Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Tale of Two Centers, or Should that be Centres?

"Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate." - Chuang Tzu (389-286 BC)

In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything Goes. - from Cole Porter, "Anything Goes"

Proseccos at the Lincoln
This past week started with a "Centre" and ended with a "Center", the latter being by far the more pleasurable.

Pleasurable in the main because it was organized by my good friend Babs, an aficionado of all things New York.

Whenever I go out with Barbara I let her organize everything. Which she does, choosing venues, restaurants, entertainments with impeccable taste. And this week was a treat for both of us - a day at the Lincoln Center, the central part of which was an afternoon at Paul McCartney's "Ocean's Kingdom".

We started the day with pre-afternoon drinks at Jonathan Benno's "Lincoln", located in the grounds of the Lincoln Center.

When I think of the Lincoln Center I always smile, remembering my early days in New York when a mutual Australian friend of myself and Babs, volunteered to show me around. He took me everywhere Manhattan, - or so I thought. And then one day I realized that I'd never been taken to the Lincoln Center.

"What's the Lincoln Center like, Robin," I asked innocently. "Like Chadstone, Daaahling" he disparaged, referring to a sixties white monstrosity of a shopping mall in suburban Melbourne, our home-town. Robin - who would buy linen napkins in colors to match his salads - last time I saw him was years ago at the Union Square Farmers' Market. He was buying aubergines, "But WHERE on earth I'll find purple napkins THIS shade, in THIS country, I DON'T know!" he drawled.

Seating for Free Outdoor Events, Lincoln Center
Yes Robin had style, but a up-market, gay, Melbourne style. Babs, although she hails from Perth, is pure New York.

When she called to invite me to a day at the Lincoln Center to see Paul McCartney's new ballet, "Ocean's Kingdom", to be followed by dinner at Daniel Boulud's newly opened "Boulud Sud", I was enthusiastic. I googled "Boulud Sud" and read that the dress code is "elegant casual". Typical Babs. But I was concerned. I can "do" casual, it was the elegant part that had me worried.

But Babs assured me she'd just be "throwing anything on". After all, it was Manhattan, and a Saturday in the day time, where anything goes.

Of course she turned up impeccably dressed in theme for the ballet. Slender, lithe Babs in figure-hugging black except for her shoes which were golden and square-toed, ballerina style.

New York Girls, Columbus Circle
After our pre-event drinks at the Lincoln it was off to the David H. Koch Theater to see the only second performance of Paul McCartney's "Ocean's Kingdom".

There are two types of humans in this world, "John Lennon" and "Paul McCartney" people. Naturally Babs and I are both John Lennon people. We wonder why, "Isn't everyone?"

Still, Paul McCartey is Paul McCartney and we were also interested in his daughter's costume design for the Peter Martins' choreographed ballet.

I've read the reviews today, O boy (pun intended) and they are universally uncompromisingly bad, especially I thought Alistair MacAuwlay's "Pop God Dives Into World of Ballet" in the New York Times. Mr. MacAuwlay seems to have it in for Mr Martins. Lucky for Melbourne, Mr Martins has never seen Chadstone! Then, no doubt he would really get the knives out!

Still Babs and I enjoyed the ballet. It was fun, colorful, and I thought Mr. MacAuwlay was a bit rough on his critique of Stella McCartneey's costumes. I liked they way the earthlings looked Maori warriors, but perhaps me being antipodean helped ...

Centre Street, Manhattan
Then it was off to Boulud Sud where the food and wine were excellent. By 9:00 pm when we set off home we were both exhausted.

Yes I ended my week at the Lincoln Center, but started it at Centre Street. Centre Street in Lower Manhattan, where the courthouses are situated. I wonder why it has the English spelling? Perhaps because it originated during colonial times.

Yes I was on jury duty. In fact I ended up actually serving on a jury. I was "Juror Number Two". And it was almost fun. I even got a laugh from the presiding judge.

But that's another story ...


Anonymous said...

I think you will never revert to the 'wild colonial girl', ever! Nope, I've called that one wrong. Kate you have become totally immersed in New York never to re-emerge as an Australian. That is, as long as you can afford it! When you bought your new place (you did, didn't you?) you were committed. Do I envy you? Yes and no. Don't think I could have embraced to City as you have: the rattle of the taxis in the squares, the noise of the milkman on the stairs etc. etc. But then, maybe you digs are quiet? No? Is anywhere in NY quiet? Quiet is for when you are old or dead. Go for it girl.

chinamonty said...

I love how you swap between centre and center- it gace me a giggle. Pity about the theater though!

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