Drama School 101: Read the Fucking Play

I never made it to Shakespeare in the Park last year. I don’t know why but the entire season just flew by before I could decide whether or not to go line up one morning. And truth be told, their current (well, it’s closing tonight) production of Julius Caesar almost did, too. Julius Caesar isn’t one of my favorites and I didn’t think there was anyone in it of note. THEN the media on the right started kicking and screaming like the little snowflakes that they are and I was like, “OKAY, I’VE GOTTA SEE THIS.” I tried playing the lottery via TodayTix all week and finally had last night free and decided to take a little sign down to the Public and try to get a ticket.

When I asked where the stand-by line was, they said there wasn’t any because the show was sold out. So silly. There are always extra tickets. Anyways, there were already protesters there (protesting IN favor) when I arrive at 5:15pm and it only grew while I waited with my little sign (almost getting ticketed, multiple times, because apparently you’re not allowed to “solicit” in Central Park. Sorry, dudes, I just wanted a ticket, not soliciting for sex).  I read Imogen Lloyd-Webber’s, “The Intelligent Conversationalist” while I waited and watched the cops arrive as the counter protests (pro-Trump, anti-production) arrived – two old, white senior citizens – and the barricades went up. There was a blonde girl protesting in support of the production screaming her head off. I wanted to tell her to STFU because she was our side look bad because she looked like a lunatic, but I decided not to.

Around 7:10pm, a woman around my age was walking by when she saw my sign and said, “Oh, I think I might have an extra ticket. I don’t think my friend is coming, hold on.” And after she went to the box office, another guy came up to me and said he might have an extra one, as well. The woman came back first, and I gave my sign to another guy who was waiting around for a ticket (who I think was given the ticket that the second person who approached me had. Yay, teamwork). I grabbed a chicken wrap and a beer from the concession stand, watched some more of the protest, and then took my seat.

The audience was allowed onstage, to sign banners, and it was all pretty awesome. Then at 8:10, Oskar Eustis’ voice came on the PA system and told us about who was sponsoring the show, and added that despite his statement in the program, there was one line that was changed and we’d all know what it was when it came. AHHHH.

Continue reading “Drama School 101: Read the Fucking Play”

For three years I worked in the two-toned brown building in the lower right corner of this photo (Carnegie Hall Tower). Before the stupid “billionaires” tower went up right in front of it, our view was of all of Central Park. It was so nice. I think I can (almost) see the apartment building that I lived in for six years on Central Park West. 

I’m so glad that I moved uptown after college. 

All About That Quiet

Last night I attended my very first Big Quiet gathering in Central Park’s Summerstage venue. I’d met Jesse Israel, the founder of The Big Quiet and MediClub, but I had yet to attend one of the actual events. Part of me hates the idea of paying more than $10 to meditate (because meditation is free, goddamnit) but then I remember how great the experience of group meditation is and I asked my friend to grab me a ticket when she was buying a few weeks back.

Note to self: Bring a yoga block to sit on next time. We arrived 30 minutes or so before showtime and put down our towels before indulging in samples from sweetgreen and a vegan cookie company (they were oatmeal and thus just OK). I saw a couple of people that I knew and eventually the lights on the main stage went down and my friends and I sat on our towels. 

We were all lead in a vocal exercise to get us revved up for the meditation by an incredible voice manipulative/beat boxer/whatever and the organizers of The Big Quiet and MediClub came onstage after to tell us more about their organization.

Jen Kluckowski lead the actual meditation. I never reached a truly relaxed state, sadly. Probably because I was uncomfortable, first sitting on my knees and then switching to a seated cross-legged position. It was nice to hear the wind and the birds though. I wished it was more guided, or at least that there were more moments of, ‘when your mind has wandered…’

I’m glad I went because like I said before, group meditation is great, and sometimes better than solo meditation. My next move is to grit my teeth and pay for ClubMedi the next time they host a sitting. Because in a world with so much noise, we need that quiet so much more. 

Check them out here on Facebook for information on the next gathering. 

