• Upcomimg Trips

    October 14 to 21 Cruise - Bermuda
  • theatre and Concerrts

    November 3rd. Saw the much acclaimed “The Nap” by Brian Bean. By coincidence, Christine and I watched the world snooker championship on the BBC while we were in London last May; the play is about an elaborate con pulled on the championships. Billed as a comedy, it has, in the cast, a transvestite Mrs. Malaprop. The actor/actress playing the part did not have the timing to make the most of the mis-pronounced humour. There was a very clever coordination between the real table on which the contestants played (one of whom was a real snooker champion) and the screen above  it showing the action. The con included a somewhat unconvincing fake execution which scuttled the comedy in my view.

    October 3. Attended a beautiful memorial to the late Robert Mann at the Manhattan School of Music. The highlight was  sandwiched  between Mozart and Faure – Robert Mann’s setting of The Swedish Match Girl. The story was narrated By his 96 -year-old widow, Lucy. The piano quartet included Nicholas Mann, Robert’s son.

     Ocober 8. Susan and went to the 92nd Street Y to see a pre-screening of the film “The Oath” followed by a question and answer period by the author/director and a well-known television personality. Susan was,  I think, impressed–it is an obvious Liberal political piece–I was put off by the gratuitous violence and expletive-heavy dialogue.

    October 9. Susan, Christine and I saw a most-marvelous production of Chekov’s “Uncle Vanya” at The Kaye Playhouse. The action was brilliantly played out by the actors in the pit of the theatre with the audience rising in tiers all around them.

    All the actors were superb, but Jay O. Sanders in the title role gave a commanding performance and the audience was spell-bound from beginning to end.

     

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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 reasonable 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

 

 

 

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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 . . .

 

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

 

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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

 

Old-fasioned Conservation plus old-fashioned Ingenuity

For some time, Christine has had all the elements of her new computer ready to be assembled but lacked the space to set them up. We spent several hours at the Container store and similar DIY places for suitable ready-made shelves to attach to the wall; and many more hours on the Internet trying to find a computer hutch which would fit her 42 inch Desk–All to no avail.

As luck would have it, we found, on the curbside outside our building, a discarded free-standing book case six feet or more tall. Originally procured from Ikea and assembled, it was now back in its packaged state and bundled together for the garbage collector. I prevailed upon my friend George in the building, to transfer the bundle to my apartment, and, borrowing a hand-saw from the Super’s office, I cut the boards as accurately as I could and screwed them together with 1 1/2 inch woodscrews with the result pictured below:

. . . a hutch to fit Christine’s desk perfectly! From found materials . . .

Waste not, want not!

“Fish” in the East Village

Last Wednesday, Julia and Roger, dear friends that they are, drove into Manhattan after their workday was over to take us to dinner at a restaurant of our choice. We thought they might be intrigued if we introduced them to our favourite fish restaurant in the Village: “Fish” on Bleeker street, where you can see your oysters being freshly shucked in the window! We all dined on Lobster, oysters, mussels and octopus salad!

After a glass of wine on the balcony, we set off on the “Q” line and changed to the “F” line for a fifteen minute ride to Washington Square, where I managed to forget where the elevator was!
I led them up and down the platform several times before we escaped in the urine-perfumed lift. But, once on the surface, all was forgiven; the East village was alive and well–shops, bars and even the pizza place was bustling. I had a sinking feeling that we would have to wait for a table but, no, when we arrived at “Fish” a vacant table for four was strategically located in the window (not the one where the oysters are shucked).

Julia and Christine

 

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High-tech selfie–Roger has the longest arm!

 

Christine and I join the toast . . .

 

“–the time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things: of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax – of cabbages and kings – and why the sea is boiling hot- and whether pigs have wings . . . .
Unlike the Walrus’s friends, our oysters came with a complimentary glass of wine!

 

Returning sated on the “Q” line

 

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Roger  and Julia, thank you for a joyous evening!

 

Rehoboth Beach via The Cape May Ferry

Last week we met up with Susan and Craig for four days of R & R at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. Christine wanted to drive via the Cape May ferry — something she had not done before. The weather was warm and bright —  perfect for a boat ride — it took just over an hour to get to Lewes, in Delaware. A very enjoyable trip.

The confident smoke-stack of the ferry-boat

 

Top deck

 

Passengers waiting aft

 

Cape May dock

From Lewes, it is a ten-mile drive to Rehoboth Beach where Susan had booked us a room next to hers in the Sandcastle Motel. It is a very slow ten miles because the greater part of the route is through a continuous series of strip-malls requiring 14 sets of traffic lights in seven miles! The sun was too strong for me to stay long at the beach. I walked around the lake in the leafy shade of the local park; ate oysters, mussels and clams at several of the local restaurants and wound up with a fun evening at Rehoboth’s amusement arcade. Susan and I share the same passion when it comes to skeeball, cranes and whack-a-mole. My eye is not as efficient as it used to be, but I did manage to lift out a stuffed Kermit doll with one of the cranes and I successfully whacked a rubber frog  onto a floating lily pad to  be rewarded with a stuffed snake! (Susan has posted a video clip of this event on her Facebook page).

