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Showing posts from July, 2017

Walking in Woodstock

For anyone looking for an escape from New York, or a place to drop out for a few days, Woodstock, New York would be a good choice. While the musical festival associated with the town’s name took place decades ago and some sixty miles away, the small mountain town, located in Catskill Park about 100 miles north of the city, is blessed with tall trees and a gentle spirit. Rolling streams, many of them suitable for swimming, cascade through the area.   


Of course, you will still find peace, love, music, and all matter of tie-dye in Woodstock. Many of the shops along the town’s main road, Tinker Street, sell merchandise associated with the famous 1969 festival. Merchants this year are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, as Woodstock once played its part as an East Coast version of Height-Ashbury. Woodstock is also commemorating the centennial of the New York State passage of the Suffrage Amendment in 1917. The town was home to many women who campaigned for equal right…

The Eloise Story

Review. The most famous resident of New York’s Plaza Hotel, a mischievous little six-year-old girl named Eloise, is the subject of a delightful and curious exhibit at the New-York Historical Society. Eloise at the Museum is currently on display through October 9, 2017.

Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown-ups (original title, 1955), along with a series of follow-up books, became a phenomenal success in the late 1950s. Author Kay Thompson (1909-1998), a cabaret singer and drama queen with a flair for self-promotion, gave voice to the character of Eloise. Thompson lived at the Plaza. Hilary Knight (b. 1926), a trained and accomplished illustrator, gave her the look. Thompson and Knight had met in the hotel’s Persian Room in 1954, and a dynamic duo was born. By 1960, though, the two collaborators, embodying contrasting sensibilities and personalities, had a falling out. The Eloise brand lived on, not quite the same, in fits and starts. Eloise is forever a child but leaning into the pretend…

At the Rubin Museum, Listening to the Sound of the Universe

Given the global diversity of New York City, you can always expect a wide cultural sampling of the world, yet it’s nevertheless surprising that the city serves as home to a major museum devoted to Himalayan art. The Rubin Museum of Art, located in Chelsea on W. 17th St. near Seventh Avenue, grew out of a private art collection owned by Donald and Shelley Rubin. The museum opened its doors in October of 2004.

The Rubin is housed in spaces previously occupied by a former Barneys department store, including a sweeping spiral staircase that is easily imagined to have once been used by fashion models. An expansion in 2011 gave the museum additional space to provide educational services. The museum now routinely offers noteworthy public programs, many created to building paths between the high mountain world of Himalayan art and the seekers down on W. 17th Street.   

The museum provides a welcome relief from the ordinary business of New York. The galleries direct attention away from the g…