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NYMYSTERIES. COM

A Judson group, GOT, discussed being single. Its original name was Getting Old Together, upgraded to Getting Older Together. Our increased life span is one of the surprises of the current century. Medicine is grappling with it and we older folks are too. After questions i.e. how do I join zoom? The moderator brought up health, self care and exercise. Have you lost or gained weight. Eating properly? What about drinking? Getting exercise? Mental health? Up to date on doctors’ appointments? She mentioned loneliness, making new friends and keeping old ones. In addition, we talked about eating out, socializing on line and meetups. After Covid, what future plans do you have for a more normal life? Being single is becoming a norm.

Very early morning in Central Park
Central Park in spring

NYMYSTERIES.COM

NYMYSTERIES.COM  April 2, 2021 

Baptista’s painting of the Christ, my friend was exhibited in Riker’s Protestant chapel in 1971. It was sponsored by Minister Daniel Shank. In addition to being the Protestant minister at Rikers, Reverend Shank was prominent in AIDS awareness at a time when it was raging throughout New York City.

A friend and I made a quick visit to MOMA. It’s open! I’ve  spent a lot of time in MOMA so I looked for old friends: Jackson Pollack and The Black-American migration to the north.

MOMA Black-American migration to the north

Palm Sunday was rainy. I joined a Presbyterian service under the Washington Arch. Splatter, splatter. It was wonderful.

Palms on Palm Sunday. What else?

NYMYSTERIES.COM

 Recently, I entered the Judson Memorial Church Meeting Room. I hadn’t been in it virtually since last  March.  The Judson music director, Henco Espag and AndI Lee Carper presented OPPY, directed by Mika Kauffman. The one person show featured DeShawn Aaron Jenkins.  It’s the sort of off-beat, almost incomprehensible, gay theater that’s become a Judson fixture. I loved being there, very isolated on my single, alone chair, masked up. I waved to a few of the others scattered around the Meeting Room. It was moving being in the space where I’d witnessed so many marriages, funerals, Al Carmine productions, church sermons, and one nude Easter.

Oppy set in Judson’s Meeting Room
Music director Henco Espag

 I shot the scene before we were told not to. Honest!


NYMYSTERIES.COM

March 20, 2021 

WHAT WERE YOU DOING THIS TIME LAST YEAR? 

On March 17, 2020 I was giving my last party for a long time. It was for St. Patrick’s. There were only four of us. Were we wearing masks? I don’t remember. I do remember that I felt slightly guilty about entertaining  even a small group.

Were you buying your first mask? Going to your last conference? Looking into the joys of homeschooling? Concerned about your job? Going into the hospital? Coming out of the hospital? Seeing your last movie in a movie house? Returning home from abroad? Stocking up on toilet paper? No more museums, restaurants, churches, YMCAs but the liquor stores were kept open.  Were you adding words to your vocabulary: Zoom, Peloton, pandemic?  

Sharon Woolums

Last March, while shooting in Washington Square Park, Sharon Woolums took a wonderful photo of this hawk, a red tailed corona.

NYMYSTERIES.COM March 13, 2021

Frick Madison is the cool name of the Frick’s temporary home (nine months? ten months?) in Marcel Breuer’s 75th Street and Madison building. The Frick mansion on 70th Street and Fifth Avenue is being renovated.  I have been to Frick Madison twice. I attended EXCLUSIVE MEMBER REVIEW DAYS, written in red and caps on the Frick invitation to members. The Frick plays the snob card well, but who expected Covid to complicate the move? We are being courted with extended membership and with a card that’s reproduced a Joseph Mallord William Turner oil with FRICK MADISON in caps in the lower left corner. I’m designated a Frick Future member. In other words, renew your membership. 

I never liked the old Whitney. It had mediocre exhibits and bad lighting. The building resembled a bunker. The best spaces were the enormous elevators and the stone paved stairwells. When the Whitney moved downtown, the Met Breuer moved in. The exhibits improved but the patrons, customers, art lovers didn’t show up. Exit the Met. There was talk of the Frick renting Guggenheim space but that didn’t work out.  

Frick Madison is brilliant. The pictures, sculpture, porcelain are beautifully mounted. The lighting is perfect.The walls are a blue with a hint of gray.  It’s a treat to see art that I’ve known in one space for years, moved around. It brightens it. This is especially true of the porcelain which I never looked at in the Mansion. Frick art gives the Breuer dignity. Shooting with your cell is firmly forbidden. That’s my excuse for no photos.

NYMYSTERIES.COM

 NYMYSTERIES  March 5, 2021  2021

HHH is the Judson Happy Hour. It was invented by LinDa, a very imaginative techie. She fills our Zoom half hour with fun. The last two sessions have been about What’s on Your Wall. Think of all the rooms you’ve spied upon thanks to Zoom and Covid. She asked us to send her pictures of what we had on our walls. I submitted the Frank Galuszka nude that Frank painted in Romania over fifty years ago and the Tony Furato whale sculpture that I had sent from Portland, Or. a year ago.

