On Friday evening we went to the ballet
at the beautiful David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.
It was a beautiful performance of 3 works from the Balanchine Black and White Series with two intermissions. And as is my wont to do during intermissions in the theater, rather than get up and go get a drink or stand in the usually very lengthy line in the ladies' room, I stay in my seat and intently people watch.
As I sat there studying the audience with close scrutiny a couple of things occurred to me. One was that they had no idea, or cared, that I was staring with such sharp attention.
The other more revealing observation was that these were the real New Yorkers. The audiences who attend the ballet, exclusive of the tourist packed Nutcracker during Christmas, and for the most part the theater; again exclusive of all the Disney mega musicals, are the inhabitants of this great and glorious city.
And the third, OK that's more than a couple, was how different they are than the common perception. By common I mean how people throughout the rest of the country and many parts of the world perceive New Yorkers to be from how they are portrayed in movies, books, media, etc.
i.e. It is the finance capital of the world so everybody's rich and obnoxious. Wrong, yes there are a handful of people like that but for the most part although pretty upper middle class there is nothing obnoxious here at all, they'll talk to anybody, about anything at any time any place. And it's just because they want to.
It is the fashion capital of the world, after Paris, so everyone is young, beautiful, sophisticated and decked out in designer duds. Wrong again, and here's where I have the most fun spying.
Demographics show that the majority of the population falls into the middle aged category, and by middle aged I don't mean 65, we won't live to be 130; I mean somewhere between 40 and 60. They're pretty normal looking, ranging from gorgeous to downright ugly but mostly somewhere in-between. Just like the rest of the world. And the fashion, well here they get really interesting and such fun to watch. They are, in a word, unique. They will wear whatever they want regardless of whether it is the latest style or whether it's this designer or that designer, if it's appropriate for this event or that event, mix and match quirky colors, an evening gown when everyone else is in jeans or vice versa, open toed sandals in the dead of Winter, boots with shorts in the Summer. Diamonds and pearls with jeans, winter hats have a life of their own. And they carry it off with a confidence and aplomb that somehow says "I don't care, I like it, it looks good!" Which brings me to sophistication. With an attitude like that, I would say they ooze it.
Is this a love letter? It didn't start out that way, but I guess it is.
Ooh and who's that beautiful, sophisticated, fashion plate?