Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"At a great city...a huge city..." ~ Jane Eyre

Summer in the city swelters romance, mainly my love for New York in the heat of July and August.

Granted, I do have the best of both worlds and live inbetween the city and the beach, and I have not had the experience of living in the city throughout the summer, but summertime in New York City is amazing at many moments. I always say that I would rather be walking down a city street in 100 degree weather than in 30 degree weather. Ironically, the city seems most alive in the summertime.

What I love about NYC Summers:

~ Shakespeare in the Park: I have been fortunate enough to see Shakespeare in the Park twice at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, thanks to J.Sarah and her mom! We saw productions of Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing over the past few years. The Delacorte is so small, so every seat is a perfect view to Shakespeare's genius. The above statue of Romeo and Juliet is right outside of the Delacorte Theatre. Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favorite Shakespearean comedies (especially to teach), and the production I saw in 2004 was excellent. Jimmy Smits was Benedick, Kristen Johnson was Beatrice, and their excellent banter captured the sexy foreplay that Shakespeare intended the character's barbs to be.

~ Al Fresco Dining: The city empties a bit on weekends, so dining out at popular restaurants becomes a great deal easier! Still, there are some places that become packed even in the hot summer months, but that is part of the excitement of the city in the summer. One of my favorite memories of outdoor eating was dining with J. Sarah on the rooftop of Sushi Samba. We had to wait for a table despite a reservation, and once we arrived on the beautiful rooftop in Greenwich Village, we were both tipsy on mojitos. The Meatpacking District opens up its doors during the summer, spilling diners out onto the sidewalk beside the cobblestone streets. Last summer my father and I went bar hopping there after a photography exhibit on the pier. We did drinks in the open aired bar at Markt, sat on the sidewalk at Nero, and then dined French style at Pastis.

~ Desserts: There is ice cream to be had everywhere in New York City, but one of my favorite summer nights which had the best of company and dessert was with Cassie and Mish. After dinner on the L.E.S., we got dessert at Rice to Riches, an amazing place devoted to: rice pudding! The retro style of the place was warm and funky, and it was packed! The cold rice pudding came in dozens of flavors, all placed in a funky kind of plastic bowl. I don't think I am doing this place any justice with my words, so here:

~ Museuming: The museums are kept freezing during the summer months, and there is no better way to escape the heat on the asphalt than to head into one of the museums. There is a Hopper exhibit at the Whitney I plan on seeing within the next few weeks. Edward Hopper is one of my favorite American painters. Being a coffee addict, how can I not love The Nighthawks? A print hangs in my kitchen.

~ The Subway Ride to the Bronx: I don't care how packed the trains become, riding the 4 train up Yankee Stadium is one of the best parts of the summer. Of course I realize the fall as well, since the Yanks are constantly winning in the post-season. Nothing beats a hot afternoon at the stadium, and it gets extra hot for me anytime Derek Jeter comes up to bat, but I manage. There is plenty of cold beer, dippin dots, and "waves" to make me cool and content there.

Some of my favorite memories are in the city during the summer. I remember one great afternoon almost ten years ago when J. Sarah and I went to the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side and ate at Ratners when it was still around, followed by Gus's Pickles on Essex Street. Last summer John and I met up in Little Italy for some fun dining out on Mott Street; I still have the image in my head of him riding down on his motorcycle to meet me. I remember as a teenager seeing the Paul Taylor Dance Company outdoors at Lincoln Center; J. Sarah's parents took us since I think we were still in high school at the time. Seeing The Producers with Lane and Broderick with my father was also an exciting summer day in the city. Bryant Park shows a movie every Monday night on a huge screen; people gather on the lawn their to picnic and it is always a huge crowd. During my freshman year of college, I went with three gay friends to see The Wizard of Oz. They went for Judy, but I guess I did, too! I wore my hair in Dorothy pigtails and had such a great time seeing a New York audience react to Mrs. Gulch (lots of boos) and Toto escaping her evil clutches (tons of cheers and claps). Nights out in Astoria in Queens are among my favorites in the summertime. There are so many outdoor Greek cafes, and the Czech Biergarten there is so enjoyable; Cassie and J. Sarah and I are heading there one night next week.

