April 21 —  April 27

 

Joyce DiDonato’s Master Classes 

Ms. DiDonato described her three master classes (April 21, April 22, April 23), given before the public, as a playground and as a three day arc. For two hours on three afternoons a packed house in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing watched and listened as the maestra took four singers through their paces. In addition, they had worked with Ms. Donato each morning. Francesca Chiejina, soprano, Ané Pretorius,

Joyce DiDonato and Germán Enrique Alcántara
Joyce DiDonato and  Ané Pretorius
Francesca Chiejina
Francesca Chiejina and Germán Enrique Alcántara
Joyce DiDonato and  Ané Pretorius
Jose Simerilla Romero and Joyce DiDonato blowing through straws
Joyce DiDonato

mezzo-soprano, Jose Simerilla Romero, tenor and  Germán Enrique Alcántara, baritone were accompanied by two accomplished pianists, Justina Lee and Shannon McGinnis.  It was glorious. Ms. Donato’s knowledge of music and people coupled with her teaching genius made the sessions a delicious respite from our contentious world. She had a singer blowing through a straw, two other singers dancing, and another singer sitting on a stack of three chairs. Why not? The master classes were streamed live online.

 

 

 

 

Generation Women shared secrets on April 25. It was  story telling by women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s. Each participant had seven minutes  to tell her secret and the fun began at 7 pm. It was at the Caveat Theatre, a  New York speakeasy, on 21 A Clinton Street. The April 25 event was sold out but please come to the May event. 

 

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

April 16 —  April 21

 

I hadn’t been in Town Hall in years. On the second floor I stared at photos of Billie Holiday and Andrea Segovia. Both had appeared in Town Hall way back in the fifties. The crowd buzzed. We were there to hear The New Yorker Radio Hour (and a half) moderated by David Remnick who was interviewing James Comey.  Comey has been jumping all over the media for the past few weeks to publicize  A Higher Loyalty, his tell (almost) all book about his philosophy as it played out in his exciting career. It was a pleasure to listen to two well educated, well spoken men. The hottest words flooded the packed theater: rule of law, transparency, Loretta Lynn, Rudolph Giuliani, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton,  Russian involvement in the American election.  I think Mr Comey will be speaking at Amazon. Remember the saying, Revenge is a dish best served cold?  Mr. Comey + Mr. Jeff Bezos is almost as titillating as Trump + prostitutes in Moscow. 

  

James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty

 

 

Stuyvesant Town has been described as a place “to live in a park – to live in the country in the heart of New York.” One of its traditions is the Stuyvesant Town Flea Market. It was an annual event until 9/11 closed it down. Don’t ask me to explain that logic. It was brought back last year. It’s on this weekend. I’m not participating because I’m going to a Joyce DiDonato masterclass and because, last year, it took me five hours to make about twenty seven dollars.  It was still fun. Neighbors and I shared a booth. Friends dropped by. Meanwhile, the woman next to me made out like a bandit selling little toys to lots of little children.  

 

@Generation Women is sharing secrets on April 25. It’s  story telling by women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s. Each participant has seven minutes -7- seven minutes to tell her secret and the fun begins at 7 pm. It’s at the Caveat Theatre, a  New York speakeasy, on 21 A Clinton Street. The April 25 event is sold out but please come to the May event. 

 

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 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: 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 8 – April 14

 

Attention! @Generation Women is sharing secrets on April 25. Come, please come, to story telling by women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s. Each participant has seven minutes -7- seven minutes to tell her secret and the fun begins at 7 pm. It’s at the Caveat Theatre, a  new New York speakeasy, on 21 A Clinton Street. 

 

I went to a book launch. Laura Catherine Brown and Sweta Vikram introduced a Blue Stockings packed audience to their latest books.  Laura’s Made By Mary will be out in May and Sweta’s louisiana catch was available that evening.  Surrounded by friends, fans and family, Laura and Sweta read and discussed their works of fiction. Mary, In Made by Mary, bears a child for her daughter who was born without a uterus. In louisiana catch, Ahana, an abuse survivor, flees New Delphi for New Orleans.    

 

 

Book Launch: Laura Brown and Sweta Vikram
Made by Mary pin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweta Vikram’s louisiana catch

 

 

The Frick Collection’s April 8th concert was given by the Mozart Piano Quartet. However, they didn’t play Mozart and there were not four pianos. Instead, there was one piano, one violin, one viola and a cello. And lovely selections by Dvorak and Brahms.

