broadsideblog

A NYC Saturday: Muscadet, an Irish play, a ship in the bay

In behavior, cities, culture, life, urban life, US on November 10, 2013 at 2:56 am

By Caitlin Kelly

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Love those almond ears!

Perfect Saturday afternoon…

Lunch at La Bergamote, on West 52d: crepes, salad, a glass of my favorite white wine, a shared pastry for dessert.

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Then we walked around the corner to see a play, “Maeve’s House”, a 90-minute one-man monologue about an Irish writer, Maeve Brennan, once known for decades for her work in The New Yorker.

Yet she died, after a decade of poverty and ill health, in 1993. So much for the writers’ glory we all strive so hard to attain.

The theater at the Irish Arts Center, at the western edge of Manhattan, is small and intimate, the barman wearing a shawl-collared Aran sweater and a linen shirt, his black hair pulled high into a small topknot. My last name is Kelly and my great-grandfather was a schoolteacher in the small town of Rathmullan, Co. Donegal. I rarely seek or claim my roots, but it was lovely, in Manhattan, to hear that lilt all around us.

The stage was set with only a wooden bench, divided like those in the subway, and another seat. The only backdrop was a tall painting that looked like city towers — but was made up of words, written vertically. Perfect.

The actor, Eamon Morrissey, is 70, and his focus and stamina were amazing.

As we walked to the car, at 3:45 p.m., we heard a loud horn sounded five times — from the Carnival Splendour, the massive cruise ship at anchor in the Hudson, literally at the end of a midtown city block. Imagine what it’s like to glide out of the harbor, past the Statue of Liberty, at sunset I’ve yet to take a cruise but I love seeing these behemoths docked.

As we drove home, north up the West Side Highway, kids were out playing soccer, handball, basketball, skateboarding. Cyclists and joggers braved the chilly November air. The trees are still wearing their fall colors of crimson, orange, russet and brilliant yellow.

In the middle of the river, a tiny black and white tugboat — six stories high — looked like a wedding cake, or perhaps a Chinese pagoda, its nose tucked into the back of an enormous barge.

Saturday in New York City…

  1. Magic, Caitlin. That is the draw of the big city – seeing the creativity people offer and being among those who love it as well.

  2. This is great. If I only I saw your blog blog when I was in NYC a couple of months ago. I look forward to hearing about your next adventure.

  3. what a wonderful time in the city )

  4. I felt like I was there and I have never been there . Sounds beyond lovely.

    • Thanks! There are so many things here to see… tourists miss many of them.

      • someday I will get there and then I will have to ask locals where to really visit :)

      • It really depends what you most enjoy doing…But I think many tourists throng to Times Square, where they are met with every multinational brand they already know at home. Why travel?

      • Just the idea of time square makes me feel a bit anxious. I like the idea of book nooks and small eateries. I think time square sounds neat but i don’t know if I could spend a lot of time there (no pun intended). I want to see the things you don’t get to see watching tv :)

      • You can find many book nooks and small eateries in NYC…They are all over the place and many are cherished institutions.

        Just walking through the West Village can easily fill a few lovely days. I spent a day there last week — literally only walking four or five blocks — and in that small area: had a great French lunch; picked up some fantastic Italian soap; went to my hairdresser; got a pedicure and then met a fellow blogger at a new-to-me tea house. Perfect day.

      • Oh tea houses!! I am an huge tea enthusiast. That sounds like a very close to perfect day. The West Village is on my list now of places to see when visiting NYC.

  5. Beautifully written. I feel like I`m there with you and feel like I must go there, all at once.

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