Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

Hope Springs Eternal (Limerick)

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Though tomorrow’s the first day of spring,
My seasonal thoughts can’t take wing
Cuz of snow-forecast-blues-men
And wet blanket newsmen.
Are they wrong? To that dream I shall cling.

Not That I’m Complaining, But… (Limerick)

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

I’m not writing a climate-change screed,
But I’d wager most folks would concede
This is crazy as heck:
Icy drinks on our deck,
Late December, New York. Coat? No need!

Staten Island Chuck the Groundhog Lives (Limerick)

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

There’s been a Groundhog Day rules change at the Staten Island Zoo, in the wake of last year’s groundhog death at the klutzy hands of Mayor Bill de Blasio:

Staten Island Chuck the Groundhog Lives (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Seems the zoos of New York had their fill
Of Mayor-caused Groundhog Day-kill.
Last year’s groundhog is dead,
So “no holding,” they said.
“We are Chucking your touching rights, Bill.”

Limerick Ode To Our Pothole

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Limerick Ode To Our Pothole
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I reported a pothole last week,
And the city did give it a tweak.
Have they fixed it? You’re joking,
Or possibly toking.
Adding cones seems to be their technique.

This dangerously deep pothole is less than a block from our house. Mark just snapped this pic of it:

pothole2

Weather Report (Limerick)

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Weather Report (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It’s springtime — a lovely May day;
Perfect temps, fragrant breeze from the bay.
Don’t be jealous or curse,
Cuz I’ve seasoned this verse
With deceit. It is cold, damp, and gray.

Foreign News Blues (Limerick)

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Foreign News Blues (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It’s so windy, I have to go out:
Foreign papers are scattered about.
Though I clean up our yard,
It’s soon once again scarred.
This paper route’s making me pout.

True story: This afternoon, I look out our living room window and see that our front lawn is strewn with newspapers. It’s a windy day, and a neighbor’s Korean (I think) newspaper has apparently made a run for it.

I immediately stop what I’m doing and go outdoors to contend with the litter. Why the big rush? Because New York City Sanitation workers just love to peruse neighborhoods during windstorms, so they can give out messy-lawn citations.

Ten minutes after I finish, I look out the window once again, only to find that it looks like I never dealt with the garbage. So I go out once again, this time picking up similar-looking papers from the neighbors on either side of me, as well.

No, I won’t take credit for being a Good Samaritan. This was purely defensive.

It was only a matter of time before my neighbors’ messes decided they like my lawn better.

Odes To Roger Ebert, Ed Koch, Van Cliburn, & “Dear Abby” Columnist Pauline Phillips

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

This week’s Style Invitational features the witty winning entries in its contest for poems that commemorate people who died in 2013. Here are my non-winning ditties about Roger Ebert, New York City Mayor Ed Koch, concert pianist Van Cliburn, and “Dear Abby” columnist Pauline Phillips:

Roger Ebert:

For films that were plums,
Way up went his thumbs.
When downward they’d roam,
You’d know to stay home.

*****

Mayor Edward Koch:

This mayor rescued NYC
From near-financial ruin;
Ed Koch his name, his fav’rite game
Was asking “How’m I doin’?”

*****

Pauline Friedman Phillips a/k/a Abigail Van Buren:

“Dear Abby” was her column
Telling readers what to do.
Give your friends that very counsel?
That’s an act you’ll surely rue.

*****

Van Cliburn:

In a world-wide Moscow contest
Van Cliburn sure impressed.
But this USA pianist
Had the piano judges stressed.

They felt that he deserved to win
And so with trepidation
They asked Nikita, “Can we please
Give Cliburn top ovation?”

Mr. Khrushchev gave an answer
That surprised them. It was wise:
“If Van Cliburn played the very best,
Then give that man first prize.”

So a classical musician
Helped achieve a cold war thaw:
An American in Russia
Playing piano past a draw.

Limerick Ode To National Poetry Month

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

April 1st is coming. Are you excited yet? No, I’m not talking about April Fool’s Day, although that’s pretty cool too. But April 1st is also the start of a month-long celebration of poetry in the U.S.A. — National Poetry Month (not to be confused with World Poetry Day.) Many online poets celebrate by writing a poem each day, and they announce their poetic participation over at NaPoWriMo.

So will I be writing a limerick a day in April? Damn right … with the occasional haiku, tanka, quatrain, or butterfly cinquain thrown in to spice things up. And of course I’ll be posting my weekly Limerick-Offs and Limerick of the Week contests every Sunday or Monday.

Here’s my Limerick Ode To National Poetry Month:

Limerick Ode To National Poetry Month (April 2011)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear poets, it’s time to prepare
For our April-long poetry fair.
We’ll write verse ev’ry day.
Not on Tax Day? Okay.
Just be sure that you read, write, and share.

Here are some good poetry sites that plan to celebrate National Poetry Month in a big way with daily prompts: Big Tent Poetry and Poetic Asides. Additionally, Writers Island will be providing a daily spot to post your April poems. And if that’s not enough, some sites offer daily prompts all year long, such as The Teachers Corner and Dodge Writes.

Moreover, New York City is holding two poetry contests in honor of National Poetry Month: NYC’s second annual Twitter poetry “Poetweet” contest and its “Poem In Your Pocket Day NYC” Facebook page “Envelope Project.”

