The moment we land in New York City, we come face to face with Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Thick lines of color barely conceal the rough canvas beneath. A masterpiece said with so few brushstrokes––a haiku. That night we eat at a loud, overpriced diner near Times Square. Broadway wannabes entertain brilliantly while serving greasy, delicious paddy melts to hungry customers. They are “starving artists,” but they don’t complain about empty bellies. They are content, for their souls are well fed.
Times Square is so much more exhilarating than any movie could portray. The coolness of the night brings us alive and our tiredness disappears in the thrill of a moment. You can call the Square a symbol of prosperity or of materialism. Or you can open your eyes to its beauty. I choose to stand still and listen as the colors make music.
Music is everywhere. The chaos of the big city falls together in symphony. Even the noisiest place, the subway, is bursting with song. Near the stairs, a man wearing a pink tie plays the saxophone. His cheeks bloat with air, but somehow he’s smiling. He laughs when he sees me watching. As the train rushes into the station, the song is drowned out, but he plays on. The nostalgic voice of his music drifts into the car with us until the thump-thump of the door muffles the sound. After a moment, the train lurches forward. Two black men break into song, flashing wide smiles and gently teasing a young woman with music. They pass the hat as the train slows and are gone. Now a Hispanic man stands in their place with his guitarra, singing seriously under a wide brim. Elsewhere, a young man brings his guitar to the edge of a fountain in Central Park. He sings softly to himself, but is unknowingly giving a beautiful gift to those who listen. I am listening.
Death of a Salesman. How could words express? The brilliance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the debut of Andrew Garfield.I will never forget how heaviness congealed inside that theater. The intensity of humanity––not just demonstrated, but experienced. Emotion flew across the stage, sunk its talons deep into my soul and even now refuses to let go.