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    Tuesday, January 03, 2006
    Starting 2006 Watching Swimming and Singing
    The year 2006 is only two days old. And in that two days I've experienced a true dichotomy here in New York. Sunday morning, January first, was spent watching crazy people, The Twin included, running into (and quickly out of) the Atlantic Ocean off of Coney Island with the Polar Bear Club. Tonight was spent at the Metropolitan Opera House watching L'Elisir d'Amore, and Italian opera written in the early 1800s. The two days couldn't have been more different, or more
    enjoyable, if I had tried.

    Sunday morning The Twin and I arose, surprisingly with only small hangovers, and made our way to Coney Island. The plan was for The Twin to photograph the event. I knew that was bull the minute he purchased a bathing suit and a bathrobe at Target before going out there, He was going in the water.

    As we approached the boardwalk I was shocked at how many people were around. Hundreds of people were drinking coffee, drying off, dancing to the DJ, it was a regular party out there. For an area of Brooklyn that is usually deserted this time of year it was positively packed. Having woken up late we missed the mass dash into the water but there was still a crowd at the waters edge watching stragglers taking the plunge. The Twin stripped down to the newly purchased swimming trunks and in he waded, camera in hand, to photograph a group of people who were staying in the water to play catch.

    The number of us who were there for emotional support of those insane enough to participate far outnumbered those who actually went into the water, but it was a lot of fun to watch. And afterwards wandering around the mostly closed up boardwalk was an interesting sight to see. All in all it was an odd, and really cool way to start 2006 (but there was still no way in HELL I was going in the water).

    Coney Island is sort of the epitome of cheese. With carnival games
    such as "Shoot the Freak" (with paintballs of course) and every kind of food on a stick you can think of being sold out of boardwalk stands. I was struck by how drastically different my first two days of the new year were as I approached the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center last night. The dress slacks, high heels and blazer I was wearing were on the opposite end of the spectrum from the jeans, hiking boots, hoodie, and baseball cap that had been my attire the previous day.

    This was my first trip to the Met as a ticket holder and my first opera viewing experience ever. I had taken a tour of the famous opera house my senior year of high school when my choir was participating in a festival in Alice Tully Hall (walking onto that stage to perform is still one of the highlights of my life to this point). The grand stair case in the center of the lobby, the giant chandeliers, and the gracious, yet somewhat snooty crowd immediately transport you into this whole other world. The opera, L'Elisir d'Amore, was fantastic. I had been given the full rundown of the story before the curtain opened, as the lyrics are in Italian, but was also helped along by nifty lcd screens which are inserted into the backs of the chairs and roughly translate the action on the stage. I tried not to use those too much as it required taking my eyes off the stage and potentially missing some of the action.

    L’Elisir d’Amore was probably a good opera to start out with. It was light, comical, a classic “boy meets girl” story, kind of a chick flick of operas, and the arias were just amazing. I’d love to see one of the doom and gloom operas one of these days, but to begin with this one really did blow me away. I won’t try to comment on the actual performance as I know little to nothing on the subject, but I did really enjoy myself.

    As Missy and I left Lincoln Center and headed back towards Brooklyn I was again struck by how great my first two days of 2006 had been. Here’s to hoping it continues this way, though perhaps a bit more toward the middle of the road. A girl could get whiplash from that kind of culture shock.

    Labels: , ,

    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, January 03, 2006  
    3 Comments:
    • At 1/03/2006, Blogger Itchy said…

      They were showing the Polar Bear club from Boston on the news yesterday morning...those people are craaazy! But they are enjoying themselves...but too cold for me. Brrr...

      I'd feel like a fish out of water at an opera...totally.

      Happy New Year Finy!!!

       
    • At 1/03/2006, Blogger Esther said…

      You couldn't pay me enough to join the Polar Bear club, but I would imagine watching them from afar was fun.

      I've never been to the opera, but that sounds like one I might even be able to handle. Definitely a great way to start out the year.

       
    • At 1/04/2006, Blogger -- said…

      OOh I love the opera. My uncle has 2nd row tix and before he got married, I was his standing date. Glad you enjoyed it! I've not seen that one. Tales of Hoffman is my favorite....

       
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