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.

New York City Blog — April 9 – April 15

Is this Washington Square human sculpture. an expression of our times? Go figure.

 

Washington Square Human Statue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking west on the High Line

 

We New Yorkers know that we can’t predict the weather and therefore often wear a coat in eighty degree weather and shiver in light clothing and no umbrella in a sudden storm. Last Monday was one of our very hot days. I wandered on the High Line, packed with natives, tourists and vendors. – Coney Island on the Hudson.

 

 

 

 

We escaped from the modern world by going to Violist Antoine Tamestit’s Frick concert. It was a lyrical late-afternoon recital. Mr. Tamestit expressed his admiration for Johann Sebastian Bach by playing pieces that had influenced and been influenced by Bach. He began the concert with Heinrich von Fiber’s seventeenth century Rosary Sonata then skipped to the twentieth century with György Ligeti’s Sonata for Viola.

I went to my childhood haunt, The Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, to see In Name Only. It’s a 1939 film with lovely Carole Lombard, lovely Cary Grant and lovely Kay Francis in her very lovely wardrobe.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to one and all!

COMING SOON:

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.

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: something’s eating at him: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case?

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?

New York City Blog — April 2 – April 8

Ever have a friend on Jeopardy? I have. Ever have a friend win about $60,000 in three days on Jeopardy? I have. Enough of this vulgar bragging. Judson Memorial Church was in a delicious tizzy about a Judsonite slamming home the answers for three glorious sessions.

Before going to Highlights in Jazz, we always return to Gigino Trattoria. It’s a friendly, crowded Italian restaurant on Greenwich Street, sandwiched between Duane and Reede. This menu photo of a galloping grandfather, with a cigarette in the corner of his mouth, gives a sense of the trattoria’s atmosphere.

Gigino Grandpa

Highlights in Jazz featured a fine young pianist, Leonieke Scheuble, and Rene Marie. It was, appropriately enough, a jazzy evening. Diminishing audience, though.

 

COMING SOON:

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.

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: something’s eating at him: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case?

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?

New York City Blog — March 26 – April 1

Have you ever gone back to a neighborhood you haven’t been in for years and feel as if you’re in a foreign land? I went to West Broadway a few days ago. How dare they change the hood without my permission. It used to be industrial with hamburger joints on every corner. Now, it’s packed with sleek tearooms that favor kale, green tea and Italian words. I ducked into Sanctuary, how appropriate, and had a canoe like sandwich called smoked salmon crostino. Then on to Whitney Houston Biennial: Greatest Love of All, a vibrant women’s biennial – over 150 women strong.

2017 Whitney Houston Biennial: Greatest Love of All

Have you watched the HBO adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies? The book is set in Australia and the children attend a Catholic school. In the HBO version, it’s been moved to California and the school is non-sectarian. The book has a delicious familiar yet exotic quality. The HBO version is one hundred percent American and therefore predictable. Terrific cast. Reese Witherspoon brings to life perfectly the fiesty Madeline. She also uses the word, fuck, continuously. Fascinating to hear the inclusion of a word that was forbidden or used sparingly or used as an example of how not to express yourself. I’m sorry that fuck has lost its virginity.

To the Frick Collection for one of its intimate posh concerts. The baritone, Christopher Purves, was making his New York recital debut and he was accompanied by Simon Lepper. We were treated to selections from Handel’s operas: Agrippina, Acis and Galatea as well as Schubert and Mussorgsky. The Frick mails the tickets to each concert. No e-mail. No mass mailings. You keep an eye out for that small cream envelope that arrives religiously on time. The Frick includes a potted art appreciation paragraph about various museum objects that have a similar background as the music being presented. Since this concert included sections of pastoral opera, we were directed to the Fragonard Room’s pastoral scenes.
COMING SOON:

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.

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: something’s eating at him: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case?

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?

New York City Blog — March 20 – March 25

At the Frick we went to Senior Curator Susan Galassi’s talk, Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time. It was given in the Frick Collection’s Oval Room. Henry Clay Frick had bought two oils, Turner’s Harbor of Dieppe and Cologne, the arrival of a Packet-Boat, over a century ago. For the exhibit, an unfinished painting of Brest’s harbor was place between them. Curator Galassi suggested the third painting was the unborn child of the first two paintings. The two Frick paintings teemed with life and a sense, real or imagined, of reality. The unfinished work glimmered with light and unfinished figures, reminding me of an x-ray. The other paintings in the Oval Room were fanciful images of an imagined Rome and Carthage. In the East Gallery there’s a wide selection of Turner’s watercolors, scenes in England, Germany and Holland. To quote Hans Hoffman, “In nature light creates color; in painting color creates light.” The exhibit runs through May 14.

