New York Mysteries June 10 – June 17

The Garden and Forest Book Club meets at the Central Park Arsenal. The other members work and write in the gardening, landscaping and forest fields. It’s wonderful for me because it’s a whole new world. During these difficult political times, discussing nature is a balm. Our assigned book was Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer. The book introduces you to the diverse and sturdy world of mosses. Listening to the other members discuss what they do with moss is a peek into the gardening world i.e. cart it from a deserted mine to cover tree roots. After the meeting we stood on Fifth Avenue and smelled the Lindens. A lovely evening.

MTA Mural at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, near the Arsenal

57th Street and Fifth Avenue Subway Stop, near the Arsenal

Was anyone else as bored with Wonder Woman as I was? It was long (two and half hours) repetitious video game violence, humorless and predictable. Isn’t Wonder Woman a cartoon character? Not in this movie. She’s a combination of saintly, quakerly virtues and a soldier. The Amazon myth has been revamped. It’s set in World War I so the Germans are the enemy and killed with gusto. After W. W. dices up a pack of men, never touching a woman, she is sorrowful. That’s the profound part. At the finale another myth is introduced, mimicking a Harry Potter plot.We drowned our disappointment in a delicious Chinese meal. Long live Peking duck.

Fingers Crossed for a Gay Day parade without rain.

The Portland, Or. Unitarian Church’s Gay Day March fan

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

New York Mysteries June 10 – June 17

June 12 was the annual Judson Memorial Church’s Kids Day. The service is conducted by the Sunday School Grand Poohbah, Andy Frantz. It’s always loving, crowded and noisy. This year Don wigs were for the wearing.

That afternoon at Judson we were treated to The Bill of Rights: Ten Amendments in Eight Motets by Neely Bruce. All proceeds went to the New Sanctuary Coalition.

On Monday we went to the last in the Studio 5 series. Damian Woetzel, the retired NYCB Principal Dancer and now the Juilliard School president, started the series. It met in City Center’s Studio 5. The audience sat in two rows of chairs that ringed the periphery while Woetzel and his colleagues discussed and demonstrated various aspects of dance. Monday evening NYCB alumni joined forces to discuss The Répétiteur’s Work. Wendy Whelan led the discussion about the répétiteur’s role, one who stages work choreographed by others. Former NYCB soloists Jason Fowler and Craig Hall discussed their work as répétiteurs for renowned choreographers Christopher Wheeldon and Justin Peck. Whelen said that being a répétiteur, her newest dance adventure, was the hardest thing she’s ever done. Young NYCB dancers demonstrated various techniques. It’s intimate and very NYC.

 

On Friday we made our way to Pier One, Bowling Green to see the American Merchant Marines Memorial. The artist Marisol’s bronze sculpture depicts four merchant seamen with their sinking vessel after it had been attacked. I find most contemporary realistic sculpture a failure or a joke because the subjects’ clothes are dated or don’t work as sculpture. The American Merchant Marines Memorial is perfect. The merchant marines nondescript clothing clings to their water drenched bodies. The three men are aiding their drowning comrade. The scupture’s power depends, in part, on the ebb and flow of the harbor’s tides as the water washes over the body of the dying comrade.

We ended up in Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus, the hub that replaces the Path station destroyed in 9/11. Needless to say it cost zillions of dollars and took its time being completed. It’s a spacious, white area that is a high-class mall and train station.

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

 

 

 

 

New York Mysteries June 3 – June 10

Last Saturday I went to the Left Forum which is held at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Amusing irony, isn’t it? Green party member Jack Baldwin gave a well reasoned talk on Normalization of Evil in the Current Dark Age. The other participants were too busy being victims &/or celebrities to give logical talks.

A friend and I went to Boston. Having listened to the weather report I was armed with an umbrella, one coat, one jacket, two berets and a pair of gloves. The temperature was near ninety degrees. While the rest of the USA watched former FBI Director Corey, we went to the Museum of Fine Arts extensive Botticelli exhibit and were immediately steeped in 15th century Renaissance Florence. There was a charming Matisse exhibit and little duck feet painted on the museum’s floor led to a Robert McCloskey celebration of Make Way for Ducklings.

Botticelli’s Holy Family

Botticelli’s Venus

Have a bite of Espinaces Gallegas, a delcious tapas

We stayed in the Back Bay area. It’s chockablock with tiny outdoor restaurants. We returned again and again to the Tapas place. Espinaces Gallegas is a delicious combination of pine nuts, garlic, golden raisins and spinach. I kid you not. Boston beer was perfect in the surprise heatwave.

Later that day we watched snippets of the congressional investigation involving the business man and the government man. James Zogby quoted Musician Mikel Jollet  who tweeted a photo of both Trump and Comey with the tagline: “One of these two men is lying. I wonder if it’s the guy who served 3 presidents from 2 parties or the one who said Obama is from Kenya?”

