Sunday concert was given by Calefax, a woodwinds ensemble from the Netherlands. The five musicians played the oboe, the clarinet, the saxophone, the bass clarinet and the bassoon. As if this weren’t enough, they switched to other instruments throughout the evening. It was  marvelous fun. The reed quintet enjoyed itself and so did the audience. The pieces ranged from César Franck to George Gershwin. 

 

Calefax at the Frick

 

CALEFAX

 

 

 

 

 

 I saw Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War. What’s all the fuss about? I liked the black and white photography and the period quality of post World War ll. The story of two people madly in love didn’t work for me because the woman was a retread of troubled, talented singers. Remember Judy Garland? The man in love meant it. He returned from Paris (de rigueur fifties jazz) and landed in a Polish prison under Soviet rule so he could be close to the love of his life. 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and san eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries – Feb. 2, 2019

It was at a book launching that Georgia Clark, writer, performer, storyteller and engaged person, asked me to perform at Caveat as part of Generation Women: wit and wisdom from ladies of all ages. Since then I’v been invited to occasional parties at her apartment very near the Williamsburg Bridge. Georgia is an Australian dynamo whose third book will be published by Emily Bestler Books/Simon & Schuster. Not bad, eh? Last Sunday evening a small group gathered in the cozy apartment with the amazing view of the East River.  Georgia and her partner, the gorgeous Lindsay, gazed lovingly at our drinks. They are indulging in a weird ritual called Dry January. 

Georgia and Lindsey

 

 

 

 

 

The remains of dessert: Assorted cookies and Affogato

 

 

A dear friend’s birthday was a perfect excuse for going to Maialino, a restaurant that shares a corner of the Gramercy Park Hotel. Drinking cherry colored Aperol, I parked myself in the hotel’s elegant lounge to wait for my friend. No tipping is the Maialino mantra. It’s a restaurant with a bustling Friday night bar. The service and food were great. When I called for reservations I was asked if it were a special occasion. Nightmare visions of waiters gathering around and singing Happy Birthday filled my troubled brain. I said we didn’t go in for celebrations.  The crafty staff overheard me toasting my pal. When her dessert arrived there was one discreet candle and, as I discovered in the photo, Happy Birthday scrawled in chocolate. 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries Jan. 26

January 19th was the best afternoon of my life. A friend took me to the Joyce to see the Irene Rodriguez Company. It’s a small Cuban company: six dancers, six musicians and Irene Rodriguez the director and principal dancer and choreographer. The first dance was a teaser. The curtain was raised only to the dancers’ knees. We watched twelve very agile feet glide, twist, dance. No way of distinguishing female or male. Eight dances followed. Have you ever seen a dancer dancing in a gown with a train? Rodriguez and the other women turned their trains into part of the dance. Every  dance was a delight visually and choreographically.

The next afternoon I went to a Frick concert, Trio Karénine. It was the ensemble’s New York debut. The musicians, a violinist, cellist and pianist treated us to a somber rendering of Shostakovish, Ravel and Schubert. Afterwards, we went to Via Quadronno where I had one of my favorite desserts: affocato al caffe (vanilla ice cream with espresso).

Speaking of food, a few friends came to Friday night supper. For dessert I served plumbing supplies made of chocolate. United Chocolate Works makes these eye catching treats. 

 

 

United Chocolate Works chocolate tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Chocolate Works Chocolate scissors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Confession: I am a Draino junkie. As friends or partners provide opiates to their loved ones, I douse my Harry Pottery toilet, it’s magical, with Draino. Since Nov. I’ve put up with weekly overflows. Plumbers have come and gone, each stating that the toilet was fixed.

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries Jan. 19, 2019

 

I have friends on the west coast who are dedicated film buffs.  They go to Sundance every year. They see every nominated film and watch The Golden Globes and the Oscars . I decided that I’d emulate them, sort of. I saw The Favorite, not a favorite. Next was Bohemian Rhapsody. Has too much been written about Rami Malek’s prosthetic teeth? Even so, you can’t take your eyes off them. They are far more interesting than most of the other parts of the movie. Queen is lauded for its music. Maybe so but the actors who played the band were dead in the water. Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury tried hard. His grappling with being gay was forced. His wandering in and out of his marriage was  unrealistic and boring. His wife, played by Lucy Boynton, smile sweetly through it all. 

 

 

 

 

The Sisters in Crime had an Open Mike at The Mysterious Bookshop. The shop is a beauty, wall-to-wall books. About ten of us read from our stories. We had five minutes which was long enough. Such fun hearing what others were writing.  Afterwards, everyone was invited to an Indian dinner. A lovely evening. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mysterious Bookshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

A thought:  is the iPhone going the way of the digital camera, the calculator, the pager, Sony’s Walkman and the Palm Pilot? 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Graphic Lessons: Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries 1/11/19

 

Last Wednesday The Mystery Writers of America New York Chapter had its first 2019 meeting. It was lively. No one has ever accused mystery writers of being shy. MWA was founded in 1945. It presents a bust of Edgar Allen Poe to mystery or crime writers every year. Throughout the year there are readings by members at various venues, mentoring programs and scholarship programs. The Communication Committee announced that the club’s newsletter, The Noose, was having its name changed. The associations with the word noose concern some members and so we are changing it to….who knows? A friend suggested Arsenic and Old Lace.  

Edgar Allen Poe

 

 

 

 

 

I watched Eight and a Half, Federico Fellini’s 1963 fantasy with Nino Rota’s haunting music. It’s glamorous and mysterious as we wander through the past and present with a film director played by Marcello Mastroianni.  Eight and a half refers to the eight and a half movies Fellini had directed before Eight and a Half. The black and white images by cinematographer Gianni Di Venanzo are stunning. There are parades of course, a Fellini hallmark. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Time has weight it down with immense respectability. Even the Vatican considers it one of the best films made before 1995. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook?