Sixth post from Alfie & me, NYC 2019

The morning of 28 May, Alfie and I went to visit the goats by the tennis courts before Debbie and I went over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for two exhibitions that I was very keen to see:

“Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” – on from April to October and dedicated entirely to the iconic instruments of rock and roll.
It explores how individual artists used their instruments to create unique sounds and visual identity. Included are the most exceptional guitars, drums, keyboards and other instruments that belonged to, amongst others, Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page… Also on view were vintage posters, stages costumes and epoch-making videos.
The second exhibition that is a ‘must see’ is “Camp: Notes on Fashion” and only running from May until September. It explores the camp aesthetic – its origins and evolution from a place of marginality to become an important influence on mainstream culture.
With Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’” as the framework, it examines how fashion designers have used their creations to engage with camp in a variety of competing, humorous and sometimes incongruous ways.
The 175 objects on view include mainly womenswear, some menswear and some sculptures, paintings and drawings from the 17th Century to the present. It was made possible by Gucci and also supported by Conde Nast.
After returned home for a wrap, Alfie and I went to the Met Museum’s ‘Cloisters’ right up at Inwood Park. I had a coffee and enjoyed sitting in the Medieval Gardens with Alfie. I particularly love the herb garden.
It is said that the gardens of the Museum, that are planted in reconstructed Romanesque and Gothic cloisters, evoke those that provided sustenance and spiritual refreshment within the medieval monastery.
The gardens are designed and maintained by a horticultural staff that are actively engaged in researching and developing the living collection.
In the herb garden the plants are grouped and labelled according to their medieval use, whether in cooking, medicine, art, industry, housekeeping, or magic. Most plants had multiple uses and virtually all plants were believed to have medicinal value. Many herbs, trees and flowers were used symbolically as well as practically.
Afterwards, I popped down to Plaza 33 at Madison Square Garden for the “Yellow Barn Music Haul” A pianist – Tomer Gewirtzman – was playing Robert Schumann’s Carnival, followed by Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (Moonstruck Pierrot) being sung by a woman with an interesting voice. It was quite haeavy going, so I listened for 15 minutes then returned home for supper.
I am increasingly concerned about Alfie’s paw – at this moment I can’t work out if it is a cut, a puncture, a cyst or worse. I am keeping an eye on it and treating it with castor oil that is very good for drawing out.
The next morning I visited the ‘Vitamin Shoppe’ to buy some strong dried propolis that I mixed with honey to spread on Alfie’s paw.
Alfie and I then went to 66th Street where the Yellow Barn Music Haul were playing all Bach’s suites for solo cello. It was lovely. Alfie and I enjoyed sitting and listening to the concert in such an incongruous place – right on Broadway – and then as usual went to Tavern to Go for coffee and sitting in the garden while Alfie observed the goings on around him and enjoyed being out in the air.
At 6 p.m. there was the opening of an exhibition of tankas by Nepalese artist Romie Shrestha man who lives in County Kerry, Ireland with his Irish wife and 4 daughters.
Bob Thurman (one of the founders of Tibet House, with Richard Gere and Philip Glass) was there with his wife (Uma’s mum) and introduced him.
The exhibition, ‘Body of Light’, depicts the mural paintings of the Lukhang Temple in Tibet and runs until the end of July.
Known as the residence of the magical water spirit, the Lukhang is located on an island in a pond behind the Potala in Lhasa. This secret temple, built by the fifth Dalai Lama, is referred to as the ‘Sistine Chapel’ of Tibet. It’s vibrant murals depict yogis, gurus, kings, and visions of secret practices. The Dalia Lama has described his paintings as very spiritual and very close representations of those you would find in the Temple.
On the morning of Thursday 30 May, Debbie and I went to the David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center – home of the New York Philharmonic – for their concert ‘Music of Conscience.
It consisted of Brahms ‘Tragic Overture’, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 and – a real – treat – John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1. He is still alive and was there to make some comments on the performance.
Debbie is a ‘friend’ and we enjoyed the breakfast that they put on for patrons – coffee, orange juice, Danish pastries and muffins.
That evening, I went to an incongruous concert of modern music at the Riverside Church on the 10th floor. The Locrian Chamber players were founded in 1994 by 2 local composers: John Kreckler and David Macdonald. There were 7 modern pieces interpreted by piano, mezzo-soprano, flute, violins, cello and viola.
Meditation II, for example, was on the text by Hildegard of Bingen ‘So bright. So glorious. For splendor. Virtue shown. Fear. Love. So glorious. So beautiful.’
During the interval it had stopped raining long enough for me to go outside on the roof area and take some pictures across to New Jersey, up to Grant’s Monument and the Washington Bridge, and down overlooking Riverside Park.
The following day, Debbie had her regular piano lesson with Dalia and I went to Central Park for coffee with Alfie.
Later on, Alfie and I went to Cedar Hill in Central Park for a free screening of the film “Coco before Chanel” with Audrey Tatou. There were quite a number of dogs there and they all behaved very well. The film was in French with subtitles and it helped that I was fluent in French.

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