Friday, April 27, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
"Once you start playing a piece, there is a connection between every note. You cannot say, 'I will not concentrate on this note.' You cannot ignore things the way you do in the rest of your life. And being in an orchestra teaches you that you cannot be in the centre all the time, that sometimes you are not the soloist but have to become part of a bigger collective spirit."
Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra perform one of his largest projects this year: the complete symphonies of Beethoven at the Proms (Henry Wood Promenade Concerts) presented by the BBC.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Historic House Trust of New York City provides essential support for a number of architecturally and culturally significant houses that reside within NYC parks. One of the ways they do this is to hire individuals and couples to care for the homes and tour visitors in exchange for rent. Pictured here:
Alice Austen's photograph of tennis players on Staten Island, 1892
Alice Austen House Museum Staten Island, NY
Vander Ende-Onderdonk House in Queens, NYC and caretaker, Chelsea Vigue
Van Cortlandt House Museum, the oldest building in The Bronx, NYC
King Manor Museum in King Park, Jamaica, NY
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
The Great Animal Orchestra by Bernie Krause, one of the world's leading experts in natural sound. The book provides insight into how deeply animals rely on their aural habitat to survive and the damaging effects of extraneous noise on the fine balance between predator and prey. He also explores how voices and rhythms of the natural world have formed a basis from which human musical expression emerged.
Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:
Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,
Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tunèd sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering;
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
Whose speechless song, being many, seeming
Sings this to thee, “Thou single wilt prove
- William Shakespeare
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
The sinking of the Titanic on April 15 in 1912 was the biggest news story of its day. But people on land had only the barest facts about the tragedy at sea until almost three days later, when more than 700 survivors reached New York on the steamer Carpathia. It was before the rise of radio and movie reels, a Darwinian moment in the history of American journalism. Newspapers ruled.
An article on Ellie "Nellie" Shine Callaghan, then 16 or 17 years old; one of 40 Irish passengers who survived.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Remember Dorothea Lange? That's her on the car, 1936.
Her parents named her Dorothea Margaretta Nutzhorn at birth. She dropped Margaretta and assumed her mother's maiden name after her father abandoned the family when she was 12 years old -one of two traumatic incidents in her early life. The other was her contraction of polio at age seven which left her with a weakened right leg and a permanent limp. "It formed me, guided me, instructed me, helped me and
humiliated me," she said of her altered gait. "I've never gotten over it, and I am aware of the force and power of it."
- studied photography with Clarence H. White at Columbia U
- was commissioned by the Farm Security Administration to take photographs of migrant workers and displaced families during the Great Depression
- was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1941 and gave it up for an assignment with the War Relocation Authority to record the forced evacuation of Japanese Americans to relocation camps, particularly Manzanar
- was forced by the U.S. Army not to show her internment camp pictures
- married the painter Maynard Dixon in 1920 and had 2 sons -one in 1925, the other in 1929
- divorced Maynard Dixon in 1935 and married Paul Schuster Taylor, prof. of economics at UC Berkeley
- was invited to teach photo at the California School of Fine Arts in 1945
- co-founded Aperture in 1952
- suffered with ulcers and post-polio syndrome
- died of cancer on October 11, 1965, at age 70
- has been honored through the naming of a school in Nipomo, California, near where she photographed Florence Owens Thompson, "Migrant Mother".
Her work can be viewed through the U.S. National Archives and The Bancroft Library
Monday, April 9, 2012
The first recorded use of 'hot cross bun' is from 1733 when spiced currant buns were eaten by early-medieval Saxons celebrating the German Goddess Eostre through a month-long feast that would become Easter.
I combined a recipe from Florence Fabricant at the NYT and a recipe from Gourmet to make a small batch on Saturday. The process is straightforward and each stage is rewarding, particularly the first rise after kneading - the dough comes up beautifully. If you melt the butter rather than cream it you'll get a lighter, open crumb that's more bready than biscuity.
Hot Cross Buns
1 cup warm milk (105°–115°F.)
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 sticks (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
scant 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons icing sugar
In a small bowl stir together milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Let mixture stand 5 minutes, or until foamy. Meanwhile melt the butter and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and combine well. Add the egss and beat until smooth. Add the salt, spices, and citrus zest. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, alternating with the currants and raisins. You want the dough to be well combined before you begin to knead it.
Transfer dough to a floured surface and with floured hands knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a large, clean, olive-oiled bowl and turn it to fully coat it with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Butter 2 large baking sheets.
On a floured surface with floured hands knead dough briefly and form into two 12-inch-long logs. Cut each log crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Let the buns rise, covered with damp tea towels, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven. While buns are rising, lightly beat the egg yolk with the icing sugar to make an egg glaze. On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll out a small amount of pastry dough about 1/8 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/8-inch wide strips for the crosses. Once the buns have fully risen, bruch them lightly with glaze, lay the strips on their tops and brush again.
Slide the pans into the oven and bake for 12 minutes total, switching pan positions at 6 minutes. Cool on a rack.