holidays

It’s an NYC Weekend (for Father’s Day)

Father's Day 2011

Father’s Day at CitiField, 2011

No summer share this weekend. I’m here in NYC, hunkered down with a project that’s going to occupy most of my spare hours. But, on the upside, I’m also squeezing in some time with the fam. Mal and Peter are in townВ (yay!) and we’ll be having a celebratory Father’s Day brunch for our stepdad on Sunday. (That’s us, last year, at CitiField.) Happy Father’s Day, E–I love!

And here are some of my favorite links from the week:

India by boat! (I am so jealous of my fellow wanderluster/talented photog friend Tania)

A time-lapse video of Manhattan

Too cool: Researchers have discovered a lost city in HondurasВ (Speaking of ancient civilizations that have gone missing–I’m also in the middle of The Lost City of Z and highly recommend it!)

Picture Perfect Patmos

Dance photos from the Vanity Fair archives

How are you spending Father’s Day?

Serenade

 

serenade

As part of our Mother’s Day celebration, my mom, stepdad and I went to a City Ballet matinee. The all-Balanchine programВ of “Serenade,” “Firebird” and “Symphony in C” was great. It was the first time I’d seen the latter two, and I really enjoyed both–“Firebird” is a slightly campy, theatrical fairy tale that looks like a Chagall painting brought to life (which shouldn’t be surprising, since he designed the sets and costumes). And yesterday’s “Symphony in C” was so joyful and exuberant. The corps was tight and the soloists spot-on–plus theВ flashy new costumesВ were pretty stunning, too. But I was especially glad to see “Serenade” a second time.

Though my ballet history knowledge is, admittedly, limited, “Serenade” is one of my favorite pieces. I was blown away when I first saw Boston Ballet perform it in 2006. And yesterday I found City Ballet’s staging just as haunting and powerful. I love the ballet’s simplicity and restraint–there are no show-stopping solos, stylized character motifs or gasp-inducing penches and turn sequences. Even the costumes and lighting are understated–just whispy periwinkle gowns and soft blue lighting.В “Serenade” was Balanchine’s first ballet created in America; it was born from a lesson in stage technique and students, not professional dancers, initially performed it.В I can see that lineage in the choreography. It’s gorgeous, and the interplay between dancers is subtly intricate. But the sequences aren’t terribly complex–“Serenade” is ballet in a very pure form. As an audience member, I find it easy to get lost in the dancing and really appreciate the dancers’ clean lines and grace when they’re laid out so bare.

I also have an affinity for “Serenade” on a personal level: It’s the ballet that made me want to dance again. When I first saw it, I hadn’t danced in a couple years. But I remember watching and realizing that I could easily break down the sequences in my head, which really made me miss ballet. It took me a few more years to return to dance, but even now, “Serenade” remains the ballet I wish I could perform if I were a dancer.

So I was glad I could see the piece with my parents, especially my mom. She was the one who first instilled the love of ballet in me. She signed me up for classes and took me to performances when I was a kid. And she encouraged me to restart and continue dancing, no matter how old I got.

(P.S. I made my parents–both born and bred New Yorkers–pose for a touristy picture in front of the Met. They were kind of like, “Why are you making us do this?” but I think the photo is cute!)

meme and e at the met

(“Serenade” photo via New York City Ballet)

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

heather and meme

This photo makes me laugh–I am so obviously my mother’s daughter.

This is the first time in three weeks that I’m not going out of town. But there’s a good reason for that. I’m sticking around NYC to spend time with someone special: my mom.

I’ve mentioned before how awesome she is. My mom is the most selfless, wise, supportive and wonderful person I know. I’m always awed at her strength, generosity and energy (she has way more than I do!). Plus, she had some great adventures when she was younger–like taking a cross-country Greyhound road trip–is always out and about going to new restaurants and traveling today. She’s such an inspiration and I’m so lucky to have her!

To celebrate, we’re having a family brunch here and then seeing a City BalletВ matinee. (On the program: “Serenade,” “Firebird” and “Symphony in C.”)

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom–love you!! вќ¤

Happy Mother’s Day

Meme, San Francisco

My mom is an amazing person and this is my very favorite photo of her.В It was shot at the end of a cross-country trip she took with her sister and cousin during the summer of 1973. They spent three months riding Greyhound from NYC to San Francisco and stopping everywhere from Nashville to Yosemite along the way. I don’t know if I could handle that many hours on buses (only one of many reasons my mom is more awesome than I am), but I’m still hoping to take my own coast-to-coast road trip one day!

Happy Mother’s Day, mom! Love you! вќ¤

Happy Easter

Easter Eggs

How gorgeous are these Easter eggs? Peter’s mother actually hand-painted each one. Every year, she selects a color and decorates dozens of wooden eggs to give to friends and family–who eagerly await seeing the new designs.

Wooden egg decorating

A couple weeks ago, I saw her work station and this year’s eggs in various stages of completion.

Easter eggs

Such a wonderful tradition. Happy Easter!