Category Archives: Notes from Meryl

Have you ever wondered about what it’s like to live in the heart of New York City? I can only speak from my perspective about my favorite things, but I’ll be adding in the discoveries shared by my out of town students. I invite other New Yorkers from our community to add their favorites so that our guests from out of town who come here either for seminars, for Group or for Practitioner Skills development, can get some ideas about what they can do after class is over each day.

New York Shops Adorn Themselves for the 2013 Holidays

This year was overall one of the best end of the year season I have experienced in a really long time.

I am delighted to report that aside from the windows at Barney’s the quality, detail and dazzle at Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord &  Taylor was really exceptional.

The first  six pictures  in the slide show are the silvery sleigh ride windows at Barney’s and the star in the middle of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.

Next are twenty-one pictures of Bergdorf Goodman’s windows. There are several different types of windows that BG  dresses. The three large 57th Street  windows have shoes, handbags, dogs, holiday trees in white with colored accents and there you’ll see the Bergdorf Goodman book on their windows.

The windows on Fifth Avenue include Arbor Day, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, an upside down April Fool’s day, July 4th. I especially loved the pink Valentine’s Day with its textured background of flowers ( what a surprise, Meryl loved some flowers!)

And lastly, on 58th Street are the glamorous glittery evening clothes displays.

I really loved the holidays themed  windows for their complexity, beauty and details.

( Unfortunately , I couldn’t get the pictures completely synched- The Bergdorf/Tifffany sequence turns out to be Bergdorf/Tiffany/Bergdorf- ah the wonders of technology!)

Across the street from Bergdorf is Tiffany’s. This year the entire outside surface of the building was covered with giant silhouette stencils. They were giant versions of the tiny silhouettes in the miniature windows of the displays.

Each window featured a different configuration of snow covered city buildings with silhouettes of pets, children, couples dining, kissing, people playing instruments, etc shown in the tiny windows.

Added to the mix are the details of the buildings themselves, the snow covered lampposts, Santa’s sleigh with miniscule wrapped gifts, actual Tiffany rings, earrings, jeweled pendants to delight the viewer’s eyes.  Wow!!

Next comes the picture of the tree at Rockefeller Center.

I completely fell in love with Saks’s windows and light show. First was the light show, captured beautifully for your delight on this u-tube presentation. When I saw it projected on the entire facade of the 5th Avenue side of Saks I was jumping up and down like a child in sheer delight.

Then we saw the totally enchanting saga of the Saks Yetis.  The first window showed the Yeti village with a changing projection of individual snowflakes with names. Among the snowflakes are ones crafted by Marctic Rockefurrer, Icemerelda Hairris and Aunt Artica Noel. The Yeti windows have details refurring   ( hope you like my little pun here-) to hair and fur. So that for the subway scene window I’ve taken lots of pictures so you can see Doc Y’s ad for beautiful , clean fur!  The intelligence and humor is so outstanding in all of the details of the presentations. OMG I wanted the store to be open so I could run to their 9th floor to see all of the Yetis inside!

There are two pictures showing  inside the gated front door of Saks and two extra pictures of the super gorgeous evening clothing in two of the other Saks windows.

On to our last stop, Lord and Taylor. There are lots of pictures here that need to be seen in very slow motion because the beauty of the display this year was that there were stationery parts with moving parts inside.

One of the first examples of this is the staircase with the mother and two children. What appears on the top of the stairs keeps changing. There is also one fashion plate cut-out doll who keeps completely changing her clothes. I’ve also included  pictures show the sequence of the appearance of a dance floor with couples dancing and how it becomes more visible.

I especially loved the miniature Viennese pastry buffet table because I collect intricate food miniatures to gift to a very close friend of mine. The juxtaposition of the Duke Ellington Jazz band silhouettes with the more Victorian details was also interesting to me.

I sincerely wish that you enjoy this show as a prelude to your New Year celebrations.  Happy New Year blessed readers. May 2014 be the very best year that all of humanity has yet experienced.

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More Joyful Music On New York City Summer Nights and A Day Filled With Beauty

It seems that summertime in New York presents with more options for great jazz and music that is to my liking than at other times during the year.  This summer it is really the case for me.

As my frequency changes and intensifies ( along with everyone else’s on this planet!)  I’m  finding  that the literal vibration and energy of music I love is increasingly  exciting and moving to me.

For example, last weekend I so loved the musical creations of  the Vincent Herring Quartet appearing at The Kitano that I felt I couldn’t miss the opportunity to experience them again the next night!

