Monday, December 13, 2010


Have yourself a very merry old-fashioned holiday in historic New York where celebrations abound in museum settings and the streets sparkle with snowflake lights and crimson ribbons. Only in New York, my friends. Only in New York. Here’s the scoop!!!
Join in the holiday spirit and marvel at the annual display of Charles Dickens's holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, on view through January 9, 2011 at the Morgan Library & Museum. The manuscript, a fascinating jumble of changes, corrections, additions, deletions, and scribble reveals that Dickens wrote it in a mere six weeks because he needed the money (Mrs. Dickens was pregnant again). The initial 6,000 copies went on sale on December 19, 1843 and sold out, largely because of the hand-colored drawings by a famous illustrator, John Leech. But then the story caught on, and the book went through 24 editions in its original form. The Morgan presents a new concert version of the Dickens’s beloved classic with a virtuoso cast of five actors and musicians who bring Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformative journey to the living stage. Friday December 17th, 7:30 p.m., 225 Madison Ave. (35th St.)
Do you yearn to turn back the clock and experience the good old days? Then step into the Merchant’s House Museum (built in 1832) where recreated scenes of holiday preparations reveal old-time holiday customs in a time-capsule setting of the prosperous Tredwell family house, unchanged for nearly a century. Christmas in New York: Tours by Candlelight, Fri Dec. 17 6-9pm, Sat. & Sun. 4-8pm. The house is decked out in holiday decorations, the rooms light by flickering candlelight and costumed actors relate the Christmas tradition of mid-19th century New York. ($20, $15 children) 29 E. Fourth St. (between Lafayette & Bowery) Reservations required: 212.777.1089.
A thousand starry lights envelope the stage at The Irish Repertory Theatre in the reinvention of Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” The iconic piece, starring both Irish Repertory favorites and Broadway veterans, features both traditional and contemporary Christmas music woven with the classic story of the legendary snowy Christmas Day in Wales. Adapted and directed by Charlotte Moore, music by John Bell. Through Jan 2, 2011. Performances at 132 W. 22nd St. Wed.-Sat. @ 8pm. Matinees Wed.,Sat., Sun. @ 3pm. Ticket info: 212.727.2737.
THE YULE LOG & Scandinavian Customs
Norway is the birthplace of the Yule log. The word “Yule” came from the Norse word hweol, meaning wheel. Before Christmas, many Norwegians count down the days with their advent calendars. On Christmas Eve, after a goose dinner, Danish families light candles decorating the Christmas tree. After dancing and singing around the tree, the family exchanges gifts. In Finland, Christmas festivities are receded by a visit to the sauna, after which everyone dresses in clean clothes in preparation for the Christmas dinner. The Christmas tree is set up on Christmas Eve and decorated with ap0ples, candies, paper flags, cotton and tinsel.
Ta Ta, darlings!!! I’m wishing you all the warmth of home and love of family and friends, and all the deepest joys of a very Merry Christmas and a Sensational New Year. There’s so much to celebrate. Fan mail always welcome at Or go to and link to one of my Blogs.

Monday, December 6, 2010


The weather outside is frightful but I am so delightful to know that even if it may snow there’s crafts and culture, and tony books in New York to warm up the days with sure fire events. Only in New York, my friends. Only in New York. Here’s the Scoop!!!

It’s the holiday season and Clay Festival celebrates its fifth year by showcasing the works of twenty of New York’s talented ceramic artists on Saturday, December 18th from 12 to 7pm at St. Anthony’s Church, Houston & Sullivan Streets in Soho. Peter Davis, the ceramic artist who created Clay Festival, invites you to stop by to browse for gifts and discover a beautiful and rare selection of handmade bowls, mugs, plates, platters, jewelry, sculpture, tiles, teapots ‘n cups, covered jars, cat and dog bowls and many other unique stocking stuffers. Get into the holiday spirit, mingle and meet the artists and find some unique last minute shopping ideas. A tasty selection of baked goods is also available. No entrance fee. Wheelchair accessible, elevator on Houston St.
Allora & Calzadilla Talking about upside down art there’s a unique experience at MOMA. The Museum of Modern Art’s Performance Exhibition series continues with artist duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, who bring Stop, Repair, Prepare: variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano (2008) to the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium for performances throughout the day. For each 30-minute performance, the pianist standing in a hole carved in the center of an early 20th century Bechstein piano, will lean over the piano’s keyboard, playing upside down and backward while moving the instrument around the Atrium. These performances will take place hourly beginning at 11:30 a.m. each day through January 10, 2011. MOMA, 11W. 53rd St.
The World as Theater Books are among my favorite things but who was Joseph Urban? This Vienna-born architect and set designer, renowned in the 1930s gets his due recognition in John Loring’s magnificent book, “Joseph Urban,” just published in full color by Abrams Books. The book coincides with the exhibition of Urban’s astonishing career, at the RBML, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University. The exhibition, continuing through Dec. 23, contains 152 pieces that cover Urban’s drawings. He prolifically created sets for Ziegfeld Follies, the New York and Boston operas and William R. Hearst’s Cosmopolitan Pictures. His architectural works include the New School of Social Research. At the Butler Library, 6th floor east, 535 W. 114 St. Free, open to the public. Check hours of operation: 212.854.5590. Email:
CECIL BEATON, The Art of the Scrapbook
Now, here’s a blockbuster book idea. Assouline, a French publisher that produces books for luxury gift-giving is over the top with this $250 Cecil Beaton book that reproduces for the first time the iconic photographer’s visual diaries. Only in New York, my friends, only in New York!!! You can visit Assouline’s tony store in the mezzanine of The Plaza Hotel or better yet check out their original offerings at For a mere $50 you can buy “Fifty Years of Fantasy Gifts from the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalogue.”
Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m heading way up town to take in Joseph Urban’s incredible works, and then I’ll return midtown to visit the Bryant Park skating ring. Fan mail always welcome at Go to and scroll over to the left hand column list of Polly’s Blogs; just click the one of your choice and Voila!!! The link takes you there. Enjoy!