Tag Archives: GVSHP

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 City Blog April 20 — April 26

GVSHP (Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation) notified its members about a symposium being sponsored by The Museum of the City of New York to celebrate its new exhibit, Saving Place. A friend and I, fortified by sangria, attended Redefining Preservation for the 21st Century held at the New York Academy of Medicine. The Great and the Good fell over themselves lauding their commitment to preservation and how it will help keep NYC a dynamic, international city. Afterwards, there was a reception at the Museum of the City of New York.
What a facelift the museum has had, even better than Madonna’s. I remember it when it was fusty. Then it transitioned into a place for school groups. Now, it’s cool NYC. Unless the word cool is too dated to describe it. Here’s the logo. Who would have thought that Twitter blue could be so hot? And the emphasis on the word, city. I mean CITY.

Museum of the City of New York Logo
Museum of the City of New York Logo

Donna40! This weekend Judson Memorial Church celebrated the forty year ministry of Donna Schaper. A symposium, cocktails, dancing, dinner and a Sunday sermon were all part of the mix. Donna, like her predecessor, Howard Moody, has the ability to fill the house. Judson is teeming with people of all ages. I wish I could say with people of all colors. We’re still predominantly white. The Donna40! program has a jazzy portrait done by Ward Sutton. Here’s a quote from Donna’s essay, My Five Best Mistakes: A Vision in the City. “…I should have enjoyed conflict so much more that I did. It almost always gave birth to good things!”

Ward Sutton's Donna40!
Ward Sutton’s Donna40!

New York City Blog Dec. 7 – Dec. 13

On Dec. 7 I met old friends at Jing Fong Restaurant for dim sum. The entire world poured onto the escalators that went to the 700? 800? people restaurant. It stretched a city block. Lots of fun and very Cantonese. Afterwards we, along with the rest of the world that hadn’t been at Jing Fong’s, walked across Brooklyn Bridge.

Among the many at Jim Sungs
Among the many at Jing Fong’s
Brooklyn Bridge, looking toward Manhattan
Brooklyn Bridge, looking toward Manhattan

That evening we went to see Judson’s Sarah Bernhardt, Ruby Rims, give his last performance. After twenty five years, Ruby and his teddy bears are hanging up their paws. Ruby was in full regalia – Dusty Springfield hair and yards of shimmering blue cloth, but he copped out on the heels. I spotted comfortable sneakers between the folds. It was essential cabaret fare: funny and bitter sweet. Rick Crom, Maureen McNamara and Jeff Harnar brought the house down. Throughout the years, Ruby has been accompanied by the terrific pianist, John McMahon.

John McMahon
John McMahon

Thursday was Dawn Powell night. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation sponsored a talk at the Jefferson Market Library. In spite of its unwieldy name, the GVSHP is a smartly run organization that presents enticing talks, lectures, walks about NYC. Dawn Powell, a novelist championed by Gore Vidal, lived in Greenwich Village from the late 1910s to the 1960s. She lived and breathed the NYC atmosphere. We met in a vast room with Willa Cather staring down at us.

Dawn Powell
Dawn Powell

New York City Blog June 9 – June 15

Andrew Berman, indefatigable head of GVSHP
Andrew Berman, indefatigable head of GVSHPI attended the Frank O’Hara plaque unveiling at 441 East 9th Street where O’Hara had lived. It was sponsored by GVSHP, a wonderful organization with the unwieldy name Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Its head, Andrew Berman, opened the ceremony, shouting above the fire engines, buses and barking dogs that provided a typical 9th street chorus. Frank O’Hara was a dynamo: a poet, a  MOMA curator and an openly gay man. Tony Towle reminisced about O’Hara and read from his “Lunch Poems” collection. Edward Berrigan, son of Ted Berrigan, the poet and a close O’Hara friend, also read.Go to GVSHP Program Encore 6-10-14 to read Towle’s amusing description of the apartment he inherited from O’Hara. If O’Hara did a Rip Van Winkle, what would he think of the computer revolution and the AIDS epidemic?



 Off to the Frick Collection to hear Curator Xavier F. Salomon describe two paintings by Veronesi and the Parmigianino painting, Schiva Turca. Although her origins are mysterious, she’s neither a slave nor a Turk.  In an early inventory that’s how the painting was identified and the name has remained.
 Finally, I finished reading Simon Schama’s LANDSCAPE AND MEMORY.  His thesis is that every landscape is a combination of the memories and beliefs of the viewer. It was great fun discussing it with gardeners and landscape designers. Did you know there were dragon myths in the Alps? You would if you’d waded through Schama’s fascinating but too long book.