Posts Tagged ‘Metropolitan Museum of Art’

Letter From New York 07 07 15 Of anniversaries and Quaaludes…

July 7, 2015

The forecast for this afternoon was scattered thunderstorms, dark and gloomy with possible flash floods but… It hasn’t turned out that way, yet! Right now the sun is shining down; it’s warm and more than a little muggy but no torrents of rain have appeared.

Today I started the day with a long conversation over coffee with my friend, Robert Murray, who mentioned that his daughter, Fiona, likes art. I am going to recommend he take Fiona to the John Singer Sargent exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

That was what I did after coffee with Robert. I went to the Met, met my friend David Wolf and strolled through a beautiful array of Sargent’s work. He was considered the greatest portrait artist of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. An American born in Florence, he managed to stride both sides of the Atlantic, earning kudos almost everywhere.

One painting caused a Parisian scandal. It showed a woman with one strap of her dress slipping down on her arm. Sargent had to depart Paris for London until the scandal simmered down.

Following our museum experience, David and I lunched at a small French bistro on 86th Street on the east side. I felt quite the boulevardier this morning and then went off to the office and have been grinding through emails in the afternoon.

It is the tenth anniversary of the London suicide bombings that claimed the lives of 52 people, the worst terrorist attack in that city’s history. Two days afterwards, I arrived on a business trip and walked through a city that felt not unlike New York in the days after 9/11, stunned, silent, mourning. As I rode in a black taxi to my hotel, the silence was pierced by a wailing siren as a motorcycle policeman roared by, answering the call of a jittery citizen.

It was a beautiful summer day that day. The normally crowded London streets seemed rather empty. A few days later, on the tube to go to dinner with some friends, a man entered my car, wearing what seemed to be too many clothes for the temperate evening. I was nervous, as was everyone else in the car. He was revealed to be a homeless person. The tension was palpable.

Ah, I spoke too soon. Rain has just begun falling, splattering against the windows of the office where I’m working, big, heavy drops.

ESPN has pulled a game from a Trump golf course as a sign of protest for The Donald’s remarks about Mexicans. It is a celebrity charity tourney held to benefit a foundation that provides cancer help for minorities.

In the world of television, summer scripted series are swooning in the heat, drawing abysmal ratings and giving, I’m sure, some network executives in the television world are having the equivalent of heat stroke.

Subway is having a public relations problem. Jared Fogle, their spokesperson, is being investigated for child pornography. They have suspended their relationship with him.

Bill Cosby is in the spotlight again over his drug and sex scandal as court documents have been released from a case settled out of court where he admits that he gave the woman in the case Quaaludes. Oh my. BET and Bounce TV have pulled re-runs of his program from their schedules.

Greece has until Thursday to put together a new set of proposals for its creditors. They will then hold a meeting on them on Sunday. The IMF came out with a report that states Greece will need some kind of debt relief, causing the other EU creditors to feel a little cranky.

Some of them are beginning to think they need to give Greece some debt relief while the others are demanding a continuation of austerity.

The markets here closed higher while China’s sank some more. The Shanghai index is down 30%, much of it happening while the world was watching Greece. The Chinese are upset with the government for not doing something about it quickly enough.

The original deadline for the Iranian Nuclear talks was June 30, pushed to today and now the deadline is being pushed again so talks can continue. So close yet so far.

Three people got too close to the bulls in Pamplona as the Annual Running of the Bulls and were gored.

Jerry Weintraub, legendary Hollywood producer [“Ocean’s Eleven” among many others] died after his colon ruptured and he suffered two heart attacks. RIP.

The rain has stopped. I am going to use the pause to finish and then head up to the UWS for a bite. I am reading “My Townie Heart” by my friend Diana Sperrazza, who was Exec Producer on a couple of my projects at Discovery. It’s good.

Letter From New York 02 23 15 Any shame or guilt?

February 23, 2015

Ah, the joys of the bitter cold. Just as I was headed to Amtrak to catch my train, I received a text message alerting me my train would be at least ninety minutes late and I would thus miss the conference I was scheduled to attend this afternoon in the city.

Thankfully, I can partially make up for it by the fact a good friend is being ousted from his office early today so it can be painted, so we will get together for a late lunch, early cocktail or a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or some combination thereof.

