• Upcoming trips

    Feb 3 - Feb 13 Caribbean cruise May 1 to May 14 London vacation. (Hotels and details later). Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    December 7. Went to the Met to see the abridged version of “The Magic Flute”. We have seen this production before and still the charm of the great puppet characters keeps the children in awe and their parents happy with their parenting. An amusing interlude.

    December 9. Saw the Manhattan School of Music’s production of “Cendrillon” by Nicolo Isouard at the Florence Gould Hall. The MSM is having both its concert halls renovated and is using outside premises like the Alliance Francaise’s hall. The School and its talented young students put everything they have into this production; Scenery, lighting, costumes and acting was superb. As was the directing and conducting. Refreshing also, was that the cast was of the age to be convincing in their parts.

    December 10. The first of the “Peoples Symphony Concerts” this season (Their 118th year!). “The Variation String Trio” did the honours accompanied by guest pianist: Orion Weiss. Their programme included a new work by Nina Young (b.1984) Very interesting, but not, I think, a world-beater.

    December 31 Went to the Kaye theatre at Hunter College  to see the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ production of “H.M.S. Pinafore”. Cast and orchestra captured the high spirits of the musical romp and the sets were surprisingly professional. Reminded me of the old Sadlers’ Wells days,

    January 2, 2018. Saw the Met’s “The Merry Widow”. During the first act, the acoustics left a lot to be desired and words were difficult to hear, even in English. But all went well in the second and third acts; the Russian style dancing was rousing and the sets were spectacular. There are usually only six ‘Grisettes’ (Can-can girls) on a regular stage, but the Met’s vast space seemed to be full of them; three, even, descending from the top of the proscenium arch! All with their frilly knickers a-shaking

     

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Sandhogs resurface and the 96st Subway entrance begins

The tunnelers have been digging away underground for two years or more. The west tube is completed and the east tube is already drilled south to 72 street or thereabouts. On, Saturday, the Sandhogs came to the surface to bond with the Second Aveunue  above-ground dwellers. In spite of the terrible disruption to our lives, most of us are fascinated by their work and appreciate that it will eventually pay off for us all. On their day off, the Sandhogs took the trouble to set up a table with bottled water and doughnuts to offer to melting Second Avenuers braving the sweltering heat. Their gesture was universally welcomed and appreciated. Here we are with our sandhog friends:

Free doughnuts!

New friends

The first major signs of the state-of the-art entrance to the 96th street subway station are under way. Parallel walls about three feet apart have been built around the  rectanglar perimeter of the entrance. These are the guide walls for the massive grab which has aready sunk slots in the earth to the depth of 65 feet at each end of the rectangle. Now comes the tricky part. The slots have to have pre-fabricated re-bar stuctures lowered into them, and the unstable nature of the structures and the precision placement necessary  cause tensions to rise all round. Streets are closed off as a precaution and every one holds their breath untiil the re-bar is lowered into its slot. Two such structures are placed side by side and the concrete mixers unload, two at time until the slot is filled. I believe it takes more tha 25 loads to fill each slot! The following sequence will give you an idea of the major engineering feat. Remember that this proceedure will have to be repeated (perhaps a hundred times) before the 2nd Avenue Subway is up and running. The 96th street entrance will be completed in early 2013:

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