Author: Bernadette Murray

In a Different Key: The Story of Autism

The sciences can be a challenge for me, so when important tomes are written, and include personal storylines, I find the information offered up all the more compelling. Autism, quite frankly, is a subject I never imagined would be of …Read More


A friend recently raved about a Persian restaurant in our neighborhood, which we knew nothing about. While walking by this restaurant yesterday, I collected its menu and resolved to try it soon. That very evening, we went and thoroughly enjoyed …Read More

Goya: Visions of Flesh and Blood

This film, coinciding with a significant exhibition of Goya’s pictures at the National Gallery in London, elucidates the essence of Goya’s work and what set it apart from others of his time. It also chronicles his ambitious climb through the …Read More


This (mostly) Mediterranean seafood restaurant came as a pleasant surprise. Located in the base floor of a limestone on West 79th Street, one walks into a rather unattractive bar that belies the warm, romantic and intimate dining room behind it. …Read More

Something Rotten

For all the detractors of “The Book of Mormon,” here’s your chance to be delighted with the newest musical, from the very folks that brought you “The Book of Mormon,” which you may have hated. Casey Nicholaw, who co-directed “Mormon” …Read More

Wolf Hall Part One

We had the pleasure of seeing the first evening of “Wolf Hall” in New York on Friday evening. I must say, I really enjoyed it. The staging, the performances and the costumes were all wonderful. The modernist setting was chic, …Read More

Rotisserie Georgette

  Having raved about this restaurant when it first opened (see earlier review below), I recently had a very inelegant experience there. Let’s begin with the food. The caramelized carrots with balsamic and vinegar were delicious. It was the perfect …Read More

New York City Ballet — Farewell to Prima Ballerina Wendy Whelan

I would say that the evening belonged to Wendy Whelan, but in truth, it belonged to the audience, too. Everyone came out for her, and she gave us a full evening of her inimitable dancing. We bore witness to the …Read More

New York Philharmonic

Beethoven: Overture to Konig Stephan (King Stephen), Op. 117 Beethoven: Piano Concerto #1 in C major, Op. 15 Stravinsky: L’Oiseau de feu (The Firebird). Complete ballet score Esa-Pekka Salonen, Conductor Jeremy Denk, Pianist   It bears repeating. The New York …Read More

Henri Matisse — The Cut-Outs

  At MoMA. This is the most comprehensive show to date of Matisse’s Cut-Outs. Following the Tate Modern show in London, MoMA was able to add The Swimming Pool, fully restored, to the show. The Swimming Pool is mounted in …Read More

New York City Ballet

Chaconne: Music by Gluck, Choreography by Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska Interplay: Music by Gould, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Costumes by Santo Loquasto Everywhere We Go: Music by Sufjan Stevens, Choreography by Justin Peck, Costumes by Janie Taylor After the Rain: …Read More

Fire Shut Up in my Bones

This is a terrific memoir, among the finest “coming of age” stories told. It is rendered tenderly, convincingly, and quite vividly. Charles Blow, the respected New York Times op-ed columnist, tells the story of his early life in heart-wrenching detail. …Read More

New York Philharmonic

Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 The NYPhil seems to be on fire this season. Nowhere was it more evident than with Mahler’s sweeping masterpiece, Symphony One. While conductor Alan Gilbert knew the music well, having performed it largely in Europe, and …Read More

Paris: A Love Story

If we are to believe it, only good things happen to women in Paris. The book takes us through the life of Katie Marton, the journalist and author, from her beginnings in international journalism through her clandestine affair, subsequent marriage, …Read More

The Liar’s Wife

The book by Mary Gordon, consisting of four novellas, contends with coming-of-age stories told unsuspectingly by adults. It reveals the shaping events, and how they attempt to come to terms with the fearful emotional imprints that serve as legacy in …Read More

Your Brain After Chemo

“Your Brain After Chemo,” by Dan Silverman and Idelle Davidson. The title of the book tells you what it’s about. I, umm, forgot what I was going to write. Where were we? Wait, it’s coming… Right. It’s an interesting book …Read More

