New York is Baltimore and Baltimore is New York.

When I read on OWS’s Facebook page that there was a rally at 6pm tonight in solidarity with Baltimore, I was totally there. I couldn’t be there for long because I had therapy on the UES at 7pm, but I hung around, chanted, chatted, lent my energy, and took this photo from the second floor of Barnes & Nobles before leaving. 

The protest was mainly contained in the area near 17th Street but for some reason the NYPD had corralled the ENTIRETY of the park. Talk about fire hazard. (NYPD, I’m sure your guys could’ve been used much better, say, in Bed Stuy, where someone was probably getting stabbed.)

I so, so wish I could be with the protesters in Times Square right now, but hey, mental health maintenance is important too. I’m staying glued to the StopMotionSolo Live Stream and occasionally checking in on the MSNBC live stream (ya know, just incase they report actual news).

Murder Ballad

I saw Murder Ballad on Friday night after hearing numerous positive accounts from friends whose opinions I trust. Also: Rebecca Naomi Jones, Will Swenson, and Cassie Levy? Yes, please sign me up.

I guess site-specific, make your stage shows are the rage now. I guess everyone has to have some schtick and Murder Ballad capitalized on this by basically creating their own theatre in the round at the Union Square Theatre. Where I was sitting was basically where the stage would’ve been. The show’s action centers around a long bar in the front orchestra and a pool table in the house left section of the orchestra.

The plot, although semi-cliche, is compelling enough to keep you interested for 80 minutes (No intermission! Score!) and despite the upfront admission that the ending is not happy, is pretty happy. I have to admit that after being told by Jones’ character that someone dies, I spent much of the show guessing who it’d be.

The score is great. There is LOTS of belting. It’s a great rock score, with just the right number of ballads to make sure you don’t get a headache from the volume. The lighting and staging is beautiful, and very creative. John Ellison Conlee was out, so Josh Tower covered for him; and he was great.

Jones’ character is mainly the narrator who breaks down the fourth wall from the very first note. I thought she was, of course, fantastic. And like in American Idiot she wears very little clothing the entire time. 

The show begins and ends in exactly the same, which is something I always love, because it gives you chills. Murder Ballad is eerier form start to finish, and it’s also quite amazing.

Murder Ballad is paying at the Union Square Theatre through July 21st. 

Just Another Saturday

This weekend was pretty great. Involved a lot of yoga, a lot of walking, and some good friends. 

I went to my usual 9:15am grueling vinyasa class on Saturday morning, ran a few errands after, and confirmed with my two good guy friends that we were grabbing coffee downtown and walking up to Central Park because it was just that nice out. They both agreed and we wound up at Yaffa Cafe in Alphabet City; a place we’d been together almost exactly a year prior (except there was lots of wine involved that day). Michael brought his DSLR and was snapping shots in a paparazzi-esque way the entire day. This shot happened at brunch:


We brunched out and then made a pit stop at Butterlane from cupcakes and coffee (that’s what everyone does after brunch, right?) and walked over to Academy Records on 12th so they could record shop (as I do not own a turntable). We eventually made the extremely smart decision to go to the DSW in Union Square (nope, it would never, ever be packed!) so the guys could shop for shoes. I hate shopping but somehow I was the only one to walk away with shoes (gold/brown strappy sandals).

Shopping worked up appetites again so we walked over to Doughnut Plant on 23rd and his mind (and tastebuds) was blown.

We continued walking, going into various music and shoe stores as we passed them. We also saw graffiti which I was instructed to pose in front of since I was wearing a pink leather coat.

Somehow we were convinced to duck inside Macy’s and check out their men’s shoes. God, I hate that store. It really is the seventh circle of hell. We were treated to espresso at Culture Espresso after though. It totally made up for the venture into hell.

We finished our coffee and ended the afternoon in Bryant Park (also lovely). Eventually the blues happened (see the photo below) and it was time to go home. Walking from Alphabet City to midtown West can really make a person exhausted. 

But I couldn’t have had more fun doing it.