Happy 71st in NYC, Mum (that's Mom upover)


Above: My mother is a big Sesame Street fan. She carries a photo of Bert and Ernie in her wallet. Shot in FAO Schwartz - where you can create a muppet of any kind but the one you're actually a fan of, due to "copyright". What's up with that? I want my own Prof. Bunsen Honeydew, the most Chinese of all the muppets!

My mother celebrates 71 years on the planet today - here in "the center of the universe" (as my NY friends call it). In a week she's practically walked the entire length and breadth of Manhattan. Twice. Not surprising - she's recently done belly dancing, quigong, pilates, tapdancing and yes, poledancing with me! Read the full montymedia about that. I wouldn't be surprised if she enrolled in breakdancing like the show we stumbled on in Central Park last Friday - check out my movie. My mother's hero? "TINA TURNER".



She even took yoga and pilates mat classes at Joschi, where I'm currently enrolled in a 200-hour yoga teacher training course. Monika (pictured left), co-owner of the studio, said Irene was the oldest student the two-year-old studio had hosted so far. Joschi posed for the occasion too (below right). He was getting her all yoga-robic but eased off when I mumbled her age from the adjacent mat mid-downward facing dog (adho=down, mukha=face, svanasana=dogpose). Yep, I'm reliving those scrambling-to-catch-up days of being a part time student, but at least I'm not stuck in a swivel chair.



We took her to one of New York's top rated vegetarian restaurants Blossom, for the most steaklike un-steak ever. You'd swear you were eating filet mignon in a port wine demiglaze. Not recommended for celiacs, however, as it's a slab of pure gluten i.e. seitan. I wore my little button saying "HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP DEATH" for the occasion.

We then zipped over to the downtown TKTS booth to get half price tickets to see "33 Variations", a play starring Jane Fonda as a Beethoven scholar stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease.

"Not too close," said my mother to the utterly bored and distracted cashier, a burly bloke in a grey T who yammered on about his wife to someone in the background instead of paying attention to paying customers. So where did we end up? Row BB, a cryptic name for the seats directly in front of the stage - and with a straight shot view up Fonda's nostrils. Unbelieveable. We should have demanded a refund. However, we agreed it's the closest she'll ever get to Jane Fonda, and that unique vista up both Barbarella's celebrity nostrils.

The play was quite enjoyable, and because it was all about Beethoven complete with an accomplished pianist, I killed two birds with a $65-per-head stone in getting a bit of a Broadway-style mini-musical thrown in.

The Eugene O'Neill Theater itself is an cosy, intimate little space, the impressive work of a theater-restoration architect friend, Francesca Russo. For those who barf at those awful, generic multiplex cinemas and concert halls that resemble airport lounges crossed with a 1970's sportsbar aesthetic complete with vomit-disguising carpet, this is the antidote.



Here she is Warrior II-ing in Connecticut (that's Virabhadrasana II, class). I suspect you're supposed to imagine a spear in one hand and a shield in the other.


Here she is with Daryl and Heidi Hawk family's rabbit in CT. We had rabbits when we were kids.

Tomorrow? Museum of Sex - where she plans to pick up some souvenirs from the gift shop for her pals back home. The Joy of Bonobo Sex on flashcards? Watch this space for the goods!

The Gal most recently evangelized in Colorado, getting her knees looked at by the famous Andy Pruitt, and will be presenting her shtick in Georgia end of June.

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