Clown for a New Day

Clown for a New Day
Dagwood might make it in today's emasculated circus

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New York Weary

NEW YORK, library at the Gershwin Hotel. Tables and chairs now buzzing with the ambitiously young, aswim in conversation and filtration, I assume. And me, not too ambitious but vaguely having fun at the back of a near full room on a long narrow table, pecking this one out.

Downstairs in the suave red lobby, they are performing Handel’s first opera. The place is packed. Gershwin clientele shimmer in the hues of sophistication, which makes me not so embarrassed holing up in a place whose frugally appointed rooms are anything but sophisticated. Respectful hardwood floors, I guess; over each bed a huge reproduction, heavily framed, of a master. Picasso, the usual master, missing this time. In his place a fetching modern abstract. I ask room service to remove these monster threats to my sleep (I come from earthquake country) fearing a dangerously short stay should the city shake and rattle or worse ...

Today darkened down into a little party of thunder and lightening, with teasing splashes, and then all was gone. When you get wet in a Gotham summer drench, in an hour or two you are dry all over again, ready to continue apace. I retired to my plain not very well lighted room, to rest, rather than force my haggard body, a pedestrian workhorse, into half price Broadway ticket land. The lure of that Great White Way has finally lost its grip on my soul, as even these discount ducats grow outrageously higher with each passing season. As I have come to appreciate even more that you can see great-enough theater back in your own backyard, yes, Dorothy, back in places like the Sixth Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, Ca, where, a season or so ago, I was finally introduced to the brilliant stage version of Cabaret ...

City is reliably full of proud New Yorkers, ready to point you in the right direction. The Big Apple has an almost womb like quality. Walking Lexington, after returning from the Big Apple Circus on the F Line and looking for a place called Food Emporium, whilst glancing upon my opened MTA map, a couple of local residents -- man and wife team, it appeared -- asked me if they could help and they did. New York! New York! I shouted. They smiled, proud. I should have broken into song. Where is that old bad attitude town? Somewhere, somehow, the place buckled under to the collective coddling of tourists. One day, they will erect a statue to honor Rudy G.

Typing this out up against a wall, I need only pull a red curtain aside to peer down through a large window upon the lobby, itself transformed into a small theatre of gratefully engaged patrons, honoring an ancient composer. The zeal of opera lovers to me is more impressive than opera itself, I once observed during my only trip ever to an opera, sponsored by a friend hopelessly hoping to convert me, which he did not ... Tomorrow, I’m free of pre-slated things to do. Free to walk and look. On past visits, I’ve strolled all the way to the top of central park on both its East and West sides. What next ...

This time, I might crack a trek right up the middle. And then rattle back down on a subway ride, mostly to take in the screeching opera of wheels against tracks banging it out in loud shouting matches that refuse to be subdued by modern technology. Amazing to feel like you’ve bolted across half of Manhattan when you’ve only covered seven or 10 blocks ... The illusion forever works ... Is this filler or what? To my right, resting on a book shelf is a copy of Crimes Against Nature by Robert F Kennedy, Jr., and sadly I wonder, is he, too, a tragic Kennedy statistic? Hard to keep up on them all. The Kennedy family -- now there's the stuff of grand opera crying out for a composer ...

My sister, niece Lisa and her six-year-old son, Mister McFiddle (my nickname for the kid, his real name Noah) due in on Monday to share a little of the town with me. Am I glad I stayed down this evening. A mild headache is now gone.

Weary of my morosely illuminated room, whilst dabbling on foot into the Chelsea district. I inquired at a very modern hotel as to rates (I could live without Picasso hanging over my bed), thinking how nice it would be to have a cool room not reminding me of the old cheap spaces I rented chasing after circuses and flacking for them on the advance, the kind of rooms I am reminded of when I look at the old austere steam heater in my semi-affordable Gershwin suite (a non-functioning antique, I suppose). How nice would be upscale accommodations, sure, but for $250.00- plus a night? By NY rates, the trendy Gershwin is a miracle.

Library is now closing. They are asking us to leave. End of discretely consumed chocolate chip cookie. End of blog. Not much, I know, but gotta keep up on my typing practice in the city that never sleeps, or stops typing ...

No comments: