Thursday, June 22, 2017

NYC Day 5: Sleep. Glorious Sleep, and A Fort Tryon Park Evening Walk

Holy Moly! Look at the line-up below of the many choices available to me on this, my fifth day in New York City. And exactly how many of them you may well ask, did I get to? The answer dear reader is... None. Nada. Nil.

Last night, I didn't get to bed until 1.45am, and that late night, coupled with the still lingering effects of jet lag, pushed me to stay in and rest. I don't know about you, but the older I get, the longer it takes for me to recover from jet lag and the effects of extended travel. To recap, I arrived in New York City late on Friday last, after some 32 hours of travel, either in airport transit lounges, in the air, or in trains or taxi's getting too and from my places of accommodation. Thirty-two hours!

So today, after rising late, I was again in bed just after midday for another five hours of much needed sleep recovery. The great thing about being in one city for an extended stay, as I am, is that I can afford to relax and recuperate, without feeling like I am wasting my precious days sleeping! I don't leave New York until early in September, so why worry. I have more than enough time to do all that I have planned to do.

Beside, it is obvious when you look through the list below, that there was no way I was ever going to attend more than one or two of the events listed anyway. And my daily diary for the next couple of months looks very similar. In the end I settle for a leisurely walk to Fort Tryon Park, which is less than ten minutes from the apartment at which I am staying, and watched the sun set over the Hudson River, from Manhattan's highest natural land feature. The photos illustrating this post are of the gardens at the Park.

Jazz+Wednesdays @ The American Folk Art Museum
2.00pm—3:00pm. During the run of the exhibitions Eugen Gabritschevsky: Theater of the Imperceptible and Carlo Zinelli (1916–1974), the Bill Wurtzel trio will perform music that celebrates the creativity and expressiveness of the human mind. Limited seating available.

FREE: Spiral Music Series @ THE RUBIN MUSEUM, 150, West 17th Street.
6:00—9:00pm. Koto, Shamisen, and Flute music from Japan, with Sumie Kaneko + Haruna Fukazawa…

12pm - 2pm | Brookfield Winter Garden. STORYTELLING STATION by En Garde Arts
1pm - 2:30pm | 192 Front Street. TOUR: THE OTHER SIDE OF WALL STREET PRELUDE by Black Gotham Experience 7:00PM—

Free Cap Night

Wednesday Night Poetry Slam
9:00 PM. $10.00 - $20.00. At 236, E. 3rd Street
Hosted by Jive Poetic! Line forms outside a half hour before doors open at 9:00pm.

9:00pm—1:00am. Kennedy Administration
Club Groove, 125 MacDougal Street.

FREE: SUMMERSTAGE: FĂȘte de la Musique: Wax Tailor / Her / Ayo / Ala.Ni
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm. Rumsey Playfield, Central Park. An evening of French contemporary talent and genres ranging from hip-hop to soul and pop.
2pm - 2:40pm | Intersection of Broad and Wall St. THANK YOU FOR COMING: PLAY by Faye Driscoll
5PM - 6PM | South St. Seaport Museum. MEMOIRS OF A UNICORN. By Marjani Forté-Saunders
5pm - 6:30pm and 7pm - 9pm | 192 Front Street. TOUR: CAESAR’S REBELLION Pts 1 & 2 by Black Gotham Experience
8:00pm - 11pm | Pier A Harbor House. RIVER TO RIVER LIVING ROOMS by The Dance Cartel.

MOMA Member After Hours
6:30–8:00 p.m. Enjoy private access to Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, and Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends after the Museum has closed to the public. MoMA educators will be on hand to share insight on the works on view. Please use the Ronald S. and Jo Carole Lauder Building entrance, east of the main Museum entrance on 53 Street and present your membership card upon arrival. Member guest admission tickets can be purchased at Member Services. More Information… | More After Hours Info…

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Click images to see full sized. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NYC Day 3: Sleep Deprived, and An Evening With Paula Cole

I had good intentions for my third day in New York, but only one of those come to fruition. Due to the ongoing effects of jet lag, I only got four and a half hours sleep the previous night, and I was in no shape to hit the streets of the city. By midday I was back in bed, and thankfully caught up on much of the sleep I missed out on during the night. I was up and about again by five in the afternoon, and felt more than ready to attend my first major gig of the visit--Paula Cole at City Winery.

I have dubbed this visit, my New York City Art & Music Tour, due to the numerous gigs I have pre-booked, and also due to the memberships I have taken out with the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum. You can expect therefore plenty of art and gig reviews in subsequent posts. But on to Paula Cole.

Paula Cole was performing a selection of music by John Lennon and Joni Mitchell, which I take is a departure from doing her own material. Cole first came to my attention when I saw her performing as the back up singer for Peter Gabriel during his ‘Secret World’ concert tour. I should point out that I did not actually attend any of those shows, I had seen a clip on an Australian late night music show called Rage, which was taken from the DVD of the tour.

