Tag Archives: Graphic Lessons

New York City Blog — February 12 – February 18

 

I saw I Am Not Your Negro, the civil rights documentary. The director, Raoul Peck, uses James Baldwin’s writings to illustrate what it’s like to be Black. It’s uncomfortable and enlightening. Baldwin takes on a Professor Weiss on the Dick Cavett show. The Professor says that Baldwin talks too much about being a Negro. How eloquently Baldwin runs through all the reasons he is made aware of his color. It made me reflect on how ignorant I am of the daily pain most Blacks experience. In my apartment building the black father of a big, black teenager would always precede his son into the elevator. The father greeted the people in the elevator and pasted a pleasant expression on his face. I think he was protecting his son from the looks of horror, fear flashing from Whites’ eyes.

I Am Not Your Negro poster

A black, gay friend of mine said that when you are born Black, you have a permanent cloud over you. Thanks to this documentary and to the patience of Blacks I’m beginning to be dimly aware of how lucky I am and how stressful black lives can be. I’m sorry.

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 — February 4 – February 11

Monday, we celebrated Chinese New Year at Evergreen Restaurant. It’s an annual event for eating delicious food, wondering if I should buy a lazy susan and greeting dear friends.

Jazz at Tribeca was cancelled because of the snow storm. I leaned out the window and gazed at the Empire State Building in bridal white, much my favorite color for the stately building. This is my cousin’s photo.

Michal Heron’s photo of the Empire State Building

 

Alex Guarnaschelli’s Butter Restaurant is in the basement of a midtown hotel. You go down the stairs into a dark, enormous space. Uh-oh, the first thing you see is a Sports Bar TV. Not to worry. Our reservation, during Restaurant Week, was for 5:15. A late lunch, you say? Once in our comfortable, spacious booth every dish was excellent and the service couldn’t have been better. Florida shrimp, oysters, stuffed cherry tomatoes, bread baked on the premises, tomahawk steak, grits. I could go on but am too embarrassed. Holy Basil is a gin cocktail packed with basil and delicious. I think you get the message.

 

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 — January 22 – January 28

The Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rooster, begins today, January 28. The U. S. Postal Service has issued a very stylish stamp.

U. S. Postal Services’ the Year of the Rooster

Bella Figura…La Dolce Vita: Luchino Visconti’s 1963 The Leopard, played to a full house at MOMA. Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s book evoked Garibaldi’s 1860 revolution. Visconti portrays this moment of Italian history perfectly. Bert Lancaster is magisterial and dignified. No tights, no high wires. Instead, he is the elderly, grand, dignified head of a distinguished and ancient family. The 45 minute ballroom scene at the end of the movie is stunning. God help any woman and most men in nineteenth century Sicily if she or he wasn’t good looking and didn’t dress well.  In addition to the changing order, Visconti captures the important place of looks and fashion in both 1850 and 1963.

Here’s a link to the various marches the day after the Inauguration:

https://www.womensmarch.com/sisters

I went to La La Land to escape the political climate. It was gentle, charming, forgettable. No surprises and programmed humor.

Off to the Sunday afternoon Frick Collection concert given by the four viol group, Phantasm. Sitting very quietly in the 1930’s Music Room and listening to superb musicians is one of the reasons I live in NYC. The music (Byrd, Gibbons, Purcell, Mozart) was austere, somber and a few of the audience took a snooze, including me. I was awakened by a neck jerk and glanced around to see if anyone had noticed.

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 — January 15 – January 21

Roman Food? Lead the way. A friend and I met at Rock Center Cafe to enjoy an evening of Roman specialties. Sorry, Chef. Even better than the food is the view of the ice skating rink.

The Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We walked a few blocks from Judson Memorial Church to see a recent installation of a group show by abstract artists. Clover Vail has her work on display in a street-level window of a New York University building.

Clover Vail’s Abstract Art

 

What did you do on Inauguration Day? We escaped to Brooklyn and had a late lunch at Peter Lugars.