“Race to Deliver,” 11.22.15 aka #runningsucks

Yesterday Justin and I awoke at an unusually early hour (for a Sunday morning) of 6:30am for the “Race to Deliver” in Central Park, benefitting God’s Love We Deliver. I think it’s a great organization and the timing worked out perfectly. We’d had several weeks to prepare (aka running a couple of times per week) and I knew it wouldn’t be warm out anymore – yessss. 

We grabbed bananas and made our way to Central Park. We’d stayed up way-too-late watching the first episodes of The Man in the High Castle so we were running on about 5 hours of sleep – not the greatest idea to be honest. And it was chilly! My long-sleeved shirt was definitely not enough warmth when standing still. 

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We took our place among the 6,000 people running the race and just went for it. We ended up running the race in 40:52, which equates to 10:13 miles. Not too bad. I absolutely detest running hills so my quads felt like they were on fire every time we went up a hill. We just ran and ran and didn’t stop and it felt like shit most of the time (for me, at least) but we did it.

My reward was seeing a couple of corgis in the park as we were exiting. I almost died.

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Afterwards we treated ourselves to brunch at Jacob’s Pickles on the UWS. We arrived a little after 9:30 and we were shocked to still see a mass of people waiting outside for a table. Luckily we grabbed seats at the bar. Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches on biscuits with coffee, fruit, and hash browns. 

We might consider doing a 5 mile race next time – in the spring – but who knows. Running is pretty damn boring, but it’s a good way to burn calories and it’s not too bad when you’re running with a partner when you push each other to going farther than you thought you originally could.

Sunday Run-Day

I’ve been running about once a week for the last couple of months, usually with my dude. The Sunday before Thanksgiving we’re running a 4 miles race so every weekend we’re prepping for it. Last Sunday we ran 5k through the west side of Central Park and up The Dakota. 

We were 100% dead after. My quads and calves have been super tight lately and this didn’t help. I spent a bunch of time lying face down on my floor in frog pose afterwards. 

Running can still be boring as a calculus class, but it’s better if you run outside and with someone.

Lole White Yoga in Central Park

When I entered and won my ticket to Lole White’s free massive yoga class in Central Park, it said the start time was 4:30 and I was like, “Oh well, can’t go. #adulting.” Then I realized the class started at 6 and I assumed probably later (because lots of adults in this city are lucky enough to have jobs) and left the office fifteen minutes early arriving around 6:10 to the Great Lawn. I own zero pairs of white leggings (for obvious reasons) but I wore my mint green pair (also not flattering, but less unflattering than white) and a white t-shirt. 

I was towards the back but I found an unclaimed mat and gift bag (with a Fuji water bottle, a water bottle light, a Lole no-slip headband (spoiler: it slips), a protein packet, a magazine, among other things) and sat down to warm up. 

The class was taught by three teachers and was more vigorous than I anticipated (but i loved every minute of it). There were volunteers walking around helping people with their alignment and it kinda-sorta made me want to take a teacher training course so I could qualified to do the same thing someday. Anyways. The chick in front of me wouldn’t stop stopping to take photos though – and having her male friend take photos of her in random poses. Put down your damn phone, girl.

The class was accompanied by the beautiful music Ingrid Michaelson and the weather was perfect. I rolled up my new mat, tucked it into my new tote bag, and peaced out through Central Park.

It was a good way to spend a Wednesday night. 

Last night I went to Central Park to see a favorite band of mine play: Guster. Their last concert in January was awesome and despite the heat, I was looking for to seeing them. I hung back and enjoyed a beef brisket sandwich from Lonestar Empire while the opening act Kishi Bashi performed. He was interesting, to say the least. 

I managed to get pretty close for not trying at all. I was pleased. They played favorites like Diane, Careful, Barrel of a Gun, Do You Love Me?, and This Could All Be Yours Someday., in addition to tracks from their newest album like Long Night, Doin’ It By Myself, Kid Dreams, and Simple Machine (which is probably my favorite track off the album). 

