• 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.

    October 20. Thanks to the invitation of our friend Francia, who is a member, we went to the Diller-Quaile School of Music to listen to a chamber concert given by the Diller-Quaile String Quartet. The program was comprised of Haydn and Debussy quartets; played magnificently by very experienced and talented musicians in an intimate. and perfectly designed, music space. Chatting with the musicians after the concert added to a first class evening.

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New York Day

The lot of the “middle class” is much in the news these days, so, when visiting “Picturing Prestige: New York Portraits, 1700-1860” at the Museum of the City of NY, I was surprised to find that, even in those days, it was struggling to keep pace with the times! The following poster sets out the rapidly changing social developments of the era:

Introduction to a section of the exhibit

 

And here are some of their portraits:

 

Not the wife of a Union member, I think!

Not the wife of a Union member, I think!

 

 . . . . . .

. . . . . .

 

Successful couple.

Successful couple.

 

The museum has another exhibit running until April 29 called “Dressing Room : Archiving Fashion”. It can be viewed only on weekdays and between set hours. Live operatives can be seen  sewing, photographing and displaying postwar fashions on six foot tall manikins. I found it of little interest, but here are some views of the exhibit:

 

Darkened workshop . . .

Darkened workshop . . .

 

Photographer at work . . . .

Photographer at work . . . .

 

Seamstress adding the finishing touches.

Seamstress adding the finishing touches.

I did, however,  like the very amusing cartoons of Roz Chast which are also on Exhibition at the moment. You need your reading glasses to decipher the hand-written captions of the small (original) cartoons commissioned by the “New Yorker” magazine, but here are a couple she drew expressly for the exhibit:

 

Typical subway scene!

Typical subway scene!

 

Amusing arrangement of art and furniture!

Amusing arrangement of art and furniture!

 

Much of her word is self-analytical . . .

Much of her word is self-analytical . . .

 

Meanwhile, outside in the glorious sunny weather, I found the crab-apple trees just about to reach their peak display:

 

Crab-apple walk--It will be snowing white petals in a week or two .. . .

Crab-apple walk–It will be snowing white petals in a week or two . . . .

 

The formal tulip plantings were impressive too, but they are too cultured to compete with the chaotic outburst of untutored nature!

 

Tulips dragooned

Tulips dragooned

 

 

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