Friday, December 18, 2015

Vico and the World of Metaphor

Thanks to all who joined our intimate group for a look at the thoughts and ideas of Italian philosopher, Giambattista Vico.

Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) was born in Naples. Largely self-taught, he spent most of his professional career as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Naples. He developed important theories on education and language that he detailed in his mature work, La Scienza Nuova (The New Science,) published in 1725.

Neapolitan Express was a wonderful venue, and our authentic pizza was a delicious toast to our topic.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Art Imitates Life Imitates Art

Art and life. At times, it is a blissful marriage. At times, a bloody hell. Yet, as with many creative pursuits, our life experiences often serve to feed the hungry muse. September’s featured readers and performers will tell stories that will explore the blurry line between what is art and what is life: whether it be literary works that have inspired their own stories or whether it is life itself that has fueled their creative works.

Kiley Edgley is a blogger and former professional quiz writer. After growing up in the lush, green Pacific Northwest, she found herself craving concrete and asphalt and is now happily living in Brooklyn. She writes about cultural observations, weird things that happen to her, and general nonsense. Read them at her blog:

Bassey Etim is a journalist and musician from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He lives in Brooklyn and runs the Community Desk at The New York Times. In 2011, Bassey released his debut novel "The God Project," along with a cinematic sound track with the bands Sleep Station and New London Fire. Bassey is currently working with The Times on the open source "Coral" Project with Mozilla and The Washington Post, along with his debut album "Perpetual Motion," which is slated for the fall of 2015.

Thomas R. Pryor’s work has appeared in The New York Times and other periodicals. His memoir, “I Hate the Dallas Cowboys – tales of scrappy New York boyhood,” was published October 2014 (YBK Publishers). His blog: “Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts,” was chosen by The New York Times for their Blog Roll. For five years, Thomas curated a monthly storytelling show, “City Stories: Stoops to Nuts” at the Cornelia Street Café that Time Out Magazine, The New York Daily News and CBS News recommended.

Marie Sabatino has been writing stories since she was a little girl. She has been telling stories all over New York City for the last ten years at venues like the Lit Crawl in Brooklyn and Manhattan, The National Arts Club, Galapagos Art Space, Cornelia Street Café, KGB Bar and the Brooklyn Book Festival. You can find her work in publications such as, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, Word Riot, Freerange Nonfiction, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and in the Mondays are Murder series of Akashic Books, among other places. For the New York Arts and Science Salon, she will be sharing a new piece inspired by the work of Dorothy Parker.  NYASS would like to extend its thanks to Marie for producing this event.

Thank you to Malika & Margaret for the photos and to Alex for hosting us on her rooftop. Thanks to Kambiz & Eric for the wine.

Additional photos provided by Margaret Batiuchiok.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Play in the Apartment

A sold-out crowd joined us for this month's Salon featuring a play set in an apartment. The play, written by Daniel Mitura, features 4 characters reuniting on a sultry summer evening in a NY city apartment. How fortunate for us that Kambiz Shekdar graciously leant us his apartment. He and Eric Grossman were the perfect hosts.
Daniel Mitura is an actor and writer originally from Dallas, TX. He is best known for his adaptation of historical classics. His adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray played at Theatre Row (produced by Tony Award Winner Adam Blanshay (Kinky Boots, JerusalemHow To Succeed in Business), and is currently in production for a tour in Brazil and Portugal (in translation). Other works include The Genius! about the early days of painter Salvador Dali, Falstaff, a Shakespearean adaptation about the life of Henry V and his mentor Falstaff, a stage adaptation of the Richard Condon novel The Manchurian Candidate, and an adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham novel The Magician. He has always enjoyed working on period pieces, from a site-specific version of the Laclos/Hampton Les Liaisons Dangereuses set in 18th century Paris to an ongoing reading series of the work of Tennessee Williams.  Mitura’s work has been performed at Playwrights Horizons, Theatre Row, The Cherry Lane Theatre, The Atlantic, The Looking Glass, The East 3rd Loft, and in other states and abroad. Upcoming projects include: a musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned (called Gloria), and a new translation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit

"Love Among Friends":

Matt (Grayson Powell) invites his best friend Sam (Daniel Mitura) over for drinks to celebrate his return from a trip around the world. Joining them are Matt’s girlfriend Emily (Leigh Wade) her best friend Jenny (Lauren Schaffel.) The casual evening soon spirals out of control as secrets from the past are unearthed and they struggle with th nature of love, friendship, and their futures together.
A buffet dinner catered by Di Palo Fine Foods was served immediately following the play. The playwright and the actors were in attendance to answer questions. Many thanks to Swing & Ballroom teacher Margaret Batiuchok for the photographs.

And a few more photos:

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Conversation with Luna Kaufman

The NY Arts & Sciences Salon was honored to host a conversation with educator and activist, Luna Kaufman. A tireless champion of interfaith understanding, she continues to spread awareness of the atrocities of the past to ensure a future in which genocides no longer occur.

Born in Poland in 1926, Luna Kaufman (nee Luna Fuss) and her family were interned in the Cracow Ghetto before being deported first to the Plaszow and then the Hasag-Skarzysko and Leipzig concentration camps; her sister and father would ultimately perish at Stutthof and Auschwitz, respectively. Following the war and the completion of her studies in Cracow, Kaufman immigrated to Israel and later moved to the United States in the 1950s, where she married Alex Kaufman and had three children. She was a successful business woman for many years. In 2009, Luna published “Luna’s Life: A Journey of Forgiveness and Triumph” a memoir of her life, and an inspiring invitation to reconciliation and forgiveness.

Luna has devoted her life to public service across many fronts. A great lover of music and opera, Luna Kaufman served as president of the New Jersey State Opera as well as the first female president of Temple Shalom in Plainfield/Scotch Plains. She was a volunteer press coordinator at the 1980 Olympics, and has held many other roles in state and local government and initiatives, many aimed at Holocaust commemoration and education. She serves as a Gallery Educator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC and chairs the Sister Rose Thering Endowment at Seton Hall University’s Jewish Christian Department. She is to this day a tireless champion of Jewish Christian understanding, promoting Holocaust education and furthering Judeo-Christian relations. Inspired by her dear friend, the late Sister Rose Thering, a Dominican nun, she continues to spread awarenessof the atrocities of the past to ensure a more enlightened and peaceful future.

Among her many honors, Kaufman has received an honorary doctorate from Seton Hall University and was conferred the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit, given to her by the president of Poland in 2011 in recognition of her contributions to Polish-Jewish dialogue.

Luna's wit and personality engaged her audience fully. We were riveted by her tale and touched by her evident passion for spreading understanding and peace in the world. In that vein, Luna is spear-heading a Concert for Peace at Carnegie Hall on October 17th, 2015, and we will share more details about that with our members.

Luna's memoir, "Luna's Life" is available on Amazon and Kindle. If you took a book at the event and would like to make a donation to the Sister Rose Thering Foundation, you can do so here:

We would like to thank Kambiz Shekdar for hosting us and Malika Cosme for her help preparing the evening & taking photographs.

The food was from Di Palo's Fine Foods on Mott & Grand Streets. The evening was organized by Esther Kashkin & Alex Gagliardi.

(Click on any photo to enlarge)