May 7- May 13
Warning: This is devoted to food and drink. Last week I worked the birthday gig.
Now that we’re in Monsoon season… On Sunday, we had torrential rains for five and a half minutes and then a beautiful sky. A generous friend took me to Felidia, a restaurant that’s part of the Lidia Bastianich’s eatery empire. I battled the rain on Second Avenue and Fifty-eighth Street and arrived at Felicia. It’s like a cavern, narrow and dark. After some lovely prosecco we went into the crowded, small by NYC standards, dining room. The menu is needlessly complicated and fussy. You wade through field, garden and sea offerings in Italian and English. But the pappardelle was the best pasta dish I’ve devoured in a long time.
Last Saturday, a friend treated me to Jack’s 7 Subway walk. What a great idea. You hop on and off the 7 Subway and get a glimpse of what’s happening in Queens. The diversity of cultures is evident in the neighborhood restaurants and businesses.
I met a friend at the Frick for the preview of the portrait medals exhibition, The Pursuit of Immortality. The Garden Court is the perfect place for people gawking. The Frick serves champagne, white wine and sparkling water. No red wine. Stains, you know. We then went around the block to Le Charlot. We sat outside, neither of us feeling much pain after the Frick.
Rosemary on Greenwich has linguine made with preserved lemon (what’s that?), pickled chili and parmigiana. It’s divine and was a perfect ending to a lovely birthday week-long party.
Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old 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: 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.
I never thought I’d describe a musical evening at the Frick Collection as odd. I do after the debut performance of the pianist, Joseph Moog. The musical selections and arrangements suited the late José Iturbi’s very 1940’s movie music. If only the Frick had arranged to have skimpily clad girls rise on a floating fountain and Esther Williams diving off the ceiling. The (un)repentant Magdalena in the next room could have joined in. Afterwards, we had fun and delicious food at nearby Le Charlot.
Lucinda Childs Dance Company is at the Joyce. We went to a thrilling performance of DANCE, first performed in 1979. A film of the original production was flashed on the stage as the modern dancers, like champion race horses, galloped across the stage to Philip Glass’s throbbing music. We were practically part of the action since we were seated in the second row.
Once again down memory lane. This time it was with Merce Cunningham’s Beach Birds (1991). Eleven dancers recreated most of the piece in one of the City Center studios on 56th Street. John Cage’s liquid tone, barely audible, set a dreamy, quiet atmosphere. It was forty minutes of sustained pleasure. Among the superb dancers were Mac Twining and Monica Gonzalez.
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, befriends a lying seventeen year old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.
Sunday evening was spent for a few hours in The Frick Collection’s Music Room. The Carducci Quartet, two violins, one viola and one cello, played a lively selection of Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Beethoven.The Anglo-Irish quartet plays across a gamut of classical and modern. The concert began at five p.m., ended around seven and then it was on to dinner at Le Charlot, a very snazzy, local French bistro.
Part of the City Center sprawl is the Studio 5 series that is presented in a 56th Street studio. It began with Damian Woetzel and Wendy Whalen, sitting on high chairs like life guards, talking to the 200 member audience sitting around the perimeter of the large, bare space. Whalen and Woetzel met in 1986 when both were fledgling dancers at New York City Ballet. Woetzel is now the Artistic Director of the Vail Dance Festival. The evening’s program focused on Remixing A Festival From Vail to New York. The workshop is the first of four about dance. The dancing began with Robert Fairchild preforming a solo dance that Woetzel critiqued. This was followed by Unity Phelan and Cameron Dieck, young NYCB dancers, demonstrating how to interpret various dance movements. Heather Watts joined in the discussion and led Phelan through a few suggestive steps. Cameron Grant was the pianist who tripped merrily along with the dancers.
It’s an immediate, behind-the-scenes experience. I can’t wait for the next three sessions.