FRANK GALUSZKA’S NUDE

TONY FURATO’S WHALE, DOLLED UP FOR CHRISTMAS

Pope Francis is in Iraq. He will visit the archeological site of ancient Ur, traditionally believed to be Abraham’s birthplace.

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Celebrating Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919 – 2021)

MARY NELL AND HER HUSBAND STOPPED TO TAKE ONE LAST PHOTO BEFORE LEAVING SAN FRANCISCO.

Ferlinghetti was the author of more than thirty books of poetry and the founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco, California.  

These are Mary Nell Hawk’s 2017 photos of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Bookshop. 

As you see, on the outside was a big illustrated mural-poem:

NOTHING 

IS HARDER

ON THE SOUL

THAN THE

SMELL

OF

DREAMS

WHILE 

THEY ARE

EVAPORATING

STOP

THE

DEPORTATIONS

POEM / READING:   Poetry as Insurgent Art (I am signaling you through the flames)

POET / AUTHOR:   Lawrence Ferlinghetti   (1919-2021)

I am signaling you through the flames.

The North Pole is not where it used to be.

Manifest Destiny is no longer manifest.

Civilization self-destructs.

Nemesis is knocking at the door.

What are poets for, in such an age?

What is the use of poetry?

The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.

If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic.

You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words….

SAME SCENE, DIFFERENT SHOT.

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 NYMYSTERIES  February 19,  2021

Some Judsonites are keeping track of how often the former president’s name is mentioned in the New York Times. When I lived in Rome I learned about damnatio memoriae. Loosely translated that’s destroying the remembrance of an evil person. It usually applied to public figures such as senators and emperors. The next time you’re in Rome or any other ancient Mediterranean place, check out monuments that have had inscriptions destroyed and portraits of illustrious personages in which one is missing. Memory was an important part of learning in the ancient world. Who read? So it was equally important to erase the memories of felons, according to their accusers. Some example are Caracalla who erased Publius Septimus Geta, his younger brother. Another example is Constantine erasing Maxentius in 312 AD. In modern times Stalin destroyed photos of people out of favor. Do we practice damnatio memoriae when we remove statues from public exhibit? i.e. Robert E. Lee.

Geta has been removed from mural.
Now you see Nikolai Yezkov, Now you don’t.

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 NYMYSTERIES  February 12,  2021

At Judson Memorial’s Sunday service, Rev. Holly talked about Sam Cooke. an African American singer and songwriter known as the King of Soul.  1n 1963 his entourage was in Louisiana. They could not find a room. No one would take them in. Cooke became angry. He and his group left and went to a nearly town where he and his entourage were followed by the police and arrested for disorderly conduct.  He wrote “A Change is Coming”. 1964, the same year he died. Fifty seven years later, is his belief finally coming true? 

Sam Cooke

Chick Corea died at 79. He claimed that jazz was a little window where you explore. He thought of himself as a composer as well as a pianist. Corea was known for Jazz + Spanish, Cuban technique and along with Miles Davis, Jazz fusion. He is quoted as saying, “Play anything you hear. If you don’t hear it, don’t play it.” 

Chick Corea

Winter is still here. Wally Wentink’s dawn photo proves it.

Chilly NYC sunrise Wally Wentink

NYMYSTERIES.COM

SNOW! We have had a mild winter until this past week. Lots of weather chatter and talk about staying inside. After Monday’s big storm snowmen – oops – snow people cropped up. The adventurous, not the snow people,  took to Central Park and Thompkins Square Park. Most of us saw the giant pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, sliding down a snowy incline and loving it. 

Thompkins Square Park

Snowy Night by Mary Oliver

Last night, an owl

in the blue dark

tossed

an indeterminate number

of carefully shaped sounds into

the world, in which,

a quarter of a mile away, I happened

to be standing.

I couldn’t tell

which one it was –

the barred or the great-horned

ship of the air –

it was that distant. But, anyway,

aren’t there moments

that are better than knowing something,

and sweeter? Snow was falling,

so much like stars

filling the dark trees

that one could easily imagine

its reason for being was nothing more

than prettiness. I suppose

if this were someone else’s story

they would have insisted on knowing

whatever is knowable – would have hurried

over the fields

to name it – the owl, I mean.

But it’s mine, this poem of the night,

and I just stood there, listening and holding out

my hands to the soft glitter

falling through the air. I love this world,

but not for its answers.

And I wish good luck to the owl,

whatever its name –

and I wish great welcome to the snow,

whatever its severe and comfortless

and beautiful meaning.


Ann Heron Central Park