Tag Archives: Graphic Lessons

November 11, 2019

 

I’m tardy and I apologize. However, having spent Nov. 8-10 at  the New England Crime Bake, a writers’, editors’, agents’ conference held in Woburn, MA, I’m basking in the afterglow of a successful pitch session i.e. you sell your book to an agent. If you’re lucky the agent will request the full manuscript (Hurray) or a few chapters (Still hurray) or reject your offer. I’ve been around the block enough times to know that many agents prefer to reject you via email rather than to your face. We shall see. Last week, nervous about the upcoming conference (my first time) I wrote the following in a cranky mood. 

Rosanne Cash and Ry Cooder

A Judson contingent attended Rosanne Cash and Ry Cooder at Carnegie Hall. The place was packed. I stared down at the orchestra from my third tier seat ($90) and wondered how much their tickets cost. Johnny Cash was one of those musicians who was so good, so sexy, so simpatico. His look, his black outfits, his deep voice mesmerized me. I could care less about country and western/ country music/ hillbilly music but there are a number of people who make it magic: Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline among others. 

I think I was the only one in the vast  Carnegie Hall audience (That includes standing room) who regarded the Rosanne Cash and Ry Cooder concert as a character building exercise. 

 You wake to the clock, you go to work to the clock, you clock in to the clock, you clock out to the clock, you come home to the clock, you eat to the clock, you drink to the clock, you go to bed to the clock, you get up to the clock, you go back to work to the clock… You do that for forty years of your life and you retire — what do they give you? A clock!   

Dave  Allen, an Irish comedian

And speaking of the Irish…

The Irishman is the movie for you if you want to watch Robert DeNiro kill people for four hours and if you prefer women to be treated like pets,  A friend and I got tickets for a 2:40 showing at IFC the day after the movie was released. . It was an event. Smugly, we regarded the ticket information: Sold Out was written under every time. It made out tickets better. 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a Windsor School teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries Nov. 1, 2019

Halloween has come and gone. I hope the families that celebrated it had some fun.  All I gleaned on the faces of the adults was anxiety and exhaustion. 

Alex Marwood and Michael Connelly are great crime writers. Michael Connelly has a new book. The Night Fire. As millions know, Connelly created Detective Hieronymous Bosch. We have aged along with Harry and now he’s partnering with a young detective, Renée Ballard.  His motto, everyone counts or no-one counts resonates through all the stories. Connelly was a journalist before he became a full time writer. The same is true of Alex Marwood. I discovered the English Ms. Marwood after reading an ecstatic review by Stephen King. The Wicked Girls and The Darkest Secret kept me up past my ten p.m. bedtime. I’ve started The Killer Next Door. Marwood, like Connelly, sucks you in with the first word. What’s with Journalists?

Early Sunday evening a friend and I went to a concert at the Frick Collection.  Arsentiy Kharitonov, the pianist and composer, gave a magnificent and unforgettable performance. We were treated to Schumann’s Kreisleriana, Rachmaninov’s Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 39 and a the composer’s own work. I avoid standing ovations. This evening was the exception.

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? Remorse over screwing up an important case? His corrupt boss being a trustee of the Windsor School?  His girlfriend marrying his boss? 

NY Mysteries Oct. 18, 2019

Judson’s blessing of the animals (many dogs, one stuffed snake called Eagle, several other stuffed animals) was a hoot. They broke bread in the form of  animal biscuits distributed by Minister Micah Busey who was loving every minute of it.  I asked a friend if she’d brought an animal and she named her husband. Well, he has a cute tail.

 

 

Musical dog in a musical family
Another musical dog
Musical dogs hanging out

A friend and I went to the Frick concert: Les Bostonades. It’s stepping back into the 18th century with the music of Clerambault,  Rameau and Telemann. If only the violinist didn’t sway and swoop as she played. If only the superb voiced tenor didn’t display his winsome smile so much. If only the Music Room wall paper were mended but I think this sweet, not old room will be destroyed in the new building plans. After, we went to a Peruvian restaurant on Second Avenue. The food was fine. I’ve probably forgotten the restaurant’s name because at the end of the meal when we were settling our bill, the waiter approached and gave my friend her card. He leaned over me and said mine was rejected. A little piece of paper floated from his hands confirming this. As you all know, tables are on top of each other in dear Manhattan which is great for eavesdropping as long as you’re eavesdropping. The look from the inches away table suggested a slight pity and certain curiosity in the older woman who’s card had been rejected. 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? Remorse over screwing up an important case? His corrupt boss being a trustee of the Windsor School?  His girlfriend marrying his boss? 

