Blog Every Day: 3 of 366Posted: January 4, 2016
2016 is a leap year. I forgot this fact until this evening while I was watching Making a Murderer. So that’s 366. What’s one more?
Today we saw The Illusionists, a large-scale medley of magicians playing their last performances today at the Neil Simon Theater, which is where Hairspray played, and where Lucille Ball made her Broadway debut. This particular show was an 11am “family matinee” which was 90-minutes instead of the usual two and a half hours that the show usually plays. Sometimes three times a day. Those magicians — sure they work for 15 minutes three times a day — must be tired.
I like watching people who do the same thing thousands of times. The same motions, the same speeches. Flight attendants. Sideshow barkers. DMV clerks. The complicated layers of performance that comes from the thousands of hours and the (sometimes) extreme lack of stakes. Part of what made The Illusionists so interesting to me was how magicians reduce their movement to the absolute essentials. The danger of flashing – accidentally allowing the audience to see something that is supposed to be hidden — is too great to do anything that hasn’t been calculated, corrected and perfected. So the fun of it of course is knowing that the magic is in the performance not in the birds and cards and crossbows. There were maybe 8 crossbows.
Two friends were in from Seattle with their two children and after the show we all went to John’s Pizzeria on 44th Street. We were all starving and the pizza was more delicious than I could ever have remembered and we were all maybe doing a little of that thing where you want to eat 100 slices but maybe that’s a bit much. Today’s lunch made me want to go back again and again. I think the last time I was at John’s was 10 years ago.
Later in the day we went to Home Depot to buy a big plastic storage bin and I waited on the roofdeck parking lot for Kip to do that errand. The sun was setting and it lit up the Sanitation facility there near the Gowanus (which my autocorrect keeps trying to change to ‘gowns’) and I had that feeling where something ugly is made beautiful by the falling orange light. I took a picture.
Kip finished taking down the Christmas tree and I reheated the leftover braised oxtail, and tomorrow is Kip’s birthday so we had snap peas with it, even though it is January, because snap peas are his favorite. Tomorrow morning I am to make a Tres Leches Cake because that is also his favorite.