It's gratifying that the residents of Pula, Croatia (not that far from Trieste, where Joyce spent some time teaching English and where there's a small museum devoted to him as well as a statue overlooking the harbor) had enough respect for the great Irish writer to erect this statue of him enjoying a drink at a local café. It was a pleasant surprise to encounter him there. Yes.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Last Wednesday, June 16, was Bloomsday, celebrated in NYC each year by loyal readers of Joyce's Ulysses. Had forgotten about it until bedtime, when I tuned in to my favorite radio station, WNYC-FM, which was broadcasting a special program from Symphony Space in Upper Manhattan. Instead of their traditional reading of the novel straight through—which takes all day—they were interspersing scenes from The Odyssey with long passages from the novel. The program was to conclude with Fionnuala Flanagan reading Molly Bloom's closing soliloquy. I settled myself comfortably with my bedside radio and awaited Ms. Flanagan's performance. My mistake was getting too comfortable. When I awoke about an hour and a half later, Molly was still soliloquizing. I anticipated the final sentences, but dozed off again. Yes...yes...yes....
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sorry that I couldn't find the exact baseball cap online, so this one will have to do. While waiting for a bus the other day, I was joined at the corner by a fairly nondescript woman wearing a a black baseball cap with BOTOX on it in rhinestones. Make of this what you will. Her face didn't appear to have the frozen look of some of those who submit themselves to Botox injections, but then I didn't want to stare. I understand that these treatments are not painless, so I doubt that I shall ever avail myself of same, horrified as I am by the physical signs of aging. Will just stay in Deep Denial without actually undergoing any so-called treatments.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
A Long Time Ago, I wrote an article for Dance Magazine (under its previous ownership) about the ballet dancers' mural in O'Neals' restaurant near Lincoln Center. Here's a link to the piece:
Recently, Mike O'Neal, one of the proud and hospitable owners, has announced the closing of this restaurant, long an arts and showbiz favorite. Some of us wondered what would become of The Mural, but genial host Mike has allayed our fears with this, his latest e-mail, detailing the end of O'Neals' as we know it. A seafood restaurant is scheduled to open on the site come fall.
As an addict of the New York Times technology pages—though I'm far from an expert in that area—I keep reading that you can't get very good photos with most of the somewhat older cellphone cameras. Nevertheless, these were taken with my Samsung Instinct and aren't bad. Quite a few of my other blog photos were too, as I'm not always carrying my Canon Power Shot around with me. I would have liked the iPhone instead of the Instinct, which isn't terrible, but I was locked into a Sprint contract and didn't want to switch to AT&T, which doesn't always have great service, I hear.
Still can't decide if I like the chronological juxtaposition of Sir Norman Foster's addition to Joseph Urban's 1928 Hearst Building. I always enjoy looking at it, though, and I guess that answers that. So that's dramatic NYC; cosy-neighborhood NYC is represented by this particularly attractive produce stand (they're all over town) in the Lincoln Center area where I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time. I bought asparagus and should also have bought their great-looking blackberries. Was trying to get the color contrast with the woman in the chartreuse mesh sweater who's just ducking out of the frame as I snap.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Just saw again, on cable, the excellent documentary Every Little Step, which chronicles the exhaustive audition process for the most recent revival of the unique landmark musical A Chorus Line. The song "Everything is Beautiful at the Ballet" explains how many kids get hooked on the wonderful, if limited, world of ballet at an early age and never get over it. (I'm still taking class—not the jumps and other hard stuff—at the advanced age of XXX. But it is a professional-level class.) I've already blogged extensively about my obsession with The Red Shoes, which was shown recently, with its newly restored, fabulous Technicolor, on TCM.
Thus, it did my heart good today to see Ulanova as an answer in the Saturday New York Times crossword. They don't usually get beyond Pavlova's first name (Anna). And plié is about as far as they ever get in terminology. Of course, I get annoyed by all of the pop-culture and sports references, but I manage to figure them out anyway. (O.K., I had to Google a character on Lost today; at least I had heard of the program.) My revenge is that pop-culture mavens have to figure out Ulanova.
I took this photo a few years ago on a visit—my second—to Russia. Ulanova was Stalin's favorite ballerina. At least he had good taste in dancers, even if he ruined the careers of many other artists, writers, and composers.