Tag Archives: Graphic Lessons

New York Mysteries Oct. 15 – Oct. 21

 

Ai Weiwei‘s public-art project about immigration and cultural exchange has been installed in the Washington Square Arch. Weiwei’s film, Human Flow, is at the Anglelica and an asteroid is named after him.

 

 

Installation Notice of Ai Weiwei’s Structure
Ai Weiwei’s Washington Square Arch Structure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had lunch at Serendipity, that 50s institution devoted to making you five pounds fatter. In the long awaited Graphic Lessons there’s a similar restaurant so, of course, I had to check it out. Lines of the young and their mothers gathered outside the restaurant. We were allowed to enter at 11 a.m. It’s filled with touristy items: mugs, t-shirts, fake Tiffany lamps. The menu is gigantic, even by NYC standards. I expected the service to be sluggish and the food to be tired. I was wrong. The service was excellent. The avocado and shrimp salad although a little heavy on the mayonnaise dressing was delicious. Like the menu, it was enormous and could have fed three other people. Serendipity has come up with a solution to bullying: the blue sundae.

 

Serendipity’s Bullying Cure

 

 

Serendipity

On October 15, I joined Judson Memorial Church. My induction ceremony was very Judson: warm-hearted and sincere. I spoke these thoughts during the ceremony:
Judson gives me a spiritual home and gives me hope. What I’ve received from the various religions I’ve been a part of: Catholicism: a sense of universality, an admiration for Italian and French church architecture, from the Episcopalians: prayers based on King James Bible, from the Society of Friends: examples of civic responsibility such as their early condemnation of slavery, the school they founded in Ramallah for Palestinian children and they do not say the Pledge of Allegiance. From the UCC/Judson: wonderful music and bearing witness plus Judson friends who have read the Oz Series, the Anne of Green Gables series and the works of Anthony Trollope.
I write police procedurals and volunteer at one of the NYC museums. I was born in NYC, lived in Rome for eight years and spend part of the summer in Portland, Oregon playing with the Judson west crowd.

Some reasons for loving Judson:

Guess Who
Celebrating a Birthday
Dr. Willie Parker spoke about a moral argument for CHOICE

 

New York Mysteries Oct. 8- Oct. 14

The first Frick concert was held this past Sunday, Oct. 8. Paavali Jumppanen, the Finnish pianist, treated us to two hours of Debussy (1862-1918) Duckworth (1943-2012) and Beethoven (1770 -1827). Mr. Jumppanen did something tricky for Duckworth’s The Time Curve Preludes, credited with being one of the first post minimalist musical works. He altered the Steinway to give the piece an authentic sound. Like so many modern pieces, it reminds me of eating a vegetable you don’t like, such as brussel sprouts, to find out if your tastes have changed. Mine haven’t. The piece was more interesting than I had expected but that’s that. The Debussy and Beethoven thundered throughout the Frick Music Room.

A few days later a friend and I met at the Scandinavian House restaurant for an early and delicious Swedish supper. We then trotted around the corner to The Morgan Library & Museum to hear Drawn to Song, a collaboration between the Morgan and The Glimmerglass Festival. The Glimmerglass singers sang early and modern music, from John Dowland (1563-1626) to Jake Heggie (b. 1961). It was absolutely delightful. After the concert we took the glass elevator to Morgan’s extraordinary library. We wandered around the beautiful bound books and studied the ones on display.

 

 

The Morgan Library
A Noel Coward playbill and his flask shaped like a book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next evening I visited an old haunt, the Oyster Bar Saloon. It hasn’t changed. The red checkered tablecloths are the same ones I partied on many years ago. An oyster loving friend and I had east coast oysters, large and succulent, followed by Howard Johnson fried oysters, fries and creamed spinach. Lots of lovely booze and giddy conversation.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

New York Mysteries Oct. 2 – Oct. 7

We went to a new restaurant in midtown, Oscar Wilde. I wonder what Wilde would have thought about this vast, dark series of bars and small rooms packed with Victorian props. We were escorted to a small room where dinner was served. It’s typical bar food: fried calamari, lamb sliders. Salty enough to keep you drinking. The service -surprise, surprise- was excellent.

