Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Morgan Library and Museum Revisited Today


The Rotunda over the Morgan Library

I last visited the Morgan Library and Museum in March 2019 so I thought it was time for a return visit.  The exhibit that I enjoyed the most was David Hockney: Drawing from Life.

David Hockney (b. 1937) is one of the most internationally respected and renowned artists alive today. This exhibition will be the first to focus on his portraits on paper and one of very few exhibitions to investigate his drawing practice.
Self-Portrait of David Hockney from 2003

There were many over self-portraits of Hockney from other times in his life.

Another exhibit was Betye Saar: Call and Response. She emerged in the 1960s as a major voice in American art. Part of a wave of artists, many of them African American, who embraced the medium of assemblage, she is known best for incisive collages and assemblage sculptures that confront and reclaim racist images.

This sculpture stood alone on the ground floor:

A small statue of William Shakespeare.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Hot Stove League is Starting Up

For my readers who are not baseball fans, The Hot Stove League is speculation and rumors about free-agent signings and trades made during the off-season.  All teams are trying to improve themselves to be in contention for the 2021 season.  All teams also have budgetary constraints especially since they did not get revenue from ticket sales in 2020.

Baseball America list of Free Agents for each team

The Mets should have a new owner very soon who is a multi-billionaire.  He has to be careful not to spend big bucks on mediocre players.  The Mets' biggest need is a catcher, but what will the price by for J.T. Realmuto?  They also need to need to improve their starting pitching.

The Yankees will be under pressure to make some moves since they have not won a World Series since 2009.  How much will D.J. LaMahiew command on the open market?

Let's also hope the 2021 season will be "normal" with full stadiums on opening day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

I Decided to Vote on Election Day instead at an Early Voting Site

 The coronavirus situation has certainly complicated voting in this presidential election.  In other years I've simply gone to the polls at the local elementary school and voted.  It was usually a very quick process taking no longer than 10 minutes.  I have seen on the TV news that early voting sites have long lines requiring people to wait a few hours to cast their ballot.  Likely, the process is slowed by the necessity to sanitize the areas regularly.  The mayor and governor have also criticized the Board of Elections for not having enough poll workers.

The early voting for my area is about 1 1/2 miles from my home. I would either walk 30 minutes or take a bus to get there. If I have to wait on a line, I may as well do it at my local school which is right around the corner.  I also think there will be more poll workers on the site on Election Day.  I;ll bring some reading material with me to help pass the time on the line.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sunday at the Jewish Museum


Passover Seder from the Collection

The Jewish Museum on 5th Avenue and 92nd Street is graciously allowing patrons to visit free of charge through December 2020.  However, one must make a reservation for a specific time slot.  I last visited the museum on December 26, 2019, a few months before the pandemic forced all cultural institutions to close.

Wes started on the ground floor where we viewed the works of Rachel Feinstein that we saw last December.
A sculpture by Rachel Feinstein

The second floor was devoted to an exhibit called We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz.  He is a New York-based artist who looks at how artists have historically responded to the rise of authoritarianism and xenophobia as well as racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of bigotry. The exhibition also addresses issues surrounding immigration, assimilation, and cultural identity.

The third floor was "Scenes from the Collection, a rotating collection exhibition that features nearly 600 works from antiquities to contemporary art—many of which are on view for the first time.  I always enjoyed viewing the Channukah menorahs on display.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Bob Dylan Best of the Bootleg Series is Available Online Only


Since 1991 there have been 15 volumes of the Bootleg Series issued.  Several of the volumes were multi-CD sets.  The Best of The Bootleg Series provides a 28-track selection from all of the previously released volumes.  However, this compilation is online available online through services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, and Qobuz.

The set list:

  1. Up to Me – Take 1
  2. Blind Willie McTell – Studio Outtake – 1983
  3. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down – Live at Royal Albert Hall, London, UK – May 26, 1966
  4. Maggie’s Farm – Live at Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI – July 1965
  5. The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar – Live at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA – November 13, 1980 (listed as 1979)
  6. Dink’s Song
  7. Pretty Saro – Unreleased from “Self Portrait” Sessions
  8. Mama, You've Been On My Mind – Studio Outtake – 1964
  9. Mississippi – Outtake from “Time Out Of Mind” Sessions
  10. Visions of Johanna – Take 5, Rehearsal
  11. Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues – Take 3, Rehearsal
  12. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You – Live at Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec – December 1975
  13. Born In Time – Outtake from ‘Oh Mercy’ sessions
  14. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – Take 1
  15. All You Have to Do Is Dream – Take 2
  16. Wanted Man – Take 1
  17. Tell Me That It Isn’t True – Take 2
  18. Wallflower – Alternate Version, 1971
  19. Most of the Time – Alternate Version from ‘Oh Mercy’ sessions
  20. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Live at Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec – December 1975
  21. Series of Dreams – Outtake from ‘Oh Mercy’ sessions
  22. Slow Train – Live at Earls Court, London, UK – June 29, 1981
  23. I Pity the Poor Immigrant – Take 4
  24. Moonshiner – Studio Outtake – 1963
  25. Seven Days – Live at the Curtis Hixon Convention Center, Tampa, FL – April 1976
  26. Tangled Up in Blue – Take 3, Remake 3
  27. Guess I’m Doing Fine – Witmark Demo – 1964
  28. Every Grain of Sand – Demo – 1980

