• 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.

    October 20. Thanks to the invitation of our friend Francia, who is a member, we went to the Diller-Quaile School of Music to listen to a chamber concert given by the Diller-Quaile String Quartet. The program was comprised of Haydn and Debussy quartets; played magnificently by very experienced and talented musicians in an intimate. and perfectly designed, music space. Chatting with the musicians after the concert added to a first class evening.

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“Gem” — The ship

We always take the cheapest cabin on our cruises. The money we save buys the next cruise and, any case, we spend as little time in the state room  as possible. But, since there is no indication of night or day in inside cabins, we are always anxious that we don’t miss breakfast or  early morning exercise so we carry our watches to the bathroom during the night so as not to disturb the other if it turns out to be some ungodly hour. In addition, it take us a week to learn which way to turn out of our room!

NCL ships are painted all over with the theme of their name

Fellow passenger, Jaquie from New York, with Ethel

Theatre curtain

Amethyst ceiling and LED screen in the main lobby

Leader of the resident string quartet

Overstuffed passengers can take advantage of the overstuffed furniture in the Spinnaker Lounge

Dozing chairs

These ugly chairs are as uncomfortable as they look

Festive lobby

Dcorative Amazons

The “Gem” sports a brothel-like night club which, incongruously, includes a 4-lane ten-pin bowling alley. The fairly rough Atlantic crossing allowed very little bowling but here is Ethel making use of one of the exotic beds:

. . . . . . . .waiting for her gin and tonic

Night Club decor

Here we are at dinner enjoying the atmosphere, food and conversation

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4 Responses

  1. Hi, what blog platform is this? Is it working for you or..? I would really love it if you could answer this question! Thanks in advance!

  2. Viola. It is a platform where I can put in my ‘twopennyworth’. It gives me mental exercise, an absorbing interest and much satisfaction if things turn out as well as I anticipate. Other than this, I am not quite sure whether I have understood your question completely? What does your platform do for you?

  3. Enjoyed your photos of the Queen. I had no idea of the appearance inner and outer of the ship. Our harbor here at Atlantic Highlands is slowly freezing over, but not enough yet to stop the Manhattan ferry boats from sailing.
    Claire and in good health and keeping warm.

    The best in the New Year to you and Ethel.

    John

  4. John and Claire. Nice to hear from you. In the latest NYDay post, I have included a shot of a snow-covered Ellis Island with your NJ as a backdrop. We will wave to you on our next trip out of NY! Happy New Year to you both. Ben and Ethel

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