Coney Island Exhibition

For many New Yorkers, Coney Island (otherwise known as the People’s Playground), is more than the beach, the boardwalk or the amusement park. It is home and the site of fond childhood memories.

Back in November, the Brooklyn Museum premiered its newest exhibit,  Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008. Containing photographs, films clips, art and artifacts from Coney Island’s past, this exhibit, takes the visitor back in time. The multi-media exhibit is a feast for the eyes, the ears and the memories.

I grew up near Coney Island and have many happy childhood memories there. As an adult, I go to Coney Island to play, to relax and to remember.

I highly recommend this exhibition.

Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008 will be at the Brooklyn Museum until March 13th, 2016. The Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY.  


New York Values

Dear Ted Cruz

A little birdie told me that you aspire to be President Of The United States.

Late last week, in your attempt to convince voters to vote for you, you accused Donald Trump of having New York Values.

According to you, we are too liberal, too focused on money and too focused on the media.

Let me tell you about my New York Values: honesty, integrity, hard work, persistence and inclusion.

No matter who you are, what you believe or whom you go home to, this city does not turn you away.

A century ago, my family, like millions of immigrants, came to New York looking for a better life. Was it easy to adjust to life in America?  Absolutely not. But New York and America was not called the goldene medina (the golden land) for nothing.

I am proud to call myself a life long New Yorker.

Let me tell you about New Yorkers. We are a warm, loving, compassionate people. We also have very long memories. We may forgive, but we do not forget.

While I disagree with Donald Trump on many issues, on this issue, I completely agree with him.

While no one at this point in time can predict who will take the oath of office next year, I suspect that if you continue to insult voters, there will someone else taking the oath of office.


A New York City voter

Fiddler On The Roof Review

The musical Fiddler On The Roof opens with a song that contains only one word in its title: Tradition. The denizens of Tsarist era Anatevka live and breathe tradition. Every aspect of their lives, from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep is defined by tradition. But the world is changing and those traditions are about to be shaken to their core.

Based on the story Tevye and his daughters by legendary Jewish writer Sholem Aleichem, the most recent revival has been open for only a short time. Tevye (Danny Burstein) is a poor milkman with five daughters. He lives in a world where everything and everyone is defined by rules that have been respected for an untold number of generations.  His wife, Golde (Jessica Hecht) tries to care for her husband and five daughters as best she can, considering their circumstances.

While Tevye and Golde live by the rules of their world, their elder daughters don’t know that they are going to change the rules. Eldest daughter Tzeitel (Alexandra Silber) wants to marry her childhood sweetheart, Motel (Adam Kantor), but her father has just agreed to a betrothal to the much older town butcher.  Second oldest daughter Hodel (Samantha Massell) falls for the new guy in town, Perchik (Ben Rappaport), a teacher with revolutionary ideas. Middle daughter Chava (Melanie Moore) breaks the biggest rule of all by marrying Fyedka (Nick Rehberger), a Christian boy. None of these matches were made by the town matchmaker, Yenta (Alix Korey). Adding to the shaking of Tevye’s world is the fact that Jewish towns are slowly being emptied of their residents by the government who is forcing them out.

As Tevye, Burstein is sarcastic, funny, charming, but also a man who is slowly realizing that the world he knows is slowly coming to an end. Hecht, in the role of Golde, represents the fact that Jewish women of this era, living in this socio-economic state were not meek and mild yes women to their husbands. They had to be strong, smart and capable to raise their children in very tough circumstances. As the eldest daughters, Silber, Massell and Moore represent a new generation of young women who wanted to make their own choices. They are not satisfied with living the lives that their mothers and grandmothers lived.

As a product of this world, I have always had a great affinity for this musical. It is a reminder of what was and will never be again. It is also a very human musical with themes of tradition, family, watching your children grow up and watching the world change. No matter who you are or where you are from, we can all relate to that.

This story also feels very timely, especially with the news from the Middle East and around the world.

I highly recommend this musical.

Fiddler On The Roof is playing at 1681 Broadway in New York City. 

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