Category Archives: Review

Weekend Warrior: Chihuly Nights

There are some places in this city that are pure magic. The New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx is one. And this spring they are hosting “Chihuly Nights,” a twilight evening series with live music and an illumination of Dale Chihuly’s glass exhibition.

IMG_6564

Nightfall and the first installation I see is a blue stone glass sculpture in front of the library. The idyllic scene calls to mind the Trevi Fountain in Rome and the Fontaine de l’Observatoire in Paris.

On the main pathway, I come across a starburst sea urchin of blue and white. Against the night sky, suspended in mid-air, the early summer fireflies weave amid the crystal stems, bringing to mind fairies and nymphs.

IMG_6526

Nearer to the Visitor’s Center there is a pond of red reeds embedded in an oak tree. To my eye they resemble blood-red pitchforks, or even spears, protecting earthlings in an apocalyptic dystopian land. Although, I think I may be overdoing it on the Supergirl binge watching.

IMG_6529

The sunset melts away, and a chill settles in. The last pieces I see are ectoplasmic and alien-like dangling from the ceiling. A vibrant yellow-green sure to give Crayola a run for its money, and a doodle octopus in shades of purple and blue.

fullsizeoutput_1e5c

Once I get home, I quickly fall asleep, and dream of far-off galaxies deep within the Milky Way.


Weekend Warrior: NY Fashion

IMG_6354‘Intrigued by an event listing a friend sent along, Kinga and I checked out an exhibit presented by the fashion program at my alma mater  Marist College. The event was held at The National Arts Club around the corner from Gramercy Park.

The presentation showcased designs from winners of this year’s Silver Needle Awards. Held in the Grand Gallery, the designs were bold and bright amidst the current exhibition, Alternate Lives, an avant-garde display of black and white photographs.

Some of my favorite designs

The satin bustle dress designed by Allison Carolei ’18 featured a mix of black, midnight blue, and dark red fabrics. A black halter evening gown with a graduated hem, short in the front with a long train in back from Kristen Wong ’17 caught my eye.

I especially loved the flickering LED lights on the train.

Next up a halter pantsuit with flared bell bottom hems in a bright pink plaid from Cara Benevenia ’17. She also showcased a delicately woven bolero shrug with faux feathered sleeves, also in bright pink, and an eco-friendly woven dress in natural tones and pink accents.

I next noticed Emma Gage, ’17 outerwear ensemble with black llama fur and layers of wool in black, gray, and blood red. The trim accented by dystopian-like baubles conjured images of broken pieces of stalactites.

Gabrielle Amaturo ’18 olive green design with its Pucci-like accents reminded me of  1940s film noir. I would imagine the piece would also complement the wardrobe closet of Effie Trinket, too.

IMG_6363


Marketing, Monday

Mondays, even when you’re working for yourself can be a challenge. Even with a beautiful spring day as part of the canvas.

I wake early to tackle the garden before the day; although not early enough to make it to yoga. I register for Creative Mornings‘ Friday session and hop on the train to Grand Army Plaza.

SCORE.NYC event on social media is in-progress at the Dweck Center. The last time I was here was for a screening of “Pandora’s Box,” a silent movie starring Louise “Lulu” Brooks.

The first speaker from TheStylistaGroup, walks us through Facebook Ads, how to customize audiences, and how to use targeted lists for email campaigns. The second speaker talks about top ranking SEO factors for Google: links, content, and RankBrain. They both stress that social media and SEO are long-term strategies, ones that require an investment of time and money. There is no quick fix, marketing of any kind requires work.


Remember to exhale

It’s only been a few weeks since my bout with bronchitis but I can feel my body wasting away. I find the energy for an open flow yoga class.

The studio is around the corner from the treehouse. In recent months, the owners have expanded the footprint to include another studio space. The entrance is on a side street and the neighboring buildings muffle the hustle and bustle of the nearby shopping district.

buddha-2109894_1920

Credit: KatjaFiona @pixaby – Buddha Zen

The room itself is fluid, and there is a lightness from the wall of plate glass windows even with the privacy screens. The branches of a cherry blossom tree stretch toward the glass as if engaged in a round of partner yoga. Spring wants to be here, too.

Alia talks about how the practice of yoga extends beyond the experience of the mat into how we approach our daily lives. She leads the class in a light meditation and asks us to set an intention before we begin with the Om mantra.

We breathe in through our nose, then exhale through our mouth with a sigh.


LOST: Redemption

The battle between good and evil has ended, at least for the survivors of Oceanic 815. Their journey through purgatory, their supernatural redemption.

I’m not sure if I understand, if we’re meant to truly understand.

