Dec. 24th, 2007

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A crisp clear wintry day outside!  Last night was a full moon and it was brilliant.  So bright, it cast unearthly glow and visible shadows!  Marvelous!

Had a whirlwind of a weekend.  Saturday, the Winter Solstice, btw... I braved NY City with my friend Kim and went to see the (technically "off") Broadway production of Shakespeare's Cymbeline.  Oh how wonderful, t'was!!  Myself, I've only seen a single play before in NY -- not nearly the grand scale of this production!!  The play is one of Shakespeare's "late romances", which tend to combine elements of comedy and tragedy, and usually incorporate a magical or fairytale element as well.  This production had more than a few notable stars: Martha Plimpton, Michael Cerveris (from the recent Broadway Sweeney Todd), John Collum (whom I knew mostly as Holling the bartender from Northern Exposure), Phylicia Rashad (yes, from The Cosby Show).  And there was a quite versatile British actor, Jonathan Cake, in the role of Iachimo, the play's Iago-like villain.  HE was really a pleasant surprise.  In one particular scene, where the stage drops and then rises again with the actors in a "Roman sauna" set... they're all sitting around in towels.  Cake, as Iachimo, obviously wore NOTHING beneath his.  Yes, we looked VERY closely!  ;-)

Speaking of our seats, I'd made sure we got really fabulous seats.  Second row from downstage left.  So close that we saw spray when the actors spoke!  And it seemed that all the asides were performed directly in front of us.  Seriously, I could go on and on at length about the fabulous sets and costumes and of course, the huge golden eagle that descended with the god Jupiter during the dream sequence!  Quite spectacular!!  Well worth the $$$!

After the performance, we decamped to a Japanese bookstore, Kinokuniya in Bryant Park.  Apparently legendary for its awesome manga and anime stock, it seemed like the perfect Mecca for my friend and I (who are both anime aficionados).  Then to sushi, which just seemed the logical choice after the bookstore.  One of the Japanese cashiers directed us a cozy restaurant on the other side of the park.  Sapporo (Japanese beer) and sushi!  Yum!

And then we were SO ready to go home at that point.  I always find NY really, truly exhausting.  Bone-tiring in fact.  Waiting for trains, commuting like cattle, fighting your way through the throngs... ugh.  We also ventured into the NY subway system too.  WOW.  Talk about bewildering!  The thing with NY is that you can only do two or three things and then the day is over.  It takes a crapload of time just getting up there and then getting around.  Every time, I resolve to get up there earlier the next time, but it never seems to work!

At any rate, next time in NY, perhaps the Met or the Cloisters!  Kim is a very fine compatriot and eager traveling companion!


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