Thursday, June 16, 2011

New York

Maxfield Parrish' "Old King Cole" in the St. Regis Hotel, NY.

Tommy had a callback in NYC, and he hates to go there.

So do I.

So we went together.  Perhaps we could make it bearable as a duo?

And I have to admit, once we got there, the weather was PERFECT.  I strolled over to the Drama Bookshop and bought Judith Thompson's first play, The Crackwalkers.  (If you've never heard of or read any Judith Thompson, you really should: she's awesome!  She's Canadian, but her plays are never done here for some reason.  If they are, I never hear about it...)

Then I meandered over to Bryant Park, which is lovely, and sat under an umbrella and read until Tommy was done with his callback.

Then we walked over to restaurant row and had a really nice dinner and then saw "House of Blue Leaves", which I've never seen staged before.  We were in the front row, for some reason.   I could literally touch the stage without leaning forward.

Edie Falco was really amazing.  She was like a glow worm. 

Then we walked about the city and finally ended up at the St. Regis Hotel, where we sat at the bar and had sodas while staring at the truly astonishing (and gigantic!) Maxfield Parrish that hung over the bar.

Then we strolled back to the hotel, went to sleep, and took the train back in the morning.

It was pretty painless, all in all.

But I still loathe New York City. 

I always have. 

There's something about it that just turns me off.

When I was younger, and finishing up college, I was told I had to live either there or LA if I wanted to be taken seriously as an actor (or a reality housewife).

But I just didn't want to go. 

And really, if you're going to move to New York, you should do it when you're young.  It's meant for young people, that city.  And the incredibly wealthy.  And total douchebags.

All my students move there when they graduate, and I wish them the best, I wish them everything.

But to me, New York makes you brittle and bitter.  You need to develop a thick outer shell just to survive there.  EVERYTHING is a negotiation: crossing the street, buying toilet paper, mailing a letter.

I think of New York as one of those lobster tanks they have in seafood restaurants: crammed with crustaceans, and they're all fighting and clawing and scratching to get to the top.  But when you're on the top, you just get boiled sooner.

And don't get me wrong: this really has nothing to do with the many wonderful things IN New York: the theatres, the museums, the architecture, the food, the parks, the insane people wandering around the streets like performance art. 

And I know many many lovely people who live there and still manage to retain their souls.

And whenever I've worked there, it's been a lot of fun.  (NYC is best when you have something to DO.  When you don't have a job, it's the worst, cruelest place EVER.)

But it is, to me, ultimately a city of bullies.   It's a human wave that will knock you down and trample you if you stop for one second.  The second wave would then steal all your clothes and belongings.

The third wave eats you.

Do you know what New York City would be like, if it were a person?

New York would be this loud, vile, filthy, disease-ridden, bed-bug infested, rude, bullying, shrill, narcissistic, arrogant but strangely alluring whore.

And at some point, someone, somewhere, told you that you needed to seek her out, and obey her every command, because she somehow possessed a wonderful secret that would make you happy for the rest of your life, if you only knew it.

So you go to her, and give her all your time and money and energy.

But instead of telling you her secret, she just laughs in your face.

And beats you with a hose.

And then she takes a big, steamy, corn-riddled dump on your face.

That's what New York is.

If it were a person.

But that's just me.

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