Last night's show was a delight from beginning to end. Paula performed with a three piece ensemble before a very appreciative audience. Unfortunately I didn't quite get all the names of the musicians, but Max Weinstein was on drums. The young guitarist's name sounded like Milay Sohar, but my spelling of his name is more of a guess than anything, and I completely missed the bass players name. Sorry about that gentlemen. Towards the end of the show she introduced Janie Barnett, a fellow singer who added extra backing vocals to Joni Mitchell's Free Man In Paris, and Big Yellow Taxi, as well as to John Lennon's Instant Karma.

Paula Cole was in great form, and she sang Joni Mitchell songs with the voice of the 40-year-old Joni. These songs were pitch perfect, and if you closed your eyes you may well have thought that Joni Mitchell herself was on stage. Her interpretations of John Lennon's best loved songs was also great to hear. I thought her selection of Lennon's very personal song, Mother was a very brave choice by Paula, and while I'm not sure she pulled it off as well as she would have liked, it certainly kept me riveted to my seat to see how she would approach it.

The night started off slowly and quietly with Joni Mitchell's Blue and Night Ride Home, and continued in a muted tone with Lennon's Love, Julia, and another Joni Mitchell song Little Green, about the daughter she gave up for adoption very early in her career. The show really hit its straps when Paula and the band ripped into Lennon's, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, and Come Together.

Here's the full set list:
Blue (Mitchell)
A Case Of You (Mitchell)
Love (Lennon)
Julia (Lennon)
Little Green (Mitchell)
Mother (Lennon)
Beautiful Boy (Lennon)
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Lennon)
Come Together (Lennon)
Night Ride Home/Give Peace a Chance (Mitchell/Lennon)
Strawberry Fields (Lennon)
Free Man In Paris (Mitchell)
Big Yellow Taxi (Mitchell)
Instant Karma (Lennon)

Across The Universe (Lennon)
Both Sides Now (Mitchell)
Imagine (Lennon)

More Information
Online at...

Back In The U.S., Back In The U.S.S.A.

Above: The Met Breuer on Madison Avenue

My apologies to Lennon & McCartney for stealing their song title and hacking it to suit my purposes, but here I am again, three days into a three month extended stay in America -- most of which I will spend in New York City. The trip from Australia to New York went smoothly enough, but after 32 hours of air travel, extended transit stops and time spent traveling between accommodations and airports, you can be sure I was more than happy to collapse into bed once I arrived at the Washington Heights apartment at which I will be staying.

I spent the first day close to home base, and did little more than walk to a local AT&T store where I swapped my Australian SIM card for an AT&T GoPhone SIM ($54.43). This gives me unlimited data (6Gb high speed/shaped after that), as well as unlimited local and international phone calls each month.

I had dinner (quesadilla and a beer; $22.00) at my local 'go to' nosh house, the Hudson View Restaurant at the corner of 181st and Fort Washington Avenue, before finishing my day with some grocery shopping ($78.17) at Frank's Gourmet Market on W 187th street -- though I'm not too sure about the 'Gourmet' designation. Now that I think of it, the Hudson View does not exactly live up to its name either, but I guess that's marketing for you.

Marsden Hartley’s Maine @ The Met Breuer
The following day, Sunday, after buying an MTA Pass ($121.00) giving me unlimited travel for the next 30 days, I rode an M4 bus as far as East 75th street, and went to the Met Breuer to see the Marsden Hartley exhibition that finished that same day. It was a large collection from this American artist who spent his final years in his home state, Maine -- hence the title of the show, Marsden Hartley's Maine.

The exhibition featured many oil paintings and a smattering of other media from this local artist. I myself had never heard of Hartley until I read about him on the Met Museum website in preparation for this visit. For the most part I found his work engaging, with its strong masculine themes, bold and colorful flourishes, and dark, foreboding land and seascapes.

Here are a few images from the exhibition and the location:

Entrance and ticketing counter

Marsden Hartley's Maine (Note: exhibition now closed)

Above: The Lighthouse; Marsden Hartley

Above: Canuck Yankee Lumberjack at Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Above: Flaming American (Swim Champ); Marsden Hartley.

Above: Lobster Fishermen

Knotting Rope; Marsden Hartley.

Above: Information panels.

Above: The Wave; Marsden Hartley

The Met Breuer
Corner E 75th & Madison Avenue
*Prices: Students, $12; Senior $17; Adult $25 ; children under 12 free
*Suggested prices only.

Dear Reader, you may notice strange formatting for this and subsequent blog posts. Sadly, using my aging iPad 2 to update this blog is not turning out to be the exciting and innovative experience I was hoping it would be. However, under the circumstances, right now it is the best I can do.
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