Tag Archives: Breakfast in America

September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Sep

SEPTEMBER FULL OF HOPE

helloseptember-sept2016“The breezes taste of apple peel. The air is full of smells to feel. Ripe fruit, old footballs, burning brush, new books, erasers, chalk, and such. The bee, his hive, well-honeyed hum, and Mother cuts chrysanthemums. Like plates washed clean with suds, the days are polished with a morning haze.” (John Updike, September)

HOPE EVERLASTING

911lights-sept2016

“We’ve got to be as clear-headed about human beings as possible, because we are still each other’s only hope,” James Baldwin said to Margaret Mead in a historic public conversation in New York City, August 25, 1970 … The twin beams of light emitted each September 11, as transcendental as any symbol of remembrance can ever be, depicts the timeless hope of which James Baldwin speaks.

ROCK STAR!

freddiemercuryasteroid-sept2016-2-use“A shooting star leaping through the sky, Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity…Burnin’ through the sky yeah” … An asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury to honor what would have been his 70th birthday. Asteroid “Freddiemercury” is “burnin’ through the sky” in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. Per Brian May, Queen’s lead guitarist as well as an astrophysicist, “It’s just a dot of light but it’s a very special dot of light and maybe one day we’ll get there.”

BREAKFAST IN AMERICA

pancakesinparis-sept2016
Former Hollywood screenwriter Craig Carlson, with no restaurant experience, recounts his dream of opening an American diner in Paris, Breakfast in America, and turning it into a popular restaurant chain in the heart of Paris.

“After a year in France, I was dying for a good ol’ American breakfast. [Back in LA] I ordered a ham steak, scrambled eggs, home-fried potatoes, and buckwheat pancakes. I stared at it wide-eyed and said, ‘Oh my God, this is the one thing I missed when I was in Paris!’ At that instant a year’s worth of eating French breakfasts replayed before my eyes. But the problem was that every breakfast was exactly the same. Croissants and pains au chocolat, croissants and pains au chocolat. I stared down at my pancakes…my heart racing as I repeated the phrase: ‘The one thing I missed in Paris’…I knew exactly what I wanted to do: open an American diner in Paris! I even knew what I was going to call it: Breakfast in America.”

KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S GATE?

dylangate-sept2016Did you know that Bob Dylan liked to sculpt enormous iron gates? Yes, it’s true. After all, he was born and raised in iron ore country in Minnesota. He just built a 26×15-foot iron gateway for the MGM National Harbor casino in Maryland. Called Portal, it incorporates found objects, farm equipment, kitchen utensils, and tools … Per Dylan: “Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed, but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways, there is no difference.” Whoa, that is so Dylan.

WHEN BAD ADVERTISING HAPPENS TO THE ARTS

wellsfargo-nea-sept2016Here’s a real head-scratcher. Seems that the Wells Fargo financial services company thought this was a good idea. Picture this. A smiling young woman with the caption: “A ballerina yesterday. An engineer today.” And the tag line: “Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” Although they were taken to task for this tasteless ad campaign that they subsequently abandoned, how was it ever approved? The arts and those who choose to be artists are to be cherished, enjoyed, and encouraged. Hey, Wells Fargo, learn something about the arts from the National Endowment for the Arts and put aside some ad dollars for a donation. It’s the arts that fulfill promises and make life grand.

FULL OF AWE

awesome-sept2016-newsWords enable us to communicate with each other. What powerful tools they are! But changes in language and in people, including interpretation, people adapting language to fit their needs, societal changes, and shifting pronunciations, affect the meaning of a word over time. Let’s look at the evolution of the word awful: In Shakespeare’s time awful had the complimentary meaning of “full of awe.With the suffix –ful, awful means having the quality of awe. Its meanings include being worthy of, commanding profound respect or reverential fear, which may have led it to mean causing dread. So over the centuries, awful took on a negative quality – frightful, ugly, monstrous. Then awful was eventually replaced with today’s positive awesome. Note that the suffix -some is basically the same as –ful in its meaning. Since awful had such a strong negative connotation, awesome was used meaning “awe-inspiring” without the negativity. By the mid-1900s awesome went from awe-inspiring to its ubiquitous use today meaning amazing. Okay, so awesome may have reached its cultural saturation point, but its history is nonetheless awesome, right?

TRIUMPHANT NEW MUSEUM!

blackmuseum-baldwinquote-crA new major museum is always worth celebrating! Just opened is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in the heart of Washington DC. Its very design is crucial to the story it tells. From its lowest floor depicting the history of slavery, each ascending floor follows the journey to the civil rights movement and up to “A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond” and President Obama’s inauguration.

…AND THE BEATLES’ CIVIL RIGHTS VICTORY

eightdaysaweek-sept2016In the new documentary, Eight Days a Week, director Ron Howard examines the Beatles’ touring years. Of note, we learn that in 1964 when they reached the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL, seats were segregated. They refused to perform until the venue was integrated, gaining a victory for civil rights. “We played to people. We didn’t play to those people or that people – we just played to people,” so said Ringo.

