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Archive for November 6th, 2019


Trick ‘r treat #1 (a recent Halloween picture)

Dear friends and readers,

I am just delighted to have Judith Cheney here as a guest blogger to tell of her week in New York City two weeks ago now. Judith is a North Carolina artist, a painter whose work you can view from her FB page, her website Judith Cheney Artist on FB, and her business website.

I have written a blog for you all & for myself about my refreshing & delightful week in New York.


Looking down on Madison Avenue (Ralph Loren’s place, & a roof top garden on Ralph’s annex where early risers can get a latté)

I walked in Central Park every morning (& saw Pale Male, the famous hawk (perhaps) circling the Reservoir with a swooping flock of pigeons on his flank) after wonderful breakfasts alone with the Times in P.’s beautiful dining room, cooked to order by my friend’s House Man-Treasure, R. And three mornings afterward, I savored the glories in The Frick Collection until about noon, when my friend was up & done with all her morning ministrations & we set off for lovely lunches & art museum going every day. Including the new MOMA, which P. declared was very confusing in layout & signage. Our lunch there in The Modern by the pool was divine & beautiful modern art itself. I saw the things I was looking for at the Guggenheim & the Neue (where we had a lovely pastry & coffee in the Sabarksy Cafe after seeing the Kirchner exhibit & the German Expressionists & of course THE Klimt & others of his beauties. I saw the Bonnards & others I was longing to see at MOMA (the new), & The Met. We saw the great American paintings, especially the De Kooning on my desktop at the Whitney & walked on the High Line, which P. declared is being smothered by construction of new high rises built against it, because they failed to get restrictions against that.


Breakfast with the Times (fruit, yogurt, muffin, or spinach omelette or bagel with lox & cream cheese, etc., & coffee & fresh-squeezed orange juice (every morning!)

Wednesday we went to an interview /talk at the Colony Club, a historic woman’s club where my friend swims, for an interview-talk & ladies’ luncheon (with a friend of P.’s who had been on our tour of Sicily & Naples with the Met 4 yrs. ago, where again I was P.’s guest). The author interviewed was Anne de Courcy, whose book was Husband Hunters about the American Heiresses who married the British titles as did Cora in Downton Abbey & Jenny Jerome, Churchill’s mother, & who were written about by Edith Wharton in The Buccaneers. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/books/review/husband-hunters-anne-de-courcy.html She was a delightful story teller with so many interesting tales of that Gilded Age & the European scene, about the social climbing of the Rich beyond Croesus in NYC & the not-so-rich Southern girls at the turn of the 20th c. & the English peerage they met, sought & were sought by. I felt myself a bit among the descendant movers & shakers or The old girls from The Group as I sat among the attendees in the gilded ball room/lecture hall. Lunch after in a sunny garden room was delicious too. I seemed to have been on a crab cake/octopus tour of NYC restaurants. Then P. had a dr.’s app’t. & I walked back along Madison Ave. to The Frick to look some more at the beauties there, trying to keep pace with the many long-legged, swift-striding elegant (still) young women of the city today.


A steeple where I saw pigeon flocks landing sometimes

P. suggested a play & we decided against The Height of the Storm after reading the reviews, even though we both would have enjoyed seeing Jonathan Pryce & especially Eileen Atkins on stage & went instead to a play at the Helen Hayes, Linda Vista, which we deemed not entirely successful, though we did have several big laughs. The explicit & extended sex scenes may (or maybe not) have Helen tossing in her grave, & I was a bit twitchy myself, not having seen that on stage before (in my provincial theatres). The play was by Tracy Letts who won a Pulitzer for his first play, August in Osage County. I saw the movie with Meryl Streep about family of miserable characters with ghastly profane vocabularies. The characters in Linda Vista are also miserable & “vex-tremely” profane, but one is strong & finally sees reality. Good for her (after all that vigorous sex & tears before her next bed.)


Beautiful corner with French 18th-19thc. plein air landscape paintings by Alexandre-Hyacinthe Denouy & Pierre-Henri Valenciennes which my friend collects.

