Tuesday, May 29, 2007


IChicago too! I spent the Memorial weekend in beautiful Chicago for a get-together with former classmates in college. Aside from reconnecting with old friends from vet school, other memorable images from my visit include the dazzling choreography of water and color spotlights of Buckingham Fountain, and the spectacular view of the city from the Hancock Tower.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Restaurants in Manhattan come and go, and around the corner from where I live is a new Mexican restaurant, the Tijuana Yacht Club on First Avenue between 62nd and 63rd Streets. It opened just a week ago replacing Manana, also a Mexican restaurant. The Tijuana Yacht Club serves food described as fusion of Mexican, American and French cuisine.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


May 20 is AIDS WALK Day. Although I didn't participate, I sponsored a co-worker who was among the 45,000 participants who raised a record-breaking $6,857,527. Opening ceremeony hosts included Cyndi Lauper, Whoopi Goldberg, Lance Bass, Allan Cumming, TR Knight, Hal Sparks, Bruce Vilanch, BD Wong, Jason Steed, with special performances by Stephanie Block and the cast of the Broadway Revival of A Chorus Line. A post-walk concert featured The Fave, Cooper Boone, and Leon and the Peoples. The Primary beneficiary of AIDS Walk New York is the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (www.gmhc.org), a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. GMHC’s mission is to reduce the spread of HIV disease; help people with HIV maintain and improve their health and independence; and keep the prevention, treatment and cure of HIV an urgent national and local priority. Other benefiting organizations include ACRIA, African Services Committee, AID for AIDS, AIDS Center of Queens County (ACQC), AIDS Resource Foundation for Children/St. Clare's Home, AIDS Service Center of New York City, American Run For the End of AIDS, APICHA - Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Birch Family Camp, Bronx AIDS Services, Bronx Community Pride Center Inc, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Brookdale Hospital - TLC Department, Cabrini Medical Center/HIV Services Dept., Center for AIDS Research & Treatment, Children's Hope Foundation, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), Community Health Action of Staten Island Inc., Daytop Village, Episcopal Response to AIDS, Exponents Arrive Inc., F.A.I.T.H. Services, FACES NY, Fortune Society, Fresh Faces, Friends House In Rosehill, God's Love We Deliver, Hamilton-Madison House, Harlem United Community AIDS Center, HERO - United Nations Association, Hispanic AIDS Forum, Hudson Pride Connections, International AIDS Prevention Initiative, Iris House, Keep a Child Alive, LGBT Community Center, Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship, Life Force: Women Fighting AIDS, Inc., LIFEbeat - The Music Industry Fights AIDS, MaAfrika Tikkun, Mixteca Organization, Inc., New York City AIDS Housing Network, New York State Black Gay Network, Inc., NYHRE, Osborne Association, Positive Health Project, Project Reach Youth/Project Safe, Project STAY, SMART Inc., SUS, The Momentum Project, TOUCH-Together Our Unity Can Heal Inc., Turning Point, Ubuntu Education Fund, Village Care of New York – VCNY, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and the Women's HIV Collaborative of New York.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Here's another image from DALE CHIHULY’s past exhibition at the NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN in the Bronx. He brought his spectacular glass sculpture in vibrant colors and organic shapes designed specifically for the Garden's collections and vistas.

“My work to this day revolves around a simple set of circumstances: fire, molten glass, human breath, spontaneity, centrifugal force and gravity.” - Dale Chihuly

