• 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 – The Met and the Tunnelers

A surer sign of Spring than the weather we are having is the news that tennis permits are available for renewal at the Central Park office. On my return from collecting ours, I snapped a detail of the Paul Manship gate at the chidrens’ zoo and then decided to have a look at the Roman mosaic (discovered in Israel) being displayed at the Met Museum for the first time since its restoration.

Since, as its nature dictates, the mosaic lies flat on the floor,  my hand-held camera was of no use what-so-ever. It has to be seen at first hand. It is a remarkable piece of artwork and the result of the preservation process is wonderfully complete. Interestingly, during this process, footprints and hand prints of workers who made the mosaic were found imbedded in the plaster base. Workers who left this earth 1700 years ago but left us their heritage to wonder at!

The mosaic display is at the end of the Roman gallery. I couldn’t take meaningful photos of it but, the gallery was full of student artists taking advantage of the Roman models and they made interesting subjects:

Entertained and entertainers on the Met steps


Food for thinkers

Lucky students couldn't ask for a better studio!

Virtuoso piece of Roman carving the students were aspiring to.

Model model!


. . . . . . And here is the detail of the Childrens’ Zoo gate:

The frost gardens are in full bloom and I have it from the Head gardener that they have done their work–the underlying rock is frozen and stable and that the drilling of the east tunnel will commence shortly. We will know when the Elevator starts up again and the trucks begin to cart away the drilling debris:


2 Responses

  1. Ben, Always fun to see your pictures and read the captions. Would love to see the mosaic restored. I’m so glad we know you.
    John and Ann

  2. Ben, what a lovely day. Your description of the mosaic led me to the Met’s website, which contains a video on the discovery and conservation of the piece. How wonderful to be able to see it up close! And, I know how much you and Ethel are looking forward to your tennis, after such a wild winter. Happy Spring to you both! Love, Bonnie

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