Sunday, February 19, 2012

Off to the Apple

I had a nice night out with my mother and the newest Washingtonian, my grandfather.  He just moved down this week after spending a lifetime in Philly.  His care center in Philadelphia was getting depressingly old, and he wanted a new environs with some more spring chickens.  We went out for a delicious dinner at Arucola on Connecticut Ave.  I had misjudged the springishness of the day and grossly underestimated the warmth of daylight fading.  I froze on my trek down to the restaurant as I went coat-less, but warmed up over some vino. We shared a delicious portobello smeared in pesto and roasted in garlic and olive oil.  I had a rich mezzaluna ravioli that was stuffed with succulent crimini mushrooms and swimming in a yellow cream sauce.  My grandfather had his staple veal piccata with polenta on the side, while my mother had a grilled tilapia in a white wine sauce with capers, black olives and tomatoes.  We shared a delicious gooey bread pudding for dessert, and then were off to the Kennedy Center for a night at the symphony.

At the Kennedy Center, we listened to a good performance of Beethoven and Strauss.  There was a guest conductor named Herbert Blomstedt leading the NSO who was amazingly in his mid-80s.  The Octogenarian conductor did a wonderful job through the concert, although truth be told the Strauss piece was not my favorite work.  Strauss himself said, " "I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer."  I may agree with you, Richard.  But Beethoven's Fourth more than made up for Strauss.

A slow morning got off to an auspicious start as I made my way out of my house and on to the metro to head over to Union Station to hop a bus to New York.  I had gone about two blocks when I realized I forgot my ticket.  No big deal because my bus was at 11:30am, and it was about 10:20.  I had lazed about the house, reading the sunday Post and sipping coffee.  When I returned for my ticket, I was startled to find that the bus was at 11am not 11:30.  Oops.

I hoofed a little faster up to 16th st to catch a cab but realized I had little cash on me.  None of the cabs took credit, so I hopped in one and figured I would hit an ATM on the way.  A quick stop on U st at the 7-11 did the trick as I dodged in and out of traffic.  I arrived to Union Station with about ten minutes to spare and got in line for the bus to New York.  Small stupidity tax that I will pass on to the logistical cost of doing business wrapped up in the grand per diem.

Only as the time got closer, I realized I was in the wrong line for the wrong bus company.  I ducked across the parking lot and got to the right bus at the right time.  Thus far no harm, and I got on my Bolt bus to NYC.  The bus ride started off on a sour foot as a NewYawker yakked away loudly on his phone to the point that the bus driver and a few passengers told him to pipe down.  Ah, civility in its grandest forms.  

But we sped out in silence with the skies alternating in rows of grey, pink and overcast yellow with an occasional blue streak above the wintry desiccated branches of field.  As always, I love being on the move.  Off to New York to begin the live rounds of the American Music Abroad auditions, and I will get to be a fly on the wall of some amazing ensembles as they try to jam their way to cultural ambassadorship.  In the meantime, I will settle in to my seat and pick up where the trail of the Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God.

3 comments:

Abba said...

http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/feb/17/how-music-conveys-emotion/

FYI

Paul Rockower said...

ty, abba. Color affects emotion too. As Van Gogh knew. Yellows make us smile, blue somber and grey, well, grey.

Abba said...

Grey is grey, but G-R-A-Y is Gray!!!
Makes me happy....