Friday, September 3, 2010
S'Mac and Awe
Brittany and I have been friends for a long, long time - over eighteen years, actually. From the first day of first grade, all the way through our joint high school graduation speech and beyond. But what with different colleges and career paths, we hadn't seen each other as often as we would have liked to over the last few years. Needless to say, we were both thrilled when she was able to come visit for a weekend in March. (One perk of her travel-intensive consulting job? "Alt-Travel" - instead of flying back home to Ohio, she can fly to somewhere else... like NYC!)
Once she arrived, we dove headfirst into New York activities while catching up on our crazy lives. We hit up classic touristy stuff (Times Square, the incredible roller coaster-esque indoor elevator at the Marriott Marquee, the M&Ms store) but also visited Fort Tryon and walked the length of Central Park. She also got to see some theater - directed by yours truly! I'd been working on this show "Hearting Linds" for the past month, and it worked out perfectly that Britt was in town to see the performances. It was a fun, quirky new play about falling in love with your heart, and everyone in our packed houses seemed to enjoy it. I think she especially enjoyed seeing the show multiple times, seeing exactly how unique each performance really is.
Even though it was a brief visit, we had a great time. We both enjoyed catching up, and I was pleased that the weather had cooperated and allowed a bit of spring sunshine into the mix, letting us take leisurely strolls around the city (instead of the sprints from building to building I'd been experiencing most of the winter). But no sooner had I said goodbye to Brittany than I was saying hello to yet another fun visitor - Rachel! I'd been anxiously awaiting her visit for a while, eager to show her around "my" city and get in some much-needed sister time. But Rachel was in for a little surprise: Before our adventures could begin, she'd have to put in some work... at my job! A little back story: One of the biggest projects I was working on at A.R.T./New York was readying the save-the-dates and invitations for the annual gala - I helped streamline the organization's contacts, mail merged everything, and went through stacks of returns to find correct addresses (Tangent: Researching the addresses of the returned mail was actually an incredibly interesting project. While Googling the addresses and names I ran across stories of lost homes, estate sales, death, love, even parents of famous playwrights. Read my favorite one, about a couple who fell in love after WWII, here; I found it while trying to trace where Elmer had moved to. Who never RTS could be so interesting?) But the culmination of all this work was, naturally, a day of mass stamping and envelope licking, otherwise known as actually sending out the invitations. It just so happened that Rachel's visit coincided with this monumental day, so she tagged along and was a huge help throughout the process.
To celebrate our success, Rach and I headed to a scrumptious Indian dinner and a really fun, unique show: The New York Neo-Futurists "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind." In this wild production, the Neo-Futurists put on 30 plays in 60 minutes... some are 5 minutes long, some only 15 seconds. But the real fun is in the sequencing: the numbers 1-30 are strung up on a clothesline across the stage, and as you're seated each member of the audience is given a "menu" with all of the thirty play titles. Once a play finishes on stage, the audience yells out the number they want to see performed next. It made for a hilarious evening and I highly recommend it. (P.S. The cost of admission? $10 plus the roll of a die. They always find a way to work in the random...)
But the fun didn't stop there. Our numerous other adventures included The Strand bookstore, the West Village, and the Central Park Conservatory Gardens. Our gastronomical adventures were pretty impressive too, including old favorites like Red Bamboo and new ones, like S'Mac - serving incredible gourmet Mac 'n' Cheese (our favorite was the Parisian, which included Brie, Rosemary, Mushrooms and Figs)! As you can see from the picture, Rachel was not a fan of sharing. We also stumbled upon Baked by Melissa miniature cupcakes ... tiny bites of awesome! (If your mouth isn't water after looking at that website, have your eyes checked). And by the end of the trip, Rachel even (mostly) figured out the subway. Not a bad visit, if I do say so myself ... All in a day's (or week's) work for big sis!