Oscar Wilde, Midtown
Oscar Wilde, Midtown

 

 

A friend and I got to Guggenheim’s Mystical Symbolism the day before it closed. The museum was installing a huge Chinese exhibit. Much of it was off limits including the ramps. After a two minute sulk about not being able to wander up to the top floor and then wander down, we used the oddly (but artistic!) elevators. Mystical Symbolism is deep, dark, religious. Rosicrucian symbols abounded.

 

Ferdinand Hodler: The Disappointed Souls

 

Juilliard gave a splendid concert, The Genius of Monteverdi. William Christie conducted the young, talented cast in a mostly Monteverdi evening. The packed audience in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater seemed mesmerized by the event’s gravitas. In these troubled times it’s restorative to spend an evening savoring a superb musical event.

Peter Jay Sharp Theater setting up for The Genius of Monteverdi

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.

 

New York Mysteries Sept. 24— Sept. 30

Dancing Chicken, Crying Tiger, Swimming Duck. I bet you thought I’d spent the day at the Bronx Zoo. Instead, I spent an air conditioned hour in Topaz, a Thai restaurant, across 56th St. from City Center’s Studio 5. The first session of Studio 5 concentrated on ABT – Coaching Principal Roles. It was moderated by Kevin McKenzie, the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre. He coached Alban Lendorf and Devon Teuscher in roles they’ll be performing for the first time. McKenzie concentrated on Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.  Watching a master teaching new dancers is a thrilling, backstage experience and one of the reasons Studio 5 sells out quickly.

Kevin McKenzie coaching Devon Teuscher and Alban Lendorf

 

Kevin McKenzie and Daniel Waite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russian champagne was served at my hairdresser’s to celebrate a birthday. It’s near Coney Island and run by Russians. There’s a small, noisy Italian contingent. Great fun slurping Russian champagne and trying not to eat cheese cake on the first day of fall weather.

Russian Champagne

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.

 

New York Mysteries Sept. 15— Sept. 23

 

On my way to Judson Memorial Church, I passed a performing artist circling the Washington Square Monument.

 

Washington Square Performing Artist

 

John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson are intelligent, articulate and charming in Columbus, Director Kogonada’s debut film set in Columbus. Indiana. The visually stunning city is packed with architectural gems designed by Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo and Eero Saarinen.
Troubles with parents and a love of architecture draw the two main characters together. Imagine, no guns, no violence.

Originally it was called a retreat but now it’s referred to as the Judson Weekend. It’s at least forty years old. I know this because a gay couple who met at the retreat/weekend forty years ago celebrated their years together this past weekend. No one could tell me how long it’s been in existence. The Episcopal Camp and Conference Center is well run and in a woodsy location with a lake near Ivoryton, Connecticut. At one time, more than forty years ago, Ivoryton had a thriving summer playhouse. Ever hear of Katherine Hepburn? She lived in nearby Fenwich Point and got her start at the playhouse. Ever hear of Marlon Brando? Shortly after completing the movie, Julius Caesar, he starred in Shaw’s Arms and the Man. Wally Cox, TV’s Mr. Peepers, was also in the production. I was trying to impress some Mellennials at the Weekend by dropping famous names from the Ivoryton Playhouse past: Talullah Bankhead, Ethel Waters, Jim Hutton, Marlon Brando, Steve Cochran, Mary Astor. the only one they’d ever heard of was M. B.

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.

New York Mysteries Sept. 9— Sept. 15

Judson Memorial Church sponsored an evening with Valeria Luiselli and Nate Weida. The evening began with Weida’s thigh slapping banjo music, followed by Luiselli’s talk. She was accompanied by Juan Carlos Ruiz. Luiselli read from Tell Me How it Ends, discussed the plight of many refugees and then had a Q & A.
Why did you come here? is a theme that runs through Tell Me How it Ends. The 119 page essay discusses children’s immigration journey to the U. S. The prize is permanent citizenship. The opposite is deportation. Luiselli demonstrates how words stigmatize. Which do you prefer being labelled: illegal immigrant or undocumented refugee? Listening to this articulate woman under the cloud of DACA being ended gave the evening an added urgency.

