Our time in DC came to an end all too soon. I would have loved another week or so there to do some more sightseeing. With the holidays it just seemed like there wasn’t enough time to really get out and see all the things I wanted to see – oh well, a lot is left to see next time!
The days leading up to Christmas were consumed with shopping and preparation for the holidays. Karl had a small gathering at his place to celebrate the season and Jovon and Sheila made some kick-ass egg nog. I have never been a fan of the nog, but this stuff was GOOD! It was nice hanging out together and eating Karl’s yummy risotto and drinking wine.
The actual Christmas holiday was wonderful. Ryan had never been to New York City for anything other than work, so taking advantage of our rare two days off, we went into the city (with Tallulah in tow, of course) to celebrate Christmas. We stayed at a nice hotel across from the Museum of Natural History on 81st Street and did all the New York Christmassy things – we walked by all the storefronts on Fifth Avenue (where we ran into Jovon and Sheila!), we went to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree, we walked through Central Park, we went up to the top of the Empire State Building and had dinner in the West Village. It was great. On Christmas day we had a nice breakfast out and then went to see “Sweeney Todd” at the Zeigfeld (a great movie!).
The drive back to DC was a bit harrowing – the traffic was horrendous – it ended up taking us about seven hours to get back (normally a four hour drive). A lot of our company members got stuck on the way back in – one of our swings sat on I-95 for nine hours trying to get back to DC from New York! All in all though, it was a really nice couple of days and a great way to spend Christmas.
The week following Christmas we went to the Corcoran Museum, which currently has a fantastic Ansel Adams exhibit, running concurrently with an equally fantastic exhibit of work by Annie Leibovitz. I had seen a lot of the Ansel Adams shots when I went to an exhibit at the San Francisco MOMA a couple of years ago, honoring Adams on what would have been his 100th birthday. I remember Michele and I being blown away by the photographs, so much so that we took a trip to Yosemite shortly thereafter to take our own photographs of the park. It was lovely to see his work again – I especially enjoyed his lesser famous photographs of some small towns in New Mexico, which were just as beautiful, although in a different way, from his National Park photographs. There were also a number of photographs taken in San Francisco, which made me nostalgic and a bit homesick.
The Annie Leibovitz photographs were equally wonderful, although in a different way. Where the Ansel Adams photographs were primarily scenic shots, Leibovitz’s were primarily portraits and candids of people. Although I love scenic photography – and love taking scenic pictures myself, I actually really prefer shots of people – especially candids, because really good candid shots that tell a story about a moment in time are SO hard to get – you don’t have the luxury of set-up and composition time that you do when you are taking a still scenic shot. It is so much harder to capture a split second of a person in motion. That being said, I know most people know Annie Leibowitz from her studio portraits of rock stars and movie stars – and although those photos are pretty cool, I much prefer her candid family shots – of her parents and children. She was really able to capture sadness and joy and all kinds of other emotions in those photos. I loved them. Out of her set-up portraits though, the few that Leibovitz took of Queen Elizabeth commemorating the Queen’s visit to the U.S. were kind of amazing.
I’m not sure if these exhibits are traveling or not, but if they are and they end up in a city near you, if you are at all into photography, definitely check them out. They are two of the best exhibits I have seen in a long time.
For New Year’s, the company had a party at Firefly, a bar in Dupont Circle near where we are all staying. It was a really nice evening – made better because Brian Bogin, one of our former stage managers, came in for the evening to hang with us! I enjoyed the night with the Spamily (a much tamer New Year’s than last year’s extravaganza at the Residence Inn in Detroit!) but didn’t stay out too late because I had to leave early the next morning to go back to New York.
So I spent the first four days of the New Year back in New York City. First on the list was packing up the remainder of my belongings at my apartment and moving them into storage. I had much more still at the apartment than I remembered, but I managed to get it all packed the evening of the 1st and the following morning, with the help of movers, I became an official resident of Manhattan Mini Storage! It is actually a great relief to not have the responsibility of an apartment on my plate anymore and I am looking forward to getting my own place when I finally do return to the Big Apple. The rest of Wednesday was spent catching up with friends. I had lunch with Richard Rauscher, who kindly let me stay at his 45th Street “pied a terre” (he also has a house in New Jersey, so I had the whole apartment to myself, which was lovely), and then I had dinner with Patty in the Village after she got off work at The Point – an uber-cool knitting shop/cafe. Thursday and Friday I had doctors and dentist appointments and renewed my driver’s license, and spent a good chunk of time knitting at The Point. I also ate dinner at Tea and Sympathy – my favorite restaurant in New York (it’s English!). It was a nice couple of days away from the show, and although they were busy, I felt like I accomplished a lot while still getting to see friends, and thanks to Richard’s great apartment, I also was able to rest and have some time to myself. The few days in the city also reiterated to me how much I do love New York City, and although I am not ready to yet, I do really want to go back there eventually and continue my life and career there – at least for a while longer.
I went back to Washington on Friday night and began preparing for the move out on Sunday night. The month went by so quickly and although I would have loved to have spent more time at the museums and sightseeing, it was also really nice to spend a good portion of time back “home” in New York.
On Sunday we loaded out and at midnight Tallulah and I boarded a sleeper bus which got en route to Schenectady, NY around 3am. With the help of nighttime Theraflu (I’m fighting a bit of a cold thanks to the -2 degree weather in NYC last week) and luxuriously long bunks (I fit my backpack and the cat bag on the bunk and could still stretch out), I was able to sleep over six hours last night on the bus – a record for me! We arrived in snowy Schenectady around 10am this morning. I walked around a little bit – the downtown is cute and the theater is beautiful. Plus, with a blanket of snow it just seems all the more charming. I am looking forward to a restful week before we hit Boston, and then for me, MEXICO!
I leave you with a photo of stage management with our Christmas gift from our general managers – a bucket of popcorn (this coming right on the heels of twenty buckets of popcorn sent by Mike Nichols the week before. Let’s just say we were a little popcorn-ed out).