Five Things (1)

Oftentimes it’s difficult for me to keep resolutions because, despite the plotting and scheming to get things done, the change I want is frequently so tremendous that I become disillusioned when I can’t obtain my goal (or close to my goal) within 30 days.

I want to say that I will blog more, that I will talk more about what I observe in the city I call home, but the truth is, I don’t like sharing my thoughts and emotions with everyone. Blogging will always be difficult because of this; while I love the idea of the world wide web and the connectivity we have online, I will always prefer the casual anonymity of being a browsing wallflower.

In an attempt to write more and be more thoughtful and expressive, I’ve decided to start with a small step in blogging – I will record 5 things. And, keeping with small steps, these 5 things do not have to be recorded every week, but, I must records 5 things at least once a month. I’d like the things to be positive things, because life is too short to settle on the negatives. Maybe they’ll be things of interest to me, I don’t know what they will be, the only thing they cannot be is negative.

So … without further ado, here are five things.

— Thing One —

After the downer called 2012, the year started off on a great note when, while texting that my service ended late and that I would probably be heading home, I found out that my friend proposed and his girl said yes! It was such great news to hear at the onset of a new year. Thankfully I got to see them for a bit and express the full extent of my excitement for them.

— Thing Two —

I saw a swift answer to a prayer. Without getting into too much details online (but, you can ask me about it offline, I’d love to share), I found myself in a tough situation and I sent up a desperate cry for help and it came, in the form I requested. It was just the boost I needed and I’m thankful for the reminder of the all-knowing God that I serve.

— Thing Three —

Earlier this week I went to Carnegie Hall for the first time. I am constantly astonished by the culture that oozes out of the pores of New York City. Where else can I see Wicked on Broadway, then take a train north to the Met and then go a bit west to find Lincoln Center and see an Opera? I love that it’s brimming with art in its many forms.

I am often surprised by the inner workings of humans as expressed through the things they build so, when John and Hank Green were hosting a Night of Awesome at Carnegie Hall, I hopped online to get a ticket. They entertained a sold out hall, just two brothers from the middle of nowhere, one a bestselling author and the other an internet intellect. Both brothers started a community called Nerdfighters through their Vlogbrother YouTube channel.

Now, before you think that this is too geeky for your tastes, the core message of the Vlogbrothers is being true to yourself. I would rather my teenagers watch their channels as opposed to the constant barrage of low level entertainment that forces them to be something they are not – to confirm to a societal norm. The fact that they sold out Carnegie Hall is astounding in and of itself. This means that there are enough young people in New York City (and those who have access to NYC) who have been influenced by these guys, enough to sell out Carnegie Hall. For me, this is mind-boggling.

These guys are the influencers you want to pay attention to.

— Thing Four —

On the same vein of expression in arts, I also saw a ballet at Lincoln Center this week! They were presenting Tchaikovsky/Balanchine pieces. Tchaikovsky is a great composer who composed the famous Swan Lake piece and Balanchine is a famed choreographer. I actually read the biography of Gelsey Kirkland, Dancing on My Grave, for a Ballet class that I took in college, and since then, I’ve always been interested in George Balanchine pieces.

It was a beautiful night, first they did a shorter version of Swan Lake, the ballerina was amazing and I was very impressed with her cavalier. The second piece was the  Allegro Brillante, the lighting on this piece was pretty neat and I loved the costumes on this piece the most. Finally they performed to Suite no. 3. During this piece there was a little fumble, a company dancer got in the way of the male principle and I thought, for a moment, that they were about to do a lift (which was confusing as I’ve never seen a female lift a male). However, they had a speedy recovery and the show carried on.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I’m such a fangirl of the Lincoln Center, I love the complex, love the theater, love every bit!

— Thing Five —

Another yes! Or two! This weekend has been packed with surprises and proposals! First, my lovely friend, J, was proposed to on Friday night. Then, on Saturday I found out a college friend proposed to his girlfriend, only to discover that the girl was a friend from my old High School in Guyana. This world is such a small one! Overall, a wonderful end to a lovely week.

