January 29 – February 4

January 30:  State of the Union address. President Trump preened and applauded himself. It reminded me of a recording I heard of Stalin speaking to the masses. When Stalin finished speaking there was tumultuous applause. It went on and on.  People were afraid to stop clapping because the secret police kept an eye on the crowd.
Ravi Ragbir, the director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, and his wife Amy Gottlieb, an immigrant rights activist and attorney, were at the State of the Union address. They were the guests of N. Y. Democratic members of Congress. When Trump did his number with his chosen immigrant guests, he did not acknowledge other immigrants present. Surprise?
A Jericho Walk is a prayer walk. The New Sanctuary holds a Jericho Walk at Federal Plaza every Thursday at 11 a.m.
My weekly blog encourages me to be up and about. If not, what will I write about? This past week I was felled by the flu so I’ve been going through bits and pieces I’ve saved to use when I haven’t been able to go to events.
This list was borrowed from The Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation. It lists various cultural firsts in the Village.
Greenwich Village is the site of: The first woman candidate for President, Julia Ward Howe, who lived on Bond Street
The first Rocky Horror Picture Show Midnight Showing, at the Waverly Theater
Jane Jacobs:  her first book, the Death of Life of Great American Cities, and her leading the first defeat of Robert Moses and of an “urban renewal” plan, all while living in the Village, and the first (and only) development she had a hand in designing, West Village Houses
The first public meeting of the NAACP, at Cooper Union
The first African-American Studies and the first Women’s Studies classes ever taught, at The New School
The Founder of the first Birth Control Clinic, Margaret Sanger, who lived in Greenwich Village
The “Father of the American Revolution,” Thomas Paine, who lived and died in Greenwich Village

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.

New York Mysteries Jan. 21-Jan. 27

The Camerata RCO was founded by members of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw. On Sunday, Camerata RCO played Hummel and Schubert. For the Frick concerts, it was a large ensemble: eight musicians playing violins, a viola, a clarinet, a bassoon, a horn and a bassoon. Franz Schubert’s Octet in F Major, D. 803 (1824) is euphoric. In addition to the mailed tickets, the Frick includes an art appreciation paragraph connecting the concert’s musical selections with the Collection’s art. This week Thomas Gainsborough’s Mall at St. James’s Park (1783) is described as jubilant. The fashionable figures glide through St. James’s Park. The park resembles an enchanted forest. Under the majestic trees, ladies and their dogs glide along broad paths. Frick bought Mall at St. James’s Park in 1916 for about $300,000.

As you approach the Metropolitan’s Michaelangelo , Divine Draftsman and Designer exhibit you see one word writ large: MICHAELANGELO. How apt. Commemorating the 500th anniversary of his birth, it’s an enormous display of the variety of Michaelangelo’s work. There’s even a mock up of the Sistine Chapel.

Monday night supper in a computer generated Japanese restaurant on First Ave. was followed by a rush to the Jefferson Market Library on Sixth to hear Francis Morrone, the architectural historian, talk to a packed house about NYC’s early book publishers. Names like Brentano, Noble, Scribner’s brought back the vibrant book trade as the companies moved uptown, merged, went bankrupt. Many in the room sighed at the thought of Scribner’s Beaux Arts Building on Fifth Avenue. Now it’s an athletic apparel store.

 

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.

New York Mysteries Jan. 14 – Jan. 20

 

On Tuesday we celebrated Ruth Katz’s 100th birthday at the McBurney Y.  Ruth was born on December 31, 2017. Woodrow Wilson was president. All ages, shapes and sizes gathered to honor this example to us all. Ruth takes the stairs, does weight exercises, aqua classes and her mind is functioning at full tilt. The party overflowed with affection and laughter.

Ruth Katz

 

Boo-hoo, the Sunshine Theatre on Houston is closing. Recently, at the Sunshine, a friend and I saw In Between, a movie about three Palestinian women. Directed by Maysaloun Hamoud, it follows the adventures of well educated, professional women who share an apartment. Sana Jammelieh is a lesbian, Shaden Kanboura is a devout Moslem and Mouna Haha is a gorgeous, firebrand lawyer. The director handles the Israeli occupation very well. It’s a cloud over their lives. There are incidences of prejudice but the movie is about these people, especially their love lives. It reminds me of Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead, a biography of Miles Davis. The Blacks deal with prejudice and intolerance but the movie is about the development of the black characters. It’s refreshing and humbling to see suppressed people getting on with their lives in spite of occupation.

Kindness is alive and well in Brooklyn: A friend of mine dropped his iPhone in the street, searched for it without success, called the number from his landline. A man had found the phone and lived nearby. When my friend collected his iPhone he not only thanked the man profusely but also offered him some money for his kindness. The lovely man wouldn’t accept a dime. That’s class.

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.

The Cake Masters
Flower Masters
Where were you in 1917?

