Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ashes and Snow

Today Elizabeth and I put up the rest of my book shelves. My room is FINALLY coming together. I will have before and after pictures to post soon…it’s come a long way. After giving away my bookshelf my books remained boxed up in the corner of the living room. After a week, I couldn't stand it any more. My books are like decorative friends and I hated having them boxed up. So, I took them out and stacked them all around my room. It wasn't the most functional set up but at least they were "free."

Today was a “Pay What Can” day at the Pier 54 gallery where Ashes and Snow is being exhibited. Admission is only $12 so it isn’t like paying full price would break the bank, but – of course, until Elizabeth and I get more money coming in, we decided to graciously pay what we could.

When I was visiting NYC in April to find an apartment, Damon asked me if I wanted to check it out. We went down and were just blown away by it. You must see Gregory Colbert’s in person to appreciate. It is just breathtaking.

I love the message and layers to his exhibition, Ashes and Snow, and I had wanted to go back before it closes. With the final date less than a week away, I was glad we were able to go down.

I don’t know where Mr. Colbert’s work will travel next – but – if you get a chance to experience Ashes and Snow. Don’t miss it. Until you see it first hand, visit the website below and read about his work.


Monday, May 30, 2005


No work today and no real plans. That’s always nice.

Elizabeth and I went downtown and saw the new Star Wars movie. Afterwards we made yet ANOTHER Home Depot run.

We got back to the apartment and start hanging up my bookshelves. I’m looking forward to having my books off the floor and around me. Elizabeth is a great little handy-woman. She been wielding her power screw-driver around the apartment like a madwoman. With a little help from me (I’m great at holding the level), she’s whipping the apartment into shape.
It’s coming together!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

DESSA Closes

Dessa Rose closed tonight and I really wanted to see the show one more time but it was sold-out. I wish Elizabeth could’ve seen it.

The afternoon I spent on my first date in New York. It was a beautiful afternoon for a date in NYC.

And I’m going to leave it at that for right now…
The PLAYBILL for the off-Broadway musical, DESSA ROSE Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 28, 2005

On the town...

Elizabeth and I decided to try and see the musical Wicked today. It was an important show in our decision to move to NYC. We’ve both seen it and were wanting to see what it was like with the new cast.

2 hours before each performance of Wicked they hold a lottery for front row tickets. For $25 cash you can be on the front row…right in front of those who’ve paid over $100 for the same tickets. It started with Jonathan Larson – the creator of the musical Rent – wanting his artist friends to be able to see his work at an affordable price. The trend caught on and now a lot of shows do the same thing. In the past I’ve seen some of the hottest shows that way…even Best Musical winners Hairspray and Avenue Q.

Visit: www.avenueq.com and www.hairsprayonbroadway.com and www.wickedthemusical.com

We put our names in for the lottery but lost.

We walked just a few steps over from the Gershwin Theater to Theater in the Square home of the 6 time Tony nominated musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. They had a lottery so we thought it couldn’t hurt to put our names in.
So we did.

My name was the fifth named called and for $25 we had tickets.

The show, which I had heard great things about, was great if not better than anything and everything I had heard about it.

Funny and out right hilarious and then…before you know what’s happening, so touching and moving. I LOVED it. I would LOVE to be in that show.

Visit: www.spellingbeethemusical.com

After the show we met up with my friend Sharon Hartman and her cousin. I met Sharon through my work at Peachtree and was delighted to hear that she would be in town this weekend.

Elizabeth and I met up with Sharon and her cousin after they got out of Wicked and we got out of Spelling Bee. It was clouding up but we hit the streets to find a place to grab a quick bite to eat.

Sharon said she had a wonderful idea and want to be the one who introduced us to the beauty of the famed Rainbow Room. We made out way over across town only to discover we weren’t allowed in. They have a strict dress code and my tennis shoes don’t fall into it.
So, we were back on the street and found a great little place, Morell Wine and Bake Shop, where we ordered and shared different dishes and drinks. As we ate the rain began to fall and we were moved inside.

It was SO wonderful seeing Sharon again. She’s so sweet and dear. We love to talk politics and life.

Sharon and her cousin grabbed a cab while Elizabeth and I made a dash for the subway.

The rain pretty much set in for the evening and Elizabeth and I stayed in. We continued organizing the apartment and watched movies.

Friday, May 27, 2005

The View from a Bridge & HOME DEPOT

After seven days (!) the rainy, drizzly weather has let up. We crossed our fingers last night when we went to bed and woke up this morning was bright blue skies.

So, went straight to our plan A for the morning (we didn’t really have a plan B, but we would’ve thought something up.). At 7am we got on a 5 express train headed for the south end of Manhattan. We switched over to a C train and took it to the first stop in Brooklyn. We walked out into the sunshine and were just 2 blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Together we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge back to the city. From atop the bridge I called my brother Tim (but didn’t get him) and Mama Dell (Elizabeth’s mom, whom I did reach) to share the experience.

As we crossed the bridge it was so cool to see the city laid out in front of us. We snapped pictures like tourists from a square state in the middle of America. The city was shining and the air was crisp. It felt like a postcard. In the distance we could see Lady Liberty holding her torch high. Looking at the skyline stirred a real loss for the World Trade Center buildings that anchored that end of the island. The topic of the new buildings or designs is a hot button in the city right now. Every day there is an article about what buildings will go there to honor the loss of lives taken on September 11th and what purpose they should serve.

We got back on the train and headed up a few stops to Home Depot. Having grown up around Home Depots my entire life, it was fun to see this 4 story Home Depot tucked into the middle of a metropolis. I thought of Dad and my friend Jackson as we walked in. The business is narrow in some spots and sprawling in others. The Lawn & Garden department is represented…even if it is two stories under ground.

Elizabeth and I shopped a bit for things needed for the apartment. We’re adding more shelves in the kitchen so we have places to put her pots and pans. We picked up hooks for the mugs and a new deadbolt.

Bags in hand and under arm we got back on the subway and headed home. We just walked in a few minutes ago. Elizabeth is grabbing a quick nap before we continue tackling the apartment. I decided to log a quick journal entry (I’m LOVING have wireless internet at home!) and I think I’ll post a couple of pictures from the last week or so.

Thank you for all the phone calls, emails and letters. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people following my journal. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am. (Check out the NEW pictures below)

P.S. Yes, Greg, I am writing RIGHT NOW. Sorry I missed your call.

Bryant Park in FULL use. The lawn has been opened and business men and women use this escape during their lunch hour to eat, sun bathe, nap, etc. The last few days it has been closed because of the rain. Starting in 2 weeks they have free movies in the park at sundown - just like Screen on the Green in Atlanta. The first film is THE WAY WE WERE. I would LOVE to see that on a big screen
Posted by Hello

Nathan Minor (takes a break from driving like a bat-out-of-hell) to CELEBRATE our approach to IKEA. Posted by Hello

Elizabeth claiming IKEA territory. Posted by Hello

Nathan & Elizabeth toward the end of our time at IKEA. Romantically waiting for the boxes containing her loft bed to be delivered. Posted by Hello

CeCe and me folded into the back of the rented Trailblazer, post-IKEA. I couldn't feel my legs and thanks to Nathan's GPS navigation system I was able to count down each painful mile (did I mention traffice was backed up for miles?). Posted by Hello

The entrance to the famous restaurant, Tavern on the Green. Posted by Hello

Michael P. White and Traci Parker White cuddling up for the anniversary. Posted by Hello

Post-carriage ride with illustrator Michael P. White and his wonderful wife, Traci. Posted by Hello

Enough said...HOME!! Posted by Hello

Another one of me, with NYC as the perfect backdrop. Posted by Hello

Me with the Queensboro Bridge behind me. In the distance you can see both the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. Posted by Hello

The details. Posted by Hello

Walking accross the Brooklyn Bridge this morning. GLORIOUS sun shining! Posted by Hello

My Dad's home away from home, HOME DEPOT. Posted by Hello

Welcome to HOME DEPOT...NYC! Posted by Hello

Home & Garden at Home Depot Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005

No Backdoor? Try the Fire Escape

It was a late night last night for Elizabeth & I. A night that included being locked out of our apartment, rain, scaling the fire escape…ALL at one o’clock in the morning. It was just a crazy experience that made me once again WISH for our own reality TV show.

We’d been having trouble with our lock on the door but hadn’t worried about it because we have a brand new dead bolt keeping us secure. Last night, after running out for a very, very, very late bite to eat – we came home to find that the lock had given up the ghost. The problem was we were on the wrong side of the door when it happened.

At 1am, and after several attempts (attempts that had both of us alternating between the door lock and the deadbolt - trying seperately - trying at the same time, Elizabeth hanging from the fire escape ladder in the rain, ripping her jeans, etc.), we finally knocked on our neighbor’s door. We could hear the TV on, so we were hoping that that meant they were still awake and hadn’t just fallen asleep with it on.

Thankfully, they were awake.

We were incredibly apologetic and they were very understanding - a GREAT match. Though it meant them rearranging their living room, moving their computer desk, and taking down the child safety guard over the window – they were very nice and extremely helpful. Once we could get TO their window and then OUT their window…Elizabeth walked across the fire escape, in the rain, to my bedroom window and crawled in (I’m so glad I had left it cracked a bit.).

I wish I could tell you I was making this up…

We were both very wound up from the events of the trying to get inside…so we stayed up talking, watching TV and enjoying our new wireless internet at home until close to 3am.

It’s now after 11am and I’ve only been up about an hour or so. A late night is meaning a very slow start to my day.

Yesterday was my third night working for the Roundabout. Things are coming along…I’m getting settled in and meeting people. Now that I’m getting into the rhythm of the job I hope to start pulling some money in soon.

Elizabeth & I spent the day yesterday waiting on the cable guy. We didn’t care about the TV as much as we cared about getting online at home. I’m tired on running back and forth to the library but I probably will continue going to Bryant Park as the weather gets better. It has been raining for the last 3 days and we’re both suffering from a bit of cabin fever. You can only unpack for just so long before you need to take a break. He did arrive and he did get us up and running - but the celebration was shortlived. They'd sent us a bum modem. So, on my way to work, Elizabeth rode down with me and spent some more time with the lovely folks at Time Warner Cable getting a new modem as I went on to the Roundabout.

With Elizabeth here, things around the apartment are really coming together. It’s starting to feel more complete. Things are finding their place. She’s cooking in the kitchen right now…making biscuits!

It’s beginning to feel more like home.
P.S. I got my driver’s license today.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Last night was a lot of training with the Roundabout Theater. There are several people starting at once. It is fun to be working in the heart of Times Square. I’m enjoying reading about the productions Roundabout Theater has produced or will be producing in the upcoming season.

I’ve been to shows with Roundabout Theater several times. The first was Major Barbara starring Cherry Jones that I mentioned a week or so ago. Of course at the time I didn’t realize that it was a Roundabout show.

In the last two years I’ve seen both the dark revival of the musical Cabaret (starring Deborah Gibson, at least when I saw it) as well as last year’s Tony Award winning musical, Assassins (starring Neil Patrick Harris, Dennis O’Hare, and many other theater greats.) at the famed STUDIO 54 Theatre, which is a Roundabout house.

Most of the people in the office are connected to the theatre world in some way. I look forward to meeting new people and making some new friends.

At home we’re getting more and more unpacked. Elizabeth is working through her boxes – I completely know the feeling. The living room is taking shape and the kitchen has shelves.

I’m so proud of her. I know this is incredibly hard and a huge life change. I know because I feel it as well. Last night when she met me after work, we went down to Chelsea to grab a bite to eat and get online at the BIG CUP. While we were eating I asked her about the other times she’d visited New York. Her visit over New Year’s earlier this year was her first and only trip to NYC. I was floored. I had assumed (you know what they say about assuming) that, because of her background in theater, that she had been her on several occasions. I guess I thought because I came up here 2 or 3 times a year that other people did as well.

I was wrong. When she arrived last week that was her second time coming to Manhattan. I told her that was she’s done and is doing is amazing. This is ALL unknown to her. There are large parts that are unknown to me but at least things are familiar in a lot of respects.

I admire her so much. I know she misses Nathan and her family terribly. She puts on a brave face (about 4 dozens times a day) but when I look at her when she doesn’t know I’m looking at her, I can read what she’s feeling. No matter how you cut it – this is HUGE.

I just can’t say enough how proud I am that she’s trusted in herself to get to this point.

Monday, May 23, 2005

There We Were

I started my job with Roundabout Theater today. As I was getting ready I commented to Nathan & Elizabeth that it felt like the first day of school.

As I left I said goodbye to Nathan. He flew back tonight. He’s remains such a strong, encouraging, loving support to Elizabeth. He’s so proud of her and the way she’s chasing her dreams. Evidence of his support are everywhere…every corner of her life.

I confess, I’m a little jealous.

Elizabeth saw him to the airport and came down to Times Square to meet me when I got off work.

There have been so many moments when I wished our lives were a reality TV show. Seeing her, red-eyed, walking down 7th Ave toward me was one of those moments. Not to exploit her, Nathan or me but it would’ve made a helleva TV close-up. She walked up to me, smiled.

I said, “How ya doin’, kiddo?”

She nodded.

I hugged her and she started crying.

And there we were….smiling.


New Yorkers pushing by us.
Tourists starring around us.

Cab horns blaring at everyone but us.
But there we were…two friends standing in the middle of Times Square - with dreams in one hand and faith in the other.


Spoiled. I feel completely spoiled.

