Sunday, June 23, 2019

St. Benedict's Courtyard: Hidden Gem of a Garden: By Polly Guerin

Step down into St. Benedict's Courtyard Garden
In the cacophony of New York City there are some rare and wonderful places to visit, to stay, to pray, to meditate, to write by long hand and compose a poem, or write a play and maybe,  just maybe, you will throw off the mantle of stress and reclaim your composure and child-like-wonder personality.  
       That wonderful place is A HIDDEN GEM OF A GARDEN, St. Benedict's Courtyard. Enter at 222 W. 11th Street to St. John's in the Village hidden garden.  Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. St. Benedict's invites all writers and would-be novelists to bring their laptops and let your mind create in this peaceful place. a story. Get inspired in this tranquil oasis where the metropolis melts away and the garden of serenity. 
Historical: The garden and parish was newsworthy. In a congratulatory article from 1927, the writer wrote, "On Waverly Place and West 11th Street, there stands a church in proud dignity. And well may it be proud, this church of St. John the Evangelist, tucked away, just off one of New York's busiest avenues, under its eyes it has seen the ugliness of the past give way to beauty, squalor of a bygone era to flowers and birds, song, and sunshine.
Friends Gather  to Relax and Quietly Converse
It was not so long ago that this church was was in danger of being swamped by teeming tenements, rundown apartment houses, and indifferent neighbors Bit by Bit its very life was 
being chocked. 
        The Rev. John A Wade, rector of the church, realized this and sought a way to remedy it. He conceived the idea of buying some of the surrounding property, of renovating the houses, of cleaning up the back yards. He was a visionary and he dreamt of a garden. 
       And that is how the garden began. A lot of neighborhood clean up. Paths were laid out, trees and shrubs planted, and today this
hidden garden of St. John's is not a secret anymore, but unique in the garden history of New York.
      THE JEFFERSON MARKET GARDEN  is also one of Greenwich Village's hidden treasures. Nestled in one of New York's busiest corners, 70 Greenwich Avenue. Treat yourself to the beauty, color and scents of the garden's peaceful oasis, adjacent to the historic Jefferson Library, a landmark, which in the old days was a women's prison.But that' another story of the long, long
which in the old days was a women's prison. But that's another story of the long, long ago.
       At a time when health advisories stress the importance of spending with nature these garden gems in New York City provide nourishment to the soul and mind
As they Say, "Get out and smell the roses." For that matter, wouldn't it be wonderful to learn more about planet earth and you may even cultivate interest in horticultural studies.
      You can also create a miniature garden in a large bowl or anything that has (or can have) drainage holes, from a planter to an old pot.  To do: Pour gravel into the bottom of your planter and add soil, then plant greenery like succulent, mini cactus and jade plants. Now you can add personal accessories, available in craft stores, like miniature animals or even tiny fairies, toadstools, a small patriotic flag and even an itty-bitty umbrella like the ones used on flamboyant tropical drinks . Add mini furniture, like a small bench, where you can  vicariously sit and meditate or become dreamy and nostalgic. Remember to water your small garden of inspiration and pray with gratitude the best of every thing that makes your life meaningful and inspired. Share your joy each day, inspire others to appreciate nature and the gift of the garden.

