I am in love with Manhattan. I was told a few days ago that anyone who lives in Manhattan for six months ill never leave. I'm not sure I believe it entirely but I can see how it would be true of some people. Everything you could ever want to do is here. There is Broadway, MOMA, Central Park, and plenty of yarn shops, not to mention some of the greatest universities in the world. Let me tell you about a few of the things I have taken advantage of.
First, I had the chance to visit Central Park a few weeks ago. There were a ton of people, and free performances. The most elaborate was a group of men who performed this incredible dance routine. People were relaxing, reading, and playing with their children. I didn't have time to explore the entire park because (of course) it's huge, but I wanted to be sure and see the Fountain of Bethesda. It is a statue of the Angel Bethesda who is supposed to come alive during the second coming and heal all the sick people in the world. That aside, I had seen it in the HBO production of Angels in America by Tony Kushner. It was much larger than I had imagined it would be, and the overall effect was almost intimidating.
Something else I've discovered in Manhattan is an incredible bar called Therapy. So far I've only been there once, but I intent to return often. It is located on 52nd street so it is easy access on the way home from work, and they have a great (read: cheap!) happy hour. Check out their website if you're curious: www.therapy-nyc.com.
Work has gone well so far. I have quite a bit to do, and I am kind of a catch all for anything that anyone needs done which leaves me very exhausted by Friday. Sometimes I rush to the mailboxes etc. store three times a day. Classes start in a week. I am trying to get ahead by reading the recommended (as opposed to required) texts prior to our first meeting. I don't think I will get through all of them. They are very difficult. I have to look up words every few pages it seems, but at least I'm expanding my vocabulary. I have significant motivation to work hard though because the department started something new last year for the MA students. The MA student with the best academic performance gets their second year fully funded. That's a lot of money we're talking about. I won't die if I don't get the funding, but I'm sure going to try.
In addition to getting ahead on the reading for class I also read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I recommed both of them. The first one would interest anyone with an affinity for race, class, gender studies, and the second would interest anyone who ever enjoyed The Addams Family. Seriously. It's weird.
I also bought a easy french reader because by the time I finish my MA I have to be able to read French, Spanich, Italian, Latin, or German, and I chose French. So needless to say I've been reading French at about a second grade level. The stories make me yawn, but I know it will pay off because someday I'll be able to tackle Proust in the original and not have to read it in translation.
That's all for now. I'll let you know how classes are once they start. I hope everyone had an awesome Labor Day!