Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Leonard Cohen; A Crack in Everything at the Jewish Museum


I really did not know much about Leonard Cohen since his music did not get much play on the radio.  He never charted on the Billboard Top 40 Chart.  When he passed away in November 2016 I bought a compilation CD called the Essential Leonard Cohen.  His music seemed to be dark and mysterious.

The Jewish Museum is now featuring an exhibition called a Crack in Everything which will be there until September.  Much of the exhibit was devoted to videos of his concert performances. Until today I didn't realize that he was also a poet, novelist, and artist.  There was a video display showing his artworks which were mostly self-portraits.  There was a listening room that featured other recording artists cover Cohen's compositions.

This exhibition was by far my favorite after several visits to this museum.  I highly recommend it to my music enthusiast friends.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Not Dark Yet by Bob Dylan - A Somewhat Pessimistic Song for Older Men


Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day

It’s too hot to sleep, time is running away

Feel like my soul has turned into steel

I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t heal

There’s not even room enough to be anywhere

It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there



Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain

Behind every beautiful thing there’s been some kind of pain

She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind

She put down in writing what was in her mind

I just don’t see why I should even care

It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there



Well, I’ve been to London and I’ve been to gay Paree

I’ve followed the river and I got to the sea

I’ve been down on the bottom of a world full of lies

I ain’t looking for nothing in anyone’s eyes

Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear

It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there



I was born here and I’ll die here against my will

I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still

Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb

I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from

Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer

It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
Copyright © 1997 by Special Rider Music

Touch of Grey by the Grateful Dead - Optimistic Song for Older Men


I will get by
I will get by
I will get by
I will survive

Saturday, April 20, 2019

April 21, 2019 - A Milestone Birthday With a Special Song

Where did all of these years go?  Now I am really an old fart.  There is a song performed by Simon and Garfunkel that is quite appropriate for this occasion. Bob Radil played it last night on the 60s 70s show.

The title is actually Old Friends/Bookends



Old friends
Old friends
Sat on their park bench
Like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
On the high shoes
Of the old friends

Old friends
Winter companions
The old men
Lost in their overcoats
Waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city
Sifting through trees
Settle like dust
On the shoulders
Of the old friends

Can you imagine us
Years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy

Old friends
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear

Time it was,
And what a time it was
It was . . .
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Long ago . . . it must be . . .
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hunting for Kosher for Passover Food

It used to be that we were able to get all of our Kosher for Passover food at the local supermarket.  Over the years the demographics of our neighborhood has changed with the Jewish population  declining.  The Stop and Shop near us still carries matzoh and most of what we need for the holiday, but this year I had to go "hunting" for a few items.

There is a glatt kosher grocery store at 186th Street and Union Turnpike in Fresh Meadows where I picked up a few items.  Last year they carried ice cream, but not this year.  At the last minute, Karen needs "Shake and Bake" for chicken.  Since I was going to my dentist in Rego Park this morning, I checked out two supermarkets on Queens Blvd. which didn't have it.  I finally found it at a C-Town on 63rd Drive.  Decades ago a now-defunct supermarket called Bohack's were at that location.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

James Holzhauer - Jeopardy Superstar


James Holzhauer was introduced on Jeopardy as a professional sports gambler.  He has certainly been very successful on the show as he has won $566,000 on his first 8 games putting him in second place in non-tournament winnings behind the legendary Ken Jennings.  He always starts by picking the $1000 or $2000 answer and builds up a big bank as he hits the daily doubles.  He was able to bounce back after missing a few daily doubles in the first round.  All but one of his victories were runaways.

He still has a long way to go to match Ken Jenning's record of 74 victories.  Can he do it?  The key is his picking the daily doubles and getting them right.  Jennings lost game 75 as he missed daily doubles and the final jeopardy answer.

Stay tuned.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Oldie of the Day - Walking in the Rain [Without an Umbrella] by the Ronnettes


It rained overnight, but it started to clear up at about 9 AM.  Since I just hate sitting around the apartment I decided to take a walk around Douglaston at about 10 AM.  The sun was out and there didn't seem to be a threat of rain.  After I walked for about 30 minutes, it started to rain.  I had no umbrella, so I increased my walking speed to get back to my car.  I walked about 1 1/2 miles and got wet.

It took a little while, but I dried out.  Oh, well.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

We Visited the Louis Armstrong House Today


We took a ride over to nearby Corona to see the Louis Armstrong House that is administered by Queens College.  Satchmo lived there from 1942 until his death in 1971 with his 4th wife Lucille.  He was a multi-millionaire but chose to live in that Queens neighborhood.

We entered the building in the gift shop that once his garage into a waiting room with some artifacts from his career as a musician.  After a short wait, a docent took us on a tour of the house.  It reminded me of our tour of Graceland several years ago but Louis' home is much smaller.  I was impressed by a drawing of Satchmo by Tony Bennett.


