Saturday, December 1, 2012

Max in Ballet Class

Last week Max took ballet class at ABT's JKO School.  He's doing very well and seems to like it.  Click on the photos to see a video (11 mins) of Max going through various exercises with his class.  It begins with a mixed class and ends with an "all-boys" class.

We are very proud!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Autumn 2012 HURRICANE!

The end of October and beginning of November have been chaotic to say the least. Just before Hurricane Sandy struck a horrible crime was committed across the street from us. The police presence and media blitz outside our window continued for about 48 hours. I was in Pittsburgh so Miranda had to deal with the nightmarish scene by herself.  My return flight from Pittsburgh was cancelled due to Sandy so I rented a car and drove the 7 hours home.

As I approached the Lincoln Tunnel there were fewer and fewer cars. The always crowded NJ Turnpike was virtually car-free as was the tunnel. Sandy struck with shocking devastation to low-lying areas however we on the Upper West Side survived unscathed with only branches and debris in the streets.  We walked outside near the height of the storm and felt the strong winds but retreated before being hit by a flying branch.

Central Park had scores of trees blown apart or uprooted. We walked through after they reopened the park and were shocked at the damage. Also a crane collapsed above a 90-story construction site. School was off for an entire week so the boys were at home. We spent our time raising money and collecting items to donate to the hurricane victims. That was fine but by the end of the week they were looking forward to seeing their friends again at school.

The next week brought the election and another day off of school and then next week was another holiday, Veteran’s Day, and finally the next week was Thanksgiving with two days off from school. This combined with the two weekends that I was away working or visiting Mona, Jess and Lily caused a complete lack of consistency in our normally routine lives.

The weekend in Minneapolis with Jess and Lily was a blast.  Lily is such a lovely girl, smart, pretty, confident and happy. Jess is very involved in building her photography business and it was fun to watch her in action. The weather was glorious.  On Saturday afternoon we took a grand walk around Lake Calhoun. It must have been almost 70 degrees and the sunshine felt great. Sunday we ventured onto some of the rides inside the Mall of America.

The next weekend I saw Sue and Mona and used Sue’s home in Charlotte as a base.  I had rehearsals in Winston-Salem for upcoming Nutcracker performances and it’s an easy drive between the two cities. Mona was as lovely as ever!

I got back just in time to buy a turkey and help Miranda prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. The afternoon before Thanksgiving Max and I watched the volunteers inflate the balloons with helium. The crowd was already huge by 3:30pm when we walked around the perimeter of the Natural History Museum, and it was very busy outside our window until about 10pm. We did have great seats along Central Park West for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was a beautiful day here and the parade was wonderful.

Starting this Monday the boys will have their first full week of school in a month and a half. Despite all of the free time they have had lately, I think they will enjoy it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer 2012

For not traveling this summer we certainly seemed to be very busy always going somewhere, doing something. We made good use of our bicycles riding to Palisades Park in New Jersey, Governors Island and Roosevelt Island, plus trips to the 9/11 Memorial and Brooklyn.

We also made multiple trips to Long Beach to enjoy the warm sunshine and surf.  Now it’s the first day of school and I miss my boys already. It was a wonderful summer. You can see all of the videos here.

It’s not quite over however. Tomorrow we go to Cape Cod for the weekend. The weather looks promising.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Seoul Skiing

While on tour with ABT in Asia I had the opportunity to water ski.  It had been over 20 years since I had last skied!  I had rented a bike to ride along the Han river in Seoul, South Korea and spotted several water ski places and finally got up the courage to ask if I could have a go. 
They were highly suspicious of me when I asked but after I got up they were my best friends! One of the ski instructors when along in the boat to take this video with my iPhone.  In fact, I insisted that someone video the event because I didn't think anyone would believe that I actually when skiing down the river in the middle of Seoul.

Friday, June 22, 2012


July is over half gone and there's been a lot of activity in our household. The big news is that Max made his debut at the MET in ABT's production of The Dream. He played the character of the Changeling and knew his part cold.  He only had 2 of the 4 shows as he was sharing it with another boy but he wanted to do all of them.  And after the last show he asked me if there was anything else he could do next week in another ballet! Click on the video below to see it or check out for lots of photos and other videos.

The production of the Firebird was exciting for me. The ABT Orchestra played exceptionally well and the audience responded in kind. I hadn't done Firebird in 20 years and it felt just great doing it again. I left immediately after the MET season finished for a week in Taipei and another in Seoul. The rest of July and August will be spent at home enjoying the summer!

The presenter in Taipei was also a photographer and shot one of my rehearsals with the orchestra.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two Recitals

Max and Riley both had Spring recitals. Max had a ballet recital class, his final class of the year, and Riley played several pieces at a soiree that his teacher organizes at the end of each year.

Max, the leader of his class and is used by the teacher to set the example. Riley plays a Scarlatti Sonata and a Chopin Prelude.

It's been a busy Spring so far.  We still have about 5 weeks of school left.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Loading into the MET!

  The boys helped me take some things down to the MET to get ready for the beginning of the ABT season. Riley played on every piano he saw and gave us a short recital in List Hall.  The concert grand in the orchestra pit was still locked as it had just been moved into place for tomorrow's rehearsal and Gala opening.

It was Mother's Day today and we started off with pancakes and a bike ride in Central Park!
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Riley's Charlotte Recital

One of the most amazing things that happened in Charlotte aside from seeing all of the relatives was that Riley got to play on his great-grandmother's 1947 Steinway.  It was the first piano to come to Charlotte from Germany after World War II.  She was very proud of it. It's now with my cousin, Charlie Henley.  They had it tuned and fixed up for Riley's impromptu recital.

My mom and Aunt Tet were there as well and it was amazing to be seated in the midst of the musical atavistic line starting with my grandmother, Shessie, through my mom and me to Riley.  He played 4 pieces, two Mozart sonatas, a Scarlatti sonata and Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum by Debussy.  Here's the video:

Monday, April 30, 2012

Wedding Weekend in Charlotte

We took a very short family trip to Charlotte to go to the wedding of Daniel and Rachel. Most of my family were there and it was wonderful to see everyone and reconnect. There were two camps, the Sims who stayed with Jake and Patricia’s, and the Barkers who stayed at the Hyatt in downtown Charlotte. Friday evening everyone descended on Jake’s house for a cookout and backyard fun for the kids.  There was a large open-pit barbecue over which the kids toasted marshmallows for s’mores! 

We played various sports and had to chase some homeruns over the fence into other people’s yards!  There were some strong hitters.  Mona and Tet were there and seemed to have a good time.

Back at the hotel there were some pool activities and much eating and drinking! The wedding was in a lovely setting in Charlotte and it all went off without a hitch (no pun intended!). Here are two videos from the weekend.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow and Sledding in Central Park

We had an excellent time playing in the snow and sledding last Saturday. Here's the evidence to prove it.