NY Mysteries May 29, 2020

 What a week! A Black man strangled by a former Minnesota police officer, a Black man attacked in Central Park by an entitled white woman, Netanyahu bragging about annexing more land from the Palestinians, and , as usual, our president ranting like a spoiled brat on Twitter. Anybody mention coronavirus? 

Yesterday I accompanied Rev. Micah Busey, in clerical garb, to Foley Square for a rally to honor George Floyd and other Black Americans killed by white Americans. I gave up estimating how many people were there. Four hundred? Five hundred?  On the periphery the police watched. It was noisy. The young crowd thundered “No peace. No justice!” There were the exhilarating moments of unity.  I left feeling smug about enduring the heat and the noise and the crowds. I hate/love rallies. And you?

I was going to include a cute homemade doc about dogs. Forget that. It doesn’t seem appropriate to switch to Disney world in the midst of our national tragedy, prejudice.

 Instagram has a perceptive analysis: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAyfFnaJbyL/?igshid=ah5uv5b266y4

NY Mysteries May 23, 2020

A lovely man died, Hecky Powell. He had a great barbecue place in Evanston, Ill. A friend from Evanston honored Hecky, a community leader, who offered scholarships, mentoring and jobs to hundreds of young Evanstonians, “You can be anybody,” Powell told young black men from Evanston. “The reason we’re rated number one on the North Shore in Chicago is because I outwork everybody, and that’s the key. You got to outwork them, and you know something? It’s real simple these days to outwork somebody, because nobody wants to work.”

The next time you’re in Evanston and want great barbecue just ask the way to Hecky Powell Way.

The Israelis continue to flout international law. In July the unity government will annex part of the west bank. This land grabbing against the Palestinians has gone on for decades. Who cares? Certainly not the U. S. Israel or the EU. Maumoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader,  has denounced the U. S. and Israel.

On a brighter note, dear friends treated me to a birthday party. I was driven, sitting in the back seat with mask, to the upper west side where a feast was presented in the backyard on land once owned by Audubon. Don’t I have wonderful friends???

A dear friend and wonderful host

A waterfall

 

 

A noble elm on original Audubon land

One of my hosts

Cute, huh?

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 Windsor 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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to 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 was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries May 15, 2020

FREE FREE PALESTINE!

Nakba Day was held yesterday, May 15. it commemorates the 1948 Israeli expulsion of the Palestinians from their ancestral land. The 2020 rally was carried on Facebook and sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK/ the BDS Movement/ the South African BDS Coalition/ Jewish Voice for Peace. It celebrates Palestinian solidarity through native speakers and performers of all ages. Ben Jamal and Stefanie Fox were the narrators. Jamal is of Palestinian descent and an English citizen. Fox is the Jewish Voice for Peace Director. Several young Palestinians spoke about their grandparents recalling May 15, 1948 when over 700,000 Palestinians were expelled and hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed. Yara Hawari speaking from Nabi Saleh, Palestine, talked about the ongoing control of her people and the annexation of their land. Ghada Karmi described being kicked out of their  Palestinian house in 1948. Her family fled to England where she was raised on her grandmother’s talks about England being the country that allowed the takeover. Janna Jihad, a very young Palestinian, likes to listen to her elders dreaming of going back to their land. She has never been to the sea and can’t go there because of the occupation. Remi Kanazi talks about his grandmother in 1948, seven months pregnant, being ordered and forced out of her house. Diana Buttu described her blindfolded father being driven from his home. Two years later Diana and her family fled to Lebanon. When they returned to Palestine their land had been confiscated. Their lease was not honored.

Nakba
2020

William Shoki, a South African student, spoke about similar treatment of black south Africans. They too were disenfranchised in 1948. The Israeli leader, Arial Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister, approved and aided in establishing the South African apartheid. Shaki proclaimed that the young will never forget. Chief Zwelivelle Mandella of South Africa spoke of his support for the Palestinians. Stefanie Fox talked about being taught as a young Jew that the Palestinians were driving the Israelis into the sea. She discovered it’s the reverse:  Israelis  were and are driving Palestinians off their land. She  Invited her fellow Jews to support the Palestinian movement. 

