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? 

NY Mysteries Aug.2, 2019

 

Good bye, dear Portland until next year. This visit was bittersweet. Dear friends whom I’ve visited in Portland for twenty years are moving to Albuquerque. They are so popular and so loved that they’ll need  a witness protection program to keep all their friends from visiting them. It won’t stop me. One of the highlights was visiting a friend I hadn’t seen in forty years. He and his wife have moved to Gearhart, Or. It’s on the majestic Pacific Ocean. We walked for miles, well, five, on the beach, barefoot and dipping into the oncoming tide. Afterwards, a delicious meal cooked by my friend. Like his late father he’s an amazing cook. I stayed where I’ve stayed for the past three years: The Inn at Northrup Station. Was it designed by Freddie Flintstone and Salvador Dali ? It’s charming and efficient. Wouldn’t stay anywhere else. 

Flying into Portland. Hello, Mt. Hood.
The Inn at Northrup Station
The friends who are fleeing to Albuquerque
The Inn at Northrup station
Wine label designed by Jerry Dickason

Have I mentioned how Portland was named? In the 1830s It was named after Portland, Maine.

One of the founding fathers wanted to name it Boston. He and the man from Portland, Maine flipped a coin. You know who won. The coin is in the Oregon Historical Society.

Photos of Portland, Or. Lovely memories:

 

 

1740 Giuseppe Bonito
The Femminiello
Oregon Museum of Art

 

Study this aquarium closely. Do you see what I see?

 

 

 

 

 

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 July 27, 2019

Another blissful week spent in Portland, Or. Last Sunday a friend and I went to Cathedral Park, sat in the shade and listened to jazz. 

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

 

 

 

 

 

Later that week, old friends and I returned to a bar with four aquariums. 

Aquarium Bar on Mississippi
Aquarium Bar on Mississippi

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went to the Portland Art Museum on Monday. Closed, of course. So I’m going back today to find Childe Hassam’s Afternoon Sky, Harney Desert. It was the museum’s first original piece of art, acquired in 1908. What a concidence. I spent part of my childhood in Old Lyme, Ct. where Hassam and his painter friends had a colony.

This evening I’m giving a margarita party. Friends and I have done this for several years. We have it in my place at the Inn at Northrup Station. Usually, we drift up to the roof which is like an attic, tons of chairs and tables brightly colored and a perfect way to gently end a party.  

The Inn at Northrup Station

 

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 July 20, 2019

No trip to Portland is complete without attending at least one Mississippi Street Fair.

 

Mississippi Street Fair
True North Folk Singers

 

 

 

 

 

Midsommer is an unfogetable movie. Violent, barbaric, bloody, brillant, disgusting, beautiful. There are no likeable characters. A group of Americans go to Sweden to observe the anniversary of an ancient rite. Agatha Christie’s Then There Were None meticulously kills off every character. Midsommer kills off many in the cast. Is it the girl’s dream? Decide for yourself.

 

Happy Hour at Nel Centro was followed by a True North concert in blissful weather at the Origan Historical Society. We sat on the patio and listened to folk and blue grass then took a quick tour of the recent exhibit of the Beatles. Yes, the Beatles played in Portland. 

The facade of the Oregon Historical Society

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beatles

 

 

 

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? 

NYMysteries – July 12

 I’ve visited Portland, Oregon for twenty years. Dear friends of mine moved here at that time. They bought a little house in north Portland and turned it into an enchanting oasis. It was on public land that was gobbled up by Las Vegas developers. Their house and garden were surrounded by buildings that dwarfed them. The good news is that they sold their house and managed to have included parking and gym rights in one of the new buildings. It’s bittersweet to acknowledge that this will be the last time we’ll hang out in Portland for three glorious summer weeks. I’ll visit them in Albuquerque and we plan on having reunions in Portland. We stood in for artist Jerry G. Dickason at an open viewing. Here are some photos.

Can you bet what this is?
The late nineteenth century railroad station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My wonderful friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerry G. Dickason’s Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Jerry G. Dickason painting

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 July 5, 2019

What a busy week. As you know, on Sunday there were two Pride marches. I joined the one that originated at Judson Memorial Church. It was smaller, less commercial and more like the gay day march of years ago. 

Judson’s Meeting Room. Judson’s Saints
Judson on the march. Beloved and Proud
Greeting one and all to Pride Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I joined dear friends in Brooklyn for the perfect July 4th celebration: A small group in a luscious  garden, feasting on grilled meat, potato salad, garden lettuce and tomatoes and homemade strawberry shortcake plus lots of lovely wine.

Stairs leading to the garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I have forgiven The Morgan that ridiculous Renzo Piano J. C. Penny entrance. Director Colin B. Bailey has vitalized the Morgan. He’s tapped into the city’s LGBTQ community, offering parties and previews open to all. Director Bailey has not neglected the Morgan’s classical background. Friends and I went to the enchanting Maurice Sendak’s Drawing the Curtain, a Walt Whitman exhibit and Hogarth’s Cruelty and Humor. Hogarth gave an unflinching view of eighteenth century London’s Gin Lane and Beer Lane. Weary from so much culture, we had a charming lunch. 

Maurice Sendak’s Design for show curtain

 

 

 

Ad for Walt Whitman’s
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?