Feeling rather on the low side last night, I ended up sleeping instead of watching the Oscars so my only experience of it was this morning, reading about it online and in the NY Times. The Wrap did a very funny montage of moments from this Awards season, which seems to have gone on forever this year.

And, not unexpectedly, the Oscars are the top story this morning, everyone weighing in on the good and bad moments. I missed them all. I wish I had been able to see in real time Patricia Arquette’s remarks for winning Best Supporting Actress. She addressed gender equality in Hollywood. I must look for the video of it.

As of this moment, the world stage is mostly a retread of yesterday’s news.

The ceasefire in Ukraine has yet to take hold; Germany is very worried. Everyone should be worried.

The families of three young British schoolgirls who appear to have departed for Syria via Istanbul have yet to be found; their families continue to plead with them to return.

Potential Presidential Contender, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, was at the White House last night for a dinner. He took a selfie with his son and posted it. The response wasn’t kind. Governor Walker was accused of looking a bit tipsy, if not as mashed as Johnny Depp was once during this Awards season giving out an Award. Depp had trouble reading from the teleprompter.

The dinner Walker was at with his son, Alex, was for the National Governors Association, jokingly called the National Association of Aspiring Presidents.

US Malls are stepping up their security measures since the Al-Shabaab threat against them, particularly the Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada. The Head of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, has asked all to be extra vigilant.

Of course, the Department of Homeland Security faces defunding this month unless a compromise is reached. Congress is unhappy with President Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration and DHS is caught in the crossfire.

Ah, the joys of politics.

A political figure in Egypt has been sentenced to five years in prison. Alaa Abdel Fattah, a renowned blogger in Egypt, was found guilty of organizing an illegal demonstration and “thuggery,” among other things. He and hundreds of others who have protested have been sent off to prison. This was a retrial for him; the first time he was sentenced to fifteen years. More than twenty others were sentenced along with him, receiving sentences of three to fifteen years.

At the same time, Egyptian President al-Sisi is saying that he would release wrongly detained young men.

Egypt is also calling for a Pan-Arab force to battle terrorist groups, not to invade but to defend.

In an event that is deeply disturbing, chilling and troubling, a suicide bomber in Nigeria killed five, including herself and wounding another forty-six. The bomber was a child, a girl, perhaps as young as seven. It is believed the lovely Boko Haram is behind this event.

As I sit on the train, watching the ice clogged Hudson slide by, I wonder if the poor child had any idea of what she was doing, what was being asked of her, and if the ones within Boko Haram who directed her, had any sense of guilt and shame about what they were doing?

Letter From New York November 21, 2014

November 21, 2014

It is growing dark out; light is fading across the Hudson Valley, a pinkish glow emanates from the west. What’s the old adage? Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.

I am expecting a good day tomorrow then, based on the color of tonight’s sunset.

All day I have curled up in the cottage, snuggled against the cold outside, not Minnesota cold but chill enough. And certainly we’ve had none of the roof breaking snow that has buried Buffalo. It is relatively mild here compared with those places but still, a good day to stay huddled by the fire, doing conference calls and writing thank you notes for gifts from my spectacular birthday.

I have been assimilating the richness of my birthday for the last couple of days. Our train gang gathered to celebrate my birthday with a wonderful party at my house where there was a the great, good camaraderie that is the keynote for that group.

My brother and sister-in-law flew in from Minnesota to celebrate with me; we went to Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular, which was both spectacular and a hoot! It was everything I had been told it would be – Rockettes kicking and dancing, a 3D film clip, Santa Claus, and adventure to the North Pole, a Nativity scene with live sheep and camels. Everything Christmas except the Grinch!

A long day was spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I, at long last, renewed my membership before touring the magnificent “From Assyria to Iberia” exhibit, linking the ancient art of the Middle East with its spread across the Great Sea to Iberia. It was breathtaking.

Moving on, we had a grand dinner at Café du Soleil with our friends Nick and Lisa. On Tuesday, my actual birthday, we went to visit the Main Library at 42nd Street and then dined at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central where I indulged in my favorite, their clam chowder soup, followed by a lemon sole, followed by a Frangelico in the bar of the Hotel Roosevelt.

Perfect.