Thursday, May 17, 2007


"Few stars can make a banquet out of table scraps as Ms. Lansbury does." - The New York Times
Without even knowing what DEUCE really meant, I went to see this new play at the Music Box Theatre last night. We got great orchestra seats through TKTS, which I think is a good way to get 50% off tickets especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In this play by four-time Tony winner Terrence McNally and directed by two-time Tony winner Michael Blakemore, ANGELA LANSBURY and MARIAN SELDES star as retired doubles tennis legends reunited at a championship match. The two former athletes try to make sense of the partnership that took them to the top of their game. It was such a joy to see the two actresses who are considered theatre royalty in a play that is so simple yet persuasive and funny. The show is not about tennis, but more about life - getting old, relationships, zest for life, and coming to terms with one’s life. Angela Lansbury received another Tony Award nomination for her performance.
Here is what the critics say:
For the ASSOCIATED PRESS, Michael Kuchwara wrote "-Terrence McNally's "Deuce" is a wisp of a play, more a conversation between two old friends than a full evening of theater. But if you are going to listen to two people talk, it helps to have the chatter delivered by the heavenly Angela Lansbury and the equally celestial Marian Seldes."
For VARIETY, David Rooney writes that "It's standard-issue benevolence, with both theater critics and fans, to describe thesps who continue working long after they receive their AARP cards with terms like "national treasure" or "theater royalty," or with adjectives such as "cherished" or "beloved." Cliche or not, that language is unavoidable when confronted with the redoubtable team of Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes, bringing their wit, wisdom and ineffable class to Terrence McNally's slender trifle, "Deuce." The comedy began life as a playlet written for a benefit and, even as a 95-minute one-act, shows its stretch marks. But anyone with a deep affection for the theater won't want to miss these rare birds bantering."
For NEWSDAY, Linda Winer writes that ""Deuce," which opened Sunday night at the Music Box, is not nearly the disaster howled about for weeks by the Internet chatterers. What it is, alas, is dull. There are definite pleasures in watching these beloved actresses trying to persuade us -- and themselves? -- to be fascinated and touched by the reunion of two aging tennis champions being honored at the U.S. Open.But it would be patronizing to these formidable women to pretend they don't seem wedged into a vehicle too flimsy for their muscle."
Clive Barnes in the NEW YORK POST writes that "It's a short but long haul - no intermission, so no one's inclined to leave - and Lansbury and Seldes go at it with such endearing professionalism and wondrous skill, that their mighty efforts to make a house not just without bricks but even without straw are truly admirable."
Elysa Gardner in USA TODAY writes that "Watching the leading ladies try to breathe life and wit into these near-caricatures, you're torn between marveling at the actresses' transcendent grace and wondering what led them — particularly the long-absent Lansbury — to take on this project. Perhaps they expected more from McNally, a prolific and generally endearing writer; in that case, many theatergoers will surely empathize."
Ben Brantley writes in the NEW YORK TIMES that "Though she rarely moves from her chair in “Deuce,” she still makes you believe Leona pulses with a defiant élan vital that only death could still. You know what Midge means when she says of Leona, “She doesn’t look, she devours.” When an actress, no matter her age, convincingly conveys that appetite for life, an audience repays her with similarly voracious attention. Few stars can make a banquet out of table scraps as Ms. Lansbury does."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I made this image of the Empire State Building from 23rd Street last Monday. The all-green lighting of the Empire State Building symbolizes the three-day Large Cities Climate Summit in Manhattan on how to address climate change. The global summit of leaders, including former President Bill Clinton and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg convened this week to exchange ideas on this timely issue. The summit is attended by mayors and governors of more than 30 international localities, along with chief executives from a number of international companies. Big cities like NYC must play a key role in reversing climate change - they cover less than 1 percent of the earth's surface, but are largely responsible for polluting it, contributing 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and other gases, essentially trap energy from the sun. In a city like New York, the operation of buildings that consume electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and steam contributes an overwhelming majority of emissions. At the conference, delegates will "share best practices, identify collaborative projects and chart future actions relative to reversing dangerous climate change and realizing economic development benefits." There will be discussions on building greener cities, using renewable energy sources, transforming waste into energy and how to engage the private sector along the way. Recently, Mayor Bloomberg introduced his 23-year plan to make the city of 8.2 million people sustainable over the long term. It is projected that by 2030, there will be another million people living in NYC.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Last Saturday, I met up with a former classmate in college. After lunch in Tribeca, we headed to SOHO and just walked around to check out the shops and the street scenes.

From http://www.nyctourist.com

SOHO is an acronym for SOuth of HOuston (pronounced "how-stun") Street. This eclectic neighborhood in lower Manhattan had a long history before becoming New York City's artistic haven. The SoHo that surrounds you, with its cast-iron warehouses and cobblestone streets arose in the 1850's after the residential population moved uptown. Up rose these ornate edifices housing fabrics, china, glass and more for companies like Lord & Taylor and Tiffany's. The lower floors were designed for displays and became perfect for the art galleries to come. By the late 1900's, the fashionable businesses moved uptown and the area developed into a seedy, sweatshop-filled slum known as "hell's hundred acres." New labor laws forced the sweatshops to evacuate leaving SoHo a ghost town ripe for a revolution! Through the 1960's artists quietly moved into the abandoned buildings which provided "lofty" spaces to contain their creativity. (Even if there often was no electricity!). But by the 1970's SoHo developed into a community, transforming itself into a residential / commercial / artistic zone.

