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Lamentation 212, Verse 718

By Carla M. Cherry, Posted: September 9, 2022

Are you still moving to Texas after you retire

I asked a friend.

“Nope,” he replied. 

“I’m staying right here in NYC. 

At most, I’d go upstate. It’s the best place to be. 


The weather isn’t too crazy, 

we don’t get hit with a lot of storms.”

Three weeks later, Wednesday, September 1, 2021,  

Ida bombards Northeastern skies, sent rivers surging,

floods our subway stations and streets, 

strands more than 600 cars,

left a sinkhole in Morris Park, 

drowns eleven of us 

in mostly-illegal basement apartments.


My locs freshly done at the salon,

the 6 train still out of service 

between Parkchester and 86th,

after lunch at Maxwell’s, 

I had to walk from 111th and Fifth 

to my bus stop on 120th and Third,

nodding to hip-hop and salsa from passing cars,

past congregations on stoops and schools, 

La Marqueta and shoppers along 116th, 


Jessica Farrell: View The Wilderness Diary

(JESSICA FARRELL) Jessica Farrell, October 11, 2020

Dear Friends & Family,

I’m very pleased to share the companion book to my painting series, The Wilderness Diary . I hope you’ll visit the link to my website below and read the powerful stories of the people I painted. Despite living with a greatly misunderstood condition, navigating a broken and sometimes dangerous mental health care system and dealing with rampant stigma—my friends were able to recover! Their words shatter negative stereotypes and authentically tell the real experience of recovery.

I hope these stories of courage offer you a bit of solace in the chaos we are facing today. We will emerge from this crisis with the strength and resilience to create a more just society. Please stay healthy, hopeful and engaged (VOTE)!

Thank you for taking time to look at my work!



Croatia Through the Eyes of a Digital Nomad

(CYNDIE BURKHART) Cyndie Burkhart, October 11, 2020

Dear friends,

This newsletter is one of new beginnings. I’m happy to announce the launch of my new photo storytelling series “ Croatia Through the Eyes of a Digital Nomad .”

This time I have a publishing partner—Total Croatia News, a top online news/media publication. I have my own column with the same name where I’ll be sharing stories about my adventures meeting locals, learning Croatian culture, and of course digital nomad life.

In case you missed another announcement, I’m Croatia’s newest resident. My original plan to stay here through the pandemic evolved into a longer view. This means I can get to know the local community and experience another way of life as an insider, not a tourist. I’m learning just how different the perspective is.
The Virtual Traveler series may have retired, but you can still visit my  photography blogto read the stories and the photo galleries to see the pictures. Visit the 12 Countries in 12 Months project page and find out what it’s like to travel and work around the world for a year.

Follow my 2 Instagram pages: @cyndierabbit and @everywherecyndie.
I hope you’ll follow my new journey as I’m already piling up photos and stories. And, if you’ve ever wanted to see this part of the world in real life, now’s the time to start planning because you’ve got a friend here 🙂

And now for the stories…

Give Bees a Chance

A Temazcal is a Traditional Mexican Sweat Lodge… Just Don’t Call it a Sauna

(PHOTO DIARIES ) Cyndie Burkhardt, October 28, 2019

Temazcal is a Traditional Mexican Sweat Lodge, Just Don’t Call it a Sauna


While planning a trip to Tepoztlan, a small town 90 minutes outside of Mexico City, one activity caught my attention: “experience the pre-Hispanic tradition of the temazcal, a sweat lodge ritual that will connect you as a person and as a group.”

I was curious, what’s so special about temazcal? Turns out, it’s a traditional Mexican sweat lodge. Meaning, herbal concoctions are used, a ceremony, ritual, or healing is performed (depending on what you need), and temazcal “therapy” can bring about holistic healing of body, mind, and spirit. It’s all considered a form of detoxification, regardless of the condition you want to address. I was a little skeptical of this panacea that supposedly cures everything from rheumatoid arthritis to depression, but I was motivated to try it.

