Monday, March 27, 2006

Saturday in New York

L., D, and I drove into New York City Saturday morning. First thing: a new york bagel and coffee. Thus sustained we headed into the American Museum of Natural History to see the Darwin exihibit. The exhibit tells the story of Darwin's life and scientific discoveries. There is a nice balance of "live" exhibits and artifacts (such as letters) to keep all ages engaged. We hit the dinosaur halls next. I wanted to see the butterfly exhibit, but we were running out of time and calories.

We left the museum and headed down to see a friend of L.'s for lunch. We ate in a cozy-funky place called Bar 6 in the West Village. Then L's friend took us to see Slava's Snowshow. The entire show is a set of sketches performed by one main clown "Yellow" and a troupe of four "Green" clowns. The Russian clown who started the show has created a piece that transcends political boundaries as well as age differences. There is something for everyone here. Here is one description: If a stray spore of Cirque du Soleil had taken root in one of Dostoevsky's Russian winters, this deeply imaginative act of theatre might have been the result. Slava, a Russian clown of the old school - the really old pre-vaudeville school, surrounds himself with dreamlike scenery and fantastic situations in a show that has won critical approval worldwide. (

I will refrain from a larger discussion of the existential clowning, but if you wish to know more I would be happy to discuss. Here is one review "Clowns on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown" that might be helpful. After the show, our friend took us backstage. The cast was relaxing and eating pizza between shows. We learned more about the history of the show and got to see inside the lives that bring the show to life for the audience. We even got to eat pizza with them.

Our final stop in the city was Veniero's Italian cake shop. We had a taste test. We ordered three kinds of cheesecake. Our first pick: Sicilian. Second: New York Style. Third: Italian cheesecake. All three were wonderful, but the Sicilian was over the top.

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