The Chronicler and her alter egos have many interests that keep her happy. This page will lead you to some of them.

Weather at the North Pole

Follow this link to an observatory at the North Pole. The dates on top say it goes to 2008, so we don't know how accurate the weather is (you might check out this site for more up-to-date conditions, but it takes a while to load and isn't as fun to follow). There are a lot of neat links on the observatory site. Of course, Santa's Workshop was out of range for the Webcam, since the elves demanded union payment for onscreen appearances. As a member of SAG-AFTRA, your Chronicler can't fault them. Workers of the world, unite!

Music

  Purple Monster and her treasured music in Christmas Con Brio, With a Song in Our Hearts, The PM Saga, Book XXVI

Purple Monster and her treasured music in Christmas Con Brio, With a Song in Our Hearts, The PM Saga, Book XXVI

Singing is the main joy of my life right now, and singing at Woody's Workshop (Mondays or Thursdays) is always special. I don't think I'd even be thinking about auditioning if it weren't for these workshops. Music is an essential part of my existence. You'll find my musings on my love of all kinds of music, but especially classical music and Carnegie Hall, on my Music page and the Chronicler's Tale blog.

Books

There are a lot of books I love, and I'll list a few as time goes on. Visit my Books page for some your Chronicler recommends. (I might write reviews for The Chronicler's Tales later, but these books are ones I love.) One of the best mysteries I've every read, and perhaps one of the best books of any kind, is The Old Wine Shades, a Richard Jury novel by Martha Grimes. I'm not loaning this one out, but keeping it to read again and again. The following book, Dust, continues where this one leaves off. But this one is just so wonderfully constructed, and I often recollect parts of it. I've had the pleasure of working with a number of writers over the years, and the books by the columnists at The New York Times are all wonderful (I could name-drop and tell you the ones that acknowledge me, but I think I'll hold off for a while).
 

Art

 Gus the Wonder Cat, by Judith Nevins Bush

Gus the Wonder Cat, by Judith Nevins Bush

Just as I can't imagine a life without music, I can't imagine a life without art. I have traveled the world to museums to see paintings by the great masters. I have also been privileged to purchase art for the walls of the hovel. Visit my Art page to see some of my museum videos, including on the Met Museum at Christmas and another at the Cloisters on a rainy day, and to hear about such brilliant artists as Judith Nevins Bush and Noah Jemison.

Isabel Kirby

  Isabel Kirby in her garden

Isabel Kirby in her garden

The most beautiful woman in the world, and my mother, who lived to a very young 97. These Sagas could not have continued without her help. Oh, those many years that she and her friend Marty collated the stories and folded them. Mom cut the cords and pasted the address labels on the envelopes. She read each and every word, and remembered them all. When she lived in Florissant, Missouri, her rose garden was the envy of the neighborhood, and she had an unlimited repository of hugs for the ladies in her aquasize class.

William R. Kirby

William Roland Kirby: My father, and a great lawyer and fascinating man. He left us too early, in 1983. His work for the church gave him great satisfaction and joy.

One of the projects I have been working on has been the typing and editing of his letters from World War II. I hope to post some of them as PDFs in the near future. They are striking in their earnestness and insights.

Leonard R. Harris

Leonard R. Harris was a true Timesman one of the great gentlemen of The New York Times and a truly gentle man. After each Saga was written, beginning with Book 1, he would very gently copy edit each story, always making it better. He never got to read the 15th Saga, The Magic Garden of the Christmas Star, which has the following dedication:

For Leonard R. Harris
My friend and mentor. If not for him, the
first story would still be in a file drawer,
and Mrs. Claus would be covered with suet.
Because of him, you were spared
outrageous grammatical errors and were
treated to some of the cleverest lines of
these sagas. He is greatly missed.

His guidance and intelligence were such a great influence on my career. The link is to the tribute I wrote to him for Times Talk in 1991. The dates on the tribute are his dates with The New York Times. The good memories I have of The Times came directly from him from his confidence in me and my work, his incredible intelligence, his journalistic ethics and his true love of the newspaper. He loved The Times.

 

 

Baseball

  Mariano Rivera graciously let me have a photo with him. Canon Photo Day, Yankee Stadium, May 18, 2013

Mariano Rivera graciously let me have a photo with him. Canon Photo Day, Yankee Stadium, May 18, 2013

I grew up in St. Louis and was an ardent St. Louis Cardinals fan. Actually, over time I turned into an ardent baseball fan. I will watch other sports, but baseball captures my imagination and makes me yearn to go into a ballpark.

The seasons following the 2009 World Series championship for the New York Yankees haven't taken them as far as the fans (your Chronicler among them) would have liked, but it has still been a wonderful time in the ballpark. The 2016 season is under way, and the boys just aren't playing well this year, I'm sorry to say. But I have lots of fun in Section 418. Come say hello. You can read more of my life with baseball and the Yankees on my Baseball page.

Dance

  Luminous, with Amanda Green and Tristan Dobrowney. Photo by Bruce Monk

Luminous, with Amanda Green and Tristan Dobrowney. Photo by Bruce Monk

I love dance, and especilly any ballet by Peter Quanz. He's just the freshest and brightest choreographer around. This photo is from Luminous, one of two ballets Peter brought with his company, Q Dance, to the Joyce in June 2012.

Visit my Dance page to read more of my love for American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey and other remarkable dances, dancers and dance companies.

Movies

Of course, I love acting in movies, and you can see some clips on my Reels and Clips page. But I also love going to the movies, and my Movies page will feature some thoughts on what I've seen. I used to love the AMC Movie Watchers Club. But they changed it to AMC Stubs. It's no longer a free membership, and no more free popcorn on Wednesdays. But it does give a $10 credit for every $100 you spend, and you get the senior discount at AMC at age 60. Not bad for us old folks.  In 2012, we thought Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom were definitely worth seeing. A 2011 highlight was Pina. For old movies, nothing beats The Awful Truth for belly laughs, over and over and over with each viewing.
 

Central Park and Its Residents

  Central Park, Oak Bridge, Jan. 23, 2016

Central Park, Oak Bridge,
Jan. 23, 2016

Central Park is definitely one of Our Favorite Things. You'll find many, many pages dedicated to the photographs I've taken and stories of the animals I love that live in the park. Visit the archives of The Chronicler's Tales, the Photography page and Central Park: Four Seasons to get a sense of this magnificent asset of the People of the City of New York (it's not for the tourists, as the Central Park Conservancy would have you believe. And visit the Red-Tailed Hawks and the Woody! Woody! Woody! pages to discover why I try to visit the park every day.

World Traveling

I was blessed with the opportunity to travel the world and see so many wondrous things. I've tried in the PM Sagas to chronicle some of these experiences, and I hope to scan in some photographs in the future and give some of my thoughts.