"Something has changed inside me, something is not the same…” Can you tell I watched Wicked last week? For maybe the fifth time I think, but only the second time on Broadway. This time we were just five rows back and it was spectacular.
To recap, I first tried to watch Wicked on Broadway right before Idina Menzel left, flying out in November of 2004 in an attempt to get lottery tickets. That didn’t work out, unfortunately. But since then I’ve made it a point to watch it in whatever city I’m in. Los Angeles in 2005, San Diego in 2006, San Francisco in 2010, and then on Broadway in 2014 and this year. Where next?! Maybe Japan! Through the power of Spotify I stumbled upon the Gekidan Shiki cast recording, which is entirely in Japanese (duh). I’d be curious what they may have changed, if anything.
Anyway, every time I watch Wicked, I pick up new things — or forget past feelings in the interim — and just want to gush over how great and clever it is all over again. If you haven’t seen Wicked, I’ll be ready to go again in another two years. See you in Tokyo?
- "For Good,” performed by Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel (2016)
- “Popular,” Shiki Theatre Company
- The Downside to Rereading (2012)
Of course, Wicked's not all I’ve been doing. Even if that was the definitive highlight of my last week or so in New York. Yup, I’m on my way out again. After just two months this time. Most of me was hoping that I would last longer, and maybe I would have, but maybe my attitude was defeatist from the beginning. Much of the charm and magic of New York for me involves late summer nights, lots of dancing and park-ing, and just generally running around and having fun. But that part has now slipped away. People ask me why, if it’s me or the city. It’s probably both.
I can’t even stand going out in LES anymore, overrun as it is by douchebags galore. I guess it was always like that but it just seems worse now. And Brooklyn, faraway Brooklyn has the same feeling too, at least the few times I've tried to go out. And to be honest, a lot of the change has been me, as I’ve had a very “the death of fun” attitude about things. I’m trying to stop chasing the same thrills, putting the same record on over and over again. It’s like when a dance track is objectively great but after the hundredth time it just loses its power to make you move. Example: Faith Evans, “Love Like This.” You get semi-excited but it just gets tired quickly you know?
Sad as I am, overall I think this is good for me, as I'm finally feeling a little settled down. Inside and out.
Numbers: Over the past seven years, dating back to 2010, I’ve lived in New York for twenty-nine months, with one or two months at a time being the norm, excepting 2011 when I was here for seven months and then 2012-3 when I was here for all of 2013 and four months of 2012. So sixteen months in a row. So yeah, I just keep running back and forth and back and forth. But this time I'm running with no real plans on coming back...
Sure there’s a chance I’ll be back soon enough, never say never, but I don’t know when. At the very least, I've realized that it's unlikely I could live here long term. However, as my friend put it, “You could be back in two months…” And really, where else can I go for the culture -- and people -- kick that I need from here? For now though, the positives of being here are outweighed by the negatives, and so many aspects of the city has curdled for me. So I’m out!
I haven’t seen Netflix's Bojack Horseman yet, but I am newly in love with its co-creator, Lisa Hanawalt. I saw her XOXO talk about creative paralysis and she’s just perfection. And just by coincidence, I came across her Lucky Peach article about leaving New York in 2015, which I’ll link to below.
I didn’t realize Hanawalt was part of Pizza Island, an all-female cartoonists’ collective in Greenpoint that shut down in 2012. I mostly followed Julia Wertz and Sarah Glidden from the Island but I’m thinking I should start following all of them. And heck, Wertz is also leaving New York, or just left, rather. While I’m a merely a fan of Wertz, it seems to say something that she too is leaving the city. When the cartoonists go, I go! Sidenote: I wonder if it's too late to start learning how to draw, I feel like there is a cartoon strip in me. And I have just the topic and name for it! Shhhhh.
- XOXO Festival video: Lisa Hanawalt
- Lisa Hanawalt, “Goodbye to All That Sugar, Spice, and Fat” (2015)
- Lisa Hanawalt’s Long, Talking Animal–Filled Road to BoJack Horseman
- Pizza Island RIP (2012)
- Video: Meet the Smallest Michelin Star Restaurant in the World (2016)
- Michelin Madness: Semilla in South Williamsburg Receives One Star (2015)