This is Lindy Hop

April 30, 2010

Now that we have “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars”, people have gotten a pretty bad idea of what swing dancing and lindy hop are (though I must say that SYTYCD has done a much better job of portraying since they have actually hired lindy hoppers to choreograph. DWTS has not even remotely bothered to represent it authentically). Here are the Harlem Hot Shots doing a routine that gives a comprehensive view of lindy hop. Watch the whole thing. You will not be disappointed…and you will also know what Tim and I do.


A rare moment of New York actually fixing a pothole

Dear New Yorkers,
I have a few questions for you New Yorkers. If anyone can answer them, please make a comment.
Many thanks in advance,

1. Why is the Triborough Bridge full of potholes and basically in a constant state of suckiness? Each car is charged $5.50 whether they are coming or going. Isn’t the point of a toll to pay for upkeep? And why are the Williamsburg, 59th Street and Brooklyn Bridges in much better shape, yet they are free?

2. Why was the Triborough renamed Robert F. Kennedy? If I were a Kennedy (well, I mean a “real” one), I wouldn’t want my name attached to that piece of crap.

3. Why is the A train labeled “express” when everybody knows it is the slowest train in the city?

4. Why does the “slow” local train consistently beat the said A train to it’s final destination?

5. Why does the city of New York cut spending on cops, yet hand out flyers to heroin addicts teaching them how to properly take their drug so as not to endanger their lives?

6. Why is it allowed to put 10 people in a cab, half of them children and not buckled in, but if you have 1 kid without a car seat in your own, personal car, you get plastered on the front of every tabloid?

7. Why is it that when you sneeze on the subway, you will hear a chorus of “Bless you’s”, but when that subway stops, those same people will run over you to get off first?

I love the Bendy Bus

April 27, 2010

I love riding the bendy bus(as the Brits refer to them on “Top Gear”), and here’s why.

– If you sit in the bendy, accordion part, the seats are just high enough that your feet don’t touch the ground (unless you’re over 5’10”), so your legs can swing like you’re a little kid

– You feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a musical instrument

– And if you’re lucky enough to sit there on a rainy day, the water makes it’s way through and you get rained on 🙂


April 26, 2010

What is difficult to see is the sign that says, “Luxury Car Service”.

Notice missing hub cab and the whole Toyota Sienna thing.

I’d sure be disappointed if I ordered luxury and this is what showed up.

I began playing soccer when I was 11. I was really good at it. I was fast. I was strong. I was big. I could kick the ball really hard. That was all you really needed when you’re 11 on the soccer field. As time went on, obviously, I had to acquire skills, but even then – I was big. I was strong. I was fast. I could kick the ball really hard. But my greatest strength, I have to say, was definitely my size. At 11, I was already 5 feet tall and weighed about 105 pounds. Most girls in my age bracket were 4’5″ and weighed in around 80 pounds (fully clothed, soaking wet after eating a large pizza). I obviously had the size advantage. Because of this “advantage”, I was the recipient of many a yellow card for “aggressive” play i.e. girls coming after me to get the ball, and instead of getting the ball, they ran into me and immediately bounced off and hit the ground. And the best part? I didn’t even feel them. Many a time, when I was given said yellow card, I would asked “What for?”. The ref would point and there I would discover some extremely maimed little blond chic calling for her mommy. I was pretty awesome.

So what does this have to do with the subway?

This strength, size and speed (and hoping one day that whole kicking the ball hard will come in handy) has served me very well as I navigate the subway system. Don’t believe me? Let me share a little story.

