• 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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Of valves and things . . . .

Some twenty-five years ago, or so, my aortic valve began to show signs of wear and tear. But the rate of deterioration was slow and, when I asked  whether I should worry about it, my cardiologist at the time told me, optimistically: “No, no. You will be long dead before I have to do anything about that!”.

He was wrong! In the past two years, the rate of deterioration has picked up apace and my breathing has become more and more difficult. So it was, that my current cardiologist, the brilliant Dr. Ghodsi, after her echo examination, pronounced that the stenosis has reached the severe stage and, that my only option was a replacement of the aortic valve. She thought I would be a candidate for it and referred me to the genius of  Dr. Dangas of the Mt. Sinai heart group.

I have spent  four days in the hospital while Dr. Danglas  ran a catheter up into my heart to determine its condition and various other specialists tested my remaining organs from advantageous points of view. Dr. Ghodsi was rooting for me all the time and the net result is that I AM a candidate and the miracle workers will give me a nice new valve on Tuesday, 15th March. Wish me luck, Ben.


11 Responses

  1. Ben – you continue to amaze with your ability to beat all odds that purport to defeat you. I continue to be in awe of you! We will be thinking of you and pummeling the universe with our fervent wishes for a successful surgery, fast recovery and a quick return to a joyous life. We so adore you!

  2. Good luck! Love, Lenore and Larry

    Sent from my iPad

  3. So you’re in Mt. Sinai, couldn’t be in better hands. Dr. Da gas did an angiogram on me two years ago. All clear. Keep us posted.

  4. Dear Ben,
    Know you have my sincere good wishes for a successful surgery. Success is the only option the surgeon has since I rely on your annual holiday art/card to be the centerpiece on the buffet!
    Love, Amy

  5. Wishing you good health Ben.

  6. Dear Ben, we wish you all the best for your upcoming stay in the hospital. Our thoughts are with you. Be strong and cu in May in London! Beatrice and Ruth.

    • THANK YOU All so very much for your heartening (no pun intended) good wishes. I’ll try to post the outcome of the surgery next week. Love, Ben

  7. Thinking of you and best of luck to you, Ben.

  8. All the best wishes Ben. You’re a Timex watch – takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’!

  9. The miracle workers have a great candidate…you’re the best! The best to you – Love, Nereida

  10. Hi Ben sorry to hear your news but glad that it is being attended to so promptly. We will be thinking of you and wish you well. Don’t forget to keep us posted. Take care. Love Denise & Alan xx

    Sent from my iPhone


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