New York Mysteries June 3 – June 10

Last Saturday I went to the Left Forum which is held at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Amusing irony, isn’t it? Green party member Jack Baldwin gave a well reasoned talk on Normalization of Evil in the Current Dark Age. The other participants were too busy being victims &/or celebrities to give logical talks.

A friend and I went to Boston. Having listened to the weather report I was armed with an umbrella, one coat, one jacket, two berets and a pair of gloves. The temperature was near ninety degrees. While the rest of the USA watched former FBI Director Corey, we went to the Museum of Fine Arts extensive Botticelli exhibit and were immediately steeped in 15th century Renaissance Florence. There was a charming Matisse exhibit and little duck feet painted on the museum’s floor led to a Robert McCloskey celebration of Make Way for Ducklings.

Botticelli’s Holy Family

Botticelli’s Venus

Have a bite of Espinaces Gallegas, a delcious tapas

We stayed in the Back Bay area. It’s chockablock with tiny outdoor restaurants. We returned again and again to the Tapas place. Espinaces Gallegas is a delicious combination of pine nuts, garlic, golden raisins and spinach. I kid you not. Boston beer was perfect in the surprise heatwave.

Later that day we watched snippets of the congressional investigation involving the business man and the government man. James Zogby quoted Musician Mikel Jollet  who tweeted a photo of both Trump and Comey with the tagline: “One of these two men is lying. I wonder if it’s the guy who served 3 presidents from 2 parties or the one who said Obama is from Kenya?”

 

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 City Blog — Nov. 30 – Dec. 4.

We went to a delightful talk by Frick Curator, Xavier F. Salomon, about an almost forgotten seventeenth-century Italian painter, Guido Cagnacci. The main focus was on Cagnacci’s weird and wonderful “Repentant Magdalene”. It’s on loan from the Norton Simon museum. Travels with Cagnacci was the name of the lecture. By means of erudition, dry wit, a charming accent and video, Curator Salomon took us on a little trip around Emilia-Romagna to the birthplace of the eccentric and gifted Guido Cagnacci. Curator Salomon also gave an evocative picture of what it’s like to be in provincial Italy, away from the tourism of Venice, Rome and Bologna. After the talk, we walked four blocks north to the restaurant, Caravaggio. So appropriate, don’t you think?

On Thursday night I took my slightly schizophrenic self to a Green Party Meeting at the LGBTQ Building. There were about forty of us stuffed into an airless room. I recognized the regulars and listened to a new group who were joining the Greens under the banner Bernie Greens.The question of why Jill Stein had collected and spent seven million dollars to investigate voting fraud in three states was raised and quickly, too quickly, shelved. The same thing happened about the question of open primaries.

Friends and I went to “A Chanticleer Christmas” at  the church of St. Ignatius Loyola. It’s an exhilarating experience to sit in an enormous, cell free zone and listen to twelve men singing in their countertenor to bass voices a medley of carols, medieval and Renaissance music.
The Gospel according to Rex Stout: Black Orchid is an organization dedicated to mystery writer Rex Stout, the creator of Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin, Fritz etc. I attended their annual dinner at the Arno Restaurant on West 38th Street. The restaurant itself could have stepped out of the pages of a Stout mystery.
Was his Quaker upbringing responsible for his reasoned approach to life? Some memorable quotes are: If my garbage has been tampered with I don’t know if it’s the FBI or the raccoon. My subconscious and I are not on speaking terms.
In addition to dinner, we indulge in quizzes based on the books and Wolfean lore. Stout was a foodie so, of course, his culinary obsession fits in perfectly with our modern interest in food and drink.
From Too Many Cooks: Nero Wolfe says, “I do not soil myself cheaply; I charge high fees.”

New York City Blog Jan. 11 – Jan. 17

On January 11 the Paul Taylor Dance Company performed a wonderful and free program. The first performance was Images with music by Debussy. The second performance was Brandenburgs, music by Bach. The studio has a vast performing area. It’s like a large white cube with windows wrapped around the Grand Street side of the building. Sitting in the first row you have the immediate experience of the dancers being right in front of you. You see details you might miss in a theater such as a female dancer dealing with her foot caught in the hem of her costume, or another dancer giving a colleague a high five after she’d danced well or watching a dancer leaning against the wall and wiping his face after an arduous passage. It was thrilling to be a foot away from those wonderfully trained and talented dancers.

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BRANDENBURGS

BRANDENBURGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Kelly, the Chicago peace activist and one of the founders of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, spoke to a sturdy band of young and old lefties on Thursday, Jan. 15. The New York City local Green Party, Veterans for Peace and Peace Action Manhattan sponsored the meeting. It was the best kept secret in Manhattan. Although it was given at the Goddard Riverside Community Center, the center itself didn’t know or care. In spite of the lack of publicity, there were about thirty people present. Kathy Kelly talked about living alongside ordinary people trapped in war zones. She and her colleagues have been to Iraq and Afghanistan many times. Her talk was riveting and heartbreaking as she chronicled how the U. S. military debased and slaughtered the native population. Kathy has been incarcerated several times. She has gone to prison for refusing to pay war taxes. The day after our meeting she had to return to Chicago to receive her prison sentence for trespassing on a military base to protest drones. You can follow her work at www.vcnv.org.

KATHY KELLY AND ONE OF THE ORGANIZERS

KATHY KELLY AND ONE OF THE ORGANIZERS

SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

SPEAKS FOR ITSELF