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NY Mysteries Oct. 11, 2019

On a perfect fall day last Sunday friends and I went to Wave Hill. One of my friends is a keen gardener and had planned the day so we’d go to a lecture in Wave Hill House (1843) being given by her friends and then walk around the 28-acre Riverdale estate. It has horticultural gardens and overlooks the Hudson. 

Wave Hill
Dahlias in the Wave Hill Flower Garden
Dahlias in the Wave Hill Garden
Wave Hill Grasses
Wave Hill

 

 

 

 

The next evening at the National Arts Club friends and I celebrated two birthdays and reproached one friend for returning to Florida.. Over drinks and dinner we had lots of good conversation and laughs.

 

 

I belong to Stubbs, a free service of the AMC movie chain. The purpose is to lure in customers. Every Tuesday in any AMC movie house you can see any movie for $6. Even at that low price, I want to warn you. Ad Astra is a ghastly movie. I went, noble me, because a gay pal has a crush on Brad Pitt. It’s a guy movie: lots of wheels, lots of futurist jeeps plowing across Mars or was it Saturn. Poor Brad, loaded down in his immaculate astronaut suit was searching for his father, a boring old duffer who had disappeared in space. Brad Pitt was the main and practically only character and producer. It’s a  film with lots of special effects and Hollywood profound thoughts.

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 Oct. 4, 2019

Friends and I went to see Midnight Traveler at Film Forum. Aside from us three, there were four other people at the screening. In 2016 the Taliban put a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head after he made Peace in Afghanistan. He and his wife and their two young daughters fled Kabul. They first went to Tajikistan for an agonizing 14 months of filling in futile applications before being sent back to Afghanistan. Both filmmakers, Fazili and his wife, started recording their life on three cell phones. The documentary records their journey with two small daughters across Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia. The courage and fortitude of the family is extraordinary as they endure refugee camps, escape from gangs and hide in forests in winter. 

Girls have to have fun, right? That’s why two of my other pals and I went to the Met. We went to the Roof Garden. It was an autumnal sky surrounding Alicja Kwade’s ParaPivot I and II. The massive spheres appear weightless. We then went to the Dutch Masterpieces at the Met. 17th Century Dutch Art was collected at the Met soon after the museum opened in 1870. The current exhibit is luscious: buxom ladies at prayer, equally buxom servants

Alicja Kwade’s ParaPivot I and II

preparing a meal, comic painting, pastoral scenes, flowers, fruits, pealed lemons. It’s delightful.

The Met Roof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went to the New York City Ballet Tuesday night and was bored to death. I’ve been a fan of the NYCB for many years and was dismayed at the mechanical presentation of Valse-Fantaisie and Kammermusik No. 2. Recently, I’ve been going to the Joyce where the theater is alive with excitement both on the stage and in the audience. 

Have you seen Judy? And why not? Everything positive people say about Renée Zellweger is true. She’s caught Judy Garland’s nervous walk and talk. She’s also caught what a difficult person Judy Garland was to be around plus her heartbreaking vulnerability. Rupert Goold, the director, flashes back very effectively to Garland’s gruesome upbringing in glamorous old Hollywood. 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Sept. 28, 2019

I’m going to get a room near the Joyce and have three meals a day at Cafeteria and die happy. 

Last week a friend and I went to Rubberband. It’s ten athletic (aren’t all dancers?) gymnastic, pugilistic, balletic dancers created Victor Quijada’s high-voltage choreography. They invade the stage, bounce off each other and keep up the movement. Breath-taking, stupendous. It’s Montreal-based and many of the dancers are Canadian. Hummm. Better contact ICE. 

 The Joyce is an encyclopedia of what the body can do.  

Ayodele Casel

This week another pal and I saw choreographer/ tap dancer Ayodele Casel and pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill. Casel is amusing about having first learned about tap dancing from watching Ginger Rogers films. It’s another ballgame. Casel is Black/Latino and infuses energy, dynamism into her work. She is also devoted to encouraging young people, especially girls of color to live authentically and spark joy. O’Farrill is one of those gifted pianists whose fingers are glued to the keyboard. He is as thrilling to watch as the dancers. Casel has a fine troupe of five extraordinary dancers. 

