…That was my last public outing and like many of you, we were waiting to ride this thing out, doing our part to help in any way we could. Amid this global tragedy, I feel lucky to live where I do, in a community of responsible neighbors, with my studio at hand. Also like you, we have all adjusted our daily routines: socially distanced outdoor visits with friends and more efficient shopping habits. We found pleasure in a simpler way of life, bike rides on a near-empty campus, walks in town, along the board walk, in local parks, photographing along the way. We were nourished by our favorite local restaurants who adapted their offerings to delicious take-out boxed meals.

On warm summer nights we searched the sky for the comet Neowise and the International Space Station, passing overhead several times some nights. It was amazing to think of the team of astronauts doing their research. Then on a couple frigid December nights we found the ‘Great’ Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn; it had been some 800 years since an alignment this close had occurred at night.

We all became proficient at family meetings over Zoom and FaceTime, and we found new venues for cultural enrichment. I really enjoyed how musicians adapted their performances for the on-line audience and gave us front row seats at numerous musical events. Some of the memorable events we subscribed to: Taj Mahal, Patty Smith, Richard Thompson, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett and Elvis Costello, Yo La Tengo, and New Orleans’ New Year’s Eve celebration in a variety of venues. Discovering new talent is always exciting, musicians like Jackie Venson come to mind. We also took advantage of our media sources to revisit several binge worthy series (Twin Peaks from start to finish) and current productions. We subscribed to the French animation series sponsored by FIAF – Alliance Francais in New York; the series featured full length films, shorts, and live stream interviews. The series was so invigorating that we became annual members.

Many gallery and museum openings were cancelled, put on hold, or extended until re-opening was feasible, as well as numerous live events. There were some breathtaking productions available via streaming during the year: London’s National Theater at Home: Frankenstein; dance performances from Douglas Dunn + Dance from his archive on Vimeo and YouTube. Dunn was scheduled for a special performance, lecture, and book signing at MAB.  A beautiful hardcover book was produced in a limited edition to commemorate this event; Corner is still available on their website. While the performance could not take place during the pandemic, the book is a lasting celebration of his esthetic and gives much pleasure when leafing through the sequence of images.

St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn streamed “Seminal Moments in St. Ann’s and Rock Music History Captured on Film: Lou Reed’s Berlin and John Cale and Lou Reed’s Song for ‘Drella,” which blended music, collaboration, and stagecraft to create exhilarating, thought-provoking art. Laurie Anderson presented a six part video series sponsored by the Norton Lecture series at Harvard; and her Party in the Bardo radio show was another compelling series.  The first 3 of the Norton lectures are being re-broadcast right now, and the next 3 start airing on Oct. 6.

Leave a Reply