O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention, A kingdom for a stage, princes to act And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
(Lines taken from “Henry V” by William Shakespeare, 1598-1599. The scene before the Royal Shakespeare Company’s performance of “Henry V” at the BAM Harvey Theatre. The throne is replica of the Coronation Chair/King Edward’s Chair. Photo by Riffchorusriff. March 31, 2016.)
Hello from New York! It’s a balmy 80º at 8 am, and I’m already dreading this afternoon’s sweatfest. It went from near-winter to dead-of-summer overnight here, and I’ve arrived just in time for the relentless heat. Initially I’d planned to write to you from the plane ride over, but instead I became unduly engrossed in a House of Cards bingefest—a show I’ve resisted since its beginning. Five hours of episodes later, I emerged from a power-hungry tv intoxication into a stunningly beautiful sunset landing at JFK.
I used to spend weeks at a time in New York while I was in college—Grand Central Station was just an hour and a half, $11 metro ride in from New Haven. We’d come in to see a show at BAM (the Brooklyn Academy of Music), or to go to an exhibit, or simply to remind ourselves there was a dusty, grimy, humanity-stricken world beyond Yale.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with New York—my friend Ben still makes fun of me for emphatically pouting, “This city is antithetical to my being,” as we sat in traffic one brutally hot Indian Summer in the early aughts.