Monday, December 19, 2011

A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, STORYTELLING IN NEW YORK (c) By Polly Guerin

As great holiday music celebrates the Christmas season there’s but one very special sentimental journey back to simpler, innocent times of wonder and fantasy and that is the epic poem/story, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas, which was produced recently by the Chelsea Opera Company with the Chelsea Opera Chamber Orchestra under the baton of the brilliant Maestro Carmine Aufiero. Here’s the scoop!!!
DYLAN THOMAS Just a year before his death in 1953 noted poet Dylan Thomas recorded A Child’s Christmas in Wales, a classic that has become one of the all time holiday favorites and his most recognized story. New York City composer Matthew Harris’ choral cantata poignantly captures the Christmas spirit and the humor in Thomas’s ageless story. Its sentimentality tugs at our hearts with nostalgic yearnings to go back and remember what a childhood was like in that seaside village in Wales.
ONE CHRISTMAS WAS SO MUCH LIKE ANOTHER Many of us can relate to Thomas’s opening lines, “One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.”
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!!! “Nobody could have had a noisier Christmas Eve” leads us through a merry chase as the excitement, clamor and gong ringing cause such a ruckus that the firemen arrive in their shining helmets, standing among smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs. Adding to the absurdness of the situation, Miss Prothero says to the firemen, “Would you like anything to read?”
THE UNCLES reminds us so much about uncles at our house. Thomas recalls, “There were always Uncles at Christmas. The same Uncles. They sat in front of the fire, loosened all buttons, put their large moist hands over their watch chains, groaned a little and slept.” But there were aunties, too. “Auntie, Bessie, who had already been frightened twice, by a clockwork mouse, whimpered at the sideboard and had some elderberry wine. After some hilarious antics in the snow and a fantasy hippo enactment the children head home.
SINGING CAROLS Thomas waxes nostalgic, “I remember that we went singing carols once, when there wasn’t the shaving of a moon to light the flying streets, and always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang Cherry Ripe, and another uncle sang Drake’s Drum. It was very warm in the little house. I got into bed, I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.”
This endearing story referenced here is only an abbreviated sampling of the sentimentality that Thomas conveys through his recollections. It gives us pause to wonder and reflect on the similarities in our own Christmas celebrations replete with eccentric family members. However, most of all we may all feel better for having vicariously experienced this very quaint Christmas tale. It’s the kind of story that deserves reading to a new generation of children and grownups who will be carried away to a seaside village and A Child’s Christmas in Wales.
You can order the Dylan Thomas "A Child's Christmas in Wales" through Amazon. To read more about Chelsea Opera go to www.chelseaopera.org.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A FASHIONISTA'S FESTIVE HOLIDAY(c) By Polly Guerin

While dashing around town Fastionistas take time to pay homage to the great designers, view a virtual tour and scan the windows for the sheer magic of the season. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the very best in New York City, the fashion capital of the world. Here’s the scoop!!!
THE GREAT DESIGNERS, PART ONE The Museum at FIT presents the first of two consecutive exhibitions featuring masterpieces from the museum’s permanent collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories. From Alaia, Balenciaga, Chanel, and Dior to Westwood, Yeohlee, Zoran and Xuly-Bet the exhibition recently opened, pictured here, features approximately 50 garment from many of the most important designers of the 20th and 21st centuries. New acquisitions include the late Alexander McQueen’s elaborately embroidered black silk coatdress and Tierry Mugler’s fantastical metallic bustier and fishtail skirt and enjoy a closer look at Mariano Fortuny’s exquisite, embossed velvet dress. Through May 8, 2012. FREE at MFIT, Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
www.fitnyc.edu/museum. Mark your calendars The Great Designers, Part Two will be on display May 23 through Nov. 10, 2012.
VALENTINO’S MODERN FASHION MUSEUM celebrates with a virtual museum, the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum, a downloadable desktop application the first of its kind from a designer of Valentino’s caliber. The site focuses on 50 years of Valentino’s work in three-dimensional technology that makes the experience seem almost like a real museum visit replete with natural Roman sunlight, video interviews with some 300 dresses and iconic images of everyone from Jacqueline Kennedy wearing Valentino when she married Aristotle Onassis to Julia Roberts accepting her Oscar wearing a vintage gown by the Rome designer. In this pi0neering move Valentino wanted everyone around the world, and in particular students, to have access to his best designs, even if he himself isn’t a tech-savvy designer. Discussions are still underway to establish a brick-and-mortar Valentino museum in Rome.
JOAQUIN SOROLLA and THE GLORY OF SPANISH DRESS The Queen Sofia Spanish Institute on Park Avenue with curator Oscar de la Renta who got the idea for the show from “Vision of Spain,” the Sorolla mural commissioned in 1911. Sorolla had spent years traveling through Spain to chronicle the native dress, some of which he purchased, amassing a sizable collection and many of the pieces shown come from his archives. Oscar shows some Sorolla works alongside the clothes that inspired them and in turn modern fashion. Among other designers represented: YSL’s Stefano Pilati, Ralph Lauren and Carolina Herrera and a remarkable 2009 couture wecding extravaganza from Christian Lacroix with flamenco references.
THE QUEEN OF JEWELS Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry goes on the block at Christie’s tomorrow with the storied La Peregrina pearl necklace, which is estimated to fetch $2 million to $3 million at auction decidedly the showstopper. When Richard Burton bought it at auction in New York for Elizabeth Taylor he paid $37,000. To put it mildly it will be interesting to see who the next owner of the most fabled of natural pearls turns out to be. On view today. Christie’s on 49th Street.
www.christie.org.
Ta Ta darlings!!! Polly’s going to see The Great Designers, Part One, you should too. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the right-hand column the link to her Blogs.


Monday, December 5, 2011

A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES and HOLIDAY MUSIC By Polly Guerin





Holidays in New York ushers in glorious concerts all around tinsel town. From A Child’s Christmas in Wales to Chanticleer and a French Christmas choristers rise up singing the joys of the season. It’s the Best of New York, my friends, the very best of music festivities to cheer your heart. Here’s the scoop!!!
A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES Matthew Harris’s cantata for chorus and orchestra, presented by the Chelsea Opera, brings to musical life Dylan Thomas’s classic and entrancing Christmas story that tugs at the heart of all of us who are reminded of our own treasured memories. With "A Child's Christmas in Wales" we are all brought together in the beauty of word and song in music that brims with humor, poignancy and high drama as we follow the recollections of Christmas past in a seaside town in Wales: the useful and useless presents, drunk uncles, firemen, hippos, carol singing to ghosts, and “looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow.” A special performance of “Walking in the Air” form the Snowman with Benjamin Perry Wenzelberg rounds out a glorious evening. ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY, December 16, at 8 pm. At Christ & St. Stephen’s Church, 120 W. 69th St. (B’way & Columbus). Gen Adm 20 adv/$25 door; Snr/Stdt $15 adv/$20 door. www.ChelseaOpera.org.
A CHANTICLEER CHRISTMAS A sumptuous blend of voices rings in the holiday season with profound, peaceful and joyous music in concerts in front of the Metropolitan Museum’s Christmas tree and Neapolitan Baroque Creche. Dec. 11, The Vienna Boys Choir performs Austrian folk songs and waltzes, classical masterpieces, popular songs and, of course, holiday favorites, an all-female cappella ensemble celebrates with a special performance of ancient, traditional and modern works on themes of love and music, Dec. 20th a touch of tradition, a dash of jazz brings a measure of cheer with the Burning River Nutcracker, Dec. 23 Judy Collins, one of folk music’s most celebrated icons takes the stage with seasonal favorites and classic hits. For full schedule go to www.metmuseum.org.
A FRENCH CHRISTMAS The Canterbury Choral Society, under the baton of the legendary founder and Conductor, Charles Dodsley Walker celebrates the season with Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “Messe de Minuit pour Noel,” and Francis Poulenc’s “Quatre Motets pour le Temps de Noel. Soloists include Kathleen Kelly, soprano; Joan Fuerstman, mezzo-soprano; Sherry Zannoth, soprano; Tomas Mooney, tenor; Philip Smith, tenor and Ralph Braun, bass-baritone. The enchanting Treble Choir is from St. Hilda and St. Hugh's School from St. Michael’s Church. December 18th at 4 pm, Church of the heavenly Rest, Fifth Avenue at 90th Street.
JOYEUX NOEL! Celebrate Christmas with a French twist. The St. Ignatius choirs are featured in this vibrant holiday presentation of French masterpieces for the season, including Saint-Saens’s Christmas Oratorio, excerpts from Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour le temps de Noel and favorites by Biebl, Adam, Bach/Gounod, Busser, and carols for all to sing. Sunday, December 11th and December 18th at 4 pm. At the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park. Ave. http://www.smssconcerts.org/.
Ta Ta darlings!! I’ll be singing in Chelsea Opera's "A Child’s Christmas in Wales." Looking forward to seeing you at St. Stephen's Church, Dec. 16th. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizonl.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the right-hand column click on the links.

