Friday, October 30, 2009

MusicArt gets published in Strange Maps

Alas, it is true. "World Beat Music" has officially been published in an actual book that is available in many fine bookstores. So yes, you can go to, for example, Barnes & Noble or Borders (or other small, locally owned booksellers) and find the book entitled "Strange Maps" by Frank Jacobs (published by Penguin Books) and find my "World Beat Music" on page 30. I am quite impressed!

I don't recall how I learned that my art had been included in the Strange Maps blogsite in February 2008 but it has been a great experience. Hopping onto the internet it is easy to forget that we really do live in a "global world", but the Strange Maps blog really made an impact on me. I was suddenly and unexpectedly getting attention from all over the world. Absolutely amazing!

I am providing a link to the World Beat Music entry on the Strange Maps site if you should dare venture there.

http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/247-all-the-world-in-a-song/#comments

I must also say that I was very impressed with Frank Jacobs. He seemed to be a very good guy to work with.

Hope you get a chance to check out this book.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Interesting Little Island

Okay, so it's been cold, windy, and rainy the past several days. Cold as in 39 - 44 degrees. Just enough to remind me that it's only going to get colder, despite my preference for warm and sunny weather. I will say that although I am rethinking the need to go out and get a bunch of errands taken care of in this not-so-great weather, I do have time to reflect on what an interesting place this little island is.

There is lots of "drama" that goes on with much of it being with the department of public safety. They are quite visible during the day and quick to "over enforce" most of the lesser known and unimportant rules of the island. It's amazing how many how many DPS personnel arrive on scene if a dog is off leash, but in the late evenings when young hooligans are up to no good you hard pressed to find assistance. And, they can make a situation occur that requires their immediate attention if nothing else is going on. Many of us on the island wish this were not so, but sadly . . . .

I should also mention that, at least in our part of the island there are many wonderful residents. Most everyone is friendly and kind and genuinely all around good people. Most of congregate around the dog run or get involved with something having to do with our kids. There is a real sense of community here. If/when we move, I will really miss that.

Since we have been here, there have been a few movies filmed around the island, most recently featuring scenes with Angelina Jolie. I personally have not spotted her, but have seen the film crews quite a few times. The most attention we have received here on the island is from the movie "Soul Storage" featuring Paul Giamatti. Part of their advertisements include a website that suggests that there really is a soul storage service here on the island. It never ceases to amaze me how we can find it so difficult to tell the difference between entertainment and reality.

There have been a couple of celebrities that have lived here, though I do not believe there are any at present. Sarah Jessica Parker lived here just after the island became officially retitled Roosevelt Island (early 1970's-ish) from it's really "glamorous-you've-just-absolutely-got-to-live-here-right away" name: "Welfare Island". Can't imagine why anyone would want to change that?!
Most recently until his passing in February 2006, Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis lived here for some time. To say he was a character is an understatement! The fact that he lived here impresses me. Okay, I am, admittedly, easily impressed. The island residents seemed to really love him still. They even named a park after him.

The Munsters was one of my all time favorite shows. This should, in no way detract from my love of The Simpsons, Seinfeld, SNL, or The Carol Burnett Show. Anyhoo, Al Lewis is a very interesting person. He always claimed to be much older (10-20 years older depending on who he was talking to) than he really was. Most people do that the other way around. He was in his mid 80's when he passed, but I always thought he had to be in his late 90's. Go figure! Also, one of the really interesting things about him was that he cowrote the song "Blueberry Hill". Who knew?! Now you do!

That's about it for now. I can prolong my need to venture back out into the rain, wind, and cold of NYC.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2 Museums in 1 Day


So it's Columbus Day and Emma has no school. What to do? Oh, I know, let's go to the Natural History Museum or the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Better yet, let's go to both. Once this idea was verbalized, the girl was only moderately agreeable. As she gets older, I'm finding many of my ideas are met with a look from the girl that just says"Lame!" But, as I am her dad and can still legally boss her around, she pretty much has to do what I say. I figure I have about three to five years at most of this type of arrangement, so I'm working it as much as I can.

