Or more precisely, our screening of Coogan’s Bluff last Friday was brilliant/lowbrow, according to New York magazine’s Approval Matrix. “Clint Eastwood,” they wrote, “wasn’t always just a middling director whose movies require night-vision goggles.” See it large here.
92Y Video: From the Poetry Center Archive: Pico Iyer
Travel writer Pico Iyer first read at 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center in 2005. Today’s featured recording is an excerpt from that appearance. In this video he describes a recent journey to India and the mystifying experience of attempting to decipher the strange English street-signs he encountered all around him.
“Last Wednesday found me sitting in the shadow of the Himalayas, surrounded by snowcaps and red-robed monks. Last Thursday I was in Singapore. Last Friday I was in Los Angeles. Now I don’t have a clue where I am,” he said from stage that night, having been introduced, by Caryl Phillips, as “the most global of souls—sensitive and curious about everything. A shining example of how one might live in this brave, new, hybrid world as both a writer and a thinker.”
Iyer’s new book, The Man Within My Head, focuses on his obsession with Graham Greene while also featuring passages of memoir about his family and dispatches from faraway places. He’ll be at 92Y on February 9th for a reading from this book.
What gives the book its distinction is “the range of [Iyer’s] sympathies—for a diversity of cultures, for varieties of religious belief, for opposed political positions—and his luminous intelligence,” wroteThe Wall Street Journal. Iyer’s reading partner on February 9th will be Rebecca Solnit, whose own work is well known for its range of sympathies and luminous intelligence. Her new book, From the Faraway Nearby, comes out in 2013, and we hope she’ll read some passages from it.
Coming up at 92Y Poetry: Jean Strouse and Colm Toibin on Alice James on February 26.
In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Unterberg Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.
Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.
Daytime: Family of Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House with Kenneth T. Walsh: Hear the remarkable behind-the-scenes story of the intertwined relationships be-tween presidents and the African Americans who have worked in the White House and been integral to its operation.
Film: Dead End: Hoodlums and Heartbreak in Old New York!
Thu, Feb 2
Daytime: Extreme Weather: Remember the August earthquake and Hurricane Irene? Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider reports on these and other natural disasters—from flash floods and tsunamis to snowstorms and tornadoes—and explains when they’re likely to strike and how we need to respond.
The Story Collider: Join The Story Collider and the New York Academy of Sciences February 2 for six personal, comedic stories by and about science teachers.
Fri, Feb 3
Film: Some Kind of Wonderful with actress Mary Stuart Masterson in person for post-screening Q&A, moderated by Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams.
gOld – The Extraordinary Side of Aging Revealed through Inspiring Conversations
Nino Pantano, of the venerable Brooklyn Daily Eagle, came to hear author Harry Getzov at 92nd Street Y on January 12; an event from the Himan Brown Senior Program. Getzov discussed his new book gOld, which is filled with nuggets of wisdom from seniors. He wrote:
The book consists mainly of interviews with seniors — ages 70 and up from all walks of life. Some, like TV host Hugh Downs, age 88, are well known. Among Downs’ comments is this: “It’s really hard for a young person to understand, when they see a senior citizen, that the older person, inside, is just as vital and just as interested in things as anybody else.”
The forward by author Marianne Williamson mentions “It took my own mother’s death’ to reveal to me the level of indifference bordering on criminal neglect that permeates our social, medical and personal attitudes toward the elderly in America today. Death is inevitable but unkindness and lack of understanding are not.”
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is quoted in the book as well. “Older age doesn’t mean the end of desire and excitement,” she said. “gOLD demonstrates beautifully how new adventures continue to unfold in later life and this is certainly good news for the baby boomers.”
Speaking of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, she’ll be at 92Y on January 30 to launch her 37th book, in a free event: Sexually Speaking: What Every Women Needs to Know about Sexual Health. Joining her will be two senior physicians from NY Presbyterian, Amos Grunebaum, MD, and Frank Chervenack, MD.