ROCK RELICS DO GOOD!

maxskcauction-bruce-sept2016Cool pic of The Boss, right? Unless you’ve read Yvonne Sewall-Ruskin’s High On Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max’s Kansas City (see May 2016 Newsletter), you’ve never seen it. Taken upstairs at Max’s Kansas City backstage by Lily Hou in 1973, it was one of many great items up for auction to benefit Yvonne’s arts non-profit, Max’s Kansas City Project, which provides artists grants of emergency relief for housing, medical, and legal aid.

DOG NEWS

dognews-911dogs-sept2016Barkley’s incredible veterinarian Dr. Amy Attas (as well as Buddha’s and Skeffington’s!) volunteered to care for the heroic rescue dogs at ground zero. Dr. Attas and her colleagues listened to the handlers while their dogs were being treated for cuts, burns, and dehydration, prompting the vets to ask psychologists to sit with them. “A lot of the handlers told us that their dogs were really depressed, because they were search and rescue dogs and they weren’t finding anybody,” Dr. Attas told NBC News.

WE CAN HELP

9-11stairs-sept2016The Vesey Street stairs, on site at the 911 Memorial Museum and now known as Survivors’ Stairway, is the sole remainder above ground of the World Trade Center. Gazing at it, one visualizes all those people running down them seeking safety and escape with fervent hope that they make it out. The 9/11 Memorial Museum documents the impact of 9/11 and explores its continuing significance. There we bear witness to a collection of artifacts that remind us of the people we lost and the brave souls that heroically went in to help, to save, to do their job. It is a place of commemoration.  Make a monetary donation or you can make a contribution to the collection such as pics, videos, voice messages, personal effects, workplace objects, and diaries.

wecanhelp2-doghope-aacr-sept-2016Fact: Animals have a positive effect in helping people cope with traumatic events. HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response teams have been responding to crises and disasters since 2001, when they sent specially trained handlers and their dogs to provide comfort at ground zero in NYC. They calmed survivors and helped first responders and other workers relax and talk about their experiences, just as you see Tikva here at work. HOPE has since responded to major hurricanes, wildfires, train derailments, and school shootings. An all-volunteer organization, your donation helps them continue training and certifying new crisis teams.

Soundtrack to this Issuesoundtrack-highhopes-teleBruce Springsteen’s High Hopes

Happy Birthday to the Boss. And what a way to celebrate. Four hour concerts! A book! A book tour! A new album! … Along with his captivating, candid, and poignant memoir, Born to Run, is a compilation album Chapter and Verse which features 18 songs that reflect the themes and sections of the book and includes five unreleased songs … High hopes is surely what we are feeling, so here’s the title track from the High Hopes album:

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don’t you know these days you pay for everything 

Got high hopes
I got high hopes
Got high hopes
I got high hopes

Who rescued whom?
Barkley+Mom.Tartan.IMG_0587.cr.Apr2016
At the New York Tartan Day Parade.
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
James Baldwin quote: A Rap on Race (J. B. Lippincott; 1st edition, 1971)
Freddy Mercury lyrics: Don’t Stop Me Now by Freddie Mercury ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Brian May quote: The Guardian, September 5, 2016
Book quote: Pancakes in Paris by Craig Carlson Page 42 ©2016 Sourcebooks
Dylan’s gate pic and quote: Forbes, September 7, 2016
Dr. Amy Attas, DVM quote: NBC News/New York, September 11, 2016
Tikva at Ground Zero, NYC, 2001 pic: HOPEaacr.org
Soundtrack High Hopes lyrics: Timothy Scott McConnell ©Universal Music Publishing Group

June Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Jun

JUNE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE

peace..love.understanding.june2016.2

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

ALI: THE GREATEST LOVE

Ali.redgloves.june2016

When I was a kid, my father took me to the simulcasts of Ali’s big fights at our local movie house, the Symphony on Broadway … As beautiful a boxer as Muhammad Ali was, floating on air and dancing on the lightest of footfalls, his bigger than life generous spirit was the thing I loved about him … I have a bookshelf dedicated to him. Many great books about him. But David Remnick’s King of the Word is must-read Ali. And any documentary about him is worth seeing. But When We Were Kings (1996) is must-see Ali.

Ali.IWishPeopleLove.june2016

I remember being in tears as I made my way through each exhibit and video at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY. I cherish every moment I spent there with him … He has always been my hero. I will miss him and be thankful for him and to him forever.

FROM GRACELAND TO NOW

PaulSimon.StrangerToStranger.june2016

“If you don’t do it, who will write a Paul Simon song?” asked Philip Glass on the topic of Simon’s retiring … Although it’s been 30 years since Graceland, the sounds he created in that monumental work are updated to reflect the present time in his new album, Stranger to Stranger …. We sorely and surely need all the Paul Simon songs we can get. Just as the title track reassures us:

Still believing
That love endures
All the carnage
And the useless detours

Oh I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, love you, love you …

Words and melody
Easy harmony
Words and melody

HEY HO! LET’S GO … TO A MUSEUM!

