• 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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Harlem Meer

Sunday ( August 5th)  was a beautiful summer’s day–slight breeze, eighty degrees and no humidity. Perfect for a Sunday in the Park. I thought I would take in one of the free open air entertainments, which abound in New York at the height of summer.

I settled on a Brazilian Jazz performance given by “Vanderlei Pereira and the Blindfold Test” (The leader of the outfit lays out an energetic and sustained session on the drum set and is, in fact, blind. Never-the-less, he is exciting to watch as well as hear).

The music was part of the Harlem Meer Performance Festival held each year at the Dana Discovery Centre at the north end of the Park (110th Street). I meandered up there via the City of NY museum where I rested over a coffee and blueberry muffin. The museum’s café is risen from the basement and is now on the second floor with a view overlooking Central Park– part of the remodeling of the museum and  great improvement!

When I got to the Dana Center, the park chairs  were already taken and  most of the audience had the foresight to bring their own folding seats and were sitting under the trees. I found a standing spot on the roots of a tree which gave me a clear view of the performers but was very uncomfortable underfoot.

The audience was not the youthful one I expected for such a concert; it was composed mainly of baby-boomers taking their jazz seriously. I would have  stayed for the whole jig, but, after a few numbers, my roots got the better of  my legs and I had to find a seat. One behind the toilets allowed me to listen but not see!

Click on the pictures for detail

View across the Meer

View across the Meer

Dana Discovery Center

Dana Discovery Center

Waiting audience

Waiting audience

Vanderlei Pereira, Leader of the group

Vanderlei Pereira, Leader of the group

The assembled group

The assembled group

The vocalist

The vocalist

This lady was a follower of the Band, I think

This lady was a follower of the Band, I think

Intent audience

Intent audience

Back of Dana Discovery Center

Back of Dana Discovery Center

The algae bloom didn't help the fishermen much but it add  a very nice green to the scene!

The algae bloom didn’t help the fishermen much but it added  a very nice green to the scene!

As it happened, "The blindfold Test" had completion not very far away. This group of elderly musicians were playing their drums just for joy.

As it happened, “The blindfold Test” had completion not very far away. This group of elderly musicians were playing their drums just for joy.

 watched . . . . . .

watched . . . . . .

SONY DSC

. . . . by the balloon man

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