Monday, June 17, 2019


Phillips & Taylor, Photo of Walt Whitman, 1873
Summer Museum hopping leads the way to Exhibition Summer at The Morgan Library and Museum; showcasing  four exhibitions all summer long and some well into September/October. On the agenda: Walt Whitman: Bard of Democracy, Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak's Designs for Opera and Ballet,  Hogarth: Cruelty and Humor and Among Others: Photography and the Group.
     THE MORGAN CELEBRATES THE DEMOCRATIC SPIRIT OF WALT WHITMAN'S POETRY AND LIFE through September 15, 2019.  In celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of Walt Whitman's birth, The Morgan exhibits the work of the beloved American poet.
      In a notebook in 1859 Whitman wrote, "Comrades! I am the bard of Democracy," and over the seventy years (1818-1892), he made good on that claim.  Right: Phillips & Taylor photograph of Walt Whitman, 1873, Prints and Photographs
Department, Library of Congress. 
     From humble beginnings in Long Island and Brooklyn he earned a global audience that never stops growing. As he bore witness to the rise of New York City, the Civil War, and other transformations in American life, his prolific reflections on the events of the times bore witness through his poetry. 
Whitman's prolific body of work included the most celebrated texts of American literature--LEAVES OF GRASS (1855) which continues to speak to new generations of readers and eventually earned a global audience that has never stopped growing .  On display among the artifacts is the famous letter written to Whitman by Ralph Waldo Emerson commending that book.                   The exhibition includes Whitman's response to the Civil War and displays the great poem that he wrote in honor of the martyred president including, "O Captain! My Captain!"
    Also on view are letters and documents from Oscar Wilde,
Hart Crane, Frederico Garcia Lorca and Alan Ginsburg, that trace the writer's influence on the twentieth century.  Programs include Walt Whitman's World, June 26 and Reading: Poets on Walt Whitman: Susan Howe and Shane McCrae, July 11.
Maurice Sendak (1982-2012) Ship Nutcracker (1982-4)
Get ready to channel the child in us all. A new summer exhibition DRAWING THE CURTAIN: MAURICE SENDAK'S DESIGNS FOR OPERA 
AND BALLET through October 6, 2019, celebrates an extraordinary bequest of the acclaimed and illustrator of children's books Maurice Sendak (1928-2012). Best known for his 1963 Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak was an avid music and opera lover. Beginning in the late 1970s, he embarked on a second career as a designer for opera. Drawing the Curtain brings together nearly one hundred and fifty drawings and more than 900 by Sendak in the Morgan collection, including storyboards, finished watercolors, and painted dioramas.
     At the entrance of the exhibit in the Morgan Stanley Gallery West be invited by colorful prop characters and nearby a TV wall screen features scenes from operas and ballet. Image Right: Maurice Sendak (1982-2012) Ship Nutcracker (1982-4), gouache and graphic pencil on paper (c) The Maurice Sendak Foundation. The Morgan Library & Museum, Bequest of Maurice Sendak, 2013, 107 289 . Photograph by Jenny Chu,  Also on view are a number of earlier works by Sendak on loan from theMaurice Sendak Foundation, and a number of props and costumes. THIS IS THE FIRST MUSEUM EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO SENDAK'S SET AND COSTUME DESIGNS OFFERING NEW INSIGHTS INTO THEARTIST'S INSPIRATION, CREATIVE PROCESS AND EXCEPTIONAL SKILL AS A VISUAL STORYTELLER.  The exhibit presents a wide selection of works from five of his most important productions: Mozart's The Magic Flute,' Janacek's Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev's Love of Three Oranges, Tchaikovsky;s Nutcracker and an opera based on Where the Wild Things Are. 
     Sendak's drawings for the stage embody his singular hand, a fantastical mode of storytelling, a keen, sometimes bawdy sense of humor and his profound love of music and art history.  Programs include Lecture/Performance: /Behind the Scenes: Maurice Sendak's for Opera, September 27th. Check listings for June and August at The Morgan website:
    TA TA DARLINGS: The rich and entertaining summer exhibitions at The Morgan make it a pleasure to stay in town in air-conditioned splendor.  Fan mail welcome: Visit Polly's other Blogs at and click in the left-hand column to the link to
visionary men, women determined to succeed, fashion or poetry.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

CHARLIE ROMO's Roman Candle at the Green Room By Polly Guerin

CHARLIE ROMO channels America's great crooners with a youthful style that is a crowd pleaser welcome to a stunning, new talent. The 'TIMES CHRONICLES' WROTE, "Charlie Romo does something wonderful. While not changing the felling of these songs, he gives them a new infusion of life." This youthful upstart from Staten Island, Tottenville to be exact, is stirring up the New York nightclub scene when he returns to the stage at The Green Room 42 with his brand new show, ROMAN CANDLE,  on Friday, June 28th with The Ultimate Bobby Darin Experience.

