Thursday, December 28, 2006

Janet Dunn Salon

Janet Dunn, third from left - in Purple.

The annual Janet Dunn Fashion Event took place this December at Trades Hall with lots of fun, food, drinks, champagne and the most amazing Dunn fashions including re-Dunn items you just couldn’t imagine but admired. The Duchess showed up to model her signature dress before her trip abroad to Sydney. Pics with Dunn fashions: Janet, the Duchess, the Caterer (yum yum), Kaz Funky Blue, Helen in Zipper Dress, the photographer, Kaz Funky Blue & yours truly in an original red jacket by Janet priced “expensive” for me, but many items were affordable and bought up by very happy and satisfied patrons. It was a blast. Check Janet and her fashions out at

The Duchess, Helen Varley Jameison, Other photos: The Caterer, Kaz Funky Blue, Zipper Dress, The Photographer, Kaz Funky Blue & Yours Truly with unidentified object protruding from hip...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Conspiracy Theory Raw Food

from yard to table

.....the shortest distance from source to soul, my own salad from the backyard includes a good washing in between. When you can see things grow, and touch them while they are still growing into the earth it brings an appreciation no market or store can provide. I always wash greens and vegetables in a solution of water and grapefruit seed extract (10 drops to a basin of water) to remove any possible parasites, dirt, micro orgasms and whatever it is all those pesky black flies leave behind after sun bathing on my greens.

This is more important now than ever before. When I was in New York this year, there were some deaths in the U.S. due to bad ‘packaged’ organic spinach. I can hear the speeches from George Bush now, “raw food bad, processed food good.” (like after 9/11, air quality good.) These packages claim the contents are ready to eat no washing necessary. Sounds like eat at your own risk.

Conspiracy Theory? It’s only a matter of time before our governments convince us that whole food is dangerous. They claimed that even if people had washed that spinach, they still would have gotten sick!!

The wind was so strong last night my new spinach plants had a hard time keeping their roots in the ground, some barely survived. The wind is picking up again today for a third day in a row. Some say the wind is stronger than ever, but some say, why do you think they call it windy Wellington? Either way, everyone talks about the weather but no one really does anything about it. Or, do they?

Wind turbines. Why not use the wind? There is a wind turbine in Brooklyn (not New York, New Zealand) and one recent theatrical production at least addressed this issue. Or did they? Stay tuned darlings.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Bacchanals Hamlet

Hamlet by William Shakespeare -- in New Zealand. What a thrill to hear and see Shakespeare in a new theatre community. I've seen a lot of theatre in New York and this is one of the best ever! This production by The Bacchanals, who say (in their program) that they are “...committed to fighting an onslaught of boring plays with nothing to say about the state of humanity. . . If theatre has the power to change the world, then it has the responsibility to as well.”

Here here!!

This production has been touring the Wellington area with FREE shows in Brooklyn, Paekakariki, Lyall Bay, Upper Hutt, Mount Victoria, Island Bay, Makara, Thorndon and where I saw it: Newtown. Their website:

A three-hour show is long, but it was so inspiring. When it was over, I could still hear Ophelia singing. Erin Banks has a beautiful voice; she knows the differences and nuances between singing and speaking and how to use the singing voice in her character, to continue telling the story (something American Idol performers don’t get. They get picked up for Broadway and bomb!) I, along with the audience, was spell bound by Ophelia’s final scene.

Kudos also to John Smythe as the hilarious Polonius and the Grave Digger. His interpretation of each character was completely different and yet we laughed equally to the folly of each character’s take on the world they inhabited above and below ground.

Simon Vincent in the title role was like Iggy Pop with his shirt on. Veins were popping with each thought word and deed and when his dagger tore through the curtain and killed Polonius, he kept right on rocking.

Phil Peleton as the Ghost of King Hamlet and as Claudius delivered each performance with such grace and belief I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I knew what he was thinking, keeping me on the edge of my seat, wondering what he would do next, even though I knew the outcome of the story. My first sight of Gertrude the Queen seemed to be a too young casting choice but Jean Copland graciously dropped her young persona for finding a deeper meaning to her role as wife, mother, and whore.