 

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 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: 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 1 – April 7

 When attending Studio 5, my friend and I have a ritual: early supper in a Thai restaurant on 58th Street, jaywalking across the street into one of the City Center buildings and taking the ornate elevator to the fifth floor to a well lit rehearsal room surrounded on three sides of folding chairs. The early birds grab the center section. We sit on the stage right side. Studio 5 was invented by Damian Woetzel who is now the seventh president of Juilliard. The president has left the premises but he’s been succeeded by other ballet luminaries. This evening Kate Lydon, the Artistic Director of ABT Studio Company, moderated American Ballet Theatre: From Trainee to Luminary.  The average age of the dancers was nineteen. They discussed where they came from, what it was like training and living in ABT housing but the focus of the evening was when they danced. We were treated to excerpts from Giselle, William Tell and Le Jeune. So backstage, so NYC. 

 

 

Studio 5 ABT Dancers
Studio 5 ABT Dancer
Studio 5 ABT Dancers
Studio 5 ABT Dancers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next evening we went to Juilliard Jazz. Wynton Marsalis introduced A Tribute to Blue Note Records. In the playbill, there was a short interview with Conductor Marsalis in which he stressed the importance of jazz’s history for musicians and named some of the Blue Note musicians with whom he’d played: . Juilliard Jazz played nine pieces including Woody Shaw’s The Moontrane and Dexter Gordon’s Ernie’s Tune. The evening ended with Wayne Shorter’s Free for All with a tremendous drum solo.  

Juilliard Jazz
Juilliard Jazz
Juilliard Jazz
Juilliard Jazz
Juilliard Jazz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 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: 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.

March 25 – March 31

Via Quadronno: a slice of northern Italy on 73rd Street and Madison. We tuck ourselves into a little table parked under a bookcase. I had beautifully cooked and served asparagus and a boiled ege. My friend had minestrone and a panino American style i.e. more prosciutto than you’d have in Italy. I looked at his food hungrily then consoled myself by sopping up the oil in my plate with toasted bread. He handed me James Rebanks’s THE SHEPHERD’S LIFE Modern Dispatches From an Ancient Landscape and told me to speed read it for our Arsenal Book Club on Wed. Reading a book about shepherding in the English Lake District? I assumed the prosciutto had gone to his head. I was wrong. Rebanks’s story of home and staying there is compelling. It’s about preserving a way of life that is difficult to sustain and as moving as the old movie about Lassie. Rebanks is on Twitter: Herdwick Shepherd.

I confess. I read The Nation recently. I was waiting in a doctor’s office. Did you know that The Nation like Ted Turner Classics has a wine club? Did you know, courtesy of The Nation, you can go on an Alaskan tour with Ruth Messinger?

An artist friend and I wandered through the Whitney’s Grant Wood exhibit. We admitted grudgingly that Wood was a superb craftsman. In addition to being an artist he was a silversmith and he had a streak of whimsy. Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell came to mind.

An Altar to the Home, Grant Wood
A Screen, Grant Wood

Are they American Regionalists like Wood? His art celebrates the American farm. His attention to detail is extraordinary. There’s a uniformity of expression and of gender. The men are big, usually in overalls and engaged in the manly arts of mechanics. The women are small, usually in an apron and engaged in the womanly arts of polishing the furniture. We walked down the outside stairs from the eighth floor cafe to the fifth floor exhibit. Wonderful views of lower Manhattan and the Hudson.

A view from the Whitney

 

 

 

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 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: 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.

March 17 – March 24

Busy week.

Starting with St. Patrick’s Day and ending with the Morgan Library & Museum’s Now and Forever: the Art of Medieval Time where I learned that St. Patrick’s Day like Christmas harkens back to the middle ages when fixing a holiday on a specific date was done to keep track of time.

Now and Forever: The Art of Medieval Time

 

Now and Forever: The Art Medieval Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A memorial in New Jersey was followed by a birthday dance at the Joyce. The Stephen Petronio Company celebrates choreographers of the past. Tuesday was Merce Cunningham night. Petronio scored. Reverence for the past did not rob his pieces of their freshness and sexiness. The Butcher’s Daughter on Hudson is vegan, in spite of the name. I dote on their breakfast menu, especially soft boiled eggs and soldiers. Don’t tell me you don’t know what soldiers are.
A friend and I drifted across the Morgan corridor from the medieval to the modern. We went to the Peter Hujar: Speed of Life. Hujar was one of the many AIDS victims who died in the eighties. For me there’s a sadness that hangs over the exhibit of a very young, very talented photographer.