So, today we headed off to the upper west side to go to the Natural History Museum and Planetarium. For those who have never been, it is cooler than words can describe. I let Emma navigate us through the subway system and must add that she really did a great job. Once we got in we were able to see the Space show. You get to recline in a comfy seat in a huge auditorium. The space show takes you from NYC up into space and through multiple galaxies. We were both astounded! And to prove how "unlame" my suggestion actually was, we both want to go back and see this show again.

I have included a picture from the walk of time that winds around the four million pound space sphere that is the planetarium. Although the included picture doesn't really show the most important detail, the glowing rectangular shape in the bottom right-hand corner is a human hair the width of which is the duration of time that we humans have been around since the big bang. The winding stairway which takes a few minutes to walk chronicles time since the big bang took place. Every four feet is a million years. It may not sound like it but it is quite impressive.

After leaving the NHM, we headed to Rockefeller Center so we could have lunch and the head over to MoMA. Once inside MoMA, we went up to the 5th floor so we could see the modern art. It is an amazing collection of work. My two favorite Picasso pieces are there: "The Guitar" (a metal
sculpture) and "Les Demoiselles D'Avignon". Emma also got to see (but not touch!) Van Goh's "The Starry Night". It was very cool to see her appreciate it. Last time we were there (July?) she got bumped into the painting which brought security scrambling and left Emma with images of being sentenced to Alcatraz.

We both enjoyed our day together, so I guess my idea wasn't all that lame after all. She hasn't actually gone so far as to say that, but I, as her dad, can tell . . . .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"I'm Sailing!"


This could almost be a still from a movie about the ever-so-wacky adventures of Plaky called "What About Plaky?" Alas, it is not. But, yes, that is me actually steering an 1890's style schooner in NY Harbor (the busiest harbor in the world!). Fortunately, I was only steering for a brief time. There were actually many other guests sailing that Sunday evening and it was a wonderful sail. The actual captain of the vessel is standing off to the right in the picture. That is Captain Cait and she is a Doctoral Student at Hunter and was my Teaching Assistant this past spring. She is not only incredibly smart (quite true!) but an all around wonderful person who also happens to be one of only a handful of female captains in NYC.
The steering of a schooner (and sailing) is quite therapeutic. I understand why people find it so relaxing-because it is. There had been a light rain by the time we set sail (6-8pm) and it was really great. Kathy and I had sailed with our Houston friends Darron and Jen back in June and really liked sailing around the NYC Harbor. I wanted to take Emma out for a sail around the Statue of Liberty because, well, I just don't get tired of seeing her (the statue). Emma also brought along her friend Catherine and they seemed to really enjoy the sail. Kathy and I loved it also. It was quite romantic being out in the quite harbor, seeing the Statue, and the Manhattan skyline at sunset.

Since my last post we have done all sorts of things. Classes have started back up and I am teaching States of Consciousness again (I love it!) and an Intro to Psych lecture (100 students approx.) and it too is rockin'. Kathy and I went to Boston for a wedding and really liked "Bahstin". I had forgotten that they have a complete disregard for the letter "R" when placed in the third or later position in any word. For example, "yard" is pronounced "yahd". It's quite interesting. We did get to see the graves of John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere among others. We walked through Boston Commons and swigged down beer at Cheers. The wedding was beautiful and Boston was just beautiful.

We experienced the 9/11 anniversary in NYC (amazing security everywhere) and the huge United Nations get together of world leaders. Have never experienced security measures such as those. It was almost overwhelming. Have also visited Governor's Island and very impressed by that. It's beautiful!

We are entering fall here and the weather is cooling. We are looking forward to experiencing an actual fall season for the first time in a very long time. We are likely going to rent a car and take a drive up through New England. Then, our sights shall turn to January and our next move. Our "year of change" seems to be flying by.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Morimoto's

It's been too long since the last post so thought I should find something of at least minimal interest to blog about. I have been spending all possible free time in the studio doing some creative stuff while Emma is on vacation. I have found most of the studio time has been spent reading rather large software instruction manuals as opposed to producing something in tangible form. I must admit however, that although I am not adversed to reading directions, I'd just rather do the creative stuff than work on an advanced degree in computer science. I must also admit that actually reading and understanding the directions is quite valuable.