I suppose I can even find the best out of the worst experience in New York City in the summer: the subway. Waiting on the hot, smelly platform is hellish. There are tons of people around, and agitation becomes heightened because of that. Still, stepping into an ice cold subway car after waiting is a refreshing feeling, especially because you know the car is taking you somewhere special in the city.

It would be nice to hear about summertime in other cities/places...


Blogger work in progress said...

I was sitting in my car melting just the other day when I thought about the discomfort I experience in the extreme humidity. Then I started pondering how the cool of the library I entered wouldn't have been so refreshing had the air outside been the same temperature. It made me feel more alive when I walked outside and began melting once again. Maybe I was trying to make the most of the situation, but for a (albeit short) moment, I was glad for the sweat clinging to my body.

I love visiting Saratoga during the summer. My enjoyment has zero to do with horse-racing, it is the atmosphere of the town and the pleasure I get from popping into shops and looking at merchandise I cannot afford. The bustle on the streets, the general ambiance created by people who are full of life is refreshing. Strolling down Broadway while holding hands with The Good Guy and trying on glamorous clothes is all part of the fun. And then there's alway ice cream and gelato.....

8:54 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

OMG! Such a great post. Really great! I have never been to NYC, but now, I am coming for the rice pudding.

Helena, MT in the Summer - Check the Red Basement. I will try my damndest. Thanks for the inspiration.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

As teenagers, it was always a goal of mine and Bean's to live in NYC for awhile. It's still a place I'd like to visit again! Lucky you to get to see Broadway, the best museums in the world, and, well, what DOESN'T rock about NYC?

MY favorite summer thoughts? I think I already described it. It's the complete opposite of yours (regrettably, in ways, but also, nice in ways). Think of open fields and everything SLOWED down a lot. Think of no shops, museums, nada, within 30 miles. I'm talking about my childhood and teen years, of course, in the country. Which is still my favorite place to be. I can sit and have not one worldly thing or entertainment-related thing and be at perfect peace. Just God and nature. (Thoreau loves me!) Too much of that does get old, however. I gots to have my entertainment! Now, I live in the suburbs of a city, which is quite different.
Anyway, excellent post. :)

10:58 AM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

I am that same way. I love eating outside and going to see plays outside. It is just the best. However, my favorite food whore just brought up one of my favorite desserts, rice pudding. I am determined to make it. Maybe I'll look up some recipies later. I love that you like the city when it is sweltering. That is where we differ-- I would rather wear a huge jacket and layer up than swelter in a city!

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

I am so not a fan of New York in the summer and have to admit that my favorite places are probably the movie theater or my AC'd apt. But thank you for your directory. Perhaps I will do my own in my favorite season: Fall!

3:28 PM  
Blogger beachgirl said...

Ok- only you can make a heatwave in NYC sound appealing.. That's IT! I'm booking my ticket now... ;)

6:26 PM  
Blogger Lady Wordsmith said...

Greetings and salutations on this fine summer eve.

I thank you for your snap-shot of Summer in The City, but feel compelled to chide you for broaching the subject of Little Italy with no mention of the Festas. They perfume the air with the heady auroma of sausage with peppers and onions, strong espresso laced with lemon, and pepe's sweet cigars to such a degree that no sensorial transportation to NYC in the summer is complete without them!

But your obvious joy for alfresco dining - a favorite of mine as well - and sweet querry for summers in other cities inspires me. I think you may have helped me 'crown' the first line of new poem. I shall let you know when it is 'birthed'.

Perhaps even calling on your assistance in naming that babe. (A task I find to be most difficult.)

Ever yours,

6:50 PM  
Blogger Percival said...

"The mesmerizing museuming of inumerable bees..."

Alfred Lord Tennyson, One of his poems

He was, of course, referring to the "busy bees" of summertime New Yorkers.

8:37 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

WIP ~ Oh goodness; I hate that feeling of first getting into the car on a sweltering day! Eeep! Oh your visits to Saratoga sound so nice. I hope you write a post about your experiences there; that would be so lovely to read!

