Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New York City and The Berkshires

On Tuesday in New York City we go into tourist mode. First its off to Chinatown via the subway to sample the local Dim Sum. I’m quite confident in the NY subway system now. Its not as nice as Hong Kong but it’s not that difficult to navigate. The dim sum restaurant is a typical Hong Kong arrangement in a huge banquet hall with plenty of Asian customers, trolleys with dumplings and other delights. Its good dim sum, but still can’t compare with Hong Kong or Taipei, not even LA.

After that we head to the Brooklyn Bridge. We walk 2/3rd of the way over with all the other tourists, taking pictures and getting tired and hot. We decide to take a bus to the South Island Ferry Station and take the ferry to Staten Island. This turns out to be a perfect choice. The breeze is pleasant, the ferry is free and the views are spectacular! On the way back we stand at the front of the ferry, taking picture after picture of the New York skyline as it comes closer and closer. It’s a beautiful skyline and very iconic, but it can’t compare with Hong Kong. Well then, nothing can.

We head back to the hotel to rest before we go to the show that night. At first I’m not hungry but then I decide I’d better get something to eat, since we’re not going to eat dinner until after the show. Lee has done some exstensive hot dog research and walks a couple of blocks away to get his NY hotdog. I’m lazier and just go across the street from the hotel to a corner hotdog stand. I stop at the hotel’s happy hour bar for some veggies and a glass of wine to accompany my dog.

We take a taxi to Lincoln Center, where South Pacific is showing. It’s a great theatre; we have excellent seats at the back of the orchestra but really it doesn’t look like there is a bad seat in the house. The show starts and we both just thouroughly enjoy it. The orchestra and the singers are just perfect. The man that plays Emil Debeck has a wonderful voice. This part is usually played by an opera singer; this actor will make his debut at the Met next year. His voice is beautiful.
I love the story to South Pacific as well as the music. There is something about the tale of people taken out of their usual surroundings and how they adapt to this new situation that I’ve always found very interesting. In addition the love stories, with their push and pull between the power of love and the power of prejudice and convention are very compelling. The music doesn’t hurt either! Lee and I both cried a little at the end, when Emil Debeck returns from the war and discovers that Nellie is taking care of his children in his absence. We all want to believe that love conquers all, don’t we?

We have a late dinner at an Italian restaurant called Fiorellos right across from Lincoln Center. Its fun and very New Yorky to be eating out so late at night. A very big city thing.

The next day I go jogging in New York. I head toward Central Park but don’t want to wait for the lights so I end up running catty-corner northwest across the city, from Madison and 41st to 11 Ave and 57th Street and back. By some utterly strange coincidence, considering that I took a completely random route, I run into Lee on my way back. All I can say is that after 30 years our minds must work too much alike!

Adrian meets us at the hotel at noon. We take a taxi to LaGuardia, pick up our rental car and off we go to the Berkshires. What a change from the city! Its beautiful, rolling, semi-mountainous, and COOL. Very green; they have had so much rain. A french restaurant for dinner, then we fall asleep under quilts.

In the morning after breakfast we go for a hike at the local ski resort. I haven’t climbed a hill like that since Hong Kong! Its pretty at the top and I can actually get cellphone reception so I can call Eugenie and let her know when we will be arriving tomorrow.

Lazy this afternoon in the warm sunshine. In the shade its cool. Tonight is a picnic on the lawn at Tanglewood. Yo Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax! Wow.

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