Memory, Memorial and Memoir

British composer Benjamin Britten was born in 1913. Trinity Church in Downtown Manhattan currently runs a series of concerts in memory of his 100th birthday. Among them “Concerts at One”, free concerts every Thursday at 1pm. Today’s program offered pieces for two pianos by Benjamin Britten and Francis Poulanc and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” for four hands on one piano. It was absolutely wonderful.

Knowing I would be downtown for the concert I had booked a pass for the 9/11 Memorial. So after having a very good Falafel Sandwich from Sam’s Falafel cart right next to Wall Street Park, I finally went there. Again the line was long but as I had my pass I could walk right through. The memorial is very well done. There is nothing spectacular and that is good as it is. Where the towers were standing there are two pools now. Water is falling down the rims, vanishing into the void in the center of the pool. Around the pools the names of the 2983 victims of both attacks in 1993 and 2001 are inscribed and at their birthday white roses are placed there next to their name.
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The museum is not open yet. The survivor tree that had been rescued out of the debris and replanted in the memorial site is an attraction to those people who need their photo taken everywhere.

Tonight’s Bookends event was something different to what I had expected. I went to a reading of Gertrude Stein’s “Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” in the Brooklyn Central Library. I had not read the program carefully though. The event was about a gay couple of expats in Brooklyn, a German Comedian and a European (Dutch?) arts professor. The arts professor picked up Gertrude Stein’s book and wrote an autobiography about his partner, very close to the original. It’s Filip Noterdaeme: The Autobiography of Daniel J. Isengart. They read analogue passages from both books. Isengart, who did most of the show, read from Stein, Noterdaeme read Noterdaeme. It was exceptionally good and I need to read the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas now.

When I came home and opened the door to my room, I found poor Pepper in there. She had been lying underneath my bed, on my shoes and I had forgotten her when I had left and closed the door. She first ran to the cat toilet and afterwards to her food after she had been freed. I gave her special attention then because I felt so sorry for her. So today she was the one who lay on the dining table next to my computer and was caressed. Astor had posed himself on the sofa. When he started to feel neglected he entered the table in a storm, jumped onto Pepper and bit her in the neck. Jealous guy! He is great in attracting attention but cannot stand it when his laid back fellow gets more of it.

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