“Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back. She didn’t like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insects and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes. Therefore, she decided that her leaving home would not just be running from somewhere but would be running to somewhere. To a large place, a comfortable place, an indoor place, and preferably a beautiful place. And that’s why she decided upon the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.”
E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler has been one of my favorite books since elementary school. I reread it from time to time, and it holds up, even though Claudia and Jamie manage to run away from home with less than $30 between them and make it to NYC from Connecticut no problem. This book influenced me in two ways: it made me realize how awesome museums are, especially at night, and it helped teach me that what makes art important is the stories we tell (or don’t tell…) about it.
My recent tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Museum Hack did exactly the same thing, which of course means I had an awesome time.
I was talking about theater versus television and movies the other day with coworkers and I mentioned that while I usually want my movies and TV shows (and books!) to be fun and relaxing, I don’t mind it if the theater productions I see are more challenging. I joked that it’s because I usually live with a book or a show for longer than the two or three hours it takes to see a show, but there’s another reason. I mostly consume books, TV shows, and movies alone, but I almost always go to the theater with friends. When you see something that challenges you, it helps to have someone to process it with. On Saturday I went to see the new musical Allegiance alone, but I had already talked about it with a number of people and was meeting a friend who’d already seen it for drinks afterward.
Adapted and updated with info for 2015
I have a lot of love for Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. If you’ve managed to escape me talking too much about my five-year run as a child star in a local production back home—well, feel free to ask me about it. I might even sing for you. But for now I’ll just say, for those five years the time between Halloween and Christmas was Christmas Carol season for me, and in the years since I’ve had to feed my love for the story other ways. Watching A Muppets’ Christmas Carol is one of my favorites (even if it leaves out my beloved Fan, Scrooge’s little sister), but a few years back I experienced a new favorite: the marathon reading of A Christmas Carol at Housing Works’s bookstore café.
I put up my Christmas tree and lights before I left for Thanksgiving. I also straightened up my apartment and made my bed, so when I got back on Sunday, it felt like my apartment was welcoming me home. Cheesy, but exactly the feeling I was going for when I hung ornaments on the fake tree I’ve toted through two dorms and three apartments. And looking at my decorations also gives me a bit of the feeling I had when I stumbled on the holiday windows at Lord & Taylor a couple weeks ago.
My friends and I talk a lot about dating. (This may seem like a non sequitur, but bear with me.) Of course we do – we’re twenty-somethings and some of us live in New York, a city acknowledged by most as an impossible place to date. But recently a friend and I were talking about what makes a conversation flow, once you’ve gotten past normal dating awkwardness. I always bring up passion for your topic as a key factor – if you’re excited about it and can talk about it intelligently, I’ll probably be interested in what you’re saying. This time, though, we talked about liking people who have a sense of wonder – that feeling you get when you see a really gorgeous sunset over the river, or hear a piece of music that makes your heart hurt a little in the best way.
So a couple weeks ago my friend and I were in the mood to see a show – we didn’t really care which show, as long as it was pretty cheap. We started talking about it on Wednesday night and bought our tickets on Thursday night… for Friday night. Spontaneous planning is not often my thing, but it worked this time: We used my HIPTIX Gold membership with Roundabout Theatre Company to get us two $25 floor seats to the Harold Pinter play, Old Times.
If you glanced back up at the subject for this post you have already realized that this is not a review for that play, because my two-line review would be, “Wow, that play was really weird – I’m glad it was only 65 minutes long. I still have no idea what actually happened.” So instead of trying to explain this play to you, I want to tell you about the gorgeous place my friend suggested we go afterward, where we spent a solid hour and a half discussing the play and trying to decide what it was about: Lillie’s Victorian Bar & Restaurant.
I snuck in under the wire last Friday to see the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum before it closed yesterday. If you missed it, don’t feel too bad – there’s also an Alice exhibit at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts from now till mid January which sounds pretty cool. It’s the 150th anniversary of the book’s publication, which seems like a pretty good reason to put on some shows to me!
But as neat as the Alice exhibit was, the real star of any visit to the Morgan Library is the Morgan Library, so if you haven’t gone before, I highly recommend making a trip. Friday nights are busy, but for a good reason: from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., admission is free!