So Emma has been on her first vacation without parents to supervise her every second. Suffice it to say she has been having a great time but clearly we all miss each other. While she has been away, Kathy and I have been actually spending some quality time together doing "stuff" that Emma would not enjoy. We've been out to some interesting restaurants located throughout the city, have been able to stroll along the Bowery, which just a few years ago we would not have been able to do safely. We saw some interesting galleries including the Morrison Hotel (way cool!), went into the old CBGB's location which is now a John Varvatos high end trendy clothing shop. My big learning experience there was that my trendy clothing wearing days that never were are now some sixty pounds behind me. A little disappointing, but I'm okay with it.

We also had a nice Friday evening Greek restaurant dining experience with our friends, Elizabeth and Stephan Mayer, over at Uncle Nick's in Hell's Kitchen. The food was wonderful, especially the grilled octopus, the conversations were fun and filled with laughter and the company was excellent! After dinner we wandered up to Columbus Circle, parted company and Kathy and I walked back along Central Park South to the tram. We had such a wonderful time.

Although it has been hot, humid and generally oppressive these last few days, Kathy and I decided to have one last night out before the girls returns home. We decided on Morimoto's Chelsea. Okay, I think 14th and 10th Avenue is still Chelsea, but I could be wrong. Masaharu Morimoto is an Iron Chef on the Food Network, though from I don't think he is actually made of iron . . . . .

He doesn't seem to say much but he makes some very cool looking food inventions. I'm not really one to do restaurant reviews, but I think Morimoto's warrants a review. This place is very cool! I'm sure if you are interested in seeing pictures (we didn't take any) of the interior there are many to be found online. The food was truly exquisite! We had various sushi and sashimi appetizers, Kathy had the Yellowtail that cooked in the bowl at table side, and I had the trout. Everything was like (fish) "buttah". Sometimes there is a difference when you pay a bit more, and this is one of those times!

As for the drinks, they too were fabulous! I'm not sure what Kathy had but it contained a lychee fruit, which for some odd reason I thought was a shrimp. Perhaps that's attributable to the minty gin and soda beverage I was consuming. I enjoy a good slightly dirty, dry gin martini. I can tell a good one from a not so good one (Kathy makes the best by far!), but opted for this minty drink just to be different.

After dinner we went downstairs to take a look at the bar. Okay, when you think really cool and hip New York City bar, this would be it. Again, I'm sure there are pictures on line. However, the real story here is the downstairs Ladies restroom. I do appreciate a clean restroom and I generally know where they are in most major cities (I still think that's a book I could sell to a publisher!). The men's restrooms at Morimoto's were very clean and earned my seal of approval.

The Ladies restroom was apparently something else, complete with infinity mirrors and lots of buttons that produced waters, air and possibly even a Cirque de Soleil performance. Let's be clear, I don't know this for certain as I did not go in, though I am considering dressing as a woman so that I can see what all the hubbub is about. I shall not steal the thunder from Kathy as she's the one who actually experienced the "performance" and will be blogging about it very soon. Even I will be reading her account of the festivities.

Next blog entry will be about Roosevelt Island's own, late-great Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis and possibly, the new movie about Soul Storage that takes place to some degree here on our own little island. Adieu!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You may be a lover but you ain't no . . . .

Dancer?!  Think I know which one I would rather be good at . . .  Yes, you guessed it, writing and recording this song! Didn't see that one coming I'll bet!

By the way, I'm not sure how my little Canon digital camera managed to get a few of these pictures.  A couple of the stills turned out blurry though when I took them they looked fine.  Also, two pieces of video were unusable because the camera just would not focus, fortunately the audio turned out fine.

Still quite happy to have had the opportunity to see Sir Paul yesterday.  I believe that he is starting off his concert tour here in NYC at Citi Field-the new version of "Shea Stadium". So he plays at the Ed Sullivan Theater, homage to 1964, does it as a rooftop gig, homage to the Beatles Apple rooftop gig and starts off his tour at Citi Field, homage to the Beatles Shea Stadium gigs.  Nice trifecta!  Am I reading too much into this?  Most likely.  

As I recall, Paul wrote this song after hearing an interview of Pete Townshend proclaiming he had just written the most raucous rock song ever.  Paul, not one to be outdone wrote this little dity in response.  I can't help but think that recording a song like this could cause one to get blisters on their fingers.  

