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A splendid trip to NYC - part1

On Thursday we took Amtrak to NYC staying as we often do in the Chelsea Pines Inn (14th St and 8th avenue). This gave us lots of exercise since our room was on the 5th floor. After nice dinner at the Market Café (38th and 9th) we went to see an off-broadway play: Beebo Brinker Chronicles. It was a play about lesbian life in the 50's taken from some novels by Ann Bannon. It was clever and quite well done with 6 actors playing about 10 people on a simple set.

On Friday we went to the South Street Seaport and saw Bodies, the Exhibition. There were a number of specially preserved skeletons or sections of them with varying emphasis on muscles, tendons, nerves, and various organs. It was quite educational, (now I'm ready to practice medicine). There was a large student group from Cardinal Spellman High School there at the time. I followed one small group for a bit listening to their really excellent science teacher working with them. He engaged them all in discussions at each exhibit, related some of the things to lab experiments they had done in school and injected a good sense of reality.

After lunch we went to view a few Chelsea galleries. They are always entertaining. I don't understand the economic model of these galleries at all. I guess people can buy stuff there, but I'd imagine that is rare and some of the stuff is really only suitable for a gallery or museum (or I suppose a mansion). One place that we thought was a gallery was actually a store, Comme des Garçons, which I suppose if I knew anything abut fashion I might have heard of. It's entertaining, especially when you look at the price tags.

In the evening we went to the NYC contra dance at the Gay and Lesbian Center. That was lots of fun, we saw lots of people we know from camp. There were a large number of new dancers there; I think the caller could have done a better job dealing with that and they should try some brief basic instruction sessions at the beginning and at the break like we frequently do in JP. The band was the Reel Spiel or maybe the Brooklyn Swing Ensemble. They were very enjoyable and Danny Elias, the clarinet player was fantastic. Bass, piano, fiddle, and clarinet is one of my favorite combinations. After the dance we went with GS to the most evilly delicious Rocco's Pastry Shop.

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i saw one of the "bodies" exhibitions (i think there have been two that went around?) at the museum of science and industry--some of it was fascinating and some seemed too stagey, but overall i liked it a lot.

One of the things that I noticed -- and somebody else noticed and complained about in the comment book at the end of the exhibit -- is that just about all of the full-figure displays were of men. Yes, you could tell.

In addition to the exhibits, they had these little projected signs on the wall with tidbits of information about bodies. The one I remember in particular said that, while adults have about 206 bones, babies have 300! This surprised me.

And in case anyone is wondering, no, we were nowhere near the east 50s on Saturday morning.

Just this weekend I was doing a little TiVo cleanup and watched an In The Life (PBS) and they had a piece on Beebo Brinker Chronicles interviewing Ann Bannon! I had never heard of them or her until then and now I read you were there. wild.

Beebo Brinker

(Anonymous)
Very cool. I think they are replaying that In the Life on Ann Bannon at the end of the month. The show off-Broadway was great. I'm going back again tonight. They have some great production photos on their website and myspace page www.BeeboBrinker.com Check it out!

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