Much of what is experienced in life  is left unanswered in death, especially for those left behind. Those still breathing (in this case the audience) are plagued with questions, and the ideas of what the answers could be emerge based on their own personal experience with those ‘lost’.  That is a rational reaction to simple story, and once you add in parallel worlds, memory and the possibility of slipping back and forth between them all, a whole other meaning (or meanings) unveils itself.

The characters of the show, the challenges they face, their connection to one another that is the story one must revisit (because you know die hard fans will rewatch all 6 seasons just to see what, if anything, they missed). The introduction of ancillary characters, representations of the demons haunting the ‘survivors’ –some of which brought reconciliation and peace–i.e., the love affair between Shannon and Sayid (I had totally forgotten about that).

And yet so many questions remain, and I’m sure there will be much talk about all of them online and at the water cooler today.

For starters:

Why was there a ‘living’ character in that last scene: Penny (as in pennies from heaven?  A little cheeky if so….)

Why did Daniel Widmore-Farraday’s mother question Desmond about ‘taking’ him? Daniel is post-crash and Charlotte did not experience a ‘memory’ in ‘present time’ even though Daniel hints to Desmond about the feeling (I think I need to rewatch that episode.)

Did Desmond need to save Jack in order to save himself (he–& Penny of course–was the only one not on the plane that was in the church, flashback — “I’ll see you in another life, brother”)?

How does Charles Widmore that is fit into this?

—-

Recall and thoughts from last episode of LOST:

An interesting pairing, Hurley as lead ‘angel’, Ben as #2 (reference to It’s A Wonderful Life’s Clarence and his wings) — more redemption, they lead the others home as Jack learns to let go.

Kate’s reaction to the name of Jack’s father “Christian Shepherd” – “Really?”

Was the ‘smoke monster’ the devil or the demons?


online profiles gone bad…

How can you pique my interest, you haven’t written anything about yourself. Other than the bathroom shot of your upper torso, spiked hair and camera holding hand, all I can infer is that you work out and you purchase hair products. I already know you’re (may be) single never married, and never could have guessed from your love of Goodfellas and the Sopranos that you’re Italian. Looking for that special lady? Sorry that’s definitely not me.


The Judgment of Paris presented by Company XIV

An unlikely performance space resides in a gallery/dance studio on Bond Street. Bond Street Brooklyn that is; unassuming on a half-residential half-industrial street. If Austin McCormick’s work makes a splash, the hustle and bustle of Smith Street may have some healthy competition in livening up this dead zone.

The set design is gorgeously orchestrated in the Baroque style with matte silver tin ceiling tiles framing the outer edges and top of the stage, accented by a glittery black theatre curtain. A crystal chandelier hangs center stage, and a strategically placed boudoir mirror (used as an onstage dressing room) allows the audience to glimpse an aside of the character’s emotions behind the scenes (especially telling by Helen later on in the performance).

The drama is narrated by a ringmaster (Nick Fesette) egging the audience to patiently await the tale of love and lust. Waiting is not long, as four blonde dancers (including a voluptuous Mae West-type and a male with Tina Turner worthy legs) rowdily enter stage left donned in champagne colored corsets, matching cancan skirts with petticoats and ruffles in crimson red. Spouting lewd comments in French, together their high kicks expose bosom, bottoms and legs, like a naughty set of Rockettes.

The Judgment of Paris is one part burlesque/one part spoken word/one part dance  – McCormick’s original script inspired by  operatheater, and history/mythology. Creative liberties are taken with the story regarding the relationship between Helen and Paris, construed as a love story (rather than an abduction), narrated by a courtesan (Gioia Marchese).

As the story goes, Paris is ordered by Zeus to choose which of the three goddesses–Athena, Hera or Aphrodite–to bestow the Golden Apple. Each of the goddesses dance for Paris with offerings of:  wealth (a golden infused Hera performs ballet on point), bravery & strength (a tutu’d Athena dancing to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) and love (Aphrodite performing a clothed fan dance). An unsuspecting young man really? Given the choices, which would one would you choose?

Aphrodite, the Golden Apple in her possession, promises Paris love and lust with Helen of  Troy. One of the most poetic scenes involves Paris and Helen sealing their fate with an erotic love dance. The female lead wears sheer mauve georgette that is almost ethereal–a play on the good/bad angel theme that seems to haunt Helen throughout her rise and fall.

A most powerful dance sequence portrays the battle led by Helen’s husband, King Menelaus of Sparta…here Fesette proves his true talent as dramatic artist. Spellbound by the force of his voice, I was captivated by the slow motion effects of the troupe preparing and engrossed in battle. Dressed in sparkling chain mail, the dancers movements are magnified by the enveloping mist. A mystical scene, contemporary in its depiction of war.

The Judgment of Paris, presented by Company XIV is part of The Apple Trilogy. The studio is located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn accessible by the F or G train to Carroll Street and a short walk from Smith Street. Cross streets of Bond and Union Street.