Arts and the City

     Life in NYC is never dull, unless you’re deliberately trying to hide in a hole, but even more challenging to find a balance between trying to satisfy all sides and responsibilities. There is always something going on that you want to see or try, time and money are the usual stopping points, you want to manage your free time and finances wisely (especially when having a full-time job, a part-time private practice, a kid to raise, and all the foods to try 🙂 )  Classical music is something that nourishes me as much as any food does, but I’m usually left to enjoy it alone as very few of my family or friends could be convinced to go to the Carnegie Hall or the Met Opera (when my son was little, he was routinely dragged to various kiddie classical concerts with the hopes that he’d learn to love music as much as I do, and even though I still believe in “experience and exposure”, very rarely now my teen allows to become a “drag-on” to any classical event). I do hope though that he got a “recessive” music gene that one day will just show up when he is older as both, myself and his dad are big classical music lovers. And then his own kids will become “drag-ons”, and I’m sure his dad and I will gladly help 🙂

     As I’m waiting for a new generation of “drag-ons” to be born, I’ve learned to appreciate these lone outings. You can be more spontaneous and just follow your mood and free time in choosing “the flavor” of the day among numerous activities going on in the city. One of the organizations I’ve been following for some time is Opera Singers Initiative (, a program that provides mentoring and exposure to young opera singers. Every few months, their charges have an event to showcase their talents (and graciously accept donations or just a ticket price) that are also often tied to some cultural spot or another form of art, like paintings or fashion. It’s a great way to combine several cultural experiences in one and also a chance to hear wonderful music and singing “up close and personal” as the venues are usually small and allow for interaction and “meet the artist” feel at the follow-up reception.

     So last week I attended their Spring Preview gathering at the Underline Gallery ( One of the warmers day so far this year provided a gorgeous back-drop to illuminate the whole experience, as I walked through Union Square area, the hums of the street musicians combined with the subway sounds underneath and joined the busting out noise of the Happy Hour goers with the little sprinkles of children’s laughter playing nearby – the ever-present mix of city life was creating music with each step I took towards the gallery. The event planners were warm and accommodating as usual, beautiful reception area with wines, o’derves and sweets awaited everybody who ventured in. And of course the main attraction were the opera entries performed by the talented singers.

The gallery showcased several exhibits one of which were of the wonderful photographs by Bhumika Bhatia.

The post below the photographs announced a raffle to benefit the artist who was recovering from a serious car accident. I do not often participate in any kind of raffles especially when the entry ticket is as high as $50, however, this was more than a raffle but rather a call for help to assist an artist who was in a difficult situation. Again, rather tacky, if you look at it from afar. However, I never forget that during the 9 months of my cancer treatment, when I was unable to work, I was supported by generosity of my family, friends, co-workers and almost strangers, so to me “giving back” was something I could do to thank those many people so one more person could rest and recover at home. I sincerely wish the artist a speedy recovery and fruitful career up ahead, and I know I’ll be re-paid in some other way. And, if by some miracle, I win the raffle, it’d be the most wonderful gift I could’ve received.

I spotted these gems at the gallery, a Princess chair, and of course, one for the Prince 🙂

     But no downtown gallery would be complete without some art objects related to sex or anything explicit.

     I guess it was unplanned pregnancy as the picture is called “Souvenirs D’Enfance”.

     And if this is how you conceive and bear children, you might as well hang this “kiddie art” in their room.



These we called “ABCs of Sex”.  Surely every NYC kid needs an “early education”.


  So, overall it was a great evening and this is how it ended.


What’s Cooking This Week

     Since it’s an artsy kind of day, we need something refine and mild tasting yet sophisticated enough to be served as a “typical” NYC meal. 

Honey Dijon Catfish

4 catfish fillets, cut into smaller pieces (you may also use any other white fish such as sole, flounder, tilapia, I like catfish as it tastes buttery yet mild)

1 large carrot, thinly sliced or grated

you may use 1/2 cup of pre-made honey-mustard sauce, I made my own simply to avoid all the unnecessary ingredients usually found in a commercial honey mustard

1/4 cup of  white wine Dijon mustard

1/4 cup of honey

1/4 cup of warm water

3-4 tspoons of olive oil

salt, lemon/pepper blend, other spices as desired

cut green scallions for garnish

     Mix together mustard, honey and warm water until well blended and smooth (use more/less water for the desired consistency). Pour olive oil on a warm frying pen and arrange fish pieces. Season the fish and put carrots slices on top, pour honey mustard mixture spreading it evenly. Cover the pen and cook the fish on a low flame for 10-12 minutes. Garnish with scallions or any other fresh herbs once the fish is served. We like it with either rice or mashed potatoes 🙂  Enjoy!