We used to live in Cambridge, on Mass Ave, just past Harvard and the Cambridge Common. In the 80s we both worked at the Harvest restaurant which was already so 70s, blond wood and shutters, everything covered in Marrimekko, from the cushions on the banquettes to the curtains to our ties, and then rag-yarn, you know like the mat brought to school and sat on during snacks and reading time (or was that just me?). There were these giant poles, columns in the Bauhaus inspired architecture, indeed the restuarant was owned by a prominent architect called Ben Thompson and it was all Mies or Corbusier in the dining room and rag-yarn covered columns, poles this big at which I used to run and launch myself and jump and grab the rag-yar covered pole and just stick to it, as if I were velcro’d. Just out of nowhere just to freak people out. It likely would have been frowned upon if a manager found out but, maybe they did, who remembers. I was pretty hyper active even through my twenties but I’ve slowed down, if not completely halted all together.
So it’s funny to be back in Cambridge, creating and curating series and festivals at the American Repertory Theater. It’s an ironic trajectory and actually it wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t producing a festival already in Provincetown, which now enters its seventh year, and then, after the second year festival, we performed, Stella and I, here, with Justin Vivian Bond and Nath Ann Carerra, there, so I truly owe my introduction to Oberon to them. We then had our own S+C show there with Matt Ray, who wasn’t yet playing with Vivian. So it’s cool that Matt and Vivian and Nath Ann (and Claudia Chopek) are all performing the first ever Glow festival on Thursday. Meanwhile I started producing shows here for others like Bridget Everett before we created the Glowberon series, a terrible name, which is entering its third year.
I still get a great feeling being in Cambridge and in Boston in general although it is limited. I’m not yet nostalgic for New York City, I suppose, where I lived for twenty years. Why is that I wonder? For some reason I was always a little skieved out in New York. Actually I still am. Not because it’s dirty which it often is; but because the whole energy of the place just feels like a landfill. I can’t explain it. But Manhattan has always felt to me like a part of New Jersey swamp that chipped off. When I’m near the river I feel like I might as well be in Seacaucus on some level. I’m sure none of that makes sense and I don’t need it to. I’ve always had an affinity for New England. I love California and would live there as a second choice. But living near Boston and the Cape and Maine and Vermont and Montreal even feels like all possibility. I feel the same for France. All of it.
I know I’m in the last third of my life probably (already—they were right when they said it goes fast) and it’s humbling. But I also have to move it. To finally launch a design for living. The good news is that I’m not coming from nowhere. I’m building on a lot of experience and I can honestly say I probably feel happier now than at any other period in my life. Pretty cool, right?
Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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