Tuesday, June 09, 2015

New York My Lady

New York City is a wonderful friend. If it has gender I suppose I think of her as a lady. A lady that I lived with for a while and occasionally come back to visit. She always puts on make up and throws a party when she knows I am returning. Oh, I know it is not just for me, she dresses up for all her old boy friends.  But she has this way of making us all think we are the only one in her life. It is an illusion that can be busted by just looking around at the sheer number of people here to see her.  
Not to say that she is always perfect; behind the makeup those who know her well can see the beauty marks, but the familiarity of those imperfections make you feel at home.  You really don't know her if you haven't seen her naked.  She always seems to  deliver perfect weather when I come, especially when I am traveling with my wife. NYC always wants to make my wife jealous and remind her that there is a competition for my attentions. I reason that it is because I am one of her favorites.  It is my own self-delusion. I know she can be fickle and a consumate tease. 
This time of year she holds the party of all parties, The Tony Awards.  This is an occasion to celebrate her adopted children. Some think of them as the "special kids", those actors, singers, gypsys, designers and yes even a ventriloquist who have come to bask in the Great White way of her extroverted charms. This theatre gang is a unique club but inclusive of all who seek after and discover that light. I was lucky enough to be invited into that circle several years ago and return to share in the celebration when I can. 
What I love most about the grand lady called New York City is her energy.  Whatever you want, whenever you want it, she has it available.  She is the perfect hostess but not a cheap date; why do you come back if you can't afford the cover charge.  
This time is no more special than the last time, but each time recalls the best time and makes the current time seem special. However, as I walk down 7th Avenue something is different. One of the regulars is no longer here.  The Ed Sullivan Theater hosts neither Ed nor David Letterman.  It is sad to see the marquee lacking the iconic Late Show logo.  The lady has a a way of erasing any physical trace of past affairs even long term engagements.  The Helen Hayes Theatre, my home for a while, is lacking an occupant as well.  I want to beg her to let me come back and do my show there once again, at least until the next occupant needs the space. But it is not the way the Lady will have it.  It is enough that I had a turn and got to dance at the party. She gave me my reward. It is the Tony Award her ultimate gift. It sits upon my mantel and spins at my whim reminding me not to be greedy. There are so many others waiting to experience her magic; it is  huburis and nostalgia that keep me from understanding.  
And that is really the bottom line.  I did not leave New York, she just told me it was time to go. She was ready to move on but I had not yet reached that point. She has so many suitors, but for me it  will forever be an unrequited love. And in my moments of clarity I know it is the best for both of us. We will always have memories of the good times and none that were bad. 
What more can you ask of an old friend?
As you were,


P. Grecian said...


I've never won a Tony, and not likely to at this late date. I've got a regional Emmy...and my plays have won some awards here and there...most of which I know nothing about.
When I think about your Tony, it always makes me smile. You absolutely deserved it. You're a hit...and your influence ranges farther than you imagine.

Cheryl said...

A beautiful post, Jay! Even though a few years have passed I congratulate you again on becoming a well deserved member of the exclusive Tony Club!

Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute Jay.

I agree with Cheryl, your Tony was well deserved.

Maybe the old Lady wants is waiting for a Part Deux...