Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bad Weather

Have you ever heard that expression, "There is no bad weather, just bad clothing choices"?  I embrace that. 

Facebook posts from friends in Southern California have them basking in superlatives about the 80 degree weather in January and "Ooh, I am cold, I think I will turn down the air conditioning." (I thought that one was pretty brilliant.)  But I did not feel any envy- none. 

One of the many things I like about living in New York is the weather.  If you don't like this weather just hold on another kind of weather is just around the corner.  I thoroughly enjoy the seasons.  I was just ice skating in Central Park with the chill in the air, a scarf around my neck, warm gloves on my hands and the sun on my face.  The other night I came in from the chill of the icy rain and ate hot soup as the rain clattered against my window.  How do you get that feeling when it there are tank tops and flip flops passing by outside?  You don't.  And tank tops and flip flops will be soon enough.

In my mind January is for snow and chill and slush and layers and scarves and soup and taking a hot steam at the gym.  I do not desire 80 degrees. I desire wool and hot cocoa.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yefim Bronfman at Lincoln Center

 A view from my fenetre at intermission.

My good friend Ellie and I went to hear our fave pianist Yefim Bronfman at Philharmonic tonight.  (There is no apparent need to say New York Philharmonic when you live here I am learning, but for purposes of my vast worldwide audience, it is the New York Philharmonic.)  Like filing into a Yankee's game or the New World's Vatican of Tennis,  the US Open,  or wandering around the Met (Museum or Opera), the experience starts the moment you alight from the taxi or emerge from the subway.  You will not only have a wonderful experience attending the thing you are paying for, but you will also be part of a collective New York experience.   You will be one of the gleeful huddled masses.  There is a lot of "huddlage" in New York.  It is indeed a rat race, but I find, it is one where everybody wins.

I am off topic again.

What IS the topic?

I have two:

1.  People watching.  The Phil offers amazing people watching.  It is for music, but also for looking at interesting faces, imaging the state of those two over there's marriage, queens in fur coats, ladies in fur coats and comfortable shoes, men who look like they would rather be elsewhere, wondering if a new generation will come, picking out people from Westchester.  It is not for star sighting though last time I was there I body checked Caroline Kennedy on my way back from the men's room.  I am endlessly fascinated by all of us.  And I am not alone.  We love it. And it a funny thing in New York, the giant metropolis, I ALWAYS expect to know someone, or recognize someone, everywhere I go!  And quite often I do though not tonight.

2. Yefim Bronfman.  I wish I could call him Yeffy, but we are not on that level yet.  I first heard him at here last January playing Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op 16 and was so blown away.  He is a genius.  And I use that heavily.  The Yefster rocks my world with his playing. Tonight was no exception though you never forget your first time.  If you ever get a chance to hear this man where you are do go.  (See his link above for international schedule of future Yef sightings.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Subway

This evening I was sitting on the E train heading for a meeting in an office downtown.  I was properly bundled and I was reading a torn and crinkled issue of The New Yorker saved from the crowded mess of my book bag.   I am a New Yorker and I know it. After three years here I know the subway lines, I don't get offered double-decker bus tours anymore and I give directions to strangers and hail cabs.  I am comfortable in my skin. As long as it is properly attired for the weather.

A woman sat next to me. She was carrying a step ladder. Folded.  It didn't look like she just bought it from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  It didn't have a security sticker; it looked like she just took it to use places.  I could feel my body wanting to lean over and say something like "Do you need that to read the adverts on the subway?"  But I just could not think of anything that was either 1. funny or 2. not too obvious.  Unlike a REAL New Yorker, I felt compelled to engage with her.  Just to engage? Well, I think I want to know someone who carries a step ladder with her.

She would always have a seat places.  She could reach things at the grocery.  Or a library.  A liability at the airport surely.

I then thought about how great it would be to carry a seat with you wherever you went because you would always have one!  I used to think it would be great to carry a parking space.  And I also used to think of how great it would be to be able to shrink so tiny that you could carry your house with you and live anywhere!  But the fear of cats would multiply.  And unwanted grasshoppers knocking on your door with a loud bang.   Don't think I would like that. I almost figured I didn't carry my house out of fear of getting eaten.  I never even regarded that it was a real non-issue since I couldn't shrink.

My stop. I got off the train. The woman with the step ladder had farther to go.  I mentally thanked her for getting my thoughts to go places.  But I will never know where she is from and why she carries that step ladder. And I guess that will just have to be okay.