The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Miss Maude Maggart

We went back to the Algonquin after the final dress of "Priscilla" tonight. We are so familiar with it now I (tt) call it "The Gonk"  Here is the splendiferous star of the evening who titled her show after the 1911 Irving Berlin smash hit "Everbody's Doin' It"

A commentary on the show will be added tomorrow as it is 1am and I am a very old tired man who cannot see the keys of the computer. But she was superg.

Now it's morning and looking at the photo brings back how special last night was.
 Miss Maggart wore a cherry red gown that sometimes seemed to want to drop away from her beautiful body. The back of it plunged to the bottom of her spine. Because the Oak Room is a long space and the performance area is midway  the performers spend a lot of time with their backs to you. And that is why I am so glad of that dress. Because Maude breathes the music. Her muscles undulate with pleasure and pain and drama. Her arms rise and fall with the images she finds in every song. She is taken over, as a medium calls forth spirits. It is pure artistry with not a mote of self consciousness.

And the arc of the show was really clever. She took us on a one hundred year journey in linear time from  simple songs which saluted simpler ways... almost trivial in content.... to deeper psychological insights of profound love and spirit. We went from the hokey bounce of  Berlin's  1911 when everybody was "doing it" (it was actually The Turkey Trot) to 2011 when we find ourselves questioning the heavens.... the profound  "I'm not the star you thought I'd be".

Miss Maggart inhabited standards like "Luck Be a Lady", "Swingin' On a Star", "They All Laughed" and "The Lady is a Tramp" while deftly giving us  history lessons of, say, the link between the popular song and womens' suffrage and the development of crooning as a result of the introduction of the microphone.
 Her love of Sondheim and Michael Leonard gave us sublime renditions of  "Anyone Can Whistle" and "Why Did I Choose You?" and there was an almost folk song by Mark Blitzstein called "I Wish It So" (from the 1959 musical JUNO) that brought the house down.
She is a master of mood. She loves people. She is blessed with dramatic flair. Who else would walk into the audience and end the show with "There Will  Never Be Another You" in semi-darkness?

Round Cooper Square

Almost all traces of 19th Century New York are gone in this area but for the impressive Cooper Union building where we saw Moth the other night. Here it is in daylight
It was here that the first American music theatre work, "The Black Crook" (1866 ), was denounced as salacious and evil. The ten ton thighed chorines showed their wares in flesh coloured tights and startled the horses.

Here is the new Cooper Union which stands across the square on 3rd Ave

A mural on the side of  a hotel

Looking uptown from Cooper Square

Friday, February 25, 2011


New York apartments are really hot!!  So at about 9.30 I  (tt) grabbed my coat and went out for a night walk of the Union Square area.
Fourth Ave looking toward Union

Fancy dress is huge here

A ritzy chocolate booteek

Looking north across Union

The bottom floor is our Whole Foods. Now it's lit I see the vast discount clothes warehouse above

Sheldon wants this building

Our coffee shop where the waiters are all actresses or models

Looking up Broadway

Look at the chandeliered mystery room

The Film Academy building was once home to political juggernaut Tammany Hall

A lovely banner for a radio network
By now I realised that  the weather had turned bitter and my hands had once again frozen to the Canon.  I returned home to find that New York apartments are not too hot at all. They are just right.

On Sixth St

Was walking and saw a plaque on a synagogue fence. This had been a German Lutheran church in 1904. On an excursion aboard the paddle steamer,General Slocum, loaded with day trippers a fire broke out. Inadequate safety precautions including rotten life vests and immovable life boats meant that over a thousand people, mostly women and children, perished. This was the worst fire accident in New York prior to 9/11

Another treasure that needs to stay

Just cos it was there

Thursday, February 24, 2011


TT took a bus ride up 3rd to take in the atmos. Had no intention of snapping but while walking for the bus on Lexington I saw the ever stunning Chrysler and so here she is

The cold was setting in. We have been told that there is snow or heavy rain soon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Brooklyn Museum

Here is tt's view of Lower Manhattan from the Q train on way to Brooklyn. The train is crossing the river by way of the Manhattan bridge. It was under this structure that Daddy sang The Rhythm of Life to Charity Hope Valentine

Eastern Parkway subway station is very classily an extension of the Museum itself.

Here is the Museum from outside
and the foyer

A collection of Rodins

And the first reason I came was to see


Beginning in the late 1930s, Norman Rockwell adopted photography as a tool to bring his illustration ideas to life in studio sessions. Working as a director, Rockwell carefully staged his photographs, selecting props and locations, choosing his models, and orchestrating every detail. He created an abundance of photographs for each new subject, sometimes capturing complete compositions and other times combining separate pictures of individual elements. These photographs were the focus of a recently completed two-year project at the Norman Rockwell Museum that preserved and digitized almost 20,000 negatives. For the first time, Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera presents these study photographs alongside his paintings, drawings, and related tear sheets to offer a fascinating look at the artist’s working process.
Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in collaboration with guest curator Ron Schick.   (from the Brooklyn Museum website )
It was fascinating to see the work that went into the creation of the illustrations And here are some of the works that ave loved since I first saw them in the fifties and sixties

Many of his sitters were locals from his little town

This was partly photographed in Manhattan and then in a small rural diner. I have always loved this cover,

The details of this wonderful piece...clothes, shoes and cigar were all laid out in Rockwell's studio and the swimmer was photographed sitting in a chair holding a mirror under his chin to simulate water reflection.

This full sized oil painting for  a Saturday Evening Post cover was stunningly detailed.  You could feel the warmth from the stove.


This was new to me and I laughed out loud

The second reason for my visit:as 
THE DINNER PARTY by Judy Chicago

....... is an important icon of 1970s feminist art and a milestone in twentieth-century art.  It comprises a massive ceremonial banquet, arranged on a triangular table with a total of thirty-nine place settings, each commemorating an important woman from history.

The Primordial Goddess is placing number one

Georgia O'Keefe is placing thirty nine

                      And here are some guests in between

The names of another 999 women are inscribed in gold on the white tile floor below the triangular table. 

Up to Pussy's bow....       Sorry, I mean  I had an elegant sufficiency

More in the  decorative arts collection
Tiffany glass windows from a church  They represent Spring and Autumn.

A glass window by W.Cole Brigham

A French art noveau set of gates

This peaceful outdoor space is the resting place for many pieces which once adorned hotels, mansions and public NY buildings.

And here is my favourite because of my fascination with old Penn Station, demolished in 1961. She was found in a New Jersey land fill site and once stood on one side of the clock.
Oh the things she's seen

Loves ya lady