Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Ode to New York

Do you know that I live in the greatest city in the world? Of course you do. Or perhaps you are an NYC-naysayer or even a traveler more experienced than I. True, I have never been to Dublin, Rome, London, Madrid, or Paris (or even L.A. for that matter). And while taste and experiences vary as we age, I have a feeling that New York and I have a long road together. On Thursday evening, I was fortunate enough to go see a new play by one of my favorite playwrights (Edward Albee's Me, Myself, and I) only to be surrounded by an evening of some of my favorite songs and favorite people (i.e. more debauchery at Uncle Charlie's). The show was quite good, one of the more stimulating evenings I have had in the theatre in New York, starring one fo my 'new' favorites Elizabeth Ashley (I also saw her in August: Osage County). The following two evenings were busy nights at work, surrounded by colleagues that I truly trust and even a few customers I actually like. There's nothing better than a really busy night at the restaurant then immediately going out to celebrate and let off some steam (i.e. debauchery all over Astoria). This morning I am waking up well rested, pleased with my decision to stay in last night. The cool, fresh air is coming in from my window, gently waking me, inviting the sun in. I love having my windows open. Even on the coldest winter days, you'll find my windows open just a crack. Sure, sometimes the noise from the street can be annoying (there's a small café/bar caddy corner from my apartment), but then the street's residual noise can be quite the comfort from the occasional lonelies, the energy from the world leaking into my domain, helping me make it out of bed (well, I'm still in bed, but I am upright). Not to mention, it is always helpful to keep one's windows open if you decide to stay up until the wee hours smoking cigarettes and watching movies with your best friend (not that any of you would ever do that). Now when I read plays or see movies, so many of them are set in New York, I know those places, get the references, I see the difference between Stephen Adly Guirgis's Our Lady of 121st Street andWall Street (ok, think about it and you can probably get that one too). On Monday, I had the chance occasion to see a rare reading of Stephen Sondheim's Evening Primrose. For most there, the evening's focus was on a benefit for the St. George's Society of New York. For the few of us in the cheap seats (thanks to resourceful friends and TDF), it was a chance to catch a rare performance with the possibility of a few celebrity sightings (Angela Lansbury, Tommy Tune, Marian Seldes, and Alan Cumming were all in attendance; Candice Bergen played Mrs. Monday). Set in a New York department store, it is not Mr. Sondheim's most brilliant work, but does contain some really wonderful music. After all, who has seen or even heard of Evening Primrose? I can now proudly say that I do. While this city is very expensive, exhausting, oftentimes stressful, and for a few months of the year with less than desirable weather, New York is New York, defiant, individual, different than any other place in this country (or the world for that matter). For me, it is now also home. For how much longer will either of these facts be true, only time can tell. But for now, I am loving the city and aim to take advantage of its full benefits. As we go deeper into the fall season, things begin to slow down just a tad, our clothes getting a little bulkier, our bright summer patterns and prints give way to deeper hues, our season of feasting about to begin. And feast I intend to do.

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