June: Looking back, looking ahead

A riot of June roses at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

A riot of June roses at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

There’s been a rather conspicuous lack of blogging activity from yours truly as of late. The first few weeks of June were quite sedate, and I definitely had time to do some writing.  But I was busy being…well, not busy.  It was divine.

In early June, E. and I spent a languid Sunday strolling throughout the entirety of Central Park after brunch with friends on the Upper West Side.  An ordinary Tuesday was transformed into a memorable one when I paid a solo visit to the exuberantly blooming rose garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  We also celebrated E.’s birthday (twice!) with pizza at Lucali one evening and steaks at Peter Luger a couple of nights later.  Happily, I also recommenced running and made it a point to get to yoga class more often, too.  The combination of sunny days, great food, and exercise made for a fabulous start to my summer.

Sunset yoga in Ft. Greene Park

Sunset yoga in Ft. Greene Park

It’s a good thing I had some time off to rest and rejuvenate, because the last week of June kicked off the first installment of the DUCHESS summer tour.  From Ottawa to Boston to Toronto to Rochester to Saratoga, we logged hundreds of miles, laughed hundreds of laughs, did lots of interviews and a national television appearance on Canada AM, saw a couple of amazing shows (the Roots and John Pizzarelli), and lip-synched for a good cause. You can read about our adventures in more detail and see some fun photos on the DUCHESS blog.

Looking ahead, I’m gearing up for more travel. I’m heading to Cooperstown with Harry Allen this weekend for a concert celebrating the Great American Songbook.  Then, DUCHESS is traveling to the west coast mid-month for a few shows in Washington.  My Song Travels with Michael Feinstein interview will be airing on NPR this month, too, as will my appearance on Judy Carmichael’s Sirius XM show, Jazz Inspired.  I’m looking forward to more road trips, more laughs, and lots more music.

In June, I…
Blogged about: May.  DUCHESS: On the road again!

Watched: The Tempest.  I had never attended a Shakespeare in the Park performance, and I was utterly unprepared for the emotional impact of Shakespeare’s meditation on forgiveness and redemption.  The beauty and rhythm of the poetry was made all the more magical by the lushness of Central Park, the changing colors of the night sky, and the lazy fireflies floating in the air above us.  It was, quite simply, one of the most thrilling artistic experiences of my life.

Read: The Dream Lover, by Elizabeth Berg.  A meticulously researched fictional portrait of the life of George Sand.  Full disclosure?  I found this book pretty slow going, but it made me curious to read some writing by Sand herself.

Listened to: Slow New York and Sunday Morning In Saturday’s Shoes, Richard Julian.  Time for Two, Michael Franks.  Spending long hours in the car last month provided the perfect opportunity to savor the wry irony and tenderness of these two masterful songwriters.

A sunny Sunday in Central Park

A sunny Sunday in Central Park

Scenes from Shakespeare in the Park on a balmy June night

Scenes from Shakespeare in the Park on a balmy June night.

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