We spent a happier evening at Carnegie Hall listening to Tchaikovky’s First Piano Concerto & Bruckner’s 7th Symphony with its 2 familiar movements. Beforehand we ate another terrific Italian supper at Tarattoria Dell’Arte across from Carnegie Hall before the performances by the Munich Philharmonic & Behzod Abduraimov, piano. Every other night, but 2, when R. worked his kitchen brilliance for us, we ate in the intimate French & Italian restaurants & cafes of her neighborhood. At Majorelle, that colorful fashion fixture, Iris Apfel, sat at the next table with her Barney Google glasses & a dark & handsome young hunk in attendance. In a taxi on the way there, my small bag slipped off my shoulder & into a crevice between the cab door & seat. My foot was on the curb when I missed it as I watched in horror the cab speed away into the night. But by the most wonderful of New York City miracles it was found by a young hero construction worker, probably several fares later, for he was picked up far downtown. He managed to track me not through my driver’s license & googling me! & my ex-husband in Asheville called us about 11 am the next morning that he had an email from that young man saying the bag was found & he given our phone # & he called & R met him on Fifth Ave. where he brought it by subway from his construction job at union Square. I have a selfie R took of the hero & himself (who had brought it back to us by subway -holding up my tiny bag. I had called my son who was staying at my house to care for Charlie Cat to mail my passport to me express so I could get on the plane home & I had it the very next morning as well, super-id’ed now & my $60 bucks still inside. We gave the young man a reward & I invited for some our great hand-crafted beers & lunch if he was ever in Asheville. As the waiter assured me at super-deluxe?


Rooftops at Sunrise

Another night at Come Prima, seven big men, some in suits & 2 in NYC Fire Dept. jackets dined at the next table with Rudi Giuliani after his court session that morning. We tried not to let his no-neck toothy mug spoil dinner. P. had invited a lovely friend from her building who is originally from Kentucky to come with us, & we did chat a bit about the old native land far, far away.

Saturday, we planned on the Museum of Natural History but found it closed to anyone w/o a child for the huge museum city-wide free Hallowe’en Party for little ones. P. suggested we grab one of the many little goblins milling about, but then suggested we go across the street to The NYC Historical Society Museum, where we saw several wonderful exhibits & 2 films of the history of the city & the history of the Women of the city from the beginning. There was an exhibit of Paul Revere, his Revolutionary feats, his silver & engravings & his times. And we saw a fascinating exhibit of Mark Twain’s journey & experiences in Jerusalem & Palestine. He was as we all know a vehement atheist, but never blasphemed the Bible, whose language he revered. He even had a Bible created with wood said to be form the cross for his dear old devout mother whom he also revered. And we saw Audubon watercolors & pastel & graphite originals, so stunningly beautiful. I recommend this museum jewel, where I had not thought to go but enjoyed so much.

I haven’t mentioned that P. flies using private jets because she doesn’t want to deal with regular jets or airports anymore in this life. It certainly is as blissful as flying could ever be with chauffeur service on both ends & I feared I would be “ruint” as they say in Ky. forever more, as I don’t like flying anyway, but I did make it back on a commercial flight from Laguardia in a horrendous storm (with wheelchair service & a reassuring stewardess) to a sunny beautiful fall day in the Blue Ridge, with my dear son at the curb. Oh & I did ask P. if she ever thought of her carbon footprints & she said Of course! but that she gave constantly to the organizations fighting for the planet & seemed satisfied with that for herself & her privileged guests. I hope the rest of the indulgent wealthy are giving large sums too to environmental groups working so hard to save us all.


Judith’s stuff on the sofa

And I did read Forster’s The Longest Journey a bit in rest times & on the plane & have been trying to catch up in the reading & with your helpful comments too. I continue to find it interesting, tough not as absorbing as the others & have starred his frequent delightful humor. There is a homosexual play, The Inheritance, on Broadway now at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, based on the playwright Matthew Lopez’s devotion to Forster’s Howards End, the Merchant-Ivory movie & later the book which he read five or six times & realized some gay overtones or under notes, leading him out of the closet to write himself about life as he knows it.

Judith Moore Cheney

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