Yesterday morning I met Michael and Traci White for brunch…at Tavern on the Green. That was just the beginning of a magical day. The whole day was a dream.

I was running a few minutes late. My dyslexia kicked in and I read the address incorrectly (I only have that problem with numbers for some reason.). I knew Tavern on the Green was in Central Park but I wasn’t sure exactly where. For the record, it is on the west side of the park at 68th street. My eyes read 68th as 86th – so when I got there, as expected, there was no Tavern on the Green to be found.

This mishap had me running late, so I jumped in a cab and headed south down the west side of the park.

I got to Tavern on the Green and Traci was waiting outside for me. We went in and set down a few minutes in the bar before being shown to the dinning room. The stain glass and lights…the dark woods…everything was beautiful. I’ve seen Tavern on the Green in several movies but I never got a true feeling for the space and location. It is tucked just inside Central Park under tall trees that act as a canopy.

The Michael and Traci treated me to a delicious brunch and each of us soaked it all in while we caught up about my move, their daughter Madeline and Michael’s school schedule and projects. Yesterday they took in Spamalot, so we compared notes from the show and spent a while quoting Monty Python lines back and forth over a delicious spread of food.


After brunch Traci decided that she wanted to take a horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park and they asked me to come along. It was their anniversary and I tried insisting that they spend the time together, but they wouldn’t hear of it. So, I joined the ride.

While we’d been inside eating the sun had broken through the rainy skies and the weather was gorgeous. Pulled by horse with a one blue eye and one brown one, our carriage went along the Central Park West. The driver pointed out John Lennon’s former residence and then took us back inside the park and along the sidewalk memorial mosaic that says, Imagine.

The runners, joggers, walkers and strollers were out in full force enjoying the break in the rain. The grassy lawn areas were filling up with sun bathers as the carriage pulled back along the sidewalk by Tavern on the Green. The ride was shorter than Traci had wanted but we all enjoyed it.

We walked through the park in the direction of the Zoo. We parted ways when I thought we were close (ended up we were way off). As we said goodbye Traci and Michael reinforced a second invitation for me to join them…this time for dinner. They had reservations at a restaurant that I hadn’t heard of…they’d already made the reservation for three in hopes that I would say yes.

The restaurant was Nobu owned my film industry mega-talent Robert DiNiro. It is located in the Tribeca area of Manhattan, which is lower on the island. Tribeca is where Mr. DiNiro resides and he has done a lot and given back to the community again and again over the last few years. I had never heard of Nobu and actually Michael and Traci had started to cancel the reservation and look for something else when their concierge said he would strongly recommend that they kept it. He said the wait list is remarkable and it remains impossible for him to get hotel guests in there.

So, they kept it and asked that I not blow them off and spend another meal with them.

I accepted.

I met them at their hotel….the absolutely gorgeous Sofitel…it was like the waiting room of Heaven. Everything was so sleek and elegant.


We walked two doors down and had a drink at the famed Algonquin hotel, which was something Michael had always wanted to do. We walked into the dark and rich bar of the Algonquin and enjoyed a martini before heading to Nobu.


We arrived right on time and were shown to the back of the restaurant and taken into the private dining area.


In my 30 years on this earth I’ve had great meals but nothing…absolutely like this. For me, a good meal means that the breadsticks were fresh the last time I was at the Olive Garden (Ha ha. That’s actually an exaggeration…I have had wonderful meals in great non-chain restaurants, but this was different.).

THIS was not just a meal – it was truly an experience. Everything…every sip, every bite seemed to be the building block the next course would be built upon. I can’t even describe it…nothing I can write would justify it. It was just...incredible. I have never tasted such flavors.

I let Michael and Traci do all the ordering. I found several things on the menu that I recognized but opted instead to surrender to the experience of Sushi and Japanese cuisine. For those who know me well, you know when it comes to meals I’m seldom break from the norm…ok, never break from the norm. If I can’t pronounce it or if it doesn’t have a picture I can point to on the menu, the likelihood of me ordering it is very slim.

I’m sure I sound unsophisticated and very, very common…but that’s me - at least when it comes to what I eat. But, like I said, I broke the pattern…I stepped out and I was rewarded for opening myself up to new things.


As we left the restaurant we passed famed indie-actor
Benicio Del Toro coming in and checking on his reservation. This made Traci happy, since she’d spent most of the walk through Central Park earlier in the day trying to spot a celebrity.

We took a cab back uptown to the Sofitel where Traci and I waited in the bar as Michael ran upstairs. In the sunken bar of the hotel, I had a Godiva chocolate martini that was like kissing the love of your life.

When Michael us they made the decision to try a posh French dessert restaurant three doors down called B D . There, in the warm red-painted atmosphere, I turned the menu back over to them. Michael ordered me the best brandy…twice. There was gentle bite and dark glow to it. As the desserts arrived I realized he had chosen it to be the most amazing companion to what we were able to eat. Every bite was rhapsody. Michael and I ordered rich, delicious desserts and Traci had the most incredible fruit and cheese plate. We passed the plates and loaded forks around the table again and again…enjoying each any every combination.

Perfect bites of fork-sized Heaven.

I spent the evening feeling like I was flying and dancing through the most exotic experience. The food, the surroundings, the conversation…everything seemed orchestrated to create the most intense evening of food and

Because of that “dancing through the most exotic experience” feeling I had going, Michael and Traci put me in a cab to go home.

As I rode back to my little apartment in Spanish Harlem I wore a tender smile. I mentioned be spoiled earlier…that’s true in some sense, but I also felt incredibly treasured. Over both brunch at Tavern on the Green and dinner at Nobu, Michael and Traci both spoke repeatedly of the investment of time, love, dedication, energy and passion I had put into making Michael’s books and appearances successful. They said that the days experiences were not how any of us lived every day but that they wanted me to be a part of it as a “thank you” for all I had done during my time in Atlanta.
I was truly touched. It was an incredibly special day. I can’t thank them enough.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Finally Getting Dirty

CeCe left early this morning heading back to Providence. It was good to have him here for a while. He was a lot of help getting more of Elizabeth’s stuff moved in and with the trip to IKEA. The four flights of stairs will take it out of you…and extra pair of hands is always good.

I showed Nathan and Elizabeth the neighborhood. We went up to the library on 125th. We all had our notebook computers in tow. I showed Elizabeth were the grocery store is (though I STILL haven’t been myself! When I met CeCe at Penn Station the other day he asked if I was eating. I said, “Let me put it this way. I haven’t missed a meal – but I have postponed a couple.”).

Nathan & Elizabeth met up with some friends and friends-of-friends and I ventured back into the theater district and can proudly report that this afternoon I FINALLY scored a ticket to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I was the 2nd name they called at the lottery. I was on the first row (for $26!) and was completely taken in by this musical comedy. Talk about entertainment and performers giving everything they’ve got!

