Friday, July 6, 2007

Fourth of July in the Big Apple

Ah, the Big Apple. It was a fourth of July many, many years ago when I first learned that special nickname for New York. My grandfather had purchased some glittery kid-thing that had that printed on it and gave it to me right before we made our way into the city for the fireworks. I was too young to really understand the nickname, but ever since then if you say "The Big Apple" I think of red glitter.

So lots happened: I went to an amazing book exchange (yes, expect many book reviews to come), I watched the fireworks from my friend's roof, and I went to a play. In the meantime, I helped my friend figure out to transition from a "business casual" office to a "business" office - no easy feat, I tell you.

First - the book exchange:
Here's what I brought, Karma and other stories by Rishi Reddi and Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang. Karma and Other stories is very similar to Interpreter of Maladies. Maybe a bit simpler, but I actually enjoyed it more. The short stories have a few common threads and a few repeating characters, which makes it feel more like a novel than a compilation. Love in a Fallen City is an epic collection of short stories that can seem dense, but is also a treasure trove of romantic ideals, modern isolation, and traditional culture all whirling around at a high speed.

Here's what I took: A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid, Confederacy of Dunces, Life of Pi, The Piano Tuner, and one I cannot remember. As soon as I finish Mountains Beyond Mountains, expect the book reviews to begin! I'm very excited.

The Fireworks.
I don't like fireworks. And the rooftop was a bit like a weird frat-party with too many people and not enough window space. But I ran into my friend's sister in law, a young woman I like quite alot. It was so fun to see her. I need to remember to tell her that. I did dance one merengue with a random stranger, but only because he was desperate to get the dancing started. Although the photographer there was going crazy, so I expect my picture will be EVERYWHERE!

The Play.
It was called Deuce and starred Angela Landsbury and Marian Seldes. The actors were amazing and the play itself had several poignant moments and comments on aging, what it's like to be both famous and nearly forgotten - simultaneously, and how difficult it is to watch the world change without you. I went with my friend's father - an expressive Russian man who is like a father to me. He was dying to get me into the MOMA for free, but I had to put him off to my next trip. I love him and his wife, they are so effusive, so worried all the time about everything, but also so joyful and excited to share their lives with me. I am truly fortunate to have the opportunity to have wonderful friends that not only let me into their lives, but also that let me into their families!

The Wardrobe Transition.
All I have to say is: May I never have to be in a business attire office. Ugh.

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