Nakba
2020

Nakba, 2020

 

Henco Espag, Judson’s Musical Director posted this message on 3/27/20. Working with Henco is heavenly. Grab this opportunity. 

Hallooo Judson,

We are putting together a Judson Quarantine Artbook to feature creations inspired by our shared social distancing experience both for our virtual services and in a live in-person concert once we are all back together again.

Below is the website link to the contest and the full submission guidelines pasted in as well.  Please share this with everyone!!!!

We already received submissions within 10 minutes of posting.

Thank you!

Henco

https://www.judson.org/quarantine-artbook-contest

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 Windsor 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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to 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 was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries May 9, 2020

 

I borrowed this copy of Emily Bronte’s Spellbound from Ben Shepard’s blogspot.

As we all know the Brontes lived and died briefly. We also know that Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights. Her elder sister, Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre.

 Spellbound

“The night is darkening round me,

Patrick Branwell Bronte’s portrait of his sister, Emily

The wild winds coldly blow;

But a tyrant spell has bound me

And I cannot, cannot go.”

None of us can go  anywhere.

Shelter in place. 

If you have a place to shelter in.

The homeless can’t shelter in place. 

The plague keeps coming.

The losses, death, losses.

People screaming.

Quietly grieving.

Classmates, 

Teachers, 

Mothers,

A friend’s father, without a goodbye.

The funeral homes filled with bodies.

The morgues at capacity.

Each casket with a story. 

http://benjaminheimshepard.blogspot.com/2020/05/if-i-should-learn-in-some-quite-casual.html

 

Henco Espag, Judson’s Musical Director posted this message on 3/27/20. Working with Henco is heavenly. Grab this opportunity. 

Hallooo Judson,

We are putting together a

to feature creations inspired by our shared social distancing experience both for our virtual services and in a live in-person concert once we are all back together again.

Below is the website link to the contest and the full submission guidelines pasted in as well.  Please share this with everyone!!!!

We already received submissions within 10 minutes of posting.

Thank you!

Henco

https://www.judson.org/quarantine-artbook-contest

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 Windsor 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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to 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 was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries May 1, 2020

 

 Remember in the olden days when we went to museums, to dance performances, to the movies, to the opera, to dinner parties, to restaurants? Our isolation reminds me of C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. One of the characters yearns for the days when Narnians were free to mingle, when Narnia wasn’t smothered in snow and ice and the machinations of the evil, frosty queen. 

Some photos of happier times. These are from an exhibit at the Whitney, 

Once upon a time at The Whitney

Once upon a time at The Whitney

 

Henco Espag, Judson’s Musical Director posted this message on 3/27/20. Working with Henco is heavenly. Grab this opportunity. 

Hallooo Judson,

Once upon a time at The Whitney

We are putting together a Judson Quarantine Artbook to feature creations inspired by our shared social distancing experience both for our virtual services and in a live in-person concert once we are all back together again.

Below is the website link to the contest and the full submission guidelines pasted in as well.  Please share this with everyone!!!!

We already received submissions within 10 minutes of posting.

Thank you!

Henco

https://www.judson.org/quarantine-artbook-contest

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 Windsor 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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to 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 was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries April 24, 2020

 

If you feel sorry for yourself, join the line. Then read Gabrielle Hamilton’s account of the life and temporary death of her delightful, unique, sophisticated, romantic little restaurant in the East Village, Prune.  Hamilton’s evocative essay is in the April 24 New York Times. I loved that place. Ever go into a restaurant and feel both at home and excited? That’s what Prune did for me. Why hadn’t I been there in years? Life, I guess. I can’t remember specific items on the original menu except for skate wing which was delicious. Going to the Prune website is like visiting a friend on her/his last legs. The photos of the beautiful, simply arranged food bring it all back. Sob.