Monday, November 28, 2011

STORYTELLING CREATES HOLIDAY MAGIC (c) By Polly Guerin









There’s nothing like a book to enchant the literary lions and this holiday does not disappoint. From ancient storytelling to children’s classics and a bit of a western fantasy it’s the Best of New York my friends, the very Best reading for holiday reading and gift giving. Here’s the scoop!!! STORYTELLING IN JAPANESE ART represents a long tradition of storytelling through paintings and illustrated books that trace the rich history of illustrated narratives that thrived in the medieval and early modern periods of Japan. The focus of this enchanting exhibit focuses on some 20 rare illustrated hand scrolls called emaki including the antics of animals in the roles of humans, the macabre escapes of ghosts and monsters and mischievous kitchen utensils that come out at night. Frolicking Animals, The Tale of the Drunken Dragon and Illustrated Legend of Kitano Shrine are among the magnificently illustrated scrolls that will delight adult and child. At The Sackler Wing Galleries for the Arts of Japan, 2nd floor. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. Through May, 2012. www.metmuseum.org.
50 YEARS OF ‘THE SNOWY DAY’ The golden anniversary of this classic children’s book by Ezra Jack Keats is a charming children’s story that even the most sophisticate of us would enjoy reading and giving as a gift. It coincides with an exhibition in his honor at the Jewish Museum. Keats’ life story is a metaphor of persistence and dedication. The book tells the story of a little Black boy named Peter exploring the new white world in his little red snowsuit whose senses come alive when he ventures alone into the snow. The book was controversial because it features a Black child and was released at the height of the civil rights movement in 1962. In writing ‘The Snowy Day” Keats transformed children’s literature forever. Book available at the Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. Viking Children’s Books has published an oversize 50th anniversary edition of “The Snowy Day,” priced at $19.99. Visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org.
CRACKING ‘THE WHIP’ A quick-paced, wily tale is a fascinating blend of both fact and fiction by author, Karen Kondazian, who reveals the thirty years disguise of a noted stagecoach driver discovered to be a woman. The Whip is inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (1812-1879) who lived most of her extraordinary life as a man on the Wells Fargo Line. Tragedy drove her west to California, dressed as a man, to track the murderer of her husband and child but instead Charley became a renowned stagecoach driver. She killed a famous outlaw, had a secret love affair, and was the first woman to vote in America (as a man). Tuck that in your bonnet!!! Riveting…it’s sure to engage Western and historical fiction fans. http://www.karen-kondazian.com. Publisher www.HansenPublishing.com .
STILL IN THE GAME, The Game of Kings: Medieval Ivory Chessmen from the Isle of Lewis. The Lewis Chessmen found in a sandbank in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s chilly Outer Hebrides come out for viewing at the Cloister branch of the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art where 34 of the 67 chessmen are on display. Made of walrus tusk or whale’s teeth, the chessmen are remarkable pieces, creamy white through traces of red remain in some places. Neil MacGregor the British Museum’s director selected them for his book which is available in the Cloister’s bookstore as well at the Metropolitan Museum’s book shops ($12.00 paperback).
Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m off to see “The Snow Day” again. It’s pure magic. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Or visit Polly’s Blogs go to http://www.pollytalk.com/ and click in the right hand column direct link to several Blogs.

Monday, November 21, 2011

HOLIDAY MAGIC, A PRICELESS NEW YORK (c) By Polly guerin

A delightful array of holiday treats from window shopping to musical events and virtual fashion dominate priceless holiday moments worth savoring. It’s the Best of New York, my friends. The very Best that celebrates the spirit of the season. Here’s the Scoop!!!
GAGALAND AT BARNEYS NEW YORK Yes, It’s ‘Beginning to Look like Gaga.” Gaga’s Workshop opens tonight at 11:59 p.m., offering more than 100 Gaga-inspired products throughout the store’s various installations. Shoppers entering Barneys on the 60th Street entrance will be greeted by a show-stopping entry, pictured left, by installation artist Eli Sudbrack: a giant neon Gaga monster framing the doors. The ’12 days of Gaga,’ will debut a product a day with the extravaganza closing on Jan 2. The fifth floor is transformed into eight stations that include the chocolate skull from Gaga’s candy shop, the boudoir a giant wig hosts all the makeup, fake nails and lipsticks; the spider installation where the jewelry is displayed a giant pop-up book. Gaga, the performance artist, does not disappoint with many other incredible venues, a ‘must-see’ event.
THE ARTIST, Polly’s Movie Pick of the Week opens this Friday. This light, comical and touching black-and-white silent French film set in Hollywood in 1927 will charm its way into your heart as it did mine when I saw a preview last week at the French institute Alliance Francaise. The hero, the happy-to-lucky movie star George Valentin, played by the dashing French actor Jean Dujardin, resists speaking at the dawn of talkies and therein is the plot of an almost speechless production. The film explores the relationship between the dashing Valentin, whose career is fading and a very sparkling young actress, a la flapper, Berenice Bejo whose star is on the rise. This homage to 1920s era Hollywood is a dazzling cinematic experience and there is an amazing little dog, a terrier with an important role named Uggie, that is quite frankly show stealer.
CHRISTMAS IN ITALY Award-winning international sing star CHRISTINA FONTANELLI takes you on a vocal journey through Italy’s most loved songs and arias, Neapolitan and Christmas classics with piano, mandolin, guitar and accordion accompaniment, plus a delightful addition the student choir. At the Danny Kaye Playhouse, 695 Park Ave. (Between Park and Lexington Avenues), Sunday, November 27 at 3 p.m. Senior/Student tickets $42, Regular $48, Premium $70. Box Office: 212.772.4448. www.ChristinaFontanelli.com.
GIRARD-PERREGAUX EXHIBIT Created in honor of the firm’s 220th anniversary, the Girard-Perregaux traveling exhibition makes its final stop at the brand’s Madison Avenue boutique through Saturday, November 26th. The exhibit showcases the most important stages of Gerard-Perregaux’s history with emphasis on the technical and design aspects of watches and trends like Art Nouveau and Art Deco. This marks the first time that many of the company’s masterpieces, dating back to the late 18th and 19th centuries (it was founded in 1791) will ever be seen by the U.S. public. A rare opportunity, not to be missed!!!
Ta Ta darlings!!! I’ll see you at Gagaland tonight! Won’t miss it if I were you! Fan mail welcome pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs, just click in the right-hand column on www.pollytalk.com. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving with “Thanksgiving Reverence” poem, just click here http://www.poetryfromtheheartbypollyguerin.blogspot.com.

Monday, November 14, 2011

MUSIC OF DVORAK AT ST.GEORGE'S CHORAL SOCIETY(c) By Polly guerin



The Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak was perhaps the most successful nationalist of the 19th century and composed a series of works, Bohemian in style with explicit influence of folk music. Dvorak also spent some time in America, where his ideas on national music had a profound impact on his oeuvre. In a fitting tribute the St. George’s Choral Society pays homage to Dvorak’s great works this Sunday, November 20th at 3 p.m. at the landmark Church of the Incarnation. Under the baton of Dr. Matthew Lewis, Artistic Director, the choral society will sing Stabat Mater, Te Deum and Songs of Nature with full orchestra. Tami Petty, soprano and Stephen Bryant, Bass-Baritone are the featured soloists. It’s the best of New York, my friends, the very best concert to start this musical holiday season. Here’s the scoop!!!

Church of the Incarnation, 209 Madison Ave. @ 35th Street. Tickets $25 at the door. Tickets purchased in advance are $20 at http://www.stgeorgeschoralsociety.org/.


STABAT MATER is based on a Medieval Latin poem depicting Mary’s grief at Christ’s crucifixion. The mammoth work was begun in 1876 after the death of Dvorak’s daughter Josefa. With such grief at hand he then laid the work aside, but was moved to complete it several years later after the death of two more daughters. However, despite these loses Dvorak, a deeply religious man and ruralist at heart, was never happier than in the countryside of his native Bohemia. Dvorak’s rustic reserve no doubt influenced his “Songs of Nature,” that extol the beauty of nature replete with flies, moths and beetles and will be performed by the St. George’s chamber choir.
DVORAK AMERICAN SOJOURN Jeannette Meyer Thurber, one of America’s most influential music patrons shares a unique place in the history of American music. In 1885, she was founder of one of the most influential music schools in the United States, the National Conservatory of Music of America. Under her leadership she brought the great Bohemian composer Antonin Dvorak to New York and in 1891 he was invited to become the director of bespoke music organization, a role that he undertook with great gusto. During Dvorak’s sojourn in New York he composed a series of works that clearly have undercurrent that reflect his passion for American folk music.
DVORAK AND HARRY THACKER BURLEIGH The great Czech composer Dvorak lived in a modest house near Gramercy Park and had close ties with the parish of St. George’s Episcopal Church, where he was music director. The connection between AntoninDvorak and Harry ThackerBurleigh was an epic collaboration. Burleigh auditioned and won a scholarship from the National Conservatory of Music and took a job at St. George’s where Dvorak became Burleigh’s biggest influence as a composer. In 1894, Burleigh, auditioned for the post of soloist at St. George’s and through his talent and dedication he held the position for over fifty years. In his lifetime Burleigh became nationally and internationally known as an eminent American baritone, composer and arranger and for his Negro spirituals, many of them still popular today. His grandfather, Hamilton Waters, a former slave, had passed along old songs by singing them to his grandson Harry, including “Deep River” and “Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child.” During Dvorak’s stay in New York the two artists collaborated on musical compositions. Burleigh’s unforgettable arrangement of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” clearly resonates inspiration in Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 9, Op. 95, From the New World.”

St. George’s Choral Society is one of—of not the—oldest choral societies in Manhattan. It was founded in 1817 and continues to present concerts twice a year. Rehearsals take place on Wednesday evening in St. George’s Neo-Romanesque Chapel on Rutherford Place facing Stuyvesant Square Park.

