Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Disappointment and Delight

On Monday it was time for walk about in the fun shopping areas of New York City, obtain that missing link (story coming up), and try once again to watch the skaters do their stuff at the Wollman Rink. It went well and …. funny.

Charm: An object, act, or saying believed to have magic power
• an object kept or worn to ward off evil and bring good luck

A few months after our reunion in Paris I found myself walking through Tiffany’s, as I often do simply for the pleasure of it, and spotted a display of their charm bracelets and a sampling of the available charms. I found it delightful, like wearing memories on your arm – touch one and you are transported back to the event or time. I have never really considered myself to be a ‘charm bracelet’ sort of woman, if I ever gave it any thought at all - proven by later conversations with Q and J.

“I think I would really like a charm bracelet from Tiffany’s.”

“Really, I would not have thought you would care for a charm bracelet.”

“I know! Neither did I but there you are…”

On the first anniversary of our marriage I was sent on a delightful and romantic treasure hunt (no one is surprised I like those!) complete with a stack of clues that sent me all about our house, and at the discovery point of each rhyme was a small turquoise box tied with a white satin ribbon – the unmistakable sight that shouts “Tiffany’s!”. J had bought me the charm bracelet and filled it with tiny physical manifestations of our time in Paris, representations of private jokes we share, and a few that just say ‘me’. I love it and wear it all the time.

So it was that on Valentine’s Day the item he had been so carefully hiding because just the sight of that little box would have given it away, held the world – literally. A tiny, perfect, replica of the earth and a reminder of all the years I have spent trekking it.

But alas it had been packaged in the perfect little blue pouch without the extra link needed to attach it to the bracelet. Oh no what tragedy! This means we HAVE to go to Tiffany’s while in New York City. OH too bad, but if we must I suppose I can drag…(are we laughing out loud yet?) myself there…

And so it was on Monday we found ourselves in the middle of one of the most fun places on earth – oh boy it was sparkly on the first floor! And of course lickedy split and with gracious service as always, the link was provided, and the charm attached. Sigh. I love Tiffany’s – and boyo it was packed with shoppers.

Next was Central Park, which is still buried quite deep in the snow, as are the pathways once you are into the park, just like a postcard. It was all lovely – again packed with people.

J loves to watch the skaters at Wollman Rink in the Park. Let me restate that, the adorable husband would love to watch the skaters in Wollman Rink if only they would skate while he is there! Last year just as we arrived at the rink, the skaters were called off and the Zamboni came on. When it was done the skaters still did not return as the rink was closed but for private lessons – not what he wanted to see.

As we rounded the curve in the path on this day we could see the pond through the bare branches of the trees and over the small river where the ducks were congregated in great numbers to make the most of the two chaps throwing bread bits out onto the surface for them. It was full of holiday skaters bundled up and circling nonstop. We could hear their shouts of delight and surprise as some twirled and some fell.

“Ah the curse is broken just look at all the… uh oh… is that what I think it is?”

“Yes damn it, the Hoffman curse strikes again! I can’t believe it!”

As we approached the front side of the pond and crossed the elevated area over the bleachers and benches for the skaters to lace up we could see the Zamboni begin its appointed rounds.

“Perhaps they will let the skaters back on after it’s done?” I said hopefully.

“No, look they are putting out the cones to mark off the areas for lessons. It’s happening again. I’m never going to see the skaters on the pond.”

“We could watch the skaters taking lessons…”

“It’s not the same.” He sighed as we took of leave. Another year of disappointment and the legend of the curse grows.. Exit music please maestro, and off we went back into the park.

After the park we made our way back toward the hotel and over to The Emery for a pre-theatre dinner and it did not disappoint. I had a crispy and perfectly seasoned Caesar salad with melt in the mouth grilled chicken sliced and to the side in such quantity I had to fork over half of it to J. He had the chicken soup, which he pronounced delicious, and sliders, which are mini cheeseburgers with shoestring fries. It was all so well done it took the chill right out of us.

I never thought to use the next sentence as it’s as bad as if I were to say the movie was better than the book but..I liked the movie better than the stage production of Chicago. It was such a disappointment. It had a lot of energy, and incredible bodies, sculpted along the lines of Michelango's David, and impressive technical expertise but no heart! Who wants to sit through two to three hours of dance numbers and singing with no soul, no story? We were both so disappointed. J has not seen the film but all the things he found missing in the play – a story, characters you could connect with, someone to root for – all that I found in the film. I couldn’t believe it.