The Louis Armstrong archives are currently held at Queens College, but there is a building across from the house in Corona that will eventually be a research center.  The target date for its opening is October 2020.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Cultural Double Header Today - American Folk Art Museum and Movie in Lincoln Center Area

According to my records, I last visited the American Folk Art Museum in December.  I checked their website and noted that there is a new exhibit there called Made in New York City: The Business of Folk Art.  Most art emanates from rural areas, but this exhibition was devoted to works about New York City.  Below are two works that interested me:

This ship called The Flushing ferried passengers
from Long Island City to Manhattan in the 19th Century

This statue of a baseball player stood
on Canal Street.  It was thought to resemble

Since the Lincoln Square Theater was just a block away, I wanted to see a movie that was not playing at the local multiplex.  I chose Best of Enemies that considered civil rights struggles in Durham, North Carolina in the early 1970s.

It is nice being retired so I can take advantage of the wonderful cultural offerings of New York City.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Bob Dylan and Roger McGuinn - Perfect Together


The video above is with Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman and David Crosby performing Mr. Tambourine Man at the Roy Orbison tribute in 1990.

I am pleasantly surprised that Roger will appear at the World of Dylan Symposium at the University of Tulsa on June 1.  He will talk about his long and complicated history with Dylan.  The organizers of this symposium wrote a brief synopsis on the Byrds, Dylan and their shared influence on one another.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Beware of Scam Phone Calls


Over the past week, I have received 3 scam phone calls stating that I won a large amount of money.  When I hear that I always hang up and not give the caller a chance to talk.  Since I have caller ID, I usually don't pick up the phone unless I am familiar with the number.  I have learned from experience to never do any kind of business over the phone.

Please check this website issued by the federal government listing common frauds and scams.  If it is too good to be true, then it is.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Nationals 12 Mets 9 in My First Citi Field Appearance of the Season

Here I am at Citi Field during the first home weekend of the season.  Today's game was included in the 13-game package that I bought.  Going into this game the Mets started the season at 6-2 and were looking good with their new acquisitions.

Today's game featured a matchup of Zach Wheeler against Max Scherzer.  Wheeler was not very effective as he allowed 5 runs in the second inning.  He collapsed in the 5th inning as the Nats scored 2 more runs.  In 4 2/3 innings, Wheeler issued 7 walks.  Subsequent Met relievers Tim Peterson and Luis Avilan were equally ineffective as the scored ballooned to 12-1in the top of the 7th.  At that point, many of the 40,000+ fans started to leave.  The Amazin's did not give up as they scored 8 runs featuring home runs by Pete Alonzo and Michael Conforto.  It just wasn't enough as they lost 12-9.

The first 25,000 fans received a Jacob deGrom bobblehead doll.  The family has many other bobbleheads in our collection and we didn't feel it was worthwhile to wait on line to get another one.  I am sure that by now people are selling them on eBay.

Game Recap




Thursday, April 4, 2019

That Thing With Rich Appel Wow 100 List

That Thing with Rich Appel is a syndicated radio show that is now heard on over 100 internet and terrestrial radio stations on weekends.  I usually listen on Sunday evenings, but Rich provides a list of stations with the day and time it can be accessed.  This year Rich has asked his listeners to provide a list of up to 100 "Wow" songs which are those not usually heard on oldies or classic hits radio stations.  Sophisticated listeners don't want to be "burned out" by hearing records that have been played to death for years.  Rich asked his listeners to provide a list of songs that they enjoy that are not usually played on the radio.  He has compiled a list of those songs selected by his listeners that he will play over the next 3 weeks.  Below is the list of my 80 favorite "rarities" that I submitted.

