Tag Archives: Palestine

NYMysteries  Nov. 10

Yesterday I went to a book launching at the Mysterious Bookshop. Nancy A. Hughes, a fellow Mystery Writers of America writer was introducing her fourth book, Vanished. Because of the torrential rain, there was a small crowd. Nancy was her usual charming, upbeat self. She read from a section of Vanished, Book Three in the Trust series. Kingsley, the mother of the kidnapped baby, has had a tumultuous life in the previous Trust mysteries. In this one I hope

Bedouin Camp

she escapes with her life.  The cover  leads you into the story. Nancy said that each of her covers includes a clue. 

Brief recap: Martin Randall Tours sponsored Palestine, Past & Present, October 15-23. Our leader was Curator Felicity Cobbing who’s excavated throughout the Middle East and who has written extensively about the history and archaeology of the Levant. As I’ve mentioned, we stayed in Bethlehem, Jericho and Jerusalem, exploring the three cities and their environs. 

We were in Jericho for two days. On arrival we took the cable car to a 13th-century Greek-Orthodox monastery. Afterwards we had lunch at a Bedouin camp. We sat on soft cushions in a large tent while the men in the camp laid the table and brought in food. We had glimpses of very small children and several pregnant women but were not introduced to them.The lunch was tasty and ample. There were different kinds of chicken, falafel, hummus, pickled vegetables and pomegranates. Nearby was the Bedouins herd of goats. These Bedouin have been informed by the Israeli government that their camp will be shut down.

The next morning, dressed chastely, we went to Qumran caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered, then on to a Muslim site of pilgrimage, Nebi Musa. The coach took us to a baptismal site on the Jordan River. I’ve attended Baptist baptisms in Ivoryton, Ct. They were remarkably similar.

Baptismal Site Regulations

We then went to Nablus, the small community of the Samaritans.  The ancient Samaritan synagogue is still in use. A young woman and a young man explained their religion and its ties to Judaism. They also explained that there were about 800 Samaritans, fewer women than men. Ukraine women are brought into their community like war brides to marry the young men. The young man took us to the Teper Nacle, a  ceiling design of

Jordan River Baptism

different fruits.

Demonstrating the building of the Teper Nacle
The Samaritan Teper Nacle

 

We went to Jerusalem and stayed at the American Colony Hotel for two nights. It’s a charming hotel at 1 Louis Vincent Street, built over 100 years ago by a group of Swedes and Americans.

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old, the only witness to the stabbing and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the  prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries Nov. 3

 

 

I’m basking in the memories of my recent trip to Palestine. Brief recap: Martin Randall Tours sponsored Palestine, Past & Present, October 15-23. Our leader was Curator Felicity Cobbing who’s excavated throughout the Middle East and who has written extensively about the history and archaeology of the Levant. We stayed in Bethlehem, Jericho and Jerusalem, exploring in the three cities and their environs. 

On our fourth day in Palestine, we had an all day excursion to Jerusalem. We walked on the Ramparts from Jaffa Gate to Damascus Gate. Jerusalem is a cauldron of history, religion, politics and architecture.  It is exciting and chaotic to see so many people celebrating their beliefs:Jews with untrimmed beard and pe’ot, Midwesterners with Jesus written across their t-shirts, Catholic nuns in traditional habits, groups marching and singing religious chants. We went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, it had the enchantment of the Lexington Avenue subway at rush hour. Once again, the most fascinating spectacle for me was watching people embrace their religious beliefs.  Women lay prostrate on what is deemed Jesus’s empty tomb. We, along with everybody else in the universe, including their motorcycles, walked along the Via Dolorosa to the Ecce Homo Convent where there is a portion of a Hadrian arch. Like King Herod, Hadrian was a great builder (Remember the Pantheon?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerusalem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking down from the Jerusalem ramparts
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old, the only witness to the stabbing and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

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: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the  prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

New York City Blog May 10-16

I went to an afternoon concert at Carnegie Hall expecting to hear mezzo-soprano, Sarah Craft Nelson. What a surprise to open the program and discover I was about to hear the Bob Jones University Singers. Why not? Eventually, Sarah Nelson Craft appeared under the aegis of the Masterworks Festival Chorus and New York City Chamber Orchestra. Her lustrous voice soared and glided in Vivaldi’s Gloria.
Later in the day a friend and I indulged in Minetta Tavern’s marrow bones and the bartender’s traditional Tom Collins. Like Sardi’s the Minetta Tavern’s walls are covered with caricatures of well know and unknown and forgotten celebrities.

 

Minetta Tavern Celebrity
Minetta Tavern Celebrity

A Columbia alumnus and I went to the Cosmopolitan Club’s Library for a Columbia sponsored talk on George Eliot’s Middlemarch. The participants fell over themselves musing about women’s rights in nineteenth century England. Have you noticed how Middlemarch has become one of those books you MUST like? The Cosmopolitan’s library is a dream. It’s filled with books: fiction, non-fiction, weighty dictionaries, picture books. There are comfy chairs to flop in and read or daydream or gaze out the eighth floor windows at Manhattan.

 

Cosmopolitan Club Library
Cosmopolitan Club Library

A late afternoon CMS Spanish Dances concert at Alice Tully Hall rounded off a busy week. A Boccherini string quintet followed by Paganini’s Terzetto Concertante featured the fabulous classical guitarist, Jason Vieaux. After the intermission, Alessio Bax, the pianist and Benjamin Beilman, the violinist roared through several pieces by Falla and then topped their performance with Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano. Both performers are determined and exciting. I had given up a performance at Carnegie Hall to see Bax and was not disappointed.

About time: the Vatican finally recognized the State of Palestine.