Indochine has always had a glamorous reputation: the gay crowd, the fashion crowd. We dined at the unfashionable hour of six so we’d be on time for LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS across the street at the Public. Indochine’s setting is wonderful and the wait staff wear the nifties clothes I’ve seen outside an Orry-Kelly film. Think Bette Davis in The Letter or Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. Twenty years ago, the food was as exotic as the setting: mirrors, palm tree paintings, enormous flower displays. Now, both are part of the general culture. You don’t own a wok? You can’t eat with chop sticks? My friend is having his Florida condo bathroom wall-papered in palms.

Indochine

LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS, John Leguizamo’s latest rant, goes on forever. I preferred Mambo Mouth and Spic-o-Rama. Leguizamo’s strong points are his sense of ridicule, his mimicry, and his burning anger. His weak point is that he thinks he’s a deep thinker which encourages him to behave like a preacher. Also, sentimentality ,sooner or later, creeps into his script. The audience consisted of fans who gave him the obligatory standing ovation.
R.I.P.
St. Charles County police responded to a medical emergency on Buckner Road at approximately 12:40 p.m. today (Saturday, March 18). Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 p.m.
The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.

 

COMING SOON:

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.

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: something’s eating at him: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case?

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?

New York City Blog — March 12 – March 18

Look what Clover Vail did to Judson’s Sunday bulletin:

 

State of the Union

 

 

 

 

 

 
The weather caused me to cancel a few engagements so I indulged in one of my favorite pastimes: concentrating on people’s good and bad points.
The firing of U. S. Attorney Preet Bharara: Of course, he’s an immigrant. What a bum, right? He has the nerve to prosecute people regardless of their political affiliations. If Attorney Bharara isn’t deported, there are rumors he might run for the office of N. Y. State governor. Imagine, N. Y. state with an honorable governor.

St. Patrick’s Day was low key. Nothing interesting. It’s become so inclusive. On youtube, Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny talked about immigration. As he explained, in his honeyed accent, how much it meant to the Irish and all other

St. Patrick’s Day

people, I couldn’t help noticing how constipated the guy with the cotton candy hairdo looked.

 

 

COMING SOON:

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.

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: something’s eating at him: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case?

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?

New York City Blog — March 5 – March 11

The Frick Sunday concert featured Tempesta di Mare’s A Tale of Two Cities. The music represented the different traditions of Venice and Naples. Vivaldi and Castello represented Venice and Marchitelli and Mancini represented Naples. It was enchanting. The quartet is named after Vivaldi’s eighteenth century flute concerto. The instruments played were the recorder, violin, cello and a theorbo. A theorbo is a stringed instrument of the 17th century resembling a large lute but having an extra set of long bass strings.Thank you, Merriam-Webster. Getting it through customs must be a real treat. The Frick includes brief descriptions of related art works. Do you walk by the bronzes? I do. Therefore I was grateful for the Frick notes gently nudging us to pay as much attention to metal as we do to paint by describing Severo da Ravenna’s Neptune on a Sea-Monster. I went to the West Gallery and looked at it closely, marveling at the action and detail. Frick bought the sculpture from the J. Pierpont Morgan estate. After the concert, we stepped around the corner to Charlot, a charming French bistro on 69th Street.

On March 9th, I participated in a Jericho Walk near Foley Square. A Judson Memorial Church member had to appear before ICE. This person has been in the U. S. for twenty five years, has a family, works regularly and yet there’s a distinct chance that he will be deported to a country he hasn’t lived in for decades. We were instructed not to engage in angry exchanges. In other words, keep your BIG mouth shut. I shouted at a creep who was holding up posters telling immigrants to get out of his country. I was correctly shushed by my pals. A Jericho Walk is a prayer walk by a group. The purpose is to pray for or against something which indeed we did.

Highlights in Jazz was on Thursday evening. After a delicious dinner at Gigino’s we made our way to BMCC. That’s Borough of Manhattan Community College auditorium. Paquito D’Rivera was his usual charming self. The evening was shadowed by the news of Barbara Carroll’s death.

Foley Square Jericho Walk