Anyhoo, as promised I'm posting a few more pictures and "Helter Skelter" in its entirety. video

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Adventure #4: When you least expect it . . .

So Emma and I set out on yet another adventure.  She wanted to go to the M & M's store in Times Square and I wanted to see a few more music sites in the same area.  Tin Pan Alley was a bit of a bust and the site of the old Record Plant recording studios has changed significantly.  Manny's Music Shop is gone but there is a nice marker on the sidewalk.  Sam Ash Music (now inhabits Manny's space) was nice, but I really had hoped to visit Manny's.  We meandered about some more just enjoying being together and talking various father-daughter "stuff".  

We wandered north on Broadway and I knew I could get a picture of the Brill Building and the Late Show marquee. 
 
As we approached the Late Show we could hear music, a sound check perhaps?!  We saw lots of people in the street.  We got closer and had to go a block out of our way to continue north as the sidewalk was closed.  That seemed a bit unusual, but nevertheless we journeyed on.  I couldn't help but notice lots of happily excited people with Beatles record albums and various other pieces of paper with Paul McCartney's autograph.  Now that tells me something, possibly something really big could be happening.  See, college is starting to pay off.

We made it up to 54th & Broadway and could see a stage with band gear set up and lots of police and security.  I asked a guy standing next to me what was going on and he said Sir Paul was going to play a few songs.  Emma was not really keen on standing for an hour waiting for music.  I kept her occupado and eventually (after Bruce Willis walked by-too bad I didn't actually see him) Sir Paul came out.

I must also mention that even though this being NYC where people are "a bit jaded" (well, that's how other people say it) everyone was excited and, dare I say, seemingly star struck!  It was a great time even before he started playing. And when he started off with "Get Back" (Oh, and yes, it was loud!) Emma got into it!  She's going to be my little rock and roller.  She took some video and lots of pictures (with varying degrees of success) and she really got into it!  In fact, once she saw news cameras and people being interviewed, leaving the area was simply out of the question.

This is something very interesting about NYC.  Stuff is happening all of the time.  You just never know what you may see.  The concert was great.  He played a couple of songs that I was not familiar with, threw in part of "Purple Haze" at the end of one song,  played "Band On The Run", "Helter Skelter" and ended with "Back In The USSR".  I must also add that his band was REALLY good (big surprise!).  They didn't miss anything.  I'm not sure what else Emma and I could see that could top this, unless of course, we get to see Townshend and Daltrey for free.

Am posting this 3:39 finale of "Back In The USSR" to enjoy.  Perhaps I'll post "Helter Skelter" in the next day or two.  Enjoy!
video

Adventure 3: Rock & Roll sites part one


I felt like a little kid seeing several rock & roll places in NYC.  Not sure Emma was as excited but had little choice except to accompany me.  She will thank me at some point in the future as "somebody" (other than me) is bound to be impressed by these sights and will recognize her with many "cool points" if those remain cultural currency.  I can only hope that I live long enough to say "See, I told you those were important places.  Aren't you glad we went?!"  I can dream, can't I? 

Started off at Madison Square Park for some live music (not really what we were expecting) and lunch at Shake Shack.  We then walked down Broadway through Union Square Park into the East Village and down to 96-98 St. Mark's Place.  It served as the cover of Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti" (though they edited out one floor to make it fit the cover) and #98's stoop was where the Rolling Stones filmed their video for "Waiting on a Friend".  It's changed "quite a bit" since that time.  There are now locked gates at the sidewalk, most likely to keep people like me from emulating Mick Jagger on their front porch.  

I did my best Mick pose (legally) on the sidewalk between 96 & 98 and Emma snapped the picture. Okay, I admit I'm not the snappy dresser that Mr. Jagger is and I have "a few pounds" on him, (I am however, much taller) but if you watch the video you'll understand the pose-Really!  Our space for taking pictures was limited because there were delivery trucks on both sides of us, but you can still "get the picture." Emma clearly recognized that we were probably the least hip of anyone in the surrounding area.  I prefer to believe it was just the opposite.  Oh well, to each his own delusion . . . . .

We then walked across 8th Street into Greenwich Village (still a very "FUN-ky" place) to 52 
West 8th where Electric Lady Studios are still in operation. It was built by Jimi Hendrix in late 1968 as his studio.  I'm not sure but Emma may have actually been impressed by this (or possibly just humoring me in hopes of scoring some treat immediately following).  