NY Mysteries Oct. 11, 2019

On a perfect fall day last Sunday friends and I went to Wave Hill. One of my friends is a keen gardener and had planned the day so we’d go to a lecture in Wave Hill House (1843) being given by her friends and then walk around the 28-acre Riverdale estate. It has horticultural gardens and overlooks the Hudson. 

Wave Hill
Dahlias in the Wave Hill Flower Garden
Dahlias in the Wave Hill Garden
Wave Hill Grasses
Wave Hill

 

 

 

 

The next evening at the National Arts Club friends and I celebrated two birthdays and reproached one friend for returning to Florida.. Over drinks and dinner we had lots of good conversation and laughs.

 

 

I belong to Stubbs, a free service of the AMC movie chain. The purpose is to lure in customers. Every Tuesday in any AMC movie house you can see any movie for $6. Even at that low price, I want to warn you. Ad Astra is a ghastly movie. I went, noble me, because a gay pal has a crush on Brad Pitt. It’s a guy movie: lots of wheels, lots of futurist jeeps plowing across Mars or was it Saturn. Poor Brad, loaded down in his immaculate astronaut suit was searching for his father, a boring old duffer who had disappeared in space. Brad Pitt was the main and practically only character and producer. It’s a  film with lots of special effects and Hollywood profound thoughts.

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries Sept. 6, 2019

What do Mary Higgins Clark, David Brooks and Frank McCourt have in common? They all lived in the sprawling complex on the lower east side known as Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. It stretches from 14th Street to 23rd Street and is bounded by First Avenue on the west and Avenue C on the east. There are 80 acres of land and over eleven thousand apartments. It was planned and built in the early forties. World War II veterans were given priority. 

The 110 buildings are in a park-like environment of mostly plane trees. I’ve lived here for many years and consider myself very lucky. From my window I look north over the Oval, Stuyvesant Town’s central lawn. To the west I see the Empire State Building. At one time the lawns were sacrosanct, acres of undisturbed grass. Recently, there’s a hands on approach. Pets are allowed and Adirondack chairs dot the Oval lawn. At the center is a magnificent fountain. 

 

A view of the Oval Fountain

 

 

 

 

The Oval Lawn
The Oval Fountain

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries Aug.30, 2019

 

 

Ever want to love a restaurant?  That’s the way I felt about chama mama (What’s with the lower case letters?) at 149 west 14th Street, a few doors west of the YMCA. The staff is charming, the ambiance is sophisticated, the food is Georgian (Russian). I’ve had lunch there several times.  Tarragon is a favorite herb. That neon green bottle is a tarragon based soft drink. So, lunch is a winner. Dinner is another matter. chama mama is noisy even by Manhattan standards, the food is too salty. I never thought I say that being a lover of salt. With regret I wouldn’t go near the place after six p.m.

 

 

Lunch menu  at champ mama 

 

Three Bean Sampler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

el camion cantina (Once again, what’s with the lower case letters?) is at 194 Avenue A and 12th Street. Noisy, of course. Wonderful staff: professional and pleasant.

Great margaritas and great food. I’m like an eight year old. I order the same thing every time. el camion has a delicious duck, smashed sweet potatoes and perfectly cooked french green beans. Don’t forget the Elote. Its  grilled corn on the cob with mayo and cheese.  

Moral: Lunch at champ mama and dinner at el camion cantina.

The winner: Shu Han Ju is a Szechuan restaurant on 11th St and 6th Ave.  Chinese cuisine has at least eight culinary traditions. Spicy Szechuan is one of the favorites. To name a few on the extensive menu: scallop pancakes, cucumber w spicy garlic sauce, shrimp with cashew nuts, fresh mussels w black bean sauce, Dan dan noodle. What a wonderful restaurant. Best food I’ve had in ages. The staff is helpful and knowledgeable and She Han Ju is quiet.  

