Week 3: Wednesday 26th April to Tuesday 2nd May

Wednesday morning I set off for “Tavern to go” for a coffee & cookie, feeding crumbs to the birds (American robins and sparrows),

followed by ‘Honors Chamber Music’ at  1.00 p.m. at Juilliard – a string quartet and a piano trio playing modern music followed by a Ravel piano piece

I then strolled down 5th Avenue, via the Rockefeller Center, to the huge main library at Bryant Park to visit their “Special Treasures” collection. They had some interesting pieces – not least an original copy of the American Declaration of Independence but the sweetest treasure was the original poo bear who had been owned by the publisher and given to the New York Public Library in 1987.

They also had a lovely photograph of John Coltrane and his partner Alice Coltrane who was a talented pianist and harpist in her own right.

I find 5th Avenue a chore to walk down, but I love the area around Bryant Park.

In the evening, the Manhattan School of Music presented the winners concert of two strong quartets, playing Brahms and Schumann. the school is a 5 minute walk down Claremont Avenue.

The following day, Debbie, Ellie-dog and I went to The Ramble in Central Park for her to again point out the birds to me.

Debbie’s brother Russ and Stephanie, his wife, then took us to a lovely Italian Restaurant on Columbus Avenue “Il Violino” where we enjoyed a mixture of salad, calamares, fresh buffalo mozzarella, risotto, filet steak, mango sorbet and tiramisu.

We returned to their new apartment on 65th and Central Park Avenue where I took pictures of the amazing view.

On Friday the Morgan was free so I went to see their 3 exhibitions and enjoy the Friday-night trio (obviously a main-stay as I remember them from 4 years ago!) of bass, guitar and drums.

I wasn’t over-impressed by their latest exhibitions but liked Nina Katchadourian’s “Giant Redwood” 2012,   Gillot’s “Satire in the age of reason”   and George Condo’s “Entrance to the Mind”

As I was walking back I was struck by a lovely street annexe of a restaurant because of the style and the old photographs.

Arriving at Central Park, I walked up towards the 66th street exit, past a wedding reception in Tavern on the Green and to the Juilliard to enjoy Ian Maloney – an astonishingly talented 18 year old who played 2 of his own compositions “American Field” and a sonata for cello and piano as well as a Debussy cello sonata. He will go far!

The Jewish Museum is always free on Saturday so that is the time to visit.

I love this museum as they never fail to have interesting exhibitions. I photographed Bryan Hunt “daphne 1” 1979, in bronze   Cai Guo-Qiang “Wolf and earth”    and John Singer Sargeant “Head of a Capri girl”

Despite the pouring rain (nearly 5 inches of rain fell in Central Park today!) I hurried across Central Park to enjoy another lovely concert at the Juilliard – Hujung Kwon, violin, playing Bach, Debussy, Prokofiev and Szymanowski, preceded by coffee and a muffin at Pain Quotidien on 65th street and a chat with a lovely woman from Colorado about our love for dogs.

Sunday morning I went to St John the Divine and shed a few tears for Alfie. I talked to one of the lovely clerics who prayed over his photograph. When you are going through this form of grief you take all the help you can.

When I arrived back at Debbie’s she was jamming with her jazz-playing friends and I took to the kitchen to do a massive cook-up. I then went to enjoy lovely chamber music at the Julliard – Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Devienne.

Debbie’s brother arrived on Monday, with Beanie – his adorable poodle mix so we went off to the dog run in the park, bumping into Jonathan and his dog on the way.

After a quick bite to eat, Debbie and I went to the Manhattan School of Music to listen to more Chamber music – Turina, Brahms, Beethoven, Piazzola and Faure.

I had never visited the General Theological Seminary on 21st Street so off I went on Monday to watch the Public Theatre’s launch, in the sunny garden, of “The Comedy of Errors”.

It was a fun experience with the surprise that if we filled in the first-day audience questionnaire we would automatically receive 2 tickets to “Hamlet” in the Central Park Open Air Theatre which is how, instead of having to queue for about 5 hours for tickets (It is a New York tradition) I am now in possession of 2 tickets for the 8th of June!

Debbie, Genia and I enjoyed the “Spring Chamberfest” concert at the Manhattan School of Music – various students performing music by Turina, Brahms, Beethoven, Piazzola and Faure.

This was followed by a long walk around Riverside Park and Broadway, encountering loads of dogs out on their nightly stroll with their humans.

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