Monday, May 29, 2017
I was intrigued by a sale listed in the Sunday real estate section. A one bedroom, one bath apartment at 27 Essex Street, Manhattan, sold for $725,000. Mother Ruth Gotthelf was born at 13 Essex Street in 1909, in an apartment occupied by her parents, one grandparent and her older brother and older sister. It was the classic tenement configuration, 330 square feet, one bedroom, bathroom in the hall, shared with other tenants. The monthly rent was likely $11 plus or minus $2. http://tenement.org/blog/the-r
The interior of 13 Essex Street has been completely rearranged. The building seems to consist mainly of two bedroom, one bath units, renting at $2,500 to $2,900 monthly. http://streeteasy.com/buildin
g/13-essex-street-new_york#tab _building_detail=3 Why didn't the Goldenbergs have the foresight to hang on?
. . .
Melania Trump seems to have a better appreciation of value than my maternal relatives. On her recent trip to Europe, she appeared in Sicily in a floral embroidered jacket by Dolce & Gabbana design that sells for $51,500. While her husband is allegedly very rich, he doesn't make the list of 2016's highest paid American executives. http://www.equilar.com/reports
/49-table-equilar-200-ranking- largest-ceo-pay-packages.html As far as I can tell, none of my regular readers are on this list. Come on, guys, let's bear down.
. . .
Some years, we don't see any of the movies nominated for an Academy Award; forget the Grammys all together. By chance, however, we have seen all four of the best play nominees for this year's Tony awards -- "Oslo," "Sweat," "Indecent" and "A Doll's House, Part 2." They are all wonderful and should not be missed.
When it first opened, I was disdainful of "A Doll's House, Part 2," expecting it to be a dreary postmortem of Nora and Torvald's marriage. Instead, as I observed yesterday, it is a witty exploration of the complications of not being married. The most rewarding and unpredictable element of the play was the appearance of a young adult child of the couple's, abandoned by her mother 15 years earlier. While many cheered Nora's exit out the door and out of her marriage at the end of Ibsen's work, no one, including the playwright, regarded the children. In the new work, her daughter's words without dripping sentimentality seem to challenge Nora much more than Torvald's, the husband Nora deserted.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Did you know that no one has been appointed as the United States Ambassador to Italy? What an opportunity. If I could secure the post without ever having to appear side-by-side in public with you-know-who, I might do it for the food alone.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
A few years ago, after 29 years as subscriber, I stopped attending the New York City Ballet regularly in order to spend more money on hockey games. We remained on good terms and it continues to send me solicitations and publications, the latest a lavishly-illustrated, 64-page brochure promoting the 2017/18 season. The brochure is particularly interesting because of the quality and quantity of the photographs and the announcement of a 100th birthday celebration of Jerome Robbins, né Rabinowitz, my favorite choreographer.
So, I hesitantly reprove the New York City Ballet, or at least the dim copywriter for this publication. In describing several programs devoted entirely to works by Robbins, it says "Fancy Free [which later evolved into the Broadway musical and Hollywood movie On the Town] follows three soldiers on shore leave in the Big City." Even if you never saw the ballet, the play or the (inferior) movie, you recognize the error from the description itself.
The three men on the town are sailors. Soldiers take leave; sailors take shore leave. i don't believe either arm of our military can be pleased with this misidentification.
The above may be an example of alternative facts, but somethings are primarily errors in judgment. Helsingborg, Sweden is about to welcome the Museum of Failure, dedicated to ill-conceived products that could not be saved by even the biggest advertising budget. Here is an excellent (terrible?) example.
Do you want to put grated cheese on your toothbrush? More details at the following. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/0
Friday, June 2, 2017
Today begins West End Synagogue's annual retreat, an attempt to get this collection of anarchic Jews to do more or less the same thing at the same time. I am halfway through my lifetime appointment as director of this event, so I must cut short this week's review of the passing scene. However, before I leave, I have one treat for you.