Monthly Archives: October 2019

Fall Break NYC: heading home

I’m in the Centurion Lounge at Laguardia.  Peace and silence surrounds on a Sunday morning, which is apparently a very quiet time at LGA.  I shan’t complain.

Rain is coming down outdoors.  I can see the seagulls flapping about on the taxiways, and the expanse of Flushing Bay and the East River just beyond.  All is gray.  This is the right day to be leaving New York City.

But what an exceptional week this been.

I started my Fall Break with a meal with Jeff Allison, my beloved former student, now an Ensign in the US Navy, and in medical school.  That I evening I saw another now-former student, Jacob Flekier, in Brighton Beach Memoirs at New Jewish Theatre.  He and I shared a valedictory (benedictory?) dinner and some singing the next evening.  This brilliant and talented young man is poised to do some great things, and I am one proud teacher.

Monday was a full day at the office, then some fun singing with the increasingly crisp-sounding Variety Children’s Chorus. I had lunch with a college sophomore who is a delightful student, and a mentor to others.

Then NYC.  I packed in the activity this trip: two visits to the Metropolitan Opera, two Broadway shows, one Off-Broadway show, one developmental reading of a new show, two circus performances, a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a visit to the Grolier Club, a visit to the Morgan Library.  Several fine meals.  Numerous subway rides, and a few bus rides.  So much walking.  Meals with dear friends, colleagues, former students who are now part of the fabric of my life.  And some time with my German friendship family student from Webster.

New shoes and luggage and some fun socks were the extent of my shopping.

The God-winks this trip were numerous.  Jessica Hentoff happened to be in town at the same time, thus the circus visits.  Malte Hansen happened to be in town, thus the German student time.  Spencer Jones and family were in town for the 29-hour-workshop of Corner of Bitter and Sweet, thus the breakfast with them and the industry reading.  Manon was in its final performances at the Met, and my cheering and braying was carried worldwide yesterday.  The weather has been perfect.  Autumn in Manhattan is a treat.

And as always, I’m ready to be home.

 

 

 

Fall Break NYC: Manon and such

Saturday.  What a delightful day!

10.30 a.m.  Brunch at The Smith with Audrey McHale (Webster BFA ’12, just returned from a year at Disney Tokyo) and Chase Thomaston (Webster BFA ’17, now on the industry side in NYC).  These two are cherished alums from my voice studio, and very dear people!

Then to the Metropolitan Opera for Manon.  Here’s the story:

I was in a box seat on the Grand Tier at the Met.  The $160 ticket was totally worth the experience.

But the Met is fraying a bit too:

Since today was a simulcast worldwide, we got a bit of a sense of an intermission feature, an interview with the prompter:

Here’s a view of the Met chandeliers on their pre-show ascent:

And after the opera, a very happy me:

Here’s the trailer from the Met website.

I’m old enough . . .

I’m old enough that I know these things about traveling:

  • Comfortable shoes are must.  Walking is tiring.
  • Look up.  One misses the splendor of cities when eyes are only cast forward.
  • Never pass up a toilet break, or a bus-driver in Germany once said, “eine kleine pee-pee-pause.”  I’m all right for now will quickly become Oh my lord, where’s the restroom?
  • I’m gonna eat what I want.  If that’s a hot dog from a cart on the street, or a toasted bagel with loads of cream cheese, so be it.
  • My body knows best.  When it says “take Friday evening off,” then that’s I do.  After stopping at the Macy’s flagship store and having a nice steak dinner.
  • NPR is the great uniter of my life.  I listen to it no matter what city or country I happen to be in.
  • I really can travel with fewer shirts and trousers than I think.
  • It’s just money.  And I work hard for it.  So I’m gonna spend some of it.
  • Water pressure in the shower really does matter.
  • A good hotel experience can make or break a trip.  (cf. my awful hotel experience in Williamsburg more than a decade ago)
  • Journaling assists in keeping me balanced and aware.
  • Stop to smell the roses.  Watch the dogs play.  People-watch.  Enjoy the breeze.  Stare in horror at tragic hair.
  • And have fun trying to figure out the accents and backgrounds of people you hear around you.

 

Fall Break NYC: Circus Day

[Headline photo: one lone leaf on a book in a vendor’s stall by Central Park.]
Thursday was Circus Day in Manhattan.

I started the day with a matinee performance of Big Apple Circus, in an audience filled mostly with children.  Loud children.  Shrill children.  And I loved it.

This poor guy in a circus uniform just wasn’t having it….

Lunch followed at Rustic Table, with Jessica the Circus Lady and her posse of friends, plus her son Keaton and his girlfriend.  My lunch of shredded chicken, harissa tahini, and such was a huge delight.

I bussed my way over to 60th and Madison Avenue, and took in the latest exhibition at the Grolier Club, one of my favorite out-of-the-way nerdy places in NYC.

And then I spent some time in Central Park.

On the way to the evening circus performance, I stopped by the Jo Malone shop (my wallet is groaning) at Columbus Circle, then headed on across 59th toward the Hudson River to see Keaton Hentoff performing in Australia’s contemporary Circa ensemble as part of the White Light Festival.  The show, En Masse, was simply stunning.

11, 922 steps on Thursday.  That’s my best day this week.