Bleecker Street and the Holidays

December 9th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Even though a lot of the stores are shuttered and empty, because the rents are insane, (scroll down) it’s still festive on Bleecker Street. It’s now a thing to go over the top on the outside front of your store window. This is right at the corner of Bleecker and Perry. I don’t even know what that store on the corner sells. I can’t tell looking in the window.

Here’s a sign on one of the windows of the empty storefronts. I think this explains why so many are empty. There were a number of pop-ups when I was walking around the other night (stores that are only there for a day or two, or a week or so). Look at the rents for just a pop-up! Since the stores are almost always empty when I walk by, or have maybe a customer or two at most, who on earth is making at least $20,000 a month?? No one. Hence the empty storefronts.

I’m on a Best Books List!!

December 6th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Mental Floss included Damnation Island on their list of Best Books of 2018!! Thank you editors of Mental Floss! It’s a great Christmas present. I’ll be in a good mood for weeks because of your selection. Woohoo!!

Tin men I came across while in Chinatown, getting new lenses for my glasses. (Except I think I crossed over into Little Italy when I took this shot.) Strangely, my eyesight has improved. How often does that happen??

We’re Doing the Glorious Missa Solemnis Again!!

December 3rd, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

In the spring my choir, the Choral Society of Grace Church, will be singing the very challenging but astounding Missa Solemnis by Beethoven. We’ve sung this piece before and it’s not only very hard, it’s very hard on sopranos. Beethoven often sends us up into the stratosphere and then keeps us there, often singing forte for measure after measure. I’ll bet I posted about this the last time we sang it … yup, I did. Here I talk about my theory that Beethoven must have been mad at the sopranos when he wrote this.

HA! I just found a post where I write about the hardest part in the piece, the “et vitam venturi saeculi” section. I googled it and found this in Wikipedia. “Most notable about the movement, though, is the closing fugue on “et vitam venturi” that includes one of the most difficult passages in the choral repertoire …”

I wrote that I would change that to read, “one of the most difficult passages in the choral repertoire, and so that part is usually sung by robots. Or aliens.”

It goes on to say: “Compared to other works of similar stature, the Missa solemnis is rarely performed. Its notoriously difficult choral parts make it a stumbling block for many orchestras who only have access to volunteer choirs. Limited performances of the work have made the work far less known than Beethoven’s other large works.” .

Well, get ready New York City, we’re doing it. Here we are, warming up before a concert.

Choral Society Holiday Concert 2018

December 2nd, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The holiday concerts for the Choral Society of Grace Church are now over. I am so sad!! I loved the music. My friend Les sent a picture. I was in the front row this time! Very scary. I was afraid to move or fidget in any way, and I worried that every wrong note would be heard by the trumpet players in front of me, and picked up on the microphone one foot away.

Before the concert we sang happy birthday to John Maclay’s (our choir director) beautiful niece.

Damnation Island Book Talk on December 6th

November 25th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I’ll be giving a talk about my book at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. This talk is graciously brought to you by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society.

Hordes of people lining up to see my talk. OR, people at Macy’s looking for bargains.