Getting your Wheaties right

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A Toast to the Total Wheaties Champion…! He will always be my Fiber One…!
Here he is taking an inward pike dive into the warm pool of spicy Cinammon Chex! He’s no Vanilla boy, our Greg.

Oats! I’m being a bad girl now… Oh, go on then, Crunch-a-tize me Cap’n!wp20161230_172630 wp20161230_172636 wp20161230_173619

Games with Names (and four-time Olympic champion and the greatest diver in history, Greg Louganis) under the Triple Bridge Gateway, Port Authority of New York, Hell’s Kitchen.

December 30th, 2016

Duck Santa

Still waiting for Santa?… I hear you ask, with a bit of eye-rolling in the background.
Well, yes you do, if you’re a Greek kid. For in my country of birth, Santa – or Saint Basil (Agios Vassilios – ‘Αγιος Βασίλειος) to be precise – comes all the way from Caesarea in Asia Minor to bring gifts to the children on December 31st. That’s because the Greek Orthodox Church honours the memory of the kind Saint who was always on the side of the needy aiding the poor,  on January 1st. And every Greek family serves vasilopita, a round brioche-like cake with a coin inside. The cake is then swirled around before cutting it in equal pieces for everyone present, not forgetting those living in the family’s memories, the church and, of course, Saint Basil.

Tradition has it that who finds the coin is blessed with good luck the whole year round.

You see my friends, all good things to those who wait…

Quack Quack Quack! Ho Ho Ho!
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December 31st, 2016

There can be no X-mas W-out Doctor Who

And the fact that the Doctor landed in New York and joined forces with a brand new superhero in his effort to save Manhattan, made the story all the more poignant.

Also, ”The Return of Doctor Mysterio” marked the return of the universe’s most resilient Doctor on the screens after a full year’s absence, and got us Capaldi-deprived Whovians even more excited about his – eagerly awaited – next adventure.wp20161229_190124 wp20161229_190125

Viewed on a big screen in AMC Empire 25. Edited to include a link to the current wpc.

December 29th, 2016

Dyker Heights

I was longing to see them up close, the famous Christmas lights in Dyker Heights. These are some of the decorations to be seen between 11th & 14th Avenues and 82nd & 85th Streets. They range from zero to elegant minimal to mesmerizing to hypnotizing to glorious to explosively colourful to downright extravagant. In all cases they are magnificent and are best enjoyed on foot. Choose any route but, whatever you do, save the displays on the Spata house at 1152 84th St. and that of Polizzotto at 1145 84th St. for last. You’ll be so bedazzled everything else will seem just a little bit dimmer (if that is even possible!) next to them.

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We took the subway from Manhattan: the D train to Brooklyn Heights until 18th Av. and on the way back, the R train from 86 St. The trip was an hour and-a-half long each way, with a 20-minute walk from/to the subway stations. But it was worth every minute.

December 27th, 2016

A Revelation

Well, it was about time I discovered Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and why it is so popular. I did so  thanks to the stunning, heart warming performance the dancers gave in front of the most expressly adoring audience one could ever hope for.

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”Untitled America” in world premiere opened the evening. Choreographed by Kyle Abraham, it examines the impact of the prison system on African-American families. Performed by a large ensemble of dancers to an ambient music interrupted by spoken word, narrated by former prisoners. The audience was blown away and I thought it was the best possible introduction to Ailey’s eclectic, humanistic style, a style that combines classical ballet with modern and traditional dance moves creating fluid, light yet strong, convincing silhouettes.

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It was followed by ”Awakening”, a ritualistic piece choreographed by the company’s Artistic Director, Kyle Abraham.

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”A Case of You” came next, an intimate, sensual and intense duet, danced to Diana Krall’s version of Joni Mitchell’s song.

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The evening closed with ”Revelations” Ailey’s upbeat signature work which ”using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, it fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul”.

It closed to a standing ovation and made me want to dance again.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater are performing until December 31st at the New York City Center and their repertory varies depending on the date and time booked. For more info click on the link above.

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At this point, it would be an omission not to mention that our evening was enhanced by an excellent dinner at the renowned Greek restaurant ”Milos”, just two doors away. Although the exorbitant menu prices are prohibitive to those of us with small to medium-sized pockets, an occasion like Christmas eve is always a good excuse for a splurge.

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Image credits:
Different productions, from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater website.
Milos New York, from the restaurant’s website.
Last two images of the performance, from The Humble Fabulist’s archives.

December 24th, 2016

Hope

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Just when I thought 2016 is about to end – at last – and leave us in peace to pick up the pieces, these news reached me simultaneously yesterday afternoon: the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was confirmed dead after he was shot at an art gallery in Ankara, an event that sent shivers down the spine of the world on account of Russia’s and Turkey’s relations, now more volatile than ever in view of their respective Syrian agendas; it was quickly followed by another shooting incident outside the U.S. Embassy in Ankara; three shot and wounded in an Islamic Centre in Zurich; ten shot dead in the popular tourist destination of Karak, Jordan; twelve dead and fifty wounded in Berlin when a truck was driven into the crowd at a Christmas market; and part of Schaerbeek in Brussels was on lockdown following a major security operation by police.

Not surprisingly, this was how the ”most viewed” list on the Guardian (international) looked this morning:

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Dominated by some of the attacks in all – but one – cases: at number nine we read that Delhi mascots will blow the whistle on public defecation.

Well, as long as there’s still hope…

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Hope Sculpture by Robert Indiana is on 7th Ave & 53rd Str.

December 3rd, 2016