New York City is still the last best place to get that Art “fix” and look humanity right in the face.
After being away for 23 years, which I now refer to as “Manhattan Interruptus,” my cup runneth over with the juice of this pulsating metropolis.
Thanks to the good company of Beau Gage, who is a true patron to the arts and fine sculpturess herself, I got an inside glimpse to Martha Graham’s living legacy, the FANTASTIC new Whitney Museum, a Russian Modernist’s exhibit at the Neue Galerie, coupled with a classical performance by lively, young musicians.
I was able to track down Miles Bellamy, a well cultured buddy from my starving artist days, and devour his “Spoonbill and Sugartown Bookstore” in Brooklyn, before sharing spaghetti on the roof with his 11 year old daughter. Time has certainly marched on.
I walked the fantastic, new HIghline that stretches 30 blocks along the Hudson River and is planted with indigenous flora. I think I heard someone speak English, once, and a Buddhist monk gave me a beaded bracelet.
The sure footed journey down the middle path is like an amusement park without the rides or admission.
I stayed at Westbeth in the West Village, which is a well known artists housing and cultural center and where I participated in Nancy Gabor’s acting workshop (the whole reason and purpose for my trip).
Since Nancy and I reconnected after 30 years, I have rekindled my passion for Nancy’s acting core techniques. My early roots as a fledgling dancer/actor/playwright are in New York and my return feels like divine intervention. Nancy’s work gives wings to anyone who experiences it.
I am filled to the brim with possibilities, friendship and inspiration.
Although, NYC has changed and I miss some of the grit and danger of the old days. I’m glad I had the good fortune of being broke and starry eyed during the 80’s. My humble performances in black box theatre seem better than ever in retrospect. Romantic even.
Tourists with money to burn have replaced the struggling artists and the neighborhood diners now resemble boutique eateries. Every one I talked with lamented the exorbitant rents with more luxury apartments coming. The Broadway world seems to be shrinking with remakes and star turns where everything old is new again. Change is constant.
One of my favorite moments was sitting in a Bleecker Street Cafe over Caesar salad and helping a fellow playwright get his play back on track.