• 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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Joining the “Sandhogs”

I entered my e-mail address in the MTA raffle and won a place in a group visit underground to see the progress in construction of the Second Avenue Subway.  On November 22, Kiowa and I joined a group of 36 and descended by a miners’ elevator about 100 feet to the  floor of the 86th Street cavern and walked in mud and water through the tunnels to 68th Street.

On the way we passed the 79th and 72nd Street caverns and viewed the progress at each. A great disappointment was that no cameras were allowed underground. There was so much of interest that  I could have recorded, but only the professional photographer accompanying the group was authorized.

The following image is the official group picture, compliments of the MTA. Kiowa managed to take some grab shots with his I-phone and I have added the best of these below:

100 feet down. I am second from the right and Kiowa is just behind me to my right

100 feet down. I am second from the right and Kiowa is just behind me to my right. The Groundhog-in-Chief is in the yellow vest.

Awe-inspiring hole in the ground!

Awe-inspiring hole in the ground!

Dressed for the part

Dressed for the part

Grandson and Grandfather messing about in the mud'

Grandson and Grandfather messing about in the mud’


2 Responses

  1. Ben, how interesting! And, how fitting that your name was selected for this very select viewing. After all, you have documented this massive undertaking from the beginning. It seems as if it’s been going on forever. I’m wondering if this very different perspective gave you any hope that it will someday actually be completed!

    • Bonnie. It was thrilling to be walking along tunnels which, in two years or so will see two hundred thousand people hustling through them each day! I would like to have seen the 96th Street cavern which is much nearer completion and may be showing the work above ground by the end of this year. Ben

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