I loved every minute of the show. I’ve never seen the movie that it is based on, so I had nothing to compare it to. I was thrilled with the performances by Joanne Gleason, Sherie Rene Scott, John Lithgow and…my favorite…Norbert Leo Butz. For me, he completely stole the show. He was an incredible comic force on the stage from beginning to end. I’ve only seen him in Wicked (in the underwritten part of Fieryo) but I’ve been a big fan of his off-Broadway recording of the show The Last 5 Years (also with Sherrie Rene Scott). Watching him in person was simply breathtaking. His energy and charisma are tangible. He’s electric.

EVERY person in the theater was given a copy of the original Broadway Cast album of the show, which was a big surprise. It is the full CD featuring the entire score. So, I was on the front row and had a recording of the show…all for $26.

Good times.

When the show was over I headed back to the apartment. Elizabeth & Nathan are still out. My eyes are getting heavy and I don’t think I’ll be able to wait up for them.

Elizabeth is HERE, I'm ALL SHOOK UP because I Have a Job

Elizabeth is HERE!

So is Nathan…

So is CeCe…

So am I.

It’s a FULL house right now.

Yesterday, CeCe hung out in Chelsea while I made the interview rounds. I went to the Placement interview in the morning. It went very well. I didn’t score as highly on their tests as I had the day before, but they were still impressed.

I also had a great interview with Roundabout Theater. They are adding to their Sales Office to work with past and future subscribers. I went through the process of the interview…filled out an application and also completed a theater Q & A.

Later that afternoon they called and officially offered me the position.

I accepted. I will start on Monday afternoon.


To celebrate to wanted to introduce CeCe to Broadway. Though he’s known me for years, seen me in shows, heard me sing, had a working knowledge of shows – he had never been in a Broadway theater or seen a show on Broadway.

We first tried for the new musical with 11 Tony Award nomination, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. They have a lottery 2 hours before every show. If they draw your name – you are on the front row for just $25. CeCe and I both put our names in but didn’t make the cut.

I really wanted to celebrate the new job and having CeCe in town, so we headed over to the TKTS booth in Times Square and I splurged for ½ tickets to All Shook Up. I hadn’t seen it and I had heard good things about it…so, I thought – since apparently I’m acting like money is no object – why not.
CeCe and I were back on the 6 and heading to my apartment. Quick change of clothes and we were back at the theater.

All Shook Up could not have been better. It was a WONDERFUL surprise. It was upbeat, funny, and the arrangements of Elvis’ classics were clever and powerful. There were several moments in the showed that were staged brilliantly. The songs that we’ve all heard sung the same way for years were given a new life. CeCe and I had the best time and the show was a wonderful introduction to Broadway for him.

At the beginning of the show I heard a lady belting away during the second number. I recognized that voice. It was Virginia Woodruff. I don’t know her personally but I remembered her voice from The Color Purple in Atlanta. She is a powerhouse of a performer.

It was great to finally take in Cheyenne Jackson on stage. I’ve wrote about passing him on the street the other day, but this was my first time seeing him on stage. He was absolutely great. He’s the focal point of what is really an ensemble show and I look forward to seeing him on his own. He’s got the looks and the voice.

www.cheyennejackson.com and www.allshookup.com

Elizabeth and Nathan hit the road just after 1pm yesterday which put them in NYC around 3am. So, after the show, CeCe and I went downtown to grab some dinner and kill some time before they got here.

Elizabeth & Nathan pulled in and we started unloading the back of their rental SUV. We got everything up and into the apartment and then went to sleep.

We all woke up later this morning and headed out of the city to IKEA. Elizabeth and I both had things we needed for the apartment…especially now that Elizabeth is here and can see firsthand the space we have to work with.

In NYC it is all about utilizing every inch of space you and wasting nothing. IKEA is the perfect company to help do just that. I had never been in an IKEA before but I have heard their praises sung for the last couple of years. We looked at cabinets, storage pieces, wardrobes and Elizabeth got a cool loft bed for her room. Over the next couple of days we’re going to continue getting things in place.


The trip back from the IKEA was…interesting. Every corner of the Trailblazer was PACKED. We had things tied to the roof and crammed inside. As we crossed the bridge back into the city we started loosing the pieces of Elizabeth’s bed that were on top. We pulled over once we got off the bridge and could find a gas station. We had to take everything off the top and find a way to get them inside.

We did it.

I don’t know how…but we did it.

CeCe and I were folded up behind the driver’s seat and I couldn’t feel my legs…but we did it. Elizabeth took some pictures…so I will post them soon.

We got everything up into the apartment and CeCe and I crashed while Elizabeth and Nathan started putting the loft bed together.

CeCe and I hit the town. It was his last night in NYC and there were a couple of clubs and bars we’d both read about to find. We were on the subway, the street, in cabs and everywhere in between. We took it all in and had a wonderful time making the night a Nightlife adventure.
While I was out on the town I got a call from my dear friend Carolyn Smith in Atlanta. It is always good to hear from people at home. She was out and thinking of me and just wanted to call. Those are the BEST calls!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cryin' Time

It was just one of those days today.

I had my first interview with a job placement place this morning at 10:00 with another interview scheduled for 2:00pm.

I was on the way to the first appointment, changing trains at Grand Central station, when I stopped to double check my mini-subway map. As I took my little map card out of my wallet my subway card caught wind and flew out of my hand.

It was a month card that cost $76. I was speechless watching it fly onto the tracks. As I told my mom, money is so tight right now that I was going to jump on the tracks to get it back. Just when I planned to make the jump, the 7 train pulled into the station.

It was a lost cause. It felt like I had thrown money into the air.

As I got on the train I just resigned myself to the lost. I could cry or I could suck it up and deal with it…and believe me, crying was the option I was leaning towards. Instead, I just plowed ahead.

I went to Bryant Park to check my email before my 10:00 appointment. I called to check in with them and double check their address. I told them about my driver’s license being taken at the DMV and that ended up being a huge bump in the road.

Since the DMV took my license, not only could I not even get into the office’s building - they wouldn’t be able to process paperwork or send me out on a job without it. She politely said there was no real reason for me to come in until I had it to use as I.D.

I understood. I was frustrated but I understood.

I felt like I was back at the drawing board. I was trying to do the “right” thing by getting my license and now it was working against me.

As I sat in the middle of Bryant Park looking for spilt milk to cry over, Traci White called. She and her husband Michael P. White (famous children’s book illustrator) are coming into town this week for their anniversary. They are doing to town up big time and they wanted to plan a time to get together.

I talked with her for a bit. She’s really looking forward to the trip and I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces from home.

I called my 2:00 appointment and explained to them about the whole driver’s license situation. They understood and said they would get me into the building but I wouldn’t be able to place me for work until I had it.

