Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 79 July 31

Al Explores the Bronx, We go Into the Woods

By Al
Today, I decided to go to the Rotary Club of the Bronx.  This was my second visit.  The people remembered me and seemed glad to see me.  This is the club that meets on City Island.  The speaker was from  Heartstart Trainng.  This is an organization that teaches courses on dealing with heart related emergencies, such as CPR.  

One of the members operates a program in the Bronx that has high school age kids mentor younger kids. We talked about the high crime rate in the Bronx and he said I should walk around the neighborhood that his program serves. He drove me over there after the meeting and I walked around for about an hour. This was the Morrisannia neighborhood. The area was definately different from where we live. It had almost no trees and more litter on the streets and sidewalk. In other words, more run down. But, not what you would consider a slum. 

A Police Athletic League buildings.

Murals on the Police Athletic League building.

The Corpus Christi Seminary was on the hill behind a big stone wall. I did see that they had razor wire on top of a 20 foot stone wall, so maybe there was a security threat. Or, maybe they were over- reacting. It appeared that there was a big open area behind the fence in additition to the seminary buildings. There was a very nice athletic field and community center next to the Seminary.

The Seminary.

A mural in the neighborhood.

While I was at the Rotary, Sally was waiting in line to get tickets to the perfomance at the Delecorte theater in Central Park.  This is commonly called the Shakespeare in the Park theater.  Tickets are free, but you have to get in line early to get them.  Like 6:30 AM to get tickets at 1 PM for a performance at 8 PM.  The show as "Into the Woods."  The big star was Amy Adams.  It was a very good performance.  I have never seen "Into the Woods" before, so I had nothing to compare it too.  It was in interesting story and uniformily good acting.  The giant was a large puppet head and hands.  The voice was Glen Close, but it was recorded.

Sally's Day
Today was my Shakespeare in the Park day.  I arrived at the Park at 6:30 a.m. with my little chair, a scarf to knit, a large cup of coffee, and the newspaper.  Our friend, Merv, had agreed to meet me there.
Apparently, tickets for this play are in higher demand than they were for As You Like It.  We had gone at 8:30  for those tickets, and the line was much shorter.  For ITW, they had line monitors, who periodically announced the rules- no joining of friends already in line, you could leave for short periods for restroom or snacks, pick up your trash, etc.  Merv arrived 15 minutes late, which meant we moved to the back of the line.  A local deli delivers to the line, so periodically, a fellow came by on a bike with a bag of food calling a name.  Another fellow came by with chair rentals.  A couple of women representing a publisher came through distributing free books.

When we returned in the evening, there were three very large men in suits at the entrance to our section.  I would have sworn they were contenders on Monday Night Wrestling if they had been in spandex shorts.  So who was coming?  Finally, our Mayor Bloomberg arrived, along with a couple of more large men in suits.  It surprised me that he needs so many protectors.  (I think Chris Coleman just walks around town like the rest of us. Perhaps there is more anger here.  Plus Bloomberg is worth about $19 billion, so perhaps he has a fear of being kidnapped). After the play, we saw a black SUV with police cars in back and front going down 79th Street- it was probably him going home, as he lives a few blocks from us.  We didn't ask him for a ride.

As for the play, it was very long (3 hours); interesting staging (green umbrellas to create Jack's beanstalk, trees with platforms and ladders to accomodate the many actors on the stage at one time). I had assumed that it would be a fun, uplifting play, and discovered a much darker story about what we are willing to compromise to get what we want, and living with the consequences of those decisions.  Perhaps there is no happily ever after, even in fairy tales.
In the background is the Rock of Despaire.  The line monitors tell the group that if you are beyond the Rock of Despaire, you will not get tickets.


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