Category Archives: Around Town

Bob Benmosche’s Cancer

On hearing of Bob’s illness, I picture him yelling at Death, and I see Death stalking away, defeated. And I remember Virgil… Mors aurem vellens, “Vivite” ait, “venio.”

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FCS, Choirmaster at Grace Died on Tuesday.

I received an email last night saying that Frank Cedric Smith, choirmaster at Grace Church from 1960 to 1992 died on Tuesday at his home in Cape Cod.

It’s given me pause, the email, more so than most of these types of messages. We all stop for a moment at an obituary listing. An obligatory reflection on mortality surfaces, always a bit selfishly because the thought ends up circling back around to our own situation; then we push those “me” thoughts away, and with forced reflection a memory stirs, we move back in time.

Frank Smith made me Head Chorister at Grace in 1975. (My name is up on the wall in the church lest I forget)

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St. Lawrence University Commencement Address: Gomes trumps Sotomayor

Peter J. Gomesat SLU 2010At this year’s St. Lawrence University commencement, Reverend Peter Gomes of Harvard University delivered what could be described as the Gettysburg Address of commencement speeches. Almost a prayer for success, his short poetic comments encapsulate the totality of the modern university adventure.

Oh, a Supreme Court Justice spoke as well, but she didn’t have much to say, again.

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The Madness of Art

Even if I didn’t know Jim Kempner, and Dru Arstark, and the rest to the crowd at Jim Kempner’s Fine Art, the opening scene in this mini-comedy of Jim crossing 10th Avenue against an onrush of cabs would still be hilarious. Then comes the reveal, because in the best parts of this show you start seeing situation in the art world that you’ve experienced before, or overheard, or wish you hadn’t overheard. Watch the whole thing, then for god’s sakes go over to Jim’s and buy a piece of art, will ya…

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Sharon Mesmer for Brooklyn Poet Laureate

Sharon Mesmer is on the short list for the next Brooklyn Poet Laureate to succeed Ken Siegelman.

It really isn’t a contest is it? She has to get the nod.

In a story Gene Kuntzman did for the The Brooklyn Paper he wrote: Sharon Mesmer


blockquote>”Mesmer will get the vote of anyone who likes a randy dame who’s not afraid to write poems with titles like “Annoying Diabetic Bitch” and “Holy Mother of Monkey Poo.”

“If anyone is suggesting me [as poet laureate], it must be because I slept around so much,” she said. But she’s being modest: Mesmer, who studied under Allen Ginsberg, teaches at the New School and, this fall, at Brooklyn College.

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“What do we need for cars here in Manhattan anyway?”

My buddy Sal has a solution to New York City’s traffic congestion problem.

“Dump them all in the riv’a!”

Watch out!

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