Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Saturday morning saw me leave home at 6am with a group of friends for a women only 10K race in Central Park. I enjoyed this more than I ever could have imagined. From the scrum of the start line, where 6,000 women waited to begin the race listening to someone sing The Star Spangled Banner; to the fabulousness of running round the entirety of the Park, cheered on by supporters with placards, as well as random dog-walkers; running past such New York landmarks as the Museum of Natural History and the Met; to the final stretch towards Tavern on the Green, where the race ended with bagels, Gatorade and ice lollies. It was truly inspiring, and the whole experience filled me with such extra energy that I managed to record my fastest average pace ever (although Paula Radcliffe need not worry for the moment).
Afterwards, seven sweaty women headed off for brunch at a nearby hotel (having changed into sundresses and squirted ourselves with lots of deodorant and mist spray in the loos); gorging on Eggs Benedict after an hour's run made it all doubly worthwhile.
Later that day (having finally showered at home) I was headed back into the City, this time with the Doctor and his brother and my sister-in-law. We were off to the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center to watch the American Ballet Theater's production of Onegin. As we ascended the subway escalator straight into Lincoln Center it was like entering another world; one of culture, wealth and privilege in contrast to the grimy subterranean world of the subway. The Met building was gorgeously opulent - all red velvet carpets and people drinking champagne in glamorous gowns; in the interval you could stand on a balcony overlooking the Lincoln Center courtyard with its beautiful fountain, or, for the real ballet fanatics, buy used ballet shoes from the Met shop. (I wasn't tempted, but did treat myself to a glass of cava just to feel part of the whole scene). The ballet itself was excellent; I'm not an expert on ballet by any means but the set, costumes and dancing were all incredible and, thanks to watching Ralph Fiennes in the film version some years ago, I actually knew the story of Onegin, which helps.
As if this wasn't enough to feast on, I was back in the city last night for a work-related reception at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Here was a chance to view the great and good of the creative industry in their most glamorous finery, knocking back cocktails and appetisers in the amazing setting of MoMA's bright white atrium.
Ah well. Back to the world of piano practice and grocery shopping for the next few days. But meanwhile I'm plotting something for The Doctor's 40th which will involve Manhattan again - and this time just for the two of us. The last time we stayed in the City as a couple was in 1995 at the YMCA; we ate at a greasy diner off Times Square. Hopefully this time will be just slightly more glamorous.