Certainty of purpose

Featured image
Manhattan Island as seen from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo: JH.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Very sunny, warmer (low 40s) day in New York. The streets in the neighborhood are all indicative of construction, deliveries and schools.

Every weekday morning and mid-afternoon, the avenue and the street surrounding me are filled with private cars, delivery vans and trucks of commerce. Double parked, even triple parked. And the yellow schoolbuses delivering the students at Brearley and Chapin, and then six hours later, waiting, also double parked.

My view on a quiet schoolday.

Then when the schools let out by mid-afternoon, the sidewalks are filled with students from grade ages of  first through eighth or ninth. Probably because I live and work alone, I am fond of frequent glances from the terrace onto the street and sidewalks. Usually it’s like watching a march (they keep moving in one direction or the other), but yesterday as Brearley was breaking, watching the students in small crowds moving away from its building, I noticed one girl — average height; I would guess from my distant view fourth or fifth grade — but moving really quickly on crutches — passing groups of students ahead of her.

Her foot and part of the leg was in a cast, and the two crutches were obviously necessary. But she moved at  such a brisk pace with such ease and certainty as she hurried passed those ahead of her, that her problem looked like really nothing more than a mild inconvenience.

I couldn’t help thinking I was witnessing the future of that little girl’s life. Certainty of purpose rules and provides the strength, and it belongs to her. She’ll have it all her life. It is moments like the sight on the pavement below that give me a jolt of certainty that we will survive all this.

Certainty of purpose. Yesterday JH received this little mini-video that Gigi Benson took with her phone of her husband Harry Benson next to Paul McCartney. For those of you who missed out on those glorious moments in the early ‘60s when the Beatles first came to New York and “took the town!” … they were were accompanied by a slightly older photographer, a Scottish gent who took a volume (literally) of photos of the group who touched the world with their music.

Recognize this photo? Yup, it’s the one and only Harry Benson’s.

You must have seen the photos of the young group in their hotel room having a pillow fights. That one photograph did it not only for the group’s eternal reputation but for the career of Mr. Benson.

It’s a half century ago since their introduction to the world. I don’t know the occasion of this photo/vid that Gigi sent, but I know it was in Florida, probably Palm Beach where the world is going now. One thing you can hear is Sir McCartney saying to Gigi, “This better be as good as a Benson!” A wonderful moment for all.

Music leads the way. Irish singer Stephen Barry singing for tips near Covent Garden in November 2016 when by chance Celine Schoenmaker, who was Christine in the London production, stops by and joins in. You know he must be a pro, maybe outta work these days. They end up playing/singing out a scene!

I didn’t see the incident of course, but the video gave me enough so that it’s great news. The other extraordinary part of the story is the show, itself. It opened here in New York on Broadway in 1988 — 34 years ago! And still selling out to this day. I saw it back then. It has a powerful score that emphasizes the powerful story. Its effect, its longevity is telling us something.

More music to our ears. The American Friends of the Oxford Philharmonic welcomed leading members of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra to New York for two special Salon Concerts last December 1st and 3rd when they announced plans for their US debut gala concert to be held at Carnegie Hall on June 7, 2022.

The Salon evenings, chaired by Sana Sabbagh, were held at the British Consul General’s residence in New York, hosted by the Deputy British Consul to New York, Hannah Young; and at the home of Jenny and Roy Neiderhoffer.

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra Piano Trio, under the direction of Music Director Marios Papadopoulos on the piano, Natalia Lomeiko on violin, and Peter Adams on cello performed a program of Haydn’s Piano Trio (Gypsy) and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor.

Antonia Milonas and Marios Papadopoulos.
Barbara Tober and Allen Roberts.
Hannah Young and Christopher Wright.
Heidi and Allen Roberts.
Kari Jonassen and Hannah Young, Deputy UK Counsel General.
Kari Jonassen, Sana Sabbagh, Marios Papadopoulos, and Giosetta Capriati.
Natalia Lomeiko, Marios Papadopoulos, and Karen Burke.
Natalia Lomeiko, Marios Papadopoulos, and Peter Adams.
Peter Tcherepnine and Kari Jonassen.
Ruth Berman, Marios Papadopoulos, Joshua Berman
Sana Sabbagh, Barbara Tober, Christopher Wright, Hannah Young
Sana Sabbagh, Marios Papadopoulos
Susan Gutfreund, Marios Papadopoulos, Natalie Pray
The Salon evening on December 1st at the British Consul General’s residence in New York.
And two nights later at the home of Jenny and Roy Neiderhoffer.
Natalia Lomeiko, Marios Papadopoulos, and Peter Adams.
Anthi Papadopoulos, Karhryn Amaral, and Marios Papadopoulos.
Joshua Berman, Marios Papadopoulos, and Ruth Berman.
Leila Larijani and Peter Faulkner.
Marco Assetto, Pamela Roth, and Tim Quandt.
Marios Papadopoulos and Sana Sabbagh.
L. to r.: Mai Hallingby; Irene Miller.
Melina Jaharis, Janet Christensen, Marios Papadopoulos, and Froso Beys.
Pamela and Ambassador Andrew Jacovides.
Roy Niederhoffer and Marios Papadopoulos.
Saundra Whitney and Gail Hilson.

Recent Posts