Arturo O’Farrill

 

 

 

 

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 Sept. 20, 2019

 

 The Judson Week End in Deep River, Ct. is a Judson Memorial Church version of a retreat. However, we never stopped talking , drinking, dancing, meditating, skinny dipping, hiking, participating in Pilates, trying facial masks, eating, celebrating present absent members and absent dead members as well as a baptism in the lake. That’s all in two days.

 

Hiking around the Lake
Henco at the keys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Florida friend visits NYC for six weeks at this time of year. We never stop! This week alone we saw Slave Play, too long and over rated. We went to Caviat on Clinton Street. It  was packed, as usual. Georgia Brown, a dynamo Australian writer and entrepreneur invented Generation Women. It’s a performance by women of generations between twenty and seventy. Georgia presents a theme. This current one was  women’s bodies. The audience hooted and howled over the various adventures presented by each woman, enlightening and embarrassing. Next night we went to a wonderful performance at the Joyce: Rubberband. 

 Don’t forget the Brooklyn Book Fair where some of us will be hawking books. 

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 Sept. 13, 2019

 

I’m going to the Judson Memorial Weekend. It’s been held for years near Ivoryton, Ct. Many years before I knew about Judson, I was an apprentice at the Ivoryton Playhouse. When we sweep past it on our way to the Weekend at Incarnation Center, I’m flooded with memories. Milton Stiefel, his brother Irving and his wife owned and ran the theater. Milton Stiefel had begin his career with David Belasco. 

During the summer at the Playhouse I had motley chores: clean pots for the set designer, smear soap on mirrors so they wouldn’t reflect on stage, clean the restrooms. On rare occasions I’d appear in crowd scenes. I  reported to a Syracuse senior, Jim Hutton, who had a Hollywood career (Where the Boys Are) and was Timothy Hutton’s (Academy Award) father. Of course, this fifteen year old had a crush on Jim. But Jim was more interested in the sexy girls in the Guys and Dolls chorus line. Rudy Vallée sang his last songs in a tiny nightclub across the street from the theater. In those days film and stage stars trekked around to regional theaters. After filming Julius Caesar, Marlon Brando appeared in Shaw’s Arms and the Man. Wally Cox (Mr. Peepers, anyone?) was his co-star.  Katherine Hepburn’s father was a Hartford doctor and the family had a summer house in nearby Saybrook. I think Ms. Hepburn began her career at Ivoryton. Seeing her in the audience, at intermission I crept near her to gawk. She was petite and dressed in a well cut white linen suit. Petite? you say. Honestly, she was about 5’3”. I know she looks taller in films. Maria Riva starred on  the Ivoryton stage but the real star was her mother, Marlene Dietrich. Every afternoon the crew hung around the box office phone. Like clock work it would ring at 5 p.m. Irving’s wife answering in her version of a classy accent, would hold the phone’s receiver so we could all hear Dietrich’s famous teutonic growl. 

 

Tomatoes, fresh from the garden

 

 

 

 

Flowers and tomatoes from a country garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Sept. 6, 2019

What do Mary Higgins Clark, David Brooks and Frank McCourt have in common? They all lived in the sprawling complex on the lower east side known as Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. It stretches from 14th Street to 23rd Street and is bounded by First Avenue on the west and Avenue C on the east. There are 80 acres of land and over eleven thousand apartments. It was planned and built in the early forties. World War II veterans were given priority. 

The 110 buildings are in a park-like environment of mostly plane trees. I’ve lived here for many years and consider myself very lucky. From my window I look north over the Oval, Stuyvesant Town’s central lawn. To the west I see the Empire State Building. At one time the lawns were sacrosanct, acres of undisturbed grass. Recently, there’s a hands on approach. Pets are allowed and Adirondack chairs dot the Oval lawn. At the center is a magnificent fountain. 

