I made it! I sent out an email to my family last night with a quick over-view of my first few days here in NYC. Rather than rewrite it all, I present a slightly edited version for The Concert:
I made it to NY on Sunday afternoon, as expected, after only getting "detoured" once through New Jersey. I drove by the apartment, and then took another huge detour across the island, trying to turn around and get back! Broadway had a huge outdoor show that afternoon, so all kinds of roads were closed. But when I got back to my neighborhood, I found a parking place right in front of the building! Perfect.
My roommate, AP, and his friend, D, helped me unload a bit, and then the Brooklyn Birds showed up to help, too. It was so nice to see their faces! It is such a blessing to have family here. AP & D went off to a music festival in the park, and the Birds went home, leaving me to gather my wits about me in this new place.
My room is small, but I think it will be very livable. Once I get some storage - shelves or a dresser - and a small desk, it will be comfortable. The kitchen and bathroom are both nice, with room for all my things. AP didn't have many dishes, so he was happy to have me put out the china! Something nice for everyday.
I had lunch with Mark (my brother) on Monday, then dinner with my friend MP. After dinner we went out to Brooklyn to watch the football game with Mark, which I think might become a regular Monday night event! (I watched the Giants-Colts game on Sunday night as I unpacked. AP commented that he had never had a roommate who watched sports, and he assumed that with a woman, he was safe! Ha!)
On the way home from Brooklyn, MP and I could see the blue lights from the WTC memorial shining up so high into the clear night. (Seriously, how far into the atmosphere did they shine?) It was pretty amazing to arrive in the city the day before this anniversary. It is still here, still alive and kicking! And it is now my home.
Yesterday I walked around the neighborhood some more - so many restaurants!! I'm going to try not to repeat any for a while, in order to avoid getting into a rut too soon. Then I practiced, in preparation for Friday's audition in DC. Singing in here is very much like singing in a grad school practice room! I introduced myself to my nearest neighbors in the building, warning them about the "noise," and they seemed more than fine with it.
And so begins my life in the city! I have another dinner planned for tomorrow night, a voice lesson tomorrow afternoon, a meeting with my pianist on Thursday to sing through my arias, Friday I'll be in DC, and Saturday night I'm having drinks with some Santa Fe friends. It's a whirl! Next week I'll start babysitting my nephew on Tuesdays and Thursdays (my “job” for the fall, a perfect arrangement for all involved), and I think having a bit of framework to my routine will be good.
**end of email**
As I work on this update, AP, a conductor, is working in his room/office with JF, a composer & violinist from our Tanglewood days. AP is about to head over to London for some concerts (a new Steve Reich piece!), and JF is helping him prepare by working through the string parts, playing through passages as AP gives the instructions/style comments/phrasing ideas that he will present to the orchestra. By doing this, AP gets to see in advance how well he can get his ideas across to the players. I think it’s fantastic, and a perfect picture of my life here, surrounded by musicians who are working and creating on a very high level. Inspiring.
This afternoon I have a short lesson with Mark Oswald, just touching base and making sure “la voce” is lined up before my audition for Washington National on Friday. (eek!) Lessons at Lincoln Center, coachings in Queens, football in Brooklyn and at the bar across the street, a manicure at the shop a block over, shopping at the green grocer around the corner… these are the things that, slowly but surely, will make this city my home.