   Backed by an incomparable 7-piece band, the award-winning contemporary crooner brings the sound, style and swagger of Bobby Darin to The Green Room 42 for one special, 'swingin’ night! This theatrical concert is the definitive look at the career, life and legacy of the multi-talented artist who refused to be define

Featuring all the hits—"Mack The Knife," "Beyond the Sea," "Dream Lover," "Splish Splash" and so much more...
Seating is limited and there is no food/beverage minimum, so get your tickets now by clicking the link below!

"I closed my eyes and found myself in a dream—I was hearing Bobby Darin live."
- Theater Pizzazz

"Charlie Romo has the ability to turn theaters into an intimate scene out of the 1960's when Bobby Darin was on the Copacabana stage. He even has a similar magnetism."

"The Green Room 42 is Broadway's newest urban entertainment cabaret club, that since its opening on Valentine's day has featured Broadway names like Alice Ripley, Telly Leung, Josh Groban, Eva Noblezada, Lillias White, James Snyder, The Skivvies (Lauren Molina & Nick Cearley), Matt Doyle, Constantine Maroulis, and many more. Located on the fourth floor of YOTEL New York, The Green Room 42 boasts a funky new vibe, and no food or beverage minimum-- opening up the cabaret industry to an affordable, relaxed atmosphere, perfect for theatre people and theatre fans alike."  
Ta Ta Darlings!! I'll be there on June 28, please stop by and say Hello and let's give this brand new talent support, he may just be the next great crooner to emerge on the entertainment scene. Polly fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

MEDIA OUTREACH: A Revolutionary Summer at NYHS:

A Replic of George Washington's Headquarters Tent
REVOLUTION SUMMER at the New York Historical Society is an extravagant multi-media event that invites visitors to journey back to the Revolutionary War and learn some pretty amazing facts even omitted from classroom lessons.
     Starting on the Fourth of July and all summer long the visitors can vicariously travel in time to the War for Independence including visiting a replica of George Washington's Headquarters Tent, pictured left. On July 5 and 6th Your top secret mission enter Washington's encamoment, meet the General and is spies, then decode your own message.
      It is an opportunity like no other, a chance to explore amazing artifacts from the Revolutonary era including The Declaration of Independence, a broadside from King George lll officially ending the war.. 
      Topics through June through August are both educational and entertaining such as Revolutionary Trivia scheduled for June 12 and August 23. For example, "Do You Know What What Washington''s Favorite Breakfast Beverage Was?" You may not care one bit, but there are other tricky treats in store to learn more trivia. Getting into the right spirits, wine is included with the ticket. 
Deborah Sampson Trans Gender Warrior
Then, too, women get recognition in this extravagant roster of activities On June 24 dive into the fascinating and true story of Revolutionary War Hero DEBORAH SAMPSON in an event titled "TRANS IDENTITY and THE INCREDIBLE STORY DEBORAH," Alex Meyers discusses his novel.  She was a

Massacsetts woman who deguisedherself as a man in order to served in the Continental Army, However, she
was one of a small number of women 
with documented record of military
      FIELD MUSIC ON THE MARCH also on ta, singalongs with the Hudson River Ramblers and drum corps music, and living Historians just regular folk in period costume including John Adams, who will read
the Declaration of Independence in the NYHS stately library. 
Lifing Historians Ordinary Folk and Military
MEET FASCINATING HISTORICAL FOLK, plain and fancy Living Historians portraying early Americans from all walks of life. Chat 
and find our how they spent their days during the Revolution.  It's a great photo opportunity, too.
     Check out exceptional 18th Century artifacts and documents. Fun all summer for everyone especially fledgling historians and a DJ party
to liven up the summer's halcyon
   For additional information and