It was 5 pm. Rush hour. On the N train. An announcement tells us we are delayed due to mechanical failure of the train in front of us. So we wait. Then we move. Then we stop again. An announcement tells us that we are delayed due to a medical emergency on a different train in front of us. So we wait. Then we move. This all took about 20 minutes. Now, because of these delays, there has now been a back up of New York pedestrians trying to get home during rush hour. Like 4 trains worth of back up. So we pull into the next station and the number of people was of epic proportions – and they all thought that they could get in my car. I was already slammed up against the pole and a sweaty, fat dude. I wasn’t exactly in the mood for more people. And then the doors opened, and it was suddenly all in slow motion like a bad action movie. The wave of people began. Bags in the air, arms shoving, dirty looks being thrown, sweaty pits filling the air with their aroma, crying children, falling iPods. And when you thought it couldn’t get worse? The shove. The shove that begins from the people still stranded on the platform thinking that if they can just shove a little harder, they can make it in this car already filled with at least with the population of China. My soccer skills from childhood kicked in. I grounded myself and used my mad shoulder charging skills and leaned into the shove. And then? It stopped. I could see people trying to move, but they couldn’t get anywhere! Looks of frustration and consternation filled their faces. Just how was it possible that they couldn’t get any further? It was me. I was the one stopping the wave. The sardine can was full, and there was one sardine vying for its space in the middle of the can – and that sardine was winning. Yes, she was packed in, but gosh darn it, she was packed in on her own terms, packed in with dignity, packed in with a centimeter of space between her and her neighbor. And oh yes. The sardine was victorious.

Only in New York

April 19, 2010

For those of you wondering what the heck is going on in this picture – this is a professional dog walker in New York. I sure wouldn’t want to have to pick up all that poop.

Opening Night

April 16, 2010

Butterfly opened last night, and the show was very well received! Congrats to the cast! We are doing the Brescia version, which is different that the version almost done exclusively. It is actually Puccini’s favorite version and the version that received the most praise by audiences and critics.

If you’re in NYC, come on over and visit us at Dicapo! Remaining NYC performances are 4/17, 4/23 and 4/25.

A continuation in my series of generosity and giving. Share your stories! I want to hear them!

“Oh my gosh, mom! Finally!!!” I looked down with sheer delight at my new fortune – a pair of stone washed overalls.

It was the late 80’s. Stone washed jeans had been all the rage for at least 5 years, yet I had not come into the possession of any due to the lack of money for clothes. But today was my lucky day.

Our family had become the beneficiaries of a well-off family at church. They had 2 kids a couple years older than me and my brother, and every few months they would show up at church with a bag of clothes for us. Since they were pretty well-off, they always gave us nice, fashionable clothes. Granted, they were a few years behind the fashion, but in the 80’s it was all so ugly anyway, so it didn’t really matter when it got worn.

A year or so before this amazing discovery I made in the bag, my brother had gotten a pair of stone washed jeans from this family, and I was extremely jealous that I had yet to receive such bounty. Since that day, I had looked longingly in “my” bag for the elusive stone washed jeans. I’d seen my benefactor wear them, so I knew she had them. I just had to wait until she didn’t want them anymore. Mind you, I was always thankful when any clothes showed up, but that one thing was so important to me.

And then it happened. I opened up the bag…and light shone from heaven and angels sang the Hallelujah Chorus as it was revealed that, indeed, there was a pair of something stone washed. I pulled them – no, they rose of their own accord out of the bag, and I discovered they were overalls. I didn’t care what they were, as long as they were stone washed, I was a happy camper.

I wore those things out! My mom had to continually patch the knees, I wore them so much. Finally, after a couple of years, I had to give them up. I had grown too tall. But those were a precious couple of years when I owned my own stone washed denim.

Check out this video

April 15, 2010

Click on this link and not only see pics of me in action in Hansel and Gretel, but also help support Opera Manhattan in a competition to win a fantastic performance space!

It happened again

April 14, 2010

I am waiting for the 6 train going uptown at 59th Street. It’s 7:30pm. My attention is caught by…purple. Yes. Purple. What do I see?

A man in purple corduroy pants, purple argyle sweater, purple button down, purple jacket and a patent leather snake skin purple fedora. It’s hard to miss someone like that.

Fast forward

I am waiting for the 6 train going downtown at 77th Street. It’s 11pm. My attention is caught by…purple. Yes. Purple. What do I see?

The same dude!!! Standing next to me!!!

So the question I have now is, how often does this happen, and it’s just that I notice the crazy ones?