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  • theatre and Concerrts

    December 9. The MSM mounted two one-act operas: I Due Timidi by Nino Rota and Suor Angelica by Puccini. The sets, acting and voices were superb  – an infinitely better experience than the Met’s from the back of the Family Circle. We were enthralled.

     

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“Messiah Reimagined” at St. Jean Baptiste Church on Park Lane, New York

For a pre-Christmas treat, we went to hear the NYC Master Chorale and MSM Chamber Sinfonia in an unusual rendering of Handel’s “Messiah”:

The beautifully appointed St. John Baptiste church made a most impressionable backdrop for the music . . . .  Christine took this picture on her mobile phone! . . . . 

 

The reimagined version made this Messiah a little difficult to follow but, at the end, the three chorus groups plus the whole  church audience  stood up and sang a truly rousing Hallelujah Chorus!

This panoramic picture was taken, at Christine’s request, by a neighbouring audience member  . . . . . it shows off more of the  extraordinary craftsmanship on the ceiling.

Christine and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all: HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW  YEAR!  Love to everyone, Ben.

 

 

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Costume Design at El Barrio museum

Christine and I, together with Christine’s friend Eileen and her husband, Jim, went for lunch in The El Barrio Museum restaurant because the City Museum (next door) restaurant didn’t have the more substantial fare that our group required.

While we were sitting there, an artist was setting up giant puppets which will appear in a forthcoming parade.  He was putting together the top halves of three figures which will be animated by live operators perched on stilts. Click on the pictures for detail:

Spikey hair-do . . .

 

Papa Claus

 

Artist’s work space

 

spare parts detail . . . .

 

Spare parts trolley . . . .

 

Ginger . . . .

 

Ready for the parade.

 

THE END

 

 

 

Christine Gets Painted

On Halloween eve, Christine and I went to the NYC Museum to participate in the Family Party fun. I, at least, had been around a year or two longer than all the other party-goers  but we, never-the-less, enjoyed the little ones tirelessly jigging around in their costumes, arms and legs akimbo, while their mums and occasional dad watched with pride.

We arrived early, so, while waiting for the action to start, the face-painting lady started on Christine. The following evening we went back to the museum for the “Members Appreciation Night” (Hors d’oeuvres and Prosecco)–No children present!

Click on the pictures for detail

The artist at work . . .

 

The completed artwork . . . .

 

dressed-up to fit in with the other guests . . .

 

. . . . portrait pose

 

. . . . .

 

The Launch of the Pumpkin Flotilla

On Sunday afternoon, while Christine was in Philadelphia celebrating her sister’s birthday, I took my camera to Central Park to watch the Launch of the Pumpkins–A spectacle put on by Central Park Conservancy. The event drew hoards of New Yorkers and their kids, who were having a great time in their Halloween costumes–chasing each other all over the park and wielding their mock weapons!

Many people brought their own carved pumpkins to join the fleet of professionally carved ones. We had to wait until 6.30 in the sharp breeze so that it was dark enough to show off the candle-lit flotilla, but the wait was worth the excitement.

Click on the pictures for detail:

Fancy carving!

 

Artist’s concentration . . . .

 

preparing the fleet – Each string was rowed around the lake by a witch on a skiff

 

The staff joined in the fun . . . .

 

. . . .as did the Mums and Dads . . .

 

. . . . as well as all the kids . . .

 

. . .not forgetting the pets . . . .

 

. . . . .

 

Pre-launch activities . . . .

 

. . . .  even the MTA got into the act! . . . .

 

headdresses were varied . . .

 

. . . . .

 

. . . . . .

 

Awaiting the off!

 

. . . the Off!. . . . .

 

. . .the float-by . . .

????????

 

The background to all these dark goings on!

Bermuda Break on the “Escape”

This break was our second on the “Escape”; too large a ship for our liking but we are now taking balcony rooms and spending much less time wandering around the rest of the ship.

It seems that there is never a cruise these days without some incident; we owe a reduction in price of this cruise to the breakdown of the “Gem” in Bermuda on our last trip–it lost power at sea and NCL had to fly all we passengers back to New York (We were delighted with the extra two days in the sun, though!) On this trip a lady fell and broke her hip and the ship’s position dictated that we make full steam to the north side of Bermuda where a rescue boat met us to take the patient to hospital! (On two previous occasions, medical emergencies have meant that the ship we were on had to turn back towards the US mainland and steam at full speed until it was in range of a helicopter which air lifted the passenger to the shore).

In addition, we lost most of a day on the island because there was no dock space for the ship and the local authorities had forbidden tendering. As a result, I poodled around the Royal Navy Dockyard for an hour or so on the last day and Christine managed only one trip to Horseshoe Beach for a swim. Never-the-less the relaxation was well worth the trip.

CLICK ON THE PICTURES FOR DETAIL

Official photo while we were at dinner

 

The Commissioner’s house and Christine . . .

 

Cabin steward’s towel work.

 

Emergency drill-Crew muster

 

. . . . .

 

Another official photo – at the Captain’s table. We are next to the window on the right.

 

The new New Jersey – growing up beside the old Colgate Clock!

 

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Carving

I have, at last, completed a panel which I started to carve about thirty years ago when Dorothy and I moved into the Waterford. I had finished decorating the living room and Dorothy had topped it off by sewing drapes for the balcony doors. It turned out, though, that woodcarving was far too messy a process for apartment dwelling–the chips got everywhere We decided that our art education was better done in a studio and that is when we joined The National Academy; me, to take up sculpting and Dorothy to her oil painting.

This summer allowed me almost unlimited access to the balcony where wood chips could fly away into the breeze (beyond my conscience). A couple of snags, however; my carving skills and the muscles needed to sustain them, required a rapid reworking and error correction, and, more importantly, it became plain that my eyesight was nowhere near as accurate as it used to be. The result is somewhat labored and amateurish but, I am now calling it finished and am reasonably satisfied with my late-career effort–a memorial to  all the work we had put in thirty years ago when Dorothy and I planned to stay only five years before we moved to sunnier climes.

 

City view from 41B

 

 

 

Sunday in the Park . . . . with the Capulli Dance Company

On a heat-advisory day last Sunday, Christine and I took the 96 Street crosstown to Fifth Avenue and, from there, dragged our reluctant feet up the Park to Harlem Meer where the  Conservancy hosts its regular summer Sundays offerings. The offering for the day was a Mexican band and dance troupe. We were a little late but the effort was well worth every drop of sweat; the music was toe-tappingly lively and the dancers, dressed in traditional costumes, were accomplished and obviously enjoying what they were doing; the audience, sheltered under the trees, caught their spontaneity and humour and applauded rapturously. Enlarge the pictures to full screen for detail:

All these picture were taken with Christine’s phone . .

 

The costumes were spectacular . . .

 

. . . . .

 

The men did their part with humour and wit. . . .

 

. . . .

 

. . . .

 

. . . .

 

. . . .

 

Band’s  eye view  . . .

 

The Mexican Band under the Park Tent with Harlem Meer on the left . . .

 

Enthusiastic dancer enveloped in her swirling costume!

END OF POST