The quartet was comprised of Vincent Herring on alto saxophone, David Williams on bass, Lewis Nash on drums and Mike  Ledonne on piano.  What I perceived  as unusual and excellent about this combination of musicians was the balance of mastery each player possessed on their own and especially in combination with the others.

Three out of the four players had worked together for years as a regular grouping with the legendary pianist Cedar Walton. After the first measure of the first piece of music on the first night they were completely entrained with each other.

When Vincent introduced one of the pieces he told us that the quartet had not had time to rehearse together. I never would have guessed that to be true from the subtly and nuance of each song. They were simply one of the very best combinations I’ve seen yet.

It was indeed a rare treat for me.

Last night, instead of writing this piece I was listening to a totally different kind of thrilling music.  I have always wanted to go to a Klezmer concert and early in the summer I noticed that the Jewish Museum was having a Klezmer group perform.

I was so excited to go but the tickets were completely sold out by July 4th. I persisted and called the museum. Even though I was first on the waiting list for tickets, I really didn’t think I’d get to the concert so I made plans with a friend to enjoy a Restaurant Week lunch and a visit to MOMA ( The Museum of Modern Art).

To my surprise I got the call from the Jewish Museum as soon as they opened in the morning.

So, Thursday was filled with a lovely luncheon with my  dear friend at the French Restaurant Benoit. Then we saw a Walker Evans photographic exhibit and a huge exhibit about the Swiss artist and architect Le Corbusier.

Both exhibits were really interesting and so filled with beauty that I felt saturated with visual stimulation after awhile.

I walked through Central Park from the bottom on Central Park South ( East 60th Street) up to the Jewish Museum located on Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street. Being in my beloved Central Park always grounds me and adds to my happiness.

Then I sat in the  first row in the auditorium to hear my first Klezmer music. I thought that the music would take the minor and bittersweet cadences of Jewish prayer and music and add joy to it.

That is exactly what I experienced with the very fine musicians of The Isle of Klezbos.  They played for almost two hours. Here is a sample of their music from U Tube. In this video the musicians are the same with the exception of the bass player . There was wide variation in the rhythms , the mood and complexion of the songs that were played.

Finally, here is a slide show of my two musical events, lunch at Benoit, the two exhibits at MOMA and one little picture of the construction Gibralter, by Alexander Calder that made my heart laugh.  Enjoy!

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Spectacular Music In New York City On A Summer Night



Last Friday night, July 5th, 2013 I was really fortunate to experience not only an outstanding classical music concert, The Planets- An HD Odyssey,  but I also made a dash afterwards for a wonderful late night jazz set by two of my favorite jazz musicians.

Imagine sitting in the glorious cool of Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center on an overly  hot,  sticky summer night. My excitement about the program was really high. I had purchased my ticket the moment I learned about the program.

The first piece was the  short piece Short Ride in a Fast Machine by my favorite contemporary classical composer John Adams.

Next was a rarely performed magical and subtle  piece Ballet of the Snowflakes by Offenbach from his fairy-tale opera,  Trip To The Moon. Listening to this one piece live would have been enough of a treat for me.  The program continued to delight me.

A beautiful waltz by Joseph Strauss,  Music of the Spheres , added to the excitement before the final spectacular performance of The Planets by Gustav Holst.

I had never heard a live performance of Holst’s masterpiece before and although I was gaga about the Venus The Bringer of Peace segment and I always  liked  the Jupiter The Bringer of Jollity, I had always found that in recordings  the other planets were quite lack luster by comparison to these segments.

I was amazed at how different the whole composition is when heard live. All of the seven segments are of comparable beauty, complexity  and intensity. When the outstanding  NASA pictures of the planets were projected on a screen behind the orchestra it made  an experience that I probably will remember for my whole life.

Here is the link to the New York Times review of the program.   

For more information about the program, here is the link to the New York Philharmonic’s website with program notes{2BBDD777-44AA-4D33-B3B4-03C3793ABBDF}

The magic at the very end of the composition was thoroughly sustained by several minutes of complete silence as Conductor Bramwell Tovey literally held the tension and vibrancy of the music in his baton. It was really amazing!

Then I ran out, hopped in a taxi  to the Hotel Kitano to immerse myself in the incomparable  jazz of pianist George Cables, drummer Lewis Nash and the bass by David Wong.

What is  fascinating about  experiencing this trio is the very playful,  joyous interplay between the outstanding musicians.  The level of communication and  degree of being in synch with each other is so very high.  The pleasure and fun that the musicians are having is palpable.

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Wow! What a night!