 

 

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 — January 6 – January 14

I had cataract surgery on my left eye last Friday. I arrived at Eye & Ear on 14th Street at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am, waded through various bureaucratic procedures including a generous check made out to the hospital, had various post-op instructions from kind nurses, i.e. don’t rub you eye, don’t get water in your eye, remember to put in the eye drops. The pre-op scene was very NYC. What did the staff and I, in a dreamy drug induced slumber, talk about? NYC rents. The procedure itself was painless and speedy. While the doctor did whatever eye doctors do, I saw technicolor images à la Star Wars. Afterwards, I feasted on coffee and a blueberry muffin. Don’t you find post-op snacks are always delicious? When I told the volunteer that it was the best coffee I’d ever tasted a bewildered spread across her face. Cataract surgery is the mani-pedi of the medical world. Hallelujah!
The Rev. Micah Bucey is in charge of the thriving arts program at Judson Memorial Church, Three of the four monthly Wednesdays are dedicated to different theatrical voices. Judson’s Dead Darlings is on second Wednesdays. Amanda Duarte, the founder and moderator of Dead Darlings has an engaging tough gal swagger reminiscent of Bette Midler. Dead Darlings refers to rejected, abandoned and/or unfinished work presented by the vibrant writing scene. It’s presented in Judson’s Meeting Room, the place where Sunday services are held. It’s thrilling to see a Christian sanctuary put on its party hat. Drinks and snacks are available, the lighting is upbeat and the whole occasion has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. This past Wednesday a writer described the adventures he had while writing his first to be published but greatly cut piece in the New York Times; a writer from The Beast read her tale of woe and a gay writer read his reaction to the recent election. Dead Darlings is on YouTube.

 

Amanda Duarte
Judson Memorial Church in party mode

The almost last word: Back to Martin Scorsese’s Silence. I was describing this deeply Catholic film to a lapsed Protestant friend. I complained about the three 17th century Portuguese priests looking and sounding like – guess what – Hollywood actors. The friend described the movie as Boys Town or The Bells of St. Mary’s goes to Japan.

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 — Dec. 23- Dec. 31

It’s the last day of 2016. Oysters for breakfast. Now, I’m luxuriating in the sounds of Bach. WKCR (89.9 FM) transports its devoted listeners back to the seventeenth century with its annual Johann Sebastian Bach Festival that runs from 12/23 to the last minute of the old year.
Two military events: One is from 1962. A friend and I went to the MOMA screening of the Italian film, March on Rome with Vittorio Gassman and Ugo Tognazzi as two desperately poor men who join Mussolini’s black shirts. Their adventures reminded me of Don Quixote: lots of fighting, lots of bewildered and futile idealism.
And one from today: The PBS NewsHour, the bastion of correctness with the headmistress of correctness, Judy Woodruff, had, for once, an amusing segment. Did any one see a division of the military singing A Partridge in a Pear Tree? Absolutely hilarious.

Do the Italians still throw things out the window on New Years Eve? Once upon a time, the Romans got their cars and trucks out of the city or into garages because at midnight bath tubs, chests of drawers and anything else you wanted to get rid of flew out the windows and landed on the city streets.

Happy New Year!

 

 

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 — Dec. 18 – Dec. 23

I’ve been doing my share of eating and drinking this week. Tavern on Jane is a congenial pub on the ultra hot Jane Street and a perfect meeting place for celebrating the season. Another place for celebrating is Morandi. Its signature dish is Carciofi alla Guidea. These deep fried artichokes are crunchy and delicious. I first had them at Giggetto’s in Rome, a restaurant that featured Roman Jewish cooking. It’s on a busy Roman street near Piazza Mattei and the charming turtle fountain.

 

Carciofi alla Giudea
Yummy!

Christmas in Rome: Piazza Navona is filled with shepards down from the mountains playing their sour-sweet melodies while the merchants beseech you to buy trinkets. These days they are usually made in China.
I’m indulging in a Christmas tradition of listening to Prokfiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”.

A very Merry Holiday!

