These pictures of course do not do this justice, but the other day we went to the Van Gogh Experience in NYC. It was one of the best things I have experienced. The best part and most unbelievable part was just as we entered, my favorite song, No Regrets by Edith Piaf started playing.
This was not planned. We entered randomly, it was not as if the show was starting, it’s an ongoing thing. The person at the entrance, parted black curtains, and four of us entered, the lights came on and Edith Piaf started singing and Vincent Van Gogh’s work was bigger than life surrounding us. An indescribable moment.
This is one of those times when things came together out of the blue. Edith Piaf is special, her voice and aura is my Christmas gift to you.
A friend sent me this Edith Piaf song, “No Regrets.” He was taking about something and said he had no regrets. When I heard the song I was flabbergasted. I had heard it all my life, but I didn’t know it was Edith Piaf. It’s part of an Allstate Insurance commercial and every time the commercial comes on I stop what I’m doing to listen. I love it. I’m sure you have seen it.
I had always heard of Edith Piaf but didn’t know much about her. I looked her up on Wikipedia and see that she died young – at 47 in 1963, due to drinking and parting too much. Her final words were, “Every damn thing you do in this life, you have to pay for.”
She had such a tragic life. Her mother didn’t want her. She lost her only child at age 2. She was married multiple times and had such a short, sickly life. “No Regrets” describes here life exactly. You can read about her here.
She seems so small and fragile. Look at these live performances. Amazing that such a voice comes out of such a little lady.
Here are a couple of live versions of Ms. Piaf singing “Non, je ne regrette rien (No Regrets)” and “La vie en rose,” which she wrote. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have this stuck in your head all day. But not a bad thing to be stuck in your head!
It’s like this little girl is a reincarnation of Edith Piaf.
I watched the video so much that Allstate is now sending their Edith Piaf ads to me on Twitter!
No! No regrets No! I will have no regrets All the things That went wrong For at last I have learned to be strong
No! No regrets No! I will have no regrets For the grief doesn’t last It is gone I’ve forgotten the past
And the memories I had I no longer desire Both the good and the bad I have flung in a fire And I feel in my heart That the seed has been sown It is something quite new It’s like nothing I’ve known
No! No regrets No! I will have no regrets All the things that went wrong For at last I have learned to be strong
No! No regrets No! I will have no regrets For the seed that is new It’s the love that is growing for you
This is my new favorite commercial. Every time it comes on I stop and watch. The song is “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, released in 1977, I remember liking the song as a kid. You can hear the whole song here.
It’s more than just the song, I just like watching the girl roll up in the comforters and roll down the street. It makes me smile.
I’m feeling really bad about Eddie Van Halen’s passing yesterday. I’m not sure why. I mean I loved Van Halen, but I loved so many other people who passed, but I don’t feel devastated over their deaths.
I didn’t feel devastated over Michael Jackson, but I did over Prince and Tom Petty. I felt devastated over Audrey Meadows, but not Jackie Gleason. Weird, right? Anthony Bourdain really hit me hard. A friend in my head.
Maybe it’s the state of mind we are in on the day we hear of the passing. I can’t figure out why else I would feel so bad for some people and not others. All people I don’t know and never met.
But they were all part of my life. Part of my youth. When they pass away, is a part of my youth passing away?
I always remember when 1983 was turning into 1984, the first video MTV showed right after midnight was Jump, by Van Halen, the first video of 1984. I think it was the premier of the song or maybe just the video. But of all the New Years eves, this one always sticks in my head. I can picture myself in the family room in front of the tv, sitting on the floor, and I can picture my mother in the kitchen on the phone, probably wishing Happy New Year to someone at that midnight hour. But that’s one of my special memories of two of my favorite years – 1983 and 1984 – Van Halen performing Jump, which was the first time I had seen and heard it.
Every day it seems that another event is canceled – art shows, parades, Broadway and recently I read that Art Basel may be canceled. I’m still waiting to find out the fate of New York Comic Con, which is in early October.
The good news great news is that NYC has no new covid cases since March. None. I’m so proud of New York. Here in Florida, we are the opposite. If there is a Comic Con, how will they let people in? New York is safe now, do they want us grubby infected jerks in their state or city now?
But right now, things are boring. There is nothing to go to, nothing to attend anymore. It got me thinking, when did things start? When did culture start? I mean I’m sure the world was boring many years ago. There is the Coliseum in Rome, so we know that in 80 AD there were events going on. And I guess in ancient times before that there were things happening like chariot races, but when did opera start or plays on stage? When did someone say, “Let’s put up a stage here and perform?” When did someone say, “Let’s put up some clothes lines and hang art?”
When did art move from cave walls to something more portable? When did someone set up the first museum or have the first concert?
It’s something to think about. Before then there were dark ages, and I don’t mean the time before the Renaissance, I mean like caveman times.
I was watching Morning Joe yesterday and there was Lady Gaga talking about a concert that will be on MSNBC Saturday, April 18, the “One World: Together at Home” concert, a sort of Live Aid, but it’s not a fundraiser, it’s just a night of entertainment to get everyone’s mind off our current situation.
What made me laugh was her background. I had written about how everyone has such interesting homes, many with bookshelves, and one of the richest, most famous women in the world has this plain white background, with a desk lamp. While she is all that when on the stage, she is just one of us in “real life.” I had seen others on tv with their awards in the background, you know, an actual shelf or grammys or emmys or whatever, but not Gaga. Love that about her.
Here she is on YouTube, announcing the concert – same background.
Once a year, in our little village, we have what’s called the Gifford Lane Art Stroll – it’s about art, but it’s also about food, music and friends – it’s an old fashioned block party and it’s a place where everybody knows everybody else.
I took a Freebee over, it’s a little golf cart that drives people around town, and the driver told me, “The whole town is there!” And that’s the way it’s been for 21 years. It’s one of our favorite events of the year.
Money raised through the art, food and cucumber punch – the best part of the event, goes to two local charities.
My friend Dave and his wife Trina, who started the event so long ago, open their house to visitors. The green cucumber punch is ladled out in the kitchen and people stroll out back to their tropical back yard. It’s old Florida.
A funny thing is that Dave calls out to people as they obliviously walk by, “Thank you for coming! Take all the punch you want!” If I said it, that would be sarcastic, but he means it. And that’s part of the charm of the whole thing.
Pauline Goldsmith, a fantastic artist and friend and her friend Beverly Borland.
The tree-lined Gifford Land.
My friend Theresa does lots of exotic art.
The Solar Dogs perform
Lots of art, lots of friends.
Dogs are always a part of the Art Stroll.
My friend Sheri Friedman shows off her custom painted denim.
My friend Eileen Seitz shows off her tropical paintings.
This is the original art for this year’s poster.
Liz Gibson’s painted rocks.
Liz, Louis and Lana.
It’s the event of the season.
The cucumber punch is the hit of the event.
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