Strange name but a perfect place to relax

 

Appropriate décor for the biggest seafood restaurant in town

 

A passing visitor was so impressed by our relaxed disposition, that she asked to take this photo of us!

THE END

 

 

. . . . Festive Hamilton and Royal Navy Dockyard

Enlarge the pictures to full screen for detail

To continue the Bermuda story: After finishing our tour of St. Peter’s and its ancient churchyard, we took the local ferry to Hamilton immediately after getting off the shuttle from St. George, in order to see the Hamilton festival, which was about to take place that very evening. Before leaving, we did make a brief tour of the  Historical Museum and its Printery but it was too sketchy to be of much interest to us:

Christine enjoying the ferry ride

 

This tree was used by the original settlers as the bell tower for the old wooden St. Peter’s church — which is the oldest Anglican church outside the UK — It was toppled in a hurricane many years ago.

 

St. Peter’s graveyard–Not many stones still standing and they are mostly too worn  to be able to decipher the inscriptions.

 

Christine trying out The Queen’s chapel – Her hat, I fear, would not be suitable!

 

More Bermudan roofs . . .

 

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The Ladies and Gents

 

Hamilton Festival — something for everybody . . .

 

. . . young, very young and tourists . . .

 

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Dance leader . . .

 

Action!

 

All together!

 

Parade leader . . .

 

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Follow me . .

 

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Farewell Hamilton . . .

 

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Back at the Royal Dockyard, we were not alone–the “Celebrity” ship shared our dock and added another 3/4 thousand tourists to the throng

 

Evening view of the Dockyard

 

Day time view of the Bar  (which is open all night). . .

 

Christine at lunch in the Garden Café (The ‘Escape’s” buffet restaurant)

THE END

 

 

 

Bermuda aboard the NCL “Escape” — Historic St. George

Enlarge the pictures to full screen for essential detail.

Christine and I squeezed in a week’s cruise to Bermuda. We were both, just about recovered from the London trip jet-lag and needed an r and r break. By chance, the ship making the voyage was a new addition to the NCL fleet, the “Escape”. At 180,000 tons plus, the “Escape” is one of the super large class of vessels on which we would not normally sail; we hate the noisy, crowded facilities and the impossible activities, like: monstrous water slides, rope-climbing structures and bungie-jumping–none of which appeal to we mature passengers much, nor do they appeal, I imagine, to the increasing number of wheelchair and walker equipped travelers one encounters on these cruises now-a-days. We prefer the much more intimate “Gem” class.  However, we were offered a balcony stateroom for the same price as an outside view one and this gave us a chance to escape(?) the crowds when we wanted. And, the ship did have a piano bar serving 25 draught beers!

The “Escape” — a floating city of 6,000 souls . . .

 

Like all NCL ships, the hulls are decorated by contemporary artists. The Escape’s was designed by Guy Harvey, an artist my memory had denied completely until a passenger from another ship pointed out that I was wearing one of his designer shirts and that his logo was stitched on both back and front of it!

 

Dinner at the Captain’s table — pictures courtesy of Bobbie, dinner companion and now our friend . . . .

 

Photo op with the Captain and His Mate . . .

 

Bobbie with the officers. (picture taken with her tablet)

An unexpected plus from taking the “Escape” was, while docked in The Royal Dockyards, it ran a free ferry service to St. George. We took it together on the first day at port and I went again while Christine was at  Horseshoe beach the next day. The whole town of St. George is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is complete with a ducking stool and stocks. These reproductions get much more use than the originals; Tourists line up to take selfies in them!

St. George was settled in 1600 or thereabouts and became Bermuda’s first capital. Now it is a picture postcard town of pastel-colored buildings with startling white roofs. St. Peter’s church with its historic churchyard is a draw; the present structure stands on the site of the original wooden one which was erected by the first settlers in 1612.

Inside St. Peter’s a simple wooden enclosure has been added. It is named ‘The Queen’s Chappell’ and has the Royal Coat of Arms on the front. Queen Elizabeth II visited the place of worship a few years ago!

 

When I first visited Bermuda, 45 years ago, the roofs were all flat with walls built round them to capture the rain–the only source of water in the islands. Now, by law, they are all peaked with diagonal runnels to direct the rainwater into underground storage vats and painted white . . ..

 

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Somers dock

 

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This is the last picture of the St. George visit but I will complete the Bermuda story with “Festive Hamilton” in the next post.

THE END