Last week, I finally braved the NYC heat wave to see the Lotus ponds in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Of course, since my favorite color is yellow, and I was giving my chakras a boost I was all in yellow–including carrying a yellow parasol(sun umbrella, to you)……
After moving to NYC, I worked for a midtown fabric company, and discovered a beautiful little church on a side street. It figures that a singer would stumble upon the famous “Little Church Around the Corner”, known as the “Actors Church”, or The Church of the Transfiguration (it is actually an Episcopal Church, but there’s also a Catholic actors church–St. Malachy’s).
The history of the church is one of acceptance. Since performers travel all the time, they weren’t in any one city consistently enough to be considered church members, and therefore many churches would not allow them to be married, baptize their children–or even be buried on their property. I’ve discovered that since most cemeteries were church-owned, in centuries past, many famous actors were buried in pet cemeteries, or african-american churchyards. A famous singer–who was the toast of the Main Line set– died in her hotel after a concert in Philadelphia in the 1950’s. It took the authorities a week to find somewhere to bury her.
“The Little Church Around the Corner” has a proud heritage of inclusion and commitment to helping those in need, hosting a diverse community embracing all people, across a vast spectrum of cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation and economic backgrounds, as full members of the body of Christ. (One of the attached photos is the full explanation of the church’s name, which supposedly dates back to Thomas Jefferson).
But beyond all that, the church is an oasis of quiet in the middle of the Midtown New York City, the entrance set back from the street, with a garden and fountain in front. The interior is full of dark woods, and it is incredibly soothing to just go inside, sit, and think your own thoughts….
How wonderful that in this age of churches that are insisting their mission is exclusion, that there are some who practice inclusion….
The Church of the Innocents on West 55th and Broadway had a beautiful Good Friday Service this afternoon, but on leaving the church I decided to investigate the unusual cemetery behind it. (Where I grew up in Kansas, individual churches didn’t have cemeteries; there was one for the city, and another at the nearby army base). As I was leaving I noticed a 14-foot celtic cross ornately carved with various birds on all sides,and the name AUDUBON in big letters at the base. Yep. It was the grave of James Audubon, the famous bird illustrator! Although there were trees and bushes all over the grounds, the only one with birds singing in it was the bush just to the left of his tombstone….a fitting tribute….
For years I used to take the Long Island Railroad Day Trip to the Shinnecock Nation PowWow in South Hampton, New York, to enjoy watching the Native American dancers perform while the hundreds of spectators gorged themselves on the fabulous food. The tribe built a giant stage shaped and decorated like a drum, whose top was actually made of grass and dirt, so they are literally dancing on the earth.
The last year I attended the festival, I had found a beautiful cotton printed with an American flag, which had a bald eagle with outstretched wings in the center, and made sure I brought it with me, I had learned long ago that when attending these events it was Indian custom to bring gifts, that they could exchange with other. As they began a dance for military vets, something made me get up with the idea of giving it to one of the dancers to use. When I arrived backstage, I saw a young man who was earnestly begging his elderly grandfather to get out onstage with the other dancers. “Please, it’s your right, and the dance is almost over.” “No. I’m not going.”
I walked up to them and said, “My father tells me our family has blackfoot indian roots, and he passed away this past year. He was a veteran of three wars. Would you take this scarf and dance with it to honor him?” They both looked at me, and the grandfather took the scarf and walked up the steps to the dance platform. When I reached my seat in front, I saw him dancing in the circle with the others, proudly waving the scarf. The dance was almost over so he wasn’t up there long. At the end of the dance I walked backstage again and thanked him for using the scarf. He tried to give it back to me, and I refused to take it, telling him it was my gift to him for honoring me, and I walked away.
Later that day, the young man found me in the crowd and thanked me for what I had done. He said his grandfather was still wearing the scarf, with pride…..
Some of my favorite water photos, taken with my Nokia Lumnia Cell phone. This is the Lake at the Japanese Tea House art the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The top photo was taken during the Summer, and for comparison I took a photo of the same location in winter…It was interesting that I loved it both ways….
After days of rumors, they confirmed this morning that Leonard Nimoy passed away at his home. I’ve adored him for years, and wrote this tribute to him last summer. R.I.P. Leonard.
February 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of “The English Invasion”, when The Beatles and The Rolling Stones arrived in the USA for televised concerts. The images of hundreds of screaming Beatles fans from their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show are part of music history burned into people’s minds. As I watched them, something has always puzzled me: Why were the girls all screaming? The answer to that question came to me as a result of watching Star Trek.
The show was scheduled against the hit show “Bewitched”, and it was not an immediate hit; at least not with me. However, after watching a few episodes, I found myself (pardon the expression) fascinated with the alien character, Mr. Spock, as played by Leonard Nimoy. Tall and thin, with shining dark hair, deeply set dark eyes, pointed ears and steeply slanted eyebrows, and yellow complexion, he was not as universally handsome…
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