fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Weekend in New York

A while back, someone on the American Airlines forum of Flyertalk posted an announcement of a get-together in New York, what people on FT call a "Do." I figured that was a good excuse for a trip up to New York. Just after I'd made all my arrangements, I got a facebook event invitation for a Camp Ein Harod gathering in New York the same weekend. Fortunately, Amtrak makes it easy to change one's travel arrangements and this just meant going up a couple of hours earlier. Two parties plus theatre tickets make for a busy weekend, but I even found time for a few other things.

I had no problems with the train up on Friday afternoon. I dropped off my bag at the hotel (Hampton Inn - Times Square South on W. 39th, which I would describe as just adequate and probably won't stay at again). Then I walked down to the apartment where the Ein Harod gathering was being held. I was relieved that there were a few people there who I remembered (after 35+ years). But, more to the point, conversation flowed reasonably easily, with all of us reminiscing about the crazy things we did at camp and how they'd never be permitted nowadays. Funniest conversation I had came when I introduced myself to someone, who did not actually remember me right off. Then I told him that I'd had a huge crush on him in 1973 and he said, "oh, now I remember you!" All in all, I'm glad I went.

New York may be the city that doesn't sleep, but it also doesn't really get going until relatively late by Washington standards. I'd have liked to go to one of the major museums (either the Met or MOMA), but wouldn't have enough time to get my money's worth at either. So I went to see an exhibit at the International Center of Photography instead. I had never been to the ICP before, but it is conveniently located (6th Ave and 43rd) and I like photography, so I figured it would be worth it. The current exhibit is called "Dress Codes" and is sort of about fashion, but only sort of. For example, there is a series titled "The Belt" by Yto Barrada, which shows a Moroccan woman demonstrating how she smuggles fabrics underneath her traditional clothing. A video by Zhou Tao shows Chinese workers in various jobs going through morning motivational rituals, including chanting, clapping, marching, and jogging. (The connection to the theme is, of course, the varied uniforms they wear.) One of the most intriguing works is a series by Milagros de la Torre. It is titled "Bulletproof" and, at first glance, the photos appear to be of ordinary garments on hangers. But each of the items (shirts, jackets) is actually armored internally. I found that very provocative.

I had a little time to stop by the New York Public Library (which also allowed me to notice an intriguing building on West 43rd , which has a series of plaster panels representing the months of the year around its doorway). Aside from greeting Patience and Fortitude (the library lions), I looked briefly at the two current exhibits in the galleries on the first floor. "Mapping New York's Shoreline" was fairly interesting, though I admit I probably devoted a bit too much of my map viewing to assessing the accuracy (or lack thereof) of maps of the islands off the South Shore of Long Island. "Candide at 250: Scandal and Success" was less interesting, though there was a nice section on Bernstein's operetta and some interesting graphic novel interpretations.

After that, I got my New York deli fix (real pickles being non-existent in these parts) and then walked over to the St. James Theatre to see Finian's Rainbow. This is a show I have somewhat mixed feelings about. I like a lot of the music (especially "Old Devil Moon" and "If This Isn't Love"). And the book is reasonably witty. (I especially like the sequence in which Og talks about mortal love by quoting Cole Porter lyrics.) But I dislike Susan's story. The whole bit of her dancing instead of speaking is dumb enough, but her falling for Og, despite his professed love for Sharon, annoys me to no end. As for performances, I thought Jim Norton struck just the right tone as Finian. Terri White, as Dottie, was a real scene stealer in her performance of "Necessity." It's easy for the role of Og to be hammed up and I thought Christopher Fitzgerald went somewhat too far, alas. (I recognize this is as likely to be the fault of the director as it is of him as an actor.) Overall, though, I enjoyed the show.

I had time for a bit of walking around and shopping before heading downtown. I succumbed to the lure of Sephora. I was theoretically looking for nail polish (sort of triggered by a conversation I'd had with my friend, Marcia, a few days ago) but ended up buying Twilight Venom lip gloss, which is supposed to be as close as you can come to being bitten by a vampire. Not that I actually want to be bitten by a vampire, but I was amused. (And it's a somewhat cinnamony red. Red is good.)

The Flyertalk Aadvantage Do was my excuse for the whole trip and that also turned out to be fun. It was down at the Palm in Tribeca. The food was good and the conversation (mostly about travel) was lively. It seemed to be mostly relatively local people, but there was one guy at the table I was at who'd flown in from Edinburgh, Scotland for the party. There was a trivia contest and I won a 6-month subscription to Expert Flyer (which I have heard is useful but am too cheap to pay for) by knowing what QANTAS stands for.

About all I managed to do today was take the train home. Oddly, my condo has not cleaned itself while I was gone, so I should really go and do some decluttering. Or, possibly, napping.
Tags: camp ein harod, cosmetics, flyertalk, museums, musicals, party, theatre, travel

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