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Our Town

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On Monday night, I visited the ballpark for a little interleague action (is it just me, or does that sound kinky?) between the Phillies and the Red Sox.  It was a weird night.  There were storms in the area, and rain—or worse—seemed like a certainty.  When I sat down in Section 108, about three seats from the foul line in right field, the wind was whipping around me and stadium detritus was flying everywhere.  But as game time approached, the wind settled down some, and the dark clouds that remained never dropped any rain.

It was a fun night.  The Phillies went ahead early, and they stayed there.  The crowd was into it, and there was, of course, some extra the-world-champions-are-here excitement in the air.  Ryan Howard was in top form, hitting two homers and a triple(!), and Cole Hamels pitched well for seven innings.  The Phils won, 8-2.  (Unfortunately, the Sox took last night’s and this afternoon’s games.  Ugh.)

As I said, I had a close-up view of the foul line.  My seat also put me in a prime position to boo, lustily, Red Sox rightfielder J.D. Drew, who famously dissed Philadelphia when the Phillies drafted him in 1997.  The crowd was united in its disdain for Drew, and I felt, well, especially Philadelphian as I booed him, too.

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Last night, I did something completely different: I attended a performance of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at the Arden Theatre.  It was well-acted and well-staged.  I was particularly taken with Rebecca Blumhagen and Peterson Townsend as Emily Webb and George Gibbs.  And Eric Hissom was delightful as the Stage Manager.

Probably the best part of the evening was Act II, which, of course, climaxes with the wedding of Emily and George.  The Arden staged Act II in Philadelphia’s historic Christ Church—right next door.  I love Christ Church’s old, rigid, high-backed pews, and I loved having some non-religious and non-touristy excuse to be in one of those pews for awhile.

I love Our Town and its reminder to pay attention and to live life fully.  But Act III, “Death,” sure left me in a mood—after what had been a long day of landlord, work, and commuting problems.  I suppose, though, that a day like that is a good day to be reminded about what’s important—and what’s not.

Written by Jimmy

June 18th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Art,Sports

Weekend Reading

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Here’s what captured my attention this week:

  • The New York Times Dining Section took a look at miracle fruit, a small berry from West Africa that causes the tongue—temporarily—to perceive foods as sweeter than they are. In New York, apparently, hipsters are attending miracle fruit parties, where lemons, Brussels sprouts, and cheap tequila suddenly become rapture-inducing. If those parties have made their way to Philly, I’m just not hip enough to know it, I guess.
  • At Modern Art Notes, Tyler Green is understandably baffled by all the obituaries and critical appraisals of Robert Rauschenberg that failed to mention he was gay.
  • I know that Texas Monthly is the best magazine currently being published anywhere. Believe me, coming from an Oklahoman (originally), that’s a high compliment. The current issue, which features the Top 50 BBQ Joints in the state, helped me pass the time on the trip from Santa Fe back to Philly. Yum, barbecue. Who’s going with me to try out, oh, 10 or 15 of these places?
  • Two very different ministers come together to officiate at a funeral, in a smart, thought-provoking piece from the Spring issue of UU World.
  • Spin offers an oral history of the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.”—beloved by two of my favorite groups, gay men and sports fan. Note how clueless the interviewees from the sports world are about the gay origins of the song. (Link via Towleroad)

What were you reading this week?

Written by Jimmy

May 31st, 2008 at 4:47 pm