Monday, June 10, 2019

: BRAZILIAN MODERN at NYBG: Review By Polly Guerin

Roberto Burle Marx  at The New York Botanical
"FLY ME DOWN TO RIO,"may not be on your travel agenda but The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will get you there with the recent launch of the largest botanical tropical exhibition, BRAZILIAN MODERN, THE LIVING ART OF ROBERTO BURLE MARX, the influential Brazilian modernist artist, landscape architect, and plant explorer and conservationist 
       It is also the first to combine a horticultural tribute to Burle Marx's design work, featuring lush gardens with a  curated gallery of the artist's vibrant paintings, drawings and textiles, which reveal deep connections between his artistic practice and his commitment to environmental
       The exhibit at The New York Botanical Garden is on view until September 20, 2019 with many musical and cultural programs. On July 7th Choro Das 3 performs and transposes you to Brazil with a group formed by three sisters and their father reviving the traditional Choro, an instrumental Brazilian music from the 19th century that has some resonance with New Orleans Jazz as well as Bluegrass music in the United States, Other engaging programming showcases the sights and sounds of Brazil and its lively contributions to music and dance evoke Rio de Janeiro, the 'Cidade Maravilhosa' ('Wonderful City') that Roberto Burle Marx called home and inspired his life and work.
      Years ago, I was looking out my hotel window in Rio de Janeiro and was captivated by the panorama of the continuous mosaic promenade that bordered Copacabana Beach's main thoroughfare, "the most famous in Brazil," where native sea breeze-resistant trees and palms appear along Avenida Atlantica. The mosaic pavement, a gigantic composition more than two miles long with a pattern composed of bold abstract motifs in white, black, and red-brown stone evokes modernist imagery in Roberto Burle Marx's best- known project.    
        "Who was the genius of such an innovative pavement plan?"  It was  Brazil's native son, a multi-faceted personality. The son of a German-Jewish father and a Brazilian mother of French, Portuguese, and Dutch descent, Burle Marx embraced modernism in the 1930s, as the movement was taking hold in his country among artists and intellectuals. Using abstraction as his guiding principle, and grand sweeps of voluminous local foliage and colorful flora, Burle Marx devised a new form of landscape expression, revolutionizing garden design.                                    
Sidewalk Installation at The York Botanical Garden
       From Copacabana Beach to Biscayne Boulevard in Miami Beach, throughout Brazil and around the world, the artistic and prolific work of ROBERTO BURLE MARX (1909-1994) has made him one of the most prominent landscape artists of the twentieth century.  He is famous for designing over two thousand outdoor spaces, such as public parks, private and home gardens. 
 Sidewalks and gardens were never the same again. His abstract and undulating curvilinear sidewalks were colorful and opened up a new world of artful expression for public appreciation. Yet, Burle Marx's oeuvre reached out into many other areas of artistic expression. Famous projects include the multitude of gardens that embellish Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil founded in 1960 and featuring buildings by famed architect Oscar Niemeyer.
        If you are a museum aficionado, like me, you may remember  the Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist exhibition at The Jewish Museum, 2016, which presented the first New York City exhibition to focus on Burle Marx in more than two decades, and the first exhibition in the United States to to showcase the full range of this artistic output.  A major exhibition highlight is a magnificent, nearly 90-foot-long wool tapestry created by the artist in 1969 for the Santo Andre Civic Center, near Sao Paulo. As is characteristic of his work from that period, bold colors, geometric, and biomorphic abstraction fuse in a gigantic composition, creating a veritable woven garden. This monumental work has only once before been exhibited outside Brazil. 
Lush Garden at The New York Botanical Garden
       The New York Botanical Garden takes Burle Marx to new experiences in an exhibition that explores the richness and breadth of the artist's diversified and extensive oeuvre-his landscape architecture, painting, sculpture, theater design, textiles, and jewelry--as well his reputation as an ecologist, naturalist and musician whose artistic style was avant-garde and modern.
        In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, gardens in Brazil primarily followed French models, featuring a symmetrical layout and imported flora. Burle Marx did away with symmetry and advocated for the use of native plants, making numerous incursions into the Brazilian country side and jungle throughout his life in search of exotic plants. He was a horticulturist and a pioneering ecologist who only used plants suitable to the environment and was one of the first to speak out against the destruction of the Amazon rain forest. 
        Roberto Burle Marx's gardens are works of modern art, not only because they make use of flat planes, abstract shapes, and bold colors, but because of the way they behave: they prompt awareness of oneself in relation to the built environment.  In this exhibition, Burle Marx's global influence and legacy is also examined and It is no surprise that today's artists find Burle Marx a fruitful source of inspiration and you will, too.
      Ta ta Darlings!!! The work of Roberto Burle Marx tugs at our collective imagination...that cities can be a magical places, where sidewalks move in abstract directions and color and pattern inspire a new way of thinking about art.  Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's other Blogs on visionary men, women determined to succeed, fashion, and even poetry at and click on
the links in the left-hand column,

