• 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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St. Patrick’s Day Parade–Expressions

Based on last year’s intelligence, I set off an hour beforehand and found a strategic spot next to the rail on the south-east corner of Fifth Avenue and 79th Street where I knew the parade would turn into my patch of early sunlight in order to dissipate further along the street. The serious flaw in this logic hit me an hour later when the leaders of the parade marched straight past and I was able to see only  their backs as they went by. A change of rules; the Grand Marshall (gloating picture below) had most of the parade dissipating on 83rd Street this year. I was now thoroughly hemmed in, so, a rapid change of plans; instead of photographing the marchers, I buckled on my 300mm lens and decided to post the interesting expressions of the walking  parade members and  onlookers around me.

I caught a glimpse of Mayor Bloomberg among his aids and security detail and of Senator Chuck Schumer who was a free spirit and  enjoying the photo op. Many of the faces will be familiar to New Yorkers but I am afraid that I am not well up enough in City  affairs to put names to them myself.  Click on the individual pictures for the greatest detail

Grand Marshall

Soldier's make-up

The resentful expression of this parade-goer was the result of a hefty passer-by stamping on his foot

Faultless genes hand down the fair locks

Hats to match the instruments

Speaking duel at ten paces

Reminds me of a character in a period film?

His Honor, Mayor Bloomberg is in there somewhere

And here is Senator Schumer

About to get his man!

How much further?

I can understand the expression of the boy in the second row looking at (his mother's) dress code

One size fits all

Sombre dress

There was a great deal more green this year. After Halloween, this parade is becoming a second costume event

And now to the dance. . . .

Stand and deliver!

Brass hats

Top Brass

And, finally,  after the parade, marchers and onlookers alike start the evening’s revelling as soon as possible:

Call to the revels


3 Responses

  1. Ben,
    I just got through with my income tax return and your series of St Patrick’s Day Parade changed my mood 180 degrees. I laughed long at some of the expressions. Looks like the cop facing Senator Schumer is a Republican. The happy and sour looks cover the wide expanse humanity, I say it is the best set of parade pictures I have ever seen. Thanks for posting them.

    • John and Ann. So glad you enjoyed the pictures. I had a wonderful time choosing the best ones to post. I only wish I could have put a name to some of the official faces–I am quite sure they are well known to people who keep up with the politics of NY City. Ben and Ethel

  2. I agree with John and Ann! Enjoyed these photos and the expressions! Thanks for sharing these. Love, Valerie

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