I went on to the interview. Their offices were on the 33rd floor of the beautiful Chrysler building. It had never been inside it before…muchless UP in it.

It was GORGEOUS. Every inch was beautifully laid out in art deco design. The offices of the placement office sat just above the southeast gargoyle – stretching out with a great view of the city. It was incredible!

I went through the interview process and took several tests (all of which I scored highly on. YEA!) and after 2 hours had met everyone and completed all the paperwork to start working (once the coveted Xerox of my driver’s license is attached).

I left feeling GREAT about everything. Now if I can just get that license so I can get started!

My friend CeCe (Thomas Kennedy) arrived tonight. He took the express train down from Providence, RI and is visiting me for a few days. He wants to check out my NYC digs and take a break from school (having just finished up a mess of Finals).

Tomorrow morning I have another job placement interview as well as an interview with Roundabout Theater. I saw a job listing for Roundabout’s Sales Office today and called left them a message about setting up an interview. Of course, it was right as I was watching my subway card fly away. My message (what I remember of it) was disjointed and rambled on and on. Based on the message I left – I wouldn’t interview me, so I was glad they called.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Post-Toronto & PICTURES

I got back from Toronto Sunday night. The sales presentation went very, very well (insert pat on the back here). The Canadian reps seemed very excited about our new titles and hopefully that excitement will translate into $$$ for them and for Peachtree.

This morning I got my New York Driver’s License…well, a piece of paper saying that I will have my driver’s license in the next week or so. I received my Social Security Card in the mail yesterday - the two weeks somehow became just 5 days. I was very surprised to see it.

I took my new SS Card and all the paperwork from last week up to the DMV this morning. There was a line around the block waiting for the office to opened. I looked longingly into the blue sky and sighed (I really didn't but I thought my Journal could use some slight dramatics). We all filed inside. Within half an hour I completed MORE paperwork, they took my Georgia license, I paid $40, and was on my way out the door having been told that I’d have my new license in about 1- 2 weeks.

Of course it wasn’t until I returned the calls of two agencies this morning that I realized I now have no photo I. D. for the next 1 – 2 weeks. You need a photo I. D. for everything. Oh, well…what can I do? We’ll file this twist under Yet Another Bump in the Road.
I think I’m close to figuring out how to post pictures to my Journal....you should find, either above or below this post, pictures from my new hometown, New York City.

The image of New York City that most people know - but as witnessed from the other pictures I've posted - there is SO MUCH MORE to this great city. Posted by Hello

The view from the outskirts of Bryant Park. Posted by Hello

Bryant Park is a small, square park just few blocks from the craziness of Times Square. The building in the background in the main branch of the New York Public Library (you know the one with the two stone lions guarding the front.). The grassy section has just been resodded and soon will be open for New Yorker to stretch out on and soak in the sun. I'm told that the under the park is where the archives of the NY Public Library live and because of the precious artifacts housed there nothing could be built on top of it - so they created this beautiful park. One last note of interest, the entire park is enabled with free wireless internet. Posted by Hello

The Alice in Wonderful sculptures - another one of my favorite spots in the park. Posted by Hello

Another shot inside the tree walls of Central Park. I love the way the sunlight filters through the trees. Everywhere direction you turn there are views just like this. Posted by Hello

My FAVORITE escape in New York City. The Bethesda Fountain. Posted by Hello

Just inside Central Park Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Africa & Toronto

I’m in Toronto. Haven’t been in NYC two weeks and I’m already back on the road. This is a quick trip up to present our Fall 2005 titles to our Canadian distributor.

I was up early this morning to get to the airport. I’ve never flown out of NYC from Newark, New Jersey and I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time. I had been given different suggestions by different New Yorkers and tourists on how to get from the City out to Newark. I settled on the advice I always trust, Damon, my New York Guardian Angel (hey, we all need one folks.). Whenever he flies out of Newark he takes an express bus from Port Authority for $11. Sounded good to me, so that’s what I did.

I got to the airport with time to spare. I had my international calling card with me, so I rang up my Mom & Dad in Africa. Mom was out getting medicine for my Dad, so I talked with him for a bit and got the news on his morning visit to the hospital and an apparent seizure he had suffered. He sounded good, like there was nothing wrong and went on to tell me about a chronic sore throat he was battling. He said that on a scale of 1 – 10 it was a 13. He had been given the wrong medicine and had had a seizure. He remembers very little of it but said that Mom stayed over him, praying, as they rushed him to the hospital. It was a terrifying situation for her but amidst it all she stayed focus and grounded.

I was scared to hear about the seizure but relieved that he was home and seemed to be doing well.
I got here to the hotel and have laid everything out for my presentation tomorrow. I have the catalog, more notes and sample chapters to go over. My work is cut out for me.

Friday, May 13, 2005

I Spy With My Little Eye

This was just one of those days that you love New York…especially if you’re connected in any way to the theater world. But more on that in a minute…

My New York Guardian Angel (Damon) called me about a job listing in the Village Voice. The Strand bookstore off Union Square is hiring and the job description sounded like it would suite me perfectly.

Completed resume in hand, I went down and filled out an application and spoke with one of the managers. They looked over my resume and said they would be in touch. I feel great about my resume and the application. A surprise twist came on the backside of the application where they ask you to match up the last name of 10 authors with 10 books. I recognized all of the author’s names but when it came down to it I could match only half of them. I knew their work. I’ve sold their books, read their books, shelved their books, etc.

We’ll see how badly that works against me. Still, it felt good to be out and officially job hunting.

Tonight I had the last of my pre-move show tickets for the Off-Broadway musical, Altar Boyz. On the way to the theater, as I walked up Broadway, I passed Broadway’s latest golden-kid: Cheyenne Jackson. He’s starring in the new musical, All Shook Up. Using songs from Elvis Presley’s catalog, All Shook Up tells the all-new story of a square little town in the middle of a square state in the middle of a square decade where a lonely young girl dreams of hitting the open road. Into her life rides a guitar-playin' roustabout who changes everything and kick-starts a hip-swivelin', lip-curlin' musical fantasy that will have you jumpin' out of your blue suede shoes (I haven’t seen the show yet, this is the synopsis from the show’s official website).
He’s like 6’ 3” and has piercing blue eyes. It’s hard not to recognize him when you pass him on the street.

www.cheyennejackson.com and www.allshookup.com

As I crossed over Broadway I found myself walking beside Cherry Jones, the Tony-nominated actress of the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Doubt. I haven’t seen Doubt yet but it has been universally praised and I look forward to catching it some time soon. I am a fan of Ms. Jones’ work. My dear friend Arnold took me with him to see her in the play Major Barbara a few years ago and I’m very familiar with her film work in Erin Brockovich, The Horse Whisperer, The Perfect Storm, and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.


