It seems almost anyone can name a National Day to hype their product, but today's was declared by Congress. It commemorates the worst mining disaster in US history when 362 coal miners lost their life in Monogah, West Virginia in 1907. One of my full length plays is based on the southwest West Virginia coal … Continue reading National Miner’s Day
One of my favorite New York City holidays has largely been forgotten. During the American Revolution George Washington and his army left the island of Manhattan on November 16, 1776 (which was quaintly celebrated at nearby Fort Tryon Park recently). Through the remainder of the war the city was run by the British and they … Continue reading Happy Evacuation Day!
This blog is focused on theatrical experiences, personal notes, food adventures and celebrations of National Days. I seldom lapse into political commentary, but will make a brief exception today. President Trump and various members of his administration are currently embroiled in an impeachment fight that I have followed closely. I'm not predicting what the outcome … Continue reading Rare Political Commentary
One day each year Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan is transformed into a festival celebrating Medieval Times with jousting, attractions, performances, crafts, fair food and more. In 2019, it is scheduled for this Sunday, September 29 from 11:30 AM to 6 PM. It is literally next door to where I live and I have … Continue reading Take the ‘A’ Train to the 35th Annual Medieval Festival!
Live in this city long enough and you know the feeling of seeing the past layered in the present. Maybe it is the unexpected revealing of an old painted sign when a neighboring building is turned down. Maybe it is an archeological dig where shards unearthed reveal an old clay pipe or tavern plate. As … Continue reading Unexpected Glimpses of Olde New-York
Today is National Lighthouse Day and you can find a very cute little lighthouse very close to where I live in Upper Manhattan, not where you would think to find one. It is nestled under the George Washington Bridge and is rather famous. Below is a picture I snapped when I hiked down to see … Continue reading National Lighthouse Day
Today is World Emoji Day and this calls for a Grumpy Old Man Rant. In ancient civilizations mankind used cave paintings, pictograms and hieroglyphics to express ourselves. About three millennia ago we created the alphabet and our ability to express ourselves soared and expanded with many different languages to choose from. However, with the growth … Continue reading World Emoji Day
Playwright Lucas Hnath is on a bit of a "what if" kick lately, following his recent "A Doll's House, Part 2" with a look into two of our most famous political figures. While I shied from his multiple universe framing device, he nails the insight inside one of the most famous marriages of all time. … Continue reading Review – Hillary and Clinton
Unlike the folks doing this work, I am old enough to have seen and worked around Experimental Theatre back in the 1970's and 1980's. Inevitable components included earnest monologues on how we need to come together, interpretive dance, and sounds and music made from unusual items and innovative instruments. Turtleneck shirts were optional but recommended. … Continue reading Review – Jack of Cups
I write today about Oreo's who have their own national day, today. Not really about the cookie but about where they were founded, right here in New York City. Yep, I'm talking about Chelsea Market. Back in 1912 in a Nabisco bakery Oreos were first baked here. Eventually a number of buildings took up an … Continue reading National Oreo Cookie Day
English playwright Jez Butterworth has created an amazing tale of an Irish family in the midst of the 1980's Troubles that is full and vital and fascinating. This is not a documentary of the struggles between the IRA and the British. This is a compelling family tale the will break your heart and confirm your … Continue reading Review – The Ferryman
Today is the tenth anniversary of the "Miracle on the Hudson." The day when pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles lost both engines to bird strikes shortly after take-off from La Guardia Airport and safely landed their passenger jet in the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people aboard the … Continue reading 10th Anniversary of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s famous Miracle on the Hudson Flight
As I have said previously on this blog, there seems to be a National Day for nearly everything and today's version is Oysters Rockefeller. This dish was famously created by Antionne's restaurant in New Orleans in the late 1800's. It was named as so rich it was fit for a Rockefeller but that was before … Continue reading National Oysters Rockefeller Day
I actually finished reading this book some time ago but just getting around to reviewing it. Been busy, you know. I am a long time Roman History aficionado and all you need to do is whisper Gracchi Brothers or Marius & Sulla and I will come running. "The Storm Before The Storm" covers the start … Continue reading Review – The Storm Before The Storm & Mike Duncan
During the holidays I visited relatives in Cincinnati and having some downtime I visited an attraction there for the first time. The American Sign Museum is a pretty cool place if rather small and crowded. They have collected and restored old signage with lots of nostalgic appeal (even a set of Burma Shave signs). Lots … Continue reading American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio
Today is the traditional day when a President pardons a Turkey. No, not himself, that will come later. The names of this year's birds are Peas and Carrots. I think he should Peas a chance but actually I don't Carrot all. Happy Thanksgiving to come soon... As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and … Continue reading President to pardon Turkey
Today is National Deviled Egg Day. You know, when you hard boil an egg, peel the shell, scoop out the yolk, mix with mayonnaise and mustard and spices and scoop back into the white half. Maybe even dress it up like this: It is called deviled because that was a term for spicy or zesty … Continue reading National Deviled Egg Day
Playwright Sean O'Leary has weighed in on a fascinating historical puzzle. Acclaimed poet and literary influencer Ezra Pound disgraced himself with anti-Semitic broadcasts in favor of Italy's fascist government during World War II. Returned to the US in 1945 he was committed to an asylum under threat of treason charges. With the support of one … Continue reading Review – Pound
Plays based on historical figures and events can tend to be dry or preachy. That is not the case with MY PARSIFAL CONDUCTOR which opened last night at the West Side YMCA Little Theater. Happily it is a sprightly concoction of vivid characterizations and engaging examinations of a particularly fascinating moment in music history. Composer … Continue reading Review – My Parsifal Conductor
Did you make it to the amazing Medieval Festival here at the upper tip of Manhattan so very close to my home? It was marvelous with many people in costume, lots of fun food, crazy vendors, stadium shows, street shows, and generally festive atmosphere. It was more crowded than normal with a new safety lane … Continue reading 2018 Fort Tryon Park Medieval Festival
Today is National Peanut Day and it is one of my favorite snacks. You know all about the big peanut names like George Washington Carver and Jimmy Carter. You know that a peanut is not actually a nut but a legume. You know all the products like peanut butter, peanut brittle and Payday bars. But … Continue reading National Peanut Day
About 4.6 billion years ago (give or take) our sun was formed as the center of our solar system. Shortly after (about 4.5 billion years ago) the earth was formed. Earth's axis of rotation tilts in respect to its orbital plane. While it defines the seasons change for the Northern and Southern hemispheres no one … Continue reading The return of sunset Manhattanhenge
Special Surprise: On Sunday, July 8 between 1 PM and 4 PM you can take tours of the inside of the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. You can often visit the outside but seldom see the inside so do not miss this opportunity. Take the A Train to 181st Street. Take the … Continue reading Little Red Lighthouse Tours tomorrow!
For a very long time the colonies were content to work as subjects of the King. When he tried to extract money to pay for the cost of defending them from the French and various native groups a growing number of colonists fought back to either have full representation in their governing bodies or, failing … Continue reading Independence Day