Ramones.june2016

Hey Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and Tommy Ramone, you are in a museum! For real! … In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Ramones’ self-titled debut album, Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk is an exhibit at the Queens Museum until July 31. It shows the Ramones from their roots in Queens to Manhattan’s CBGB’s, where their fun brand of punk rock was manifest … “Just get me to the airport, put me on a plane, Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane.” Then take a plane to the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles on Sept. 16 where, through March 2017, the band is seen in the larger context of music history and pop culture … Cheers to you, Joey, my Joey, I sure do miss talking to you.

NOW SERVING BREAKFAST!

SupertrampCover.june2016

That’s Kate Murtagh. We know her as the Supertramp waitress who is 95 now (she was 90 in this pic). Retired from acting, she is a resident at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital and takes improv classes … Roger Hodgson wrote the classic title track, Breakfast in America. “Never could I have imagined when I wrote this song at age 19 that it would be gaining in popularity, if that is even possible over 40 years later. It’s the playful, fun, jubilant quality that people love to hear and sing along to.”

MEAT LOAF: RECIPE FOR STAYING POWER

MeatLoaf.Album.june2016

Meat Loaf collapsed onstage during a performance at the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Canada. A scary moment, it was due to severe dehydration and according to his Facebook page, he has recovered. Good news for sure … But wait, there’s more good news! Meat will release Braver Than We Are, his long-awaited reunion with songwriter Jim Steinman on September 16. The first single, Going All the Way, is another majestic-rock epic that features vocals by Ellen Foley and Karla DeVito, Meat’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light partners … “My songs are anthems to those moments when you feel like you’re on the head of a match that’s burning…they’re anthems to the essence of rock and roll…the fury, the melody and the passion.” (Jim Steinman)

DOG NEWS

Dog.GracieComfortDogOrlando.june2016-2

Bringing comfort to OrlandoGracie, from Davenport, Iowa, is one of the specially trained Comfort Dogs sent to Orlando, FL to help the victims, their families, and the community deal with the tragedy. Joining Gracie was Phoebe from Texas, Kye from Illinois, Sasha from South Carolina, Barnabas from Indiana, Katie, a Comfort-Dog-in-Training based in Nebraska, and Jewel from Tennessee. Brave, sweet, and loving, champion comforters all.

DogNews.2.911DogDiesBrittany.june2016

What a good girl. There were 300 or so search dogs working at Ground Zero, using their mighty noses to try to find survivors. Sadly, the last of these brave dogs died at age 16. Bretagne, pronounced Brittany, a happy golden retriever, lived an adventure-packed life until the end. In addition to 9/11, she was also deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

DogNews.3.VanityFairCover.june2016

Check out the cover of Vanity Fair honoring Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday. Seems she was upstaged by her four dogs, two Corgis and two Dorgis (Dachshund and Corgi mix). Annie Leibovitz shot the pic starring Holly, Willow, Vulcan, and Candy. And, oh yeah, the Queen.

DogNews.Pumi.june2016

Intelligent and whimsical. That’s the Pumi, a high-energy Hungarian herding dog and the latest new breed recognized by the AKC, its 190th breed headed to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club. Cute, huh?

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.AliCenter.june2016

The Muhammad Ali Center promotes respect, hope, and understanding, and encourages everyone everywhere to be as great as they can be. Your donation will help them continue to preserve and share Ali’s legacy and values.

WeCanHelp.AnimalShelter.catdog.june2016

There are more than 13,000 animal shelters across the US and combined they take in nearly 8 million cats and dogs per year. You can help your local animal shelter by donating: animal beds and blankets, dog and cat toys, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, toys, crates and carriers, cat litter and boxes, leashes and collars, medical supplies, and your time and monetary donation.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.Ali.gloves.june2016

Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer

Toward the end of his concert at The Greek Theater on June 3, Paul Simon strummed chords to The Boxer and announced, “I’m sorry to tell you this way, but Muhammad Ali has passed away.” And then he sang the final verse:

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
‘I am leaving, I am leaving.’
But the fighter still remains

Who rescued whom?

Barkley+Mom.Tartan.IMG_0587.cr.Apr2016

At the New York Tartan Day Parade.
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Peace, Love painting: United Nations Art for Peace Contest 2012, entrant (not winner) Armaan, a 7 year-old from Canada.
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding lyrics: Nicholas Orain Lowe ©Universal Music Publishing Group, Plangent Visions Music, Inc.
I Wanna Be Sedated lyrics: Dee Dee Ramone, Douglas Colvin, Jeffrey Hyman, Joey Ramone, John (Ramone) Cummings, Johnny Ramone ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Roger Hodgson quote: RogerHodgson.com
Stranger to Stranger lyrics: ©2016 Words and Music by Paul Simon/paulsimon.com
Jim Steinman quote: 1978 Rolling Stone profile of Meat Loaf
Gracie the Comfort Dog pic: Gracie Comfort Dog Facebook Page
9/11 Dog Bretagne pic: Denise Corliss
The Boxer lyrics: Paul Simon ©Universal Music Publishing Group

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