Thursday, February 28, 2019

It is Quite Sad That Anti-Semitism is on the Rise

It is very sad when anti-Semitism strikes close to home.  I grew up in Rego Park and until 1961 I was a student at P.S. 139 on 63rd Drive.  Earlier this week there was anti-Semitic graffiti found in the playground behind the school.  Thankfully, the vandal was found as reported in this Tweet by Chief Dermot O'Shea of the NYPD.

On Fri, 2-22-19, anti-Semitic graffiti was found throughout a Queens playground. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force now have the suspect—a 12-year-old male—in custody. Great job @NYPDHateCrimes No matter the face of hate, the NYPD, partnered with the community, has ZERO tolerance.

What can be done to stop this?  Where does a 12-year-old kid learn to hate Jews?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The New York Giants Preservation Society Salutes Monte Irvin on His 100th Birthday

The New York Giants Preservation Society headed by Gary Mintz met last night at Finnerty's to celebrate the 100th birthday of Monte Irvin who played for the New York Giants from 1949-1955 and who was one of the first Black baseball players in Major League Baseball.  You can see from Baseball-Reference that he did not come to the Giants until he was 30 years old, but played in the Negro Leagues before that.

Gary Brown and John Barr who actually met Monte Irvin spoke to the audience and said only glowing things about him.  Audience members were invited to contribute to the discussion as well.

Gary Brown spoke last night

John Barr

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Why I am Not Voting in the NYC Election for Public Advocate

First of all, let me give the job description as described in 

The public advocate is responsible for receiving and investigating citywide and individual complaints “concerning city services and other administrative actions of city agencies.” The public advocate presides over City Council meetings, can conduct investigations into agencies where complaints have been made against them and have the power to introduce legislation, though they can not have a vote. Additionally, the public advocate is next in line of succession if something were to happen to the mayor.

First of all, complaints can be made to the respective council member, thus the position is redundant.  There already is a Speaker of the City Council, so why is a Public Advocate needed to preside over meetings?  The past public advocates have just used this office as a stepping stone.

For these reasons, I feel that the office of public advocate be abolished.  There would have to be a change in the City Charter and some other person must be placed in the line of succession if the mayor leaves office.

I must respectfully disapprove of the election process for this office.  There are now 17 candidates running in a non-partisan election on Tuesday.  The winner will likely have no more than 15% of the vote.  The cost of running this election is likely more than the annual budget of the office of Public Advocate.  The winner of Tuesday' election will only hold the office for several months as another election will be held in November.  Likely there will be a primary in September for the Democratic and Republican nominations for this office incurring more costs for the tax payers.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

MOMA's PS 1 Revisited

A sample of Bruce Nauman's Art

Everybody is familiar with the Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street in Manhattan, but there is a companion facility called PS 1 in Long Island City.  If you buy a ticket for the museum you can get free admission to PS 1 within two weeks.  I was there about one year ago when I ran into fellow NJIT retiree Bill Reynolds.

Bruce Nauman's Disappearing Act was featured at both facilities, but PS 1 was almost completely devoted to his works.  I am not a connoisseur of art, but I felt that Nauman's works were very weird.  All of his films just did not make sense.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Libraries I Have Visited in Retirement

Over the past 14 months I have visited the following libraries:

  • Queens Library - Mitchell-Linden Branch - This is the one closest to home.  During the winter months, I have used it as a reading room as it is too cold to sit outside with my magazines and books.  It has a very small collection, but I have often searched the system's catalog and ordered books from other branches to be delivered there.
  • Queens Library - Flushing Branch - I have attended several concerts there and a meeting of the Riders Alliance
  • Queens Library - Glen Oaks Branch -  I attended a talk there about Louis Armstrong.
  • New York Public Library - Schwartzman Building at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street.  I have read several baseball books that are only available there.
  • New York Public Library - Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center.  I have read several books about oldies, Dylan and the Beatles there.
I have not visited any academic libraries since I retired.  Years ago I would visit the Queens College library that just asked for a photo ID from non-affiliates.  I supposed in this post 9/11 era the security there is stricter and a referral is required for admission.  I know the other CUNY libraries will not just let anyone in.  The libraries in New Jersey allow anyone in.

I have not visited the library where I worked for 25 years, though I have had dreams about coming back.  I must move on and let go and not dwell on the past.  The people over there just won't answer my friendly e-mail, so their message is quite clear.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Do You Need Directions on the NYC Subway?

Just carry this Teddy Bear with you.  This was advertised by the New York Transit Museum on Facebook.  Lee has a new best friend.  It cannot prevent delays on the trains.

Monday, February 18, 2019

13 Years on Facebook

I received a notification today that it is my 13th anniversary of being on Facebook.  I look back at my activity with mixed feelings.  It can be a very big time suck and a waste of time.  I admit that much of what I have posted is nonsense.  Does the world have to know that I went to a movie today?  On the other hand, I have connected with many people who share professional and leisure interests.  I have likely discovered information on Facebook that I would not have found elsewhere.

There is the issue of my 543 Facebook Friends.  When I first signed up I was very eager to friend people, but as the years passed I lost that desire.  Most of them I have met either just once or not at all.  Sometimes an online relationship develops but fades over time.  I don't like it when people post about illnesses and other problems.  Why do I have to read about a stranger's problems?  I try to avoid not getting too personal on Facebook and in this journal.

The most difficult posts I wrote in Facebook were when my mother was ill and eventually passed away.  It was my sad duty to report the untimely passing of my friend Alan Berman.