I arrived at Dodgers Theater a little early and was thrilled to discover I had a great 3rd row seat (at ½ price!). Altar Boyz is just pure fun from beginning to end. It is a one-act musical about 5 guys: Mathew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham who form a boy-band. Using bubble gum music they seek to appeal to the masses on behalf of the Lord.


Afterwards, leaving the theater, I noticed that Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz had also been in attendance. Mr. Schwartz is the composer behind films like The Prince of Egypt, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas and musicals like: Pippin, Godspell and the current Broadway MEGA-musical, Wicked.

I got on the train and headed home thinking…only in New York.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Central Park Escape

Thursday, 5/12
I woke up with my resume on my mind today. I wanted to get it finished and out into the world.

I worked on my resume for over an hour. Got the wording just as I thought it should be when I got a phone call.

Eric DeBord was passing through NYC on his way to Madrid. Eric is friend of Ken’s and now a friend of mine. He lives in Lexington, KY and we met recently when he was visiting Atlanta. I was thrilled to get his phone call. We’d only met once but I was so excited to see someone from home.

Eric came from the airport to the apartment and we got his suitcase settled and then hit the city. I showed him around the neighborhood and we ate at one of my favorite discoveries…Sandy’s. It is a small diner just around the corner from my apartment with the most amazing menu.

Today was, by far, the most beautiful day since I arrived in New York. The weather was absolutely perfect. The sky was a solid blue, the sun was shining strong and the air was cool. We walked through the park – taking it all in.

I showed Eric my favorite place in all of New York City. It isn’t a theater or shop. It is the Bethesda fountain. While we were sitting by the fountain several women asked if I’d take their picture. I did and as I handed their camera back to them one lady asked, “Do you live here?”

“Yes, I do.” Then I smiled. I felt like a New Yorker. A new New Yorker but one nonetheless.

Then I showed Eric the sculpture of Alice in Wonderland. It is a huge bronze sculpture that sits low to the ground allowing children the best access.

From there we walked in the direction of the Great Lawn and along the Reservoir. From the sides of the Reservoir you could see the skyline of the Upper West Side. We made our way past the Guggenheim and headed to the subway on the Upper East Side.

We got back to my apartment so Eric could collect his things. I rode with him back toward the city and got him on the E express train that would take him to the JFK airport. He called later, while I was still underground on the subway, and left me a message that he had made it and was there in plenty of time.
I felt like a New Yorker…again. Twice in one day. I had told him how to get to the airport and he’d made it with time to spare. I’m feeling more and more at home here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Joys of the DMV

I decided to take the next step in becoming an official New Yorker. I woke up very early this morning to go to the DMV. I had heard a lot of horrific stories about NY’s Department of Motor Vehicles but decided to face it head on. The average wait at a NY DMV office is 5-7 hours. I decided to take a book (I’m re-reading The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. I think this is my 5th time reading it. No one writes about the South or New York City the way he does. I decided to re-read it a few months ago. It’s one of my all-time favorite novels.) and settle into the process of waiting to get a driver’s license.

Thankfully the closest DMV is at 125th which is the next subway stop up from me on the 6 train. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the library on 125th, so I knew just where to go. I walked in and was delighted to hear that the wait was only 30 minutes. I finished the paperwork and then realized I’d left my birth certificate at home.

So, I was back on the train. One stop back. Two blocks over. I got the birth certificate. Then it was back two blocks over to the station and one stop up. I was again excited to be told that the wait was now only 45 minutes. Not too much of a set back.

I took my birth certificate, paperwork, my old driver’s license, most recent pay stub, etc. to the next counter and was then told that I had everything in order they just needed my Social Security Card. I didn’t have it. I don’t have it. I haven’t it for years. During the last run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat my messenger bag was stolen – along with my Social Security Card.

I was directed 10 blocks over to the Social Security office where I could begin the process of getting my card replaced. There the wait caught up with me. I waited 3 hours just to turn in more paperwork and be told that I could expect the card in 2 weeks.
I left the SS Office and headed right downtown. I met Barbara Witke the Hotel Edison for her Sales Conference. I sat in on her presentation of the Fall’s new list. I got to present a couple of titles myself. It was great to see Barbara and again be surrounded with our titles. I’ve been here a week and half but I still crave those touchstones of home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dessa Rose

Dessa Rose. Dessa Rose. Dessa Rose. What an incredible piece of work. At the last minute I scored a cheap ticket to the newest musical by the creator’s of Ragtime. It was absolutely breathtaking. I am in awe of such work. Witnessing this production I was reminded again and again of the kind of work I desire to do.

LaChanze plays “Dessa Rose” and she is truly magical. Every note and movement is pure and nothing short of brilliant. I was first introduced to her last Fall when I saw the new musical The Color Purple during it’s pre-Broadway run in Atlanta. She played the role of “Celie” in the adaptation to stage and I was speechless watching her perform. She truly captured the role and embodied the spirit of Celie from ages 16 to 60.

www.LaChanze.com and www.colorpurple.com

In Dessa Rose she plays a runaway slave who leads an uprising to seek revenge for the murder of her child’s father. The show is told through her flashbacks. Again, LaChanze moves between being a teenager and an old woman looking back on her life. Her story is also interwoven with the life of Ruth, a white woman of Charleston society who marries only to be abandoned for months at a time on her husband’s plantation. Ruth turns a semi-blind eye to dozens of runaway slaves who use her home as a stop on the underground railroad. She also tells her story through flashbacks and when her story intersects with Dessa Rose’s and a tense and unlikely friendship is formed, they each become each other’s memory.

The musical is based on a novella of the same name. I’m going to try and find it.

The show ends in a couple of weeks but I’ve got to see it again.
Visit: http://www.lct.org/calendar/event_detail.cfm?ID_event=80076230

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day, SPAMALOT and a Lost Story of the Move

Happy Mother’s Day!
I got to talk to my mom very late last night (or very early for her – depending on how you look at it). I scored a $10 African Phone Card and called from the hotel lobby of Times Square Marriott. It’s always good to hear my parent’s voices. They still feel so far away but talking on the phone makes it a little easier.

It was pouring rain when I spoke to them and they were about to get ready for church. They didn’t have any big plans for Mother’s Day but had their fingers crossed about an apartment that they might be getting.

Last night was the first time I’d spoken to them since moving to NYC. I filled them in on more of the details of the move – including a couple of minor heartaches that I hadn’t written about yet. As I have shared before the move had all of the expected hardships – the heavy boxes, the four flights of stairs, etc. Those were things I accounted for in advance. What I wasn’t prepared for were the losses that I hadn’t forseen. As Damon, Greg and I unloaded the truck and migrated possessions into my new home, we came to my beautiful bookshelf. The bookshelf was a Christmas gift from my parent’s a couple of years ago. It is the last wood-working piece my dad made. It was beautifully crafted and stained. Just like Elizabeth’s curio cabinet, it was the one thing that I really wanted with me in my new home.