This week’s Parshah (Torah Portion), Parshat Bo, mentions the Mitzvah (Commandment) of Kidush Hachodesh, the Mitzvah of sanctifying the month according to the Sefer Hachinuch Mitzvah 4. It can be found in the Torah in Shemot (Exodus) Chapter 12 lines 1 and 2. The mitzvah of Kidush Hachodesh results in us having the Jewish holiday of Rosh Chodesh which marks the first day of the new Hebrew month. The first day of the new month is based on when the new moon comes. All of this forms the basis for the entire Jewish calendar, which all of the Jewish holidays are dependent on.
To truly understand the importance of the holiday of Rosh Chodesh, we need to examine the story of the creation of the moon and the sun in the Torah. The story can be found in Bereishit (Genesis) Chapter 1, lines 14 and 15: God creates two lights that appear to be equal in strength and are responsible for separating day and night, as well as for marking the holidays, days, and years. Though the Torah does not name these lights, we can assume that the light of the night is the moon and the light of the day is the sun. In line 16, the Torah does make a distinction between the lights: God pronounces the light of the day (the sun) to be the greater light and the light of the night (the moon) to be the lesser light.
What causes the change from the apparent equality of the sun and the moon in lines 14-15 to the dominance of the sun in line 16? In Judaism, the moon plays a more dominant role in marking holidays and determining the calendar. Why, then, does God pronounce the sun to be dominant over the moon?
TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel (left) and Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson at 92nd Street Y
Walter Isaacson, author of a new Steve Jobs biography, spoke with TIME‘s Rick Stengel on January 24 at 92Y about the significance of Jobs’s contributions to the business world and industries he revolutionized.
As compiled on our Storify page, audience members shared their observations and reports on Twitter during the talk. One noted that Stengel asked Isaacson: Could Jobs have been “nicer”? “Maybe his reactions were instinctive,” Isaacson responded, “but when I asked him, he said ‘This is who I am.’”
Could a “nicer” Jobs have been as successful? “Could he have put that filter in place and said, ‘I’m going to be just as effective as I am now, but I’m also going to bite my tongue and stop myself’?” [Isaacson] wondered. “That is a fundamental question in life.” If he didn’t quite offer an answer, Isaacson did point to the company’s unusually high retention rate, and suggested that, contrary to conventional wisdom, it was Apple’s culture – not its products – that ultimately set it apart. “Creating a great product isn’t the hard part,” Isaacson said. “The hard part is creating a great company that will continue to create a great product that will be at the intersection of creativity and technology.”
Joel Salatin with Dan Barber: A New Kind of Farmer
Joel Salatin (left) with Dan Barber at 92nd Street Y on January 23, 2012
Self-described libertarian, Christian, environmentalist and capitalist Joel Salatin, who had a star turn in the movie Food, Inc., was at 92nd Street Y on Monday with Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of New York’s Blue Hill restaurant and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Their ”top shelf” talk was reported by WNYC’s Amy Eddings:
I was intrigued by Salatin’s call for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing freedom of food choice. “Carve out a spot for artisanal food commerce, like we did for home schooling,” he said. “We have a government that says it’s okay to eat Twinkies and Cocoa Puffs and Mountain Dew, but it’s illegal to drink raw milk and eat compost-grown tomatoes and Aunt Matilda’s pickles.”
He also spoke glowingly of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. He sees the three-year-old organization as the “NRA of food,” going after “overzealous food inspectors” and helping small- and mid-sized farmers like him who are developing dynamic, local food economies. There’s a lot on the website about raw milk, which I blogged about recently.
Joel Salatin said “historic normalcy” is a “domestic culintary delight.” Food tastes better. He said that, judging from the number of rock star farm-to-table chefs and sustainable, happy meat butchers, people are already discovering this, He said he wants to take it to the next level.