Blood, Bones & Butter

Gabrielle Hamilton, as well as others who’ve reviewed her book, describe her as Bad Ass. And Bad Ass she seriously owns. Hamilton is scrappy, hard-working, hard-driving, vulgar, thieving, funny and, just Bad Ass. She can also be warm, generous and …Read More

Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me

This memoir of Lucinda Frank’s nearly forty-year marriage to Robert Morgenthau, the lionized District Attorney, is a riveting read as it traces the shifts and currents that are inevitable in such a long-term relationship. Theirs is a marriage bound by …Read More

American Ballet Theatre

A delightful evening at the ABT began with two Balanchine classics (aren’t all of his classics?). First, “Themes and Variations” with lead dancers Gillian Murphy and Andrew Veyette. While Veyette’s dancing was superb, it was hardly matched by his partner, …Read More

The Emperor of All Maladies

The author, Siddhartha Mukherjee, a scientist, doctor and very talented Pulitzer Prize-winning storyteller, calls this a biography of cancer, “an attempt to enter into the mind of this immortal illness, to understand its personality, to demystify its behavior.” This is …Read More

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

  “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” is packed with talent, wit, charm and lyrics that are refreshingly terrific. While the plot is farcical, the songwriting belies lyrics and melodies worthy of some of the greats of Broadway. Staging, …Read More

Ballet Hispanico

  I’ve enjoyed Ballet Hispanico over the years, even if it is not an entirely consistent company. I look forward to the sensual music and rhythms that underscore the dancers’ performances. This year, however, was a different story. While there …Read More

Kalustyan International Food Market

  Recently I decided to learn how to cook Moroccan tangines and Thai food, and set out to learn about the food-ways of regions I have not traveled to. A dear friend, who also happens to be a superb cook, …Read More

Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève

The Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève took the stage this week at The Joyce Theater for a performance that was long and without intermission. Entitled “Glory,” this dance was choreographed by Andonis Foniadakos, an emerging Greek modern dance choreographer …Read More

Ai Fiori Restaurant

When friends suggested we dine at Ai Fiori, I silently moaned because of the assumption that a restaurant in a new hotel is bound to be loud, trendy, or stiff and pretentious. And the food was not expected to be …Read More

Mel Chin

Great things are happening at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). Under the skillful leadership of Susan Taylor (recruited from Princeton University’s museum), there is an abundance of new programming designed to engage the community, and to evolve the …Read More

Letter from a Wanderer

If one is busy traveling for a couple of weeks and doesn’t check in with the VDP’s weekly postings, one has quite a bit of catching up to do. I’ve just spent a wonderful, leisurely morning catching up with the …Read More


We all know the pictures. But if you haven’t revisited the MoMA collection in a few years, it’s a terrific, satisfying treat to see the pictures again, up close and personal. Friends were in town from Brazil, so we meandered …Read More

The Modern

Three stars from The New York Times for The Modern restaurant at MoMA? It hardly lived up to this at lunch last week. The bar lounge at The Modern is clearly the way to go for delicious Alsatian bites. The …Read More

Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux

Every year, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux wends its way to the States to present the newly released vintage, this one being 2011, to the trade and wine collectors alike. All told, 109 wines were presented in the …Read More

Rotisserie Georgette

Do you know when you’ve thought “God, what a great idea”? Enter Rotisserie Georgette. It’s worth getting excited about the idea of two young women (30s/50s) forging a partnership to launch a first restaurant of their own, and a pretty …Read More

Interwoven Globe

This is no ordinary textile show. It’s riveting. The Interwoven Globe exhibition at The Met is breathtaking for its illumination on the role of textiles in trading and in global cultural influence, as well as for the actual textiles on …Read More

Lee Daniels’ The Butler

On the heels of John Lewis’ “March Book One” graphic novel comes the release of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” The film has had fairly good reviews, although some critics think it could have been better, and more subtly handled by …Read More

March Book One

“March Book One” is a graphic novel/memoir by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (illustrator). It has been an interesting week of culture on the civil rights front. First came John Lewis’ memoir in the form of graphic novel. …Read More


Terence Blanchards’s first opera, “Champion,” had its world premiere on June 15th at Opera Theater of St. Louis.  It is the true and tragic story of Emile Griffith, the world welterweight boxing champion of the early 1960s.  Griffith was a …Read More