So yeah, I’m in New York! It’s a dream come true, lol. My sister and I have been crazy about 2 big cities, New York and Paris, and I made it here before her. And she just got admission to a prestigious women’s college in New England, so she’ll be visiting some time soon. Well, that put aside, I’m writing again, yay! I’m sure some of you missed me. I feel like I’m in the right mental state to write again. Transferring hasn’t worked out (again), so I’ll be going back to the same school for at least one more semester. I got sick with flu toward the end of the semester, so I had to drop all my application business, rest and even get a tutor to catch up on the lessons and get ready for finals.
I wanted to write something when the Sandy Hook shootings happened, but I refrained – since I was sick and busy. And I recently got a comment that my blog sounds like FOX News after my previous post on America. I haven’t gotten to talk with the person who made that comment, mainly because I haven’t been in a enough mental state for judgments and, Lord, my Queer&Gay blog was compared to FOX News – how stark! But, really, they’re an extremely open-minded person and they probably noticed how loudmouth, unprofessional, opinionated and inconsiderate I can be here. In that case, they’re right and I could take it as a compliment. Also, some thoughts related to LGBTQ homelessness came to mind when I found a stray cat in my dorm and I wanted to write then also. Maybe I’ll do that, just because my dad said this to me the first morning I was home over the summer concerning my coming out: “If I were my younger self, I would tell you to not come home.”
I don’t know how exactly I feel about going back to the same old place – which I despise, if you didn’t know – but I feel very much alive and liberated being in the New York City metropolis area. ERMAHGERD, NOO YERK! It’s a pleasant sort of surprise, which should’ve been expected, how different people have different ideas of this city – what it stands for and what it means to them. I don’t know about the residents and they will have different experiences of the city, but it really is interesting to find out how it has different impressions on different tourists.
My New York … My New York – that expression was weird, coz I don’t live here (yet, hahahaha) … is a cultural centre of North America, maybe the largest and most concentrated. What culture? American culture, pop culture, city life, night life, high living, gourmet eating and dressing, the arts (fine arts and performing), etc. And I tend to latch onto the performing arts. I’m an opera aficionado, so I’m seeing 2 operas at the Met during my time here and I’ll go for whatever else is cheap or free that comes my way. Actually, I was gonna see an opera and a Broadway musical, coz I like musicals also – like, not love – but the cheapest Broadway tickets had to be around $70 whereas opera tickets can go as cheap as $20. I wanna see Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker at Lincoln Centre also, but I’m still debating whether I should go. At the opera/ballet, rich people pay more than what they have to so that folks like myself can watch at a cheaper price. Oh, the lovely rich people who support the high arts!
I actually saw one of the operas just this previous Saturday – Verdi’s Aida. It was truly celeste Aida. The story was nothing more than a love triangle between the Pharaoh’s daughter, a first-rate Egyptian soldier and an a captive Ethopian princess (Aida). But the psychological tug-of-war of each character was interesting: the Egyptian princess wants the warrior for herself and she wants him to be happy also, coz she knew he only loves Aida; the soldier is obsessed with both honour and his love, Aida, but he can’t have both; and Aida is torn between her forbidden love for the soldier and her love for her homeland and her royal family, whom the Egyptians led by her lover are fighting against. Of course, the star-crossed lovers die in the end, and probably the Egyptian princess also but I’m not sure … Operatic characters from the Romantic Era like to sing about death – coz it’s one of the things that Romantic works like to do, romanticize/dramatize the metaphysics. And there were some beautiful ballet parts, which were kind of irrelevant to the story, but the music was beautiful so it’s ok. And who am I to judge Verdi anyway?
How’m I talking about all this? The point is: the house was sold out – which shouldn’t be a surprise coz this is reputedly the best opera house in the US and this is the holiday season! Still, faith in humanity restored! People love opera and they go to operas. I saw little per-school age kids and I sat next to an old man who’d been going to the opera since the early 50s, oh my. And there were men in tuxes and others in jeans and sweatshirts – dressed up and dressed down (Way down, oh gosh, hell no!). Some had opera glasses (binoculars for watching opera); they wanna get the full visual aspect of the opera. And some had music scores; they wanted to grasp the musical aspect of it and didn’t even seem to watch what’s going on on stage. And people spoke in various languages and accents – English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, etc. It was a beautiful crowd.
After I got out of the Met, I realized I’d been so wrapped in this opera-going business that I have completely disregarded other stuff New York has to offer – food (seafood), shopping (Macy’s, 5th Ave), sight-seeing all the landmarks and monuments, zoos and museums, all that stuff. I’d been eating like only 1 meal per day, coz I sleep in really late in the morning and I don’t wanna spend much on food, and I’d been walking randomly through the city just gawking at the great masses of buildings, people and traffic. So I walked several blocks down whatever road the Met’s on and bought myself a fancy late-night 3-course Thai supper (soup, main course and dessert) before finally going back to Queens, where I’m staying.
[Guys, I took a break from writing and ended up buying tickets to The Nutcracker ballet. Couldn’t help it. I’m more excited about the music than the choreography, lol. TCHAIKOVSKY, I’M YOUR FANGIRL!!!!!]
Back to activities in New York, I don’t think I wanna do a lot of shopping here:
- The shops are mainly chain stores and I can find the same shops in other places or buy stuff online, if I want them bad;
- My budget is limited and so is the weight my luggage can carry and the space they have; and
- On-shelf souvenirs are mass-produced and are thus not unique, so photos I take myself and the memories I make are good enough souvenirs of this marvellous metropolis.
But I will definitely do sight-seeing and visiting places, because I can prudently do that without the need for much money. I can go all over town and not spend on anything but the subway and a light lunch, which is cool. But, gosh, I really would love some massage, coz I lead a very sedentary lifestyle on the small college campus and I’m walking everywhere all of a sudden since I’ve arrived in New York.
About other people’s take on New York … I know some friends who are in New York for break also and many more (including my own sister) who wants to be here. They all have different reasons. Theatre folks are all about Broadway. Different museum geeks wanna go to different museums depending on their subjects of interest – arts, culture, science, etc. Some wanna go and see what goes on and goes down in Wall Street and such businessy venues. And I don’t think anyone feels obligated to visit the “must-see” sights of New York City – like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building or Times Square. I’m actually spending New Year’s Eve outside the city in Long Island – not in Times Square or any other downtown party venue. We chase whatever we fancy, and it’s a wonderful feeling when we get to experience them.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, FOLKS! I’ll keep you updated you of my adventures and observations in the Big Apple.