Ta darlings!!! I’m not only singing in the chorus this Sunday, but I am sharing this Polly Talk column with you so that you will have greater reason to attend the performance. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly at www.pollytalk.com and click on one of her Blogs.


Monday, November 7, 2011

STUPENDOUS ART WORKS PRIME NEW YORK SHOWS(c) By Polly Guerin

Extraordinary, wunderbar, stupendous works of art draw enthusiasts to the wonder of creativity that blankets the city with rare exhibitions. Only in New York my friends, its the very best of culture that proves that New York is the Center of the Art World. Here’s the scoop!!!
MAURIZIO CATTELAN ITALIAN ART PRANKSTER in an amazing ‘not to be missed,’ site-specific installation at the Guggenheim, Maurizio Cattelan suspends his entire body of work on a disorientating, seemingly haphazard mass in the center of the building’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda. The unorthodox presentation, which is visible from the ground floor and from each ascending ramp, brings together every work the artist has created since 1989 in a wild array of some 120 sculptures, paintings, photographs, works on paper, taxidermied horses, dogs and shrouded Carrara marble forms in a sculptural environment that functions as a unified artwork in its own right. I preferred to take the elevator to the top floor and to descend the ramps which devoid of any mounted art work provide a stark canvas for this extraordinary show, which in itself is an engineering feat. Multiple tiers in a huge mobile though suspended in motionless animation seem to have some mysterious movement like a wild, wonderful merry-go-round. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. at 89th St. through Jan. 22, 2011. For behind the scenes footage of the installation a multimedia app is available for download at guggenheim.org/cattelan-app.
MECHANICAL WONDERS: ANTIQUE AUTOMATONS and CONTEMPORARY WATCHMAKING, The Sandoz Collection, is another extraordinary show, a Russian tour de force at La Vieille Russie, the venerable store-like museum located on the corner of 59th Street and Fifth Ave. Faberge’s Golden Peacock Egg along with many other treasures from the Maurice Sandoz’s collection are being seen for the first time by New York’s admiring public. Parmigiani Fleurier restored the collection which in addition to Fabrege’s Miniature Piano, the Youssoupoff clock and the Imperial Swan Egg includes timepieces, gold, pearl and enamel perfume spray gun and snuff boxes. Don’t miss the automation animals which include the gold, diamond, pearl enamel and turquoise frog, snake, mouse and a caterpillar. Other marvels include varicolored gold snuff box which opens to reveal a magician answering questions such as “What gives an illusion of happiness?” (money) and a bronze, enamel and glass cage with singing birds are on loan from a Swiss watch museum.
ERTE, THE FATHER OF ART DECO is synonymous with gorgeous illustrations and Harper’s Bazaar covers featuring his fantastical, chic but imaginary women. Born Romain de Tirtoff, Erte began his career working for the flamboyant French fashion designer Paul Poiret, who freed women from the restraints of corsets with his famous harem pant silhouette and waistless dresses. ERTE who continues to captivate and to weave a spell of magic in his illustrations gets his due at New York’s Martin Lawrence Galleries located at 457 West Broadway in a new retrospective that is a feast to the eyes. Opens Thursday, November 10 and lasts for a mere four days then travels on to other cities. 212.995.8865.
BOULUD SOU, NEXT DOOR BAR BOULUD AND EPICERIE BOULUD are Polly’s Restaurant pick of the week. Bouloud Sud, 20 W. 64 Street 212.595.1313 in a pristine sunlit setting serves Mediterranee style, while Bar Boulud, 212.595.0303, around the corner at 1900 Broadway satisfies the Lincoln Center rush crowd and adjacent Epicerie Boulud, 212.595.9605 offers quick lunch and take away delicacies including those famous macaroons.
Ta Ta darlings, I’ve already been to Erte and La Vieille Russie so I’m off to the Milk Gallery for the two-day, Nov. 10 to 12 exhibition of never before seen photos of Marilyn Monroe. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com.

Monday, October 31, 2011

TRANSFORMATIONS AND MODERNISM IN THE BIG APPLE(c) By Polly Guerin

Youth & Beauty, Old Art in New Places and Modernization capture the spirit of culture and intellect in the Big Apple this week. It’s the Best in New York, my friends, the very best in new galleries and musems. Here’s the scoop!!!
YOUTH and BEAUTY: ART OF THE AMERICAN TWENTIES at the Brooklyn Museum presents the first wide-ranging exploration of American Art from the decade called Art Deco marked by the aftermath of World War I through the onset of the Great Depression followed by World War II. American life was dramatically transformed in those years and American artists like Edward Hopper, Charles Demuth, Romaine Brooks and Paul Camus responded to this dizzying modern world with works that embraced a new brand of idealism. Image left: The Birth of Venus (1925) by Joseph Stella, American, born Italy. Influenced by industrialization, mechanization and materialism they produced figurative art that melded uninhibited body-consciousness with classical ideals. http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/. At 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York. Through January 29, 2012.
LUMINOUS MODERNISM: Scandinavian Art Comes to America, 1912/2012 features 47 works by some of the foremost Nordic artists working at the turn of the 20th century with special film screenings. World renowned director Ingmar Bergman fell in love with Faro, the landscape which became the hallmark of many of his films. Two documentaries portray a complex, understated and loving portrait of his tiny island on Wed., Nov. 2 at 6pm and Fri., Nov. 4, 6:30pm. $10 ($7 ASF Members). On Wed., Nov. 9, 6pm view a biographical drama about the famous painter, Edvard Munch, from his childhood to his adult life, with in-depth studies of the influence of persons and surroundings that made his paintings. $10. At Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave. @ 38th St. www.amscan.org.
MODERNIZING THE NATIONAL ACADEMY MUSEUM AND SCHOOL emerges with less stuffy museum spaces, airier with new track lighting and more picture-friendly. Several temporary exhibition through December 31 include salon-style portraits from the early 19th century in “The Artist Revealed: A Panorama of Great Artist Portraits”; 100 American paintings from the permanent collection and the later-career retrospective “Will Barnet at 100. At the entrance way the gift shop has been removed allowing visitors to sweep right into the galleries. At 91st Street & Fifth Avenue. www.nammuseum.org.
NEW GALLERIES FOR THE ART OF THE ARAB LANDS, TURKEY, IRAN, CENTRAL ASIA AND LATER SOUTH ASIA reveal a renovated and expanded suite of 15 galleries to house the permanent collection of the Department of Islamic Art which had been removed during a eight-year construction project. The galleries showcase some 1,200 works spanning more than a thousand years including breathtaking carpets, illustrated manuscripts (bring a magnifying glass), textiles, jewels and the sumptuously ornamented Damascus Room, built in A.H.1119/1707A.D. , one of the finest examples of Syrian Ottoman reception rooms from the house of an important and affluent family. Opens Nov. 1st. www.metmuseum.org.
Ta Ta darlings!!! Youth and Beauty, Art of the American Twenties was breathtakingly enchanting. Don’t miss it! Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the right-hand column to access the Blog of your interest including http://www.amazingartdecodivas.blogspot.com.


Monday, October 24, 2011

NEW YORK FOCUS IN THE EYE OF THE CAMERA(c) By Polly Guerin

New Yorkers’ are forever in the eye of the camera! Captured in silver prints for nostalgic viewing New York’s Fashionistas appear in photographed treasures never to be forgotten, while 100 dresses get their due recognition and it's pumpkin time. Here’s the scoop!!!
INCOMPARABLE WOMEN OF STYLE: Selections from the Rose Hartman Photography Archives, 1977-2011 record the iconic moments of fashion, style, and culture for more than 30 years, capturing New York nightlife, fashion shows, parties, clubs and openings. From Studio 54 to the Mudd Club to Chelsea art galleries, Hartman’s photographs yield a treasure trove of material that portrays incomparable women of high fashion, street style, and New York City society through the eye of a social documentarian. Image: Grace Jones at her CD release party at Le Bar Bat, 1993. Rare vintage silver prints include a group of never-before-seen images of NYC’s underground style icons who drove high fashion from the city’s club scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s into the mainstream. On view at FIT’s Gladys Marcus Library, Nov. 4-Jan.20, 2012. FREE Enter at 27th St. and Seventh Av. Show valid picture ID and receive a same-day pass to the Library on the 5th floor.
TREASURE OF PHOTOGRAPHY FROM ALFRED STIEGLITZ’S PERSONAL COLLECTION at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Stieglitz was not only a master photographer, but a powerful taste master and tireless advocate for photography as a fine art. Among the most notable portraits are Alvin Landon Coburn’s image of the Nobel laureate author George Bernard Shaw lost in thought, the glamorous portrait of the fashionable socialite Rita de Acosta Lydig and of course Stieglitz’s wife Georgia O’Keeffe. The photo exhibit complements the Museum’s show Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O’Keeffe. Through February 26, 2012.
HAL RUBENSTEIN’S “100 UNFORGETTABLE DRESSES,” This HarperCollins imprint, is a joy read into iconic dresses that graced the forms of Rita Hayworth in “Gilda,” Julia Roberts in that infamous red dress in Pretty Woman, Joan Crawford in Adrian, Audrey Hepburn’s Sabrina, and political women and wedding dresses--all with a telltale story behind the wearer and the creation. The list goes on and Rubenstein, the former fashion director of Bloomingdales, includes Bob Mackie’s greatest parody dress of all time, the Starlett O’Hara curtain-rod gown for Carol Burnett. Who can forget Elizabeth Taylor’s strapless fluff of a dress which became every girl’s prom dress for the next 20 years or Ginger Rogers dancing “Cheek to Cheek” with Fred Astaire shedding feathers all the way. Picture perfect it’s a tour down fashion’s memory lane. On Amazon and major bookstores.
THE HAUNTED PUMPKIN GARDEN at The New York Botanical Garden fun for grownups trill the kid in you with spooky fun featuring pumpkin sculptures of spooky scarecrows, frightening spiders, sneaky snakes in the Adventure Garden with bubbling artisan beers and insect delicacies. The Ukaladies will be on hand performing cowboy love songs, Ruth Wallis medleys, favorites from the ‘30s and ‘40s, and a host of original hits. Friday, October 28, 7-9 p.m. At. 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx. www.nybg.com.
Ta Ta darlings!!! Celebrating Halloween I’m off to the Haunted Pumpkin Garden and spending the week devouring the 100 Unforgettable Dresses book. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the right-hand column for the Blog of your interest, such as, http://www.amazingartdecowomen.blogspot.com.

