• 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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An hour or two at the Met

The forecourt of the Met Museum is boarded off while a complete remodeling is under way. There are going to be fountains and floodlights and seats strategically placed so that patrons will be able to watch the traffic streaming down Fifth Avenue. In the meantime the restricted entrance space is crowded with tourists making the best of the limited seating on the steps. This makes for an hazardous journey for incoming geriatrics who need the railings to pull themselves up by. But, judging by the architects’ drawings, this inconvenience will be a small price to pay for the improvements. Click on the pictures for detail.

A peep over the north side hoarding to see the work in progress . . . . . .

A peep over the north side hoarding to see the work in progress . . . . . .

Make way , coming through!

Make way , coming through!

shirt detail  . . . .

shirt detail . . . .

The sun was streaming through the fanlight of the Greek Hall

The sun was streaming through the fanlight of the Greek Hall

"Primitive" art

“Primitive” art

. . . . . . scary!

. . . . . . scary!

Heavy headgear!

Heavy headgear!

The aim of this visit to the Met was to see the latest installation on the Roof Garden. Meandering through the lower galleries before I found the appropriate elevator was an added bonus. When I attained the roof, however, I wasn’t quite so sure that I hadn’t already seen the main event.

The Roof Garden Commission was executed by Imran Qureshi from Pakistan, an artist, whose work I had not seen before.  At first sight the work seem to be a mass of blood splashes covering a wide area of the roof, as if someone had slaughtered a pig and emptied the blood bucket haphazardly. On closer inspection, many of the splashes contained leaf-like patterns.

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Detail . . . .

Detail . . . .

An interesting plus to the roof visit was this unusual view of Cleopatra’s Needle being inspected. For wear, I suppose?

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On my way out, I discovered this wonderfully carved erotic, from the time before porn was discovered:

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