15 posts categorized "New York"

The Nose

This morning I'm popping up to New York, by way of that classic movie mini-palace, the Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, Washington, to see the New York Metropolitan Opera's livestream of The Nose, a Shostakovich opera based on the story by Gogol.

The Nose

I'm not an opera fan, but I am a big William Kentridge fan.

Kentridge is the South African artist probably best known for his animated charcoal drawings.

I first encountered his work at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, at a major retrospective there. Next, a couple summers back, my wife and I saw an installation of his in the wing of a train station in Kassel, Germany, during the 100 days of Documenta.

Kentridge also designs sets and costumes for operas, including this production of The Nose.

Will report back.

Changes on West 44th between 5th and 6th Avenues

In the 1990s I saw Diana Krall play the Oak Room in the Algonquin Hotel. This was the early period of her career when she covered upbeat Nat King Cole numbers, her piano doubling as percussion in trio with Russell Malone's guitar and Christian McBride's bass. What a show. There were maybe a dozen tables crowded into the rectangular room. My table was less than a skip and a hop from Krall's baby grand.

10145451316_0203fb6ea4_zLast week, I was in the Algonquin having lunch with my wife and another couple. As we dealt with the check I asked our waiter if I might pop my head into the Oak Room. Sure, he said.

He followed me in. The room was smaller, squarer than I had remembered it. "It looks smaller," I said. "It is," he said. He explained how the wall of the bar to the south had pushed north. The bar was bathed in a gimmicky saphire light and was now the hotel's featured nightspot. But no live shows there. And no more shows in the Oak Room. "I saw Diana Krall play here ages ago," I said, nodding at a piano crammed into a corner. "That was the one she played," he said.

I returned to my wife and our friends and we left the Algonquin. Confident that the facades of West 44th had not changed, I promised my party I would show them the commemorative plaque on the building where the New Yorker magazine had long had its offices.

But I couldn't find it!

I doubled back a couple times, knowing a landmark like that would not be de-listed.

Finally I did spy a brass plaque, illegible through the thick plates of a glass vestibule. It was the old plaque I remembered, just not exposed to the sidewalk any longer. To accommodate a set of revolving doors, the plaque had to be walled in.

We all went into the vestibule to appreciate the plaque, and connect to the Algonquin round table the names of the famous writers referenced, people from an era preceding both me and Diana Krall.

Man About Town

That is a "Man About Town" in the foreground, an "Orange Blossom" in focus to the left.

Man About Town

The secret to the Man About Town is a liqueur made from artichoke.

I like this drink. It will replace the Sazerack as my go-tococktail.

Tomorrow is a latter day

Went to see The Book of Mormon. What a cast!

6a01156e3d83cb970c019affccdb78970b-580wiThe show ends up being about tolerance. Mormons are parodied, of course, but at the end you're told to tolerate the absurdities of their religion.

Making up stuff like that is what people do when they have nowhere else to turn.

"Whatever gets you through the night," as a famous New Yorker said.

Three Men at Art Exhibition

Photography was permitted, so I snapped this shot of a small drawing by Edward Hopper, dated from 1900-1903.

Three Men at Art Exhibition

It is part of a Whitney Museum show, closing this weekend, that reveals Hopper's practice of preparing to paint his iconic masterpieces in oil by first drawing studies in chalk, charcoal and graphite.

This drawing - small, the width of a spread hand - is not a study for any painting, as far as I know. But I really like it.

You Never Can Tell

Is the phrase above a casual truism or prescriptive admonishment?

Neither.

6a01156e3d83cb970c019affc285e1970c-580wiIt is the title of a play from 1897 by George Bernard Shaw.

I've heard Shaw performed on radio, plenty. Nothing better.

But I've never *seen* a Shaw play performed. Will let you know how it goes.

The view from Joe Bartlett's office on Park Avenue

Stopped by Joe Bartlett's office on Park Avenue this morning.

We chatted about where things seem to stand, now a week+ past September 23.

The view from Joe Bartlett's office on Park Avenue

Joe is wondering just how the Reg D filings are breaking, between 506(b) and 506(c). Pretty soon, we will be able to survey Form D filings and tell. (Little observed fact: while of course the proposed rules overhauling Reg D are not in effect, the final 506(c) rule includes a tweak to Form D to differentiate between 506 deals making use of general solicitation, and those sticking with the old prohibition.)

I think we both continue to feel that the viability - no, call it the utility - of 506(c) will depend in no small measure on how effectively the ecosystem develops alternative "techniques" (I am borrowing that term from a colleague of Joe's) for applying the principles-based method of accredited investor verification, as distinct from the four non-mandatory, non-exclusive methods spelled out in the rule.

The other way it might go, of course, is that third parties could just get so efficient at automating and routinizing the income and net worth methods, alternatives won't be as important.

So the jury is still out.

Meantime, also taking place in Joe's building today, Major League Baseball continues to conduct some kind of proceeding in connection with Alex Rodriguez's eligibility to play baseball. Pictured is a crowd of protesters, pro-Rodriguez.

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