All the actors worked together flawlessly. David Lawrence directed this production in the Newtown Community Center in a way to include the audience, sometimes more intimately than expected but always with style to keep us engrossed. Three hours can be a long time, but Hamlet gives us some of our most well known phrases: to be or not to be, get thee to a nunnery, sweets to the sweet, good night sweet prince & flights of angels sing thee to thy rest, frailty they name is woman!, the play’s the thing, and go not to my uncle’s bed (I’m sure that has been repeated since 1603.) What’s your favorite?

This production definitely accomplished its goal: bring great theatre to the community and they will come. The place was packed. The tea break was lovely too.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Queen Elizabeth Park, Raumati South Entrance

Walking in the dunes, along the beach, back into the trail N and I passed a man and his two dogs; a minute later we contemplated whether the dogs or the man made this pissing trail.

Free hugs

Broadway, Soho, New York, 2006. This threesome told me this is how they spend their spare time.
Can I take your picture?
Only if you hug us.....

Tail lights getting higher

Hudson Street, The Village, Manhattan, Nov., 2006. Waiting for Sean.

Barton Benes & Screaming Jesus

Barton Lidice Benes & Screaming Jesus

I had the privilege of visiting Barton Lidice Benes in his home in Greenwich Village this year. Here he is with one of his original works ‘Screaming Jesus’. Barton’s home is a museum, every inch is taken up with his work or the things he collects and he collects strange things. This is a New York apartment, which is average size and yet he has room for artifacts all over the world. In fact Barton has already made arrangements to have his apartment transported to a museum when he dies which will move everything intact, including his bed, TV, the remote and his ashes so he can continue to watch his favorite TV shows. Goggle Barton and enjoy so many images of his work. The weirdest item in his apartment for me was the bull’s head on the wall opposite the cooking area. Barton said someone sent it to him from abroad because he admired it. His work is amazing and beautiful.

Million Dollar Condos

Essex House Manhattan

The Park View refers to Central Park.

Even with a view I can’t get over these condo’s starting at $2,500,000. That doesn’t include maintenance or water or gas or electric or groceries or the maid. After being back in New Zealand for a week and living close to the sea with spectacular views and walking into the backyard where there are vegetables and flowers, I prefer living close to nature rather than having an apartment with a view of it.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I Stand Corrected

A recent email:

I ck in on your blog from time to time when im bored and surfing. glad to hear you've found peace in new zealand. thought you might like to be reminded that you did walk out out on another movie, 1995's leaving las vegas, a movie about suicidal alcoholism which also has strong scenes of violence against women, staring nicholas cage. take care.

I do remember the moment of walking out of that movie and I've been writing about that emotion ever since and will continue.....

In the meantime, what does 'stand corrected' mean? Does it mean that I stand up to be seen to acknowledge a wrong I committed in word or deed? Does it mean I mean it more than if I was sitting and acknowledged it? Or does it mean I've accepted the correctness, and I stand and take it like a man? What is the origin of this phrase that so easily fell off my tongue, without a thought?...I stand corrected....It's just a phrase, a title for the blog, but I'm sure its meaning is quite deep because when we use "I stand corrected," everyone knows what we mean.


LET'S GO TO PRISON. (on the bar of soap). Billboard, Canal Street, Chinatown, Manhattan, Nov 2006. "Welcome to the Slammer" is the marketing hook for a movie that apparently thinks sexual violence in prison is funny.

Bloody American Movies

On my second night back in New Zealand, I went to the Light House in Pauatahanui, a lovely theatre cafe next to a reserve with the only salt marsh in the North Island. A place where you can have a bite, a drink, a peaceful walk and top it off with a movie. The $16 ticket price is high and the ticket seller did not say it was for a reserved seat, which we discovered later. The menu is cafe style with only roasted vegetables for a vegetarian choice. “Just a little meat,” or a “little bit of cheese on top” is not vegan. I’m always surprised by how much meat everyone eats.

