Letter From New York 04 23 2016 Prince is gone and Shakespeare is remembered…

On Thursday, I was sitting at Molly Wee, an Irish Pub a block from Penn Station, having lunch with Mark Sklawer, a filmmaker who is working on a film about the music period in the life of Howard Bloom, who is a client of mine.  As we talked, my phone buzzed in my pocket and I took it out to see what was going on.

Both the AP and BBC were sending alerts that Prince had died.  It was shocking as Prince wasn’t ill as far as I knew and still relatively young at 57, younger than me.  We are both natives of Minneapolis though I had left about the time he was beginning his ascent.

What struck the three of us was that the news hit us as we were talking about Howard, who had been Prince’s PR guru at the time of “Purple Rain.”  It was, in fact, Howard who persuaded Warner Bros. to release the film.  After a screening, studio executives were terrified of what they had on their hands and some wanted to kill the film.

It was Howard that convinced them that the film was brilliant and would be a hit.  And he was right. 

The papers on Thursday were filled with paeans to the musical legend, as well they should have been.  He helped turn many a corner and, through it all, remained close to Minneapolis, his place of origin.  He died at his estate in Chanhassen, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis.

Prince Picture

RIP.

It is spring like and the last two days have been singularly beautiful though rain fell Friday evening, the day the Hubble turned 26 years old, sending back glorious pictures of deep space.

Friday, in honor of Earth Day, was a day to go without a car in New York City.  It did seem traffic was lighter.  I used subways to get about.

The weekend will be full of chores, which I will have to accomplish on my own.  “Young Nick,” the young man who helps out every weekend, left today for a week’s vacation.  He’ll be back a week from Saturday.  After all the years of Saturdays when he has helped me, Saturday doesn’t feel like Saturday without a bit of “Nick time.”

Last Wednesday, in my class, students were talking about cyber bullying and how it leads to suicide.  Today, it has been reported that suicide has increased in this country by 24% since 1999.  I am sure someone will do a correlation between the rise in suicides and the rise of Social Media.

Barak and Michelle Obama attended on Friday a dinner at Kensington Palace hosted by Princes William and Harry after he had  lunched with the Queen, who is celebrating her 90th birthday.  She has reigned longer than any other British monarch and is the oldest monarch in history.  Good on her! 

In popular news, “Live with Kelly and Michael” has been in turmoil.  Kelly was informed this past week that Michael Strahan, her co-host, is leaving the show to become a full time co-host on “Good Morning, America.”  Feeling blindsided and hurt, Kelly did not appear on Wednesday.  She is supposed to be off for a few days to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary to soap star Mark Consuelos.

However, she has now announced she will return on Tuesday as scheduled and it will be interesting to see how they interact.

Today is a brilliant day, sun out but with a chill wind.  Following my Saturday round of the Farmer’s Market, I went to The Red Dot for brunch, where I worked on the final exam for my class, “Media & Society” after finishing my food.

It is a good day; off tonight to dinner with some people I haven’t yet met but with whom I am working on a project for the community radio station, WGXC.

While I write this, the world is still absorbing the death of Prince, that North Korea has apparently fired a ballistic missile from a submarine, that 8 relatives were killed execution style in Ohio, including a woman lying next to a four day old baby and markingß today, the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death at the age of 52.

He wrote 37 plays that will live on and on and on…  He wrote about life and no one will tire of that…

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