Next, we headed south to 115 MacDougal Street to Cafe Wha?  
This was Bob Dylan's old haunt and where Chas Chandler of the Animals "discovered" Jimi Hendrix with the help of Keith Richard's girlfriend (psst: she discovered him but Chandler gets all the credit).  Admittedly, this is not the original Cafe Wha? which was across the street from its current location, but it will do just fine.  This is a very cool neighborhood!

Lastly, we walked south on Mercer Street into SOHO for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex to see the the John Lennon exhibit. Saw lots of Elvis jumpsuits (cotton, not leather as I had always imagined) and other effects; Michael Jackson's "We Are The World" 'uniform' (complete); Jimi Hendrix' Rainbow Bridge shirt/jacket and Monterey medallion (very cool!); Handwritten lyrics to the Four Season's hit "Sherry" originally spelled "Cheri".

The last part was the Lennon exhibit.  Well worth the money! Of particular note were the original handwritten lyrics to "Working Class Hero", "God", and "Imagine" (very tiny and on a scrap of paper-perhaps a receipt??); many correspondences involving his fight to stay in NYC.  Emma was moved by a video that's part of the exhibit that had scenes of the results of "conflicts" in terms of human casualties, most notably Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq (1980's), Bosnia etc.  We used the scenes to talk about lots of "things" I thought we might discuss a few years down the road, but no time like the present.  We signed a petition that will be sent to the President at the end of the exhibit and got to see the bag of "possessions from patient #???" that was returned to Yoko Ono in February 1981.  It is all of John Lennon's possessions collected at Roosevelt Hospital on the night he was murdered.  It most closely resembles a brown paper shopping bag still wrapped in a clear plastic bag. That's it.  It is amazingly powerful in its simple presentation.

We left to board a train back to Roosevelt Island, both of us exhausted.  Emma seemed to have enjoyed the day after all.  I was glad and grateful she accompanied me.  My little buddy rocks!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Adventure number two


So Emma and I set out on our second adventure, with of course, sunscreen.  We checked out the  Chelsea area and all its interesting sights.  We wandered all around 14th Street and eventually got to see the Highline.  Then we went into the Chelsea Market for some lunch (yes, the picture) and every intention of seeing the Food Network Studios (we didn't).  We wandered along the Highline until it we reached its end, then checked out a number of art galleries.  All in all a wonderful day together.  Next up, various rock and roll sights in NYC.

A Remembrance, Ken Cottrell

I was saddened by the news that Ken passed away late last week in Austin.  He was on his way home on his motorcycle when a 33 year old drunk driver went through a stop sign at 51st and Springdale Road and hit him.  Ken was a talented musician and a kind and generous person.  He had a huge laugh that will be missed by many.  Our thoughts go out to his many friends and family.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Coney Island Escapade

So on Friday 7.10 I completed grading Final Exams and Emma and I headed off for an afternoon at Coney Island.  It was mostly sunny with the temperature at a sweltering 73 degrees and a wind chill somewhere near 66 degrees.  Yes, my friends, the heat was intense. We hopped onto the F train and away we went.  As we arrived Emma said she just wanted to go right to the ocean.  So we did.  We set up a camp and slathered on the sunscreen.  Well, mostly . . . . . .  She ran into the ocean and within about a minute (not kidding either!) she had made friends with a girl named "AJ" and a boy named Ryan, who I should mention did not know each other before Emma entered the water.  They had a blast for quite a while, meaning at least an hour.

The ocean temperature, by my standards was cold, because it was in fact, cold.  How anyone could stay in it for more than a couple of minutes is still beyond me.  That said, Emma stayed in it for several hours and tried every trick in her arsenal to avoid exiting.  Fortunately, I am older and only slightly wiser and I prevailed, eventually.

We did have a very good time and and after some much needed dinner we hopped back on the F train and returned to Roosevelt Island.  Emma made up a song about one of the stops on the F called "Ditmas Avenue".  I don't think there is anything of great import about Ditmas Avenue, it's just one of many stops along the F line. Anyhoo, Emma's song lasts as long as Iron Butterfly's classic ode to garbled lyrics, "In-a-gadda-da-vida", and contains only two words: DITMAS AVENUE!  Needless to say her song caused us to get the giggles for at least twenty minutes and may have bothered other commuters.

