NYMysteries April 29 – May 6

It was a busy Saturday. The Stuyvesant Town Flea Market, put on hold since 9/11, was held on a glorious spring day. The Oval, which is the center of the Stuyvesant complex, was packed with stalls, anything and everything Stuy Town residents wanted to get rid of, families and dogs. In the late afternoon I went to Judson Memorial Church for the wedding of the century. Two men, beloved by the congregation, were being united. One of the grooms’ fathers made a profound remark: Marriage does not give you license to change your partner. In marriage, you support your partner.


Fresh flowers for sale at the Stuyvesant Town Flea Market


M & M at their wedding ceremony








The Frick concert season ended with a wonderful display of piano brilliance by the Spanish pianist, Javier Perianes. He treated us to Schubert and Debussy. The two last pieces by Albania and de Falla were spectacular.


Delice & Sarrason on Christopher Street is a hot vegan restaurant. I thought I’d stepped into Alice in Wonderland. Remember the mad hatter’s tea party? Everyone at the table was on the same wave length except Alice. That’s how I felt at Delice and Sarrason. People were licking their young, beautiful lips over coq au vin, beef bourguignon, coquilles St. Jacques BUT the coq, beef and coquilles were made with vegetable fibers, tapioca and potato. If vegans don’t eat meat why do they name their non-meat dishes steak frites (three types of mushrooms)? In the 1940’s Ruth McKenny and her sister Eileen, Ohio girls, came to NYC and lived in the same area as Delice & Sarrason. The musical Wonderful Town was based on McKenny’s New Yorker stories and many of the scenes take place in their dump of an apartment on Christopher.

Highlights in Jazz ended its season with The Joe Bushkin Centennial. His son-in-law, Bob Merrill, was master of ceremonies. We were treated to performances by Nicki Parrott and Spike Winner.



BMCC: Performing Arts Center
Joe Bushkin’s Centenniel










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.

New York City Blog — Nov. 13- Nov. 19

Hasn’t it been a rocky week? How many conversations have begin with I don’t want to talk about the election and then you talk about it ad nauseam.

A Facebook friend posted this:
(kak-i-STOK-ruh-see, kah-ki-)
noun: Government by the least qualified or worst persons.
From Greek kakistos (worst), superlative of kakos (bad) + -cracy (rule). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kakka-/kaka- (to defecate), which also gave us poppycock, cacophony, cacology, and cacography. Earliest documented use: 1829.
From my limited Italian I recall that caca is Italian for poop.

Friends and I attended the second session of Studio 5. It  focused on The Creative Forces Behind the Nederlands Dans Theater.


NDT Dancers

NDT Dancers









To the Guggenheim. It’s one of my favorite museums. Most people take the elevator to the top floor and then walk down. I prefer to walk both ways. There isn’t a bad view in the place. The Moholy-Nagy exhibit was a beautifully mounted exhibit. The artist experimented with the innovative materials of the early twentieth century such as plastic. Alice Martin is the current show. At first I thought my lousy eyesight was kicking in. We walked closer to the blank canvases and I finally got it. It’s painting composed of grids and stripes. For me it was like a textile show. That’s one of the joys of the Guggenheim. There’s always the unexpected.


From the Met's Jerusalem exhibit: The Archangel Israfil

From the Met’s Jerusalem exhibit: The Archangel Israfil

From there we trotted ten blocks south to the Met. The Met has nerve. The exhibit, Valentin de Boulogne, was presented as Beyond Caravaggio. A more apt name would have been Way Behind Caravaggio. The Jerusalem exhibit was very moving. Wandering among the mounted artifacts of the many cultures that have passed through and being surrounded by the evocative photography of this ancient crossroads is moving and frightening.



To my shame, I almost skipped the Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court at the Frick Collection. I didn’t. It’s wonderful. If you want a full rush of what the eighteenth century French privileged classes were buying, often without paying, from superb craftsmen and artists run do not walk to the exhibition. Keep in mind that Gouthière who handled gold all his working life died in poverty.

New York City Blog – Oct. 16 – 23

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.

Robert Fairchild coming round the bend

Robert Fairchild coming round the bend

Unity Phalen, Heather Watts, Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel

Unity Phalen, Heather Watts, Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel

Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel and Cameron Grant

Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel and Cameron Grant

It’s an immediate, behind-the-scenes experience. I can’t wait for the next three sessions.