I guess the beat will go on and I will post on Facebook as I've done for 13 years and read other people's posts.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

A Claude Monet at the museum

One of Many Picassos seen today

We hadn't been to MOMA in several months, so it was time for a return visit.  I must say that the museum was very crowded today.  It is nice to see so many people interested in a fine cultural institution.  We started on the 6th floor which featured Bruce Nauman Disappearing Acts .  We had seen some of the exhibits on lower floors before, it never hurts to view them again.  The most popular painting was Starry Nights by Vincent Van Gogh.  Our tickets allow us to visit MOMA PS1 within the next two weeks.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

WPLJ - White Port and Lemon Juice by the Bel-Aires - Oldie of the Day

There is plenty of radio news and speculation about the sale of WPLJ and WNSH by Cumulus Broadcasting.  There are plenty of amateur radio executives making their predictions including myself.  What will be will be?

For further information check out:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Larry Brand of Forest Hills High School Class of 1967 Passes Away

It is always sad to hear about a classmate's passing even though I haven't seen him in many years.  We last saw each other at a High School reunion in 2002.  I knew Larry in Forest Hills High School as we were both enrolled in a "Special Science" program.  I remember sitting with him in the cafeteria singing Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women #12 and #35.  In October 1966 he and fellow classmate Mike Bandler were suspended for having long hair.  This situation was written up in the New York Times.

According to an obituary, he attended City College of New York at the same time as me, but I don't remember seeing him there.  He was a very successful filmmaker, writer, and director in Hollywood.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Jackie Robinson Exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York

Although I last visited the Museum of the City of New York in November, I had to visit again to see the Jackie Robinson exhibit which is there for the 100th anniversary of his birth.  This exhibit was placed in the corridor on the third floor.  It displayed many photos of Jackie with the Dodgers from 1947-56.  There were also several magazine articles from that era that discussed his coming to the Dodgers.

What was there was quite good, but I was disappointed that the exhibit was small as it took me only 30 minutes to view.  I am looking forward to the opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in lower Manhattan later this year.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Islanders 4 Avalanche 3 in OT at Barclays Center

We hadn't been to a hockey game this season, so since this was a day game, I thought it would be time to take the subway to Brooklyn to see the Islanders play.  They have not won the Stanley Cup since 1983 when they won it for the fourth consecutive year.  Presently, they lead the Metropolitan Division and would get a high seed if they held on.

The fell behind 2-0 but rallied to take a 3-2 lead.  J.T. Compher tied it 3-3 with 2:45 remaining in the 3rd period when his shot deflected in off the skate of Islanders defenseman Devon Toews.  But Ryan Pulock scored his second goal 2:23 in the overtime to give the Islanders the victory.

Game Summary

Friday, February 8, 2019

Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show - 55 Years Ago

It is hard to believe that 55 years have passed since the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Who thought that more than half a century later we would still be listening to their music.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

It is Disappointing When People Don't Respond To My Friendly Email

This week I experienced a disappointment in trying to keep in touch with people from my former employer.  I am arranging a SABR meeting in early March and thought to invite former colleagues interested in baseball.  Only 1 out of 7 invitees answered the email.  At least he said that it was nice to hear from me.  I am disillusioned that the others did not have the courtesy to at responding to the email even if they are not interested in coming to the meeting.  I knew these for many years and now realize that I must put them in the past.  Likewise, I sent an email to a SABR member asking if he was interested in holding a baseball trivia meeting at a restaurant.  He didn’t respond.  I think that out of courtesy he should have responded saying that he just wasn’t interested.

There is nothing I can do but move on and let go of these people.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Trip to the Guggenheim Museum Inspired by an Announcement on WFUV

When I woke up this morning, I didn't know what I wanted to do.  The weather thankfully warmed up, and I just didn't want to sit in the local public library and read again.  I heard an announcement on WFUV that the Guggenheim Museum was featuring an exhibit on the photographer Robert Mapplethrope.

Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was a gay photographer who sadly died of complications of AIDS.  Many of his subjects were of the bodies anatomically correct gay men.  There were also many self-portraits.
Photo of Andy Warhol by Mapplethorpe

Most of the museum was devoted to an exhibit: Hilma af Klint: Paints for the Future.  She was a Swedish abstract artist (1862-1944).  She rarely exhibited her works and, convinced the world was not yet ready to understand her art, stipulated that it not be shown for twenty years following her death. Ultimately, her work was all but unseen until 1986.

My favorite painting of Hilma af Klint

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Concert "Doubleheader" at the Flushing Library Today

The Queens Library is holding Culture Bridge Programs that celebrate the cultural diversity of Flushing.  Today the program featured concerts by:

  • On Point Band - performs  classic R&B, Motown and Disco hits
  • New York Serenaders - performs group harmony hits of the 1950s and early 1960s including doo-wop.
Each group performed a one-hour set with the two groups joining each other at the end.

On Point

New York Serenaders sing Teenager in Love

Friday, February 1, 2019

More Information on World of Bob Dylan Symposium in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Back in August, I reported the preliminary announcement of the World Of Dylan Conference to be held from May 30 - June 2, 2019.  Today I found out that registration is now open, but the program has not yet been announced.  Most of the conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Tulsa.  I think I will be like a kid in a candy store during this meeting.

The pre-registration cost which ends on March 15 is only $125 which is quite reasonable.  The hotel offers a rate of $101/night which is a good price.  I checked on Expedia that I would have to change in Chicago for flights from LaGuardia to Tulsa.

I will post the program when it is announced.
Personal-Journals blog