Well, that’s five, it’s late and I’m falling asleep…

~ * ~

Street Lights, Big Dreams, All Lookin’ Pretty

Time Square. Any time I think about heading to Time Square I shudder. With so many people, it can be a daunting task for an introvert (and generally shy person) to make her way to Time Square. However, I’ve been visiting Time Square at least once a week for the past five weeks, so I decided to look at it as a tourist would. What draws people to this place? What’s so fascinating? What makes them stop suddenly on the sidewalk just to look up, causing you to walk right into them because they didn’t think about the fact that a TON of people are also trying to walk on the same pavement? I digress…

Is it the policemen on horses? Or the generally friendly New York Police who aren’t shy to pose with tourists?

Is it the bright lights and the flashy ads that all vie for your attention, each one trying to outshine the other?

Or is it the themed food places with their overpriced, yet enticing food and drinks?

    

Perhaps it’s the excitement, the talent and the wonder of a spectacular show.

I’m not sure what the reason is, or why people flock there, but my guess is that it has to do with one, or all (and then some) of the above. It’s a place that can be exciting and intimidating. A hub of activity, a place for memories, a place built on dreams.

Think of Me Fondly

My very first Broadway experience was The Phantom of the Opera. Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux (a French writer), The Phantom of the Opera was adapted for the theater by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The one thing that had been burned into my memory about Phantom was the Masquerade scene and I’ve always dreamed about a masquerade after that. Not a costume party, but a ball with elaborate masks and bright colours and it was just as I remembered it when I saw it again this month.

Next to the songs, the costumes were my favourite part of the play; they were all so fancy and beautiful and just as spectacular as the play itself. The story is always such a moving piece, a disfigured genuis living in the tunnels beneath the Opera House. A person who has never been loved before, falling for a beautiful young chorus girl and doesn’t know exactly how to express that feeling. And Christine, the beautiful young chorus girl, infatuated with her Angel of Music until she finds out that he’s the disfigured genius who lives in the tunnels beneath the Opera House. As the madness of the phantom increases with the body count, Christine finds herself protected by her childhood friend, Raoul, and a great and classical love story is born.

One of the charming things about this play is, while it has an air of seriousness about it, it does not lack humour; the diva-ish doings of Carlotta always brought a smile to my face and the comedic timing of Ubaldo left me in gales of laughter.

The Phantom of the Opera is most definitely a classic show, with its shows within a show, its wonderful costumes and its amazing score. If you find yourself in Time Square, don’t miss out on this gem!

** photo via The Phantom NY site.

Il Laboratorio del Gelato

In lower Manhattan (near Houston street) you will find il laboratorio del gelato and its extremely long list of gelato flavours.

Try not to fill up on samples, you will want to have your own delicious scoop or two, or more! And definitely try to be a little adventurous, it might pay off.

I had a scoop of Choclate Amaretto Crunch and one of Honey Lavender, it was a bit of an odd combination but it was so tasty!

I love the consistency of the gelato, it has just the right amount of sweetness and flavour that it doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds.

If you’re in the area (or even if you’re not) you should give it a try! Especially on these last days of summer.

Enjoy!

Newsies Seize The Day

I’ve seen my fair share of broadway shows, but there was something special about Newsies. The set was simple; metal stairs and platforms that move around the stage and a few tables and chairs where the only props. The costumes were simple – newsboys garbs and fancy suits. What made it stand out was the singing and more importantly, the dancing.

It’s probably one of the few shows I have seen with a substantial script – compared to the number of songs. It follows the story of a group of newspaper boys who sell The World news for their bread and butter. After an unfair hike in the cost of the paper, the kids decide to go on strike. It’s a very heart warming and relatable story; it also has its share of humour. I must say, compared to the singing and the dancing, the acting didn’t shine as brightly, but it was still good.

Script and songs aside, the thing that was most appealing about the Newsies was the dancing. It was amazing to watch, I found myself smiling thought-out the entire thing. What I found fascinating as well, was the fact that Newsies had a mostly male cast. They had great chemistry between them, and the voices blended beautifully together and the dancing – oh the dancing – it was just brilliant.

One of my favourite dance sequence was Sieze the Day, it had me at the edge of my seat, especially the part with the newspaper pages! You can see them perform Sieze the Day on The View. Another favourite was the King of New York sequence.

Overall, this was a fast moving, high energy, excellent show! If you have the chance to go and see it, you should!