"The Departed," an American movie, directed by Scorsese seemed a good choice. But minutes into the sexist, racist banter by DiCaprio, Damon, Wahlberg and Nicolson I was squirming in my seat. Just in case we didn’t see men plummeting each other to satisfaction, the sound reminded us that the crushed skulls were indeed crushed beyond any doubt. The movie takes place in the 60’s, a cheap shot to use politically incorrect words....c___, n_____, p____ over and over again because cops and thugs really did talk that way on the job and off.

I have never left a movie before the end – before. 40 minutes into The Departed I bolted from the theatre feeling nauseous. I do not understand extreme violence as entertainment. And I do not agree with the producers that it is simply reflecting what the public wants. We live in extreme violent times, in our homes and on the battlefields. Why do we enjoy watching others, even in ‘fictional’ stories, being hurt? Why do we want to “see” so much blood? And even in the name of “no censorship,” why do we like to see men killing each other while calling each other cunts? My mind may know a movie is just a story on the silver screen, but every cell in my body takes in every bloody blow.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Ghandi, Union Square Park, Manhattan, Nov 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

2 December 2006

1 December 2006

Nov 30 2006

Autumn/New York

At the airport Immigration said, "Welcome Home" and yes I do feel home, New Zealand, but miss my daughter. I left on Wednesday the 29th, arrived on Friday Dec 1st. Never had Thursday. I'll never have Nov 30th.

The last day is like the first, the first is the last. No responsibilities, technology, people I know. For 24 hours I was unreachable in between here and there. Trying to just be. As I fell off track I got back, focused and tried to stay in the moment. The trip is now in thepast, a moment in memory, not asking to be categorized as good or bad. Winter is behind me where it is 65 F (18.333 Celsuius) today in New York; and I'm in Pukerua Bay, Summer, where the sun is hot and the birds and trees say they missed me. And where it is 17 Celsius (62.6 F) -

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stories I was writing that I never finished

....titles coming....when i can find them in my finder...

Last New York Day Pics


My Last Day in New York

This is a funny thing, the last, the first, the end, the beginning. I am fascinated at how I observe knowing it's the last, the first, the end and so on. And today is my last day with my daughter, my last meal in a fav restaurant, my last meditation with Sharon Salzberg, my last moments in this apartment. I am blessed. The weather is good (thank you to global warming), in fact, too good of course. 60's for the end of November is much much too warm.
Pics and stories I wish I had written to come.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Living Theatre

Judith Malina and Hanon Reznikov Nov 18 2006

On November 18th, Judith Malina and Hanon Reznikov of The Living Theatre were guest speakers at The Club at La MaMa Etc as part of the Coffeehouse Chronicles of various speakers celebrating LaMaMa’s 45th Anniversary. Malina along with Julian Beck founded the Living Theatre in 1947. Now, in 2006 The Living Theatre has signed a ten-year lease on Clinton Street on The Lower East Side, one block from where I lived until recently. Judith commented with a smile that some people think she is crazy to sign a ten year lease at the age of 80 but why not.

The Living Theatre has staged more than 80 productions performed in eight languages in 25 countries on four continents.

The place was packed. The history is immense, and a look at the website will provide a full history. Here are some highlights I noted: Each play was a new attempt to include the audience in some way. Early on, Judith spent jail time with Dorothy Day whom she admired. Julian Beck was an abstract expressionist painter who designed the stage the same way he painted a canvas. Living Theatre members are pacifists and most are vegetarians, living their pacifist beliefs. The Living Theatre was part of an artistic community with an ongoing interplay between all the arts. They all engaged in supporting each other, including the visual arts, performing arts, music, jazz, poetry, and literature. The audience was their fellow artists and they were aware of important culture changes happening and they were part of it, living it, creating it. In 1961, they were the first American Theatre invited to the International World Festival. They had no money to go abroad but auctioned some paintings donated by de Kooning, Rauschenberg and others. Hanon commented with a wry smile, “If we had only kept just one painting.” Judith’s direction of “The Brig” by Kenneth H Brown in 1963 is still relevant today and will be the opening play at their new space. In Brazil, they were arrested and the Brazilian artists were tortured.

