New York Mysteries Oct. 8- Oct. 14

The first Frick concert was held this past Sunday, Oct. 8. Paavali Jumppanen, the Finnish pianist, treated us to two hours of Debussy (1862-1918) Duckworth (1943-2012) and Beethoven (1770 -1827). Mr. Jumppanen did something tricky for Duckworth’s The Time Curve Preludes, credited with being one of the first post minimalist musical works. He altered the Steinway to give the piece an authentic sound. Like so many modern pieces, it reminds me of eating a vegetable you don’t like, such as brussel sprouts, to find out if your tastes have changed. Mine haven’t. The piece was more interesting than I had expected but that’s that. The Debussy and Beethoven thundered throughout the Frick Music Room.

A few days later a friend and I met at the Scandinavian House restaurant for an early and delicious Swedish supper. We then trotted around the corner to The Morgan Library & Museum to hear Drawn to Song, a collaboration between the Morgan and The Glimmerglass Festival. The Glimmerglass singers sang early and modern music, from John Dowland (1563-1626) to Jake Heggie (b. 1961). It was absolutely delightful. After the concert we took the glass elevator to Morgan’s extraordinary library. We wandered around the beautiful bound books and studied the ones on display.

 

 

The Morgan Library

A Noel Coward playbill and his flask shaped like a book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next evening I visited an old haunt, the Oyster Bar Saloon. It hasn’t changed. The red checkered tablecloths are the same ones I partied on many years ago. An oyster loving friend and I had east coast oysters, large and succulent, followed by Howard Johnson fried oysters, fries and creamed spinach. Lots of lovely booze and giddy conversation.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

NYMysteries Blog April 23-April 28

Recently, I wandered around the Morgan Library. Something I haven’t done in a long time. Pierpoint Morgan and his decendents built a museum and library next to the family’s original residence, a 1882 brownstone. As Mr. Morgan’s collection grew, different buildings such as the 1928 Annex were added to the original complex. Years ago, when I entered the 1900 Charles Follen McKim building my first impression was of wood, tapestry, iron, wax and an eclectic collection of books, manuscripts and drawings that gave a glimpse into Pierpont Morgan’s many interests. The Morgan was renovated many times, often with disastrous results. The 1990’s Renzo Piano design transformed the solid Morgan complex into a J. C. Penny building, destroying the opulent, long ago atmosphere.

I’m happy to report that as I wandered through the beautifully mounted Emily Dickenson exhibit and the Symbolist exhibit a whiff of the old Morgan returned.

 

Otis Allen Bullard’s portrait of Emily,Austin, Lavinia Dickinson

Emily Dickinson’s “I’m Nobody! Who are you?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friend and I have an informal and infrequent lunch date at Veselka (rainbow in Ukrainian!), a busy, bustling, friendly hashhouse that’s been around since 1954. It’s a combination of NYC, Ukrainian and the East Village. Not bad, eh? It has the required foot long menu offering everything from borscht to cheese week specials.

 

 

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.