Thursday, April 24, 2014

Let the dead bury the dead


Nothing pretty about the war between the North and the South, even if the monument to the very same (a stone's throw from my apartment) was decked out with a wreath this past Monday. Not being a holiday, I couldn't quite figure why it was there. Perhaps I simply missed something. 


Standing there, I thought of those cryptic words that were recorded as coming from the mouth of Jesus, who knew how to turn a phrase or two. 

"Let the dead bury the dead." 

Then I thought of James Joyce and old boyfriends. Stream of consciousness mind wanderings.


It's a nice monument even if I don't feel anything when I am standing in front of it. For that, you'd have to take me to the Vietnam Memorial which has a peculiar power all its own, one which was sought in the 9/11 memorial here in Gotham. I've been to the latter more than once, and find it unsettling, which may have everything to do with having lived through those events firsthand. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter



This being Easter Sunday, I was up rather early for a man of the theatre, finding myself in a choir stall shortly after 8 am, rehearsing a Gerald Finzi anthem, and two selections from Handel's Messiah. Of course, the congregation stood for one of them (no hints from me), and was sent out into the bright sunlit world on the other, everyone celebrating the highest liturgical day of the year in high style, though there were precious few Easter bonnets to be seen. 




Theatre man hours aside, I don't find it hard to sing at an early hour, if only because, well… after years of experience: I know what  am doing! Afterwards the second of two services, I walked across Central Park after stopping in at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, snapping up the forthysia and Ben Pentreath's book English Decoration, after having my eye on it for a while. What can I say? It's right up my alley. 




Standing in the lobby after the book was mine, I spied two handsome fellows standing against the wall, carefully studying a map of the Met, which is much too much to see in one day, and thought, "I wish I were a painter!" 




Out in gloriously sunlit Central Park, I passed flowering magnolia's and Morris dancers (you might want to look that up) while making my way to the West Side and Brunch at La Boîte en Bois. I'm so glad it's Spring, and am looking forward to going with Mr. Husband to Paris the first week of May. Bon jour!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Afternoon Tea



Lessons to be taught, writing to be done, an apartment to be cleaned. Of course, it's all happening on a Saturday. But there is time enough for everything when you take a moment to have a spot of tea. This time I am using my two great-aunt's—spinster sisters actually—hand-painted Bavarian china, which they created in the 1920's. If I remember correctly, painting your own china was something of a cottage industry then. I love the peacock feather motif and silken feel of the china itself, which is soft and cool to the touch. The tea, of course, is Darjeeling: perfect for that sinking feeling. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Scrambled With Julia



Six eggs whisked in an antique bowl for two hungry husbands, then poured into a cold, buttered, non-stick pan. Turning the flame on low and waiting patiently for 4-5 minutes before anything happens,  I slowly stir as the curds softly form, which brings out their nutty taste, then turn off the flame while the eggs are still glossy, but not runny, stopping their cooking with a pat of butter which is folded in. Scrumptious like you can't believe! Now where's the coffee? 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Met Muse



Like a homing pigeon, I made my way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art  after singing for my supper on the East Side this past Sunday afternoon, finding new flowering branches in the huge niches in the Great Hall. They looked like they'd just been placed there the night before, if the newness of their blossoms were any indication. Some still waiting to peek out, I thought that is how I feel too: on my way towards full-flowering. 




Making my way to the bookstore, a Buddha stopped my in my tracks for a bit, and then I made my way to the design section, just a few step away. While standing there, I thought of the recent news regarding Rizzoli on 57th street and its closing, the building being torn down to make way for a high-rise for investors who live elsewhere, not believing for a second the PR about a promising new venue for the legendary brick and mortar store. All too vague if you ask me. You're just trying to let us down easy. 




The Buddha, of course, whispered that "nothing in permanent, all things shall pass," and I might think about dispensing with my collection of World of Interiors. "Must I?" I replied. "I'm standing here snooping through books, and you're telling me this now?" Jesus!  




"Well. I bet Rizzoli will have a copy of this one for 40 percent off." I thought, ignoring the big B.  "I should run down there on Monday and see what's left." 




"Do you know why my ears are so big?" Said the Buddha. 

"Big earrings?" I said.  

"I'm a good listener." He replied. 

"And what am I suppose to do with that?" I shot back. 




Big B smiled.




Light streamed down the wall in the Grand Hall as I make my exit, and as I looked up, I saw that there were circles everywhere: curves and arches, all leading back where they came from, the end being the beginning and the beginning the end. 

"You just won't let up, will you?" I said under my breath. 




And then the goddess appeared in an egg, she part of an exhibition of 250 eggs hidden around town. "Hidden? Really? But I can see you. What's so hidden about that?"




"Do you and the Buddha talk?" 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring at the Met



Cherry blooms, over-the-top Victorian architecture, and Egyptian pharaohs came together this past Sunday, as I made my way home from the East Side, stopping into the temple of art for a few minutes, before joining Mr. Husband for Brunch on the other side of town. 




"My god!" I thought to myself. Just how many trees does it take to create these things? Be that as it may, they are stunning, even if that word is a bit over-used. They fairly loom over one, being at least 14 feet tall, the vases themselves being about 6 feet off the ground, which gives them a sense of grandeur, which must have been intentional, don't you think? 




However, the main hall looked quite different when it opened, being stuffed with statuary—as old photographs have revealed, these niches not having flowers in them. Whoever dreamed the idea up—and they've been there for as long as I can remember—had a sense of style, that's for sure. 




Spring at the Met. Come see it for yourself. The admission is still suggested, though there was a scare a few years ago that it would become mandatory, but a public outcry beat that idea back, and good too. Kids and young adults shouldn't have to pay 21 bucks to see great art, and they are the ones who need exposure to this stuff more than anyone, that is, if our country is going to have any kind of cultural future. Plunk down a buck, and no one will bat an eye, believe me. It's a great place! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

City Center



I sang at City Center a few weeks ago in a concert for New York City Opera, commemorating the company's 70's year. Unfortunately however, since last fall, it has ceased operations entirely after filing for bankruptcy.




It was nice to see colleagues I had shared the stage with for many years when the company was in residence at Lincoln Center, the company itself having had its beginning as City Center. Many luminaries were there to share the evening, as were many City Opera supporters.  




The applause at the end was like a warm bath, washing away all kinds of things better left forgotten, if only for the moment. The party on the promenade was pretty lovely too.