Los Angeles is basking in the light of having the remarkable Dudamel as its philharmonic orchestra’s next music director starting 2009.
“True class: South America’s lightning conductor . . . what I experienced was sensational. His name is Gustavo Dudamel – he produced enough electricity to light up Birmingham – a young man with boundless talent, deeply in love, and the world at his feet.” The Times (London)
Dudamel started by playing the violin before becoming a conductor – listen to him play as the devil himself in this clip. His joy and exuberance are contagious.
Venezuela is not all about Chavez and his histrionics – it could also be about El Sistema, an organization that gave birth to the likes of Dudamel through teaching music to children. I first read about this a few months back but tonight the 60 minutes program (a must see) just blew me away…250,000 Venezuelan teenagers and children, most from impoverished backgrounds, are participating in El Sistema that has already produced many world class musicians – Mahler and Bernstein are keeping them out of trouble – All over the world, young people have so much to give and from whom so little is expected…
Of course amid all this musical euphoria, the cynic in me remembers George Steiner‘s quote: “we know that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to his day’s work at Auschwitz in the morning.
My eucalyptus tree attempted partial suicide (non-fatal self-destructive act, self-mutilation) a couple of days ago.
The California Eucalyptus are transplanted trees from Australia (ca 1850) – they were brought here in the hopes that they would provide a renewable source of timber for construction and furniture making.
I heard a big swooshing noise and a loud thump; what seemed to be my whole eucalyptus tree landed ten inches from my parked car at my doorsteps killing some poinsettias. I thought I’ve lost the tree but I found out later that “some species of Eucalyptus have a habit of dropping entire branches off as they grow. Eucalyptus forests are littered with dead branches. Many people have been killed as they camped underneath the trees. It is thought that the trees shed very large branches to conserve water during periods of drought.” Mine’s “accident” may have been caused by the wind or the heaviness of the branch.
The whole yard smelled wonderful though – by its very essence, eucalyptus has the scent of freshness and purification. I love trees especially the ones I grew up with – sycamores and poplars. “Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.” Bill Vaughan
One whole day of yard work reduced the giant branch to these. Maybe my wood sculptor friend would be interested.
I can’t translate this poem without stripping it of its original beauty:
Dans la forêt sans heures
On abat un grand arbre
Un vide vertical
Tremble en forme de fût
Près du tronc étendu.
Cherchez, cherchez, oiseaux,
La place de vos nids
Dans ce haut souvenir
Tant qu’il murmure encore.
I haven’t seen a willow selling its shade to the ground
The elm tree freely bestows its branch to the crow
Wherever there is a leaf my passion blossoms
من نديدم دو صنوبر را با هم دشمن
من نديدم بيدي، سايه اش را بفروشد به زمين.
رايگان مي بخشد، نارون شاخه خود را به كلاغ.
هر كجا برگي هست ، شور من مي شكفد
Je n’ai jamais vu la haine de deux peupliers.
Je n’ai jamais vu un saule vendre son ombre à la terre.
Et gratuitement l’orme offre sa branche aux corbeaux.
Partout où frémit une feuille,
S’épanouit aussi le bourgeon de l’ardeur.
Ok people I was just joking when I said I was going to have plastic surgery! I talked about the United States’ dire economic situation (true), having a kid in law school (true) and needing cosmetic surgery (maybe true but won’t do it) to make you guys buy my stuff.
I hope that you had a good thanksgiving – I always cook two turkeys no matter how many people are coming to my house (one in the oven and one in a pot) and this year wasn’t an exception – great persian stuffing camouflaged as the usual stove top…
“Thanksgiving is when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty.” To me, this is one holiday that is not tinted with religion or acute nationality.
The real turkey this week will be president Bush going to Annapolis when thousands are protesting in Jerusalem and Gaza against the talks.
Mike Luckovich sums it up in the above cartoon; I like Bob Gorrell’s too:
I am not a chocolate person – I am not an ice cream person – I am not even a french fries person but I have no resistance when it comes to good pastry with tons of real cream. It’s not the sugar I am after, it’s the fat!
Ah…real whipped cream; the sexier name would be Chantilly…Making it the right way is an art in its way to extinction – even in Europe; I made a scene a couple of years back in la Rotonde, when they served me a café liegeois with cream coming out of a can! I left the café more heartbroken than angry…
Well boys and girls, this post was supposed to be about “fiber to the curb/kerb”, a telecommunication system based on fiber-optic cables, but i found this subject sweeter on a Monday.
Being a wimp with a high cholesterol count and in the absence of real Chantilly, I treat myself to a “hearty” nonfat cafe con leche. “Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not. “
one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century, he remained true to his humanity. “I came to the conclusion that there is a plurality of ideals, as there is a plurality of cultures and of temperaments. I am not a relativist; I do not say “I like my coffee with milk and you like it without; I am in favor of kindness and you prefer concentration camps” — each of us with his own values, which cannot be overcome or integrated. This I believe to be false. But I do believe that there is a plurality of values which men can and do seek, and that these values differ.”
Now that i have your attention, I have an important announcement: you can buy many of my images from this fabulous site. You can get them as cards, mounted prints, canvas prints, even framed. My major posters are still being sold on all the “art” sites of course.
I have been waiting to get more of my images on redbubble but I think that it’s time to tell my friends about it; I will be adding to the batch little by little.
The models here are the beautiful Joey House, House of Petals‘ owner/actress and a friend, Mark.
“I can resist everything except temptation.” Oscar Wilde
The new Ang Lee film, Lust Caution, was released last friday and the NC17 rating is already making it more important than it really is. NY Times article made me want to see it. When it comes to TV, the HBO’s “tell me you love me” is an example of unnecessary, gratuitous sex shown on screen. I really don’t need to see Jane Alexander in an oral sex scene but that’s just me…
I’ve always loved these ladies! I have fun playing with their images. They’ve been called torchères (torchieres), lampposts and some pretty banal names but I think that they deserve to be called by a “grander” name like “the green Lucinas” (Lucina: she who brings children into the light). I’ve photographed them several times (they are the best models, they never move). Their color changes from bronze green to dark jade passing by some moss and celadon.
The Paris opera house is not hosting any operas; it is now mainly used for ballet performances. Carrier-Belleuse, an old friend of Charles Garnier, the architect of this great theater, contributed the elaborate torcheres that hold the candelabra illuminating the grand staircase and the lampposts outside the opera house.
“Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings.“ Robert Burns
Brasserie Lipp in Paris remains very popular in spite of overpriced mediocre food being served under its roof; the history that goes with it, makes it a favorite among the average tourists, the jet set crowd and the Parisians themselves.
“It is a very poor consolation to be told that the man who has given one a bad dinner, or poor wine, is irreproachable in private life. Even the cardinal virtues cannot atone for half-cold entr