My New York Week July 8 – July 14

Overused Words and a Wordy Book

I’m so sorry the word, fuck, has lost its virginity. Aren’t you? I was thinking that while a friend and I watched THE HEAT, a sentimental, predictable, violent, girlie-bonding, white trash summer movie. Isn’t fuck the ghost pepper of words – to be used sparingly by those who know what they’re doing? Where do we go from here? Is there another word with its repulsion/fascination factor?

Guy is a word that needs to be replaced with synonyms. Am I the only woman who is puzzled when a woman only audience is addressed as you guys?

How are you? Well or good? This is one the grammarians have lost, but it does give us snobs ample opportunity to prove we know the difference between an adverb and an adjective.

Recently, I read Whittaker Chambers’s WITNESS. It’s a beautifully written book in formal American English by the controversial Mr. Chambers. Was he or wasn’t he a lifelong Commie?  Is his book a slick whitewash or a sincere recantation? It made me wonder whether this country would have been better or worse if Communism had gained a legal foothold. We’ll never know.

IMG_0175This pianist wheels his piano into Washington Square Park and then serenades us with Chopin.

My New York Week July 1 -7

When I was about fourteen, an aunt listened to my moaning about the weather and told me  to stop complaining unless I wanted to be considered a bore. I guess I want to be considered a bore because ain’t it hot? Is NYC the only place where you can be hot and cold at the same time? At least it doesn’t curb my appetite. On Tuesday, over platters of mussels and fries and chilled white wine a friend and I discussed her recent trip to Palestine, Israel and Egypt. She’s a well educated, thoughtful woman who’s agreed to my interviewing her about her experiences in the middle east. Stay tuned! On Wednesday, a friend and I went to the American Ballet Theatre’s The Sleeping Beauty. It was a frothy delight with wonderful dancing – nothing like the pitty-pat of ballet slippers on the Metropolitan’s stage. My friend knows all those Russian and Latin names. From Kochetkova to Cornejo to Vasiliev the names trip off his tongue. I’m going to be boring again and bring up the weather. The 4th was a real stinker but I spent part of the day with old pals and am including a photo

M & K's enchanting garden
M & K’s enchanting garden

of their wonderful green garden.

My New York Week June 24-30

Have I said how much I love NYC? How, when I’m away from it for more than two weeks, I feel deprived of oxygen? Have I mentioned that my father was a socialist and my mother a social climber? Dear Reader, you have the results of that combination before you. Monday I was supposed to go to a dinner honoring Salman Rushdie but declined. Tuesday I was supposed to go the the High Line and join the Amateur Astronomers Association in peering through telescopes at the heavens. I declined (good tv night). So far, haven’t I behaved like the quintessential New Yorker? You feel the buzz, the excitement out there, no need to participate right now. Wednesday evening I joined a friend for a fabulous Mexican meal at 104 Street and Lex. El Paso’s chef is from Oaxaca, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. It has everything: Colonial architecture, Zapotec ruins, wonderful food and great people. Afterwards, we went to a boring talk about Central Park. You have to work hard to make C. P. boring, but these characters succeeded. The Grolier Club was the next day. Run, do not walk, to the exhibit Gardening by the Book: Celebrating 100 years of the Garden Club of America. It’s in a lovely, spacious room with muted lighting and absolute silence. Those old Republican dames know a thing or two about gardening and its history. On Friday, I attend a show by The Gay Agenda at Judson Memorial Church. Such fun! So many people streamed into the upstairs balcony. We all pretended the air conditioning was working. On Sunday, back to Judson Memorial Church which has long been in the vanguard about gay rights. The fiendishly talented Micah Bucey preached the sermon. In back of him were David Johnson’s portraits of the men and women who attended Bailey House which began in 1983 as an answer to the AIDS crisis and homelessness. Here is one of the portraits and a photo (you have to squint to see Micah) of The Gay

R. I. P. James Gandolfini

The greatest Soprano of them all, James Gandolfini, has died in Rome. He was an Italian American of humble origin who won big in the American dream sweepstakes. In an early episode, his therapist asks him if he was depressed. All I can say is I’m depressed because this wonderful actor has departed the scene much too soon.The illustration is by Jim Margulies and was featured in amNewYork.


Out my apartment window looking north

Mail AttachmentIMG_0087Welcome to my apartment. In back of me is Frank Galuszka’s oil. He painted it in Romania many years ago.I bought it in Rome and brought it back to NYC. I can look out my window from where I’m sitting. Isn’t this spooky? Sometimes lightening strikes the Empire State building.

This is from my window.