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Captain by David Wright - a New Autobiography


David Wright was a phenomenal player for the New York Mets whose baseball career was cut short by spinal stenosis.  He discussed growing up in Norfolk, Virginia where the Mets had a AAA farm team.  He could have enrolled at Georgia Tech, but decided to sign with the Mets.  He moved up through the minor leagues and eventually made it to the parent team as the third baseman.  He discusses the 2006 season as the Mets just missed the World Series and the 2007 and 2008 season when the team collapsed and didn't quite make it to the postseason.  The highlight of his career was the 2015 World Series that the Mets lost to the Kansas City Royals.

Sadly, at that time he confronted injuries that required surgery.  He described his condition of spinal stenosis that ended his baseball career prematurely.  It obvious that the Mets will eventually retire his number 5 and induct him into the term Hall of Fame, but he won't get into Cooperstown since his career was cut short.

The only shortcoming was that there was minimal discussion of his non-baseball life.  I highly recommend the book to all Met fans.

David Wright's statistics from Baseball Reference

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

1960s British Rock Star Spencer Davis Dies at 81


Even though it was called the Spencer Davis Group, Steve Winwood was the lead singer on most of their hits.  Although Gimme Good Lovin' was their best-known hit, I have chosen to feature Keep on Running.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Visit to Strawberry Fields in Central Park Today


On Friday night ABC-TV aired 2020 John Lennon: His Life--Legacy--Last Days.  Since we were busy watching baseball on Friday night, I recorded it on DVR and watched it on Saturday.  I thought that I should visit Strawberry Fields in Central Park since I was never there.  At first, we passed by The Dakota where John lived in NYC and where he was murdered by a crazed fan.

The Dakota on Central Park West

We entered the park and saw:

The park in general and Strawberry Fields in particular was crowded as it was a sunny autumn day.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Today is the 15th Anniversary of Bruce's Journal


On October 15, 2005, I wrote my first blog entry and have kept going for 15 years with over 4100 entries and 667,000 page views.  It is safe to assume that most of the hits are casual as readers peruse the article quickly and then move on to something else.  I never know who reads it and assume that some readers know me while most are complete strangers.  I also have no idea how many are regular readers.  On a few occasions, I tried to poll readers, but there was a very small response.  Very few readers make comments.  Most of the entries fall into the following categories:
  • Baseball with emphasis on the New York Mets
  • Sporting events that I attended
  • Movies
  • Museum trips
  • Bob Dylan
  • Oldies music
  • Random Comments of the Day
  • Radio Broadcasting
I have to renew the domain every year.  I wish there was a way to renew it in perpetuity so many years from now when I pass on the blog will remain.  I plan to continue as I have been averaging about 240 entries a year.

And the beat goes on.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Julius and Ethel - A Rare Bob Dylan Song


Quoting from the Wikipedia article (I know there are more professional sources) "Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were American citizens who were convicted of spying on behalf of the Soviet Union. The couple was accused of providing top-secret information about radar, sonar, jet propulsion engines, and valuable nuclear weapon designs; at that time the United States was the only country in the world with nuclear weapons. Convicted of espionage in 1951, they were executed by the federal government of the United States in 1953 in the Sing Sing correctional facility in Ossining, New York."

During the sessions for the 1983 album Infidels Bob Dylan recorded the song shown above, but it was never released legitimately,  It was on some illegal bootleg records.

I highly recommend my readers who are Dylan fans get this book:

“Surviving in a Ruthless World: Bob Dylan’s Voyage to Infidels” by Terry A. Gans.  I got the Kindle version on and am currently reading it.  Each chapter is devoted to a song recorded in the Infidels sessions in Spring 1983.  I had a lot of fun reading a chapter and then listening to the recording.

