Thursday, August 31, 2017

IN Remembrance: DIANA, Princess of Wales

 I will never forget this remarkable, singular, enigmatic woman. She was a human who truly tried to bring good to the world.  I feel so angry of her treatment.  Her spoiled, jealous, heartless husband Charles and his mistress, Camilla, will go down in history as the world's most hateful, notorious bullies.  I think that so many people let her down:  the royal family and the Spencers.  The Windsors wanted a young, virgin princess for the Prince of Wales.  She gave them that.  And she outshone them.  As far as I'm concerned she was far more regal than anyone in that hateful, Windsor family, expect for The Queen.

Diana is pictured here with another remarkable humanitarian of that era, Mother Teresa. Diana was 19 years old when she married Charles who was 33.  The royal priince just assumed that she would know how to be a fairy tale princess. And she became that.  The public adored her, which created jealousy and envy within the Windsor firm.  Rather than provide her with guidance, support and appreciation, they instead treated her with condescension and envy.  In spite of the force of the Establishment that was against her, she grew as a human.  She suffered personal pain, but this did not inhibit her from evolving and rising above all of it.  She is perhaps the most accomplished humanitarian in history.  She was remarkably beautiful.  She evolved from a beautiful young woman into an astonishing, self-confident, remarkable human.  She was dedicated mother who raised two sons who now portray all of her public qualities.  She truly lives on through these two and the way they have chosen to behave as adults.  All qualities that the royal family, for the most part, lack (they have tried to become modern, but they have a ways to go--and Charles is not the person who possesses the talent to do that.

I just watched a tv show.  Diana laughed and it was a beautiful, infectious moment.  That is the thing about Diana, she was, and will forever remain magical, unlike anyone else.

I remember the night she died.  Where were you?  I was in Montreal on vacation and had just checked in to my hotel.  It was 10 or 11 pm.  I turned on the television and heard the news.  I was heartbroken.  She had been such an inspiration since my early twenties when I'd watched her getting married to Charles.  I admired her immensely.  When I first heard the news I thought: "they've (the royal family) murdered her."  I haven't changed my mind since.

The British monarchy pulled off the biggest scam in history, offering up this "sacrificial lamb" to create a false fairy tale.  The world is basically a lie, but I didn't begin to know that until she died.  In the twenty years since, the royal family have done their very best to vilify her.  And they allowed Charles and her mistress to marry.  Fine.  But I don't think Charles should ever ascend to the throne (especially not Camilla as Queen--she is more of a courtesan).  I think they got what they (Duke and Duchess of Cornwall) wanted and they should be exiled into anonymity onto their own island of Elba.  That is certainly what the hateful royal family did to the previous Prince of Wales, King Edward VIII and thereafter Duke of Windsor.

I have feared all these years that the royal family would extinguish her from history.  That doesn't appear to be the case, as she left behind two remarkable, modern, royal sons that have vowed that she will never be forgotten.  She left a legacy far more powerful than would have ever been imagined. The future of the monarchy (if there is one) will be drastically different because of Diana and her sons, Prince William and Prince of Wales and the love that she gave to our world.

I admire the Queen immensely.  Unlike the rest of her family Her Majesty has never put a wrong foot forward during her long lifetime.  The only exception was Diana.  Charles and his mistress are baboons.  I know that he is so arrogant as to want to inherit the throne.   How sad that this pathetic excuse of a man has never had to pay a price for his human weaknesses.  This couple, Charles and Camilla should suffer karma.  He should not be king. And they should both remove themselves from public life.  Enjoy their bliss together.  They certainly left a horrid path of destruction to achieve their aim to be wed.

I will not ever forget Diana.  And I will always support her legacy:  William, Kate, George, Charlotte
and Harry and those that follow.  So many remarkable pictures and memories of her and just a few are shown here.

Diana, Princess of Wales you are gone, but I pledge I will never forget you.  I suppose there may be people who don't know who she was or her story.  Today, August 31, is the twentieth anniversary of her death.  She inspired the world unlike few others.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A NEW Tower May be The World's Largest Tower...for a Short Time

A new Dubai tower, currently named the Dubai Creek Tower, will be the tallest tower in Dubai.  According to CCN Online it "would be ready in time for Dubai Expo 2020."  The current tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 2,717ft.  CNN goes on to report:  "When completed, this new 3,045ft tower will best the Burj by a massive 322ft."  The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world.

