Tag Archives: UES

Remember the time North Korea launched that missile?

It’s been a long day, and I’m tired, so I’ll try to keep this short.

I was meeting a friend at an upscale social club – the kind filled with leather chairs and shelves of old books, not the kind with pulsing music – oohing and aahing at relics from a different age – when I glanced down at Twitter and saw an update from Reuters: North Korea had launched a missile. As my friend walked up to me, I wondered, should I say something? There wasn’t much either of us could do, given the situation. And maybe a stately townhouse on NYC’s Upper East Side wasn’t the worst place in the world to sit out the last few hours before nuclear armageddon. Not that I have an overactive imagination, or anything.

So I put my phone away and we wandered around the club and she showed me some of the artifacts, including things like narwhal tusks and king penguins; old presidents’ hunting trophies and double elephant tusks. Macabre signals of an imperialist age, mementos of the geographic and naturalistic explorations of the club’s members over the decades.

But not just mementos: also memento mori. Reminders of our ever-present mortality.

A strange juxtaposition of moments and impressions. We left, and as I glanced at my phone again to check for updates, I saw that North Korea’s missile had not launched successfully. Nor, from what I can tell via googling, was it nuclear. Small comforts.

Memento mori.

THEATER REVIEW: Dublin by Lamplight at 59E59

Jered McLenigan, Megan Bellwoar and Sarah van Auken in "Dublin by Lamplight"In theater, each night of an individual production’s run is different. When two different companies – seperated by both miles and years – perform a play, the separate interpretations magnify both flaws and strengths in their texts – and the differences in their productions become tools for gaining new insight into the multi-faceted fragility of this collaborative art form.

Having first seen Dublin By Lamplight when The Corn Exchange brought it to the Traverse Theater during the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, my second viewing was at the hands of Inis Nua, a Philadelphia-based company taking part in 1st Irish 2011 – a festival of Irish Theatre that spans New York City.

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