New York City belly dancer Carol Tandava Henning’s new stage production Blood on the Veil muses on one women’s journey into having better self-esteem through the ancient roots of the misunderstood dance form Raqs Sharqui, or better known to the Western world as “belly dancing.”
This promotional trailer for Blood on the Veil features lots of enticing performances from Henning herself as well as belly dance greats such as Nourhan Sharif and Sharon Zaslaw. However, it’s Henning’s personal story and how she relates it to belly dancing’s roots that are truly compelling. The long-haired dancer admits that before she hurt her back, she wrote belly dance off as “Princess Leia sexy slave-girl dancing” and not a legitimate art form. After all, how could a dance that was mainly done by women for the pleasure of men even be on the same level as ballet or jazz?
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, February 17th, 2015||No Comments »|
While at first glance Meg Flather’s novel Home Shopping Diva: Lessons, Lyrics and Lipstick looks like just another piece of vapid chick lit, there’s actually a great message about learning how to deal with the ups and downs of life within its pages.
Flather’s heartwarming memoir recounts her earliest years living in the Philippines, thanks to her Peace Corps parents, and then her times spent growing up in both Massachusetts and the Big Apple. Within the non-fiction novel is a hilarious coming-of-age story as Flather weaves an intricate tale about the life lessons she learned while being an actress, a singer, working in the cosmetics industry, and finally, making her debut on home shopping television.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, November 18th, 2014||No Comments »|
Reuel Golden’s New York: Portrait Of A City takes readers on an epic journey through the Big Apple’s past and present. From photographs to portraits to jaw-dropping aerial shots, all fluctuating eras of the city are given equal representation. Readers can get a bird’s eye view of the glittering, glitzy Jazz Age, the dark days of the Great Depression, and the heartbreaking tragedy of 9/11 and its grim aftermath. The first chapter goes in-depth on New York’s emergence as America’s hottest metropolis, while the next few chapters examine the ‘20s, the Great Depression, and so on until readers get to the modern era. Then the tone shifts as readers learn more about New York from the 1960s until today.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, May 23rd, 2014||No Comments »|
Jackie Barrett’s The Haunting of the Gemini: A True Story of New York’s Zodiac Murders is not your ordinary true crime novel full of dull facts and a boring writing style. This spine-tingling read revolves around a restless spirit, a psychic medium who works with crime fighting units in contacting the departed, and a killer whose early ’90s reign of terror left the Big Apple absolutely paralyzed with fear.
The story begins when the spirit of Patricia Fonti, a victim of NYC Zodiac Killer Heriberto ‘Eddie’ Seda, visits Barrett almost 20 years after she died. The victim’s spirit is restless and is constantly following Barrett everywhere she goes—even a trip to the grocery store suddenly takes on a supernatural element thanks to the relentless ghost who is shadowing her every move.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, March 14th, 2014||No Comments »|
Murals Of New York City: The Best Of New York’s Public Paintings From Bemelmans to Parrish is a colorful stroll throughout the crème de la crème of the Big Apple’s artistic underground and features stunning photographs taken by Joshua McHugh. More than 30 of the most influential and important murals are featured in this weighty tome and they can be seen in places that range from hotels to libraries.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, March 12th, 2014||No Comments »|
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to find a BFF that enjoys the exact same hobbies as you do, and for poets Tina Chang and Tracy K. Smith, who were both given the opportunity to read some of their work and then interview each other at Strand Bookstore in December 2012, that’s fortunately a reality. In the interview, both poets read from their pieces and talk about how their lives have shaped their poetry over the years. Smith admits that some of her writing influences include her own musings on spirituality and loss. She adds that the first duty of a poet is to listen. Poets have a duty to be receptive, she explains, which helps enrich their writing. Meanwhile, Chang admits that 9-11 greatly affected her as a writer—she went from being a spectator observing the world to having a profound realization that horrors can come to our shores. Since that day, her writing has taken on a more lyrical quality.
From overcoming personal tragedies to inspiring writer’s retreats, the deep bond between the two women shines clearly throughout the interview and is a superb example of the power of friendship.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, March 5th, 2014||No Comments »|