Fairly lousy weather for our trip from Boston today to the far reaches of hellish Brooklyn. The journey takes one through concrete jungle at the end, past LaGuardia under construction. It is just the bleakest manifestation of urban life that I have ever experienced. But this has always been the case. Since I was a little boy, when my parents would drive around this part of the world, I would instantly become depressed, cornered in the back seat. There was a heaviness, a gloom, that I’d mainly feel descend into my sinuses. It was never sunny in this part of the world. If it wasn’t raining or slushy, it was hot and smoggy. There is nothing to recommend this part of the world. Talk about feeling like a rat in a cage. Even the terrible roads often have grim concrete overhangs. New York benefitted from some great PR, mainly beginning in the late seventies when Sinatra covered the eponymous song. But it has always been a backwater in my mind. The New Amsterdam rescued from the swamps extending into Bayonne, Jersey City and beyond to Seacaucus and other god-forsaken places to the west, just as the desolate sprawl extended to the Bronx and to Queens and Brooklyn and Staten Island.
I don’t know if I mention that I suffer from a certain bridge phobia which alters over time in intensity but has been quite bad as of late. It was inherited. Anyway, that was an added stress. But rehearsal went very well and lasted only a short time and then we headed (over Brooklyn Bridge, which isn’t the worst) to our hotel on East 64. Toni Basel was staying there. Otherwise it was pretty much a tourist spot, though we rented a one-bedroom apartment which turned out to be nice than I imagined. At this point we are pretty much rehearsing on our own and S. is doing her many errands and I am making my myriad necessary connections to extract the most from this week leading up to Christmas. We had a late lunch slash early dinner at Match—pea soup and steak tartare for me!
We headed downtown to see Vivian’s show and thought we were running rather late. Did you know that Uber added something like 100,000 cars to the Manhattan streets, which is why nothing moves anymore. No longer such a thing as zipping uptown or down. Anyway, there was a big benefit show beforehand, with Lance H. as musical director, and nobody was even going into JVB yet. Our seats were annoying—I have to remember that the seating chart isn’t that accurate when it comes to delineating separate tables. The show was fantastic as JVB’s shows always are. This one really was a topper. We had a slice of cheesecake and some wine and after the show headed back stage and reconoitred in the dressing room before heading, all of us, ultimately, for drinks in the Library.
There were a number of familiar faces and some new ones and we ended up all seated at a big sprawling table. I hung with Nath Ann and Claudia mainly and had a really great time. I was going to take snaps of lighting for our own show but I forgot. I mean JVB is so fun to be fully immersed in I just wouldn’t have split my brain in a way to “grab looks” but I did make some mental notes. A truly great evening all in all. Especially JVB’s rendition of Silver Bells and the opening monologue that descried how the show was accidentally titled Refridgerated.
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree of the Sabian Symbol may be higher than the one listed here as the symbols cluminate in the next degree. There are 360 degrees spread over 365 days.
Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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