Source: Photo Diaries

Speaking of Theater

CAROL TAMBOR THEATRICAL FOUNDATION) Carol Tambor, September 22, 2019

If you hadn’t seen the announcement in last week’s New York Times, the winner of my Award at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is “Mouthpiece” by Kieran Hurley, which was developed at Traverse Theatre, Scotland’s new-writing home.  
The two characters, a middle class blocked playwright and a 17 year old working class artist-to-be, are at first close friends— then, Libby is inspired to write using Declan’s life story.  What’s an artists responsibility?  Was this an act of kindness and admiration, or self-serving exploitation?  Although there were many plays audiences were buzzing about, none was as uniformly well reviewed and thoroughly discussed.  As soon as plans have been made for its New York run, you’ll read about it here!  Coming back to New York’s Fall line-up, there’s little time to breathe— it’s packed with must-see plays.
First, run and buy tickets to two brilliant productions transferring from London.  I can guarantee both are worth the cost— “The Height of the Storm” by Florian Zeller (“The Father” and “The Mother”) stars two monumental actors, Eileen Atkins and Jonathan Pryce. And, “The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez— a two-part masterpiece of epic proportions explores the AIDS epidemic. Although an update of E. M. Forster’s “Howards End,” you needn’t read it to find the play truly astonishing!
A bit less costly, but no less powerful, is “Novenas for a Lost Hospital” by Cusi Cram, starring the always wondrous Kathleen Chalfant.  Act quickly, it’s having a short run at Rattlestick.  I saw this when a work in progress, and it mesmerized even then.
 I’ve been impatiently waiting to see Mary Louise Parker reprise her role in the Lincoln Center/Williamstown Theatre production of “The Sound Inside” by Adam Rapp, directed by the gifted David Cromer.  You may be equally impatient once you’ve read this New York Times’ review!
Another piece coming to NY with stellar reviews is “American Moor” at Red Bull, a company known for presenting classic plays. I’m looking forward to seeing Keith Hamilton Cobb perform his own work about a black actor tackling Shakespearean roles.
A world premiere which sounds intriguing is ““Kingfishers Catch Fire” at Irish Rep.  Known as the  “Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican,” Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty meets his jailed Nazi pursuer after WWII has ended. O’Flaherty was actually responsible for saving thousands of Jewish civilians and Allied servicemen, using the Vatican as his cover.
Although not new, I couldn’t omit the great Anna Deavere Smith’s  “Fire in the Mirror” at Signature.  Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, Ms. Smith’s work continues to be relevant today and, I fear, it will be in another quarter century.  Don’t  miss this, whether you’ve seen it before, or not.
I’ll close with a pair of plays, both written by women, coming from terrific, new-writing theatre companies:  
Please try to see  Playwrights Realm’s “Mothers” by Anna Moench, about competitive motherhood and WP Theater’s exquisitely entitled “Our Dear Dead Druglord” by Alexis Scheer, about a gang of teenage girls looking for Pablo Escobar– a comedy, I’m told!
I’m certain I’ve missed  many, but if you get to these, you’re off to a good start for a promising season.
See you at the theatre!

Carol Tambor 

If you’d like to keep up your end of the conversation — please email me at carol@bestofedinburgh.org with tips about fabulous theater you’ve seen. There’s too much for me to catch everything—- I need my sources!

Continuing Cape Reinga

(MARC MANDY PHOTOS) Marc Mandy, April 29, 2019

We had extremely busy days of “sight” seeing and driving. When we reached our various destinations, I had time to upload and then backup all of the shots I took and then go to bed. I was able to triple back-up to insure that all of the photos would make it home and now we are home. 

But. (don’tcha just love that word “but”? ) But, four hours after we wearily arrived home and I reconnected the laptop to its home and backup drive, the laptop crashed. Irrevocably. What followed was 4 days of attempted return to functionality which culminated in Apple replacing the logic board and touchpad and then my restoring the computer from the last backup from that fateful morning. Back in business. Whew!! 

So, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted? 

Ah yes… Cape Reinga and the air-ground tour of the northern end of the North Island. One of the things that I would like to do in these posts is emphasize the geographic uniqueness of New Zealand as well as how the New Zealanders adapted to the island to make farming and life in general better. New Zealand consists of two islands  between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasmanian Sea, which means they get the strong winds off the oceans around the islands. In the first two images below, trees are used as a windbreak to protect the crops and (more so on the south island), the sheep and cattle in their grazing areas. They literally create a tree wall to block those winds. Seen from above we got a real idea of their value. This is a recurring theme and there will be more as we travel down the islands.