If you know of any other National Poetry Day events, contests, and/or prompts, feel free to post them here in the comments section. Thanks!

The Flying Karamazov Brothers — Limerick Review

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

If you’ve never seen The Flying Karamazov Brothers perform, you owe it to yourselves to go see them either in New York City or whenever their tour hits your town. Hubby Mark and I caught their show Friday night, and it was hilarious.

The Karamazov Brothers’ act is hard to describe, so let me just say they’re jugglers, comedians, and even musicians, who often manage to be all three at the same time. They had me laughing so hard, I had tears streaming down my face for much of the evening. Now can you think of a better compliment than that?

On the other hand, the salt in my tears did burn the skin around my eyes and cheeks. Hmmm, maybe I should sue them for tortious infliction of skin damage.

And now, my limerick review:

The Flying Karamazov Brothers — Limerick Review
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Karamazov, the Brothers, are Flying.
Not the novel — the jugglers — not lying.
Saw their show just last night.
What a comic delight!
Laughed so hard, I was tearfully crying.

Tornado Night

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Thursday night’s weather was certainly interesting here in Queens, New York. Hubby Mark and I were on the Long Island Railroad on route to an Off-Broadway play, when what turned out to be a tornado hit.

After some delays, our train did manage to make it to Penn Station, after which the railroad completely shut down, stranding hordes of rush hour commuters. (As we later learned, the tracks were littered with uprooted trees, and the storm had wreaked havoc throughout much of New York City.)

But we went off to see the play, figuring that by the time we were finished with theater and dinner, everything would be back to normal. Ha!

As it turned out, more than 24 hours would elapse before the LIRR would fully recover. So our path home to Bayside, Queens was a challenge, involving an unfamiliar combo of train, subway, and bus.

Relieved to finally be home, we were greeted by an unwelcome discovery — the tallest tree in our backyard had relocated to our neighbor’s yard.

Well, at least the play wasn’t bad — It Must Be Him, starring Peter Scolari and Liz Torres. Not great mind you — not even close. But everything’s relative.

Limerick Ode To Ted Alexandro

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

As I’ve mentioned previously, Comix is one of my favorite New York City comedy clubs. And it sure didn’t disappoint Friday night when we saw the hilarious Ted Alexandro and “Friends” Pete Dominick, Joe Derosa, and Morgan Murphy.

Headliner Alexandro, a former elementary school music teacher, was the highlight of the evening. I love his comic sensibility, his pacing and his fearless use of silence. But hubby Mark and I also enjoyed the other comedians, especially Morgan Murphy, who somehow manages to sound both depressed and funny at the same time.

Getting back to Alexandro, in one segment of his routine Alexandro waxes funny about teaching little kids the recorder (presumably the children’s version, known as a flutophone.)

This comedy bit inspired me (an oboe performance major who once taught the oboe) to write a limerick in honor of Alexandro’s transition from music teacher to standup comic:

Limerick Ode To Ted Alexandro
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A funny young fellow named Ted,
Who majored in musical ed,
Taught kiddies recorduh.
An instrument? Sorta.
But now he’s a comic, instead.

UPDATE: Ted Alexandro inspired me to write him another limerick when he joined the Wall Street protests.

A Fountain Of Face-Yoga Youth?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

My niece, who holds yoga classes in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, recently launched a yoga blog. And in her latest post she includes a video that demonstrates face-yoga.

So what the heck is face-yoga? According to the instructor featured on the video, certain face poses (including something called “the lion face”) can tone your face and reduce facial lines and wrinkles.

Hey … at least you don’t have to move your whole body.

I thought I’d celebrate with a limerick:

A Fountain Of Face-Yoga Youth?
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Can yoga de-wrinkle your face?
Your forehead and frown lines erase?
With its face-moves like “lion” —
Not certain I’m buyin’.
But maybe I should … just in case.

Weathering New York Weather (Limerick)

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Weathering New York Weather
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The weather outside isn’t nice,
And the walks are all covered with ice.
I seem to recall
That it’s technic’ly fall.
Would I leave New York City? No dice!

(You can find more of my seasonal (and holiday) humor here and more of my New York humor here.)

Night On The Town — Judy Carmichael, Stride Pianist

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

I live in New York City, so my husband Mark and I often catch great musical acts, plays, art shows, and other entertainment and cultural diversions in the Big Apple.

Why don’t I write about our New York fun?  I keep meaning to, but quickly forget to. Blame ADD, a bad memory, or just being a wee bit disorganized.

Anyway, I’ve decided to launch a new posting category — Night On The Town — in which I’ll write more regularly about our Manhattan adventures … in theory, anyway.

And what better way to start, than with the wonderful Judy Carmichael!  We caught her stride piano act Friday night at the Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, and she was excellent, as always. Mark and I own every one of her recordings!

For those who don’t know what stride piano is, it’s a musical style that originated in Harlem early in the 20th century.  And nobody does it better than Judy Carmichael.  In fact I love her playing so much, I’ve written her a limerick:

Ode To Judy Carmichael (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Judy Carmichael’s known for her stride.
She’s a pianist of note far and wide—
A female Fats Waller.
You’ll whoop and you’ll holler
With joy at her musical ride.