• Upcoming trips

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem. Note : this trip has been cancelled altogether because of the damage caused by the hurricanes to the Caribbean islands.

    October 31st - 11 November. Caribbean cruise to break up the winter. Note: The itinerary has not yet been determined owing to the havoc wreaked by the hurricanes.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    October 8 Went to BAM, for the first time since Ethel died, to hear a wonderful modern opera composed and written by Matthew Aucoin called “Crossing”. It is based on Walt Whitman’s experience and the libretto is largely taken from his poetry.

    The story is multi-themed, as modern plays tend to be; the first is a harrowing anti war depiction of the suffering wounded seen through Whitman’s eyes when he volunteered as a nurse during the American civil war; the second is Slavery and its effect upon a run-away slave who fights on the Union side; the third is treachery portrayed by a guilt-laden deserter who spies for the South. And forth, inevitably these days, is the (entirely fictional) homosexual one.

    The powerful music fits the story perfectly and the voices of the lead singers and the chorus is magnificent; Rod Gilfry, bass-baritone, sings the part of Walt Whitman, Alexander Lewis plays John Wormley, the deserter, and Davone Tines, whose baritone reminded me, distinctly, of the sound of the legendary Paul Robeson.  Both Christine and I were extremely moved by the work. We newly discovered Walt Whitman’s poetry, too.

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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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