New York Mysteries Jan. 7 – Jan. 13

During the past week, not one but two beloved friends, Jean Montrevil and Ravi Ragbir, have been detained, imprisoned, and may possibly be deported by ICE, the Immigration and Custom Enforcement. These are loving fathers, husbands, workers and community members. These members of the Judson Memorial Church Sanctuary Movement may be deported to Haiti and Trinidad. Heartbreaking. This is an inhumane way to treat people and not what our democracy should be about. #resist this insanity.

“Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the one who hated, and this was an immutable law. I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” James Baldwin (1924 – 1987)

Remember the First Amendment? It guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.

Marcelo Gomes: Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer is a vivid account of the life and times of the Brazilian dancer who joined the American Ballet Theatre in 2002.I was exhausted from watching the charismatic Gomes zoom around stages and the world.

 

 

 

Marcelo Gomes:
Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer

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.

New York Mysteries Dec. 31- Jan. 6

Where is global warming when you need it? I know. I know. My bad.

I have been reading several books. Usually, I download to my Kindle but there’s nothing like holding a book and leafing through its pages. Since I’ve been more house bound than usual, it’s been a perfect time to read John Hooper’s The Italians. He’s a very witty English journalist who’s lived in Italy for years. He approaches the mad, bad, enchanting, mysterious Italian culture with knowledge and gusto. Each chapter begins with a delicious saying or quote. Hooper begins the chapter on Face Value, with the following Antonio Amurrin quote in Italian and English: The only infallible way to know another person is to judge him by his appearance.
Says it all, doesn’t it?

Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn trots around Brooklyn in the shoes and out of the eyes of a young Irish émigré adventures in post World War II. It’s charming and packed with sharp characterization.

I have also indulged in streaming The Crown. What’s our American obsession with the British royal family? The first episodes were interesting: young Elizabeth, naughty ex- Edward VIII, noble George VI. The second episodes were almost boring. When the script and non-action doesn’t work, you can always examine the costumes, table settings and watch John Lithgow overact as Winston Churchill.

Also, I revisited one of my favorites, Breaking Bad. It’s still chilling, fascinating, funny.

Here’s a shout out for Andrew Berman’s: GVSHP (Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation).

 

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.

New York Mysteries Dec. 24- Dec. 30

Judson Memorial Church rang with the Christmas  carols at the Christmas eve Dec. 24 service. The Sunday School children created the 57 page Christmas Eve 2017 Picture Songbook. It’s filled with pictograms illustrating the songs’ lyrics. We sang our way through ten carols. During the singing of the last carol, Silent Night, the congregation held lit candles.

 

O Little Town of Bethlehem
Oh Come, All, Ye Faithful!

 

Adeste fideles

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Haneke’s Happy End was at Film Forum. It stars Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant. What an odd story. A young girl kills her mom, tries to kill herself and in the last scene assists grandpa into a river to drown himself.

I’m always amazed when Governor Cuomo does anything humane. Ravi Ragbir, Executive Director of New Sanctuary, said, “Immigrants are the scapegoats getting blamed for many perceived or real ills of this country. They are not perfect and make mistakes, but it does not mean that they should be punished for the rest of their lives. I am glad that Governor Andrew Cuomo understands the promise of immigrants who want to better their lives, their families and their communities.”

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.

New York Mysteries Dec. 16 – Dec. 23

A friend and I met at Rosemary’s on Greenwich Avenue. Since I arrived first, I ordered Negronis, his favorite aperitif. Forget that. Rosemary’s serves only beer and wine. But what wine. One of the owners suggested we try Terlaner since we were having some prosciutto and focaccia followed by the linguini with preserved lemon (what’s that?) and for dessert, yummy affogato. A lovely early supper.

 

 

A delicious white wine

Grazie is a cozy, well run restaurant steps away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Getting a dinner reservation near the Met at this time of year is almost impossible. We settled on 5 p.m. so we could have plenty of time to get to The Met’s New York Baroque Incorporated. It was a mostly French evening. It began with the music of Jean-Baptiste Lully, an Italian born composer who worked at Louis XIV’s court. It was followed by Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes and George Frideric Handel’s Suite from Terpsichore. The music was wonderful, the period dancing so-so and the incorrect Met directions frustrating.

Judson Memorial Church is on a roll. It’s thrilling to be in a packed church. One of the main reason is the music. Judson has always had a strong musical tradition and the not so new music director, Henco Espag lives up to the tradition.

Judson Memorial Church

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-four-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.

