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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, January 24, 2001

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MR. POE...


Photo by Spencer Tucker

If he were alive today, he'd be 192 and four days. His last home was at Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx. Today "Poe Cottage" is one of Parks' 19 Historic House Museums. In honor of these facts, Parks celebrated Edgar Allan Poe's birthday Monday, January 22, 2001 with a multimedia presentation of his poe-try and prose, and the music and visual art they inspire.

Edgar Allan Poe may have foreseen the sort of legacy fame could earn him. He wrote, "It is with literature as with law or empire-an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession." Established writers and performers gathered in the Arsenal Gallery to bring his canonical works to life. Lawrence Block, author of over 100 short stories and crime novels; Dana Watkins, stage and screen actor; mystery writer William Chambers; mystery writer Grace Edwards; Daily News columnist Bill Bell; and a surprise guest-the bestselling mystery writer, Carol Higgins Clark-read Poe's works by the light of a lamp decorated with a small stuffed raven. Their readings were followed by selections from the opera, The Cask of Amontillado. Composer Richard Currie also created the musical score for The Heart of the City, a visual history of Central Park. In this he worked with Doug Lazarus whose elegant prints, or "Poe-tographs" (a phrase coined for the exhibit) were featured on the walls of the Gallery in panoramic display.

Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern welcomed the crowd of over 100 Poe enthusiasts and thanked committee members Jill (Mainsail) Mainelli, Director of Community Resources; Kathy (Annabel Lee) McAuley, Director of the Poe Cottage; Amy (Friday) Freitag, Director of the Historic House Trust; and Walter Wager who is on the board of the Mystery Writers Association. They put their heads together to stage the event, a collaboration between Parks, the Historic House Trust, the Bronx County Historical Society and the Mystery Writers of America. Parkwest High School and Makers Mark Distillery provided food and drink for those still hungry after two hours of bone-chilling literature.

In his enthusiasm for the performance and the space, prominent illustrator Al Hirschfeld remarked, "There's a little piece of New York I've never seen before. And I know New York."

THANK-YOU ON BEHALF OF UNISPHERE

I would like to express my most sincere appreciation to everyone who reached out to help our coworker Marilyn Alexander during her recent tragedy. When it became known that Marilyn lost her house, and most tragically her Father, due to a fire during the Holiday Season, Parks employees from the entire city contacted us to see how they could help. Your thoughtfulness and selflessness was truly moving. On behalf of Marilyn and her family I would like to thank all of you for your well wishes, prayers and contributions.

By Estelle (Unisphere) Cooper Assistant Commissioner of Queens

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Wednesday, January 27, 1988)

MOZART CELEBRATED IN CENTRAL PARK

It was mostly Mozart enthusiasts, who along with opera buffs and classical music lovers, jammed the Central Park Chess and Checkers House at 64th Street inside Central Park yesterday to join Commissioner Stern at a 232nd birthday celebration of one of the world's most well-known composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Manhattan School of Music Strong Quartet, with violoncellist Louise Dubin, violinist Judith Insell, and violinists Michael Dabroski and Kate Williams, staged a musical tribute to the 18th century composer by performing his Quartet in G Major, K. 387, including the "Allegro Vivace Assai," "Minuetto," "Andante Cantabile" and Molto Allegro."

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

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