If you squint, you can see the stag with the cross between his antlers perched at the top of the church’s pediment.
Word of the week: Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, 26 letters that spell a word that means examination of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. It was learned while I was undergoing a procedure that is far more pleasant than the prep. I’ve spared you photographs.
Studio 5 at City Center: Damian Woetzel hosts a series that examines various aspects of dance. The series is held in a space that reminds me of a high school auditorium. It holds about 200 people. On Sept. 24 he introduced Analia Centurion and Gabriel Misse. Both are extraordinary tango dancers. They demonstrated how the tango has changed over the years. According to Mr. Misse, the 1950s were the golden age of the tango. You can’t see Ms. Centurion’s very high heels.
The fireworks were nothing compared with the beautiful wedding I attended in Bucks County. Near the banks of the Delaware is a beautiful farm house with an oxblood red barn. Only a few minutes late thanks to the Pulaski Skyway, we sauntered across the lawn, greeting different family members not seen in years. We were gently herded passed a shimmering pool and the jazz band. Then, the ceremony began. The bride floated across an open field toward the groom and us. It was in Spanish and English, adding an inclusiveness to the occasion. The rain had the good manners to hold off until late in the evening. By then we were fortified by great company, delicious food, a heavenly setting and an open bar.
Here’s Elijah Tucker, the Rock and Soul musician, giving an impromptu West Village performance on The Backpacker.
Uptown has the semi-annual fashion week. Downtown has the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit.The former was started in 1943 during WWII. Since the fashion world couldn’t get to Paris, New York fashion invented the Press Week. The art exhibit is 83 years old. It too is held twice yearly, two weeks around Labor Day and two weeks around Memorial Day. Centered around University Place. with tourists, NYU students and the
Union Square crowds from the north bustling past, it’s a busy area.
Remember the song, “Autumn in New York”? It might have been written before Lincoln Center was merely a twinkle in some developer’s eye and when Broadway was the glitzy, glamorous place to be seen, but the song’s lyrics still ring true even if cultural events are now shared by the two locations. One of the most prestigious of the Lincoln Center organizations is Juilliard. You know it’s fall, when you receive your on-line Juilliard catalog.
NYC Blog Aug. 26 – Sept. 1
This past Thursday a friend and I invested most of our 401Ks in a meal at Locanda Verde. It was worth it. The restaurant is south of Canal. Who goes there? Apparently, buffed, toned and successful people. On Sunday I took this photo in a Brooklyn butcher shop. Isn’t meat glorious? Aren’t those #10 cans cute? To prove I do have a conscience (I’m thinking of all the cows, pigs, and chickens I’ve eaten) I’m posting a cottage in Portland, OR. that was built with recycled materials including #10 cans.
I flew back to NYC from Portland,OR. in under six hours, took a taxi and headed from Newark to Manhattan. After being away, isn’t it a thrill to see the jagged skyline? The old beauties were there: the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building; the newer, less lovely Citigroup Center and MetLife Building and the newest, Bloomberg Tower and New York Times Building. What a hodgepodge! Gotham City, Big Apple, Megalopolis: home.
The latitudes of Rome and of NYC are about 40 degrees north. Having lived in both cities, I concur with the Italian saying, autumn begins in August. NYC harkens back to pre-WWII images of women in dresses, hats and gloves and men in suits and fedoras, all because of the slanting light I associate with 30’s movies and NYC in August. And jazz.
On Tuesday, a friend and I attended the Baha’i Center at 53 East 11th Street, dedicated to Dizzy Gillespie who became a Baha’i in 1968 soon after Martin Luther King’s death. It is a small auditorium that sponsors, on a shoestring, wonderful Jazz Tuesdays. Mike Longo, the jazz pianist and composer who played with Gillespie, and the tireless Dorothy Longo, run it. For more about Jazz Tuesdays visit the website: www.jazzbeat.com.
That evening we heard The Makanda Project, a Boston jazz group. 14 – Fourteen members -14 on that tiny stage. The place burst with the compositions of the late Makanda Ken McIntyre. Some members of the audience, knowing the players, cheered them on.
What a way to come back to NYC : supper in a nearby Italian restaurant, a jazz session and then a stroll home in the balmy evening.
On Monday I arrived in Portland, went to the Warren; that’s what my landlady calls her charming basement apartment. It has three windows looking out onto the hedges and garden. I feel as if I’m in an Impressionist painting. Unlike Santa Fe, bikers wear helmets. I also noticed people reading books. Remember those? Dear friends took me to one of their favorite haunts, Jimmy Mak’s, to hear the Dan Balmer trio. While Balmer made hay with the guitar, I tucked into a divine chorizo and beef hamburger, carefully avoiding the n. g. designation. If Santa Fe represents opera for me, in Portland it’s jazz and folk. Next day we went to Jantzen Beach to visit a floating house. Unlike a houseboat, a floating house is moored to its site.
That evening we went to a leafy Dawson Park picnic to hear the singers, Lorranda Steele and Linda Hornbuckle. Ever use a salt block? Me either, but after Powell’s City of Books hosted a cook talking about the magic of salt, I’m sorely tempted. The next day we had a wonderful party at my friends’ enchanting house which they bought when north-west Portland had not been developed. On my daily walk to the Portman pool I saw a sweet and sad message that I photographed. “Whoever stole my skateboard you suck that was my bday present”.
We went to Timberline, the WPA lodge built in 1937. It’s a timber framed structure that reminds you of the glories of native woods, stone and murals. As a kid I Ioved the Oz books. With its quirky charm and singular pleasure in its own identity, Portland could be a town in Oz.