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

NewYork Mysteries May 28 – June 3

At the IFC, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary is playing. What a documentary. Coltrane’s ability as a composer, musician and good husband and father are celebrated by family and friends. He absorbed Christianity and practiced charity. His music reflected this. “Alabama” was his piece written to honor four black girls killed by racists. He travelled to Japan to play for the Japanese. What a guy. He’s been declared a saint by a  San Francisco Church. I find the concept creepy but who cares?

On Memorial Day a friend and I walked around the beautiful, deserted, rainy Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. We were in the Japanese Gardens and Shakespeare’s Garden.

 

 

The Japanese Garden, Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The Japanese Garden,  Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The Met’s exhibit of Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B. C. – A. D. 22) wasn’t crowded but it was dark. The lack of light added to the mysterious, foreign atmosphere. How did the farm animal ceramics survive? Military figures and their chariots abound. Since it’s on the second floor I walked down the stairs to the Great Hall. For the first time I noticed the benefactors plaques that hang on the stairway walls. Each plaque is dated in Roman numerals The first: MDCCCLXX-MCMXX (1870-1920) has a list of the rich and powerful men of that era: Joseph Pulitzer, Benjamin Altman, among others. Other luminaries on other plaques include Junius S. Morgan, J. Pierpont Morgan, John Jacob Astor and Ira Gershwin.

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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.

Something’s eating at NYPD Det. Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

NewYork Mysteries May 21 – May 27

After a tasty Dominican supper, we went to the very baroque Church of St. Michael’s on West 99th Street to attend Amor Artis chorus and orchestra perform Handel in Italy. Handel worked in Italy from 1706-1710. Among the cantatas, mezzo-soprano Sarah Nelson Craft enchanted us with Armida Abbandonata.

Sarah Nelson Craft and Ryan James Brandau performing Handel in Italy

 

 

 

#WhiteLoveListens Potlucks are meals sponsored by Judson Memorial Church members to discuss how to make racial justice work. I joined a Brooklyn group of people all white, mostly elderly. We each talked about being raised in a white environment. To quote the expression, you don’t know what you don’t know. The evening provided a launching pad for further thinking, for getting out of the box.

 

“Welcome to one of the few places in NYC where cell phones and people are silent, food and drinks are for after the movie and everyone has a wonderful time.” This message is flashed on the MOMA screen before the movies that attract packed audiences. Mr. Cary Grant is a wonderful collection of the suave one’s various charming movies. Since he and Alfred Hitchcock are among my most admired movie pros, I paid one dollar to see “North by Northwest.” It’s such fun living in NYC and going to a 1959 movie that features 1950s Manhattan: Cary Grant strolling into the Plaza where in real-life he had a suite; Eva Marie Saint in couture chosen in Berdorfs for her by Hitchcock; the aerial shot of the UN; the Bernard Herrmann music.

NewYork Mysteries May 14 – May 21

“My belief in God tells me that the most important thing you can do for another human being is help them in their time of need.” Dr. Willie Parker, a Southern Christian abortion provider, was quoted in a recent Esquire article. Dr. Parker flies in to Alabama to work at the Pink House, the only abortion center left in Alabama. Dr. Parker will be speaking at Judson Memorial Church during the Sunday service. I chose to be part of the security team – The part of me that finds everything funny was in high gear – who can resist carrying a walkie-talkie and wearing a security vest? The humor stops there. Whether or not abortion doctors should be required to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case of complications is the latest obstruction to Choice. Texas is considering a similar law. With a population of twenty-seven million people, it has just six abortion clinics. It is already law in North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah and looms over Alabama, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

I attended a performance of Jinah Parker’s SHE. It’s a choreoplay about sexual violence against women and girls. It’s ninety minutes of dance and revelation, creation mixed with real-life stories. During the Q & A post production, men and women discussed men’s ignorance about how to treat women.

Congratulations to the 111 Graduating Class of Ramallah Friends School. The Society of Friends founded the school around 1901 to provide education for Palestinian girls. It has been co-ed for many years. In spite of the military occupation, many of the graduates will be attending college in Canada, the U. S. the U. K. and the Euro zone.
Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine year old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.
Graphic Lessons: Nine year old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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?

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

May 7- May 13
Warning: This is devoted to food and drink. Last week I worked the birthday gig.
Now that we’re in Monsoon season… On Sunday, we had torrential rains for five and a half minutes and then a beautiful sky. A generous friend took me to Felidia, a restaurant that’s part of the Lidia Bastianich’s eatery empire. I battled the rain on Second Avenue and Fifty-eighth Street and arrived at Felicia. It’s like a cavern, narrow and dark. After some lovely prosecco we went into the crowded, small by NYC standards, dining room. The menu is needlessly complicated and fussy. You wade through field, garden and sea offerings in Italian and English. But the pappardelle was the best pasta dish I’ve devoured in a long time.
Last Saturday, a friend treated me to Jack’s 7 Subway walk. What a great idea. You hop on and off the 7 Subway and get a glimpse of what’s happening in Queens. The diversity of cultures is evident in the neighborhood restaurants and businesses.