Source: Marc Mandy Photos


(MONTCLAIR LOCAL) Geoffrey Owens, September 30, 2018 — It’s difficult not to feel like a failure when you have a degree from an Ivy League college … and you were a featured actor on one of television’s most famous shows… and yet you’re now cleaning the men’s bathroom at a local grocery store. You can spin it to yourself any way you like, but you can’t help but feel that something is unequivocally wrong.

There was one day in the store, I was on my hands and knees, changing the garbage bag below one of the registers, when a customer leaned over the counter and asked me for my autograph.  Moments like this tempted me to quit. The reason I didn’t, however, was the same reason I took the job in the first place: I desperately needed the money.

Most people don’t realize that the vast majority of actors — even some who achieve considerable fame and recognition — are often unable to make a sustained sufficient living in “show business.” Somewhere in the middle of the road of my life, I found myself in the dark wood of chronic unemployment and ever-increasing debt. I had no choice but to do whatever I could for the sake of myself and my family.

Working at the grocery store was difficult, in a number of ways, but it was also very good for me. It gave me a sense of stability, security and satisfaction that I hadn’t felt in a long time. It also provided me with a feeling of peace — even a kind of innocence. The whole 15-month experience helped me, emotionally and spiritually. It reminded me of what the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov says in his works about the necessity and dignity of work. (I also thought of a Shakespeare line: “For never anything can be amiss, when simpleness and duty tender it.”)

Source: http://www.montclairlocal.news/wp/index.php/2018/09/26/town-square-owens-life-work/

Burt Reynolds Dead: ‘Deliverance,’ ‘Boogie Nights’ Star Was 82

(HOLLYWOOD) Mike Barnes, September, 6 2018 — Burt Reynolds, the charismatic star of such films as Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit who set out to have as much fun as possible on and off the screen — and wildly succeeded — has died. He was 82.

Reynolds, who received an Oscar nomination when he portrayed porn director Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights (1997) and was the No. 1 box-office attraction for a five-year stretch starting in the late 1970s, died Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida, his manager, Erik Kritzer, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest.

Always with a wink, Reynolds shined in many action films (often doing his own stunts) and in such romantic comedies as Starting Over (1979) opposite Jill Clayburgh and Candice Bergen; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) with Dolly Parton; Best Friends (1982) with Goldie Hawn; and, quite aptly, The Man Who Loved Women (1983) with Julie Andrews.

Though beloved by audiences for his brand of frivolous, good-ol’-boy fare, the playful Reynolds rarely was embraced by the critics. The first time he saw himself in Boogie Nights, he was so unhappy he fired his agent. (He went on to win a Golden Globe but lost out in the Oscar supporting actor race to Robin Williams for Good Will Hunting, a bitter disappointment for him.)

“I didn’t open myself to new writers or risky parts because I wasn’t interested in challenging myself as an actor. I was interested in having a good time,” Reynolds recalled in his 2015 memoir, But Enough About Me. “As a result, I missed a lot of opportunities to show I could play serious roles. By the time I finally woke up and tried to get it right, nobody would give me a chance.”

Source: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/burt-reynolds-dead-deliverance-boogie-nights-star-was-82-831093

Aretha Franklin Dead: The Queen of Soul Was 76

(THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) Mike Barnes, August 16, 2018 — The Queen of Soul is gone.

Aretha Franklin, the sensational songbird whose voice was sweeter than honey to millions, making her an inspirational American icon and one of the most admired vocalists of all time, died Thursday after battling advanced pancreatic cancer. She died surrounded by family and loved ones at her home in Detroit, her publicist said. She was 76.

“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds,” Franklin’s family said in a statement through publicist Gwendolyn Quinn. “We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha, and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”

Franklin died at 9:50 a.m. local time, with the official cause of death “due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type,” confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, but raised in the Motor City, Franklin was firmly rooted in gospel but also excelled in the worlds of jazz, R&B and pop. She collected 20 Grammys — including a lifetime achievement award — covering a span of four decades; was the first woman enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in 1987); and, befitting a queen, was named No. 1 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Source: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/aretha-franklin-dead-queen-soul-was-76-721412

Best Summer Trips 2018: Travel to Brazil, Bali, Iceland and More

(NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC) Caitlin Atherton, June 26, 2018 — June 21 marks the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and vacation season is in full swing—with plenty of destinations to choose from, no matter your style or speed. To make decision time go as smooth as that beachside sangria, take a look at our list of 2018’s best summer trips.