Auto ~ Trust me, this rice pudding is worth the trip, puddin'! :)

Marty ~ Well, to me the countryside in the summer is also the perfect way to enjoy the season. By no means do I think the city is the best place in the summer, its just a fun place! As a kid, I certainly would prefer miles and miles of open land in the summer - lots of possibilities!

Lynn ~ Thank goodness for good summer blockbusters! Have you seen any good ones lately?

BG ~ Yes, you need to get up here! You would be the belle of the ball in the big apple!

M'Lady ~ Oh my dear, your descriptions have me quite hungry this evening! Thank you for adding to my post! Oh how I look forward to your poem; I shall help name the sweet babe! Cheers!

Percy ~ And here I thought that Tennyson was discussing all of the busy bees of summertime Hamptonites swarming off of the Jitney!

10:19 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

Dang!!! Really, I just checked your blog and wasn't updated, then BANG! all these comments :P

Must be another 'blogger thing' Anywho, just getting inside anywhere with A/C is good on any summer days. We havent seen a cloud since...April I think. I am not a morning person, but late, late night probably after 1am or early morning is the only 'good' time to be outside.

Several times a day, if I have one of those 'stuckin the office' days, I will go outside for a smoke break - I don't smoke, but just to take a break and get heated up again so I can cool down again.

11:36 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Barry ~ So you are a night owl, eh? I would be semi-comotose at 1am on any given evening! ;) Though lately I admit that I am not sleeping well at all, so the time I sleep becomes later and later! Hope you are NOT stuck in the office today!

7:26 AM  
Blogger Percival said...

Lady, I know why you cannot sleep. All is as I have suspected...

12:25 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

DC has a similiar vibe as NYC in the summer: hot pavement, smelly METRO platforms and masses of tourists...still--nothing beats taking a breather from humidity with a gelato at the National Gallery of Art. Other specialties? MD blue crabs, white corn, the color of the moon in August and those first few browning leaves that remind us fall is on it's cool, merry way...

2:21 PM  
Blogger gumbee said...

I've always wanted to visit New York City. I've never been there, but maybe some day.

As far as Shakespeare is concerned, I never studied him much so to this day I find him difficult to understand. Perhaps one day I will decide to start sitting aside some time to devote to understanding Shakespeare. He does seem much appreciated by the world. :)

2:45 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Percy, Percy, Percy ~ I assure you that my lack of sleep has nothing to do with any sort of feelings or emotions regarding any fellow bloggers in this vicinity. Ahem! Thanks for making me crave ketchup and fries during a week I lost two pounds. You must write a poem about wheatgrass or tofu, sir.

Ryane ~ I love DC and you are so fortunate to live there! Indeed, I can imagine how it must swelter in the heat, too! Blue crabs and gelato sound like perfect ways to beat the heat. Thanks for visiting here!

Stacey ~ I totally understand. It took a long time for me to get into his groove. I think that its actually never beneficial for teachers to have their students read Shakespeare; the plays must be seen or heard to be more effective. Oh, and New York City would love to have you! :)

3:50 PM  
Blogger Percival said...

There was no such stuff in my thoughts. I merely supposed you might be partaking of gruel shortly before bedtime, given thy love of Victorian customs and practices. It does not set well upon a maidenly stomache at that hour.

6:30 PM  
Blogger ThoughtsGalore said...

I can't wait to be at the beach again. There has to be a breeze from the shore! The heat here in Nashville is totally melting me!

Hmmm maybe this is why my children are making me crazy today. It's probably melting their little brains are melting.


7:06 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Percy ~ Than be clear with your words, sir! Those who read my blog and are not trackbacking think that you and I are an "item." Implausible, I say, since Percy is married to Mary and Charlotte married her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls.

TG ~ I guess the heat melts the brains of little ones; my kindergarten class today was off the wall! We took them swimming; I must have held each girl twice in the water to float as a "mermaid princess." ;)

7:45 PM  
Blogger Lady Wordsmith said...


It's time

The baby is here

Mother and babe may be called upon for a private viewing, with the hope for one gift: A Name.

Ask to see Lady and her newest un-named babe with a quick note to
c-lwordsmith (at) that summer's hot mail communication place

12:51 AM  
Blogger David said...