In no way due to the show (it wasn’t that bad, and it doesn’t work that way) I had a bad but not deadly migraine and was out of it just as snow began to fall…

On Tuesday…

Sadie, a Scottish terrier, captured the coveted ‘Best in Show’ title at the Westminster Dog Show that’s on now in town.

For us it was lazy stay in bed, watch movies, read your book, and for J long naps day as I recovered from the Migraine Monster.

Q came up from Philadelphia as she has a couple of meetings at NYU with her doctorate advisors this week and is going to be our very well informed guide to the Cloisters on Thursday. She came over through the snow mush that was both on the ground and in the air by Tuesday afternoon – it was a great day for staying inside – and we took her out to dinner then sent her off to bed after her long day.

We were then rewarded and compensated for all our disappointment from the night before. Billy Elliot! Where do I begin with the over the top adjectives? It was brilliant! It tugged at your heart and left us cheering. It was visually stunning and the energy and sheer joy pouring off the stage into the audience left us both staggering and energized. Wow is such an understatement.

Billy Elliot is actually based on the original film: director Stephen Daldry, choreographer Peter Darling and writer Lee Hall. The actors change up but Michael Dameski played Billy, Trevor Braun played Michael the brother, and Philip Whitchurch as the Dad with Kate Hennig as Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy’s teacher.

The story is about a boy from the mining towns of England, set during the heartbreaking strike of 1984, who wants to dance the ballet – not box as his Dad had hoped.

The cast, aside from the lead actors, is full of one delightful surprise after the other, from the hysterically funny and totally adorable young man who plays Billy’s best friend to the magic feet of the pudgy piano player employed by Mrs. Wilkinson.

We were smiling five minutes in and grinning ear to ear as we left, our hands sore from banging them together in some small token of appreciation for the delightful evening. I can’t recommend this musical highly enough. As it garnered 10 Tony awards I am apparently not alone in my judgment.

After that we barely noticed (but we did) the rather distinct plummet the temperature had taken when the snow clouds moved out as we were watching the show; it did speed our walk home.

I’m looking forward to some mother-daughter time together with Q today as the adorable husband takes himself off to a matinee. We are having breakfast together then off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. J and I have a premier to attend this evening so I must get tarted up a bit for that eh?



Sparx said...

Lord, well I'm so sorry you're having such a DREADFUL time in New York. Sounds AWFUL you poor poor thing... (cue Sparx retching in envy of Lady M's fab time and Tiffany bracelet...!!).

I am SO envious, I officially can't read your blog until you've left NYC.

Lynn said...

Sounds perfect except for that skating thing - and that will work itself out in time, I imagine. :)

Mama Zen said...

I'm so sorry that you had to suffer through a trip to Tiffany's. The things that we women must endure!

sally in norfolk said...

wow Billy Elliot thats a show i would love to see .... not sure Tiffanys would be kind of place though :-)

James Higham said...

Were you humming Moon River quietly to yourself though?

Anonymous said...

For some unknown reason my computor has barred your blog, among many others, for some weeks now-each time I clicked on one of them my machine crashed and I had to reboot. This happened so often that I got to the point where I did not dare to even try-much to my chagrin. Then, today, Voila! all is well again and I can catch up on your adventures [the last time I was able to visit you were leaving your beloved because of the heat]

I have enjoyed tagging along on your NY adventures...Tiffany..of what a dream that would be...I was firmly directed away from the windows on our visit to that city.

Have seen film and stage show of Chicago and have to say I loved the show best...such a small stage, so disciplined so...Bob Fosse.
Glad I can come visit again.

Ellee Seymour said...

That sounds like a perfect plan to me. Just perfect.

lady macleod said...

I'm home in Texas now, with the dreadful weather - so do come back!
Thank you for coming by - even though it was so very painful for you (Lady Macleod grinning in an evil fashion)

Thank you, and I have relayed your good wishes to the adorable husband.
Thank you for coming by.

Mama Zen
Indeed, life can be so very cruel at times, but I am bearing up as best I can...
Thank you for coming by.

You would love Billy Elliot and I love Tiffany's enough for both or us - no worries.
Thank you for coming by.

Yes indeed!
Thank you for coming by

Thank you for coming by.

I am VERY glad you got your computer crashing problem fixed!
I love Bob Fosse; and the dancing here was grand, but NO heart - such a disappointment.
Thank you for coming by and welcome back.

And in this case, the best laid plans worked out very well!
Thank you for coming by.