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, befriends a lying seventeen 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 — Dec. 5 – Dec. 10.

I never thought I’d describe a musical evening at the Frick Collection as odd. I do after the debut performance of the pianist, Joseph Moog. The musical selections and arrangements suited the late José Iturbi’s very 1940’s movie music. If only the Frick had arranged to have skimpily clad girls rise on a floating fountain and Esther Williams diving off the ceiling. The (un)repentant Magdalena in the next room could have joined in. Afterwards, we had fun and delicious food at nearby Le Charlot.

Lucinda Childs Dance Company is at the Joyce. We went to a thrilling performance of DANCE, first performed in 1979. A film of the original production was flashed on the stage as the modern dancers, like champion race horses, galloped across the stage to Philip Glass’s throbbing music. We were practically part of the action since we were seated in the second row.

Once again down memory lane. This time it was with Merce Cunningham’s Beach Birds (1991). Eleven dancers recreated most of the piece in one of the City Center studios on 56th Street. John Cage’s liquid tone, barely audible, set a dreamy, quiet atmosphere. It was forty minutes of sustained pleasure. Among the superb dancers were Mac Twining and Monica Gonzalez.

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, befriends a lying seventeen year old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

New York City Blog — Nov. 7- Nov. 12

Monday, the day before the election, was perfect fall weather. A friend and I walked around the Central Park Reservoir to inspect the pump houses. I’m using the setting in GRAPHIC LESSONS, the soon to be completed police procedural. The three pump houses help to flow the water into the reservoir. They resemble banks or masonic temples in small midwestern towns. Ever see Marathon Man, the 1970’s thriller in which Laurence Olivier played a Nazi dentist with a thriving NYC practice and Dustin Hoffman played a Columbia grad student? A very scary scene was shot in the northern pump house.

Northern Pump House at Central Park Reservoir
Northern Pump House at Central Park Reservoir
Looking across the reservoir at two of the pump houses
Looking across the reservoir at two of the pump houses

 

 

 

 

 

 
Election Day: Isn’t democracy dangerous? Any Questions, a BBC weekly program that dissects politics, had a vigorous and thoughtful session about our election and the extreme positions of our president-elect.
A glum friend and I salved our wounds by going to Kerry James Marshall: Mastery exhibit at the Met Breuer.

Portrait of a Curator (In Memory of Beryl Wright) 2009
Portrait of a Curator (In Memory of Beryl Wright) 2009
Silence is Golden, 1986
Silence is Golden, 1986

New York City Blog – Aug. 8 — Aug. 14

The week began with Frick Education Day. It’s held on a Monday, the day the Collection is closed to the public. It’s packed with artsy activities such as making your own Meissen cup.The Girl with the Extra Earring demonstrated how to repurpose old jewelry. There’s orchid repotting, talks about Rembrandt’s self-portrait and about Clodion’s sculpture, I attended a walk-through of Watteau’s military drawings, was photographed in a Renoir painting and ate my lunch in nearby Central Park.The Staff Art Exhibition is a highlight. Eat, Drink, Page! pictured below on the left was done by Ian Rafael Titus in collaboration with Lorenzo De Los Angeles.

 

IMG_4102

Monica Seldom's Cross-eyed Introspection
Monica Seldow’s Cross-eyed Introspection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuart Davis is one of my favorite American artists. His splashy colors and script move. His signature alone is a work of art. Davis started out drawing commercial products and went on to give Cubism a bold American flavor. The Whitney has mounted a big exhibit that’s on until September 25. Afterwards, we dined in Untitled, the Whitney restaurant. Lovely food, attentive service, lashings of red wine and great conversation but isn’t that a dopey name for a restaurant?

Stuart Davis's Signature
Stuart Davis’s Signature
Stuart Davis: Unfinished Business
Stuart Davis: Unfinished Business

Back to the rock face. I’m finishing the second Steve Kulchek police procedural, Graphic Lessons.

 The Lemrow Mystery and Graphic Lessons
The Lemrow Mystery and Graphic Lessons