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: http://www.livingtheatre.org to read more and to check out photos.

Their Mission Statement is worth the click...here 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: http://newscience2006.blogspot.com

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 is....so, 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 www.59E59.org

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

I don't get it

If Tower Records is closing worldwide because the music industry is going digital, and if only 6% of record sales are downloaded, then why is tower records closing worldwide. I don't get it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another Cab Accident in New York

While working at my computer this morning in the living room I heard the sound I know and hate to hear. CRASH. it's a familiar sound. It's an awful sound. And then there is the silence after the sound. And then CHAOS. I looked out the window and saw a cab and a car both in the pedestrian walkway at 37th Street and 9th Avenue. I took this picture out my window. This is a busy street. It was good to see no pedestrians were hurt or killed in this accident. I could see, after the fact, how the black car had pushed the cab into the barriers and how they came to rest.

Notice the cab driver, he's in blue. He was a bit hysterical.
Notice the guy in suspenders, he was the driver of the other car. He was calm. Many witness joined in later fighting up a storm with each other, which just proves: Four corners, one accident, four views of what happened.

Mark Wolz Dharma Rising

Mark Wolz. Astrologer. Certified Yoga Teacher and Thai Yoga Practitioner.

Mark is one of New York’s most amazing spiritual practitioners. I have had the good fortune of having my chart read, taken his yoga classes, and received a Thai Yoga Massage. All wonderful.

When I decided to leave New York Mark prepared a relocation chart for me. This gave me insight on some questions I was having about my work.

Curious about astrology or Thai yoga?
Here’s a brief quote from Mark’s approach to astrology: “In any plan you make, with every action you take, timing is a key factor. Using astrology, Mark Wolz can help you set your goals and time the steps that will carry you to those goals.”

Oh yeah, we also trained together in stress management and yoga, so his approach is very peaceful and his knowledge of stress reduction is part of all his work.

Check out Mark’s website: http://www.DharmaRising.com

Here's another quote I like about Mark's approach to astrology from his card:
"Astrology is ultimately an exploration of the self; the study of astrology inevitably changes the self. You will find my classes continually refreshing and exciting. Expect homework; be open to insight; enjoy the journey."

Bummer Man

Kindness from strangers: A contradictory moment.
On a walk with Dawn in Bay Ridge Brooklyn I stopped to shoot this bummer, a few feet from the corner at an intersection when an approaching car on my right stopped so she wouldn't block my view. Are you done? she shouted cheerfully.
After a baby and a dog, a camera prompts acts of kindness from strangers.

Dawn D'Arcy: Another Voice about CBGB's

Dawn is a kickass bass player, yoga teacher, Actor, Writer, Reiki Healer, Mother of Two, Bartender, and a real pal. I am one of many people lucky to have her in my life. She sent me this email about CB's.

hey d,

I just read your blog. I always really enjoy it. I do have to say something about Hilly and CB's, though. I have a very good friend who works for the Homeless organization upstairs from CB's (also Hilly's landlord) and he had not paid rent in ages and was given a million opportunities to make good - he never did. He was also notorious for abusing musicians (as in no pay).
It really burns me to see him portraying himself as a victim. He's made his bed.

Yes, you can quote me on Hilly. He's the reason CB's closed. No bad landlords – no one trying to do him wrong. Everyone gave him a zillion opportunities. Now, he'll get rich on the CB's name alone...if he's as shrewd as I think, he's got the rights to it. He probably did right, later on, by Patti Smith and Debbie Harry and Talking Heads etc. because he had to - but...oh, well...