Recently, an old friend was moved into a dementia unit on the upper west side. It appeared to be as cheerful, well-run and upbeat as one could hope, with art-filled corridors and photos of patients’ families outside their rooms. Within a few weeks of his move, families were suddenly informed that the unit was closing and patients requiring this special security and care would have to be evicted. Although the facility encompassed only 28 beds, the panic and distress this notice caused made me curious about the availability of residential dementia units in NYC and I was shocked by what I discovered.
After months of a sleek “will he or won’t he” campaign, Vice President Joe Biden announced that he will not seek the Democratic nomination for president. In an odd, hastily arranged speech that sounded more like a campaign launch, he claimed that the “window had closed,” with most observers concluding he exited because Hillary Clinton appears to be on the rebound.
There’s no better interpreter of the American Songbook than Tony and Grammy Award winner Barbara Cook. Lyricist Maury Yeston (”Phantom”) called Cook “a living national treasure” as she marked her 88th birthday on October 25 with a musical tribute at the National Arts Club in Manhattan. The evening, which also honored award-winning lyricist Lee Adams - “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Applause,” “Golden Boy” and TV’s “All in the Family” theme song, “Those Were The Days”– benefitted the Encompass New Opera Theatre.
Donald Trump and Ben Carson’s successful demand that CNBC’s Oct. 28 Republican primary debate be limited to two hours shafts viewers who want to hear more because they haven’t made up their minds. Or anyone else who wants to watch.
The biggest problem with our believing in “Truth” is a fatal error in casting. Though Robert Redford is not much older than Dan Rather in 2004, the formerly handsome Redford has aged badly and bears no resemblance to the network anchor whom we scrutinized at close range in our homes for so many years. To make matters worse, Dennis Quaid who plays a military consultant to CBS, does look a lot like Rather and would have been perfect casting for the lead role. As we look at Redford with his sandy blondish hairpiece and fair, sun-damaged skin, we wonder why he’s usurping Dennis Quaid’s proper place as the dark-haired, square-headed Rather who remained telegenic as a man in his 70’s.
When considering unprecedented Chinese island-building in the South China Sea, you might say that Team Obama has put itself quite literally between a “rocky outcrop” and a hard place on what to do about it.
At some point during his first term, President Obama allowed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wide latitude over policy on Libya. He probably thought giving her the Libya portfolio would keep her occupied for a while — and out of his hair.
PHILADELPHIA — George Washington didn’t want to attend the Constitutional Convention, never mind be its president. But duty called, and the weary general left his beloved plantation over the summer of 1787 to sit in a mahogany armchair that is still there, a gilt half sun carved into the back.
For those whose anxiety quotient hasn’t been filled by fears of snail dart extinction and global warming, there is now another impending disaster that hits us in our kitchens where we are most vulnerable. According to conservationist Jonathan Slaght, “the pine nut industry may be contributing to the crash of an ecosystem.” (Pesto? Hold the Pine Nuts,NYT 10/19) Apparently, most of our imported pignoli come from the Korean pine tree found in a rain forest in Russia’s far east where several species such as chipmunks, black bears and red deer depend on these tiny nuts for sustenance during winter. Memo to self: aren’t bears traditionally animals who learned to outsmart winter’s low food supply by clever hibernation?
You have only to google the words ballet and anorexia to see how prevalent and unfortunate their connection is. Without going into the various theories relating to a complicated disorder, it’s enough to know that anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and though there have been some advances in treatment, there are still many unsolved questions and too many sufferers and victims. So it’s particularly perplexing that the New York City Ballet company has chosen to use the graphic designs of Jamie Lee Reardin on their playbills, brochures, ads and posters. These are attenuated line drawings of dancers in various poses - most of the bodies needle-thin. Though they are clearly abstract renderings, the elevation of these stick figures to the role of representing the company sends a dubious message that this unnatural and severe elongation is a thing of beauty.
Some seem baffled and or shocked by the raw ruthlessness of the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) most recently foisted upon us by the video of the immolation — a euphemism for being burned alive — of a captive Jordanian pilot.
In “The ‘Steve Jobs’ Con” (NYT 8/13), Joe Nocera does an excellent job of revealing the discrepancies between the Jobs whose career he followed closely and the mostly fictional character created for the movie. As an unwitting audience member who knew much less than Nocera, I too felt that the fast-talking, stubborn and abrasive character was a familiar stereotype found in other Sorkin films and tv shows and therefore, an un-inflected portrayal of this particular man.
The secured gates of Winvian Farm in lush Morris, CT., offered no clue as to what we’d find within this pristine and peaceful 113-acre sanctuary a two hour drive from Manhattan. Upon arrival at the 18th century main house, tastefully restored with wood obtained from old barns on the property, we were greeted warmly, offered a chilled glass of Prosecco and directed down Meadow Lane to our cottage aptly named, Stable.
I’ve always looked forward to traditional Maine summers with lobster bakes in seaweed on the beach or picking up a “lobstah” roll local style with mayo inside a packaged hot dog bun or the whole boiled crustacean tossed live in a pot on the kitchen stove. In Maine, October is when the magnificent colors appear as well as country fair season – agricultural products and livestock are proudly exhibited. Folks walk around chewing on deep fried turkey drumsticks and bloomin’ onions. But Maine, today, is way more than that.
I found it surprising that in all the media coverage concerning Chris Harper Mercer, even after showing a brief interview on camera with his British absentee father, there was almost no mention of his mother with whom he lived. It took several days before I found out online that Laurel Harper is a black woman who works as a nurse, who shared a one bedroom apartment with her son along with her interest in firearms and shooting ranges. After reading about her ongoing efforts to control her neighbors’ voice levels, her building’s insect infestation, the behavior of pets - all in the name of protecting her fragile son from external annoyances - I wondered what she was thinking as she tallied up the count of 14 weapons available to her “Asperger” son who had already proved unable to get along with people, with school or with the army.