Archive for March, 2011

Photo diary: a Saturday stroll through glamorous Manhattan

March 22, 2011





Quote of the day: WHY

March 17, 2011

WHY

The only way to live is like the rose, without a Why.

— Meister Eckart

Quote of the day: BICYCLE

March 16, 2011

BICYCLE

Any tips for New Yorkers who have just started bike commuting?

Pretend you’re invisible. Think of cars and buses as big, awkward animals that don’t mean any harm but have limited brainpower and eyesight. Watch out for car doors heedlessly opening – I don’t know if there are statistics on what causes accidents involving bicycles, but getting doored is the main thing I worry about. Be nice to pedestrians. They are not the enemy. If you startle one, make eye contact and apologize profusely. Take your time – it’s safer, and you won’t get all sweaty. Your ears are your radar dishes; they help you “see” what’s out of your field of vision. So: no iPods, please, and for God’s sake no cellphones.

— Hendrik Hertzberg, interviewed in Reclaim (the magazine published by Transportation Alternatives)

From the deep archives: Harry Kondoleon’s SELF TORTURE AND STRENUOUS EXERCISE

March 16, 2011


Adding to the archive I’m creating at HarryKondoleon.com, I’ve just posted online the review that I wrote for the Soho News in 1980 of his one-act play Self Torture and Strenuous Exercise, one of his best and most-produced works.

This was his first full production in New York City (while he was still a student at Yale Drama School), my first exposure to his wicked wit and attention-getting language, and the first attention he got from the New York press.  He wrote the play for a class taught by Arthur Kopit. The assignment was to write a play with three characters named A, B, and C. As I synopsized in my review:

Carl confesses to his best friend Alvin that he’s in love with another woman besides his wife, Adel; Alvin assures him that’s okay for a widower, not knowing that Adel survived her latest suicide attempt and not knowing that Carl’s paramour is his own wife, Beth. Adel arrives in disguise, wrists bound, and swearing vengeance. “Carl is the source of everything evil in the world!” she cries. “Adel, calm down,” soothes Alvin, “you’re beginning to distort things.”

You can read the complete review online here.

Carl confesses to his best friend Alvin that he’s in love with another woman besides his wife, Adel; Alvin assures him that’s okay for a widower, not knowing that Adel survived her latest suicide attempt and not knowing that Carl’s paramour is his own wife, Beth. Adel arrives in disguise, wrists bound, and swearing vengeance. “Carl is the source of everything evil in the world!” she cries. “Adel, calm down,” soothes Alvin, “you’re beginning to distort things.”

March 16, 2011


Yes, I broke down and bought tickets for the damn thing just to see Julie Taymor’s work before somebody else comes in and starts “improving” it. What I saw did not match any of the reviews or word-of-mouth I’d heard before. It’s not the greatest show ever, but hardly the worst thing. Check out my review on CultureVulture.net and let me know what you think.

Also, get a load of Annie Leibovitz’s photo spread in Vogue — the costumes (clothing + mask + sculpture + rigging) are spectacular. The few glimpses in the show of Swiss Miss (below), whom I describe as “a cross between Grace Jones, the Terminator, and a Swiss army knife,” left me wanting to see more more more.

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