Monday, October 17, 2011

FASHIONISTA'S REVEL IN MUSEUM OPENINGS (c) By Polly Guerin

What has fashion got to do with New York? Well for one thing it fuels employment, it pumps up the economy with amazing creativity and it earns New York City the title “The Fashion Capital of the World.” It’s the Best of New York, my friends, the very best inviting the fashion cognoscenti and the tourists more reasons to visit its museums. Here’s the scoop!!!
YOUTH AND BEAUTY: ART of the AMERICAN TWENTIES: Put on your cloche hat and shimmy dress and head for the Brooklyn Museum where the first wide-ranging exploration of American Art from the decade between the end of World War I and the onset of the Great Depression showcases a major exhibition of 138 paintings, sculptures, and photographs by 67 of the greatest artists of their time. Among the imagea Gloria Swanson, circa 1925, by American photographer, Nickolas Muray. Exhibit on view from October 28 through January 29, 2012, then it moves onto Dallas and Cleveland. At 200 Eastern Parkway www.brooklynmuseum.org.
TWO -DAY SYMPOSIUM ON FASHION ICONS AND INSIDERS: Fantastic, real, past and present from vampire dandies to Marie Antoinette to Daphne Guinness get in with the fashion intelligentsia where fashion icons, designers, authors, curators, and scholars cover such topics as: Daphne Guinness, one of today’s most original fashion icons, in conversation with Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, Museum at FIT. Dr. Caroline Weber talks about What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution, Thelma Golden, director, Studio Museum in Harlem on Black Fashion Icons and Dr. Peter McNeil, professor Design History, University of Technology, Sydney on Gay Fashion Icons. Thursday Nov. 3 and Friday Nov.4, 9:30 am-5:00 pm. At the Fashion Institute of Technology, 27th St. between 7th and 8th Ave. Haft Auditorium. Cost $100 both days. Registration is required. The Museum at FIT 227 W. 27th St., Room E301, NY, NY 10001-5992.
LE PARFUM: THE POWER OF FRAGRANCE Meet some of today’s leading perfumers, smell a selection of the world’s iconic fragrances, and hear the stories behind their creation. Could your fragrance be next? The Scent of History, Nov. 3 at 7pm features osmocurator Christophe Laudamiel who takes you on an olfactory journey with samples provided by the Osmotheque in Versailles. Members $35, non Members $45. The Power of Fragrance on Nov. 10 covers the influence of fragrance on identity, memory, and desire. $20 and $25. Speed Smelling on Nov 16th presents the world’s renowned perfumers and meet the noses behind Ralph Lauren’s Paulo and Estee Lauder’s Pure White Linen. $35 and $45. Alliance Francaise, Le Skyroom, 22 East 60th St. 8th Floor. http://www.fiaf.org/. Buy tickets at 800 982 2787.
TEXTILE THERAPY AND HAPPY COLORS: The Marimenkko flagship store in the Toy Building, 200 Fifth Avenue at 23rd St. is an explosion of brightly colored, signature upbeat prints for which the 60-year-old Finnish company is so famous. Armi Ratia and her husband, Viljo have partnered with textiles to teapots. Fans of Marimenkko’s signature poppy print, Unikko or Astrid Sylwan’s Vattenblank will delight in the fact that there’s even an on-site seamstress to whip up prints to your specifications say pillow covers, perhaps an apron, maybe a dress. Us.marimenkko.com.
ELSA AND MIUCCIA MEET AT THE MET: Remember you heard about this even first from PollyTalk. Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada will be the focus of the Spring 2012 Costume Institute Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and focus on how they broke with fashion convention and subverted notions of taste and glamour in the art world. Mark your calendar: Exhibition dates May 10-August 19, 2012.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m off to get some textile therapy and color my life with the colors of Marimenkko. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the right hand column for direct access to Blogs like www.amazingartdecowomen.blogspot.com.

Monday, October 10, 2011

DESIGN AND ANCIENT TREASURES DOMINATE BIG APPLE VENUES (c) By Polly Guerin

Grand openings, Islamic Art, Master Painters of India, a rich cultural heritage offers a wide range of ancient treasures in museum collections and design options. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the very best inviting the masses and intelligentsia to enlarge their experience. Here’s the scoop!!!
Pictured: Praca Cantao Favela Painting Project
DESIGN WITH THE OTHER 90% CITIES Examines the complex issues arising from unprecedented urban growth, primarily in the informal settlements and slums of the Global South. The exhibition explores the design solutions to the challenges created by rapid urban growth in informal settlements, commonly referred to as slums. Case in point, I recently returned from Rio de Janiero and had my first experience with the Favelas like the Praca Cantao Favela Painting project in Santa Marta, Rio, where artists engaged community members to paint the building exteriors in their neighborhood, calling international media attention to their need for improvement. On view off-site during Cooper-Hewitt’s renovation at the United Nations Visitors Center, main gallery, First Ave. at 46th St. October 15-January 9, 2012.
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM of ART’S GRAND OPENING of a suite of 15 New Galleries for the Art of the Arab lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia opens on November 1, a not to be missed opportunity to view ancient treasures in greatly enlarged and completely renovated galleries. house “The opening of these extraordinary new galleries underscores our mission as an encyclopedic museum and proves a unique opportunity to convey the grandeur and complexity of Islamic art and culture at a pivotal moment in world history,” stated Thomas P. Campbell, director. Highlights include the sumptuous ornamented Damascus Room, built in 1707, one of the finest examples of Syrian homes of the wealthy during the Ottoman period and rich holdings of the Islamic and Asian departments. www.metmuseum.org At 1000 Fifth Avenue.
TREASURES OF ISLAMIC MANUSCRIPT PAINTING For the first time the Morgan Library & Museum has gathered its spectacular collection of Islamic manuscripts together in a single exhibition with important religious and secular works, including a rare, illustrated translation of the life of Rumi, Our’ans and Qur’anic leaves, a thirteenth-century treatise on animals and their uses, individual miniatures, and an illustrated text on astrology, wonders of the world, demonology, and divination. Not to be missed. Bring a magnifying glass to view the colorful and intricate miniature works of art. Opens Oct. 21-January 29, 2012. www.themorgan.org.
MASTER PAINTERS OF INDIA, 1100-1900 Gives credit where credit is due and pushes the trend for explicitly proclaiming that individuals with distinctive artistic voices shaped Indian painting. The show is divided into six chronological sections from Early Hundu-Sultantate paintings to the Golden Age of Mughal painting with exquisite variety of works with jewel-like decorations and rich colors. These miniature paintings deserve magnifying glass inspection which are provided by the musem. Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 8, 2012. www.metmuseum.org.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! It’s plain to see that ancient treasures deserve my scrutiny and with magnifying glass I venture forth to view these miniature works of art. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the right-hand column for the Blog of your interest like amazingartdecodivas, thefashionhistorian or poetryfromtheheart.

