• 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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Ukrainian at the Ukraine Institute

While I was returning from the Museum of Natural History on the crosstown bus, I noticed that the Ukraine Institute was hosting an exhibit of contemporary Ukrainian artists, among whom was a painter called Sergei Belik.

Christine’s family name is Bilyk but, translations from Cyrillic characters vary, and I wondered  whether there could be any relationship. We visited the Institute after we returned from Atlantic City and Christine had an opportunity to speak Ukrainian with several people but she gathered very little information about the artists.

However, the exhibition was well worth the visit. In addition to the contemporary work it included  some “Socialist Realism” works from  the Soviet Period which I found interesting since I had last seen the like in Moscow some forty years earlier! Click on the pictures for detail





. . . .

The Ukrainian Institute occupies one of the Fifth Avenue Mansions which is now has Landmark status. It retains much of its original craftsmanship including this magnificent carved oak staircase:




One of the ladies' powder rooms

One of the ladies’ powder rooms

Captivating portrait

Captivating portrait




Beautiful bronze of the Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko

Beautiful bronze of the Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko.  The artist was Alexander Archipenko

Finally, here is one of the collection of “Socialist Realism” works:

This heroic work pictures Krushov welcoming astronaut, Gagarin upon hid return from space

This heroic work pictures  Nikita Khrushchev welcoming astronaut, Yuri Gagarin upon his return from space



2 Responses

  1. Great stuff, thought the Ukranians would be in the east village:) If it ever gets warmer, I’m saving a bottle of wine.

  2. Be happy to share it with you, Stanley.

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