Tag Archives: Graphic Lessons

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.

New York Mysteries Dec. 24- Dec. 30

Judson Memorial Church rang with the Christmas  carols at the Christmas eve Dec. 24 service. The Sunday School children created the 57 page Christmas Eve 2017 Picture Songbook. It’s filled with pictograms illustrating the songs’ lyrics. We sang our way through ten carols. During the singing of the last carol, Silent Night, the congregation held lit candles.

 

O Little Town of Bethlehem
Oh Come, All, Ye Faithful!

 

Adeste fideles

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Haneke’s Happy End was at Film Forum. It stars Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant. What an odd story. A young girl kills her mom, tries to kill herself and in the last scene assists grandpa into a river to drown himself.

I’m always amazed when Governor Cuomo does anything humane. Ravi Ragbir, Executive Director of New Sanctuary, said, “Immigrants are the scapegoats getting blamed for many perceived or real ills of this country. They are not perfect and make mistakes, but it does not mean that they should be punished for the rest of their lives. I am glad that Governor Andrew Cuomo understands the promise of immigrants who want to better their lives, their families and their communities.”

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. 9 – Dec. 15

What do Jack Ruby, Black Rabbit, The Smuggler, have in common? They’re Minetta Tavern house cocktails of course.  A friend and I made our annual Christmas pilgrimage to the jam-packed steak house on MacDougal.  Shrouded in darkness on a south-west corner, you open an anonymous door, walk through a tiny, bleak 1930’s antechamber, pushes aside some very black curtains and you’re in. You better have a reservation unless you’re willing to wait 45 minutes for a place at the bar.  And this was a Tuesday evening. I found out later that The Black Rabbit was the restaurant’s original name and that the owner Eve Adams had another MacDougal restaurant down the block, now called La Laterna di Vittorio.  We sat across from the bar and had a view of the caricatures, some by Franz Kleine, and the Millennials clustered around the bar. I had to have a Tom Collins and the marrow bones, then on to other cholesterol challenging treats. Such fun.

 

MINETTA TAVERN

 

 

I saw Bombshell: The Hedy LaMarr Story at IFC. It’s a terrific documentary. Hedwig Eva Kiesler (1914-2000) was born in Vienna. She appeared in the nude in an early Austrian film, Ecstasy, which caught the attention of Louis B. Mayer who was in Vienna. After a failed audition, the soon to be Hedy LaMarr travelled to NYC on the same ocean liner as Mayer. He agreed to sign her to a contract and looking at the ocean, changed her name to Hedy LaMarr. She was a very beautiful woman who invented an instrument used but not paid for by the U. S. navy. At MGM she starred in adventurous epics that seem ludicrous today. The documentary is narrated by her son, Anthony Loder. He’s articulate and personable. Loder explains how his mother fell prey to pills. Like so many other actors, she worked like a race horse. She kept up by devouring pills to sleep and pills to wake up. She also fell prey to the miracle of plastic surgery. By the time she died, she was disfigured. I wonder if she was ever interviewed by Hedda Hopper, a gossip columnist of the 1940’s. If so, it could have taken place at Minetta Tavern.

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. 3 – Dec. 7

The Butcher’s Daughter is a cute restaurant on Hudson. It’s cosy and friendly with great service and beautiful food presentation. I met a friend for breakfast. I had soft boiled eggs and soldiers – Get the cute angle? My friend doesn’t eat meat but he likes to eat meat substitutes with meaty names. He had the beet bacon.

 

Mystery Non Meat

 

Last Sunday the Frick Music Room resounded with the glorious music of the London Handel Players. We had an early evening concert devoted to Handel and Telemann. In addition to mailing the concert tickets, the Frick includes a description of a piece in the Collection that has a connection to the music of the evening. William Hogarth’s Miss Mary Edwards is an eighteenth century oil. Currently, it hangs in the Frick’s east gallery. Miss Mary Edwards could have heard the same music we heard as she sat in a box in a concert hall. One of the wealthiest women in eighteenth century England, Miss Edwards destroyed her marriage documents and had her son declared illegitimate after discovering that her husband was gambling away her fortune at the gaming tables. In Hogarth’s portrait, she pats her dog. Behind her is a bust of Queen Elizabeth as well as a copy of the Queen’s speech to the the troops setting off to the Armada. And we think we live in exciting times.
Juilliard is a source of superb events at very reasonable prices. Recently, my friend and I heard the Juilliard String Quartet. We also attended a wonderful evening of dance presented by the classes of 2018 through 2021.

William Hogarth’s Miss Mary Edwards

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 Nov. 4 – Nov.10

Murillo’s portrait of Juan Arias de Saavedra

With the celebration of the Reformation – 500 hundred years ago – I was interested in what Catholic countries did to stem the inevitable tide. The Spanish had the Inquisition. A form of persuasion and persecution since the 12th Century, it took on added importance during the Reformation. A portrait of one of its enforcers is on view at the Frick Collection in the current exhibit, Murillo: The Self-Portraits. The portrait of Juan Arias de Saavedra was done in 1650. In addition to being a senior member of the Holy Inquisition, he was a connoisseur of painting. It’s a gorgeous portrait given a frisson of terror from knowing the sitter’s background. In Italy, to control the schism, the popes commissioned churches, statues, fountains, paintings that glorified holy rite. One of the most beautiful is Bernini’s statue, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.

From the sublime to the ridiculous: the MTA. How many times this week have I stared out the subway windows as we flew past my stop. Construction is rife both underground and above ground. These murals are in the Prince Street station. Don’t these people look weary?

Prince Street Station Mural
Print Street Station Mural

 

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 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? 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.