• 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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Welcome Spring! Subway progress and Garden regress

There is nothing like a bout in hospital to concentrate the mind. Mine concentrated, almost exclusively, on getting out of there as soon as humanly possible, no matter how wonderful the nursing!  It was helped, no end, by the Spring-angled  sun which reached through my window for a few short hours most days when I was in the hospital room and not being breech-loaded into some diabolical tube or other.

A soon as I was able (and allowed) to walk out a little, unaided, I took the 96th street bus to Fifth and wandered along to the NY City Museum for a look at any new exhibits I had missed. En passant I called in at my old Cardiologist;  the one who  looked after my calcifying valve for many, many years before he went into private practice. We greeted each other like long-lost brothers. So sensitive was the moment, that I forbore to remind him of his forecast that I would be long dead before he had to do anything about a repair to my unruly valve!

There are two new exhibits on display at the City. One has odd viewing periods and I was not there during one of them. The other is a room full of revolutionary era and civil war era portraits of prominent men and women of the times. The artists are not household names according to my sketchy knowledge but, their skill was of the very highest order. Skin tones were bright and beautifully modelled and the ladies’ dresses and jewelry were painted with unbelievable realism. I couldn’t spend too much time viewing them  because I was expecting Christine to meet me outside in the Conservancy Gardens where Spring was bursting out all over, and I was doubly anxious to expose my bright new titanium and pigskin valve to the sun and blossoms of its first Spring in situ:

Forget-me-nots!

Forget-me-nots!

 

Regular and hybrid Magnolias almost at their peak.

Regular and hybrid Magnolias almost at their peak.

 

. . . . . .

Ah! Spring!

 

Christine among the blossoms, carefully protecting her repaired macular

Christine among the blossoms, carefully protecting her repaired macular

 

One of the magnificent portraits displayed in NYC Museum's new exhibit

One of the magnificent portraits displayed in NYC Museum’s new exhibit

 

After two year's of intense reconstruction, the Cooper Hewett garden has bee reduced to this! The only compensation is that the cafeteria now serves jelly doughnuts!

After two years of intense reconstruction, the Cooper Hewett garden has been reduced to this! The only compensation is that the cafeteria now serves jelly doughnuts!

Second  Avenue progress–92.6% complete

The west side is now paved. The sidewalks reinstated with cut-outs for trees and new street lamps installed:

The west side is now paved. The sidewalks reinstated with cut-outs for trees and new street lamps installed. In this, in-progress, picture you can see my fresh fruit vendor Bangladesh (He calls me Englander!). His stall is now back to the site it was moved from, 4 years ago!

 

The new (and Final?) traffic pattern on the west side of 2nd. Final work has already  commence on the east side lanes.

The new (and final?) traffic pattern on the west side of 2nd Ave. Final work has already commenced on the east side lanes.

Click on the pictures for detail

 

 

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2 Responses

  1. There is nothing like Spring in Central Park in NYC – nice shots! Wow! Second Ave. is starting to look like Second Ave with a new coat of asphalt and concrete! It will be great to see the temporary fencing and barracades removed – hopefully this Summer.

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