The Living Theatre is one of the reasons to love New York. I remember Al Pacino saying at an Actors Studio rehearsal that watching The Living Theatre was the most “present” experience he ever had in the theatre. Many actors have worked with The Living Theatre. When asked how actors audition to be part of the ensemble Judith smiled and said if you are meant to be a member you will find a way. Right now, their work "No Sir" right in Times Square at the US Army's Recruiting Station is the best theatre on Broadway!!

Judith and Hanon graciously posed for me for my travel blog. You can go to The Living Theatre’s website: to read more and to check out photos.

Their Mission Statement is worth the is an excerpt:

To call into question
who we are
to each other
in the social environment of
the theater,
to fire the body’s secret engines,

to insist that what happens in the jails matters,

New Science at Theatre for the New City

Norman, Bonny, Dana and the writer, Jessica Slote

After the show, actors, audience, and the tip of the head of Jessica, the writer

I attended a Production "New Science" at the Theatre for the New City, an 11 scene visual and aural delight based on Giambattista Vico's (1668-1744) masterwork, "Nuova Scienza" which influenced authors as diverse as Karl Marx and James Joyce. Vico proposes, "In the night of thick darkness enveloping the earliest antiquity, so remote from ourselves, there shines the enternal and never failing light of a truth beyond all question: that the world of civil society has certainly been made by humans, and that its princinples are therefore to be found within the modifications of our own human mind." Phew, it sometimes felt like that. Book by Jessica Slote, directed by Martin Reckhaus, the costumes were wonderful, the live music beautiful, the body parts creepy and the elder couple across from me who fell asleep woke to find a prop in their laps (a blanket.). My laughter embarrassed my friend Bonny but Norman started laughing first so I got the giggles and my daughter Dana was also infected. Still, with the actors including the audience from time to time I felt vindicated at a little giggle. It was fun and profound and that made it worth going out for. And the website:

Staged Reading of Two Plays, New York

Tribes Gallery

Nov 19th: Here I am with the wonderful Steve Cannon at Tribes Gallery in the LES.. My gig was such an amazing success.

The Press Release:

A one-act two-character play about an American woman living in her new home in Wellington, New Zealand. Missing her daughter and everything she knows she takes walks by the sea and retells her experiences to her partner, a New Zealand national who has to sort out if he wants her to stay or to go. With Elizabeth Grey, Tadhg O’Mordha & Marilyn Beck.

A ten-minute play about two homeless people looking for spare change and a kind word moments before and after 9/11. With Dawn D’Arcy, Sean St. John. & Marilyn Beck.

It was a wonderful evening of what theatre is about: for me it’s nothing without the actors and the audience to make the words on the page come alive. Such a cliche way to say how wonderful and lovely it is to experience the whole process: to write, to have a space to present it, to have actors give their time and to have an audience to come AND stay after and give comments. Some comments: fantastic, wonderful, naughty, confusing, ambiguous. In particular, the reaction of gender to Winter was most fascinating....I didn’t write a woman’s play, but the men and women had opposite reactions to WINTER, which pleases me.

The Story Behind the story...

The story behind the blog about Julio and Benjamin (Nov 5 2006)

In a sea of thousands of people of color I suppose my white face and red hair stood out as I approached Julio and Ben. What TV station are you from? Julio asked me when I said, can I ask you a few questions. Independent blog I responded. I was taking notes of their take on the situation (read about it in the Nov 5 blog) when suddenly a blonde woman pushed me aside with her microphone (with Channel 4 prominently displayed) and a large camera butted me aside and she interviewed Julio and Ben. Maybe the blonde TV woman saw safety in numbers, or maybe she really didn’t know where to go and interviewed the two men I was interviewing because I was white. I don’t know what was going on in her pretty little head, but I can’t figure out with all the thousands of people waiting in line that she randomly picked the only two men I was interviewing for her story. That night I turned on Channel 4 news and there was Julio. Somehow the law of cause and effect was in operation.

