• 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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NY Day – Tunnelers’ progress

The tunnelers tell me that the drilling head has now reached 83rd Street, 10 blocks south already. As many as 40 trucks are being loaded in an 8-hour shift!

Separately, I am told that the rock near the entrance is not stable enough to withstand the battering of the return tunnel–currently holes are being drilled at various angles in the area and these will be filled with a freezing liquid to stabilise the rock.

Massive sections are being lowered into the excavation

 

The loneliness of the nightwatchman.

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4 Responses

  1. Ben,
    I hope this isn’t a manufactured earthquake. I always thought that Manhatten was solid rock.

  2. John. We hope so too. The amount and power of the blasting that was required to hollow out Second Avenue was a great deal more than was expected. Several of the old walk-ups have had to be reinforced.

  3. Hey can I copy and paste this post on my web site? What references must I give? You might give this info for other people too.

    • Go ahead. The infomation is a little out-of-date though–The drilling head is already south of 78th Street and the garden of freezing pipes is about to be cultivated (Frosting). I hope to put up later pictures in the New Year

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