I walked 9,543 steps yesterday. A friend led another woman and me over hill and dale to the Brooklyn Navel Yard for a Craft Brew Fest. For $35.50 or $45.50 you were given a tiny plastic glass. You walked through the air conditioned interior to an enormous backyard. There were different stands offering beer samples, alcoholic and nonalcoholic. Of course there was LOUD music. The crowd and vendors were good natured. At four p.m. the party closed down. A nearby road led to the ferry. After a hot day it was a pleasure to be on the Hudson.
Hi Everyone, As you know, I took a break. Ten days in Michigan. What a state. Its calm, clean lakes surround you. Everywhere there’s a forest and the clouds are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
Have you been to Holland? It’s an enchanting town on Lake Michigan. It was founded in the mid-nineteenth century by the Dutch who were fleeing religious persecution. What a journey. The Dutch crossed the northern Atlantic, landing in New York City and continuing to the St. Lawrence River that runs through Michigan.
Holland reminded me of the Hamptons many years ago, before they were polluted with glitz, new snobbery and wealth. Five hundred plus people on Lake Michigan’s beach were quieter than my YMCA swimming class. No radios, no sound except quiet Michigan voices and very happy looking kids.
John Bellairs came from nearby Marshall and wrote the wonderful children’s story, The House with a Clock in its Walls. Another favorite writer, Elmore Leonard, came from a Detroit suburb.
My friend and I went to the Cooper Hewitt Museum at 2 East 91st Street.The design museum is part of the Smithsonian. Compared with the bigger museums, it’s downright cozy. Botanical Gardens demonstrates nature through the display of thirteen botanical models.This also includes a display of 18th century decorative arts.
Do you like doll houses? I do. There’s a modern interpretation on the third floor. Imagine a New York City building outfitted like a doll house. It’s wonderful and it’s based on an actual building.
We ended our visit by going to the museum’s cafe and taking our lunch into the quiet, green garden.
One of the rewards of summer is the Sunday fruit, vegetable, fish and flower market we have in Stuyvesant Town. In addition to stocking up on homemade and fresh food, it’s an opportunity to chat with vendors and neighbors. Many a recipe is exchanged.
I’ve had an exciting week. Tuesday, a friend and I went to Dormeshia Tap Collective at the Joyce. I go on about the wonderful dancers at the Joyce but I don’t mention too often how inventive, clever, cool, whimsical the settings are. Dormeshia’s mis en scene was sexy and backlit. It suggested a cool nightclub. The musicians, Noah Garabedian (Bass), Chris McCarthy (Piano), Shirazette Tinnen (drums) were placed across the back of the stage. Garabedian and Dormeshia composed the original music.
Dormeshia was joined by Melissa Almaguer, Christina Carminucci, and Amanda Castro. To quote my friend, it was intense. The four women were front stage and never stopped moving to the driving, thrilling music. They honor tap’s form and history and keep pushing it forward.
Thursday, three other Judsonites and I went to the Iglesia Sants Cruz at 179 Street to celebrate overdose prevention centers in NYC. It was a moving evening. People who have been through the drug wringer spoke about how essential the centers are to recovering drug addicts. They also mourned their dying and dead friends. Usually, once a week for over ten years, Kim Kelly has set up Judson’s sessions at which volunteers prepare overdose prevention packets.
President Biden’s recent trip to the Middle East was a disappointment. He dismissed the Palestinians as if there were flies. The Palestinians are natives to that land. I visited it in 2018. and witnessed the shameful, barbaric treatment metered out to the Palestinians. The country is beautiful. The air is gentle. The light is clear but not bright. These photographs were taken in 2018. For obvious reasons I did not identify Palestinians.
The Joyce on 8th Avenue and 19th Street is my favorite theater. The dance programs are unique, serious, playful. I attended MOMIX twice this week. Saturday matinee I saw MOMIX:ALICE. The theater was packed: young, old, children. How lucky those children were to witness magic with six year old eyes. It was a wonderful, spirited event with exceptional dancing and extraordinary scenery.
Saturday evening I attended the Joyce and again saw MOMIX:ALICE. It was a different night time experience or do I think that because it was my second time around. I preferred the second sitting because I could anticipate what was coming. Alice in Wonderland is a story embedded in my childhood memory.
Yesterday was a perfect day. Friends and I went to the Winslow Homer exhibit, Crosscurrents, at the Met. Everything worked: the NYC weather mixed sun and rain, the Met’s a.c. was just right and best of all the exhibit was staggering. One person – one man – created all this heavenly art. Have no fear. I will say no more.
In the sweltering heat I attended Judson’s Pride Sunday. It was glorious. Henco Espag did his usual piano magic. Jason Tseng’s wonderful queer saints’ portraits circled the room. After the service and lunch, there was a walk with the queer saints portraits to Foley Square, followed by the Pride Day March. Exhausted, yet?
The following day, a friend and I attended Frick’s Pride Day. As you know, the Frick mansion on Fifth Avenue and Fiftieth Street is being renovated. The Collection is being shown temporarily in the former Whitney Museum building on Madison and 75th Street. Bright, extravagant floral arrangements decked Frick Madison’s front portals. Once inside a gleaming bar had replaced the book & pamphlets counter. Downstairs stood four formally dressed servers, each offering on a tray a different liquor. We selected champagne – what else? – mingled with the crowd on the cement terrance and, in the background, there was a jazz quartet and Madison Avenue traffic. A few champagnes later, we took the elevator to the wonderful art work such as Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert, Titian’s Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap.
Recovering the next day, we went to see Elvis. My friend and I like big, noisy, American trash movies. Elvis fits the bill. Austin Butler who plays Elvis looks like a Brown University sophomore. That’s Elvis? Where are Elvis’s early days with Jerry Lee Louis? Yes, I know he married his thirteen year old cousin and, on occasion, played the piano with his feet. So what? There was a gaiety and sense of naughty fun when he and Elvis made GREAT young music together. Tom Hanks stole the show. He was perfect as the Colonel. He wielded a cane, softly and menacingly. He had a quiet cruel smile and gentle cruel eyes.
Elvis is watching a great actor surrounded by kids still learning their stuff.
Last but certainly not least, I have a short story on purplewallstories.com. “My Letter to Martha” is about a ghastly NYC bus ride during a blizzard. Please (I beg) read it and if you like it vote for it.
I’ve put the Stuytown green market to one side along with my visit to the Met’s Winslow Homer exhibit.
I want to honor a woman, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and an organization, The Alliance of Baptists, that give me hope. Anyone who knows me knows I’m deeply critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Along with the Zionists I’m lumping the Supreme Court justices who have conservative Catholic beliefs that they’ve turned into law.
Back story: I’m a religious shopper. I was raised Catholic, drifted into the Friends, the Episcopalians, the Baptists, the Bahai faith.