Thursday, September 22, 2011

#18 Fall is coming and Summer is falling fast

Technically, this title is one day late, as Fall begins on September 21st, and I am probably going to get this finished on the 22nd. Well, I've been a little slow these past few months, so at least I'm being consistent. Wouldn't want to shock people by being reliable and keep to a schedule. This is a walk-about, a traipse through the mean streets and filthy alleys of the most complicated city in the world, by a person with a frazzled brain. Too much to think about. Too much to do. Too much to report, and not enough time to do it all in a punctual manner. So take it when you can and enjoy. This is the best I can do. Life interferes with life. You get my drift.
So Fall is in the air. Today the people are wearing long sleeves. Jackets are not in evidence yet, but perhaps soon. Walking and biking are a great pleasure. The subways are no longer heat pits of torture, and I love this city. The Farmer's Market in Union Square is filled with stunning fruits and veggies, none of which I purchase, because I am not home to cook. I am on a mission: Do things and experience the world at my doorstep.
Lots on the calendar and here are some of the highlights from the past 2 weeks:
1. BIRTHDAYS: 2 Theater BDays (Tom Flynn (sweet/charming, Dr Dillamond) and Teal Wicks (my Diva, Elphaba) and Mine! You know I celebrated 3 days, thanks to Linda & Neal B and my Bdwy friends (even got plotzed one night), but September 11th came along, and put an end to the silliness.
2. 9/11 was really intense. I must have DVR'd 20 shows, to learn as much as possible about how New Yorkers experienced the events of that day. I went down to Ground Zero with Nanette and Steve a week  before, and the area was already staged for the huge number of people expected there on that Sunday's memorial. The City was ready for anything. I saw at least 3 police check points from Central Park to the Broadway area, and there were video towers all over. The thing that remains in my mind is the reading of the names. That Sunday was filled with tears, for me as well.
3. Jacqueline came in from CA to participate in TealWicksWickedWeek, the ending of her run as the GreenGirl. 99% of the theater these 2 weeks is going to be devoted to those last shows, but she and I did get in one other show called Sleep No More, a performance piece, done in a 5 story abandoned hotel. The audience wears masks, roams the building following the actors and can even participate in the action. Oh, the play that is loosely performed is Macbeth. It is so rich and full of action, that I never got to the rooms where the witches were double bubbling, toil and troubling. Me, missing witches! It was a huge blunder on my part! It lasted 4 hours, and I didn't want to leave. Special evening.
Another special evening was the world premiere of "8", a new work about the Prop 8 case in the courts right now, that was presented as a reading with a star-filled cast for one night only. The tickets started at $2K down to $500. Not in my price range. I was not happy. Here are some of the actors:Matt Bomer,Anthony Edwards,Morgan Freeman,Cheyenne Jackson,Larry Kramer,Christine Lahti,John Lithgow,Rob Reiner,Yeardley Smith,Ellen Barkin,Bradley Whitford, to name the ones you might know. There were others as well. I really wanted to go. Then on Saturday, there was a tiny notice in BroadwayWorld, that there would be a few RUSH tickets offered at 10 o'clock Monday, the day of the reading. I put out an e-mail to my theater buddies and the plotting began. What time to get to the theater to get in line? It was decided that 6 would be good. Sunday night, my friend Elisa called at 11 to tell me that there were ALL READY people on line. I got up at 2:30am and got to the theater at 3:11. I was 12th. Much fun was had by all in line. Some played cards, some slept, and the rest of us gossiped about theater. I love RUSH lines, but this was the first one I have done before the garbage men get up. Got the tix and went home at 10:15 to sleep those lost hours. The show was historic, not only for the content and the acting, but for the star quality of the audience. Every Gay Advocate in NYC was there, as well as actors, because it was on a Monday night. I learned that the photo shoot in front of the theater that you see the next day in the papers is called "the step and shoot", the press was in heaven and so was I. I went up to all sorts of "names" and talked. I was making the best of that evening. The only problem is that I am too fraking short. I get lost in the crowd and am engulfed. I need 8 inch heals.

On that somber note of despair at the state of the nation, I will stop. Thanks for reading. I'm having a wonderful time. I hope to spread the joy by blogging to you.  Don't think I don't miss you ...I do, but I'm too busy to think about it. TTFN

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#17 Summer's Over...Please Come Back!

Labor Day, to me at least, is the end of Summer. Yes, I know, the actual end of Summer is September 21st, but my mother told me I can't wear white after Labor Day and so that's my cut off point. The kidlets are going back to school. The "La Dee Da's" are coming back to the city from The Hamptons and the lobby of my building is filled with golf clubs and luggage. Don't those people know that NYC in the Summer is just fabulous?
True, I don't have a tan. True also, it was a bitch in the Subway when the temperature was over 90, but there was so much to do...and most of it was FREE. (free is my favorite word!)
I had never visited The City in Summer. There is plenty of action in Cali in the Summer and who wanted to mingle with the tourists and sweaty homeless people. WRONG. NYC vibrates with energy and beauty in the summer. It also smells bad when you are walking by the piles of garbage at the curb, but I have learned how to never breathe through my nose except when in a good restaurant or while walking in Central Park.
Speaking of Central Park, here is my best encounter of the summer (even better than meeting Yeardly Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson) twice and having a nice talk each time). Some time in early July I was walking East to West through the park, probably going from one of the museums near the Guggie and heading to meet someone in the Theater District. (I don't remember. It doesn't matter.) The time was around 8:50. Dusk. The weather was sultry and the park was quiet. I walked around a grove of trees and came upon one of the small ponds that rings the lake where people rent the row boats, but this pond is too small and there are only turtles. The light was beautifully soft and there were no people around talking. I walked over to the dirt path that leads to the edge of the water and then I saw them! Fireflies! Bazillion Fireflies! I haven't seen a single firefly in California, ever! They just don't exist west of the Rockies. Don't ask me why. Obviously it has to do with climate and water, but so what, my kids never had the opportunity to experience the joy of watching and capturing them into Mason jars (we were not ecologically sensitive in my youth). The last time I saw them was the day OJ had his madness in the white Jeep on the LA highway, and I was in Chicago on a visit. All the people were at the TV watching that murderer, and I was transfixed on the fireflies in the back yard.
So, when I saw the flickering bugs in the park I was in total heaven. I stayed there for an hour, at least, just watching. Of course, as it got darker the display got better and it was just magical. I tried, but none of my attempts to capture the moment visually on my cel camera worked at all. The magic is in my memory. Bless Mayor Bloomberg for keeping The City safe, because it was really dark and late when I finally left the area. If it had been a few years ago I'd probably have been mentioned in the morning papers.
So, I mark the end of summer by remembering that special encounter and to add a few more observations:
Skinny girls look great in short shorts, the rest of us not so much.
People have LOTS of tattoos these days and most are just terrible.
Never put just one more blast of air in a bike tire because you will blow it up and it pops.
Always walk through the Farmer's Market at lunch time and sample everything!
Oh, just one more thing. I will wear white...whenever I want to!