Sunday, April 20, 2008

drama pope

The Eleven did NYC on Friday and Saturday – my first time, hers a more experienced palate. We were granted a gratis studio on the Upper East Side, reserved a couple of bus seats out of Arlington, brought our fancy duds and opera tickets, and headed up I-95. X scored some posh seats for La Boheme at the Met (seventh row, dead center) – primarily to complete the fancy dress/Met Opera scene as well as seeing Angela Gheorghiu in the role of Mimi. Unfortunately, Ms. Gheorghiu was ill for closing night which led to suspicion that she may have departed early for a Spring Break. The production was grand and the singing sounded top-notch to my wholly amateur ears but I can sum up Puccini’s piece quickly: Mimi and Rudolfo fall in love when she shows in his apartment in need of candle lighting, they become jealous and distant, break-up while she’s ill, and declare their love once again as she dies at the final curtain. I know you’re thinking I’ve simplified a grandiose 3 ½ hour opera but I’m not. All in all, it was quite enthralling.

The only problems we encountered during our visit were one subway misstep upon arrival and the Pope. Go figure, right? How often does a pontiff actually interfere with day-to-day life? Well, it’s been relentless this week as his posse has jammed, twisted, and mangled traffic in both D.C. and NYC. We left the apartment at about 6:40 anticipating a cab ride around or through Central Park but the doorman gave us the ‘no way’ taxi signal (5th Ave was closed and 3rd Ave and Lexington at a standstill in/around/near the Pope’s residence) so we walked to the subway and took three trains around the park and arriving at Lincoln Center ten minutes before curtain. X was in her new Spanish heels and ran the challenge of walking, train transfers, and city sidewalk grates like a champ; I think her admiration for all things Spanish has grown.

We meandered up and down Lexington Ave. on Saturday morning and had breakfast before meeting with X’s friend and significant other. We had great weather and company before finally heading out of the city at about 4:30pm – right into Pope-festival departing audiences cramming into the Lincoln tunnel.

The Onion has once again created a story that belongs in my hall of fame. If you followed the razor blade and healthy chip stories than this one will fit nicely in the next file folder.


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