Tag Archives: Graphic Lessons

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 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.

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 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.

February 4 – February 10

The perfect restaurant: Gene’s on 11th Street. Imagine a place that has the serenity of soft lighting, no music and perfect, unobtrusive service by trained waiters. Gene’s has been around a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised to find Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemon at one of the side tables.

I didn’t make it to Third Street Music School to meet Carlina Rivera. My bad! Carlina Rivera is the councilwoman for the second district of the New York City Council. GVSHP, The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, sponsored a recent meet and greet with Rivera. She supports protecting historic districts. Go, Rivera!

Instead, I scooted down the street to Second Avenue and Second Street To Anthology Film Archives to attend OBSERVING THE AVANT-GARDE: PETER MOORE & THE 1960s: A SLIDE LECTURE BY BARBARA MOORE. Judson Dance  was featured.  Lots of performances on stage and off were photographed by Peter Moore. Anthology Film Archives is devoted to left wing causes across the globe. It was the perfect place to see turbulent scenes from the 1960s. Afterwards, the Judson gang went to Huertas on First Avenue for great tapas.

A friend and I slept through Phantom Plot. I mean Phantom Thread.

Juilliard Jazz Orchestra gave a short (50 minutes) but vibrant performance honoring Mary Lou Williams.

Friday evening we sat in the nineteenth century parlor of the Merchant’s House, interested and a little anxious to be cast under the spell of mentalist Kent Axell. He explained that the Tredwells, the original owners of the house, might have explored psychic events. Spiritualism, the belief that the living can talk to the dead, was a popular form of parlor entertainment. Axell was energetic, involved the audience and performed some eerily accurate stunts such as answering sealed questions and reading minds. He has a big personality and advertises himself on his website as “Liar for Hire”. The evening was lots of fun.

 

Juilliard Jazz Orchestra honoring Mary Lou Williams

 

 

 

 

 

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.