Saturday, September 1, 2012

In the New YORK: #10-14

In the New YORK: The Summer Round-Up Part 1!
So this whole "I'm doin' it for ME" element of this version of the project has accidentally resulted in secret new things: I'm doing them, but nobody knows! Turns out a lot of them had to do with theater. In fact, this installment of catch-up posts is only about theater, and future posts will be about something else. Hopefully things like cop ride-alongs, long walks along the subway tracks and sewer rat adoption. But seriously, when you're a Californian theater-nerd NYC transplant, The Great White Way is one of the city's biggest draws. So this new year-long project gave me an excuse to experience as much of it as possible.

#10: Saw Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway. This is probably my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, and I hadn't heard some of the music in almost 20 years.
#11: Saw the limited-run play Magic/Bird on Broadway. An unlikely Broadway entry, it's about the friendship of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. I, and the disproportionate number of father/son pairs in the audience, actually really liked it.
#12: Saw Newsies: The Musical. Oddly enough, on Broadway! Cousin Cat and I had each been obsessed with the movie as tweens, and the stage version, with all its dancing, crazy talented men and new songs, did not disappoint.
#13: Saw Harvey on Broadway. Another play! This classic from the 1950s starred The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons as Elwood P. Down, whose best friend is a 6'4" imaginary rabbit, and Jessica "seriously, give this woman a Tony" Hecht as his nutty sister. I saw it with my husband and my BFF Joe the Giant Ostrich.
#14: Finally, finally finally got to see some Shakespeare in the Park! This summer's offerings were As You Like It and Into the Woods. Husband and I saw the latter, which is, yes, Sondheim and not Shakespeare, in the outdoor amphitheater, complete with a trees-and-castle backdrop in the middle of Central Park.

Friday, May 25, 2012

In the New YORK #9: Art of Dining

I often write/talk/blog/post/tweet about my love for museums, especially the amazing museums that are right in my NYC backyard (one even closer than others). By the end of this phase of my New Things journey, I want to hit at least 10 new museums. And I will, but there's no reason I can't enjoy some new features of the ones I've already been to. For that reason, and also because I was hungry, I went on a mini museum food tour. Cousin Cat has the inside track on tons of great NYC restaurants, including Untitled at The Whitney and The Modern at MoMA, both of which we hit in one day. Neither meal had much to do with fine art, which is perfectly acceptable. The incredible food speaks for itself, and too many reminders that we're actually in a museum would make the place seem thematic or cheesy. A few days after the Whitney/MoMA double whammy, Husband and I hit the Met Museum for a members-only showing of the Steins Collection, after which we hit the Petire Court cafe for breakfast with a view of Central Park to the west and the skylit entrance to the American Wing to the east. Out of all of these places, The Met was the only place we saw any art, which only means I have a reason to go back to the Whitney and the Moma! For the purposes of this blog, I will likely be wearing roller skates or riding a horse. So stay tuned.

Friday, May 18, 2012

In the New YORK #8: Fresh Faced

In what has been by far my girliest new thing (definitely in this round, but not necessarily including the original project), the fabulous Cat and I went to a Trish McEvoy makeup event at Bloomingdale's. First we sat through a charming mini-lecture, in which Trish herself demonstrated some little-known techniques (the "triangle of light" blew my mind) with the help of two assistants. Apparently I've been doing my makeup wrong all my life, but that stopped here! After the demo, the group was escorted into Trish's in-store studio, where a trained TM makeup goddess applied product to half the client's face, while the client had to try to re-create the look on the other half. Cat and I were sharing a makeup goddess, so makeup goddess couldn't pay as much attention to us individually. I think I did okay. I mean, I'm no makeup guru, and yeah, I have been using the same techniques since 7th grade (luckily the same cannot be said for my once sky-high bangs). But as a novice, using high-end products and tools for the first time, I think I did okay!

Full. What?

Friday, May 11, 2012

In the New YORK #7: Plane and Tall

 I totally did not, except when I was allowed to. You're welcome.