Vincent van Gogh at MOMA

Vincent van Gogh
The Starry Night 1889

The Museum of Modern re-opened in 2005 after being closed for five years for renovation. I waited in line to attend opening night back then. It’s collection includes some of the world’s best: Cezanne’s The Bather, Matisse’s Dance, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and others. It’s amazing that you can photograph some of the works of art. I love van Gogh. His technique is so beautiful and you have to get very close to appreciate it. I have spent many hours in the past looking at his work. But when I peered at The Starry Night and said to my sister, ‘look you can actually see the canvas,’ suddenly a guard appeared and said, “Miss, you must stand back two feet.” There is no rope, no signs, nothing that told me I couldn’t get close; but, he called me ‘Miss.’

Monday, November 20, 2006

Circle Line

It was only a half circle, construction on the river they said. But it's still beautiful to see the Brooklyn Bridge.

Tour Guide for Janice James and Michael

My sister Janice and her two sons, Michael and James, came to town (from Michigan) while her husband their father did business things and I played tour guide. Took them out for a two day whirl of the city and I got to see the Statue of Liberty again. Here's a fav shot of my two nephews and the lady. It was their first trip to the Big Apple. I think they all fell in love.

Hudson Street, West Village

Love this restaurant name in my favorite part of New York City, the West Village, still beautiful, architecturally wonderful, old and new, the best neighborhood.

My New York Gig

Pre praise for the work comes from Bonny Finberg. Here is a copy of her email to her friends:
Hi All,
I'm sending you this announcement of my friend Dangerous Diane's
play, which is opening at Tribes on Sunday as well. So if you're free
after Sparrow's party, walk over to Tribes to see the work of this
amazing writer, performer, all around vehicle of brilliance who is
also funny as hell. And i do mean Hell. She is only here another
couple of weeks before she returns to her home in New Zealand, to
where she fled after taking The Downtown NY scene by storm during the
eighties and nineties. Her last Fringe Festival piece, The Drunk
Monologues, was a journey of love, music and alcohol, through Diane's
painfully honest lens from the sublime to the ridiculous. See
announcement of her performance of two new Plays, WINTER and MARLEY
AND RACHEL for one performance only below: DON'T MISS THIS!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Selling Inner Peace with Luxury Condos



...who used to be older than me who are now younger than me... Bo Derek & Morgan Fairchild

Love Birds On Broadway

Dana and Shane: These lovebirds took me to the theatre to see Jay Johnson's one person show "The Two and Only". I'm always interested in how one person can keep an audience together for a solo show, but in this case of course, Johnson's dummies share the stage with him. The history of ventriloquism weaved through Johnson's personal story. He wasn't just an actor on SOAP who played the part of a ventriloquist with his dummy Bob who chewed up the scenery; he was a ventriloquist who, in his own words, "got the part of a lifetime."

Julio and Benjamin

This is Julio Rodriguez and Benjamin Franklin Jr., two young men looking for work.

Walking along 9th Avenue I noticed a lot of people, mostly young, waiting in line. This line continued to wind around the block on 36th Street to 8th Avenue, along 8th Avenue and over to 37th Sreet, back to 9th Avenue, in all four blocks. It looked like hundreds of young people. It was in fact over 5,000. There was a police presence, vans, cars, paddy wagons and police on horses. I asked Julio and Benjamin what was going on because they were on the opposite side of the street from the lines. They were pushed out of the line, waiting for an application from M&M (the candy company) for a job.

Julio said it was total chaos, there were fights and people were pushed around, some had been there as early as 5 and 6 a.m. hoping for a chance for one of only about 100 jobs (clerical, mail room, etc.) and half of those were part time. All I want Julio said is an application, but none have been offered. We just keep waiting and waiting.

Benjamin on the other hand said it was all very positive. People are struggling for work, Benjamin said, this is the community looking for work, wanting work, not wanting to be on the street and that is a good thing. He said we need work and M&M are offering a chance for some people. It's a lot of madness he said, but that's because people are struggling. They want to work. The jobs were paying, according to the posted ad in the newspaper, $10.75/hour.

Contest Update

Helen has offered me coffee in her kitchen if I tell her who it, here's a hint: He's from DETROIT, of which I am the unofficial ambassador to since I grew up there and since it has produced so many musicians. Even Patti Smith, who is from New Jersey, lived there for 20 years, because she married Fred Smith (MC5).