New York Mysteries Dec. 9 – Dec. 15

What do Jack Ruby, Black Rabbit, The Smuggler, have in common? They’re Minetta Tavern house cocktails of course.  A friend and I made our annual Christmas pilgrimage to the jam-packed steak house on MacDougal.  Shrouded in darkness on a south-west corner, you open an anonymous door, walk through a tiny, bleak 1930’s antechamber, pushes aside some very black curtains and you’re in. You better have a reservation unless you’re willing to wait 45 minutes for a place at the bar.  And this was a Tuesday evening. I found out later that The Black Rabbit was the restaurant’s original name and that the owner Eve Adams had another MacDougal restaurant down the block, now called La Laterna di Vittorio.  We sat across from the bar and had a view of the caricatures, some by Franz Kleine, and the Millennials clustered around the bar. I had to have a Tom Collins and the marrow bones, then on to other cholesterol challenging treats. Such fun.

 

MINETTA TAVERN

 

 

I saw Bombshell: The Hedy LaMarr Story at IFC. It’s a terrific documentary. Hedwig Eva Kiesler (1914-2000) was born in Vienna. She appeared in the nude in an early Austrian film, Ecstasy, which caught the attention of Louis B. Mayer who was in Vienna. After a failed audition, the soon to be Hedy LaMarr travelled to NYC on the same ocean liner as Mayer. He agreed to sign her to a contract and looking at the ocean, changed her name to Hedy LaMarr. She was a very beautiful woman who invented an instrument used but not paid for by the U. S. navy. At MGM she starred in adventurous epics that seem ludicrous today. The documentary is narrated by her son, Anthony Loder. He’s articulate and personable. Loder explains how his mother fell prey to pills. Like so many other actors, she worked like a race horse. She kept up by devouring pills to sleep and pills to wake up. She also fell prey to the miracle of plastic surgery. By the time she died, she was disfigured. I wonder if she was ever interviewed by Hedda Hopper, a gossip columnist of the 1940’s. If so, it could have taken place at Minetta Tavern.

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.

New York Mysteries Dec. 3 – Dec. 7

The Butcher’s Daughter is a cute restaurant on Hudson. It’s cosy and friendly with great service and beautiful food presentation. I met a friend for breakfast. I had soft boiled eggs and soldiers – Get the cute angle? My friend doesn’t eat meat but he likes to eat meat substitutes with meaty names. He had the beet bacon.

 

Mystery Non Meat

 

Last Sunday the Frick Music Room resounded with the glorious music of the London Handel Players. We had an early evening concert devoted to Handel and Telemann. In addition to mailing the concert tickets, the Frick includes a description of a piece in the Collection that has a connection to the music of the evening. William Hogarth’s Miss Mary Edwards is an eighteenth century oil. Currently, it hangs in the Frick’s east gallery. Miss Mary Edwards could have heard the same music we heard as she sat in a box in a concert hall. One of the wealthiest women in eighteenth century England, Miss Edwards destroyed her marriage documents and had her son declared illegitimate after discovering that her husband was gambling away her fortune at the gaming tables. In Hogarth’s portrait, she pats her dog. Behind her is a bust of Queen Elizabeth as well as a copy of the Queen’s speech to the the troops setting off to the Armada. And we think we live in exciting times.
Juilliard is a source of superb events at very reasonable prices. Recently, my friend and I heard the Juilliard String Quartet. We also attended a wonderful evening of dance presented by the classes of 2018 through 2021.

William Hogarth’s Miss Mary Edwards

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.

New York Mysteries Nov. 19 – Nov. 25

 

Bloody but unbowed! My beloved blog was down for a few days but with the help of a great computer guy, GoDaddy and $, it’s up and running.

The Frick Collection’s Great Bustard 

 

The Van Kuijk Quartet was founded in 2012. In its N. Y. debut, the quartet delighted the Frick Music Room audience with three 20th century works and one eighteenth century work. We were treated to Mozart’s Quartet no. 19 in C Major, Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata and Ravel’s Strong Quartet in F Major. For an encore, the quartet performed a Poulenc waltz. The Frick mails the concert tickets for each concert and includes a little art appreciation comparing Frick art with the featured music. The Great Bustard, a porcelain animal molded at the Meissen factory in 1732, was featured for this concert. It was to have been part of a menagerie of life-size animals for Augustus II.

A friend and I circled around the BAM area in search of Prospect Restaurant at 773 Fulton. Unlike in Manhattan, where the even numbers correspond with the odd numbers across the street, the numbers on one side of Fulton do not correspond with the numbers across the way. Put it down to Brooklyn whimsy. Prospect was delightful and efficient. A staff member had called me earlier to confirm the reservation and had asked if we were going to the theater. She promised and delivered that they would have us done and dusted by 7:15 so we could make the David Sedaris show.
David Sedaris and two advance men gave a full two hours of often amusing anecdotes to a packed house. Theft By Finding, his new book, was piled high in the Peter Jay Sharp lobby all ready to be sold and signed. Scatology: the biologically oriented study of excrement. I have included this definition because, unfortunately, it was one of Sedaris’s main topics.

I was listening to a BBC essay about the Bronte Sisters love of music and this illustration popped up. Feel free to frame it.

The 11 Stages of Womanhood. Feel free to frame this.

 

 

 

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.