 

Valeria Luiselli, author of Tell Me How It Ends
Tell Me How It Ends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nate Weida

Since Netflix will not carry Agatha Christie’s Poirot, the English series after Sept. 30, I’ve been binge watching. It’s been a parade of the U. K.’s finest actors: Ronald Pickup, Eileen Atkins, Anna Massey, Geoffrey Palmer. The list is endless. I think Agatha Christie’s mysteries are intricate puzzles. Her plotting, as all writers know, is superb. When she drifts into thriller territory she’s less successful. But what a body of work: Halloween Story, Murder on the Orient Express, The Clocks. David Suchet fits into the eccentric Poirot part perfectly.

 

 

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.

 

 

New York Mysteries Sept. 8— Sept. 15

Isn’t the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor a scary name?  It’s very nineteenth century. The organization was progressive, promoting eight hour work days as well as supporting the first Labor Day and a Labor Day parade. It means the official end of summer, doesn’t it? September in New York City whispers of autumn: the slanted light, the wind stirring up the fallen leaves.
What better way to prepare for the imminent fall and winter than to stuff yourself with barbecued hamburgers, hot dogs and assorted relishes washed down with beer or wine. And that’s exactly what I did in Brooklyn. An old friend, a wonderful gardener, gave the perfect farewell to summer.

 

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.

Labor Day 2017
Labor Day 2017
Labor Day Cook Laboring

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.

 

New York Mysteries Aug. 28— Sept. 2

Isn’t Mermaid Inn a charming name? The restaurant is on Second Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets. In Portland, Or. Happy Hour is a tradition. Between the hours of 5 and 7 food and drink are reasonably priced. The Mermaid Inn, NYC has its take on Happy Hour: Dollar oysters, $5 beers. It’s lively and fun. The wait staff is efficient and very pleasant. Sitting inside is cozy. Sitting outside is breezy. You choose.

On the way home I stopped in at the Community Garden between First Ave. and Ave. A. Why do semi-tamed urban gardens make me think of the nineteenth century? The gardening volunteer and her adorable dog allowed me to roam around.

Lower East Side Students’ Garden

The dog followed me. The volunteer thought her dog liked me. I explained that I had some of Russo’s sausage in my bag. So much for love.

 

 

 

 

Entering the Garden
Snack time in the Garden

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.

 

New York Mysteries Aug. 13 — Aug. 17

The Italians have an expression, Autumn begins with August. It’s certainly true about New York.
Returning to NYC from Portland, Or., I walked through Washington Square Park. The piano player was missing but the figure in paint was there. Home at last!

 

Washington Square Performing Artist

Veselka’s is one of my favorite restaurants. It’s boisterous, unpretensious and friendly. Have a sip of watermelon tea.

Veselka’s Watermelon Tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim is a current exhibit at the Guggenheim. Artists Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vasily Kandinsky are among the many artists who are present in the exhibit.

 

 

Brancusi at the Guggenheim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Guggenheim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plum on Park

Plum on Park in Montclair, N. J. is located in a historic 1929 street car diner with table and counter seating where friends and I had a tasty lunch.

 

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.

 

New York Mysteries Aug. 6 — Aug. 12

Staff Day at the Frick. Would you like to make your own medal? Learn how to decorate leather books? Listen to a talk about Du Paquier Porcelain? Plant a container? Visit the I am not who you think I am staff exhibit? These were among the choices available to staff and volunteers at the annual Frick Staff Day. Walking around the empty galleries and sharing the delicious lunch is a wonderful way to appreciate this wonderful Collection.

Container Gardening
Frick Staff Day

 

Troy Arnold’s Ghosts of the Frick

Friends and I went to a Wave Hill Wednesday. It’s a glorious location, overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. We had a picnic and accompaniment by a very jazzy Latino band. The variety of botanical specimens is impressive. You can stroll through a variety of tropical and annual plants, diminutive rock gardens and water gardens. Choose a sunny path or tree-lined walk to enjoy views of the Hudson at sunset.

A Wave Hill Sunset
Wave Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.