Magic on the A Train

I was on my way home from dinner and a movie with a friend in Soho Sunday evening, and since the weather was beautiful, I decided to take A train and walk home from Columbus Circle instead of taking the 1 train and arriving almost at my door (useless information for non New Yorkers but since most of my dozen or so readers are from New York or surrounding areas it makes sense).

We descended into the subway, swiped our cards, and said goodbye, but to my chagrin, no A train was listed. I started to exit via the turnstile when the man sitting in the subway booth saw me and motioned for me to stop. He then left the booth and came over to me. “I saw you just entered, what’s the problem? No A train I replied. Yes, there is, just head down the stairs and the A will be arriving in 2 minutes”. Was I dreaming? On what universe does an MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) employee notice anyone, let alone me, entering then attempting to leave and, especially on a crowded Sunday evening?

Now I felt trapped and itimidated enough to follow his instructions. Lo and behold two minutes later I was on the A train heading to Columbus Circle! But wait, that’s not the magical part. At the next stop as soon as the doors closed I heard the dreaded words “excuse me ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want to bother you but…..” This usually means some poor soul is asking for money and/or trying to sell something. Something in the tone of his voice, however,made me look up from my phone (usually no one does).

Now for the magic… standing at the door was a handsome, well-dressed teen holding a violin, “my name is Buddy,” he said. “I’m a high school Senior and I just won a scholarship to Juilliard. With your permission, I’d like to play something for you”. My applause at this announcement got me a dimpled smile from Buddy and encouraged more people to join me.

By this time, almost everyone had put down their phones and were paying attention. He was truly amazing and the applause and donations were so encouraging he stayed on past his stop and and played two encores.

One more reason to love New York! See for yourself

Star Sighting

As I was cutting across Lincoln Center Plaza this afternoon, arms full of grocery bags and in a rush to get home, I spotted a woman with a camera positioning someone sitting on the edge of the fountain. I noticed them only because it’s a chilly day and there was a pile of coats on the ground next to the photographer.  As I was approaching thinking “crazy tourists” I heard a woman who was walking toward them with her cell phone pointed yelling at the top of her lungs “you are gorgeous, I love your new series”. Of course, I stopped to see who was gorgeous and thought I vaguely recognized the woman who was posing. She was wearing a simple sleeveless dress and hardly any makeup but since I had just started watching the new Netflix series “The Diplomat” I realized it was Keri Russell.

Ok so I live in NYC and star sightings aren’t all that unusual but Keri Russell’s reaction caught me totally off guard. When the woman started shouting at her she stopped posing, threw up her arms, and shouted back “Thank you, you have no idea how good that makes me feel, you made my day” and then proceeded to pose for the woman while I, with arms full, had no way to get to my cell phone. This whole event didn’t last more than a minute or two and even though I couldn’t get to my camera to capture it, I am still smiling.

A Suggestion, A Few Observations And A Wish


When filling out a form that asks who is to be called in case of an emergency I think you should write, “An ambulance.”

A Few Observations:

The easiest way to find something lost is to buy a replacement.

The sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so they know when they’re really in trouble.

Did you ever notice that when you put the two words “The” and “IRS” together it spells “Theirs”?

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

And A Wish:

May you always have love to share, cash to spare, tires with air, and friends who care

Another Beautiful Day In My Neighborhood

When I got on the elevator at 8 AM this morning, the adorable two-year-old sitting in her stroller gave me a coy smile. “Where are you going so early, little cutie?” I asked. “We are going to our forest dance class,” answered her nanny. “Really?” I asked incredulously. While the little cutie continued to flirt with me, her nanny explained that a group of two and three-year-olds meet every morning, weather permitting, “deep in the forests of Central Park” (The Ramble for you non-New Yorkers) for an hour to sing and dance with their teacher”, just writing this makes me smile!
As I got off the elevator I bumped into Annie, a German Pincer, and her owner coming back from a walk. Annie is one of my special favorites and as always was dressed fashionably, today in a red and black checkered coat. She rested her head on my thigh in her usual sweet greeting. We hugged for a few minutes then I headed off to The Muffin Cafe, my favorite coffee shop. I’m usually in a hurry (surprise, surprise), but this morning, I had time to sit down and drink my coffee and listen to the first fifteen minutes of a news podcast-that’s when I spotted it…..mind you, I’ve been rushing in and out of this shop for years and never noticed the sign posted on the wall next to the cash register. How could you not love New York after this kind of a morning?!


It Never Fails

So a woman walked into the theater last night with her much shorter husband (or date?) and another couple. She was great looking with one of those casual and stunning upswept hairdos that added at least 6 or 7 inches to her already tall frame.

As usual, I was early and seated when I noticed the woman and her group heading up the aisle. Although the theater was pretty empty, I just knew instinctively she would sit down right in front of me. The attractive woman was the first of her group to move into the row, and when she sat down in the third of their reserved seats and NOT in front of me-I breathed a sigh of relief; whew, close call. But then, alas….. her much shorter husband or date told her she was in the wrong seat (what possible difference could it make I ask you?), and to my complete annoyance, she moved over smack in front of me. Fortunately, I was able to maintain my self-control and not ask that question out loud, and also fortunately, the seat next to me was empty, so I slid over and thoroughly enjoyed a performance (made even more enjoyable with my unobstructed view) by The Queens Six.

A Few Thoughts About Last Night’s Heckler in Chief

One of the benefits of having a readership consisting mostly of family and a few like-minded friends is that I risk offending no one by offering my honest opinions and frank observations.