Monday, October 3, 2011

ARTISTIC VARIETY and CULTURAL VENUES (c) by Polly Guerin

The brilliant colors of fall are starting to bloom, Matisse , O’Keeffe and De Kooning come to town, while Mummy Tours and Nature Narrative offer reasons to explore the rich cultural heritage of New York City. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the very best diversions to date. Here’s the scoop!!!
WILLEM DE KOONING, an American icon and master painter, widely considered to be among the most important and prolific artists of the 20th century gets the royal treatment at MOMA where nearly 200 works in all mediums span the artist’s development over nearly seven decades. Occupying the entire sixth-floor gallery space on view are some of the artist’s most famous, landmark paintings including Pink Angels, his erotic signature “Women” paintings, his breakthrough black-and-white compositions and urban abstractions. Don’t miss de Kooning’s famous yet rarely seen theatrical backdrop, the 17-foot-square Labyrinth. Location: 11W. 53 St. Through January 9, 2012. www.moma.org.
STIEGLITZ and HIS ARTISTS move in at the Metropolitan Museum of Art October 13, 2011 with the first large-scale exhibition of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints from Stieglitz’s private collection, including many works on paper that are rarely on view. Some 200 works by major European modernists include Picasso’s Woman Ironing, Brancusi’s Sleeping Muse, Kandinsky’s Improvisation 27 and Brancusi’s Sleeping Muse and Charles Demuth's "I saw the Figure 5 in Gold," pictured here. Works by American painters whose careers Stieglitz shepherded from the 1920s to 1946, Arthur Dove, John Marin and Georgia O’Keeffe who he felt epitomized the authentic American experience also featured. Through January 2, 2012. www.metmuseum.org.
FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE: Nature and Narrative, the Norway film series presents a historical perspective on the relevance of natural phenomena and landscape in Norway’s cinema. Expressing visual splendor Norway’s beautiful, other-worldly landscape, harsh climate and radiant skies focus in two films this week: The Bride of Glomdal on Oct. 5 and 7 and Tramp/Fant Oct. 12 and Oct. 14. At Scandinavia House, 59 Park Ave. www.scan.org.
LA PISCINE, Polly’s Pool Bar and Restaurant Pick of the Week, on top of the new Hotel Americano, 518 West 27th St., looks north and east over the glamorously gritty cityscape of industrial Chelsea and west towards the Hudson. In winter a big glass garage door will seal off the glass-roofed dining area, where fondue and hot sake will be served. For those hearty enough to plunge, the winterized pool will morph into a hot tub, with robes and slippers for indulger's. www.hotelamericano.org.
THE SECRET LIVES OF MUMMIES in celebration of Halloween, the Brooklyn Museum presents mummy-themed tours for the child of wonder in all of us who want to discover the secret behind “Why did the Ancient Egyptians mummify the deceased?” Guide Roy Capps explores the mysterious and practical objects associated with mummies, mummification, and their journey through ideas and history. Exploring the Book of the Dead” continues on Oct. 27 and Oct. 30th. 200 Eastern Parkway. www.brooklynmuseu.org.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m off to take the plunge at La Piscine in more ways than dining. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Polly’s Blogs can be accessed at www.pollytalk.com, just click in the right-hand column for a direct link like to my latest http://www.thefashionhistorianpollyguerin.blogspot.com.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Museum Exhibitions Lure Tourists, New Yorkers (c) By Polly Guerin

Caricature of William Makepeace Thackeray and Chares Dickens

Culture New York lures the tourists and the local cognoscenti to museum exhibitions that cultivate the mind and transport us to ancient worlds from the Louvre to the master writer Charles Dickens, and gallery vernissages. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the very best to tempt your intellect. Here’s the scoop!!!
REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE, Drawings from the Musee du Louvre. Rarely does the Louvre allow such a major group of drawings to travel, but without traveling to Paris, Drawings from the Louvre offers a singular opportunity to experience the mastery of the era. From the time of the French Revolution of 1789 through the reign of King Louis-Philippe and the establishment of the second Empire in 1852, artistic talent brought its collective skill to bear on one of the most turbulent times in French History. Included in the 80 drawings of such noted artists as Jacques-Louis David, Eugene Delacroix, Pierre-Narcisse Guerin and Pierre-Paul Prud’hon are some of the greatest examples of works on paper of the period. At the Morgan Library & Museum 225 Madison Ave. Through Dec. 31, 2011. www.themorgan.org.
CHARLES DICKENS at 200 It is time to revisit Britain’s first true literary superstar and A Christmas Carol among many of his other great works. Celebrating the bicentennial of the great writer’s birth in 1812 with his manuscripts of his novels and stories, letters, books, photographs, original illustrations, and caricatures, the exhibition captures the art and the life of a man who’s literary and cultural legacy ranks among the giants of literature. Through February 12, 2012. At The Morgan Library & Museum.
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART’S Stay-at-Home museum enthusiasts can visit the redesigned website provides unprecedented access to collections, programs, research, and visitor information. The redesigned site includes access to more than 340,000 works of art with a completely new streamlined design for greater ease of viewing the vast array of images. The new website provides online visitors with immediate, easy-to-navigate access to the vast works in the collections with high-resolution images. At www.metmuseum.org.
DUNCAN PHYFE The Hirsh & Adler Galleries of New York City opens a multi-media exhibition, The World of Duncan Phyfe-The Arts of New York, 1800-1847 developed to complement the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s winter exhibit of Phyfe as Master Cabinetmaker and to expand one’s understanding of Phyfe’s contribution to the world of 19th century fine furniture and decorative arts. This show is a rare opportunity to see the work made by Phyfe and his contemporaries seen alongside work created by artisans of the time in wood, silver, porcelain and metal. Coming up. Mark your calendars on view from December 15, 2011 to February 17, 2012.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I’m off to see Pierre-Narcisse Guerin’s work at the Morgan, perhaps he is an ancestor. Send Fan Mail to pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. My recent Mad Hatter feature on http://www.thefashionhistorianpollyguerin.blogspot.com.

Monday, September 19, 2011

ARTIST AND FASHION SIGHTINGS IN THE BIG APPLE (c) By Polly Guerin

Artists take the limelight in gallery vernissages, fashionistas’ take a holiday, the mad hatter comes to the Big Apple and dioramas fascinate and cultivate the mind. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the very best events---mark your calendar. Here’s the scoop!!!
RED GROOMS NEW YORK: 1976-2011. Red Groom’s celebrates New York as the theme of the exhibition of the artist’s paintings, sculptures and installation pieces. Grooms has staked his claim as one of America’s most original, inventive, and popular artists with witty commentaries on modern life in New York such as Lunchtime on Broadway, Rainy Day Taxi and The Bus, which is a twenty one foot long recreation of a New York City bus. Grooms’ large scale figurative tableaux are more than entertainment. Caricature is often vicious and Grooms can offer a no-holds-barred message with bite. At the Marlborough Gallery, 40 West 57th St. through October 222, 2011. www.marlboroughgallery.com.
THE MAD HATTER Comes to New York. In addition to designing his own sensational hats, “An Anthology by British milliner, Stephen Jones” is a show stopper at the Bard Graduate Center, 18 West 86th Sts. It’s a breathtaking excursion through the history of hats, chosen by the master milliner who co-curated the exhibit of over 250 examples from Tudor England and the 18th-century India to contemporary New York milliners including Ellen Christine, Rod Keenan, Jennifer Ouellette to name a few. Leave it to Jones, the exhibit is edited into four themes; Inspiration, Creation, the Salon and The Client. Don’t miss it…there’s a peak into Jones’ amazing atelier workroom where creativity, ribbon and trims spills over onto the desk top and the floor. Through April 15, 2012. www.bgc.bard.edu.
DAPHNE GUINNESS The fashion show stopper superstar, who first ranked on the International Best Dress List in 1994, gets her due in a new exhibition that raided her closets at the Museum at FIT, 27th street & Seventh Ave., through Jan. 7, 2012. Why Daphne? Well aside from by being a creative force in her own right, she uses fashion to transform herself, and having an iconic sense of style and a serious couture collection, Daphne’s individualism transports us into imaginary worlds of opulence, decadence and luxury. Wearing ten-inch towering shoes and her classic white shirt and black leggings and her fantastic platinum-and-black striped hair she said at the press opening, “You should always dress up because you never know what man you may meet.” The exhibit opens with her footwear and sections intersected with walls of mirrors and scrims a hologram and short films and areas cordoned off: “Dandyism,” “Armor,” “Chic,” “Evening Chic,” “Exoticism” and “Sparkle.” Don’t miss this fashion icon’s “ultimate fashion fantasy.”www.fitnyc.edu.
OTHERWORLDLY: Optical Delusions and Small Realities is a rare and Lilliputian collection that traces the diorama back to Louis Daguerre to modern artist’s meticulous models and dioramas that invite you to investigate and be captivated by the meticulous artistry of cunningly created domestic and imaginary scenes. Chuck Close contemplating an unfinished portrait or Jackson Pollock frozen in the act of casting paint across a canvas on the floor resonates as familiar while Frank Kunert’s Menu a Deux a long table covered in linen and laid with silver bends 90 degrees around a corner, so the diners can watch two separate television and pretend they are alone. At the Museum of Arts and Design, closing this week. www.madmuseum.org.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I went to Daphne’s exhibit and it did not disappoint. In fact, I was really quite overwhelmed! Her staggering reinvention of fashion and the marvel of her 10-inch shoe collection and jewelry are worth the visit. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs by clicking in the right-hand column on www.pollytalk.com. Polly’s amazingartdecodivas feature on Marianne Brandt, Bauhaus Metallist is recently published in Contemporary Horizon magazine in Romania.