Much has been sung about NY in June. If ol' Blue Eyes had been able to read your blog, surely he'd have to sing about NY in July as well.
I love NYC, but mostly from afar. I've actually only been there once, but I'd love to visit again. I loved the subway. Freaky and cool. Everybody sleeps on it. This old lady slept next to me the whole time. Hmmm, I hope she wasn't dead.
I love the MET. (Wow, that sounds like a really weird poem on nyc.)

Oh, you wanna hear about summery stuff in Idaho? In June, big, bright primary colors dot the sky-- Hot Air Balloon festival! Gorgeous. The infusion of color on the sky reminds me of the Yellow Submarine movie. In Emmett (40 miles outside of Boise) we have the Cherry Festival. The Western Idaho Fair is the big to-do in Boise. Where else can you find goats AND REO Speedwagon? Funnel cakes. The Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Concerts at the Idaho Center ampitheater. Summer also means finding the water. The pool is best, but sometimes running through a park fountain or the sprinklers on your lawn works just as well. In Eagle (10 miles out of Boise) they have "Eagle Fun Days" where the number one attraction is the Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed. I try not to go to that one. They've got a weird sense of fun in Eagle. ;)

5:05 AM  
Blogger Percival said...

I am not Shelley, I am Silly, Sally. As to one "Charlotte" and another "Bell": what they be to Hecuba or Hecuba to them, I cannot tell.

10:11 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

florida ranchlands in the summer. just 15 miles inland from the atlantic. zebus (mini african cattle) and egrets intermix and gators sun themselves on the sides of the irrigation ditches. warm yellow light illuminates each and every blade of fescue in crystal clear appreciation. jewel like water bugs skate across the surface of a pond and the snout of a turtle sends waves of concentric circles to the banks.

then the light goes hazy as spectacular thunderheads rise higher than a mushroom cloud...then a soaking rain. the smell of wet hide and sparrows in the puddles. the scree of a red-tailed hawk blends with the hum of grasshppers and crickets. a sunset of fiery oranges and violets and pink, butter yellows and peach. evening descends and fireflies twinkle against indigo. a cold shower and crisp sheets in a cool room...an old air conditioner rattles me to sleep.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Percival said...

(A comment I left to Bird's blog):

I just noticed - "marignally" is quite a mezemerizing word.

Hast thou been conversing then, with Miss Jane Eyre (of "ThursdayNext")?

Marignal sounds quite a lot larger than marginal, indeed, near regal; and I am glad that I have begun to find such favor here.

Cc Miss Jane Eyre

2:08 PM  
Blogger question girl said...

i am SO JELOUSE right now.....

5:16 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

As a former New Yorker in LA, I miss the extreme difference between winter and summer that is on the East Coast. Summer to me here means concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, the smell of BBQ, and women walking around with practically nothing on.

I also miss Carvel, which they don't have out here.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Percival said...

JUST SAW a certain remark left on another blog... My reply, FYI:

Percival said...
Just noticed ThursdayNext's remark.

"Don't get coy with me, baby."

(As said to Peggy Lipton as "Julie" in "The Mod Squad" 196?)

1:32 PM, July 22, 2006

1:35 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

What a dirty mind you have, rogue! I was not alive when the Mod Squad was on TV, btw! ;)

1:43 PM  
Blogger Percival said...

Question Girl - Don't be too jealous just yet. At this point Amy and I are only flirting.

Amy: Presumptuous vixen! I would never utter an utterance that was, in this vernacular you seem to have taken to of late - and so crass, for a Victorian - "dirty."

In my comment to you on the other blog, I think Mayden's Voyage, I only meant that quite naturally you find the egotism that you allege on my part roguishly charming. And who could blame you?

Secondly: No you could not have been alive then, Miss Eyre; but I was, though but a wee lad.

- Percy "Rochester" Silly

12:51 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Percy ~ How is it that you are an investigator? Clearly you can deduce that Question Girl means she is jealous that she is not here in NYC for its summer events?

6:28 PM  
Blogger Percival said...

There is text and subtext, Madame...

2:30 PM  

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