I can now officially say that I have experienced the first-class cabin on the Concorde, and except for the thing where it never left the ground and I saved $8,000, I'm pretty sure it was an authentic experience. Along with husband and my in-laws, I went to the Intrepid Museum. Even the pre-space shuttle Intrepid (the Enterprise arrives later this summer) is well worth the trip. The history of the place is pretty fantastic, and who doesn't love a bunch of old-timey planes? And yes, I recommend the Concorde tour, which includes seats in the first-class cabin, a frightening-for-tall people trip into the cockpit and a glimpse of  a typical menu, which puts even some 4-star Manhattan restaurants to shame. After that it was back to the flight deck to (distantly) inspect some well-preserved planes dating as far back as the 19teens, and inside the carrier for some interactive cool nerdy science exhibits.Then we donned our jetpacks and zoomed over Manhattan, because there really is no other way to leave an aircraft carrier.
Two San Diegans, one bigger than the other.

Friday, May 4, 2012

In the New YORK #6: MAD Woman

If Broadway is my favorite cultural thing about New York, museums are a close second, if not tied for first. I've hit many of them here, but not nearly enough of them. Last Sunday, husband and I went to the Museum of Art and Design. Located conveniently and inconspicuously at Columbus Circle, it's 5ish floors of modern design, each floor with a different theme. We started out on Necklace Floor, where we caught a glimpse of jewelry made out of oddities like gun triggers, safety pins, ceramic and pig intestine. From there we saw the Dirt floor, with a ballroom made of dust, a "dirts of New York" mosaic and a dude made of mud; Glass floor with innovative blown designs including a collection of wine glasses that each had the ashes of a burned book in the stem; and a floor whose theme I can't remember but which was decorated with flocks of creepily realistic birds among other things. I highly recommend this quiet, uncrowded little oasis (though the "uncrowded" part is a little bittersweet. Fill this awesome place up, people!) as a MoMA companion, or perhaps as an alternative on crazy days. Go MAD!

Mud man. He had a dog. The dog is not in this picture.

 Mud man. He had a dog. The dog is not in this picture.

Friday, April 27, 2012

In the New YORK #5: 1% Wonder

I told a small handful of New Yorker friends that I had never done this week's thing, and the common response was a wide-eyed "really?!" followed by a casual shrug. Because other New Yorkers understand that one can't do everything here, and everyone has that one Thing Other People Do All The Time that they happen to have never done. Today I went to Saks Fifth Avenue, where I tried on something silly. This store is beyond intimidating, even for someone who's used to other people's attempts to impress them with displays of expensive sophistication ("Now I have Tory Burch flats in six colors," announced a coworker in the elevator the other day). Well-lit, tall and fragrant, Saks is the epitome of luxury. Really Important Brands leap out from every corner, and presentation of the merchandise goes far beyond Stuff on a Rack. There are legions of svelte mannequins in hip poses lounging in every aisle, draped in of-the-minute finery, their motionless mouths seeming to whisper, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. I slipped into a dressing room anyway, with an Alice + Olivia outfit made for someone far more trendy than I and worth nearly $600.

 The top. Not too bad. At a different price point, I would totally wear it.

The pants. Oh good gravy the pants. Too bad I'm not 6'4" with
$400 to spend on 90210-inspired modifed Hammer pants.

Friday, April 20, 2012

In the New YORK! #4: Sunrise, Sunset

Despite a slight geographical fudge, I still consider this a "New York" thing, since almost everybody involved, including the two key players, are all from New York. I went to my first totally traditional Jewish wedding. Aside from a neighbor's Bar Mitzvah in 1988 and a production of "Fiddler on the Roof" I was in two years ago, my first-hand experiences with Jewish tradition have been embarrassingly limited. I also credit this couple, Sean and Robin, with a New Thing I didn't blog about last summer, when I watched them get engaged at Belvedere Castle in Central Park. It was very elaborate, yet still incredibly sweet, and I knew then that their wedding would be the same. And I should definitely mention that my first Jewish wedding was also my first "started with the wedding scene from The Muppets Take Manhattan" wedding. A talented handful of performers from the Magnet performed the entire sequence, and Robin walked down the aisle to the "She Makes Him Happy" part, preceded by flower girls carrying a Kermit and a Piggy. After that, it was straight-up traditional, with the veiled bride, a beautiful chuppah, presentation of the ketubah, breaking of the glass, and raising of the bride and groom on chairs. L'Chaim!
 Chuppah bound! Photo by Gayle Agate Escobar