April 15 – April 22, 2017

The NYPL sponsored a talk by David Grann and Jeffrey Toobin. They discussed Grann’s book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. In the 1920’s the Osage Indians were lucky enough to settle and be granted ownership on land that was on oil fields. They were unlucky because their financial success led to their numerous murders by people who wanted to grab the land. Grann talked about going to Oklahoma and interviewing people whose relatives were killed, the lack of interest in the Osage massacre and the rise of J. Edgar Hoover. I enjoyed Toobin’s books about O. J. Simpson and the Supreme Court. He writes with style and wit. He conducts interviews with the same humor and knowledge. He also keeps an eye on the time. We were told the writers would talk for forty minutes and then have a ten minute Q & A session. Bless the man. That’s exactly what happened. It was an interesting early evening talk held in the packed Celeste Bartos Forum.

 

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. Within hours of interviewing for a teaching position at the Windsor School, she stumbles over a stabbed and dying body in the school kitchen.

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?

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 City Blog — April 9 – April 15

Is this Washington Square human sculpture. an expression of our times? Go figure.

 

Washington Square Human Statue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking west on the High Line

 

We New Yorkers know that we can’t predict the weather and therefore often wear a coat in eighty degree weather and shiver in light clothing and no umbrella in a sudden storm. Last Monday was one of our very hot days. I wandered on the High Line, packed with natives, tourists and vendors. – Coney Island on the Hudson.

 

 

 

 

We escaped from the modern world by going to Violist Antoine Tamestit’s Frick concert. It was a lyrical late-afternoon recital. Mr. Tamestit expressed his admiration for Johann Sebastian Bach by playing pieces that had influenced and been influenced by Bach. He began the concert with Heinrich von Fiber’s seventeenth century Rosary Sonata then skipped to the twentieth century with György Ligeti’s Sonata for Viola.

I went to my childhood haunt, The Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, to see In Name Only. It’s a 1939 film with lovely Carole Lombard, lovely Cary Grant and lovely Kay Francis in her very lovely wardrobe.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to one and all!

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 — March 20 – March 25

At the Frick we went to Senior Curator Susan Galassi’s talk, Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time. It was given in the Frick Collection’s Oval Room. Henry Clay Frick had bought two oils, Turner’s Harbor of Dieppe and Cologne, the arrival of a Packet-Boat, over a century ago. For the exhibit, an unfinished painting of Brest’s harbor was place between them. Curator Galassi suggested the third painting was the unborn child of the first two paintings. The two Frick paintings teemed with life and a sense, real or imagined, of reality. The unfinished work glimmered with light and unfinished figures, reminding me of an x-ray. The other paintings in the Oval Room were fanciful images of an imagined Rome and Carthage. In the East Gallery there’s a wide selection of Turner’s watercolors, scenes in England, Germany and Holland. To quote Hans Hoffman, “In nature light creates color; in painting color creates light.” The exhibit runs through May 14.

Indochine has always had a glamorous reputation: the gay crowd, the fashion crowd. We dined at the unfashionable hour of six so we’d be on time for LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS across the street at the Public. Indochine’s setting is wonderful and the wait staff wear the nifties clothes I’ve seen outside an Orry-Kelly film. Think Bette Davis in The Letter or Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. Twenty years ago, the food was as exotic as the setting: mirrors, palm tree paintings, enormous flower displays. Now, both are part of the general culture. You don’t own a wok? You can’t eat with chop sticks? My friend is having his Florida condo bathroom wall-papered in palms.

Indochine

LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS, John Leguizamo’s latest rant, goes on forever. I preferred Mambo Mouth and Spic-o-Rama. Leguizamo’s strong points are his sense of ridicule, his mimicry, and his burning anger. His weak point is that he thinks he’s a deep thinker which encourages him to behave like a preacher. Also, sentimentality ,sooner or later, creeps into his script. The audience consisted of fans who gave him the obligatory standing ovation.
R.I.P.
St. Charles County police responded to a medical emergency on Buckner Road at approximately 12:40 p.m. today (Saturday, March 18). Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 p.m.
The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.

 

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 — March 12 – March 18

Look what Clover Vail did to Judson’s Sunday bulletin:

 

State of the Union

 

 

 

 

 

 
The weather caused me to cancel a few engagements so I indulged in one of my favorite pastimes: concentrating on people’s good and bad points.
The firing of U. S. Attorney Preet Bharara: Of course, he’s an immigrant. What a bum, right? He has the nerve to prosecute people regardless of their political affiliations. If Attorney Bharara isn’t deported, there are rumors he might run for the office of N. Y. State governor. Imagine, N. Y. state with an honorable governor.

St. Patrick’s Day was low key. Nothing interesting. It’s become so inclusive. On youtube, Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny talked about immigration. As he explained, in his honeyed accent, how much it meant to the Irish and all other

St. Patrick’s Day

people, I couldn’t help noticing how constipated the guy with the cotton candy hairdo looked.

 

 

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 27 – March 4

Circle in the Square has a long history which you’re reminded of while waiting in the ladies room line. Black and white photos of George C. Scott, Joanne Woodword and Vanessa Redgrave, among others, deck the walls. The Circle in the Square has moved from the original Sheridan Square site, then to Bleecker Street and now west 50th Street. The present theatre resembles a conference hall. The musical, in transit, is very American: the plot’s paper thin and predictable, lots of energy, wonderful voices and the obligatory standing ovation. The clever set is a subway station. The cast scoots in and out on stage subway cars, making use of the annoyances of NYC daily life to stir a responding reaction in the audience.

in transit at Circle in the Square

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a member of a three women Wendy Whalen fan club. We come from as far away as New Jersey and as close as east 14th Street. A perfect NYC evening is meeting at Haru on Eighth Avenue, savoring the fresh Japanese food and then crossing the street to the Joyce. Is there a bad seat in the house? Back to Wendy Whalen. Currently, she and Brian Brooks are dancing in a modern work, Some of a Thousand Words. Whalen dominates the stage. Surprise, surprise but it’s not the glow of narcissism. Rather, it’s the sense of witnessing someone who is dedicated and devoted to dance. When Whalen dances you are living in the moment. She spent much of her professional life at the New York City Ballet dancing the works of Wheeldon, Ratmansky, Forsythe. Having retired from the NYCB, she now works with Brian Brooks. Their chemistry plus the Brooklyn Rider’s music made for a memorable evening.

I found this ladies room sign very funny:

What a difference a word makes.

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 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

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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?