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries Aug.16, 2019

 A friend and I went to the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown. The six hour drive was tiresome even though my friend is a superb driver. On the way we stopped at various auction houses.

 

Cooperstown is both upscale and down home. We stayed in a homey motel on the Otsego Lake. It’s the sort of place people return to, having been there with their parents. You can stay in the motel or in a cottage. We chose a large motel room. Its back door opened onto a lawn and then down to the lake. It’s very quiet.

The Baseball Museum was delightful, not crowded but filled with baseball enthusiasts. The Fenimore Art Museum was spacious and has a superb collection of American Indian Art and American Folk Art. Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits has terrific photos and videos of the glamorous eighties and nineties.

 

At Glimmerglass’s main theater  we saw a matinee performance of Showboat. Too long, a meandering plot. 

 

The next day we saw The Ghosts of Versailles, music by John Corigliano, libretto by William M. Hoffman. For me, it was a delightful surprise.  

 

 

RIP Paul Findley

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries July 27, 2019

Another blissful week spent in Portland, Or. Last Sunday a friend and I went to Cathedral Park, sat in the shade and listened to jazz. 

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

 

 

 

 

 

Later that week, old friends and I returned to a bar with four aquariums. 

Aquarium Bar on Mississippi
Aquarium Bar on Mississippi

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went to the Portland Art Museum on Monday. Closed, of course. So I’m going back today to find Childe Hassam’s Afternoon Sky, Harney Desert. It was the museum’s first original piece of art, acquired in 1908. What a concidence. I spent part of my childhood in Old Lyme, Ct. where Hassam and his painter friends had a colony.

This evening I’m giving a margarita party. Friends and I have done this for several years. We have it in my place at the Inn at Northrup Station. Usually, we drift up to the roof which is like an attic, tons of chairs and tables brightly colored and a perfect way to gently end a party.  

The Inn at Northrup Station

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries June 14, 2019

Father’s Day

I didn’t know my father but I revere him. HIs ship was torpedoed when I was two years old. He left me a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets, college tuition and a letter. He wrote the letter a few days after I was born while he was at sea. He was on the S. S. Peu, the ship that two years later would be attacked by enemy action. The letter is my most precious possession. He describes in adult terms what life was like, how much he wanted a child and his joy when I was born.

Happy Father’s Day to my dear Father!

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Clarence McGovren standing in front of the Parthenon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries June 8, 2019

It’s been a busy week.

It began on Monday, June 2. I went to The Bowery Poetry Club to hear a reading by Laura Catherine Brown who read from her delightful, off-beat novel, Made by Mary. She was followed by other prominent female writers.  Such fun to be in the new and old Bowery.

Next day I went to Washington D. C. to visit my Washington family. I hadn’t been in the capitol in years and felt like a hick coming to the

View from the Court of Appeals chambers 
View from the Court of Appeals Chambers

big, beautiful, clean city with a metro that was so efficient it might have been Swedish. I visited the open court of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to witness my nephew, a judge, who was appointed by President Obama in 2013. The two mornings I was there the different judges discussed patent cases, a veteran who claimed his healthcare benefits were inadequate  and the building of a road from a private New Mexico property across federal land. Although this court deals primarily with patent law its case load is hodgepodge. My nephew said this was done so that the judges did not develop too narrow a focus. 

The 70th Anniversary of D Day came up. I recalled going to Omaha Beach. Have you been there? It rubbed me the wrong way. It was gaudy, triumphant, very much in the MGM musical mode. I expected Gene Kelly to tap dance out of a grave. My friend and I then went to the nearby German military cemetery. As dark as Omaha Beach was light. From MGM to Dante’s Inferno. It reeked of defeat and death. It’s near Mont Saint-Michel.

Back in NYC, a friend and I went to a trendy East Village restaurant, Van Da. Its specialty is modern Vietnamese cuisine. It’s new, in the toddler stage with lots of explanation about the menu and philosophical musing, “Our culinary journey just began.” I give it a year. 

On Friday, yet another friend and I went to Hearth. I admit I entered with a chip on my shoulder because of the signs stressing the freshness of their food/ how to treat the earth etc. Surprise, surprise, the food and wine were delicious.  

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook?