Browsing the archives for the Lily's notes category.


AF1 Flight with Fighter Jets Over Manhattan Was Gross Stupidity

Events, Lily's notes

What insensitivity, ignorance, complete stupidity and incompetence was demonstrated by the federal government in yesterday’s fly-over lower Manhattan by Air Force One and 2 fighter jets. If you missed this, it caused upset and even panic in the  towers of lower Manhattan and in near-by New Jersey as office workers fled their offices, assuming that another attack was under way. The reason given for this  insensitive stupidity was that it was an Photo-op for a shot of AF1 and the Statue of Liberty.

Did you notice that the people in the towers did not wait for “instructions” but fled on their own after seeing/hearing/feeling the effect of the low-flying jet? This area has been hit repeatedly by terrorists- not just once on 9/11, and the people feel that it is up to themselves to get out in order to be protected..that should be clear. Also, it s important to understand that Manhattan air traffic NEVER includes such low-flying aircraft which rattle the windows  of tall towers and rattles nerves.

What disdain the Federal government demonstrated when they said that the public was not informed for security reasons.

I know, this happened yesterday and it is “over”.

The Government apologized. The Mayor spoke out for the City saying that he was not informed, pretty remarkable if so, and that he was furious.

OK,  OK, but to tell you the truth:

Apology Not Really Totally Accepted. Along with an apology, the people in the agency who planned and approved this stupid stunt should come to lower Manhattan for a visit and some sensitivity training. Start by speaking to the people in the area that have experienced 2 attacks.

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Resistance Through Art and Yom ha-Shoa on the Upper West Side

Concert, Events, Film, Lily's notes, Literary event

Each year there are many worthwhile events to mark Yom ha-Shoa, Holocaust Rememberance Day, this year on April 20-21, 2009. Here are some of those events:

RESISTANCE THROUGH ART
“Sixty years ago we performed this opera [Brundibar] at Terezin.  Only a few of us survived.  But when we were performing Brundibar, we forgot where we were, we forgot all our troubles.  Music was part of our resistance against the Nazis.  Music, art, good teachers, and friends mean survival.”    –Ela Weissberger, member of the original cast

Congregation Ansche Chesed’s Yom Hashoah program will be dedicated to the incredible phenomenon of Resistance through Art and will feature music created and performed in Theresienstadt concentration camp. 

Featuring live performances of chamber music by Gideon Klein, a Czech pianist and composer of classical music, teacher and organizer of cultural life in Terezin, as well as an excerpt from the children’s opera “Brundibar” by Hans Krasa, originally performed by the children in Terezin, and now sung by the children of Ansche Chesed. 

There will also be an opportunity to learn and sing songs of the ghetto and resistance together as a community.   While much of this music did not survive, the remaining pieces impress listeners to this day and make us long for more of what might have been written.

Monday Evening, April 20 at Congregation Ansche Chesed 100th St, West End and Broadway

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YOM HASHOAH READING OF THE NAMES
Monday, April 20, 10pm – Tuesday, April 21, 6pm
During the the annual Yom HaShoah commemoration, the Reading of the Names, members of synagogues and the JCC, students and other groups on the Upper West Side take turns reading the names of victems of the Shoa. This begins at 10pm and continues through the night, and through the next day until late afternoon.

This year we are reading from Memorial to the Jews Deported from France 1942-1944 by Serge Klarsfeld. This extraordinary volume is organized by the date of the “convoys” which transported Jews from France to the camps in the east.  This year the all-night reading will take place at Congregation Shaare Zedek, 93rd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

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HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY: SAVIORS ON THE SCREEN
The JCC
honors Yom HaShoah with a special marathon of films remembering the righteous saviors of Jews during the Holocaust. Co-sponsored by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and The Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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And my friend, Ernie Adams, has had his book published! You have the opportunity to meet him, hear his moving story and experience his warmth and humor.

From Ghetto to Ghetto: An African American Journey to Judaism
A Memoir by Ernest Adams
From Harlem to the south to the Upper West Side, Ernest Adams’ new book is a fascinating memoir that delves into race and religion in America today.
Thu, Apr 30  Meet the Author Talk: 6:30 pm; Reception and Book Signing: 7:30 pm FREE

 JCC of Manhattan. 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue

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A Strange Day: The Sun Rose and the Passover Seders Arrived and Matzah Brei Fills the Land

Events, Lily's notes

The strange day,  Wednesday April 8, 2009: Many groups of people joined together for the once every 28 year Blessing of the Sun. The weather in New york cooperated, and sun was seen rising over some clouds which were on the horizon, into a mostly clear sky. Very lovely. There were many morning services, blessings and study sessions held. Lots of singing and dancing too throughout the city. Friends agreed that this was worth getting out at 6:30 am for. Here is the April 8, 2009, sunrise over Mount Sinai…Mt Sinai Hospital in NYC, that is.

Sunrise April 8, 2009 Blessing of the Sun

Sunrise April 8, 2009 Blessing of the Sun

Then came the snow. Yes, the SNOW, an unpredicted snow squall which whited out the city if you were on a high floor. Just as suddenly, the weather cleared up and it was quite nice again in plenty of time for guests to arrive at the Passover Seders.

Passover is a full moon holiday- that is-  there is always a full moon at the first Seder. Here is a photo of the Passover Full Moon in New York City that evening:

Full Moon Passover 2009

Full Moon Passover 2009

As I write this on April 10, the work and pleasure of the Seders is over. Leftovers are lurking in the fridge. We  read this morning, that for the very first time,  there was a Passover Seder held at the White House! Nice surprise. And now people have moved on to seriously discussing Matzah Brei. Here is a recipe for Banana Matzah Brei from ProfeJeff:

ProfeJeff’s Recipe for Banana Matza Brei:
 
1) Take about 4-5 sheets of matza and break them along the natural fault lines.

Each piece should be about three or four fault lines wide and be about 1/3 to 1/2 the length of a matza.

2) Break them into a large bowl filled about 1/3 of the way with lukewarm water.

3) Soak them for at least a minute. Be sure they’re completely soaked and soft. Then holding the matza with one hand, pour the water out.  Press the matza gently to squeeze out the excess water.

4) Into the matza pour 4-6 eggs that you have already completely mixed so that the yolks and whites are thoroughly mixed. (For a lower cholesterol version, use 4 eggs and 2/3 cup of liquid egg whites; this serves 4).  With a fork, pick up the slices of matza so that both sides of every piece are infused with the eggs!

5) To this mixture add two thoroughly mashed bananas. Stir the mixture together. Pour this mixture into a hot, well-oiled pan. Let it sit and fry for less than a minute. Then Flip. Cook 2 minutes. If using a smaller diameter pan, flip once more, let sit, and flip yet one more time.  Serve with cinnamon. If you want it even sweeter, add maple syrup to your portion.  Best by test!

Editors note: This is delicious and ProfeJeff can speak about 9 languages in addition making Matzah Brei!

And before you need to ask, here is the answer: Passover is 8 days when observed outside of Israel and 7 days within Israel. It is the custom not to eat bread etc, for the legnth of the holiday.  IN NYC, Pizza , Asian food, bread etc again after dark on April 16, 2009.

Enjoy.

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Preparing for Passover 2009 and the Blessing of the Sun in New York

Events, Lily's notes

The Blessing of the Sun, Birchat haChama, is celebrated only once every 28 years, which means that it is an event that is experienced only a few times in anyone’s lifetime! This year it will be marked on the morning of April 8, 2009The sun will rise at 6:28 DST in New York City.

It is an opportunity for expressing appreciation at the beauty and wonder of the world. It is also an opportunity to think back 28 years (if you can) and forward 28 years (may you have many more), and try for some special perspective.

Also, if you give this a little thought and planning, you may be able to have a quick breakfast with friends before the start of Passover that evening.  The service can start anytime within 3 hours after sunrise but many are planning to meet at sunrise, which is much more dramatic than starting at say, 9 am.

In New York City,  people have arranged to meet and have the Birchat HaChama service in many places including: at the observation deck of the Empire State Building, the roof of the  Manhattan JCC, and on the rooftop of many congregations of all and every type, other buildings and in the Central Park Band Shell.

This desire to get hundreds of feet closer to the sun expresses the New Yorkers love of tall buildings, unique events, as well as loving an opportunity to step outside of their daily routine. The weather prediction is for a chilly and mostly sunny morning. Ok, the weather forecast said partly cloudy, but I am an optimist. Bring your hot coffee or tea. If you need any more details, write  to me.

Some notes about Passover: I have heard 2 complaints about preparing for Passover on the Upper West Side: the high price of foods that are always Kosher for Passover being jacked up higher for the holiday shopping for no understandable reason other than to perhaps feed the ugly monster of greed. The other complaint is how crowded their favorite stores become at this time, especially Fairway -which is always very crowded before any holiday of any type- even before Groundhogs Day. These are the same complaints we all hear each year.

Remember to give donations to the local food pantries, and fulfil the mitzvah of feeding the hungry. The pantries are very low on supplies this year- there are more people in need. They welcome cash, but food is appreciated too.

Instead of burning your Chametz, why not scatter the crumbs for the birds returning on their Spring migration. They may eat chametz any time.

Chag Pesach Sameach= Have a Happy Passover

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Felt, and Wallpaper for Children at The Cooper-Hewitt National Design

Art, Lily's notes

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is housed in the landmark Andrew Carnegie Mansion on Fifth Avenue at 91st Street, NYC. Visiting this mansion is much part of this museum experience as the exhibits themselves. Do not miss the huge Wisteria vines on the south side of the mansion visible from the museum cafe. If your first love is architecture, you could find that this mansion overpowers anything on exhibit.

Atchoo! Despite my allergy to wool, I enjoyed the smallish exhibit of items made of felt, which is made completely of wqool, and about the process of felting. Examples of both modern and traditional felt items and felting methods are included. Felting is the process of turning wool into felt-there was a video of the traditional Mongolian method which made use of camels, horses, shearers, combers and other workers, also there is a video of the modern industrial method of felting—no colorful camels and horses needed.

If you are allergic to wool, I would suggest thatyou remember to take an anti-histamine before going to any exhibit in the museum since you must pass through the Felt exhibit to reach the museum cafe, and considering that this is pollen season, it is best not to pile on the allergens.

The exhibit on Children’s Wallpaper has historical wall-papers and the first ever (was it the last?? Hope so) scented wall-paper of repeating bright cherries meant to be scratched and smelled. 

It was Interesting to see the idea of what to put up in children’s rooms change over time. There are papers which claim to be  “sanitary” paper, that is, it was supposed to be germ-resistant so that it would not have to be removed after an illness – this takes us into quite a different era. 

The museum shop is very well stocked and fun to look through.

Atchoo! I left with itchy eyes but happy to have seen the shows.

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Subway Musicians and a New York Celebrity

Lily's notes

On the way around town by subway, I changed trains at 59th Street and Broadway, where Soul Acapella, was very soulfully filling the subway platform with his soft and lovely voice and keyboard. Yes, he is called Soul Acapella, and he was accompanying himself on the keyboard. The CD of Soul Acapella has a photo of a large group, which looked like a warm family, but he was alone on the platform singing sweet oldies. He was much appreciated by the people waiting for trains.

At my next stop, the doors opened to the razor-sharp skirl of a lone bagpiper and the simultaneous crashing, clanging (not of trains!) but of a frenzied, young drummer with a complete snare drum set on the platform. They were not playing together, but competing for attention on the same platform. With the sounds of the piper, drummer and trains etc, it was a naturally occurring Charles Ives piece. Much prefer the real Charles Ives.

At the end of the day, I left my office and the street was filled with sound trucks and groups of excited young girls craning their necks hoping to spot a beloved celebrity. 

The young man who works in my office building said,  ”They are waiting for Gotham Girl!”.Oh really, they are waiting for Gotham Girl?? ”, said I.OH Yes! Gotham Girl is here!”

The sound truck guys said that Gossip Girl was here. Really funny…

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Music in Desperate Times: Remembering the Women’s Orchestra of Birkenau

Concert, Events, Lily's notes

From  Ars Choralis:

In the darkest times, music provides solace and illustrates what is best in the human spirit.

During the depths of World War II, Jewish women musicians incarcerated at the Auschwitz/Birchenau concentration camp were required to play for their Nazi captors. This is a story about how music saved the lives of those women. It is also the story of a small-town chorus that has brought back the music, hope, grief and resilience of these women.

Over one million people, mostly Jewish, were murdered in Birkenau gas chambers.  In exchange for their survival, a women’s orchestra was formed by the S.S. at Birchenau.  During the year and a half it existed, 54 women participated in the orchestra.  All but the conductor survived.

Two years ago, Barbara Pickhardt, conductor of the Woodstock, NY chorus, Ars Choralis, researched survivor’s memoirs and created Music in Desperate Times: Remembering the Women’s Orchestra of Birkenau.  The concert interwove orchestral music of Schumann, Chopin, Puccini, Mendelssohn and others, with spoken memoirs and songs of hope, peace and resistance sung by the chorus.

Wearing the simple lavender scarves and white blouses worn by the Birchenau musicians, the members of the reconstructed orchestra felt a shiver of connection to the original orchestra as they played arrangements of the same music played in the camps.

Ars Choralis performed Music in Desperate Times: Remembering the Women’s Orchestra of Birchenau to great acclaim in Hudson Valley churches, colleges and synagogues. The audience response was so powerful that repeat performances were demanded. Now Ars Choralis has been invited to perform this concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan and in Germany.

• The performance of Music in Desperate Times at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine will be on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8 PM.  This landmark church is the largest Anglican Cathedral in North America.

If you have never visited this cathedral, or perhaps any other cathedral, it is quite a place to see and I would recommend setting aside some time to look through this vast and fascinating space.

• Survivors of the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Furstenberg, Germany have invited Ars Choralis to perform at their annual Liberation Day ceremonies on April 18 and 19, 2009 on the grounds of the camp.

• Heilig Kreuz Passion Church in Berlin has invited Ars Choralis to perform Music in Desperate Times on Friday, April 17, 2009.

The cost of producing the concerts and traveling to Germany is unprecedented for Ars Choralis.  We hope to gain support for this magnificent endeavor through ticket sales and donations.  

Tickets to the March 28th performance at the Cathedral are:

• $45.00 front section, reserved seats
• $35.00 front section, unreserved
• $25.00 general seating

Many  thanks to Rochelle Saidel of the Remember the Women Institute for bringing this concert to our attention.

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The Valmadonna Trust Library at Sotheby’s

Art, Events, Lily's notes, Literary event

The Valmadonna Trust Library is on display at Sotheby’s (72nd Street and York Ave, NYC) until Thursday February 19th at 5pm. Rush over and see this extraordinary collection while you can. This exhibit is for lovers of old books, manuscripts, Jewish learning, world and Jewish history and beautiful hand made book bindings.

If you cannot go, take the time to read this exhibit catalog.

The shelves are lined floor to ceiling with unique books, many open to particularly fascinating pages for viewing. The collection includes examples of nearly half of all of the earliest Hebrew printing, books from the Ottoman Empire, all of Europe, India and the Far East and Africa.

Open Haggadda

Open Haggadda

Each book is a story; it is awesome to see the complete Bomberg Babylonian Talmud, originally acquired by Henry VIII (hoping to find something in support of divorce), which arrived too late to help him out of his dilemma. These volumes of Talmud sat unused for 400 years in Westminster Abbey until acquired by the trust in exchange for a copy of the original charter for the Abbey. They are in perfect condition. It is wonderful to see them in great condition, especially after considering the  history of Talmud burning and censorship in Europe by Christian authorities.

On display are many volumes from various cities in Italy from the golden age of printing, also a small volume which was first book ever published in Africa, there are ”broadsides”, that is, calendars and public notices and a charming Alef-Bet chart with illustrations of animals for teaching young children to read, all meant for temporary use which have somehow survived for so many centuries, and there are books from every community that had a Jewish population.

Samaritan Torah

Samaritan Torah

Also, a room of fine manuscripts which includes a  Samaritan Torah Scroll in the original ancient Hebrew alef-bet. The Samaritan Torah contains an eleventh commandament: to meet at Mount Seir for the annual sacrifice of a lamb for Pesach (Passover). There are other much less dramatic differences as well.

The books are secular as well as religious.

This is the largest collection of Jewish books in private ownership. The Trust intends to sell this as one collection to an institution. This photo was taken with the permmission of Mr. Lunzer and his daughter, when we went back for a second visit.

Jack Lunzer and Daughter

Jack Lunzer and Daughter

A steady stream of visitors fill the galleries of the exhibit and the curator gives a tour full of explanations and colorful stories about this wonderful collection. You can feel the viewer’s pleasure with these volumes. It feels like a pilgrimage of love of the book, a love of learning and Jewish history. We are going back again today and take our time looking over favorite parts of the exhibit.

Why is it called the Valmadonna Trust? The Trust’s custodian, Jack Lunzer of Britain,  considered buying land near Valmadonna, Italy before WWII, he didn’t buy but he liked the name and used it for the Trust.*** Before you all ask: He made his money in industrial diamonds.

Let’s hope that this library is acquired by a great institution, a university or museum and available in the future. Perhaps it belongs at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

*** Caroline corrected this and says that Mr Lunzer did buy the land near Valmadonna Italy after WWII.  Please see her full comment below the photos.

Since the exhibit is now closed, I have added these photos, all by Jeff French Segall, for those of you who were not able to see this exhibit at Sotheby´s.

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In Search of the Bene Israel and The Fire Within: Jews in the Amazonian Rainforest

Film, Lily's notes

In Search of the Bene Israel by Sadia Shepard is a moving and compelling documentary about the 2000 year old Jewish community of the Mumbai region. The film-maker is a descendant of this community and she shares the story of the BeneIsrael and of her beloved grandmother very tenderly and thoughtfully with us, the lucky viewers.

Her Jewish grandmother eloped as a young person with a Muslim man, they moved to Pakistan and then to the US where eventually, the film-maker was born. SadiaShepard returned to spend a full year working with the remaining Jewish community in and around Mumbai. The majority of this community has emigrated and now lives in Israel.

Also, the Bene Israel say that they have never experienced anti-Semitism in their 2000 years in India, -what a wonderful heritage. They clearly love India deeply but want more economic opportunity and to stem the tide of assimilation.

The documentary explores the myths, history and current reality of this fascinating community.

We saw this in a screening at the Walter Reade Theatre as part of the Jewish Film Festival and this film  will be screened again at the 13th Annual Sephardic Film Festival at the Center for Jewish History. It is a marvelous film not to be missed.

See the post below this for more details about the 13th Sephardic Film Festival.

At the same afternoon screening, we travelled from crowded Mumbai of the Bene Israel, and a community in the midst of emigrating to Israel, into the lush Amazon rainforest in Peru in The Fire Within: Jews in the Amazonian Rainforest by Lorry Salcedo Mitrani. This film is about a community of Jews from the Amazon who have relocated in the Negev desert in Israel.

These 300 to 400 Jews are the descendants of Jewish men who came to the Amazon seeking their fortunes in the rubber boom during the late 1800’s, and their indigenous wives and girlfriends. We follow their journey to become fully recognised as Jews, their mass conversion to Judaism, and their emigration and stunningly remarkable adjustment to life in Israel. We meet the scholar, Ariel Segal, and the Rabbis who took part in this remarkable education and conversion. Engrossing.

Clearly, the Jews of the Amazon have a real historical and cultural claim on their Jewish ties as certainly do the Bene Israel of Mumbai. 

These films also brought to mind what we learned when we were in Israel in the summer 0f 2007.  We learned that many desperate people from Africa make their way across the African continent each year to the Egyptian border with Israel and beg for political and economic asylum and the right to live in Israel. They say that the Jews should know what it is to be homeless, destitute and war-tossed, and not wanted by other countries, and they ask to be admitted into Israel for a chance to make a new more prosperous life.

Israel sorts through their claims and tries to find the true political asylum seekers for admission into Israel and sort them out from the economic immigrants since no country can admit all comers.  We do not know why this human story has not been the topic of any reporting we have seen in the regular press.

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LimmudNY 09, an Avoidable Disaster

Events, Lily's notes

The Limmud conference was a disaster. No heat in the bedrooms, freezing cold conference rooms..water pouring from a lobby ceiling into a garbage cans, fire alarms going off on Saturday morning..people had to attend sessions in their coats, hats , gloves and scarves. The steering committee knew that there was a heating problem and assured attendees on Friday that the problem was fixed and that the conference would not be cancelled.

Many people were quite smart and didn’t bother to go up to the Nevele Grande. Those that arrived on Thursday were sent to a nearby resort but friends told us that the place where they were sent had no heat either, so they made their own private arrangements and stayed 20 minutes away from the conference.

We spend a completely sleepless frozen Friday night and along with about 1/3 of the attendees, at 12:30 am Friday someone using a master key, opened our door without even knocking (!) and asked if we had any room for more people, up to 5 people were sharing rooms.

We fled back home to New York City on Saturday. The conference had to supply a bus (maybe buses?) to bring home some of the attendees that wanted to flee the awful conditions at the Nevele.

When we returned to NYC Sat evening by car and we took home a friend that swore he would have nothing to do with Limmud again.**[please see follow up note below]

He said that the organisers did not consider the safety and health of the participants. We felt very responsible for encouraging him and others to attend.

I ended up quite sick with fever, cough and chills, I am writing this today because it is the first day that I feel a bit better and can sit up and write.

Limmud knew that there was a heating problem, they almost cancelled the conference and then sent out emails and a website notice that all was well and the conference was on after all. This was a terrible (perhaps cynical) action. There were hundreds of cold people.

An elderly woman sat with us at Saturday lunch and  said that she would have nothing more to do with Limmud and hoped to go home as soon as possible. So sad after all of the planning and hopes for a good conference.
  
They should have cancelled the conference for safety and health reasons. There were infants, the elderly, and many who could not take these unexpected severe conditions.

The LimmudNY website has a lovely thank you letter for a great conference from a presenter, and nice photos of smiling people, many bundled up in their outdoor clothing although they are indoors.

The Steering Committee worked hard to cope with the problems but it was all beyond their most decent efforts. We understand that when they had a lot less people attending and they could consolidate rooms and presentations spaces, that the conditions improved somewhat.

This was all such a  deep disappointment.

We asked if there would be any refunds of the fees but have not yet received the courtesy of a response.

Please click the comments button below and read these insightful comments from readers and join the conversation…and a follow up note: just learned that two more friends became sick after returning from the weekend.

Sad News -Follow up note: The friend mentioned above, who begged us to take him home in our car after suffering the severe cold for an entire evening, died suddenly 4 months after the LimmudNY 09 conference.

I have no idea if this experience had any effect on my friend’s health but it does underline the fact that leadership must take the health and welfare of participants very, very seriously because it is impossible to know  the health status of all involved.

This must take precedence over financial considerations.

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Barack Obama’s Inauguration on the Upper West Side! And DC Remembered

Events, Lily's notes

OK, OK, it is really happening in Washington, DC but considering that our 44th President received about 95% of the Upper West Side vote, we can have a special party for him and feel it is ours too. 

Symphony Space  will open it’s doors for free on January 20 and the Inauguration will be shown on their big screen. (Peter Jay Sharp Theatre). They have invited everyone to come, bring or buy lunch, or in true West Side style you may order in, and enjoy this stunning, historic, happy event. Starts at 10 am. 95th Street and Broadway.

In addition to the many private Inauguration parties that evening, many community places are have community viewing parties of the inaugural events. Our building has a party room which will have a special big-screen gathering of neighbors so that they can celebrate this inauguration together.

There has never been an inauguration like this one.

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The first time I travelled from NYC to DCwas on an old schoolbus full of demonstrators with banners tied to the sides of the bus that read “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom“.  We entered DC through the poorest neighborhood I had ever seen.  It was intensely, painfully shocking to realize that this was our national capital.

The  neighborhood residents in the street read our banners, saw our faces and greeted us with waves and lovely , big smiles. We had arrived a few days early for the great March on Washington. We took part in passive resistance training sessions at our host church (meant for future demonstrations), and slept on cots or sleeping bags in a basement of the church whose members welcomed us and treated us like we were their own (but slightly strange) children. I will always have their wonderful, personal hospitality in my heart.

The demonstration and Martin Luther King Jr’s speech were thrilling.

After these few days in DC I badly needed a shower, so I was told to go to the YMCA, deny that I am a demonstrator if asked, and I could pay $2  to use the “Y”s gym shower facilities. Would they really ask if I am a demonstrator?? They sure did! Two women drawled that question through very suspicious blue eyes at me. I denied that I was a demonstrator in my most excellent NY accent back at them and smiled. I showered. I learned that DC was quite southern and that I was categorized as “white” in the South.

It made me remember the Chelm story about the goat which was female in one town, exchanged along the road by pranksters and is male when it arrives in the next town, and back and forth again.  So, Jewish in NYC, white in the south. I got it. But I had not been “exchanged”, I just learned how people choose to see so differently.

We all dreamed with MLK Jr, and now we thankfully have a very changed world from those times, MLK, JR National holiday, and amazingly, President Barack Obama.

Bless him to be able to do the work we need to be done to repair our country and to make a great future.

 

 

 

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Saigon Grill Owners Arrested

Events, Lily's notes, Uncategorized

The story of Saigon Grill seems to have an ending which may include jail time for the owners for charges stemming from their treatment of their employees and for submitting falsified information to authorities. Today The NY Times reports on the arrest of the owners of Saigon Grill for a variety of criminal acts and explains this in detail.

A GothamGirl correspondent has spoken with Richard Nget, brother of the owners Simon and Michelle Nget, and manager of Saigon Grill on 90th Street and Amsterdam Avenue,  over years and again this past week days before the arrests.

He asked Mr. Nget years ago, before the action and dispute with their employees, “How have you kept your prices so low for years? ” and he replied: “I am afraid to change prices, because I am afraid that if I do it will bring bad luck”. Bad luck? Bad business, as in treating employees like dirt,  rightfully should  make severe consequences.

Well it is very clear that their many actions have brought them much more  than bad luck. They face fines of over $4 million dollars, and criminal charges, and perhaps jail time.

Months ago, Mr. Nget insisted that “everything is lie” and that his ex-workers were “evil” and when asked if he would rehire them, he said  ”never”. Wait staff standing near by nodded in agreement, perhaps afraid of losing their jobs.

Sunday, just a few days before the arrests, our correspondent asked him what are your plans now? He said: “maybe close everything”.

Maybe go to jail, too.

Now, I would like to know if any authorities are investigating the treatment of employees in nail salons. It seems to me that these places are ripe for exploitation of their immigrant women workers and they seem to  ”smell” of abuse.  Any thoughts?

*********************

NOTE: Received a reply from labor attorney Christopher Marlborough,  on these issues, please be sure read his note below! Especially you lovers of nail salons!

I am a labor attorney in NYC. I was not involved in the Saigon Grill case, but I am glad to see some employers being held accountable for their egregious crimes. Hopefully, a few criminal convictions can serve as a wake up call to employers everywhere. You had better start paying your workers what they deserve, or at least what you are required to pay them by law.

Regarding your questions about nail salons, a few years ago, the Brennan Center published a report about overtime violations in NYC and noted that nail salons are some of the worst offenders. The report, Unregulated Work In The Global City, is available online at this location: http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/unregulated_work_in_the_global_city_full_report/

There has been help for these exploited workers. The organizations Justice Will Be Served! (a coalition composed of the Chinese Staff and Workers’ Association, National Mobilization Against Sweatshops, and 318 Restaurant Workers Union have worked with nail salon employees in NYC to fight for their rights. In addition, The Asian American Legal Defense Fund has taken on several nail salons and gotten significant recoveries for exploited salon workers. See http://www.aaldef.org/article.php?article_id=345.

I just finished reading a fantastic new book on the subject of employment exploitation called titled Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid and What You Can Do About It by Kim Bobo. Kim is the Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, Inc. a non-profit organization that works to improve working conditions in America on all levels. Her testimony before the U.S. Senate can be found here: http://www.wagetheft.org/

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Christmas/Winter/Hanukkah Decorations 2008

Events, Lily's notes

The winter lights and holiday decorations are up and lit around the city. It is a spectacle! Here is a list of personal favorites.  

The Museum of Natural History has two large, graceful, long-necked dinosaurs covered with pine and little lights. Honestly charming.

The Lions, Patience and Fortitude, who guard the main New York Public Library are wearing their Christmas wreaths, looking like snug beloved pets.  

Bryant Park, behind the Library,  has a large fat tree, which will be lit tonight and an ice-skating rink. This park is always a welcoming public space.

Lincoln Center is still a maze of construction and renovation but they will have their tree up in spite of the mess. This is usually my favorite tree, and the usual plaza light are wonderful. Also, while you are there have a look at the new facade of The Julliard School, it is a dramatic design.

The Upper West Side Broadway Malls have lit Hanukkah menorahs at many cross streets, Christmas trees too, and lots of white lights brightening up the dark evenings.

There is the big tree in Rockefeller Center, to be lit tonight. I realize that people love that huge tree, it seems to be a celebrity in it’s own right, but I think it is over sized and not at all tree-like, but if you are a visitor, I think that it may be a requirement that  you go to see it.

The UNICEF Giant Snowflake is hanging overhead on 5th Avenue and 59th Street. Nice sparkle at night. 

And right there on 5th and 59th Street is the giant Hanukkah Menorah designed by the world-famous Israeli sculptor Yaakov Agam.  It is called the largest Menorah in the World. It is lit each night wih real fire, not bulbs. Honorees ride to the top of the menorah in a “cherry picker” and light the next light each evening. I am not sure at all if size is a recommendation of any sort regarding all of these holiday decorations, but in this case,  it is fun to see this lit at sunset each evening.

Right there are the real horses and Hansom cabs decorated for the holidays too.

The many Midtown stores and lobbies of large buildings are all done up, just stroll along the avenues, there is plenty to see including giant-sized everything, entire buildings wrapped like gifts, giant green candy canes wrapped in giant red ribbons and lit with tiny lights precariously hanging off of the sides of buildings, and mechanized displays of miniature villages. Each store tries to outdo the next, so it is quite a sight.

Suburbanites try to drive by to see all of this and the decorations by peering out of their huge (usually black) SUV’s but what can they possibly really see from their cars while crawling through traffic? Park in a garage. Take the kids by the hand and stroll. Eat hot snacks in the street. Have fun. Experience it.

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Update: Construction of 535 West End Avenue

Events, Lily's notes, Photos

Construction of 535 West End Avenue, that is the condo with an asking price of $14 Million for an apartment with seven bedrooms, is progressing. Even thought the real estate market, stock market US and world economies have tanked,  at least for the moment, I have not heard of any change in their offering price.

535 West End Avenue Under Construction by Jeff French Segall

535 West End Avenue Under Construction by Jeff French Segall

The Upper West Side Campaign Against Hunger food pantry is located across the street from the condo. This is a city of contrasts.

This afternoon, a GothamGirl correspondent went to the Church of St Paul and St Andrew in order to help out in the West Side Food Pantry located there. He reported that The Collegiate School donated 200 cases of frozen hams to be distributed to needy neighborhood families for the holidays, and that another school, The Heschel High, arrived with many students to help stock the pantry’s grocery shelves, and to help out with other tasks.

GothamGirl understands that the developer of 535 West End has donated to the pantry in the past and we hope that this generosity continues.

Stocking the Shelves of the West Dide Food Pantry by Jeff French Segall

Stocking the Shelves of the West Side Food Pantry by Jeff French Segall

The pantry operates on a budget of about $2 million per year and serves 300-350 families per day with food for their homes. The pantry depends on the generosity of donors.

So much is needed in difficult times, and the pantry has had problems keeping up with needs. Remember them when thinking of donating and volunteering.

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Women in 3 Films: The Changeling, The Secret Life of Bees and Desert Brides

Film, Lily's notes

These three films would not seem to have much in common. The Changeling and The Secret Life of Bees are big budget American films and the Desert Brides is an Israeli made low budget documentary. They had very different budgets, production, and settings but all portrayed vulnerable women and their experiences in their society. All three have shared themes of isolation and friendship, child care, women at work, clothing and transformation, death and cruelty, hospital scenes, abuse, judges or elders, and the effect of traditional roles of women and the theme of justice.

The Changeling (directed by Clint Eastwood) is the most problematic of the three.  It has the star quality of the cast, starring Angelina Jolie, distractingly beautifully scene-styling evoking the 1920-1930’s in Los Angeles and the great clothes of the time.

But be prepared: this is a very disturbing film with gratuitous violence and great graphic cruelty towards women and children.

It is based on a “true story”. It depicts a cruel, unjust past with no real redemption or justice for the woman at the heart of the story. She looses what means the most to her, her only son, she is treated unjustly and cruelly, and remains a stoic sufferer. Very traditional. She does have the strength to stand up to the “system” and still she suffers right up to the end. It was enough to give my friend bad dreams.

The Secret Life of Bees by Gina Prince-Bythewood is an example of satisfying story-telling, lovely acting and filming and the redemptive quality of mutual love and respect. Of these three films, it is the one not to miss.  There are decent men and women in this story along with the troubles and injustices of society .

The viewer is not abused by the film-maker while watching the film.

Queen Latifah stars and is depicted in a sky blue dress, like Mary, throughout the film.

Desert Brides is an Israeli award-winning documentary by Ada Ushpiz, which won the Best Film, 2008 DocAviv. She is a journalist and film-maker.

Three relatively educated and independent women try to cope with a life of polygamy and their personal suffering. 

If anyone ever tries to “explain” to you that you do not like the idea of a man having several wives at once because this this is just your cultural bias, and that traditional women actually like the traditional system of of their husbands having many wives, please recommend that they see this film.

It depicts men and women trapped between their personal desires for a happier life and partners of their own choosing, and the demands of tradition society which many (not all) can not free themselves of.

It is a rare, and sympathetic, look inside of Bedouin homes and wedding celebrations, as well. This film has some rougher scenes but is not as violent nor anywhere as disturbing as the Changeling and is very worthwhile.  In Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles.

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Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

Events, Lily's notes, Uncategorized

The evening before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,  the giant balloons which fly during the parade the next day, are inflated on West 81st Street and West 77th Street which are streets surrounding the Museum of Natural History, this happens  between  Central Park West and Columbus Avenues from about 4 to about 8 pm.

The balloons are held down by sand bags as crews of workers fill the balloons. This becomes a family street party. Vendors sell small balloons and food, there is absolutely no parking nearby unless you come very very very early in the day, and ¨driving by¨to see this is absolutely not an option.

Try to come early, at about 4 or 5 pm because it does become very crowded, but it is fun. Bundle up it will be cold.

Attention Suburbanites. Vehicle traffic crawls along Columbus Avenue and you will see nothing from your car, plan to come into town early, visit the museum, and stay for the balloons and you will not be frustrated but have a good time instead and please do not try to drive down Columbus Avenue between 4 and 9 pm.

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Marc Chagall Exhibit at the MOBiA

Art, Lily's notes

Currently there are two museum exhibits featuring the work of Mark Chagall in Manhattan. This post is about the Chagall only show at the Museum of Biblical Art.

For notes and comments on the current superb show at the Jewish Museum which includes work by Chagall and many other fine artists, and places their work in the context of  time and place and most interesting in politics as well, please see my previous post by scrolling down below past this post. The interaction of the art work and the intelligent notes are excellent.

The MOBiA show titled Chagall’s Bible: Mystical Storytelling,   has beautiful works of art by Chagall which includes the lithographs of his famous windows and paintings, the works are well displayed, and you can pay as you wish when you enter the museum. No problem- all nice.

But there is a tremendous problem with the information cards which are part of this show. Perhaps this is the best that a museum usual devoted to Christian themes can manage, but I saw this exhibit with two friends, one of whom is an author and Holocaust scholar,  and we all shared the same dismay at the “information” which explained Marc Chagall and his work which were on display.

The exhibit explained the Pale of Settlement of eastern European Jews as “a huge multi-sect Jewish Ghetto spanning thousands of miles”, really wrong and it is a very strange definition- part the the extreme dumbing down of education, I guess, distressing… The exhibit cards refer to “Hasidic Jewish” imagery when referring to symbols from the Torah that are common to all Jews throughout time, that means it is common to Jews for thousands of years. Hasidism is a modern movement originating in what is now Belarus and Ukraine in the 18th century.

Another card refers to the “Yiddish religion”, there is no such thing… and “Yiddish Hasidim” (is there some other kind of Hasidim perhaps?)  It makes one wonder what on earth they have against calling the religion of the Jewish people  ”Judaism”? No mention was made of the Kabbalistic imagery in Chagall’s work, thankfully, I guess.

The beautiful lithograph called ”Mystical Crucifixion“ on display is dominated by the lush deep colors and  has a crucified figure, presumably Jesus, the full moon, and the Red Heifer in the center of the painting.

In Judaism, The Red Heifer is an absolutely rare and perfect animal, without blemish, never yoked, with perfectly straight hairs all of the same color, used in a mystical ritual sacrifice. The ashes of the sacrificed and burned animal are mixed with water for a purification ritual. The portion of the Torah describing the Parah-Red Heifer- are read at special times during the year in the synagogue. It is also an example of a law that has no apparent logic and demands faith.

The  Red Heifer clearly has very special status in Jewish tradition. Certainly Chagall’s painting deals with the special, rare, mysterious, irrational, sacrifice of Jesus and the Red Heifer.

Nothing about this symbolism appeared in the cards.

Neither did the snippet of information that the little goat that dances around Chagall’s world is often the symbol for the Jewish people, or any other cogent explanation of Jewish symbols. I guess it would be asking just to much.

See the art work and spare yourself from reading the  “information” cards about the exhibit.

There is an exhibit booklet written by art historian Tom Freudenheim which is available at the counter (only $4) and it does not suffer from any of these short-comings, of course.

On our way out of the museum, we passed the gift shop which featured large posters which were pro-Creationism vs Darwinism, etc, this is very exotic for the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Also, if you walk just a few blocks north from the museum, Marc Chagall’s tapestries hang in the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center.

Also, the MOBiA wesite explains it’self as follows:

“Unlike many other museums, MOBIA looks at art through the lens of religion, carefully explaining the original context of the artworks on exhibit in order to illuminate symbolism, ritual and history. As an educational institution that takes no position on religion, MOBIA provides a neutral meeting ground where visitors, of all faiths and none, can learn about the history and significance of art that has been have been inspired by the Bible, and explore the symbolism and traditions which, though profoundly influential, have frequently been left unexplained by many of the worldís museums. Here, audiences gather to openly discuss the complex impact of the Bible on art, culture, and society. “

Judge for yourself.

JUST IN!

Marc Chagall’s Biblical Visions:
Echoes of Loss, Promises of Renewal Chagall’s Biblical Imagination

Jean Bloch Rosensaft, director of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York discusses Chagall’s interpretations of biblical characters and narratives. Co-sponsored with and held at the Museum of Biblical Art, 1165 Broadway at 61st Street, by the JCC of Manhattan.

Thu, Dec 4, 6:30-7:30 pm Free .This should be a good counterpoint to the inadequate information cards at this exhibit.

 

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Election Day in Manhattan – A Day Like No Other

Events, Lily's notes

9 AM: New Yorkers are full of excitement about finally coming to the polls and voting. Long lines snake around many UWS blocks, a sight I have never seen before in any election. Spirits are very high and happy in spite of the wait.

My polling place on the Upper West Side is a local elementary school, and statistics say that my  Election District votes 92% Democratic in an ordinary election. We will see how these numbers look for this election. The few Republicans I personally know, who are what passes for Republicans in New york, that is moderate, are all voting for Obama.

On the way to vote, I passed many neighbors coming from the polls, all in high spirits, “I voted!! Have You???”" they said,  and I walked along with others on their way to vote. The polls opened at 6 am and when I arrives at 8:15, there was a long line to vote which moved along very quickly, the school PTA has an excellent bake sale with fresh coffee.

I chatted with my fellow West-Siders while on line waiting to vote. We all discussed the New England town of 21 who voted at midnight, return watching parties planned for this evening, the past stolen election, and what type of social rehab we all may need to re-adjust after focusing for so long and so intently on the election.

The Republican poll watcher at my ED said to me just before I voted,  “how wonderful this amazing turn-out is and how historical the election will be”. Ok, Ok, this is an African American woman of a certain age, the closest to a “Republican” that can be found up here. The election board must find someone called “a Republican” to be at each poll along with a Democrat to work at the polls for the day.

Notes from NYGUY: He sent me photo of the lines in the street which I hope to have time to post later. “This was taken before 7:30AM. From getting on line to getting a cup of coffee after voting (the elementary school where I vote, PS 166,  [ 89th St between Amsterdam and Columbus], always has a bake sale) was about 45 minutes. When I walked by, it was still around the block. Also, the line to vote at the Church of St Paul and St Andrew [86th St and West End] was wrapped completely around the block and up Broadway.”

NYer living in Milwaukee: ” I voted!! Have you???” . There was a very long line but it moved quickly and it took longer to get a coffee at Starbucks than to vote- I’ll call in tonight during the party!!!” One of my colleagues is ordering an OBAMA pizza for tonight:
 
Onions or olives
Bacon or broccoli
Anchovies
Mushrooms
Artichokes
 
I was ballot number 43 in Shorewood. The guy behind me said they should just give the district to Obama cos it votes that way all the time and not even stand in line. Interesting. I managed to replicate the UWS in Milwaukee.
 
T

From Teen NYer at school in England: Niece writes to her cousin: Subject: yo momma knows a website that has poll results and a map with shtuffs on it. can you ask her what it is because i don’t have her email address. fankya. oh p.s., VOTE. NOW. B TO THE A TO THE R-A-C-K O-B-A-M-A for the good of your unborn child.

There is hilarious excitement and new hope today!

1 Comment

Notes for Halloween

Events, Lily's notes

The New York Public Library will have a great program on Thursday night called: An Evening with Dracula.

There are two Upper West Side streets that invite children to come and enjoy Halloween.

West 90th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West. The West 90th Stree Park West Block Assosciation sponsors decorations and lights, neighbors are on the street with trick or treat candy and some lobbies on the street welcome chiildren as well. Calm, spooky decorations, and fun. Children are invited to Trick or Treat from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Also, West 67th Street between Columbus and Central Park West has lights and decorations. Child friendly.

These happen in the late afternoon.

There is the big Village Halloween Parade as well, of course. This year, they have suffered from some sponsor ’s tight purse strings but I am sure that they will make up for that with homemade, personal creativity. See their site for details and photos.

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Dial L for Lansky’s!

Lily's notes, Restaurant review

The new Lansky’s Old World Deli on Columbus and 70th Street is a real winner! At last we have a pleasant deli on the Upper West Side. One of the owners, Robert Ross helped seat us, and our waiter Georgie, was welcoming, helpful, especially for a friend with special dietary needs,  friendly and charming. That itself is noteworthy and earns Lansky’s lots of appreciation. The decor evokes the “old times”, with tiled floors, flocked wallpaper, old time bread slicer, chain flushers in the (clean) bathrooms and a soft 40’s Jazz sound. Some food is on display in cases. Nice. Welcoming.

The really good news is the food. I always judge a deli by it’s corned beef on rye and the meat was beautifully flavored and smokey. A nice sandwich.  Others in our party had delicious chicken soup with matzah balls and the mavens at the table pronounced the soup to be really chicken flavored and not over-salted, as is typical to find in some other restaurants we know. Bubbe’s soup was never-ever over-salted. The baked salmon was excellent as was the unusual fish “schnitzel”. Not really a schnitzel, the fish was not battered and covered,  but quite a delicious dish which might need a different name or menu description. We also enjoyed the Kasha Varnishkas.

We enjoyed our food , talked and laughed throughout dinner, and the manager came by and introduced himself. We suggested that since this restaurant is named for Meyer Lansky, perhaps they should invite his grandson Aaron for dinner.

A friend was eating there at the same time and came by our table to schmooze a bit and said that this was his 4th meal there in a week…he said that he’s become a “regular” and is now totally hooked. This is a welcoming place.