Today's SoHo is much different from the artist community of the 1970's. Loft apartments now sell in the millions, a bit more than the paintings in the art galleries. The trendiness aside, SoHo is still one of the best areas in NYC to shop, eat and just walk about.

Monday, May 7, 2007


I made these photographs of the cyclists from an overpass above the FDR drive, and on First Avenue, as the cyclists rode 63rd Street on the Upper Eastside.

Yesterday, May 6th marked the 30th anniversary of the Bike Tour through the five boroughs of New York City. Thirty thousand bicyclists, young and old, new to biking and expert cyclists rode 42 traffic-free miles of the urban landscape. For these cyclists there's no better way to see New York than biking through dozens of neighborhoods and crossing scenic bridges. The journey started in Lower Manhattan, headed north through the heart of Manhattan to Central Park and continued on to historic Harlem and the Bronx, returning south along the East River on the FDR Drive. From there they crossed into Queens and then Brooklyn, where cyclists took over the highway before making the thrilling climb up--and down--the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Staten Island. The Tour ended with a celebratory Festival at Fort Wadsworth in Gateway National Recreation Area on Staten Island. Thirty years ago, American Youth Hostels encouraged people to cycle for years--in the early days of hosteling, young people were expected to cycle or hike from hostel to hostel! Eric Prager was commissioned by the NYC Board of Education to create a bicycle safety program. One of Eric's co-workers was Sal Cirami. Sal worked for the school lunch program and was also an AYH Bicycle Committee leader. The two met by chance, and a brief conversation resulted in Sal inviting Eric to the next monthly Bike Committee meeting. Eric outlined his plans for his bicycle safety program at that February meeting. Thus, the "Five Boro Challenge" was born. The tour became very popular and got bigger and bigger over the years. (Bike Tour route information from http://www.bikenewyork.org/)

Saturday, May 5, 2007


In conjunction with the Tribeca Film Festival, American Express sponsored the Family Festival yesterday along Greenwich Street betwen North Moore and Duane Streets. Families and children were treated to a number of street fair attractions and services, games, food, live performances, storytelling, a DJ, and family entertainment with interactive opportunities. Kids were able to dress up like a big time film director, get a taste of the spotlight, walk the red carpet or star in their own movie poster. There were numerous street performers in colorful costumes like the one shown in the pictures above. Looking very pretty in pink, this performer entertained kids and their parents as well.

Friday, May 4, 2007


This is one of several floral displays at the 27th New York International Orchid Show last April 18-22 at Rockefeller Center. In addition to the beautiful orchids in a myriad of colors, shapes and sizes, the show also featured the art of Ikebana with orchids. Exhibitors included flower designers from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana and numerous international floral exhibitors.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” oil on canvas by Françoise Gilot, 1999, now part of my art collection

Born in Paris in 1921, Françoise Gilot is a highly esteemed international artist who has exhibited her work for more than 50 years in major art institutions in Europe and North America. She divides her time between New York City and Paris. She is regarded as a significant link between the School of Paris of the early 1940s and the contemporary art world. Her vibrant and colorful paintings, drawings, and original prints are part of permanent collections of museums and art institutions as well as private collections throughout Europe and North America.

At 21, Françoise met Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and would ultimately raise both their children, Claude and Paloma. Their relationship which lasted from 1944 through 1953 is the subject of a Merchant-Ivory movie, “Surviving Picasso.” The passionate drama tells the story of Françoise, "the only lover of Picasso (played by Anthony Hopkins) who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty and move on with her life." Eleven years after their separation Françoise wrote “Life with Picasso,” a book that sold over a million copies in dozens of languages. She also authored other books including “Matisse and Picasso: a Friendship in Art.” In 1955, she married Luc Simon but they separated in 1961. Nine years later, Françoise married renowned scientist and polio vaccine pioneer, Dr. Jonas Salk in Paris who died in 1995. At 86, Françoise continues to paint and express her thoughts on nature, time, symbols and signs.