Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Opera Cabal and Time Travel

Opera Cabal's final performance of USW sold out Galapagos Art Space last night. Due to some last minute tinkering (on a whim, Alex & I ordered a giant 7X10 screen that hung under the disco ball in the center of the space and looked like one of those awesome LCD display screens at the Super Bowl, plus Habib jerry-rigged the onstage scrim to sweep up and down like a massive sail, and the bartenders dyed the water under the audience's seats black, the better to reflect all the projections in the piece) the show was, in short, spectacular. Yesterday I didn't like New Yorkers. Today, I'm in love with them.

From a personal standpoint, I highly recommend doing something interesting enough that people you haven't seen in half a lifetime are tempted to come and hang out to see it. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven yesterday -- but literally. Every 10 seconds someone I hadn't seen in between 5 and 12 years walked past me and then we recognized each other ... and then had nothing to say. Excellent!

Things that don't change in a city that is otherwise always changing:

I hit up the Verb café in Williamsburg this morning, an old haunt of mine from 2005. Back in the day, when most other coffee houses, especially hip, progressive ones like the Verb (started by the man who married the girl who played the crazy pretty princess in The Neverending Story) were sporting fancy hi-speed wireless internet access, to get internet at the Verb you had to walk out of the cafe and down a weird, slightly deserted hallway to this grungy little tech hole called the internet garage to buy -- in person -- a faded little internet day pass (User Name: BH#cInQ$3h, Password: IcY*007) that didn't even work 60% of the time. It was very 1998 in 2005. In 2010, lo and behold, the internet garage is still there, and you still have to walk back in time and give your paper money to Marty McFly to be able to use the internet. In spite of this, to all you friends of mine who pooh-pooh Williamsburg and refuse to go there anymore because it's so developed, GET OVER IT. New York will always be developing. Williamsburg is awesome, even with all the strollers, and there is no competition for the runny oatmeal at the Verb.

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