No matter how Damon and I turned it, there was no getting it in the apartment. We made it down the hallway and up the stairs but because of the design of the alcove outside my door and the length and width of the bookshelf – there was no way of getting it inside. Fighting back a terrible lump in my throat we tried again and again to finagle it but it just wouldn’t go.

We decided to step away from it for a few minutes and just continue with boxes. As we neared the end we tried again to think of different ways to get it inside – without sawing it half. I finally resigned myself to the fact that it just wasn’t going to work. About that time an older lady (who we’d been passing in the stairwells all day. One of her sons was moving out from an apartment on the 6th floor.) asked me about the bookshelf and it’s future. I explained the situation and she offered to take it – instead of us leaving it on the street. The son she was moving out was getting ready to start at the New City College and badly needed a bookshelf. I said they could have it. I told her that the bookshelf meant a lot to me because I’m a huge reader with a large personal library and my father had made it for me. She asked my dad’s name, so they would remember who had built the bookshelf. I said, “Danny.” She looked surprised and then smiled. “That’s my son’s name. My son that starting at New City College. His name is Danny.”

“It’s meant to be then,” I said.

She was very grateful and the gift of the bookshelf brought a smile to her face. She had looked sad all day long and she went on to explain that her mother had died the night before. Because it was the first of May they had to get her son out of the building and into his new one, so they were all trying to postpone their grief long enough to get through the move. They were loading up his boxes and just taking them to the new apartment before driving that evening to Virginia for the funeral.

Greg manned the truck and passed along boxes as Damon and I continued working them up the stairs. We were all inhaling Gatorade in the back of the truck when Danny and his brother moved the bookshelf out of the building. I’m grateful I was distracted with deciding what needed to go up next that I didn’t see them take it away.

The mother brought both sons over to the truck and they introduced themselves. Danny was very happy about the bookshelf and thanked me again and again.

Both Greg and Damon sweetly asked later if I was ok with parting with the bookshelf. I lied and said I was fine. It meant a lot to me and it was very hard to part with…I was just glad that it went to someone who could use it.

The sting of losing the bookshelf helped dull the pain of having to part with my sofa, the last item in the truck. Because its dimensions were so similar to those of the bookshelf, Damon was almost positive that it wouldn’t fit. We gave it everything we had. The sofa was twice as heavy as the bookshelf and it took all 3 of us to get it up the four flights of stairs only to discover that Damon was right.

It was getting late and we were all beyond the point of exhaustion. We worked and reworked ways of turning it before I finally said that we should just let it go.

That first dinner at McDonald’s was a quiet one. At one point Greg asked me if I was said about losing my sofa and bookshelf. I would have cried if I had answered, so I just nodded.

That evening, when I spoke to my brother, I told him about the bookshelf. It was late and I was about to get in bed, so I didn’t have the strength to go into the details. The next day when I would relay the story to Tim, Elizabeth, Mama Dell, and Ken – I could hardly do it without crying. I was surrounded (I still am!) by boxes and boxes of books. Anyone who knows me…knows that I LOVE my books. I treasure them. I love the stories they contain but also the look of having them around me.

As I shared the story with my Mom & Dad last night, my Mom saw the silver lining. She said she knew that I would come up with some new and creative way to house them – even if it meant turning the boxes they are in on their sides and making a make-shift bookshelf.

I do have a couple of ideas…once I get money coming in I will take a trip to IKEA. Their furniture is designed for BIG CITY/small apartment living.

On a much lighter note…

Last night I was able to take in the SOLD-OUT mega musical, The Monty Python’s SPAMALOT starring Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce, Hank Azaria and Chris Sieber. The show opened on St. Patrick’s Day and I bought a single ticket the day before it opened. I had a feeling, because of the cult following of the show, that it would become the season’s hottest ticket…I was right. It is almost impossible to get tickets now – unless your purchasing months in advance. I’m glad I thought ahead enough to get a ticket when I was still in Atlanta.

The show was simply staged and incredibly funny. It has been a good 8 years since I saw the movie, The Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail, but the stage show was constructed in a way that it roped in everyone – whether you have a Python history or not.


Today I was back at the Bronx Zoo with author and illustrator Susan Stockdale. The event was GREAT success. The weather was better. The day started off a little chilly but slowly the sun broke through and started warming things up. The crowd really picked up thanks to Mother’s Day and the nicer weather. Within the first hour of the signing Susan sold and signed all of the copies of CARRY ME. She continued signing and selling her other title, NATURE’S PAINTBRUSH (Simon & Schuster). At 2pm as we got ready to leave another 30+ copies of CARRY ME we unearthed from somewhere in the gift store’s back room. Both Susan and I were incredibly disappointed. Because it was Mother’s Day and the theme of CARRY ME, we could have easily have sold through the stock they had.

Susan was a great trooper. She signed all of the copies on hand and people continued to buy books up to the last minute she was there. Though she had a bus to catch, Susan and I stayed a little longer and tried to accommodate as many people as possible.

When we wrapped the signing up and then headed back across the zoo in the direction of the subway. We were walking fast but took in glimpses of as many animals as we could. Once on the subway I helped navigate us back to Manhattan and to Penn Station where Susan could catch her express bus back to Washington, D.C.

It was a very successful event and the staff of the Bronx Zoo seemed very pleased. Hopefully they will continue to stock Susan’s books and hopefully other Peachtree titles.
Tomorrow…it’s back to unpacking boxes and brushing up my resume.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Lions, Tigers and Books...Oh, My!

It felt SO good to be working again. I woke up early today because I was excited about doing something familiar. By 9am I was heading to the Bronx Zoo for Susan Stockdale’s book signing. Peachtree Publishers just published her new children’s book, CARRY ME: Animal Babies on the Move. Susan is the author and illustrator of this beautiful book that details all the different ways animals from around the world tote their babies around.

The signing went very well. Susan and I arrived on the scene and did some rearranging to better promote the event. She was set up in the back of the gift shop and even though it was overcast and chilly today, we moved outside to grab people’s attention. Within the first five minutes we’d sold 3 books. We both agreed that it was 3 more than we would’ve sold tucked out of the way in the back of the gift shop. The signing went for three hours and Susan had a nice steady stream of onlookers and we ended up selling quite a few books. Tomorrow we’ll do it all again.

Check out:
www.peachtree-online.com and www.bronxzoo.org

Friday, May 06, 2005

Feeling Like Home with the Lights ON

I called the power company from a pay phone across the street first thing this morning. They didn’t have a work order in for me and no record of my two faxes – the whole thing was during into a irritating comedy. I was instructed to refax everything (which costs $5 every time I go around the corner to a Cingular Wireless store. We all know he’s pocketing the money, right? But whatcha gonna do?). I walked back to my apartment to get the papers together to re-fax (and brush my teeth). I was brushing away when my cell phone rang and it was the customer service representative from the power company. She was calling to let me know that she’s found all the paper work and that everything was in order. A power technician would be out between 12-5 to get my power back on.

