I love New York I admit it I do; always have. I’ve been there many times for work and vacation. The city has a certain type of energy that I thrive off of, even if it’s pouring down rain. This past week I got to visit the city again for work. I crammed as much time in the city as I could after the sessions at a conference I was attending. I always seem to find connections in NYC that relate to me back in Alabama.
On Monday night, I attended an Off Broadway performance of a NYC Industry Reading of 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey the Musical in a small actor’s theatre off of 54th Street. The musical is based on famed Alabama author Kathryn Tucker Windham’s 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey book and was originally performed at the Red Mountain Theatre in Birmingham in October 2010. Kathryn gave her blessing to the adaptation by Don Everett Garrett and Kevin Francis Finn prior to her death. My connection to this performance started with a random Facebook message sent through the North Jefferson Arts Alliance page from Glen Kinnaird a producer and director from Gardendale, Alabama, who is now living and working in New York, he along with Don Everett Garrett were the architects who produced the Industry Reading for New York. I am the volunteer Executive Director for the all-volunteer organization, and we sponsored the New York reading and will work with Glen on his summer theatre camps for children in Alabama. It was either luck or intervention by “Jeffrey” that my conference was in New York at the same time as the reading and definitely not something I thought I would get the chance to do while in New York. Our organization will have a performance from the musical at our June 10 Black Creek Arts Festival in June in Fultondale, Alabama. The performance was fabulous and I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and am hopeful that it will become a full-fledge musical Off Broadway soon. So many times people do not understand the history of the South or Alabama, for that matter, and so this will be a refreshing addition to telling the story of our state and one of it’s most renowned Southern authors.
Tuesday night, I went with a colleague from the conference that I had just met to Times Square. It was poring rain, but that didn’t stop us from taking in the area’s energy. I’ve always loved the bright lights of the area and have on occasion attended a Broadway play. There was no time to attend another play this time, but enjoying the sights and sounds were all I needed.
Wednesday after the conference ended, I have about four hours before having to head to the airport. I took the subway to Macy’s at Herald Square and to my surprise they had window dressings for their upcoming Flower show. One of the things I am dying to do is to see the windows at Macy’s at Christmas, but I have to say the Spring windows were the next best thing to the holidays. After that I met up with Glen again and we walked the 1.45 mile High Line, a relatively new elevated walking trail that used to be old railway tracks. You can see the Hudson River from the trail and read about the area’s history as you walk. There weren’t many flowers or greenery blooming, but I got an indication of what it would look like in the Spring and Summer seasons. It seems that New York like Alabama, has found a use for abandoned railway tracks in creating new greenspace opportunities for people to enjoy. Where I live we have the Rails to Trails project that has turned the old CSX Mineral Line into a 3.5 mile walking trail. I walk this trail often.
It really is amazing how many similarities you can find to your hometown when you travel. We all live in short proximity to each other and distance really doesn’t mean anything and knows no boundaries if you look for these similarities. To me it’s all about the connections to the energy of people and places that matter.