Friday, May 20, 2011
New York Impromptu: Gotham Gloats over Arnold and Maria's "Bed News" ... Spiderman Back in Previews as Zarkana Approaches Opening Night
GERSHWIN HOTEL LOBBY, NEW YORK -- A bunch of animated French kids/students (ok, they look French, and this is the French-friendly Gershwin) all around here in the region of red. Lush red. Somber red. Radiant red. Rueful red. And a young keyboard virtuoso at the piano. I can't stay away from this hotel, no small reason being the decently reasonable rates ($169.00 per night), a deal to seal in New York ... Paintings all over the place, up and down the old halls and in the rooms. Cafe 28 around the corner, my one-stop eatery.
This morning, I walked from East 27th up to the top of Central Park where Harlem commences, about 85 or a thousand blocks. A nice ambling stroll, the scenery is camera ready, and I still fail most of it on the frame. I could have walked back down. But I had clowns to see before another step, and clowns to see before I slept.
Nearly 10:30 PM, and I'm blissfully exhausted, having survived another complicated transit haul to seek out another circus, this one Cole Bros, the place -- North Brunswick, somewhere over there in the "garden state." The Brunswicks up close are lovely places with stately old small town atmosphere. Amtrak seems to specialize in touring through junkyards and urban war zones. New Jersey Transit knows where the charm lies.
About Gotham gloating (my tenuous main theme), The NY Daily News had a blast today gleefully treating the sheets evidently shared by two women connected to The Terminator, only on separate occasions, as far as we so far know. And then there's that infamous money man who feasted on a hotel maid and is now paying a step charge for his reckless recharge: "French Big to Stroll on $1M Bail." Big Apple tabloids turn out terrifically clever headlines; wish we had such a beast in the Bay Area. Sorry New York Times, when I walk the streets of Gotham, they just don't feel or jump like your kind of pages. Think about this, all around, somebody among these young may be the next Bernstein or Picasso -- or Liberace.
A little circus is everywhere in this great city. Here in the lobby, a young dude is trying to impress another young dude with fancy footwork tossing a ball between the two. Cirque du solei's Zarkana posters plastered abundantly on buses and in subway dives. This one's got to be not good but great, if CDS is to be spared another Manhattan meltdown, so close to that banana fiasco. The CDS product is thinning out in the public's mind, so they aren't as eager as before to embrace anything bearing those three magic words.
Pianist turned around. He's an Asian. Why did I assume French? Asians steer clear of the vulgarity of American slop pop in favor of, parentaly enforced, the suborn safety of the classics, god bless their violins and horns ... What was I saying back there? In a way, Ringling, one of whose many directors, Phillip William McKinely, has just restaged Spider Man, will, in an intriguing sense, be competing with Cirque's Zarkana, due in at Radio City Musical Hall next month. Both are working stages using degrees of circus craft, rigging. Spiderman II now back in previews. Two dudes back bouncing the ball between there feet, as a background of midnight disco beats wantingly on ... A different pianist, he favoring Ravel, perfect counterpoint. Circus, where did you go? This should be interesting to see if either Zarkana or Spiderman can make it on the Big Boards.
It's getting late. Ravel is gone, so are the kids. Some honky tonky tune is mucking up the ambiance. I'm looking forward to a circus-free trip here next time. Chasing just one circus can consume nearly a day. New Jersey, ya ain't so ugly after all!
Good night, World of woozy wonders.