Monday, September 12, 2011

CELEBRATING BOOK LAUNCHES IN THE BIG APPLE (c) By Polly Guerin
























It’s the best of literary New York and recent books debuting in the Big Apple do not disappoint with their typographic and design excellence. From riveting prose to children’s stories, books take the spotlight this week. It’s Best of New York my friends, the best of literary works in the Big Apple. Here’s the scoop!!!
THE SNOWY DAY The first major U.S. exhibition to pay tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, Snowy Day is a milestone in multiracial representation in American children’s literature. In 1962, a little boy named Peter put on his red hooded snowsuit and stepped out of his house and into the hearts of millions of readers. The Snowy Day transformed children’s literature with its pioneering portrayal of an African-American child. Archie, Amy and Louie--some of Keats’s most beloved characters appear with Peter, the African-American protagonist of his landmark book. The 50th anniversary special edition of Snowy Day and other Keats’s books at The Jewish Museum shop, 1109 Fifth Ave. Videos and special events at www.ezra-jack-keats.org or type “snowy day” into the search bar at http://www.us.penquingroup.com/.
BRAZILIAN STYLE The quintessential guide to understanding the richness of Brazil from the coolness of the bossa nova to the rigor of modernist architecture, fashion, beauty, culinary arts and culture, BRAZILIAN STYLE, does not disappoint. Publisher Assouline presented W magazine editor and author Armand Limnander’s book with sparkling samba dancers during Fashion’s Night Out last week at the publisher’s outpost in the Plaza Hotel. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, Carlos Miele, fashion designer, Paulo Uchoa, Consulate General of Brazil were among the celebrities. A fresh and dynamic mix, the book captures the culture of one of the most vibrant nations on earth. http://www.assouline.com/.
MY BEST FRIEND, ABE LINCOLN Delightfully written and beautifully illustrated by John W. Ewing this book by author, Robert L. Bloch, My Best Friend, Abe Lincoln, is a tale of two boys from Indiana. It looks into the early life of Abraham Lincoln (11-14 years old, 1820-1823) through the eyes of a fictional best friend, as he grows up in southwestern Indiana and changes from a young country boy with pants always too short into the sixteenth President of the United States. The book highlights Lincoln’s love of learning and respect for people, fine lesson for children’s reading. Published by Big Tent Books. http://www.mybestfriendablelincoln.com/.
HOSTAGE IN TIME An exciting, mind-bending trip down the time-travel rabbit hole, psychic medium Linda Lauren’s debut novel is a fast-paced adventure full of romance and intrigue. The launch party, Thursday, September 15th at 6pm at The Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th St., a 19th century museum house frozen in time with authentic furnishings, is an appropriate venue. Amanda Lloyd finds herself transported back in time to 1883 and is put under arrest, becoming a hostage to history. With her love interest Jonathan they work together to unravel the mystery and with the help of a spiritual medium they find and understand their destiny. http://www.lindalauren.com/.
THE BUDDHA in the ATTIC A riveting saga, it tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago. With heart wrenching fast paced prose, the book traces the picture brides’ extraordinary lives, which turn out to be grave disappointments. In a language that has the force and fury of poetry author Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel from the brides’ tremulous first nights as new wives to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields, scrubbing the floors of white women, their sad experiences in childbirth to raising children and the final insult, the ‘disappearance’ of the Japanese during the deracinating arrival of war. Published Alfred A. Knopf. http://www.julieotsuka.com/.
Ta Ta darlings!!! Although The Buddha in the Attic is a mere 129 pages, its depth of understanding of the plight of the picture brides is monumental, I was so captivated by the author’s breezy poetic style that I couldn't put the book down. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit www.pollytalk.com and in the right-hand column click on the Blog of your interest. You might enjoy amazingartdecodivas.



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CULTURE CITY RISES IN THE BIG APPLE (c) By Polly Guerin

Revisiting cultural sites in the Big Apple sets us on a whirlwind of venues from expressions of Ming protest to indulging in Parisian pastries. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the best of cultured tastes right here in the Big Apple. Here’s the scoop!!!
DIGNIFIED EXPRESSION OF QUIET DISSENT…In 17th-century China brings together 63 landscape paintings and calligraphies representing the mindset of men who found refuge in poetry and paintings when the nearly 300-year-old Ming dynasty collapsed. The exhibit, devoted to artists who masked their political views, reveals how an empty pavilion relates to lack and shortage of food and a bare landscape conveys passive resistance to the ruling society. Artists withdrew into imaginary landscapes as a way of distancing themselves from the political world. Part of the vocabulary of these poet/painters is an act of remembrance and regret. The sun setting indicated the end of the Ming Dynasty as did wilting Lotus leaves and unnatural frost on the mountaintop. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Opens September 7 through Jan. 2, 2012. www.metmusuem.org.
MACAROON MECCA…Don’t let the large queue on upper Madison Avenue deter your pursuit of Parisian macaroons at the chic boutique Laduree, the newly opened outpost of the French bakery. You’ll feel like you’re in Paris on the Rue Royale in 1862 in the fabled store’s ambiance inspired by the elegant marble-topped tables and painted antique furniture, gilt chandeliers and frescoed ceilings of the original shop. These delicious delicacies, including raspberry, pistachio, orange blossom and Madagascar chocolate to name a few favorites, are made in Paris and shipped overnight. They melt in your mouth, eating one is never enough. 864 Madison Ave. (70th and 71st streets) Mon.-Fri., 9am-6pm, Sat., noon to 6pm.
COMMEMORATING 9/11 THE IMPACT OF COMICS AND VISUAL ARTS ON CULTURE....marks the 10th anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history. In respect for this occasion, the major comic syndicates have rallied their cartoonists to dedicate their strips on that day to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. A lecture and vernissage at the Society of Illustrators, 128 E. 63rd St., opens 9.8, 6:30 pm. www.societyofillustrators.org. WHERE DOES THE DUST ITSELF COLLECT? An installation by Chinese artist, Xu Bing uses the dust that he collected from the streets of Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11. Recreating a field of dust across a floor surface, punctuated by the outline of a Zen Buddhist poem, the work explores the relationship between the spiritual and material world. Sponsored by the Museum of Chinese in America, on view at the Spinning Wheel Bldg, 5 E. 22 St, btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 12pm-6pm Tues-Sun. opens 9.9
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I’m off to indulge my fancy for some of those delectable macaroons. Fan mail is always welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the right-hand column click on the Blog of your interest. Why not view some poetry from Rio con brio or my August Adieu!!! http//www.poetryfromtheheartbypollyguerin.blogspot.com.

Monday, August 29, 2011

NYC THE ART CENTER OF THE WORLD (c) By Polly Guerin

A new crystal clear day awakens in New York’s art world with the literary lions counting up the numerous art openings and vernissages featuring Old Masters and new icons. It’s the Best of New York, my friends, the very Best of Culture right here in the Big Apple.
Here’s the scoop!!!
MING LOYALIST ART FROM THE CHIH LO LOU COLLECTION showcases The Art of Dissent in 17th Century China, a wrenching era which spurred an enormous outpouring of creative energy as many former Ming subjects turned to the arts to express their loyalty to the noble but doomed cause of Ming restoration. The exhibit in the Galleries for Chinese Painting and Calligraphy features more than 60 landscape paintings and calligraphies highlight the intensely personal styles created by the leading artists of that time. Even if you’re not a scholar of the genre, it is fascinating to see how enduring harsh conditions these subjects took refuge in nature and their representations of landscape often project their emotional responses to the radically changed world order. Opens Sept. 7th. www.metmuseumorg.
CELEBRATING THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF EZRA JACK KEATS’ SNOWY DAY. Award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, whose beloved children’s books include Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair and The Snowy Day, has a play date at the Jewish Museum opening Sept. 9th. Published at the height of the American civil-rights movement The Snowy Day in particular became a milestone, featuring the first African-American protagonist in a full-color picture book. It went on to inspire generations of readers and paved the way for multiracial representation in American children’s literature. The exhibition features over 80 original works, dummy books to final paintings and collages in which he used lush color and strove for simplicity in his texts. www.thejewishmuseum.org.
INGRES AT THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM Aficionados of the genre can easily recognize the work of the French master of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) who is arguably the greatest portraitist of his time. He was a brilliant draftsman, and his drawings have long been prized along with his paintings. Beginning Sept. 9th, the Morgan will present works that span the artist’s career from his student days in Toulouse to his role as the head of one of the leading Parisian studios of the 1850s. This is a rare opportunity to see an exceptional group of drawings by an artist whose influence was widespread in his day and continued into the 20th century. William M. Griswold, director of the Morgan said, “Ingres was famous for his devotion to a classical style, yet a number of modern artists, such as Matisse and Picasso, were profoundly indebted to him.” www.themorgan.org.
TURKISH TASTE AT THE COURT OF MARIE ANTOINETTE is a dossier exhibit focusing on ‘turquerie,’ the 18th-century French aristocrats’ infatuation with all things Ottoman. Trends emerge from foreign lands, even the French designer Paul Poiret was caught up in the frenzy which was apparently ushered in by the 1776 performance in Paris of Sebastien-Roch Chamford’s tragedy Mustapha and Zeangir, which inspired everything from Turkish robes, tobacco and candy to the more full-on commitment of the Turkish corner in one’s home, the boudoir turc. The show at the Frick Collection features rare and rarely displayed objects from these rooms, whose Thousand and One Nights take on the Ottoman Empire means decorative motifs such as camels, Nubian slaves and palm trees. Not to be missed. Through Sept. 11th. www.frick.org.
PARIS DATELINE: THE ART OF THE AUTOMOBILE. It’s a Guy Thing that I couldn’t resist adding. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren boasts on the world’s greatest collections of classic automobiles, featuring sports cars from the 1930s to today. The Musee des Arts Decoratifs’ exhibit contains 17 exceptional vehicles, from 1929 Bentley to a 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, as well as films and sound recordings. Catch it a www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr.
Ta Ta darlings!!! Inspired by the Frick exhibit I think I’ve acquired the ‘turguerie’ fever and wearing again my Turkish robe bought in Istanbul. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the right-hand column click on the Blog links such as http://www.amazingartdecodivas.com.

