Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Human Gets Me Blues


Last night, I was supposed to see the New York Philharmonic perform Hear & Now at Lincoln Center. It was going to be my one classy night out, where I'd finally see a concert that didn't require me to stuff toilet paper in my ears to prevent future hearing damage. I was going to get some real culture.

Well. If you get out of work in SoHo at 6:20 and you want to arrive at Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side at 6:45 in order to meet a friend for a 7:00 show, you have several options.

You could take the F train to WA and transfer to the C, going Uptown to Columbus Circle, leaving only a couple of blocks to walk. You could take the N/R train at Prince Street Uptown to 57th Street, then walk over to 66th Street, Lincoln Center. Or, the most sensible plan of all, you could walk over to Varick and Houston, get on the 1 train Uptown and, in a straight shot, arrive directly at Lincoln Center, underneath the Avery Fisher Hall, where the concert takes place.

But you don't get out of work at 6:20, freak out, assume there is no way you could make it to Lincoln Center on time by train, and hop into a cab. Only an idiot would sit in a cab during rush hour and last night I was that idiot.

Everything was going smoothly until we hit 33rd Street, arriving to gridlock, at which point I was only slightly nervous. The time was 6:35 and all we had to do was make it up to 66th St and cut through the park. I was no longer going to arrive at 6:45 to meet my friend, but 7:00 would do. However, at 6:50, when we were still embedded in gridlock, as I tried to console myself with the thought that no concert ever really starts on time, I called my friend. He was not happy with my transportation decision.

My friend yelled at me to yell at the cab driver, because that's what you're supposed to do in New York. But I could never yell at my cabbie because he's actually the most interesting person I met all week. You can really get to know someone when you're stuck in gridlock, but this isn't about that.

At 7:00, when we arrived at 66th street, only to find that it was closed for some unknown reason, I abandoned the cab, and my new friend, after shelling out $20. Cars were lining the streets, bumper to bumper, and instead of the New York Philharmonic, all I could hear was the sound of New York assholes stuck in traffic, laying their fists on car horns as if that could really make a difference. Then I walked through the park in the dark, which you really aren't supposed to do, arriving at Lincoln Center at 7:25, or maybe it was 7:45.

Wouldn't you know that the New York Philharmonic's Hear & Now is part of a series titled Rush Hour? Meaning, the show only lasts for one hour and so there is no chance to claim your seats at intermission because there is no intermission. So we went upstairs, where you are allowed to watch the concert on a decent sized TV screen because, you know, I stare at a screen all day long and I can never get enough of it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

no park at night!

10:50 AM  
Blogger Toby Shuster said...

only my mother would leave that comment at 11am on a sunday morning. don't worry, everyone was walking through the park that night.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Toby- we know you don't stuff your EARS with tp.

12:32 PM  

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