He showed up at 11:20.

I had been instructed to call the building supervisor once the power guy was physically in my building so he (the super not the power guy) could open the basement. There was no getting ahold of the supervisor. He wasn’t home and his phone was going straight to voice mail. The power guy had called him twice I had called him twice. The power guy said he could try and come back later. I had been without power for almost a day and a half…I wasn’t letting the power guy out of my sight.

The Super was tracked down and within the hour my power was back on. With the power restored I turned my music on and got back to the boxes.

I sorted through more boxes and got all the kitchen stuff together. The kitchen boxes were moved into the kitchen, which I thought fitting, and I worked a while in Elizabeth’s room moving things around so you can at least walk in. I’m not sure how Elizabeth will want to set her stuff up but at least she’ll be able to see what’s what. Before I started, the room was solid boxes - floor to ceiling.

I put together the breakfast nook table and was able to open the beautiful area rug given to me by my friends Brian and Kevin. It looks great on the hardwood floors and is making the living room feel more like home.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

When the Lights Went Out in NYC

Because of a miscommunication between the power company and my building my power was cut off this morning. There was a question as to whether I am here or not. After several phone calls and two 3-page faxes it was determined that I am really here. Good to know.

Everyone at the power company has been really nice to talk to and understanding – but I’m still have no power! It wasn’t a problem throughout the day but now it’s getting later, my cell phone (my only phone right now) is dying and I can’t find the box that Elizabeth packed and marked: CANDLES.

I’m at a coffee shop charging my phone and my computer (and doing a little journaling). Hopefully it can all be worked out tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Light in the Piazza & Litte Women

I took a day off from unpacking…well, kinda. I spent all morning separating Elizabeth’s boxes from mine. I hung the curtains in my bedroom and found more sheets.

A couple of months ago I got tickets to a couple of Broadway shows that I wanted to see the week of my move. I knew that I would need a break at some point…so I scheduled it advance.

I went to the matinee of Adam Guettell’s new musical, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA. It was absolutely gorgeous. Everything about the show…the performances, the music, the staging, the lighting…everything! It is running for a limited time at Lincoln Center Theater and I am SO glad I got to experience it.

On the train ride back to my apartment I struck a conversation with a guy riding the subway who also lives on my street. He welcomed me to the neighborhood and within a few minutes of speaking discovered that we shared mutual friends – which seems amazing in a city of 8 millions.

Tonight, I was back in the theater district to take in the LITTLE WOMEN: The Musical. Based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, the show opened to mixed reviews but I found it very enjoyable. It was my first time witnessing Sutton Foster on stage and I was completely taken in by her strength as an actress and singer. She plays the role of “Jo” and most of the show rests squarely on her shoulders. I really enjoyed the musical score written for this show and think they really did well adapting such a beloved novel to stage. It was quite an undertaking and yes there were some trouble spots but overall I really enjoyed it.

Check out:

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Lost in Boxes & Natalie in AVENUE Q

Boxes... boxes…more and more boxes. I’ve spent all day moving some boxes around just to get to other boxes.

I found all of my CDs and DVDs as well as all of my clothes. I got all of my CDs and DVDs organized. I went through all of my clothes and hung what I could and folded what I couldn’t. Getting my stuff out and organized is making me feel more settled.

More reality set in as I said goodbye to my desk. I had described my new apartment as “cozy” – well, it is VERY, very cozy (read: small). When I got the apartment several weeks ago and took the pictures (visit:
www.lizsvoice.com to see pictures of the apartment), it seemed much bigger than it does now with all of our boxes in it. My friend Damon (who’s been living here in NYC for almost 10 years) explained to me that New Yorkers tend to do more with less.

So, I’m putting “Doing More With Less” at the top of my To-Do list.

Yesterday, I got to check my email for the first time and was absolutely THRILLED to read an email from my friend Natalie Gray. We met during the run of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and became good friends. When I started putting together my first semi-autobiographical cabaret, Natalie was one of the first people I called to see if she wanted to be a part of it. She said yes and we spent two of the three weeks together.

In an email from her on Monday I read that last Friday, after three callbacks, Natalie was offered the role of “Christmas Eve” in the Broadway musical AVENUE Q (which won the TONY Award last year for Best Musical.). She will be in NYC in July to start rehearsals and will open the show in Las Vegas later in the summer. I am SO happy for her. She will wonderful in the role and I’m really looking forward to seeing her when she gets to NYC.

If you don’t know the musical AVENUE Q…it is HYSTERICAL! It’s like watching “naughty” Muppets.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I'm a New Yorker

I have never been so tired in my whole life…
First things first…backing up a bit.
Whatever great time we made on Saturday we lost yesterday as we drove from Richmond, VA to New York City. We ran into traffic that slowed up down. Greg and I passed the time by continuing our Indigo Girl’s marathon. As we passed through Delaware, New Jersey and couple other states we sang along to our favorite songs. Greg and I also laughed…A LOT. Greg’s friendship and contagious laughter are medicines for my soul.
We finally got into NYC just after 4 pm and started moving in around 4:30. The apartment, though small, seemed so much smaller when all of our boxes started making their way up the four flights. Thanks to the genius of my friend Damon who shared his insight that all three of us shouldn’t have to walk all 4 flights of stairs - we split up. Greg got boxes from the truck to the building’s foyer, Damon from the 1st floor to the 3rd and me from the 3rd into the apartment. We traded off locations and took breaks from time to time and were finished at 9:30.
When I finally shut my door my body surrendered. Greg and I hadn’t eaten since we left Richmond, VA and our body’s were spent. Our legs and hands shook violently. We forced ourselves to make the trek down the steps one more time to get food. My first meal in NYC - McDonald’s which is less than a block away. Food never tasted so good.
We got back to the apartment and began the process of moving boxes around enough to set up my bed in my bedroom and the air mattress in the living room. Once our heads hit the pillows - we were out.
We were up at 6:30 this morning to return the rental truck in Long Island City in Queens. We walked 7 blocks to the train and I rode with Greg out to the end of the E so he could catch a AirTrain to JFK airport.
It was very hard to say goodbye to Greg. He’s one of my closest and dearest friends. He his constant support and encouragement were a driving force behind the trip. He has been with me through so many stages of this journey that it wasn’t until I was hugging him goodbye that I realized how much I will miss him.
I returned to the apartment and started moving some boxes around to try and make something in the space make sense. I talked to my brother and then to Elizabeth and gave them an update. As I was talking to Elizabeth I mentioned that I could use a nap.
I hung up and decided to close my eyes.
I woke up 5 hours later. Everything...the move, the goodbyes, the dreams, the fears - it all caught up with me.
But I can say, after years of dreams and months of planning...I’m a New Yorker.