It was a highlight of my life to travel with the Chinese American Hotel Association and Chamber of Commerce to China back in 2017, visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, a city next to Hong Kong. We bonded on the trip, and have enjoyed multiple reunions ever since.
Last week, we met in one of the cozy private rooms at Mulan in the Queens Crossing building in downtown Flushing. During the day, the third-floor ballroom turns into a dim sum palace, and its neighbor Mulan serves superb Cantonese dishes at lunch and dinner.
Our dinner party feast — hosted by Richard and Marilyn Chuk, who had led our visit to China — seemed endless. Dish after dish of fish, lamb, rice, noodles, sashimi and more made me eat, eat and eat some more. Each dish was as delicious as the last one, and the round table made it easy to converse with each other.
One of my travel mates, Wayne Moy, worked on the purchase of the Fortunoff property in Westbury. We are all waiting for its transformation, but there has been little progress due to the ongoing trade war with China. We’ll keep you posted if there’s any movement.
After that wonderful reunion, I enjoyed a weekend escape to Manhattan, with an overnight stay at the Hilton. It’s located only a few blocks away from the Shubert Theater, where I relished the powerful Broadway production of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning book written at the height of the civil rights movement — remarkably relevant today as it was decades ago.
Before taking in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” I visited the intimate, unique Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle.
For years, I wanted to visit this museum, created to exhibit contemporary artists, designers and artisans. I’m a fan of jewelry designers, and here they exhibit and sell many of the designers’ works.
The current “Fake News and True Love” exhibit features jewelry as potential fake news.
One object in this jewel box-like museum was a “possibly fake” ring that may have been given to President John F. Kennedy by Marilyn Monroe. It was found with a mysterious note: “Jack, with love as always, Marilyn,” dated May 29, 1962. The ring is crowned with an image of Marilyn Monroe in a heart, and an image of President Kennedy coyly joined by a mirror.
The museum, located at 2 Columbus Circle, encompasses five floors of intimate exhibition space that’s easy to navigate and extraordinary to experience. The museum is open every day except Monday, and free after 6 p.m. on Thursdays.
I saw “To Kill a Mockingbird” on Sunday, my favorite day to go to the theater because Manhattan is at its sleepiest, comparatively speaking, with less traffic.
Lee wrote her book loosely based on her family’s experience in her small town in Alabama dealing with race and rape. The book is said to have been read by more people than the Bible.
Now, it has been magnificently adapted as a play by the extraordinary playwright Aaron Sorkin distinguished director Bartlett Sher, and an engagingly talented ensemble of actors led by Jeff Daniels. The success of their performances was evident by the sold-out, large, two-balcony Shubert Theatre.
I’m so grateful to have experienced it, as they transported me with their passion and performances. It’s a show not to be missed!