 

A view of the Oval Fountain

 

 

 

 

The Oval Lawn
The Oval Fountain

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 Aug.30, 2019

 

 

Ever want to love a restaurant?  That’s the way I felt about chama mama (What’s with the lower case letters?) at 149 west 14th Street, a few doors west of the YMCA. The staff is charming, the ambiance is sophisticated, the food is Georgian (Russian). I’ve had lunch there several times.  Tarragon is a favorite herb. That neon green bottle is a tarragon based soft drink. So, lunch is a winner. Dinner is another matter. chama mama is noisy even by Manhattan standards, the food is too salty. I never thought I say that being a lover of salt. With regret I wouldn’t go near the place after six p.m.

 

 

Lunch menu  at champ mama 

 

Three Bean Sampler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

el camion cantina (Once again, what’s with the lower case letters?) is at 194 Avenue A and 12th Street. Noisy, of course. Wonderful staff: professional and pleasant.

Great margaritas and great food. I’m like an eight year old. I order the same thing every time. el camion has a delicious duck, smashed sweet potatoes and perfectly cooked french green beans. Don’t forget the Elote. Its  grilled corn on the cob with mayo and cheese.  

Moral: Lunch at champ mama and dinner at el camion cantina.

The winner: Shu Han Ju is a Szechuan restaurant on 11th St and 6th Ave.  Chinese cuisine has at least eight culinary traditions. Spicy Szechuan is one of the favorites. To name a few on the extensive menu: scallop pancakes, cucumber w spicy garlic sauce, shrimp with cashew nuts, fresh mussels w black bean sauce, Dan dan noodle. What a wonderful restaurant. Best food I’ve had in ages. The staff is helpful and knowledgeable and She Han Ju is quiet.  

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 Aug.23, 2019

A busy week. I’m waiting for the delivery of my ceramic whale and attending the Writer’s Digest Conference.

Last week I forgot to include Cooperstown and Glimmerglass photos. Here they are.

The one drawback is the loooong drive from NYC. It took us seven hours. Yes, we did stop at a yard sale or two.

A permanent yard sale on the way to Glimmerglass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Baseball Museum was delightful, filled with baseball enthusiasts. introducing their kids to a wonderful sport. 

Move over, Boys.
The Cooperstown Baseball Museum
Go Team!
Cooperstown Baseball Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We saw a matinee performance of Showboat. Too long, a meandering plot. Edna Ferber was inspired (?) by the showboat in the photo.

 

 

Edna Ferber’s inspiration for Showboat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glimmerglass: a cast member and Francesca.

 

 

The Ghosts of Versailles

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Aug.16, 2019

 A friend and I went to the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown. The six hour drive was tiresome even though my friend is a superb driver. On the way we stopped at various auction houses.

 

Cooperstown is both upscale and down home. We stayed in a homey motel on the Otsego Lake. It’s the sort of place people return to, having been there with their parents. You can stay in the motel or in a cottage. We chose a large motel room. Its back door opened onto a lawn and then down to the lake. It’s very quiet.

The Baseball Museum was delightful, not crowded but filled with baseball enthusiasts. The Fenimore Art Museum was spacious and has a superb collection of American Indian Art and American Folk Art. Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits has terrific photos and videos of the glamorous eighties and nineties.

 

At Glimmerglass’s main theater  we saw a matinee performance of Showboat. Too long, a meandering plot. 

 

The next day we saw The Ghosts of Versailles, music by John Corigliano, libretto by William M. Hoffman. For me, it was a delightful surprise.  

 

 

RIP Paul Findley

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 Aug.9, 2019

 

Frick Staff Education Day

I hurry back from Portland, Or.  each year so I can participate in the Frick Staff Education Day. It’s a merry-go-round of choices. Available all day are button making and banner picture taking, bowling in the 1914 bowling alley, Ghetto Film School movies. Other events scheduled throughout the day are a Cooking Demo, a Talk on Betoldo di Giovanni, Orchid repotting with the head gardener. Later in the day he led a tour of Central Park Trees.

Keep in mind that many of the staff are also artists. There are several  arts and crafts activities such as creating miniature book ornaments, creating and sculpting in the morning and painting in the afternoon.There are tours of the Library and Museum building. There’s the mysterious (to me) Testing of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence App, and the grand finale is a trivia competition followed by the  Frickin’ Historic Cocktail party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?