Friday, November 11, 2016

New York 2

November 11, 2016

Hiked to the Mitzi Newhouse at Lincoln Center to see The Babylon Line. If it had been submitted to my playwriting class it would have been given an A and the playwright told he was very promising, but only that. Good-looking well-known TV star in the lead, well made in every way. I left at intermission. However, the atmosphere around Lincoln Center is vibrant, and if I lived here I would be spending as much time possible there. Had a drink in a cafĂ© into which roamed Julliard students in dance tights, studying scripts, chatting the chat of Serious Art. I loved them madly. One dancer said to one actor, “Well, we have art to make until February.” I ask, “What’s February?” and the answer is “the inauguration,” when the world ends. Big tent full of people and lights and Harry Potter signs, where I assumed the stars of the new movie were having a Press event, but I kept tripping over the pegs of the tent until I gave up gawking.

In the hotel bar I met Pamela, from Phoenix, here to celebrate her 70th birthday, who had just seen Hamilton across the street. She’s writing a novella about children evacuated from London during the Blitz. We are going to collaborate on a story about an old lady who goes to Paris and pays young men to dance with her. I’m going to turn it into a play.   

Rose in the bright morning and went to the Museum of Natural History, where I looked at dinosaur bones. The place was crawling with kids being led around by their parents, a cataclysm of educational virtue and teachable moments. It was lovely. Bought pteranadon cufflinks. I consider that I have been happy so far every moment here. The pace of New York is somewhat more natural to me than home. I realize, once I’m out of it, that I’m always pulling myself back a little for Asheville. If I could just have my garden on some roof in Manhattan–-.

At some subway stop a group of kids got on, black kids and Hispanic kids, all laughter and smiles Two of the boys started chinning themselves on the hand rails, and whirling around the posts like monkeys, laughing and smiling the whole time. It was so BEAUTIFUL. Everyone else on the train was cracking their faces smiling. I thought maybe the transit authority paid them to ride just to make everyone’s day better.

Invited to lunch in the Hearst Building by D. The Hearst is in the top five niftiest buildings on Manhattan, the reception area, anyway, full of light and falling water. It was great to be with D again. His wife is pregnant. “I’m going to be a grandpa,” says I. “Yes,” says he. Staggered back to 45th Street to a warren of offices in some horrible little building to pick up our tickets for Monday night. The backstage of the backstage really is quite squalid.

Part of my disappointment with The Babylon Line is that none of my plays, even those I’ve stopped sending out, is not better than it. Why is it playing Lincoln Center and they not?

Exquisite lemonade from a vendor in Times Square.

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