• 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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“Our Global Kitchen” at AMNH

After viewing the restored Dioramas on Sunday, I rested up on a bench in the Reptile Hall for a bit then took a turn round the Global Kitchen exhibit nearby. It is an exhibit full of interesting statistics and facts about our developement of food resources to keep pace with the burgeoning world population. It forecast a population of nine billion by the year 2050! (Malthus will be churning in his grave!) on view.  It also points to the follies and successes of our efforts.  However, the Sunday crowds slowed the progress through the exhibit and I will return to it midweek and read the captions at my leisure.

I did watch the short video about the current trends in global food production and consumption.  It is surely absurd that one tenth or so of the world’s population suffers hunger while one-third is overweight or obese! Obesity is a worldwide problem.

The following pictures give only a brief idea of the scope of the material

Enlarge the pictures by clicking on each for the greatest detail

Ethnic settings

Ethnic settings

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Pre-colonial American foods

Pre-colonial American foods

Free tastings

Free tastings

Diorama of life in a pre-colonial food market

Diorama of life in a pre-colonial food market

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

No problem with obesity then!

No problem with obesity then!

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