Monday, June 3, 2019

LEONARD COHEN: Global Icon: Review By Polly Guerin

Leonard Cohen 
INTRODUCING THE GLOBAL ICON, LEONARD COHEN. To those of you who are unfamiliar with the this multi-dimensional artist, Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) contributed a vast artistic achievement during his inspiring life. 
        He was a world renowned novelist, singer/songwriter and inspired generations of writers, artists and musicians. A charismatic man with extraordinary talent, he was a poet of the imperfection of the human condition, giving voice to what it truly means to be fully alert to the complexities and desires of both body and soul. For decades he tenaciously supplied the world with melancholy and urgent observations on the state of the human heart, in songs such as "Suzanne," "Bird on the Wire," and "Hallelujah."       With equal parts gravitas and grace, Cohen teased out a startlingly inventive and singular language, depicting both an exalted spirituality and an earthly sexuality. His interweaving of the sacred and the profane, of mystery and accessibility, was such a compelling combination it became seared in our collective memories. 
     A man of exceptional forward vision his life and his legacy is presented in a contemporary art
exhibition and tribute to the imagination  and legacy of  this global icon from Montreal, Canada.   
Listening to Leonard Cohen Music
 The breathtaking exhibition
 is on view at THE JEWISH MUSEUM through September 8, 2019 and organized by the Musee d'art Contemporain de Montreal (MAC).                          LEONARD COHEN: A CRACK IN EVERYTHING includes commissioned works by a range of international artists who have been inspired by Cohen's life, work and legacy, including Kara Blake, Candice Breitz, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Christophe Chassol, and many other notables. The exhibition also includes a video projection showcasing Cohen's own drawings, as well as an innovative multimedia gallery where visitors can hear covers of Cohen's songs by musicians such as Lou Doillon, Feist, Moby, The National with Sufjan Sevens, among others. Listening to Leonard Cohen music is a multimedia component with sound recordings of Cohen's compositions.
     Among the large scale, immersive works in the exhibition is Passing Through (2017) by
George Fok.  The work celebrates Cohen's singular voice, his music, his charismatic persona and hi inimitable stage presence.  Drawing on a vast archive of audiovisual material, Fok pays tribute to Cohen's monumental five-decade-long-career as a singer/songwriter and performer. Visitors
experience an extraordinary time-travel journey through a collage of collective memories, musical moments, and emotions that have enchanted generations of fans around the world. 

Don't miss Ari Folman's DEPRESSION CHAMBER (2017) which allows one visitor at a time into a darkened room, where they are confront by the demons of depression, a theme that can be traced throughout Cohen's body of work  After the visitor lies down, Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat" plays while the song's lyrics are projected on the walls, slowly morphing into letters and ions that symbolize Cohen's multifaceted thematic universe.
     There is brilliant entertainment here and many more artist installations inspired by Cohen's oeuvre. Several programs may interest including "Who Shall I Say is Calling?" A Night of Covers June 20 at 8 pm. From studying Kabbalah to infusing his songs with lyrics that incorporate Hebrew prayer, Cohen demonstrated  profound connection to his Jewish identity. Visit www.the for registration details.
       Ta Ta Darlings!  This is by far out of the realm of the norm, such inspiration and nostalgia, plan to spend the day. Fan mail welcome at Visit-ha Polly's other Blogs
at and click on the links to visionary men, women determined to succeed, fashion and even poetry in the left hand column.