Upon returning back home it became rather clear that the slathering of sunscreen is very important.  However, failing to slather on the sunscreen will eventually become quite obvious.  I am providing two pictures of Emma.  One prior to our trip to CI and one after.  Can you identify where the sunscreen was not slathered?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Coney Island & the 4th of July

Well it's about time I posted something!  I know, "Blah, blah, blah!"  Anyhoo, We had a long weekend over the 4th of July and decided to go to Coney Island.  It's a very interesting place to say the least.  We chose to go on Friday with he hopes of missing masses of amusement park and beach goers on the 4th.  Not to mention, the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest took place on the 4th.

We hopped the F train which took about an hour to arrive at CI.  Had to have a Coney Dog at Coney Island-not bad, and surprisingly not a veggie dog.  We wandered about and rode the gigungalous ferris wheel complete with shaking cage.  Then, because Emma and Kathy are adrenaline junkies, I felt compelled to join them on the Cyclone Roller Coaster.  It's a wooden roller coaster and it feels like being beaten with a sack full of oranges at approximately 60 mph.  The girls chose to ride again, but I decided the more prudent action would be to sit that one out and see if I could count the number of muscles involved in my whiplash.  Answer: it's a lot!

We also walked the along the boardwalk and just enjoyed seeing the sights as a family.  Emma absolutely loved the ocean!  She wants to go back to CI several times this week.  My class ends on Thursday, so if I can get exams graded early, I will take her on Friday.  It actually is lots of fun and I get to see a couple of Seinfeld spots, including where Kramer hits golf balls into the ocean and he scores a whale of a hole in one.

The 4th was pretty good too.  We actually just spent time lazin' about, at the local Roosevelt Island Fest, a couple of naps, and eventually scurrying across town to see glimpses of the fireworks along with about 2 million fellow New Yorkers.  It was very cool!  Then we walked from the west side of Manhattan to the east side (approx 2 miles) and safely back home again.  I thought I would feel much more claustrophobic than I did, but, I didn't!

This week sees my States of Consciousness class coming to an end, and I am looking forward to a little break.  Emma and I are planning a few adventures this week, possibly including taking Murphy to Central Park.  More to come . . . .

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's May already!

I can't believe that it's taken me so long to post this meager update.  We have been busy with work and school.  Fortunately, the semester is winding down, though the summer term will be starting June 1st.  There's always something to do.

Emma is back to a more consistent skating routine and loving it!  Kathy is, as always very busy with her Fellowship.  The weather is getting warmer and we have had a brief bout of temps in the 90's.  NYC is much hotter then I thought . . . . .

Everything is in bloom and we are now starting to be able to get out and see the city without getting frostbite.  I had forgotten just how lovely spring can be.  We went to Central Park last week and had a fabulous picnic along with tens of thousands of our closest NYC friends.  And last night we attended a Yo-Yo Ma concert at the Natural History Museum on the upper west side.  Absolutely fabulous!  "Self Comes to Mind" incorporated all sorts of neuroscience and brain scans along with music.  It was a wonderful night!

Lots more stuff is going on and I will be updating soon!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Stuff in the last month

The last month or so has been busy, busy, busy.  My class still seems to be going well, but the mid term is coming soon, so all could change.  I was very excited to take my class to Central Park to conduct a natural observation on squirrel foraging behavior.  I was excited by this outing though my students, not so much.  "Apparently", they have all lived in NYC for some time and have visited the park many times, particularly when it is warmer than 22 degrees with a 9 degree (F) wind chill.

The weather has been getting gradually warmer with a few brief setbacks.  We have forgotten that winter is an actual season in the northeast lasting for more than a couple of weeks as it tends to be in Austin.  After experiencing some beautiful spring-like days we had a snowstorm just over a week ago.  Emma and I went to play in Central Park in the 8+ inches of snow and had a blast.  Then this past Saturday it was 70 degrees.  Oh spring, you taunt me so!  Today, it's 42 and rainy.  Oh well . . . 

