• 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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NYDay – High Line and Thayer

New Yorkers have a new institution to take pride in; the “High Line”, a kind of poor man’s Central Park. It is built upon the leftover structure of an old elevated freight train line.  As of now, it runs from Gansevoort Street, north to 20th Street. Very shortly, it will be extended to 30th Street and eventually to 34th Street. It is accessed by flights of steps at every 2 blocks or so and there is an elevator at 16th Street for wheel-chairs and baby carriages. It is a modern designer’s paradise. All the materials used are state-of-the-art except for the clever placing of some of the old rails to give a sense of historical continuity. And the plantings are wonderfully designed to evoke every kind of mood, from quiet reflection to sunbathing nymphs. There is even a virtual paddling pool (you can actually get the soles of your  bare feet wet if you stand in it!).

The path twists and turns and dives under one of the highrise buildings

Secluded lunch

Unexpected glimpses of familiar sights

Exotic plantings

The new modern architecture

That plant again!

Could this be downtown NY City?

Formal gardens

Long-lens view of the Hudson River dockside

Another view of the new architecture from the bottom of the 16th Street entrance stairs

It was "Fleet Week" so I included this long shot of one of the visiting vessels

View of busy 10th Avenue below. The High Line actually crosses the Avenue further down and you can watch the traffic speeding underneath from an observation arena fitted with banked benches.

The temporary end at 20th Streeet

You will have to retrace you steps because the 20th Street entrance is being refurbished at the moment

I couldn't escape that plant!

On a totally different tack, we took a turn round our Hudson River Valley to start the summer off. Naturally, we drove across the George Washington bridge to the Pallisades Parkway (Gas is 60 cents per gallon cheaper!) up to Bear Mountain and Perkins Scenic Drive and look-out where Ethel chatted with the Bikers and volunteer ground staff. Thence, across the Bear Mountain bridge,  past “Boscobel”, to Cold Springs where we flashed our tennis raquets for half an hour. Daunted by the thought of the stodgy food served at our otherwise favorite restaurant in Cold Springs, ‘The Railway Station’, we retraced our route back across the bridge to West Point. We sat with a beer and a hamburgher lunch overlooking the river in the Thayer’s newly opened roof-top bar and cafe. A sunny afternoon–most enjoyable!

The Hotel lawn being set up for the Memorial Day ceremony


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