Sunday, December 16, 2018

Brooklyn Nets 144 Atlanta Hawks 127

View from our seats in the
nosebleed section

Until today we had not been to a basketball or hockey game this season.  When I checked out ticket prices at Madison Square Garden I was shocked to see that tickets in the upper deck cost over $100.  The Knicks have played very poorly, so what is the sense of paying big bucks to see a bad team. 

Today on an impulse I checked out tickets for today's Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center.  I found out that I could get tickets from StubHub for less than $30.  Since it was a rainy day, I thought that instead of staying home, we can take the subway to Brooklyn.

The Nets had taken a 21-point lead against the lowly Hawks, but it slipped away as the visitors came within two points near the end of the second quarter.  The Netw recovered and scored 144 points making it their highest-scoring game at the Barclay's Center.  Needless to say, there wasn't much defense by either team.

Mark Wade Trio and Roberta Piket Perform at Flushing Town Hall

This is a previous performance at Flushing Town Hall

It is certainly nice to have a performance venue a short walk from home as last night we saw the Mark Wade Trio and Robert Piket at Flushing Town Hall.  Roberta Piket is a pianist who performed as a soloist last night.  She performed her own compositions as well as those by Theolonius Monk.

Mark Wade is a bassist who performs with a trio as seen above.  He was voted one of the top bassists of 2016 and 2018 by the prestigious readers poll of Downbeat Magazine.  Mark is the Director of New Music Horizons which is dedicated to supporting new music in the fields of contemporary jazz and classical music in the New York metropolitan area.

Friday, December 14, 2018

5 Visits to Libraries in 4 Days

I worked in libraries for almost 40 years, but this week I visited public libraries 5 times in 4 days as a patron:

  • Monday - I researched the Pacific Coast League at the Schwartzman Building of NYPL at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - early in the afternoon I sat in the local Mitchell Linden branch of the Queens Library to do some recreational reading.  It is obviously too cold to sit on a park bench and read, also I just don't want to sit around the apartment all day.  Also, there are too many distractions at home to interfere with my reading.
  • Thursday evening I visited the Flushing branch of the Queens Library where I attended a meeting of the Riders Alliance where we discussed public transportation issues.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Hot Stove League is Heating Up

Let me explain for readers who are not baseball fans what is meant by the Hot Stove League.  It means to talk about trades and free agent signings during the off-season.  The Winter Meetings of baseball executives is now taking place in Las Vegas so since they are meeting face-to-face, it is easier to consummate trades.  Every team including the Mets and Yankees are trying to improve themselves.  The Mets new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen likely would like to make some moves to make his presence known.  He has already made one major trade acquiring Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.

The Mets want to upgrade at catcher and are interested in acquiring J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins.  One must give up something to get something.  There are speculative trades reported by sports journalists, Facebook posters, and callers to WFAN and ESPN Radio.  At this point, I am getting tired of hearing them.  Realmuto is a good catcher, but he is not at the level of Johnny Bench or Mike Piazza.  I would not give up Noah Syndergaard for him.  There is also speculation that the Mets could give up Conforto, Nimmo, or Rosario in a trade for him.  The problem would be filling one hole and creating another one.

The late Bob Murphy said, "The best trades are the ones that you don't make."  If a trade is to be made, it must improve the team.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Doing Recreational Reading about the Pacific Coast League at NYPL

I really shouldn't call this research since I am not trying to write a paper on this topic. A few weeks ago I attended a talk given at a meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society by the author of:

Mitchell, L. A. (2018). Baseball goes west: The Dodgers, the Giants, and the shaping of the major leagues

The author mentioned that at one time the quality of play at  Pacific Coast League (PCL) was almost as good as that of Major League Baseball.  This piqued my interest and I thought I should do some reading about the PCL.

I read parts of the following books:

O'NEAL, Bill (2018). PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE 1903-1988. S.l.: EAKIN PRESS.

Wells, D. R. (2004). Baseball's western front: The Pacific Coast League during World War II. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co.

Zingg, P. J., & Medeiros, M. D. (1994). Runs, hits, and an era: The Pacific Coast League, 1903-58. Urbana: Published for the Oakland Museum by the University of Illinois Press.

There were many excellent ballplayers who spent their entire careers in the PCL.  In earlier years those clubs were not farm teams for MLB.  The San Francisco Seals,  Los Angeles Angels, and Hollywood Stars were prominent teams in that league.  But obviously, the PCL changed when MLB moved west in 1958. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Andy Warhol From A to B and Back Again at the Whitney Museum

Lee in Front of Elvis Presley

Today we went to the Whitney Museum to see the highly touted Andy Warhol Exhibition.  Most of it was located on the 5th floor, but there was something on the third and first floor as well. It included over 350 works of art across all media representing all phases of his career.  I was impressed by the room on the first floor that showed commissioned portraits.

The 6th floor's exhibit titled Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018 featured over 50  works of conceptual, video and computational art.

The 7th floor featured selections from the Whitney's Collection.

Portrait of Neil Sedaka
Nixon on the Wall
Marilyn Monroe
Dick Tracy

Friday, December 7, 2018

Today's Visit to the Paley Center

Since I will be viewing the Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Whitney Museum tomorrow I thought I should see what programs the Paley Center had on the American pop artist.  I found a program that was part of the American Masters series that was aired in 1992.  It profiled the life and career of pop artist Andy Warhol through interviews, archival footage, and images of Warhol's artworks.

Since today is Pearl Harbor Day I searched the collection and found a documentary from 1966, the 25th anniversary of this tragic event in American History.  Highlights include the following: the U.S.S. "Arizona" memorial; Signal Corps footage of the attack on Pearl Harbor, including the destruction of the U.S.S. "Tennessee," "West Virginia," "Oklahoma," "Maryland," "Nevada," and "Arizona"; changes in Brockton, Mass., the hometown of John R. Johnson, one of the men killed at Pearl Harbor.  It was narrated by Frank McGee and Edwin Newman.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Day at the Brooklyn Museum Compliments of Culturepass

Painting of George Washington
by Gilbert Stuart

In July I reported on the Culturepass program where holders of New York City library cards can get free admission to museums.  Today I took advantage of that by going to the Brooklyn Museum.  I had to reserve my pass about 3 months in advance, but it was worth the savings.  I was last there in May when I went to see the David Bowie Exhibit.  In December 2016 I also saw the museum when they featured a sports photography exhibit.

There were several featured exhibits today:
  • Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power - featured over 150 artworks in the exhibition directly address the unjust social conditions facing Black Americans from 1953-63
  • Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection - explores a wide range of art-making, focusing on enduring political subjects—encompassing gender, race, and class
  • One: Do Ho Suh - a full-scale re-creation of the Korean artist’s former apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City and his home for 19 years. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Random Oldie of the Day - Mony Mony by Tommy James and the Shondells

Back in the early 2000s when WCBS-FM was an oldies station they played Mony Mony by Tommy James and the Shondells to death.  I had to change the station when it came on.  I don't hear it very often now, but it came on Pop Gold Radio while I was listening to the station this afternoon.   I like it better than the Billy Idol version. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Bob Dylan at the Beacon Theater

The Beacon Theater is my favorite venue to see Dylan since the seats are relatively close to the stage and the acoustics are very good.  As I approached the theater there were scalpers doing their usual business which is still illegal.  The security was tight as each person was frisked upon entering.  It is badly needed as a result of some tragic events, but I feel that wanding people would suffice.  Most of the people in the audience were baby boomers who grew up with Dylan.

The set list as seen below is pretty standard for this leg of the Never Ending Tour.  There were no adult standards sung as they were over the past few years.  I was happy to hear Dylan on harmonica on Don't Think Twice and Blowin' in the Wind.  The showstopper was Like a Rolling that was done differently from the 1965 hit record.

New York, New York
Beacon Theatre
December 1, 2018

1.Things Have Changed (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
2.It Ain't Me, Babe (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
3.Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on piano, Donnie on lap steel)
4.Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on piano and harp, Donnie on pedal steel)
5.Cry A While (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
6.When I Paint My Masterpiece
(Bob on piano and harp, Donnie on pedal steel)
7.Honest With Me (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
8.Tryin' To Get To Heaven (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
9.Scarlet Town (Bob center stage, Donnie on banjo, Tony on standup bass)
10.Make You Feel My Love (Bob on piano and harp, Donnie on pedal steel)
11.Pay In Blood (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
12.Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel, Tony on standup bass)
13.Early Roman Kings (Bob on piano, Donnie on lap steel, Tony on standup bass)
14.Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
(Bob on piano and harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Tony on standup bass)
15.Love Sick (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
16.Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on piano, Donnie on electric mandolin)
17.Soon After Midnight (Bob on piano. Donnie on pedal steel)
18.Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob on piano, Donnie on lap steel)
19.It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
(Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
20.Blowin' In The Wind
(Bob on piano and harp, Donnie on violin, Tony on standup bass)

Below is a Youtube video of the complete concert on November 26th which was the third of seven at the Beacon last night's show was the last.  There is a show on  December 3 in Philadelphia which ends this leg of the Never Ending Tour.  This video is obviously illegal and will likely be taken off Youtube sooner or later.

Personal-Journals blog