 

 

 

A Stuyvesant Town Squirrel eating a muffin

Rev. Micah Busey on the corner of Thompson Street

 Henco Espag, Judson’s Musical Director posted this message on 3/27/20. Working with Henco is heavenly. Grab this opportunity. 

Hallooo Judson,

We are putting together a Judson Quarantine Artbook to feature creations inspired by our shared social distancing experience both for our virtual services and in a live in-person concert once we are all back together again.

Below is the website link to the contest and the full submission guidelines pasted in as well.  Please share this with everyone!!!!

We already received submissions within 10 minutes of posting.

Thank you!

Henco

https://www.judson.org/quarantine-artbook-contest

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 Windsor 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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to 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 was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries April 10, 2020 

How to deal with the Coronavirus Pandemic… Jokes? They trip across my email. There are lots of them and they’re funny. Alcohol? Drinking statistics are zooming.  At the Frick Collection  Xavier F. Salomon, the Frick’s Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, discusses Giovanni Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert, Saloman focuses on St. Francis’s love of nature enveloped by his religious beliefs. He recited Francis’s The Canticle of the Creatures.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,

so useful, humble, precious and pure.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,

through whom you brighten up the night.

How beautiful is he, how cheerful!

Full of power and strength.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through our Sister

Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us,

and produces various fruits with colored flowers

and herbs.

Curator Salomon compared the loveliness of the spring in  Bellini’s 1480 painting with the very beautiful, dangerous, unknown spring we 2020 New Yorkers are living through.

 Back to humor, a friend emailed this Passover email during the time of the Coronus Virus: Commemorating not getting killed by a plague during a plague that you hope you’re not being killed by is probably as Jewish as you can get.  

Let’s say good bye to John Prine with Rev. Micah Busey”s Tiny Prayer :

Thank you for telling us honest stories of ourselves, set to sweet melodies that allow them to sneak into our hearts, comforting us with universality, teasing our follies just enough to invite us to take ourselves a tad less seriously.

Amen

 Henco Espag, Judson’s Musical Director posted this message on 3/27/20. Working with Henco is heavenly. Grab this opportunity. 

Hallooo Judson,

We are putting together a Judson Quarantine Artbook to feature creations inspired by our shared social distancing experience both for our virtual services and in a live in-person concert once we are all back together again.

Below is the website link to the contest and the full submission guidelines pasted in as well.  Please share this with everyone!!!!

We already received submissions within 10 minutes of posting.

Thank you!

Henco

https://www.judson.org/quarantine-artbook-contest

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 Windsor 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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to 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 was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries April 4, 2020 

 

Good Morning, Survivors! I went to the liquor store (essential services) on Ave. B and stood outside in a line. I thought I’d fallen into a B movie. The front door was sealed. Someone said behind it What you want?  “The Margarita mix,” I said. Seconds later the voice said $9 and change. I pushed some bills through a crack and the margarita mix was shoved in a bag out the door. Very exciting. So Graham Green in Cuba.  

 Henco Espag, Judson’s Musical Director posted this message on 3/27/20. Working with Henco is heavenly. Grab this opportunity. 

Hallooo Judson,

We are putting together a Judson Quarantine Artbook to feature creations inspired by our shared social distancing experience both for our virtual services and in a live in-person concert once we are all back together again.

Below is the website link to the contest and the full submission guidelines pasted in as well.  Please share this with everyone!!!!

We already received submissions within 10 minutes of posting.

Thank you!

Henco

https://www.judson.org/quarantine-artbook-contest

 

 

 

From a Chinese friend in Shanghai

Squirrel + Muffin

From happier times: Judson Choir directed by Henco Espag

Virtual and Zoom are among the most frequently used words these days.

Judson Memorial Church has a daily meditation service, a Monday evening service and a Sunday service. Rev. Micah Bucey presides over the daily services and participates in the Sunday service with Rev. Donna Schaper and Rev. Valerie Holly.

Last Sunday, Micah shared his poem, A Covenantal Prayer dedicated to his husband, their beagle and the two cats. Here is the beginning:

I begin with three confessions:
I have eaten all the pita chips,
I am nearly out of dog treats,
And I have not cleaned the litter box in five days.