This will be great and a significant milestone.  The problem is that another building is currently underway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, The Jeddah Tower (formerly known as the Kingdom Tower), when it is finished will be 3,045ft making.  As of July 2017, 58 floors have been completed on the Jeddah Tower.

The new Dubai Creek Tower currently has only a 236ft deep foundation footprint.  The tower was designed by architect, Santiago Calatrava.   This structure is different than the Burj Khalifa and the Jeddah Tower.  It does not contain habitable space.  It is similar to the Eiffel Tower, CNN Tower in Toronto, or the Tokyo Skytree (currently the tallest "tower").  It will feature an observation deck and a "capacious Hanging Gardens of Babylon-style floors."   There will not be any floors that contain residential or commercial space.

Read more in the CNN article:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Frank Lloyd Wright: Interesting NY island goes up For Sale

This Wright designed family compound which was built on "Situated on the 11-acre Petra Island in upstate New York's Putnam County, the property, known as the Massaro house," according to a DailMail online article by Kelly McLaughlin which was posted today. It is on Lake Mahopac and is a 15-minute helicopter ride to Manhattan, thanks to it's roof helipad.

The house and island is for sale for $14.9 and is evocative of the architect's most famed creations:  Fallingwater which is located in Pennsylvania.  

This house is very curious though.  It was originally commissioned in 1950 by the owner of the island, engineer, Ahmed Chahroud.  Alas, Chahroud, could not afford the $50,000 expense to build Wright's design.   The Petra Island was eventually bought by Joe Massaro by a new owner who bought Petra for $70,000, who commenced construction of Wright's blueprints.   It took four years and Wright's house finally completed in 2007.  It is impressive.  The furniture looks to be all evocative of Wright.  It looks as though it was built in 1950 when the architect originally designed it. It remained fateful to the famed architect's design and beliefs.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with architecture.  At the time I was obsessed with Frank Lloyd Wright and I recall checking out every book from the library about the man and his designs.  I still love architecture.  It is one of my few fancies these days.  I so wish I could have become an architect but alas, I have found algebra, geometry, etc to be utterly impossible.  

This is a wonderful story.  A heart-shaped island within minutes Manhattan, with a Frank Lloyd Wright designed compound (house and two guest houses) which was not built until 2007, over a half century after the architect designed it in blue print.

That is happy news!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

R.I.P. to the legendary singer Barbara Cook.

R.I.P. Barbara Cook who had one of the most luminescent and distinct voices in the last 100 years.  And she was a master musical "storyteller".  I feel so privileged to have heard her live in concert since my twenties.  I have relished every single album she ever recorded (and they were numerous).  She covered so many to the famous composers in recent musical history.  I remember watching several television concerts (I think they were PBS--let us hope that future generation will not know and appreciate what PBS is and has done).

See the New York Times article from today:

I loved all of her portfolio.  She san all the standard Broadway composers, especially the brilliance of her voice in the 50's and 60's Broadway shows that she originated such Leonard Bernstein's Candide and The Music Man, the latter of which garnered her a Tony Award.  She struggled with alcoholism and successfully overcame it.  Gordon Cox, in obituary date 8/8/17 shared a quote from Cook:  "For some reason, it occurred to me that if I could find a way to really learn who I am and put that into my work, then there could be no real competition — because there’s only one of me.”

She did.  Following her Broadway career she became a major cabaret/concert singer star for decades. Her voice was always an amazing instrument.  Cook was a deserved recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2011.  It appears that she continued to perform until 2010.

I will always be a devotee to the genius of this artist.

One of my favorite songs that she recorded and sang in concert was Janis Ian's, "Stars".   Her rendition truly breaks my heart.  You can see a youtube video of this song by clicking here here:

What an amazing life of contribution to art and music and entertainment for decades.  What beauty she brought to the world!