An Asian grocery store in Queens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I met a friend at the Frick for the preview of the portrait medals exhibition, The Pursuit of Immortality. The Garden Court is the perfect place for people gawking. The Frick serves champagne, white wine and sparkling water. No red wine. Stains, you know. We then went around the block to Le Charlot. We sat outside, neither of us feeling much pain after the Frick.

Michael Bodycomb’s photo of medals depicting Josephine Bonaparte, Ferdinand III and Leonello d’Este for the Frick’s exhibit, The Pursuit of Immortality.

 

Rosemary on Greenwich has linguine made with preserved lemon (what’s that?), pickled chili and parmigiana. It’s divine and was a perfect ending to a lovely birthday week-long party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine year old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine year old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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?

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

NYMysteries April 29 – May 6

It was a busy Saturday. The Stuyvesant Town Flea Market, put on hold since 9/11, was held on a glorious spring day. The Oval, which is the center of the Stuyvesant complex, was packed with stalls, anything and everything Stuy Town residents wanted to get rid of, families and dogs. In the late afternoon I went to Judson Memorial Church for the wedding of the century. Two men, beloved by the congregation, were being united. One of the grooms’ fathers made a profound remark: Marriage does not give you license to change your partner. In marriage, you support your partner.

 

Fresh flowers for sale at the Stuyvesant Town Flea Market

 

M & M at their wedding ceremony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Frick concert season ended with a wonderful display of piano brilliance by the Spanish pianist, Javier Perianes. He treated us to Schubert and Debussy. The two last pieces by Albania and de Falla were spectacular.

 

Delice & Sarrason on Christopher Street is a hot vegan restaurant. I thought I’d stepped into Alice in Wonderland. Remember the mad hatter’s tea party? Everyone at the table was on the same wave length except Alice. That’s how I felt at Delice and Sarrason. People were licking their young, beautiful lips over coq au vin, beef bourguignon, coquilles St. Jacques BUT the coq, beef and coquilles were made with vegetable fibers, tapioca and potato. If vegans don’t eat meat why do they name their non-meat dishes steak frites (three types of mushrooms)? In the 1940’s Ruth McKenny and her sister Eileen, Ohio girls, came to NYC and lived in the same area as Delice & Sarrason. The musical Wonderful Town was based on McKenny’s New Yorker stories and many of the scenes take place in their dump of an apartment on Christopher.

Highlights in Jazz ended its season with The Joe Bushkin Centennial. His son-in-law, Bob Merrill, was master of ceremonies. We were treated to performances by Nicki Parrott and Spike Winner.

 

 

BMCC: Performing Arts Center
Joe Bushkin’s Centenniel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine year old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine year old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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?

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

NYMysteries Blog April 23-April 28

Recently, I wandered around the Morgan Library. Something I haven’t done in a long time. Pierpoint Morgan and his decendents built a museum and library next to the family’s original residence, a 1882 brownstone. As Mr. Morgan’s collection grew, different buildings such as the 1928 Annex were added to the original complex. Years ago, when I entered the 1900 Charles Follen McKim building my first impression was of wood, tapestry, iron, wax and an eclectic collection of books, manuscripts and drawings that gave a glimpse into Pierpont Morgan’s many interests. The Morgan was renovated many times, often with disastrous results. The 1990’s Renzo Piano design transformed the solid Morgan complex into a J. C. Penny building, destroying the opulent, long ago atmosphere.

I’m happy to report that as I wandered through the beautifully mounted Emily Dickenson exhibit and the Symbolist exhibit a whiff of the old Morgan returned.

 

Otis Allen Bullard’s portrait of Emily,Austin, Lavinia Dickinson

Emily Dickinson’s “I’m Nobody! Who are you?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friend and I have an informal and infrequent lunch date at Veselka (rainbow in Ukrainian!), a busy, bustling, friendly hashhouse that’s been around since 1954. It’s a combination of NYC, Ukrainian and the East Village. Not bad, eh? It has the required foot long menu offering everything from borscht to cheese week specials.

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine year old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine year old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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?

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

April 15 – April 22, 2017

The NYPL sponsored a talk by David Grann and Jeffrey Toobin. They discussed Grann’s book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. In the 1920’s the Osage Indians were lucky enough to settle and be granted ownership on land that was on oil fields. They were unlucky because their financial success led to their numerous murders by people who wanted to grab the land. Grann talked about going to Oklahoma and interviewing people whose relatives were killed, the lack of interest in the Osage massacre and the rise of J. Edgar Hoover. I enjoyed Toobin’s books about O. J. Simpson and the Supreme Court. He writes with style and wit. He conducts interviews with the same humor and knowledge. He also keeps an eye on the time. We were told the writers would talk for forty minutes and then have a ten minute Q & A session. Bless the man. That’s exactly what happened. It was an interesting early evening talk held in the packed Celeste Bartos Forum.

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine year old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies. Within hours of interviewing for a teaching position at the Windsor School, she stumbles over a stabbed and dying body in the school kitchen.

Graphic Lessons: Nine year old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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?

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.