Surely, you all will have noticed these things by the time you hear this prayer.
You will all look at me with eight brutally beautiful eyes, saying:
“You were supposed to take care of this. This was a covenant.

 

 

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 Windsor 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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to 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 was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries March 21, 2020

 

Treasuring the things we take for granted….Remember travel? I come from the American Express check era. The first foreign country I spent time in was Italy.  In Piazza di  Spagna  there was an American Express office and I stood in line with many others to cash the check  and to change to lira. 600 Lira were the equivalent of a dollar.  The Italian currency was gorgeous and enormous. The 10,000 lira note was like a billboard. The 500 lira coin was beautiful, heavy metal. Change was scarce so we were often given candies, trinkets instead. Very annoying  at the time but a funny memory. I lived in a Victorian house off Via Salaria. My roommates and I took the octagonal elevator with etched windows and a padded seat to the fifth floor after we had fed a coin machine in the elevator several 10 lira coins and smacked the machine sharply. 

Another travel memory: the Egyptian House in Penzance. This is enchanting. It’s been owned by the Landmark Trust since the 1970s and was built in the 1850s, shortly after Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt. 

The Egyptian House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Egyptian House

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 Windsor 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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to 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 was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries March 21, 2020

 

God has a sense of humor. In the midst of the corona virus pandemic, the stock market wobbling and the current administration, we have had wonderful weather. Remember 9/11? It too was a perfect day, weather wise.

Books to start reading in quarantine: George Eliot’s Middlemarch. After the first chapter buy the audio. Naxos has a wonderful and pricy edition read by Juliet Stevenson. Years ago, BBC had a wonderful presentation. If you can find it, I recommend that you glue yourself to the TV and watch it.

Another book that’s usually read when stranded on a desert island is Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. I can read a chapter or two and have tried listening to an audio. For me, it’s deadly. Right up there with Joyce’s Ulysses of which I didn’t understand a word. 

Minister Micah Busey leads a daily meditation group during these troubling times.  It’s on video so I can see everybody’s living interior but they can also see mine. I tune in promptly at 9 am but before I do, I comb my hair, put a sweater on over my night gown and make sure underwear isn’t hanging from a door knob.  It’s a self-affirming 45 minutes. It’s gentle and kindly. That also describes Micah.  

I found Governor Cuomo amazingly down-to-earth when he gave a recipe for alcohol wipes. “So buy some alcohol,” he snarled, “and put it on some cotton. That’s it.” He’s an able politician but I disagree with his  attempt to kill off New York’s Third parties.

Killing off New York’s Third parties – Not Today!

03/13/20 — The New York State Green and Libertarian Parties applaud the State Supreme Court ruling that stopped the Democratic Party’s attempt to assassinate smaller political parties.

Justice Ralph Boniello Thursday tossed out the law establishing a commission purportedly set up to create a system of publicly financed campaigns, but instead deviated into attacks on third party and independent candidates. The Judge ruled that the measure creating the panel was “an improper and unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority.”

Officials from both parties vowed at a December press conference that a joint lawsuit against the commission’s overreach would be forthcoming if the State Legislature did not act and the commission’s recommendations became law in 2020. The lawsuits brought by the Working Families and Conservative Parties in state court have now turned the tide against the Democratic Party’s heavy-handed attacks against their independent and third party competition.

“In the age of Trump, it is sad to see the Democratic Party use their control of the state government to suppress political debate and electoral challenges by true national third parties. Democracy is on life support in New York and our country. It was a slap in the face to everyday New Yorkers for Governor Cuomo and the Democrats to unilaterally rig the system in an attempt to crush any political party who challenges them,” said Green Party of New York Co-Chair Gloria Mattera.

The Green and Libertarian Parties are prepared to file a lawsuit in federal court to prevent further attacks on third parties and independents if the lawsuits in state court by the Conservative and Working Families do not ultimately prevail against appeal.

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 Windsor 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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to 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 was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college.