As usual Ryan Miller went off on a million rants in between songs and made us all laugh. They had Kishi Bashi back onstage during their fake encore. As usual Ryan explained how the “B Side” of the setlist would work: “We’re going to do a couple more songs, a fake encore – so get excited – and then go offstage for about 4 minutes and then come back on to do another four songs. I always like to know what’s going on, so I think you do too!” 

By the end of the two hour set, I was sweaty, my legs were sore, my voice was a tad hoarse, and I was a bit hard of hearing.

But it was all totally worth it.

Spoon, September 10, 2014

I’ve been a fan of Spoon since around the time Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson was transferred to broadway. Spoon was the pre-show music and when I messaged Alex Timbers to ask who it was, he told me that it was mostly Spoon. I downloaded a bunch of their albums and was hooked. And I finally got around to seeing them live last week at Summerstage in Central Park.

I didn’t catch much of the second opener but I was able to make my way through the crowd during the set to the front on the right where I met up with a coworker. Spoon eventually came out and played for an hour and a half. I knew a lot more of the songs than I expected to! I enjoyed them all, whether I knew them or not, rocking out harder to the ones that I obviously knew. I picked up a navy and pink t-shirt on my way out, said goodbye to my friend, and made my way home.

I felt kind of stupid not knowing the names to most (any) of their songs and not having a favorite album, but I ran into someone on the train who’d also been at the concert and when I relayed this feeling to him he looked confused and said, “knowing their music is a pretty valid reason for being a fan,” and I thought, “you know what, you’re totally right.”

Spoon is playing again in the city on September 30th. You should check them out!

Something new. (Sort of.)

Am I the only one that has been out on first dates where the guy has at least 4 drinks? I can’t be the only one. I think New York is swimming with guys who have drinking problems simply because we don’t have to worry about driving. Anyways, I went on a date today with a guy who does everything in his power not to go anywhere for drinks or food on first dates. He’s not in AA, but he just likes to lift the alcohol blinders off his dates. Which I can totally understand and appreciate. 

We met in Central Park, in Strawberry Fields, with our DSLRs in hand, ready to take pictures and wander the paths. He was really nice. But slightly odd. We never took a single picture, but we wandered the paths for a couple of hours and talked. When I asked him how his experience dating in New York has been, he replied, “I don’t know. I haven’t given it much thought.” As though, why would you ever think about that instead of just going on with your day? 

It was an odd experience. At one point he said, “Can I be honest with you for a second? You seem defensive,” which I definitely was because I had no idea what to make of this guy. I wasn’t really expecting anything, but he was unlike any guy I’ve met recently.

That said: I don’t really think he was a spark so I most likely will not be seeing him again.

That said, part deux: I’d like to try this Dating Sans the Alcohol Blinders thing again soon. 

You know you’ve made it in New York when you can go see Shakespeare in the Park without having to wait in line. Something like that. My friend texted me two Wednesdays ago saying she had two tickets to Much Ado About Nothing and I canceled my plans to go to yoga and immediately headed to the park after work.

I’d really wanted to see this because of Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe. Because, duh, they’re fabulous. I hadn’t seen Much Ado since I was in 5th grade and saw my high school’s production, but got the gist from reading a brief synopsis before the show that night – love triangles, tricks, and all of that. Great, so basically your typical Shakespearian comedy. To be honest, I’m a much bigger fan of Shakespeare’s dramas and tragedies than I am of his comedies. But this is Shakespeare in the Park. And it’s free. And it’s a New York tradition. It’s my tradition. There was no way I wasn’t seeing it.

Linklater and Rabe made the show for me. They were both absolutely brilliant. Brian Stokes Mitchell was miscast as Don Pedro and I barely noticed when he was onstage (and that’s saying something). There were really no weak links in this, but Linklater and Rabe just made this so-so comedy of Shakespeare’s that much better to watch.

Much Ado About Nothing plays through July 6th, so this is your last week. Get thee to the Delacorte!