The lovely desserts come from Magnolia Bakery and Citarella…hmmm…yummy and pretty.

They open very early in the morning, about 6 am, for breakfast, which includes eggs with turkey bacon, and they have a good brunch menu as well. The menu does not include any obvious treif (pork and shellfish).

And you will find this very hard to believe, but they are extremely reasonably priced. They are a really a welcome addition to our neighborhood and we all hope that they are a big success. Bring friends and family, we want them to succeed and be around in spite of the bad economy.

Mazal Tov to Lansky’s. Good Luck and congratulations.

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After the Lipstick Smears*

Lily's notes, Uncategorized

After this coming election our society will have many profound changes and since I am optimistic, I believe these will be clearly positive changes. I would like us to consider the following very positive possibility:

One unexpected effect of their campaign may be that after being repulsed by an unqualified, uneducated  Palin on the public stage, when an accomplished, capable woman does come forward for public office in the future, the voters may accept her with  more respect than in the past.  Just try to imagine that she will be judged by her accomplishments and talents and not by her gender or gender roles.

Yes, I do mean that she could be treated with more respect than Hillary received and perhaps the future female candidate will receive much less derision for being a strong person. 

Perhaps the public will have had not only enough of the extreme right wing and the mess they have made of America, but the votes for the very capable and positive ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, may turn out also to be a vote against derision and abasement based on color, and surprisingly, even the gender issue will have been advanced.

We are on the verge of a possitive new chapter.

Barack Obama should consider Hillary for an important role in the new administration based on her qualifications, ability and support in America.

It would be a very welcome step in a new future.

* NYCGuy suggested that this post, originally titled “After The Lipstick Fades”, might be better called After “The Lipstick Smears”, considering the behavior of Sarah Palin during this campaign…he is right! Thanks, NYCGuy.

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These Days of Awe

Lily's notes, Uncategorized

The Days of Awe are,  thankfully, not another US government military project, and they are not an advertising campaign for “Fashion Week”. The 10 days between the Jewish New Year, Rosh ha-Shanah and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, are called the Days of Awe. This is a time for introspection, apologizing to those we have hurt and “paying our debts”, both financially and personally. The purpose of this is to be able to be personally “renewed”, free of past mistakes, ready for a positive future.

This year, these days have also been a reminder of the fragility of personal finances and of the fragile nature of truth in public discourse. Yes, I am referring to the presidential campaign and McCain/Palin’s desperate descent into lies and fabrications meant to work up a deep fear of “otherness”, that is at the core, completely racist.

Shame on them.

So far, the people of America have not bought into this and I hope that they do not during the next short weeks to the election.

I wish there was a constitutional way we could start the transition to the new government before January 20. 

We neeed renewal and change so deeply.

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McCain’s Complaint: A Gambling Problem

Lily's notes

Today we can learn in detail from the New York Times‘ extensive coverage, of the extraordinary involvement of John McCain, and his staff, with the gambling industry which is troubling enough. But we also learn of McCain’s personal gambling problem which is very deeply troubling. 

This completely explains his recent erratic behavior. When the gambler feels he is losing, he will bet all he has to try to win back “something”, or “anything”…

We have seen him gamble on Sarah Palin, “suspending” his campaign and posing as a savior etc,. 

Only one question remains: What would you like to see him gamble on if he were elected president?

Iran? Another war? The economy? Health care coverage program? These 2 current wars? It is so chilling to think that he has any chance of being elected.

One more question: Should Americans be asked to gamble on McCain’s health? Should this be a gamble that the people of America are willing to make, especially considering the ineptitude, lack of experience and complete cluelessness of Sarah Palin, the Lipstick Governor?

Now we know about the gambling problem, let’s now learn the true facts about McCain’s health. Even through the cosmetics, he isn’t looking too well lately.

 

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McCain’s Odd Choices, Is He Stable Enough to Be President?

Lily's notes

In the last month , John McCain has impulsively chosen an unqualified, inexperienced running mate, cancelled part of the Republican National Convention due to a weather event and cancelled his participation in a highly anticipated debate due to the financial crises which is being taken care of by others. What did he imagine the US Senate would be doing at 9pm on Friday night? Has he forgotten the way the senate operates? Has he forgotten the senators directly involved and empowered in this situation?

I hope that these three weird, impulsive actions should be enough to help any of you who are  “undecided” to realize that we can not take such an extreme gamble by voting him into office. We have all been warned by his very unstable actions.  Perhaps the pressure of the campaign is too much for him to bear and he is coming apart. So sad to see a hero run away.

If he beleives so strongly in his running mate, the Lipstick Governor, Sarah Palin, why doesn’t she stand in for him at the debate? On the Letterman Show? In DC? Anywhere at all?

We all know why.

Can you imagine  how the press would take apart any female candidate that did what McCain has done? She would be fried! called unstable and unready. Well, this is true of McCain, and we have been warned.

Vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. There is no other reasonable choice.

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Van Gogh at MoMA, 535 West End Ave, and the “Unseen”

Art, Lily's notes, Literary event, Theater, Uncategorized

Update: The building crews have been at work on 535 West End Avenue (see previous postings) and there is now visible construction above street level.

Can’t help but wonder how will they sell these $14 Million  dollar apartments during this economic downturn and crisis?

Perhaps they will have to redo their plans and make more apartments that are smaller than 10 bedrooms with 7 baths…time will tell.

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The new Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night exhibit now at the MoMA is a lesson in the beauty and skill of painting- like notes from one painter to all others. The show has a small number of works and is in small galleries, and although I saw it at a member’s preview, it was still crowded. But go, and have some patience, it is so worthwhile. 

Each  inch of canvas seems alive. The incredible emotion and color of his work are still, and always, so moving. It is there until January 5, 2009.

If you are not a MoMA member, order your tickets on line in advance and you will be able to see the show on the day of your visit, otherwise you need to get a special timed ticket when you enter the museum and you can not be sure to get in to this special exhibit.

*********************************************************************************************************

Put this on your go see list:

on Sun, Oct 5, 3 pm

Performing Arts: Sin: A Staged Reading

Starring Academy-Award winning actor F. Murray Abraham
Based on a work by Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer and adapted by Mark Altman from The Unseen. Directed by Robert Kalfin.

A hilarious and moving tale of devilish deeds by a master storyteller who has dwelt in both the old world and in modernity. Co-sponsored with Highbrow Entertainment.

Sun, Oct 5, 3 pm at the JCC of Manhattan

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