A week of New York City, Queens, in particular with excursions into Manhattan, the center of  . . .

Julia noticed that the streets of the West Village were “like Torino but in New York.”  She marveled at the windows of Li-Lac Chocolates with dinosaurs, old telephones and a chess set in chocolate.

Julia and I visited Google, as the guest of a cousin.  It is a wonderful, strange, some what disconcerting world.  Huge floors with unusual work spaces– Julia wandered into one, quicker than I could stop her, attracted by the toys on top of a computer–play spaces including a Lego work space that Julia is still talking about.  Honestly, their wall of Lego parts was as big any at the Lego stores.  It is an edgy design, some cool Soho and loft like, some gritty industrial.  Along some halls there are cubbies and hideaways  and the cafeteria, the one that we saw, feeds employees like an upscale restaurant for free.  What would it be like to belong to that club?  Taken care of or shackled?  Or both.  It was fun!  And vaguely scary.  Like dipping into a world apart from the city.  Apart from any life that I have lived.

We spent most of an afternoon at the Guggenheim’s Burri exhibit.  It was all very modern and abstract.  Julia has not been very interested in the abstract but she listened to the commentary (I finally figured out how to download a museum’s app! Yay!) and appreciated many of the pieces.  There was a large canvas that had sheets of metal attached and soldered together on it.  After listening that Burri lived close to a town with notable Renaissance frescos in the churches and how he was influenced by that work, Julia noticed that the solder lines were like a crucifix and the few red splotches are like Jesus’ blood.

Well, I didn’t see that.  All that abstract work, prompted realism and coloring.

Cheshire took us to the Flushing China Town which she claimed was bigger than Manhattan’s.  It was huge, a bit less polished than its Manhattan cousin.  We ate fresh noodles in broth with a few kinds of meat, green veggies and spicy red stuff.  The streets were lit with more signs per building than could possibly be read, reminding me of old pictures of the Lower East Side, long before my tenure in the city.

A few days before we left for NYC, I managed to buy tickets to “Spring Awakening,” a musical revival produced by Deaf West Theater.  It is as splendid as what I have read suggests.  A musical with deaf and hearing actors, one in a wheel chair.  Deaf actors dancing!  An assemble so tight that they seem to breathe as one.  A chilling story of Victorian (?) oppression and teenagers being the fearless explorers that they naturally are.  A wonderful set, incredible lighting-such rich fare for eyes and ears.

I wanted to see this show.

But

It has a limited run and tickets were scarce and expensive.  I didn’t imagine I had a chance of seeing it and these days I suffer more than usual from not seeing theater.

But

I was enamored by the show and joined its website a few months back. Then last week, there was an announcement that in honor of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) 25th anniversary, they would be offering a few $25 tickets for thanksgiving week.  I clicked through and bought two for the Wednesday matinee (the only tickets I could find) before I knew who I would take, so amazed that I really got them!  A friend and I sat in god’s heaven-the ensemble work only enhanced by our bird’s eye view.  It was marvelous!  And I was very grateful for the gift.

We celebrated at Cheshire’s boyfriend’s family with more food and conversation than any one person could take on.  It was delightful with at least one parting comment that someone hadn’t gotten to really talk to me and a hope I would be back before next thanksgiving.  Cheshire surprised me by arranging for an old friend from Woodstock (the town, not the festival) to join us.  We talked our way through the 24 hours of his visit.  Wise friends are truly a gift.

I wished I had taken more pictures.  I am happy I could enjoy the presentness of the moments without the need to record.  And on return, I fit back into my day-to-day, squirm a bit not much, and I feel a growing awareness that I will return.  I do need to live in that city again.