Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Oscar Goes To…

Charlize Theron Christian Dior

Naomi Watts Armani Prive

Rooney Mara Givenchy Haute Couture

Julianne Moore Chanel

saoirse-ronan-oscars-best-dressed-2016

Saoirse Ronan Calvin Klein

The Academy Awards honor actors and actresses who have given exemplary performances in film.  I understand that what they wear to the awards ceremony is not as important as how they performed in their respective films.  However, I must admit that I love tuning in to see what the actresses have chosen to wear, anyway, because I love fashion and I enjoy seeing the exquisite dresses that designers have created for them.  Above are my top five choices for best dressed ladies.  Honorable mention goes to perennial favorite Cate Blanchett and new comer Brie Larson, who both looked gorgeous in their Armani Prive and Gucci gowns, respectively.

The March of the Pikachus

Imagine coming across twenty marching Pikachus.  It was a very funny sight that left me incredibly curious.  Rather than disturbing the handlers who were making sure that the Pikachus didn’t trip or bump into each other, I looked it up when I got home.   I discovered that February 28th is the twentieth anniversary of Pokémon and the twenty marching Pikachus were making appearances around the city.  I must tell my cousin Elana that she and Pokémon were born on the same day back in 1996.  Happy Birthday to both of you!

Crispy Croissants

The perfect croissant is flaky and crispy on the outside but light and soft on the inside. I learned this from my grandfather, who was very particular about this delicious, traditionally French breakfast staple.  He bemoaned the transformation of the croissant into an over-sized, amorphous blob with a soft, chewy exterior and a doughy interior (á la supermarket bakeries and Sara Lee).  I set out to find the perfect croissant in New York City and, while I haven’t tried them all, here are my top picks as of now:

Almondine 85 Water Street Brooklyn

 Ceci Cela 55 Spring Street Manhattan

Balthazar Bakery 80 Spring Street

Night at the Museum

You can experience a Night at the Museum for free every Friday night at the Museum of Modern Art.  Thanks to a sponsorship arrangement with retailer Uniqlo, attendees have free entry to the museum on Friday nights between 4 PM and 8 PM.  I visit MOMA from time to time, but was not aware of Free Fridays until I was there this evening.  I guess that I haven’t been on a Friday night since this program began.  It was a great way to spend a few hours on a Friday evening with a good friend.

I love having access to great works of art and am enlightened and inspired every time I visit a museum. Here are a few of the pieces that I enjoyed on this particular visit:

 

Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup Cans 1962

Ellsworth Kelly Colors for a Large Wall 1951

Piet Mondrian Broadway Boogie Woogie 1943

Picasso Girl Before a Mirror 1932

Picasso Three Musicians 1921

Van Gogh Starry Night 1889

 

On the Money

twenty-dollars_full

It is about time that a woman graced a unit of paper currency.  Our nation is well into its third century and, yet, there hasn’t been a woman on paper currency, with the brief exception of Martha Washington in the late nineteenth century  on a $1 silver certificate– whatever that is.  Women comprise more than 50% of the population.  We work hard to earn money.  We work hard to spend the money. Therefore, we have earned the right to appear on money.

There have been conversations recently about the possibility of replacing Alexander Hamilton with a woman on the $10 note. I object to this because Alexander Hamilton was the first secretary of the treasury and founder of our country’s monetary system.  He deserves his place on the $10 bill.  I vote that we ditch Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill.  Jackson was a scoundrel who caused much turmoil during his presidency.  He is especially known for the heinous acts that he committed against Native Americans, so he does not deserve the honor of gracing our currency.

I nominate Jeanette Rankin as the first woman to appear on a paper bill.  She was the first woman to serve as a congressperson.  She was elected to serve her state of Montana four years before the passage of the 19th amendment, ensuring woman national suffrage.   There are many qualified women in the annals of American history.  It should not be difficult to find a deserving candidate.

RIP Harper Lee

Millions of students across the country have read the important and influential novel To Kill A Mockingbird, written in 1960 by the inimitable Harper Lee.  Ms. Lee did not publish another book for the next 55 years until her previously written sequel, Go Set A Watchman, was published this past summer.  To Kill A Mockingbird, which won the Pulitzer Prize, was one of my favorite books and taught me and generations of students about racism in the deep south and the importance of standing up for what is right even when it is not always easy to do. I have not read Go Set A Watchman, although it topped the best seller charts this summer. I am hesitant to read it because I loved To Kill A Mockingbird so much  and I am afraid that it might be a let down to read it.

Ms. Lee lived the remainder of her life reclusively, dividing her time between New York City and her home in Monroeville, Alabama. The world lost a literary giant with the passing of Ms. Lee.  

Best in Show

California Journey, a German Shorthaired Pointer, otherwise known as CJ, won the prestigious Best in Show title at the Westminster Dog Show held here in New York City. Nearly 3000 contestants participated in the 140th annual show, representing approximately 200 breeds of dogs. This event is considered the second longest running sporting event behind the Kentucky Derby, but it seems more like a pageant to me. Dogs are primped and pampered in preparation for the show and dog handlers take their work very seriously as they parade their dogs around the rings. CJ was given the royal treatment on the heels of his big win. He appeared on Good Morning America, had a photo shoot atop the Empire State Building, and dined on steak at Sardi’s Restaurant.

In honor of CJ’s win, I am posting photos of my little guy. He wins Best in Show in my book.

Hamilton: A Tale of Two Men

Alexander Hamilton was a brilliant man who helped shape American politics in the early days of the United States of America.  He was appointed as the first Secretary of the Treasury by President George Washington and created monetary policy that prevented America from going into bankruptcy.  He was a complex man, who was a prolific writer and a great orator. He is best remembered for his death in a duel by Aaron Burr and for appearing on the $10 bill.  That is, until now.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is also a brilliant man.  He came up with the genius idea of turning a biography of an 18th century political figure into a rap musical. This show has received huge critical acclaim and has been playing to sold out audiences since it debuted off Broadway last February.  Miranda wrote the script, the music and the lyrics, and stars as the title character in the production, as well.  Most Broadway musicals have been written by partnerships in which one person writes the lyrics and the other writes the music (i.e. Rogers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Kander and Ebb).  I cannot think of anyone who has done all that Miranda has done.  

I highly recommend Hamilton  I’ve already dowloaded the music and can’t stop listening to it. Run, don’t walk, to see this clever, fabulous musical.

Love Is All Around

I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes.  Love is all around me and so the feeling grows…

I was recently watching the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral and heard the song, Love Is All Around Me.  Originally written and performed in 1967 by a long-forgotten British band named the Troggs, it was re-recorded in 1994 by a Scottish band called Wet Wet Wet.  The song reminds us, especially on Valentine’s Day, that love is, indeed, all around us.  News programs tend to focus on negativity and hate rather than positivity and love. So this Valentine’s Day, let us focus on love rather than hate.  

The Big Chill

New Yorkers thought that they were in for a mild winter this year and, for a while, that seemed to be the case.  Although winter weather arrived late, it arrived with a vengeance.  First, New York City was hit with the second biggest snowfall on record and now it is experiencing temperatures that the city hasn’t felt in more than two decades. This New Yorker, for one,  is officially done with the big chill and is ready for the big thaw. 

*stock internet photo