The Sunset Limited

Austin Pendelton and Freeman Coffey. Photo: Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents

I had the good fortune to see "The Sunset Limited" in previews recently. My favorite subject, “suicide” (to be or not to be) with my favorite drama device: the two-character one act. I love no intermission, two characters going at it, nothing to stop real time and everything to feed my imagination. Austin Pendleton is an amazing actor who makes me sit on the edge of my seat. Simply put: he is absolutely believable in this role of a belief in one's right to suicide. Freeman Coffey is also wonderful as the ex-con who is on a more spiritual mission of saving souls, in this case, a lost one who doesn't believe he is worth it. Both are astonishing and together it makes for an incredibly satisfying evening about our perception of the self that goes on and on. Since the theatre that night was being painted we got to see the play in the lobby. A rare treat to see professional actors thrown into a last minute change and watch them go at it. Later I walked alone along 59th Street and Central Park South, feeling inspired by the night, the park and the creative energy that goes into the collaborative process of live theatre. Check it out:

Through November 19th
Tue - Fri 8:15
Sat 2:15 & 8:15
Sun 3:15 at 59E59 Theatre
By Cormac McCarthy. Directed by Sheldon Patinkin
Featuring Ensemble members Austin Pendleton and Freeman Coffey
From the website:
The Sunset Limited a new play by acclaimed fiction writer Cormac McCarthy, directed by Sheldon Patinkin and starring Austin Pendleton and Freeman Coffey. Perofrmances through November 19, Tuesday through Friday at 8:15 pm, Saturday at 2:15 and 8:15 and Sunday at 3:15 pm. Single tickets $40, $28 for 59E59 members available by calling Ticket Central. More invo visit

Description: On a subway platform in New York City, an ex-con from the South saves the life of an intellectual atheist who wasn’t looking for slavation. Now the reformed murderer-turned-savior ventrues to offer salvation of another kind, bringing the failed suicide victim back to his Harlem apartment for an articulate and moving debate about truth, fiction and belief that only Cormac McCarthy (novelist, All the Pretty Horses) could pen. Described by the Chicago Tribune as “astonishingly effecting, so powerful, so stimulating,” this commanding two-hander features the dynamic performances of Austin Pendleton and Freeman Coffey.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Name the pop star in the "I Don't Get It" blog below.... scroll down.....first one to email me the answer wins a free cuppa in your fav cafe in your town...but NOT starbucks.... contest runs for one week. November 4, 2006

Ribbons for Peace

Marble Collegiate Church, Manhattan. Prayers for Peace.
These Ribbons have been hung on this fence since the 3rd anniversary of the US attacking Iraq in March, 2003.

Gold ribbons represent prayers for the families and friends of the service people who have lost their lives. As people die, more ribbons are added.

Blue ribbons represent prayers for those in Iraq, for the families and friends of the Iraqis who have lost their lives and for all who have been wounded.

Green ribbons represent prayers for peace.

“The toll of human pain and suffering is impossible to measure.” I read these words are on a plague displayed behind the fence, along with a statue of Norman Vincent Peale, “Minister of this Church from 1932 –1984.”

Caught in the Web of the Stage

Steven benIsrael, one of The Living Theatre's legendary, well known New York Performance & Theatre artists

Friday, November 03, 2006

more halloween pics

The Orchestra

Subway Zombie Drag


Consume Consume Consume (Norman & Susan)

military zombies

Halloween 2006

October 31, 2006.

Shooting a camera on the subway is illegal, (some Patriot law) but on this Halloween, I took a chance and saw some very scary things. Then off to the Halloween party at the Theatre for the New City where the highlight was tap dancer Laraine’s tata’s with a spider. After Laraine’s deep cleavage, the terrorist couple and zombie service men drew the most gasps. Norman Savitt’s guitar playing with his friend Susan Mitchell’s violin accompaniment was beautiful and the dance floor drew out triple heads and yours truly dancing slow under the spell of a woman’s voice who must have been an angel.

girl with pot is my fav