• 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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New York Day (with sketches)

These glorious summer days have afforded us more picnic time in Central Park than I can ever remember. Rarely have I had to wear jeans; my shorts are all getting frayed round the edges from the constant washing of the wine-splattered  denim! They have been de rigueur throughout the long days, even in the very late hours when we have returned from Shakespeare in the Park,  for example.

A change from previous  ‘New York Days ‘ is that I have transferred my allegiance from the Turtle Pond and its backdrop of the purpose-built watercolour subject (The Belvedere Castle), to the Harlem Meer; largely because my lungs  increasingly object to my walking uphill with the weight of  my painting equipment!

I now take the 96th Street crosstown bus to Fifth Avenue and walk north, on the flat, a few blocks to the Meer. From my painting vantage point at the south end of the Meer I can listen across the water to the Rock bands on Sundays at such a distance that the music falls pleasantly upon the ear and the vibrations of the ear-shattering drums is reduced to a tolerable rhythm.

The mood of the scene from my painting place varies, of course, with the weather, season and time of day: Here is a favorite view:

Click on the images for detail


A view from my painting rock

A view from my painting rock  . . . . .

Me absorbed in painting an element of it.

. . . . . .   me absorbed in painting an element of it. Picture, courtesy a gracious visitor, Samil Kavranglu (formerly from Istanbul). . . . . .

 . . . the result of the intense creativity-- my rendering of the Dana Discovery Center1

. . . the result of the intense creativity– my rendering of the Dana Discovery Center

We have been to see Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacourt Theatre three times so far. Obtaining free tickets entails our joining the Seniors bench in time for the noon lottery. People arriving after the bench is fully occupied have little or no chance of a ticket for the day’s performance.

Christine says she is standing in for me?

Christine says she is standing in for me?

Christine works in the 86th Street branch of Fox’s Ladies Wear. She invited the branch manager, her boss (also called Christine!), to supper one night. Here she is on the balcony during a very enjoyable visit:

Christine of Fox's!

Christine of Fox’s!

A propos  none of the above, here is a watercolour which has little merit or meaning as far as its creator can determine! But, its weirdness is of interest perhaps?

"Out of Africa"

“Out of Africa”


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