With that in mind, other than apologies to any Disney characters or Las Vegas Drag Queens who happen upon this blog, I make no apologies for the following:

Last night I thought President Biden delivered one of the best State of the Union Addresses I’ve heard in many years. Even with his speech challenges, the President was clear about the many achievements he and his fellow Democrats (and even, in some cases, with Republican help) were able to accomplish in the past two years and to highlight the positive and realistically outline where we fall short. Considering the train wreck he inherited from the previous administration, the achievements are nothing short of miraculous.

 Incredibly but perhaps predictably, Marjorie Taylor Green, proving once again her desperate, no holds barred need for attention, interrupted the Address by booing and shouting “liar” a number of times. This totally inappropriate behavior seemed to embarrass Kevin McCarthy, many members of her own Party, and almost everyone around her as well as to call attention to her strangely inappropriate white fur-trimmed cloak, more befitting Cruella De Vil or the previously mentioned Las Vegas Drag Queen. That outfit probably drew as much incredulity as her heckling.

I will end my tirade with a tweet by Yair Rosenberg, a journalist for the Atlantic

I understand the upset at the juvenile heckling of Biden during his speech, but frankly, he seemed to feed off it and they just made him look good, which is usually the outcome when someone tries to shout over the person with the podium and the microphone.

“Violins of Hope”, an Extraordinary Evening

Last Friday evening I had the privilege of attending a Worship Service to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and to honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Temple Emanu-El. The Temple, home to the first Reform Jewish congregation in New York City, was founded in 1845 and with seating for more than 2500, is one of the largest synagogues in the world. Friday night every seat in the Sanctuary was filled as were all the seats in the surrounding balconies. The Service was followed by a Concert presented by NYC’s prestigious Orchestra of St Lukes. Hearing the concertmaster play one of the violins from the exhibit was deeply emotional and with the Temple’s soaring marble sanctuary the acoustics rivaled that of any concert hall (see photo below).

The performance was held in conjunction with the Violins of Hope: Every Violin Has a Story exhibition at Temple Emanu-El’s Bernard Museum of Judaica, January 31-March 28. The exhibit will showcase, for the first time, 60 extraordinary instruments that survived the Holocaust – even if their owners did not – …..and quoting the Temple website, they are testimony to the harshest moments in Jewish history. Each violin will be displayed alongside photographs and the story of its journey as their bittersweet music fills the museum.”

The website continues… “Violins of Hope” is a collection of restored instruments that were played by Jewish musicians interned in concentration camps during the Holocaust. These violins, 60 in total, have survived concentration camps, pogroms, and many long journeys to tell remarkable stories of injustice, suffering, resilience, and survival. Friday evening, in honor of the liberation of Auschwitz and Holocaust Remembrance Day, the story of one of these violins will be highlighted and played as part of the Memorial concert. The violin featured was owned by Max Beker who played his violin in some of the world’s most unusual musical ensembles, from the Tango Orchestra in Stalag VIIIA prisoner of war camp to the Ex-Concentration Camp Orchestra in Bavaria.

The violins on display in the Violins of Hope exhibition include a powerful series of photographs by Daniel Levin that document Amnon Weinstein, the man behind Violins of Hope, and his masterful restoration processes. The book accompanying this photographic series, by Daniel Violins and Hope: From the Holocaust to Symphony Hall, won the 2022 Independent Publisher’s National Gold Award for History.”

I take great pride in telling you that Dan Levin, (known to the Kranitz family as Danny) is the son of dear friends, our families have known each other since before our children were born. If you need proof, I have tons of photos, one particularly adorable one is of Dan(ny) and my daughter dressed as eensy weensy spiders in nursery school (sorry Wendy & Danny, I just had to add this).

I own a copy of his exquisite book and am greatly looking forward to March 2nd when Dan will be at Temple Emanu-El as the exhibition’s guest lecturer. Having heard him speak I can tell you that not only is he an award-winning photographer and writer, he is also a gifted speaker.

This photo of the Sanctuary, courtesy of my friend Debbie Landey, shows five of the Holocaust Survivors who participated in the Service. Their honored presence truly represented living examples of the word “Hope” in the title.
My ticket and the front of the program

The inside of the the program showing four photos from Dan’s collection

No Exaggeration, I’ve Been Waiting Almost a Year For This Book

Published by Simon & Schuster, available on Amazon on February 7th (available now for preorder).

People vs. Donald Trump is a fascinating inside account of the attempt to prosecute former president Donald Trump, written by one of the lawyers who worked on the case and resigned in protest when Manhattan’s district attorney refused to act.

Mark Pomerantz was a retired lawyer living a calm suburban life when he accepted an unexpected offer to join the staff of the district attorney of New York County in February 2021 to work on the investigation of former president Donald Trump….

These two paragraphs are direct quotes from the Amazon website’s book introduction. I, however, take issue with the statement that Mark was just “one of the lawyers who worked on the case”. They neglect to mention any of Mark’s impressive accomplishments which made him uniquely qualified for this role such as his having served as head of the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office where he oversaw major securities fraud causes, including the prosecution of mob boss John Gotti. He was also a white collar defense attorney working on behalf of Martha Stewart and Sam Wachsell contributing to his highly respected reputation as an expert on both sides

Full disclosure, the Pomerantz family lived next door to my daughter and son-in-law and their two children for 28 years. The families became friends as well as neighbors and over the years the two sets of Pomerantz twins (yes, two sets of twins!) babysat for my grandchildren. So, not only was this high-profile role he undertook (pro bono) of interest to me as a voracious political junkie but it was also personal. I was hoping against hope that Mark would write this book so I/we could learn, first-hand, exactly how this investigation unfolded then unraveled, and he did!

As you can see, my statement that I’ve been waiting for this book for almost a year is not an exaggeration!