Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Real life research (or My Internalization)

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Whew! It's been a busy month. I worked two jobs for a month, 60+ hours a week (on my feet - both restaurant capacities) and was exhausted. I've whittled down to one and now I'm getting to enjoy the city more.

THIS is my view on workdays -


I usually work the morning shift, have a few minutes to sit in Columbus Circle and read before I start. Very nice!!








Here are two neat sites I found recently.

As some of you may know, I'm a former chemist/oceanographer and well, this one lets me ponder another of my loves some. I particularly enjoy news regarding the encouragement of young girls to pursue careers in science~


Goodreads is a great site for weeding out the multitudes of books and discovering what to put on the top of your must-read lists! Be my friend (if you're not already!)

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Although I haven't gotten a lot of new work done lately, I've been able to get a lot of subs out, and am starting some revisions today. I feel like I'm in an "Internalization Period." My whole life is a big experience right now, and I'm trying to enjoy it all, take notes and incorporate into my novels/stories one day. I'm also reading a whole lot - think I'll get a Sony Reader so it won't be as bulky/cumbersome on the subway.

Saw fireworks at the South Street Seaport. Awesome display. Coordinated music was piping too, and of course they finished the night with old Blue Eyes belting out New York. It felt almost Disney-like.

I got to the Transit Museum's exhibit at the Grand Central Station Annex. History of the beginnings of the subway design and architecture. Trains, and particularly the subways, fascinate me. And thinking how much thought and art they put into the system (not to mention the foresight of planning by the city) simply astounds me.

Here are the nuts and bolts...
ARCHITECTS OF THE NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY
PART I: HEINS & LAFARGE AND THE TRADITION OF GREAT PUBLIC WORKS
New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal

Beginning in 1901, consulting architects Heins & LaFarge designed the subway’s earliest stations and buildings in the popular Beaux-Arts style, according to the vision of the system’s chief engineer, William Barclay Parsons. Incorporating design elements from other prominent New York City commissions, Heins & LaFarge achieved the mandate to bring beauty to New York’s first subway. Using original architectural drawings, objects from stations, and archival images, this exhibit explores the work of architects and engineers who designed the subway we travel through today.


Part II (PART II: SQUIRE VICKERS AND THE SUBWAY'S MODERN AGE) begins July 30.


Information on the New York Transit Museum is here.

I want to see more, so my next visits will be to St. John the Divine Cathedral and the Bronx Zoo, both projects of Heins and LaFarge.


I also HAVE to get to Coney Island. It won't be anymore next year! (Besides, I need some sun).




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Got some cheap tickets to OLD ACQUAINTANCE, and was so glad I did. The reviews weren't astounding, but it was very entertaining, the sets were fabulous, and I "learned" a lot. I really want to try my hand at playwriting now - but about the show....

It is the story of two WRITER friends - one quite prolific and successful (Mildred, played by Harriet Harris), the other more acclaimed (Kit, played by Margaret Colin). They are in alternate stages of love (new-found and lost). Mildred's daughter Deirdre (Diane Davis, who by the way, reminds me of Judy Garland) is sowing her oats, defying her mother, and searching for love in all the wrong places.

Here are my immediate impressions (which I jotted down right afterwards).

I like that they are not sprites - middle-age seems to be gaining popularity as baby boomers get older. The new 30's I think. Because they are writers, I liked the conflict of prolific and so-so writing vs. quality and sporadic output. Critical acclaim vs. popular appeal. There's a May-December relationship going on (you go girl!), and a very familial friendship (in other words, the women love and fight in ways similar to sisters). As well, Deirdre is more partial to Kit's company than her mother's.

I thought Harris (you may know her as Bebe from "Frasier") was phenomenally funny. I thought Colin was good too, but I think hindered in part by the script. Her character, Kit, seemed almost too good, too unselfish. Mildred, on the other hand, was a full-blown mess. So, I wasn't crazy about some of the characterization, perhaps a tad shallow (and then, a too-convenient turn and love scene, which I saw coming in Act I). I could say that was good foreshadowing, but would have liked a unique twist. Aw well.

[UPDATE to say, I read the Playbill [more] just now. OLD ACQUAINTANCE was actually written in 1940 by John van Druten, so it does explain some of the archaic-seeming storyline. However, at the time, I would imagine it would have been considered a progressive story - funny how things like time/setting can interweave throughout eras. Divorce, independent women, etc. Now I'll have to do further digging!]

[UPDATE II: Found the wikipedia info on OLD ACQUAINTANCE; the movie starred none other than Bette Davis! Obviously, one I missed.]

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Playing at the Roundabout Theatre (which is gorgeous by the way).

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All for now!


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