• Upcoming trips

    Feb 3 - Feb 13 Caribbean cruise May 1 to May 14 London vacation. (Hotels and details later). Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    December 7. Went to the Met to see the abridged version of “The Magic Flute”. We have seen this production before and still the charm of the great puppet characters keeps the children in awe and their parents happy with their parenting. An amusing interlude.

    December 9. Saw the Manhattan School of Music’s production of “Cendrillon” by Nicolo Isouard at the Florence Gould Hall. The MSM is having both its concert halls renovated and is using outside premises like the Alliance Francaise’s hall. The School and its talented young students put everything they have into this production; Scenery, lighting, costumes and acting was superb. As was the directing and conducting. Refreshing also, was that the cast was of the age to be convincing in their parts.

    December 10. The first of the “Peoples Symphony Concerts” this season (Their 118th year!). “The Variation String Trio” did the honours accompanied by guest pianist: Orion Weiss. Their programme included a new work by Nina Young (b.1984) Very interesting, but not, I think, a world-beater.

    December 31 Went to the Kaye theatre at Hunter College  to see the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ production of “H.M.S. Pinafore”. Cast and orchestra captured the high spirits of the musical romp and the sets were surprisingly professional. Reminded me of the old Sadlers’ Wells days,

    January 2, 2018. Saw the Met’s “The Merry Widow”. During the first act, the acoustics left a lot to be desired and words were difficult to hear, even in English. But all went well in the second and third acts; the Russian style dancing was rousing and the sets were spectacular. There are usually only six ‘Grisettes’ (Can-can girls) on a regular stage, but the Met’s vast space seemed to be full of them; three, even, descending from the top of the proscenium arch! All with their frilly knickers a-shaking


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City of Las Ramblas and the everlasting building of La Sagrada Familia is, in addition, the pickpocketing capital of the world. Several couples in our tourist group were affected–one couple was forced to abandon their cruise before it started because they were robbbed of their passports as well as their money and credit cards. I think this problem has not been seriously addressed by our Federal authorities: as the security rules now stand, carriers will not allow boarding under any circumstances unless one presents a machine readable passport. Photocopies not withstanding. Appeals to the consulate on a Sunday were not considered an emergency! Caution! While being distracted by the pictures which follow please keep an eye on your pocketbooks and wallets.

Current state of La Sagrada Famillia

Antoni Gaudi started building this church more than a hundred years ago. Work on it has continued ever since but it doesn’t seem to have progressed much since I first saw it some fifty years ago. The answer is the incredible baroque details being added to the structure. Here are some views of them:


Meanwhile, life on the ground continues as usual:



My balcony is not a patch on these old treasures

A mixture of ancient and modern architechture

Romance knows no bounds

The Chistopher Columbus monument--Symbol of Barcelona

These weeds are out of control!

New park under construction. Design associated with Jean Miro, I seem to remember



The sun sets over the Ithaca Hotel. We board the NCL "Gem" tomorrow


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