Monday, July 18, 2011

BIG APPLE VENUES AND DAYTRIPPING (c) By Polly Guerin

Although the Big Apple can be a vacation in itself, nearby day trips also give summer a very special way to enlarge your appreciation for other venues. From Broadway musicals to Stratford-upon-Avon-upon-Park Avenue and DUMBO delights, adding daytripping jaunts to the Amish country can be fun and educational. It’s the Best of New York, the Very Best of Everything, my friends. Here’s the scoop!!!
THE OLDEST AMISH COMMUNITY IN AMERICA….As the world turns its modern head into the 21st century one thing remains constant and that is the Lancaster’s "Old Order Amish' a self-sufficient community that has remained true to its beliefs and simplistic way of living. Learn about the Amish life on a day trip to Pennsylvania where you visit a quaint 1840s Amish farm house where electricity is banished and in a typical schoolhouse the school mistress with her white cap and simple dress sits ready to answer your questions, albeit with discretion. Don’t miss the blacksmith shop as busy today as yesteryear as the one-horse buggy is still the mode of transportation as it carries its Amish occupants through the pristine farmlands and country roads. Farm animals, including baby bunnies, reside in the barnyard. The day ends with a real buggy ride through the back roads of the Amish country. Hines Tours, 1.646.403.5653 Book on line at www.hinestours.com. Email: sales@hinestours.com.
STRATFORD-upon-AVON-upon-PARK AVENUE
Go no further than 67th street to the Park Avenue Armory where the Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre has been rebuilt within the confines of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Not only did they build the physical structure—a replica of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre but it is authentic, complete with its seating, lighting, wardrobe and personnel. Five full-length productions are staged including As You like It, The Winter’s Tale, King Lear, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. Audiences seeking to have the experience of being in an authentic Elizabethan theatre can see the plays from through August 14th. www.armoryonpark.com.
DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY Polly’s Theater Pick of the Week is a jolly 1920s romp through the Villa Felicita where the assembled Art Deco attired cast meets an unusual guest, Death himself disguised as a Russian Prince who will spend a mere weekend falling in love and causing havoc in the run among the social elite of the villa. Ah, but who will Mr. Death take with him when he leaves to go back to eternity…that is the intriguing question that can only be revealed if you see this new musical madness. At The Roundabout Theatre Company’s, Laura Pels Theater, W 46th St., www.roundabouttheatre.org.
OLD FULTON RESTAURANT Polly’s Restaurant Pick of the Week is a short East River Ferry ride right to the heart of Dumbo-short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass—a location where the Brooklyn Heights Promenade offers spectacular views of Manhattan and a chance to take a detour to 70 Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights where Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's. Down to the waterfront the Old Fulton Restaurant with its nostalgic European paintings and ambiance is a final respite after visiting the Dumbo area. A reasonable lunch menu makes it a ‘find.’ I had baked eggplant, authentic and delicious!!! A dinner Prix Fixe at $22 includes appetizer and main course. 7 Old Fulton Street, 718.797.0007. www.7oldfulton.com, info@7oldfulton.com.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I loved ‘Death Takes a Holiday!” Any Art Deco aficionado would too. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click on the link in the right hand column http://www.amazingartdecodivas.blogspot.com/.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A SUMMER HOLIDAY IN THE BIG APPLE (c) by Polly Guerin

Whether you're a Manhattan native or visiting tourist spectacular summer events provide a unique holiday in the Big Apple. From viewing the fireball sun, to dining in a neo-speakeasy restaurant to accordion, piano, jazz, music festivals it’s a joyous round of entertaining venues that make summer in the city the Best of New York, my friends, the Very Best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!
MANHATTANHENGE…AN ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENON. Midtown is the place to be Wednesday Night, July 13th at 8:25 p.m. to catch Manhattanhenge (image above). This visual spectacle arrives when the setting sun aligns just so with New York City's street grid, casting a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s skyscrapers and every cross street. As the sun dips below the horizon in perfect alignment with 42nd Street it sends waves of orange across the skyscraper facades, tricking the eye with visions of evening traffic headed into fiery oblivion. It’s an amazing occurrence, not to be missed and a great photo opportunity. Share yours with the American museum of Natural Histories Manhattanhenge group on Flickr.
MINETTA TAVERN, Polly’s Restaurant Pick of the Week is the standard bearer of the old tavern tradition, a haunt frequented by the likes of various layabouts and hangers-on including various writers, poets and pugilists. The place reeks of nostalgia and as one passes through the red velvet entrance curtain the ghosts of the literati of the day seem to be still lurking in its dining room, albeit in photos on the walls. In its heyday Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Eugene O’Neill, E. E. Cummings and Dylan Thomas were regulars but today the neo-speakeasy is a modern fashionistas destination where its reputation as ‘the best steakhouse in the city,’ does not disappoint. 113 MacDougal St., NYC 10012. Tel: 212.475.3850 www.minettatavernny.com.
WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL launches a month of free music in the West Village. Chill out, sit on the grass, find a bench seat and listen to operatic selections by Schubert, Mozart and other great composers in the repertoire of masterful music. Guest appearances by a New York Philharmonic clarinetist fills the summer nights with delightful melody, while jazz, by the late, master Charles Mingus gives cause to find our place in the maddening crows. Dates: July 12-Aug. 2. For schedule contact: www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org.
MUSIC, DANCE, POETRY, and a LUSH LAWN wind down at Bryant Park where accordion music, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, brings a nostalgic Parisian feel to a summer day. Ragtime jazz also has its due, and Word for Word Poetry introduces internationally renowned poets who share their latest works to an admiring public. Feeling playful, then pick up a mallet and join the Ping Pong enthusiasts at the 42nd Street Allee, cutting up games from 11am to 7pm daily. Deanna Wiktowski, world class pianist, holds forth at the Upper Terrace from 12:30pm-2:30pm. Contact events@urbanmgt.com.
Ta Ta darlings!!! You’ll find me sun gazing on Wednesday night on 42nd Street. Fan mail: pollytalk@verizon.net. Polly’s Blogs: go to www.pollytalk.com and in the right-hand column click on the link to the Polly Blog of your interest like amazingartdecodivas.blogspot.com.

Monday, June 27, 2011

DECORATIVE DIVERSITY IN THE BIG APPLE(c) By Polly Guerin

Decorative diversity takes us on a stroll through the exotic ‘lost’ world of mystical Hinduism whilst stopping for a spot of tea and tranquility as we ponder the wonders of furniture art. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the Very Best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!
VISHNU: HINDUISM’S BLUE-SKINNED SAVIOR, Polly’s Exhibit of the Week takes you on a visit to Vishnu, one of the most important Gods in Hinduism, often depicted with four arms, engaging simultaneously in many activities as well as a blue skin tone that associates him with the cool expanses of water and sky. The exhibit explores the many personae and legends of Vishnu, his entourage, and his accoutrements, as well as the diverse traditions of worship related to him. The Brooklyn Museum’s large scale exhibition includes Indian sculpture, paintings, textiles and ritual objects on view through October 2, 2011. 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. www.brooklynmusum.org. Picture above: Vishnu Saving the Elephant, mid 18th century. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper.
KNOLL TEXTILES, 1945-2010 Founded on the premise that a well-designed environment enriches our lives, Knoll, the German-born U.S. furniture producer of modern textile design, supplied sleek, classic and sophisticated furnishings and interior design for chic office environments and gave new meaning to ‘modern’ in the 1940s. The exhibit at Bard Graduate Center, 18 W. 86th St. comprises approximately 175 examples f textiles, furniture, photographs and ephemera using color and texture as primary design elements with new fabrications: parachute webbing, fishnet and manmade fibers. Over the years Knoll’s contribution to modern environments included the work of leading artists, architects and designers including Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, Mies van de Rohe and Frank Gehry. Through July 31, 2011. Visit http://www.bgc.bard.edu.
FRANCHIA RESTAURANT, Polly’s Restaurant Pick of the Week is a welcome refuge for a spot of tea in an unexpected location: Park Avenue (Between 34th & 35th Sts.). Tea and tranquility merge in a Zen-like setting that is a welcome retreat from summer sightseeing and museum hopping. With an extensive tea menu you can find just the right tea to tame the heat or soothe a headache. If comfort food is needed, try the Asian-inspired vegan menu that has an exotic flair and tasty sauces. Franchia is located at 12 Park Avenue. 212.213.1001. www.franchia.com.
ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT Polly’s Movie Pick of the Week is an enchanting story of Flora, adopted at 2 years old by David Balding the owner of a small St. Louis circus who made her into the star attraction and their attachment is a lesson in love and devotion. In the end as both owner and animal become old together Balding must find a home for Flora but the separation is heart wrenching and the separation unbearable for both. The unhappy consequence of this relationship makes one pause to think twice about separating animals from other members of their species. At Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St, west of Sixth Avenue. www.filmforum.com.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m off to visit the Blue-Skinned Savior. Fan mail welcome www.pollytalk.com . Visit Polly Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the right hand column click on the link to the Blog of your interest.

