Monthly Archives: December 2009

The in-between

I’ve spent the last week in a retrospective limbo. 2009 was a blur with few social highlights worth remembering. It was an exercise in patience, a year of change and day to day disappointments. Managing these series of little fires has tested my spirit, and taxed my heart. I am happy yet complacent, content yet restless. I am hoping 2010 will be better.

Queuing up: The line outside

First off let me start by saying how amazingly beautiful the morning was, after being cooped up for 3.5 days accompanied by rain and gloom the day itself was like an energy field. And what a big day it was: Kristin and I were on a mission to find dresses for New Years Eve. We had been planning all week to glean the after-Christmas sales at Loehmann’s.

Planned Agenda

8:30 AM pick-up Kristin
9:00 AM Park and go to Loehmann’s
9:30 AM Find DRESS
10:00 AM Breakfast
11:00 AM Drive back to Brooklyn

Actual Agenda

8:31 AM pick-up Kristin
8:55 AM park the car (absolutely no traffic anywhere!)
9:00 AM Breakfast at Grey Dog Coffee (hearty eggs and oatmeal)
9:30 AM Walk to Loehmann’s (contrary to their automated message they do not open until 11am)
9:45 AM Decide to go to TJ Maxx, which opens at 10AM
9:50 AM Arrive at TJM and people watch the queue
For those of you who don’t know TJ Maxx is part of a mini mall in the Union Square area located on the 3rd floor and accessible by an up/down escalator (and nearby elevator). It shares the building with Bed, Bath & Beyond and Filene’s Basement.

10:00 AM Shop for dresses, we each find one: a rosy pink for Kristin and a ruby red for me (in a size 2!!)
10:41 AM Leave TJM and walk back to Loehmann’s, people watch the queue (more about that later)
10:58 AM Shop for dresses/shoes/accessories – I find another dress and cute Vince Camuto shoes; Kristin picks up a gorgeous pair of Betsey Johnson shoes and a necklace for her dress
11:30 AM Depart for Brooklyn

The Judgment of Paris presented by Company XIV

An unlikely performance space resides in a gallery/dance studio on Bond Street. Bond Street Brooklyn that is; unassuming on a half-residential half-industrial street. If Austin McCormick’s work makes a splash, the hustle and bustle of Smith Street may have some healthy competition in livening up this dead zone.

The set design is gorgeously orchestrated in the Baroque style with matte silver tin ceiling tiles framing the outer edges and top of the stage, accented by a glittery black theatre curtain. A crystal chandelier hangs center stage, and a strategically placed boudoir mirror (used as an onstage dressing room) allows the audience to glimpse an aside of the character’s emotions behind the scenes (especially telling by Helen later on in the performance).

The drama is narrated by a ringmaster (Nick Fesette) egging the audience to patiently await the tale of love and lust. Waiting is not long, as four blonde dancers (including a voluptuous Mae West-type and a male with Tina Turner worthy legs) rowdily enter stage left donned in champagne colored corsets, matching cancan skirts with petticoats and ruffles in crimson red. Spouting lewd comments in French, together their high kicks expose bosom, bottoms and legs, like a naughty set of Rockettes.

The Judgment of Paris is one part burlesque/one part spoken word/one part dance  – McCormick’s original script inspired by  operatheater, and history/mythology. Creative liberties are taken with the story regarding the relationship between Helen and Paris, construed as a love story (rather than an abduction), narrated by a courtesan (Gioia Marchese).

As the story goes, Paris is ordered by Zeus to choose which of the three goddesses–Athena, Hera or Aphrodite–to bestow the Golden Apple. Each of the goddesses dance for Paris with offerings of:  wealth (a golden infused Hera performs ballet on point), bravery & strength (a tutu’d Athena dancing to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) and love (Aphrodite performing a clothed fan dance). An unsuspecting young man really? Given the choices, which would one would you choose?

Aphrodite, the Golden Apple in her possession, promises Paris love and lust with Helen of  Troy. One of the most poetic scenes involves Paris and Helen sealing their fate with an erotic love dance. The female lead wears sheer mauve georgette that is almost ethereal–a play on the good/bad angel theme that seems to haunt Helen throughout her rise and fall.

A most powerful dance sequence portrays the battle led by Helen’s husband, King Menelaus of Sparta…here Fesette proves his true talent as dramatic artist. Spellbound by the force of his voice, I was captivated by the slow motion effects of the troupe preparing and engrossed in battle. Dressed in sparkling chain mail, the dancers movements are magnified by the enveloping mist. A mystical scene, contemporary in its depiction of war.

The Judgment of Paris, presented by Company XIV is part of The Apple Trilogy. The studio is located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn accessible by the F or G train to Carroll Street and a short walk from Smith Street. Cross streets of Bond and Union Street.

Conjuring a lost love (crush, lust, et al)

Funny how a song can reach into the crevices of your mind and stir up a memory isn’t it?

Donna Lewis – I love you always forever  (You Tube – Clip HQ)

Heart Memory: I had a chance meeting with once upon a time soap star Paul Michael Valley at a bar on the Upper West Side. Mind you I had no idea who he was (one of the bartenders tipped me off) until way after we exchanged #s. I saw him 1-2x, a very brief interlude before  he went off to Tennessee to perform in a play.

Hoobastank – The Reason (YouTube).

Heart Memory: Sal was my seat mate on the way to Sicily one Thanksgiving, and a saving grace while I visited family. We had the most romantic dinner at a seafood restaurant on the Catania harbor followed by a drive along the Sicilian coastline, the mainland alit across the sea.

About the Video: Interesting plot involving a jewel heist and a hit and run, not exactly a love song. 🙂  (Oddly there is an Italian version here.)

What song reminds you of a long lost love (crush, lust, et al)?

Treasure your friends, any way you can.

Treasure your friends, any way you can. Hold them dear and close to your heart, new ones and old ones alike. Each one of them has come into your life for a reason, they ease a pain, bring in laughter, and (sometimes gently sometimes with force) they help you to change your perspective.

A younger immature version of myself had an annoying habit of wearing emotions on my sleeve. It’s a vulnerable place to be exposing oneself unwittingly I might add, to the most cruelest of comments. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me? A nice attempt at positive thinking but let’s be real, words hurt. But they don’t have to…we can all benefit from a little kindness, sharing words of joy and appreciation.

I’ve never had a problem with telling people how I feel; I think my friends and family can attest to that. A few wines and a festive occasion, and I’m likely to tell a complete stranger how much I love them. So the idea of writing a letter to my treasured friends (especially now since I have yet to send out Christmas cards, and its now Boxing Day) is a welcome one.

My last good intention for 2009 will be penning a few of those this week, and while they may not be handwritten (I have a lot of friends that warm my heart) they will each be unique, with their own heartfelt memories.

DailyOM – Letters from the Heart.

DailyOM – The Past in Light of the Present

DailyOM – The Past in Light of the Present.

In these last few days of an old year it’s practically a must-do to reflect on decisions made, paths chosen, wondering if all that was done was well worth the effort. In today’s meditation from DailyOM they mention headspace, and how once we’ve accumulated new information it is difficult to go back in time and understand the choices made without it.

In just the last few days I have made quick decisions, perhaps not always the most just or sane (given the new information I now have) but I cannot fault myself in reacting quickly. At least I reacted.

And while not every situation warrants a methodical, planned out approach; every quick decision made with minimal information teaches us to know better the next time around.