There are times New York is just so amazing that it's hard for me not to pinch myself that I get to live here. Sure, it's crowded. Apartments are small. And today is the day of the drunken tattoo-athon, the Puerto Rican day parade. But the city is so surpassing in so many ways that I very nearly gush with excitement.
Last night my wife and I got free tickets to the Public Theater's "Shakespeare in the Park." It's the 50th year the Public's been putting on free plays and they seem to be bent on out-doing themselves for their anniversary. Last night's performance of "As You Like It," featured the stunning and excellent Lily Rabe as Rosalind and a cadre of fools and melancholics, the likes of which you rarely see outside of agency conference rooms.
It was a beautiful night in New York. The skies had threatened rain, but in the end, the rain stayed away. The air was warm and humid, but not too warm and humid and there was, on occasion, a gentle cooling breeze. As for flies and bugs, they were absent, presumably flying out to the Hamptons to feast on the mega-wealthy for the weekend.
The high point of the evening was Jacques' (Stephen Spinella's) delivery of the play's greatest monologue, which left me wondering what stage I, a 54-year-old copywriter, am left to play:
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
Then very pissed off with your schooling,
Then fucks and then fights,
Then judging chaps’ rights,
Then sitting in slippers, then drooling."
That's all for this Sunday.
Except for a bit more Conquest--this time a summation of 40 years of Soviet history.
"There once was a Bolshie called Lenin
Who did one or two million men in.
That’s a lot to have done in
But where he did one in
That old Bolshie Stalin did ten in!"