When we set off to live in New York, I must tell you it was not part of my wildest dreams. In fact, I knew little about it besides the horror stories of crime and high cost of living people told me about in Arizona. People whom had not been to New York in over 15 years. I went on the arm of my husband as an opportunity for work led us there. He was thrilled, after living in Japan for 2 years he was no stranger to adjusting and saw it as an adventure.
The first year or so was an emotional train wreck for me. I demanded we live in the 'burbs so that left us on the last train stop south in Long Island. It took us almost 2 hours door to door each day. In the winter we never saw the sun. We went from parking the car at 5:45am in a snow bank side street near the train station. Actually, Mike dropped me off at the train station so I could wait for him all nice and warm on the train. He would then park the car cos I made us late each day, so he had to sprint back to the train. In snow and rain. Who knew he could have been training for a marathon way back when and didn't even know it? He never complained once. I love that man.
Then we took the l o n g train ride into the city, transferred underground at PENN station onto a subway (which by the way- awesome -the cost of 2 train and subway passes per month -we had no idea until we lived there the total expense!). Then we took our subways to our respective locations and worked in high-rise buildings until well after 5pm many nights. Then began the underground commute home that would peek above ground with the train after the sun was down.
I got more adjusted and realized it was time to move closer after several months. We found a fun neighborhood in Brooklyn and I am not kidding when I tell you our lives changed for the better. We actually found time and energy and interest in exploring more. Many adventures we heard about from people who had lived there longer or we read about in The Village Voice magazine or other on-line sources. I never would have thought the whole experience of living there would provide me with so much opportunity to learn and grow and change. Try foods I would have never thought of eating before. Make friends I never would have otherwise met or thought of hanging out with. Push myself in ambitions I didn't dare dream. Ride the subway alone at night and not be scared.
One of the many experiences I don't think I appreciated until we left was seeing Broadway shows. I took dance as a little girl, but it wasn't something I had passion for. I thought it odd how many people were interested in seeing Broadway shows when I would see the room packed to the ceiling, when people would stand in line for hours to get tickets. What a treasure chest of talent I got to see and I didn't even realize it!
That is, until I saw Thoroughly Modern Millie performed in my town last year. Millie was great, she took my breath away just like the one in New York did! But the rest of the performers, not so much. It was like they walked the neighborhood and grabbed people coming out of the grocery store and put a bad costume on and said 'go for it!' There was the dad next door, then the grocery bagger battling acne. Then someone's grandma and her friend. Bad singing, bad acting. Too much blush on the men. It was all around disappointing. I wondered what the NY Broadway experience would have been had I seen shows like this first. To have been able to take in the quality before me that was the best of the best.
Although the CA cast was a sad collection of random people, I did find volumes of joy observing The Red Hat Society in the audience. I had never seen them in action before. Why can't they be part of the cast?! They were these older women dressed in fancy hats and purple dresses. LOADS of them everywhere! Inspired by the poem"Warning" by Jenny Joseph, which begins "When I am an old woman..." Since the poem mentions wearing a red hat and purple attire, she and her friends formed a group that met on a regular basis for tea in their red hats and purple dresses—in public.
Rules: You must be a woman of 50 or over (or you may be a Pink Hatter under 50), and you must attend functions in full regalia, (red hat, purple outfit for women 50 and over, or pink hat and lavender outfit for women under 50).
Oh I am all about this. I can't wait to get a lavender boa.
*photo from google