From the Poetry Center Archive: Discovering Mark Strand
Mark Strand’s first appearance at 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center took place back in April of 1965, when he was one of four winners (Robert David Cohen, Jim Harrison and Nancy Sullivan were the others) of that year’s “Discovery” poetry contest, which the Poetry Center continues to oversee to this day. That night, Strand was introduced by Robert Hazel, who praised his poems for “their urgency, released by forms unusually fanciful, unusually skillful. Grace and decorum are valuable qualities here, in their creation of dramatic effects involving a very considerable ironic wit. Best of all, it seems to me, is this poet’s dramatic insight—insinuating and mysterious and with a kind of ardent searching that is very important.”
Today’s featured recording is the entirety of Strand’s reading from that evening. You can download the MP3 here.
Mark Strand returns to 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center on January 30, for a reading with Susan Stewart. Stewart is making her Poetry Center debut, but Strand has been appearing here regularly for more than forty years—for readings with Borges, Paz and Brodsky (to name just a few), as well as Tributes to Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens and Zbigniew Herbert.
If dancing makes you smarter, the Dancing In The Cloud/Dancing For Small Screens panel discussion on January 27, with excerpts from Jacob Krupnick’s new video Girl Walk//All Day, will definitely make you a bit more intelligent than you were previous. Watch an early trailer from Girl Walk//All Day, above.
Dawn Paap, producer of the site VideoDanceTV, will join Richard Daniels, Peter Kyle, and James Garver on the panel, with 92nd Street Y’s Edward Henkel. They’ll discuss dance for small screens and how the forging of new collaborative territory can have a significant impact in creating uniquely personal experiences for the viewer.
In addition, Paap selected excerpts from Girl Walk // All Day for screening and discussion. Looking to “expand the boundaries around the idea of the traditional music video”, Girl Walk//All Day is a 71-minute dance music video of epic proportions, set to the tune of Girl Talk’s All Day.
The Julie & Julia Treatment For Francine Segan’s “Shakespeare’s Kitchen”
A blogger at Playing The Cook, “a PhD student specializing in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature in performance” and a “really bad cook”, writes:
For my birthday this year, my brother got me a cookbook - Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook, by Francine Segan. I’ve been trying to do more cooking recently, and hopefully progress a bit past the “throw together a stir-fry” phase that I’m currently in. In order to force myself to put in some time in the kitchen, I’ve decided to do the Julie & Julia thing, and attempt to make every single recipe in the book before the year is out.
We wish him the best of luck, and look forward to his updates. As he noted: “To successfully complete this project, I need to make an average of two recipes per week.”
92nd Street Y’s longtime archivist and librarian Steve Siegel passed away on Saturday. Steve had been at 92Y since 1979. He was the quintessential researcher’s friend, always willing and able to dig up dates and details on all things 92Y-related and beyond. Steve was always a welcoming presence in 92Y’s library; several collections of the library’s books – including Judaica, art, dance, poetry and children’s books – are now housed within those specialty areas in the 92Y building. Steve’s dedication to archival material lives on in the Virtual Poetry Center and in the wealth of material now available on our website.
We offer our condolences to his family and friends, remember his generosity and love of history, and bid a fond farewell to our colleague.
Daytime: New York Diaries: 1609 - 2009 with Teresa Carpenter. Take a fresh look at the history of NYC over the past four hundred years through the writing of the extraordinary people who’ve lived in or visited Manhattan.
Tue, Jan 24
Daytime: Sister Act Songs and Talk-Back with the cast. Members of the cast of Sister Act (Jerry Zaks, Carolee Carmello and Patina Miller with Adam Feldman), the high-energy Broadway musical comedy, sing favorite songs and talk about what it’s like to bring to life this inspiring story of sisterhood and friendship.
Film: The Telephone Book with producer Merv Bloch in person for post-screening Q&A with Janus Films Brian Belovarc. This is a super rare 35mm film screening of a forgotten classic from the New York Underground!
Comedy: Story Pirates After Dark. Story Pirates don’t dress as pirates or make anybody walk the plank, but they do steal: they take their inspiration from kids themselves, creating an entire show adapted from stories penned by authors under the age of twelve.