I also suggest reading this article from Rolling Stone Magazine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Random Thoughts of the Day


  • I just can't understand why kids insist on riding their bicycles on the sidewalk when there is a bike lane a few feet away.
  • Whenever I listen to WFAN or 98.7 ESPN Radio they are always talking about how badly the Jets are doing and that the coach should be fired.
  • The NBA  and the NHL have not yet announced plans for next season.  When baseball season ends in two weeks, the NFL and college football will be the only sports around,
  • Michael Kay and Don LaGreca were saying that it is not yet known if baseball stadiums will be allowed to have fans in 2021.  I mentioned that issue in a previous post here stating that teams should not try to sell tickets.  Mike and Don stated that teams may not be able to spend money on free agents since they could not get revenue from fans in the stands.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President


Official Trailer

The movie theaters in New York are still closed with no indication of re-opening.  Many movies have been released on the Internet.  The film Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President shows his enthusiasm for what we now call classic rock.  He is the first U.S, President to openly embrace this genre of popular music. Years later Barack Obama showed his enthusiasm for popular music. The film shows his meeting with Bob Dylan, Crosby Stills, and Nash, Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, and Cher among others. Roseanne Cash and Paul Simon were interviewed in the movie. President Carter was also very much interested in jazz and classical music.

Jimmy Carter is now 96 years old and lived longer than any former U.S. President.  He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.  Hopefully, his love for music will add to his legacy.  I highly recommend the movie for my readers who are music enthusiasts.

You can stream the film for $12.  It was certainly worth the price.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Today Would be John Lennon's 80th Birthday


It is hard to believe that John Lennon would have been 80 years old had he lived.  Sadly he was murdered by a crazed fan at age 40.  In December it will be 40 years since he died.  He certainly left us some excellent music as a solo artist and as part of the legendary Beatles.  We'll never know what music he would have done had he lived.  Would all 4 Beatles have united?

There were several tribute songs written about him:

  • Here Today - Paul McCartney
  • All Those Years Ago - George Harrison
  • Empty Garden - Elton John
  • Roll on John - Bob Dylan
My favorite of the 4 is Empty Garden

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Is Any Entertainer Worth $120 Million/Year

 I have been a radio enthusiast for many years and am stunned that Howard Stern will get a new contract for $120 million/year from SiriusXM as reported by Bloomberg News.  I never listened to him as I don't care for his shock-jock style of radio.  I am not posting his photo in this journal entry.  Certainly, there are people who like him and listen to him regularly.  Is there a return on investment for SiriusXM?  How many subscribers does he attract?  Is it possible they dropped Cousin Brucie to clear salary for Stern?  Since I am a subscriber to SiriusXM, I am indirectly paying for part of that $120 million even though I don't listen to him.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

We finally Ate Dinner at a Restaurant

We certainly have eaten dinner at Ben's Kosher Deli in Bayside, but today was special since it was the first time we ate a full meal in a restaurant since February.  Indoor dining was not allowed since the global pandemic struck in March.  We took food home from Ben's several times since then but was a pain to drive over there and run home with the food before it got cold.

Since September 30 restaurants in NYC are allowed only 25% capacity.  We decided to go early on a weekday to make sure we got a table.  Let's hope that this pandemic will end and things will normalize.


Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Beatles Sing Bob Dylan Songs During the Let it Be Sessions


It is 9:50 on a Sunday evening and I just don't have the time to listen to this.  I will be like a kid in a candy store listening to this tomorrow morning.  Dylan did sing The Things We Said Today on a tribute album to Paul McCartney.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Today's Trip to the Whitney Museum


The last time I was at The Whitney was in December 2019.  I obviously could not visit over the past 6 months so we thought it was time to see what was there.  We had to make a reservation in advance and wear a mask throughout our visit.

We decided to start our visit on the top floor where we saw an exhibit called Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist.  Agnes Pelton (1881-1961) was an American visionary symbolist who depicted the spiritual reality she experienced in moments of meditative stillness.  Below are two of her paintings.

Below is an interesting work by Roy Lichtenstein.  I guess a bathroom can be considered a piece of art.

Another exhibit was Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art.  It included works by leading Mexican Muralists José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

It was an enjoyable afternoon.  I am certainly glad that museums have reopened.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Another Return to Normalcy Today


Shopping at department stores was never a favorite activity of mine.  Very often I made purchases online to avoid going to a mall.  Over the past 6 months, I have bought clothing on since the retail outlets were closed.  I never wanted to buy shoes online since I would have to return them by mail if they didn't fit.  I feel that I have to try on shoes before I purchase them.  Anyway, I needed a new pair of sneakers, so I walked to Macy's in downtown Flushing not knowing if it was open as it was during the pre-COVID days.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was open.  I was able to try on a couple of pairs of sneakers and make my purchase.

I still don't know when I will go to a restaurant to eat at a table.  I am just afraid that with only 25% of the tables open, there will be a long wait.

Personal-Journals blog