Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Bold Bonus Life: 16

I revisited some of my New York past yesterday. That's probably an important piece of an extra bonus life like my 18 days as a Manhattanite.

First, I had a very pleasant coffee and re-connect with the literary agent who sold my first novel, Revelation and The Healing Power of Doing Good, and with one of her colleagues.

Then, by chance, I wandered past the famously artsy hotel, the Chelsea (in photo), where I spent a week in the mid-70s at $11 a night. My room included a dead refrigerator, an appliance that was landfill-ready. There were and are much more splendid rooms available.

But the aura of the place was fabulous. From the website:

"...The hotel has an ornate history, both as a birth place of creative modern art and home of bad behavior. Bob Dylan composed songs while staying at the Chelsea, and poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso chose it as a place for philosophical and intellectual exchange. It is also known as the place where the writer Dylan Thomas died of alcohol poisoning on in 1953, and where Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols may have stabbed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, to death on October 12, 1978.

Famous visitors and residents of the Chelsea Hotel include Eugene O'Neil, Thomas Wolfe, and Arthur C. Clarke (who wrote 2001: A Space Oddyssey while in residence). Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead passed through the hotels doors in the 1960s.

Virgil Thompson, Larry Rivers, William Burroughs, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Patti Smith, Arthur Miller, Dylan Thomas, Quentin Crisp, and many, many others stayed here too."

As usual, I walked and walked, in the West Village and Chelsea areas, the Meatpacking district (boutiques and nightclubs), and along a section of the new High Line, an elevated train track turned into a garden walkway with views of city and Hudson River. A quick turn through the design museum at FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Then attended another good play in the NYC Fringe Festival. This one, Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown. It's about an antebellum belle who takes up residence in the body of a 33 year old gay man. She helps him with his emotional problems and his interpersonal skills during a trip to the beach. Funny and good.

I took exception to the critical review in The New York Times yesterday of the festival. The writer bashed the whole series based on a handful of plays out of the roughly 200 staged. Okay, I guess if I'd hit four duds, I'd be mad. But three out of the four I've seen have been very engaging.

Food Report: cheese blintzes for lunch and a milkshake and sweet potato French fries for dinner. A shake at the sleek burger joint had won top billing in New York magazine. I plan to eat lots of leafy green vegetables when I return to my regular life where I don't walk all day. As a hiker fitting a lot into a short-term life, I really do need to load carbs.

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Debra W said...

Cheese blintzes! My mouth is watering just thinking about them. And that play sounds like it had a very engaging story line. Critics can be critical! I am glad that you enjoyed the play. The hard work that goes into these productions is truly incredible.

I got your note about your visit to Ground Zero. I think that when we went, the reconstruction had barely begun and there were still some definite tell-tale signs that made it difficult to hide from the pain. Did you find that it was easier to hide from the pain because the site has been "sterilized" by the new construction in some ways? My reaction was very different than my husband's but that probably has something to do with the fact that I am usually much more emotional than he is, and I had mentally prepared myself for the worst. He took it very hard and had to walk off on his own for a bit. I took a bunch of photos and talked to my girls about everything that happened.(Hid behind the camera?) It would be interesting to see if you had a different reaction if you went back again.

I agree about the carb-loading! You can always fruit and vegetable load when you get back home!


Peggy Payne said...

I did feel that the new construction got in the way of my feeling what had happened, Debbie. I think if I looked out across empty expanse, it would hit me hard.