London Shows: Beuys et al., especially Al

February 9th, 2005

The persistent and perceptive John Levett (Joseph Beuys’ Hat) heralds a skein of scintillating shows due to open at the two Tates over the coming weeks…

Cool Runnings

Sallie Parker writes: “I have the distinct impression that the best London exhibitions are always mounted in late winter. Is there anything to this, or is it just that February and March are when I’m usually in London? I remember the 2002 Matisse Picasso show went up in May, but that didn’t knock me over, really.”

On Second Thought, I Won’t Go

February 3rd, 2005

The following capsule history of New York City is found at the website. I think it pretty much sums it all up…

NYC History - In the first half of the 20th century, the city became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication. Interborough Rapid Transit (the first subway company) began operating in 1904. The New York skyline soared in the 1930s with the building of some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.
In the decades after World War II, however, the city slid into gradual decline with the loss of population to the suburbs and the erosion of its industrial base. Like many US cities, New York suffered severe race riots in the 1960s, and by the 1970s, the city had gained a reputation for being a crime-ridden relic of history. In 1975, the city hit bottom and had to declare bankruptcy.

Resistentialism: Things Are Against Us

February 2nd, 2005

Mr. John Woodley has drawn our attention to the following satire on modern (1963) French philosophy. To say it is tongue-in-cheek is to defile the meaning of the phrase.

(This is not an link…you’ll have to copy and paste it.)

Postscript 9 Feb: Woodley informs me the essay is famous and goes back to ‘48 or so, when the world was yet in rompers.

Malcolm Gladwell Overload Feared

January 30th, 2005

Miss Sallie Parker returns to her desultory weblog to complain again of a Malcolm Gladwell overload. Perhaps she should flesh out her all too skimpy offerings by tagging along after Mr. Gladwell, buying him burgers and pointing him in the direction of a good barber. gladwell.jpg

We Prepare for the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Fanfaroon

January 30th, 2005

Well I nearly bought myself a silk scarf for 125.00 at the Met today, a commemorative scarf of the upcoming Christo (etc.) project in Central Park. What’s it called? GATES?

Every time I run a race with NYRRC their website cautions that the route may take a funny tack because of the Christo (etc.) installation going on in Central Park. I have yet to see it but understand it is going up over the next week. The NYC site has a very nice set of pictures though I still don’t understand it.


It appears to consist of a hundred or so orange sails, erected along a path surround the lagoon. That much I learn from studying the $20 poster (which I also thought of buying).

Orange is the color of the Central Park Track Club. They have the neatest knit caps and gear. Is this just a coincidence?

The costume exhibit at the Met was a great disappointment. I was hoping for something like the wire-model 1946 French exhibition that the V&A mounted some years ago, but all it was was a lurid disco-drenched show of feathers and leopard-skin prints.

Farewell then, Winston Spencer-Churchill (a reminiscence)

January 24th, 2005


I once won something in a radio quiz. This was in 1984.

Mark Simone, a snotty, smarter-than-thou deejay on WNEW-AM, said “What do Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill have in common?” Other than the fact that they are [after a fashion] English, he elaborated. “First caller with the right answer wins a dinner for two at the Red Blazer Too! ”

Impusively I rang up. “Spencer!” I shouted.

“What?!” said Mark. I think someone had fed him the question from The Big Book of Radio Promotion Ideas.

But of course I was right, and now the proud recipient of a next-to-useless voucher at a sawdusty dive on the Upper East Side. The voucher was not good for drinks, or valid after 8pm. I couldn’t find anyone to go with me except a chirpy Oklahoma girl in my standup-comedy circle. So we trotted up to East 88th Street or wherever, and had a lousy meal and a couple of drinks in this vast, barnlike, near-empty room with a band platform.

It was about 7pm, and we were the only patrons. This was one of those joints that catered to old duffers who liked to go see “Dixieland Jazz” and related brands of “live music” played by guys who wore straw boaters and sleeve garters and had names like Dub. These venues were a big 60s fad (Your Father’s Mustache, Mickie Finn’s, et al.), now surviving on twofers, radio promotions, and other forms of life support.

I believe my “prize” ended up costing me twenty dollars, counting the tip. My fellow comedienne treated it all as a hilarious adventure. I kept thinking how it was so totally emblematic of my life, like the time I was all alone on Christmas and had a ham sandwich for dinner. My life would always be like this, I was certain. And I was right.

Calf Pain and Back Pain and MT Is Still a Pain

January 23rd, 2005

I seem to have done most of my blog construction leaning at an uncomfortable angle over my Pismo, while sitting in bed. This makes it nearly impossible for me to straighten up in less than five minutes. This on top of the calf cramping from the Frostbite Run yesterday. A mere 7 miles, and I thought I stretched everything out, but perhaps the cold had its effect. The sun was out for a few minutes this afternoon. Deanna phoned twice, and it seemed a good job I didn’t go up to New Britain. The blizzard was still raging. Now I shall go swimming or at least stretching, go to Mass, finish writing Educational Television.

And it is still cold, they say

January 20th, 2005

Even in the apartment on 57th St it is.

Margot Gallery Closes to Much Applesauce

January 18th, 2005

After 55 years the Margot Gallery has closed with an applesauce reception. Hey! I thought they only served grapes.

The Turtle Is Out

January 18th, 2005

She’s gone under the chiffarobe and I can’t get her out.