PSA from the Department of Redundancy Department:
New York City is expensive.
Everyone warned us before we moved here. We knew. We know. We chose to move here anyway. It’s true – a box of Cheerios can run you about $7. Want milk with that? Whoa there, Rockefeller. If you drink the organic stuff, plan on about $6 for a half gallon. True story: I almost cried in the Food Emporium as I was gathering items to make a curried chicken salad and realized the total would be more than $40 and really . . . who spends over $40 on chicken salad? No one, I dropped the basket and left with the milk and Cheerios. It takes some adjusting to, but no one would live here if there weren’t so many incredible things to make up for the super high cost of living. And there are. Lots of them. It’s just a matter of keeping track of all of them.
A lot of people question the purpose of Twitter, but as a girl trying to stretch every dollar like a piece of ribbon candy (oh come on, you’ve seen that on Unwrapped, too), Twitter has become my best friend. I follow all sorts of New York “tweeters” (Tweeple? Twits? Twitterers?), to stay informed about what’s going on, where, and for how much. It’s how I found out about the free Paul McCartney concert this summer, the Frederic Fekkai shampoo swap this fall, and how I entered a contest (and WON!) for tickets to tonight’s Jazz at Lincoln Center fall gala. I have been dying to go to this venue not only for the music, but because I hear it is spectacularly beautiful; it’s right at Columbus Circle and the views of Central Park are supposed to be among the best in the city. I entered this contest not really thinking twice about it because I don’t normally win things, but I did, and am now the proud recipient of two tickets that start at $1500 a pop! Excited much??? I get to have my first Rose Center experience in black tie attire and see Wynton Marsalis play the songs of Frank Sinatra, followed by dinner and dancing. Could I have conjured up a better scenario, ever? I mean, maybe if I were seated next to Woody Allen and, I don’t know, Barack Obama, could this be any better . . . but now that I think about it, I don’t know where I’m sitting, so it could very well turn out to be a pretty nice evening.
Though I love jazz, the improvisational aspect of it can be difficult to enjoy unless you really appreciate the musicianship, and it takes a bit of studying to understand. Standards are a great way to ease into jazz as they’re familiar and melodic – this is how I got into jazz, and no one does American standards like Frank Sinatra. When he sings these songs, it’s like no one else’s versions even matter – like they were written for him. I love Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland and Dean Martin and Keely Smith and Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday, etc. etc. etc., but Sinatra sets the bar. Using his famous phrasing, he gives the impression that he gets these songs. Lots of people try to “make them their own” with a twist here and there, but who cares? Sinatra will always be the timeless classic – the Cary Grant, the Audrey Hepburn, the little black dress, the Chanel suit. I have so, so many favorites of his (Witchcraft, Come Fly With Me, I’ve Got a Crush on You – I could go on for hours), but one that I haven’t been able to get out of my head for the past few days is Night and Day:
Like the beat beat beat of the tom-tom
When the jungle shadows fall
Like the tick tick tock of the stately clock
As it stands against the wall
Like the drip drip drip of the raindrops
When the summer shower is through
So a voice within me keeps repeating, you you you
Night and day, you are the one
Only you beneath the moon or under the sun
Whether near to me or far,
It’s no matter darling where you are
I think of you
Day and night
Night and day
Why is it so?
That this longing for you follows wherever I go
In the roaring traffic’s boom
In the silence of my lonely room
I think of you
Night and day
Day and night
Under the hide of me
There’s oh such a hungry yearning burning inside of me
And this torment won’t be through
Until you let me spend my life making love to you
Day and night, night and day
We have Cole Porter to thank for the beautiful, sort of haunting lyrics, and Frank Sinatra for somehow actually making us believe that he was so vulnerable. I hope Mr. Marsalis has chosen this one to work with tonight, but I have a feeling I’m going to be ok with just about everything. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to recap tomorrow (with pictures of me in one of my fabulous 50s vintage dresses, too!) You can listen to the song here.