• 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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Ukraine in New York

Following a tip Christine received from one of her Ukrainian  customers, we bussed down to 7th Street and Second Avenue to see the Ukrainian Festival which was in progress. A very pleasant surprise for me was that we came upon a resuscitated McSoreleys Ale Bar which I was sure had gone out business decades earlier. It was one of the world-renowned places I was determined to see when I first came to the USA–at that time, women were not allowed in and substantial bar-top snacks were free for drinking customers. Today they serve two very good craft ales, one light and one dark and you get a mug of each when you order. It was impressive to see the bustling waiters carrying eight mugs in one hand without spilling a precious drop! The Festival food offerings were not the usual Street fare. Christine selected a couple of native dishes: Varenyk (a crescent shaped potato dumpling) and  Holubets ( stuffed cabbage with meat and rice).  She said they were alright but not as good as her mothers’. The entertainment was provided by a number of practiced and energetic dance groups and was exciting to watch.

Click on the pictures for the best detail:

Centre of the Ukraine community in New York

 

Christine dressed for the occasion . . .

Ukrainian accessories . . . .

Street shopper . . .

Native dresses on sale . . .

 

. . . another shopper . . .

This tiny Ukrainian-American is getting his first selfie . . .

 

The dance commences . . .

 

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The exuberance was contagious . . .

 

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The young troupes were serious about their role . .  .

 

. . . and so were the very young ones . . .

 

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Gymnastic leaps . . .

 

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Very talented 11-year-old . . .

 

Principal dancer . . . .

 

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Finale . . .

 

Ukrainian symbols . . .

 

After lunch we went back into McSorleys and savoured two more ales apiece!

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One Response

  1. Looks like great fun. Christine is lovely in the floral headpiece.

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