And lastly, we've finally had a celebrity sighting!  On Saturday we went to see "The Composer is Dead" by Lemony Snicket at Carnegie Hall.  We decided to have lunch at our favorite NYC Eatery, Angelo's on west 57th (almost directly across from Carnegie Hall) before the concert to have some "pie".  As we were preparing to leave, Martin Scorcese and wife (his, not mine) walk out of Angelo's right past us.  How cool is that?  Who might we see next?

By the way, I should also mention that Carnegie Hall is a very cool place.  The sound is fantastic and most every seat is good.  The chairs are quite comfortable too!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wild About Music on CNN

As many of you know, I am an artist and have had my works represented by Wild About Music in Austin, Texas since they opened in 1996.  I am including a link to the first of two segments CNN has done on Wild About Music.  I will post the second link as soon as it becomes available.


I am always glad to talk about all the folks at WAM whenever I get the chance.  They are absolutely wonderful people!  Not only as gallery business owners, but in general.  They are like family to us.  

If you visit Austin make sure you stop by and see them.  They Rock!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

One month anniversary in NYC

It's almost hard to believe that we have been in NYC for a whole month, but alas, we have.  We seemed to finally be settling in to some kind of routine, and now trying to get caught up on all sorts of "stuff"  that has taken a back seat to getting established here.

So after a month, I have realized that I can generally find may way around town using the subway system.  However, I continue to be perplexed by recognizing north, south, east, and west once I emerge from the underground world.  Eventually I will figure this out.  Also, my big discovery is that the #6 line is woefully overcrowded and is a real cattle experience.  Almost all aspects of my personal space were violated.  But that is a story for another day.

Teaching seems to be going well.  Hunter College is a fascinating, funky place.  I wonder if all those students know what a great place they are attending?  College in the middle of NYC!  The Psychology department is full of amazing people.  I am very excited to be taking my class to Central Park for a class on Naturalistic Observation.  I'm not certain that my students are as excited about this trip as I am.  Something about it being "winter".

We continue to find new and wonderful restaurants, receive many recommendations for cool adventures in the city, and meet new people.  And although we know this is not going to hold true everywhere in NYC, the people we have been meeting are absolutely wonderful.  This is a wonderful "world" city.  There is a little bit of everyplace here.  Just wish is wasn't so darn expensive.

So today, finds Kathy "on call" and Emma and I heading to Chelsea Piers for some ice skating (Emma, not me).  Yes, I can ice skate.  I just have trouble with the whole stopping, turning,and  staying away from situations that could require use of our health insurance and rehabilitation.  As I get older, all my activities are previewed through the lens of whether or not I could be injured and require lengthy periods healthcare.  

On a final note, Jayson at "Flyover" recently posted a very thorough account of our expedition from Austin to NYC.  If you're interested in that information you can read his account of Monday Feb 2, 2009 "NY, NY it's a hellava town"  http://www.flyoverillinois.blogspot.com/


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Home Sweet Home

video
Here is a video tour of our new digs.

A Long Overdue "Thank You"

I must admit that I did not anticipate it taking a full month from the time we arrived in NYC to actually set up this blog.  But, now that it is set up I do need to get caught up.  Therefore, this is my long overdue "Thank You!" to Jayson Hansen for all of his help with moving from Austin to NYC.  

So Jayson, "Thank You!"  I appreciate all the help you provided.  You are a true friend and a wonderful person.  of course, this should not come as news to anyone who knows you.

And if there is any way whatsoever that I can exploit your NYC driving personality, "Johnny Nyack", for financial gain I will!


Post Numero Uno

So I have decided to join the digital age and have a blog.  Now that we have picked up and moved to NYC for a year, I figured this would be a good way to keep in touch without keeping in touch.  So, we've moved to NYC from Austin, TX because Kathy has a one year Nurse Practitioner Fellowship with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  We miss Austin but NYC has been a wonderful experience so far.  

We have given up our cars and are now considered "straphangers" which, as far as we can figure out means that we are subway riders.  We either walk or take public transportation and have not really missed our cars yet.  I teach a class at Hunter College two days a week and Emma is getting used to attending the nearby public school.  Murphy the dog doesn't appear to like the cold weather.

I'm quite sure that I'll be posting frequently, as there are all sorts of things I think I have tell other people, whether it's important to other people or only important in my mind.