1.      River Deep Mountain High - Ike and Tina Turner
2.      Just Like a Woman - Bob Dylan
3.      I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better - Byrds
4.      Nothing but a Heartache - Flirtations
5.      Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan
6.      All I Really Want to Do - Byrds
7.      Eight Miles High - Byrds
8.      There is a Mountain - Donovan
9.      Catch The Wind - Donovan
10.  I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday - Fats Domino
11.  What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
12.  Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
13.  From Me to You - Beatles
14.  Matchbox - Beatles
15.  Hey Joe - The Leaves
16.  In the Still of the Night – 5 Satins
17.  Mind Games - John Lennon
18.  Crackerbox Palace - George Harrison
19.  Blow Away - George Harrison
20.  When We Was Fab- George Harrison
21.  Here Comes the Sun - Richie Havens
22.  Someday Never Comes - Creedence Clear Water Revival
23.  Suite Judy Blue Eyes - Crosby Stills and Nash
24.  Woodstock - Crosby Still Nash and Young
25.  Ohio - Crosby Stills, Nash and Young
26.  Uptown - Crystals
27.  Bang Bang - Joe Cuba Sextet
28.  Come and Get Thes Memories - Martha and the Vandellas
29.  Reet Petite - Jackie Wilson
30.  Happy Jack - Who
31.  Abigail Beecher - Freddie Cannon
32.  Say Man - Bo Didley
33.  The Joker Went Wild - Brian Hyland
34.  So Far Away - Carole King
35.  Everyone's Gone to the Moon - Jonathan King
36.  Can’t Find the Time – Orpheus
37.  Handsome Johnny – Richie Havens
38.  Woodstock -Crosby Stills and Nash
39.  Heroes and Villains – Beach Boys
40.  Don’t Bring Me Down – Animals
41.  After Midnight – Eric Clapton
42.  The Weight – The Band
43.  Up on Cripple Creek – The Band
44.  Open the Door to Your Heart – Darrell Banks
45.  Dead End Street – Lou Rawls
46.  Wednesday – Royal Guardsman
47.  Me and Julio Down by the School Yard – Paul Simon
48.  For Emily Wherever I May Find Her – Simon and Garfunkel
49.  I Only Have Eyes For You – Art Garfunkel
50.  Needles and Pins – Searchers
51.  Too Much of Nothing – Peter, Paul and Mary
52.  Don’t Think Twice – Peter Paul and Mary
53.  Fame – David Bowie
54.  Space Oddity – David Bowie
55.  Hazy Shade of Winter – Simon and Garfunkel
56.  At the Zoo – Simon and Garfunkel
57.  Dead End Street – Kinks
58.  Still Crazy after all these years – Paul Simon
59.  Colours – Donovan
60.  Mr. Bassman – Johnny Cymbal
61.  Funky Street – Arthur Conley
62.  Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
63.  Love Potion #9 – Clovers
64.  Sweet Talkin’ Woman – ELO
65.  Buy for Me the Rain- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
66.  Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin
67.  Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – Rolling Stones
68.  Waiting on a Friend – Rolling Stones
69.  When the Lovelight Starts Shining – Supremes
70.  Forever Came Today – Supremes
71.  Carolina in My Mind – James Taylor
72.  Look Through My Window – Mamas and Papas
73.  Never Can Say Goodbye – Isaac Hayes
74.  Ain’t That a Shame – Four Seasons
75.  Little Boy in Grown Up Clothes – Four Seasons
76.  Loving you is Sweeter Than Ever – Four Tops
77.  If I Were a Carpenter – Four Tops
78.  Function at the Junction – Shorty Long
79.  Jimmy Loves Mary Anne – Looking Glass

80.  Anyway You Want it – Dave Clark Five




Monday, April 1, 2019

Regular Patrons at the Public Library


I have come full circle from a librarian to a library patron.  I recall many of the regular patrons at the New York Public Library Science and Technology Division where I worked from 1983-90.  Some of the regular patrons were:

  • Tennis Ball Man - this gentleman obviously had emotional problems as whenever he came to the library he had a tennis ball in his hand
  • Dr. Salzer, the mathematician
  • Mr. Lieberman, the eccentric old chemist
  • The cookbook man.  He just looked at the cookbooks but never prepared any of the dishes.
  • The many information brokers who were paid to retrieve articles for businesses.  They were real pains in the neck since they always asked for documents that were hard to find.
Now that I am retired, I am a regular patron of the Mitchell-Linden branch of Queens Library.  I have observed some of the regular patrons:
  • The Newspaper Lady - she grabs all of the current newspapers and keeps them away from interested patrons.
  • Elderly Chinese Man #1 - he comes in with a magnifying glass and reads the Chinese newspapers.  He sleeps in his chair half of the time.
  • Elderly Chinese Man #2 - He has long hair and does the staff a favor by returning the magazines to the shelves.
  • A student with a backpack.  - He sits in his chair and plays with his cell phone all the time he is in the library.
When the weather gets warmer I will leave the library and do my reading on different park benches.


Martin Scorsese is Producing a Movie on Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Tour in the Mid 1970s


In January Rolling Stone magazine reported that Martin Scorsese produced a film documenting Dylan's Rolling Thunder Tour in the 1970s and that it will be shown on Netflix.  As of now, no date has been announced for it,  I have a couple of issues regarding this:


  • I don't subscribe to Netflix.  I can always get a 7-day free trial, but I don't want to do that until I know the day this film will be released.
  • It is possible that a Netflix film will be shown in the theaters for a short time, but this has not been announced.
  • It is possible that a DVD of the film will be released, but again nothing has been announced.
  • There could be a CD box set of this, but no announcement.
All I can do is wait.
 
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