Monday, June 20, 2011

GARDENS 'N MUSIC SERENDADE NEW YORKERS (c) By Polly Guerin

The 'Leopard' at Des Artistes>>>

Visit Spain’s Alhambra, enjoy music, dance and poetry on a lush lawn, hear music in a sculpture garden, and bask in the summer serenade. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the Very Best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!
SPANISH PARADISE, The Gardens of the Alhambra, pictured left, a feast for the senses, features flowing fountains, elegant arches and a broad palette of Mediterranean plants that intoxicate with the aroma of rose, jasmine, lavender and gardenia in this Islamic palace city. It’s an exotic escape to Spain right here in New York City at New York Botanical Garden where the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory exhibit showcases manuscripts, watercolors, engravings and prints with a special section on New York’s native son Washington Irving, author of the fictional collection “Tales of the Alhambra.” Stroll along the poetry walk and read verses of Granada’s native son, the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. On weekends, there are Flamenco performances. At 2900 Southern Blvd. Bronx, NY. Through August 21. www.nybg.org.
MOMA’S SCULPUTE GARDEN, Polly’s Music Pick of the Week is a cool way to spend an evening of international music presented by MOMa’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden in two sets (5:30 and 7:00p.m) on Thursday nights during July and August. Featuring adventurous musical performers from Africa, South America, China, Indonesia, and beyond the musicians build on specific national and popular musical traditions, bringing new instruments into standard ensembles, and enlivening the music with distinctive personal approaches. As the music wasps through the night air sit back and feel the stress melt away. www.moma.org. FREE July 7,14,21,28 and August 4, 11, 18, 25.
THE LEOPARD AT DES ARTISTES, Polly’s Restaurant Pick of the Week is set in the old Café des Artistes where scenes of those naked nymphs cavorting in the restored murals remain a favorite decor. The Wood Nymphs and Swing Girls look brighter and happier and so do the patrons of the Italianized version of the old-favorite restaurant. The long front room, elevated dining area and bar behind it survived but the new mellow lighting makes diners’ faces glow almost as fetchingly as those of the nymphs on the walls. Regional authenticity includes fregula, a seafood couscous ragout of Sardinian inspiration while other dishes speak of Sicilian, Calabria and Sicily origins. At 1 W. 67th St. 212.878.8768.
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! “PAGE ONE" is Polly’s Movie Pick of the Week. Contrary to what the naysayers say newspapers are not dead and the movie Page One: Inside the New York Times, an entertaining documentary by Andrew Rossi, attests to the value of newspaper journalism and the incredible journey of the pulp process. Watch as editors and reporters tackle news breaking stories, deliberate on developing stories and grind out with dizzy race the news in the hectic newsroom. Grindstone journalism at its best “Page One” is a ‘must see’ for the sheer value of appreciating newspaper journalism. Check movie schedules in your local newspaper.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m heading for the Alhambra, a short hop on Metro North of the Botanical Gardens. Send fan mail to: pollytalk@verizon.net. Polly Blogs go to www.pollytalk.com and in the right-hand column click on the Blog of your interest. The latest feature “Yoga: Rock & Roll Exercises in the Sky” at http://www.awakenyoursleepingbeautyedgarcayce.blogspot.com.

Monday, June 13, 2011

SERIOUS CULTURE IN STORIED VENUES (c) By Polly Guerin

“Making Lists” creates historical reference to famous and celebrated Literati, while Museum Mile celebrates art and Callas returns to the stage waxing nostalgic over Ari. It's the Best of New York my friends, the Very Best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!
LISTS, TO-DOS, ILLUSTRATED INVENTORIES, COLLECTED THOUGHTS! Save your lists my friends!!! Who ever thought that these documents would be historically significant? On view at the Morgan Library & Museum the exhibit presents a broad range of artists jottings, from Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder to H. L. Mencken to Elaine de Mooning and Lee Krasner to name a few giving an intimate view of an artist’s personal life. Take Franz Kline’s $274.51 liquor, I’d like to have gone to that New Year’s Eve bash for his abstract artist friends. Then let’s take a lesson from Adolf Konrad’s whimsical and detailed “Illustrated Packing List” for a 1962 trip to Rome, pictured at left. Picasso was a list maker par excellence. He itemized his recommendations for the ground-breaking 1913 Armory show. These personal artifacts sometimes become works of art, some dashed off quickly, other beautifully illustrated. www.themorgan.org.
MASTER CLASS, Polly’s Theater Pick of the Week, CALLAS is back in true form in the guise of Tyne Daly who comes to the stage to teach Master Class just as Callas did at Julliard during her last years. I was there when the original Callas dispensed the secret of her art to a new generation of singers passing through her searing scrutiny. Her directives were riveting and glad I was not to be one of the singers on the stage under her baton. During Class, Callas monologues about her tempestuous relationship with Aristotle Onassis. Tyne Daly holds class at the Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., with an affable Manny (Jeremy Cohen) at the piano. Previews begin June 14. Tickets as low as $48. ClubManager@playbill.com.
MUSEUM CRAWL, Polly’s Event of the Week Tuesday, June 14th is FREE for the walking, up and down Fifth Avenue where New York City’s cultural institutions open their doors for Museum Mile that stretches from 82nd to 110th Streets. Start at the top at Museum for African Art (110th St.) where dance performances enliven the evening and nearby catch El Museo del Barrio’s Files: Voces y Visiones featuring works of Latino Caribbean and Latin-American artists, and don’t miss Joel Grey’s exhibit, “New York Life” at the Museum of the City of New York . Fashion aficionados head for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for the Van Cleef & Arpels jewels and the Parisian artist, Sonia DeLaunay’s textiles and interior design. Stop off at the Neue Gallerie for Vienna 1900 and check out the Café Zabriske to indulge your chocolate cravings. Catch your breath and go up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s roof for Anthony Caro’s sculptures and a breathtaking view of the city while sipping cocktails named after the art works. More fun awaits with entertainers, variety acts and musicians along the way.
ARTISANAL, Polly’s Restaurant of the Week, off Park Avenue and 32nd Street, a Fromagerie Bistro and wine bar, features a unique varied menu and a world of cheese specialties including the starter sampler, the Cheese Plate with three seasonal cheeses $15.50, wine is extra. The Lunch Prix Fixe is value priced at $25 and includes Hors-D’oeuvres, Plats Pricipaux, a choice of 3 entrees such as Wild Mushroom Risotto with Fava Beans and Black Truffle Butter. Desserts include Crème Brulee “Le Cirque.” On a budget? Choose, Croque Monsieur/Madam or Vegetable Quiche at $16.50 or the Artisanal Blend Burger $15.50. Best to make a reservation. 212.725.8585. http://www.artisanalbistro.com.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m revisiting Callas at MASTER CLASS!!! Fan mail welcome, pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs: www.pollytalk.com, just click on the Blog of your interest in the right-hand column.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A NEW YORKER'S DREAM VACATION IN NYC (c) By Polly Guerin

Why travel the globe when New York City is a dream vacation. Just stay put and invest in the Big Apple’s diversified venues from pulp art to a musical hit at its best, free movies and dining at Sardi’s. It’s the best of New York my friends, the very Best of New York!!! Here’s the scoop!!!
PULP ART: The Robert Lesser Collection. When Americans needed an escape from the harsh reality of day to day life pulp magazines provided the fantasy escape. This is a rare opportunity to view an almost forgotten art form because very little of the work, often by leading illustrators of the time remains today. Lesser said, this “unique American (art) form combined all the elements of the male imagination during the Great Depression.” An exhibition of 88 rare paintings created for the front covers of popular fiction magazines in the first half of the twentieth century are colorful, bold eye-catching adventure-charged scenes which pushed the boundaries of what was then acceptable to society. With a hint of six, rescued maidens, murder and mayhem the original oil paintings like the one pictured here "Fleeing in a motorcycle and sidecar after their heist" by Richard Lillis is on view at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrations through July 30th, 2011. FREE admission at 128 E. 63rd St., Tues. 10-8pm, Wed-Fri 10am to 5pm and Sat. 12-5pm. Visit www.societyillustrators.org.
BABY it’s YOU! Polly’s Theater Pick of the Week is one of the best musical hits on Broadway. Though I’m a devotee of classics and baroque I was blown away by The Shirelles with a high voltage cast re-enacting the story of how Florence Greenberg, a New Jersey housewife-turned-mogul, discovered four black teenage girls singing in a playground and turned it into one of the music industry’s greatest success stories, the Shirelles, one of the most successful girl groups of the early 1960s. No ordinary woman, Greenberg founded a record label and changed the face of pop music. They were a million dollar quartet, climbing the charts with such hits as “Soldier Boy,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and the title tune, “Baby its You!” You’ll be dancing in the aisles. At the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 44th St.
A WEEKEND OF FREE FILMS June 10-12 in Lincoln Center’s first movie multiplex, the Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center. There will be a marathon of choices from Ran to Pulp Fiction. For Film schedule and Free Tickets visit www.filmlinc.com. West 65th Street, between Amsterdam & Broadway. The official opening is June 17th with “Page One,” inside the New York Times, a documentary about The Times newsroom. General Admission $30. www.TimesTalks.com or call (888) NYT-1870.
SARDI’S, Polly Restaurant Pick of the Week. To hang your picture on the wall of Sardi’s is to make your mark on the history of the American stage. Broadway’s hall of fame started in 1927 when Mr. Sardi was brainstorming about ideas to increase business. Taking a cue from Joe Zelli’s in Paris where the walls were covered with caricatures of celebrity patrons, Mr. Sardi hired Alex Gard, a Russian refugee who pledged to exchange caricatures for two meals a day. Sardi’s remains the “Toast of Broadway” and one can dine quite reasonable from a classic cuisine menu to veggies and tofu but do ask for the Sardi’s original, Baccone Dolce dessert, a sweet mouthful of meringue, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and a touch of chocolate. 234 W. 44th St. Reservations: 212.221.8444. www.sardis.com.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m going inside the New York Times newsroom checking in at the new film multiplex at Lincoln Center. Fan mail welcome pollytalk@verizon.net. Polly’s Blogs can be accessed at www.pollytalk.com, just click on the Blog of your interest in the right hand column.