Peter Hujar: Speed of Life
Peter Hujar: Speed of Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 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: 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.

March 10 – March 16

 

A friend wanted to celebrate his birthday at Hangawi, a Korean vegan restaurant on 32nd Street. Leaving our shoes at the entrance, we walked along a narrow corridor filled with rustic charm to our table. The menu’s descriptions are mouth watering. We shared the silky tofu, leek pancakes, spicy baby dumplings, all presented in beautiful containers. A member of the agile staff knelt beside us and explained different dishes. We toasted each other with a cocktail called Mindfulness. It’s freshly squeezed orange juice, citron paste and makgeolli, a Korean milky rice wine.

Hangawi’s Interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Frick Concert: Forma Antiqua. transported us back to seventeenth century Spain. The extraordinary musicians Pablo Zapico (baroque guitar), Daniel Zapico (theorbo), and Aaron Zapico (harpsicord ) were joined by Carlos Mesa the countertenor. The music complimented the current Zurbaran exhibit, Jacob and His Twelve Sons.

A Theorbo

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friend and I went to an open rehearsal at The Joyce Theater.  Brian Brooks Dance is currently performing. The choreographer, Brian Brooks, explained the setting and the music created by Jerome Begin. After the rehearsal, Brooks and Begin talked about the post modern NYC vibe of the various pieces. Brooks explained that he finds beauty in the natural and enjoys playing with the ordinary. Is there a bad seat in the house? If there is, I’ve never sat in it.

 

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 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: 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 March 4 – March 10

Have you seen Abacus: Small Enough to Jail? It’s Steve James’s documentary about the only U.S. bank prosecuted in relation to the 2008 financial crisis. Cyril Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, made an example of the small Chinese bank, Abacus Federal Savings Bank run by the Sung family. Vance didn’t go after the big banks. After five years in court and ten million dollars later the Songs were exonerated.. It was nominated for an academy award for the best documentary feature.

On Wednesday I was supposed to go to a Juilliard event, Choose Your Own Adventure. A participant is given a choice of hour long classes such as Ballroom Dance, Alexander Technique, Drama Movement, Drama Voice. It was to be followed by a champagne reception. Wednesday was the day of our second blizzard and Juilliard wisely cancelled.. This is what occurred: watching a great morality play, I mean TV show, for the second time: Breaking Bad.

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 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: 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.

February 25- March 4

Present day hikers and past hikers meet every year to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Evergreen at 38th Street has Shanghai influenced dishes that spin around on the gigantic lazy susans. It’s great fun flashing your chopsticks and connecting with people you’ve known for years. The Chinese friend who organizes it has it down to a science. She’s so busy directing traffic, that she herself eats very little.

The Morgan Library and Museum, that gem of books, art and culture has the exhibit, Tennessee Williams: No Refuge But Writing through May 13. It’s a beautiful homage to, in my opinion, our greatest playwright.
Recently, I had the perfect lunch in the Morgan cafe: deviled eggs sitting on tiny cucumber circles and a bowl of black bean soup. Then, I took the glass elevator to the exhibit on the second floor.

Tennessee Williams
1939 Self Portrait

 

The Rose Tattoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee Williams celebrating The Glass Menagerie’s 10th Anniversary

 

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 

 

 

 

 

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 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: 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.

February 17- February 24

A friend and I celebrated her birthday by going to Butter, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s large and bustling restaurant on 45 Street and 6th Avenue. It was my second visit and the food, service and setting are still nonpareil. The raspberry beignets are worth the trip alone.

Jack Kleinsinger’s Highlights in Jazz has been rolling along for 46 years. Thursday night featured Bucky Pizzarelli and his two sons, Martin on bass and John on guitar. They were joined by another guitarist, Russell Malone and accompanied by the fine pianist, Russell Kasoff. It was wonderful. They swung through lots of standards like Tangerine and other golden oldies from the American songbook. The Manhattan Community College’s auditorium was filled with an appreciative audience.

Pizzarelli Night at Highlights in Jazz

 

 

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 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: 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.