New York, New York
January, 2005, LOS ANGELES - What other city would name itself after the state that it is in so that its name is repeated twice? New York, New York is the only city I know. Only a brash, self-assertive metropolis like New York City has such chutzpah. But, that repetition can also become the chill-induced shiver that comes from chattering teeth trying to say New York in bitter cold. I went to New York, New York in the middle of a deep freeze to catch up on a few plays. A huge blizzard had been predicted but I went anyway. New York in a winter snowstorm was both beautiful and nasty.
Looking out the hotel window and watching the sky fill up with dancing soft flakes that look like tiny bits of torn-up tissue paper was nature's poetry. Watching Central Park transform itself into a frosted winter wonderland was magical. The nasty part was when I went outside and tried to get to Central Park. The frozen sidewalks became treacherous ice sheets. The slushy street crossings turned people into clumsy ballet dancers attempting great leaps that rarely reached their mark. And, I am a southern Californian. We are like exotic hothouse plants suddenly plunged into frigid winter air. We don't take well to it. I froze.
The theaters of New York, however, fill my body with joy and warm my soul. The hottest drama I saw was one I had once seen as a teenager on the fabled television series, Playhouse 90 - "Twelve Angry Men" by Reginald Rose. This courtroom drama moved me decades ago on television and it was even more powerful on stage. Philip Bosco was a standout in a large cast of fine actors. Its run has been extended, so if you should be in New York, New York, do try to catch it. You're in for a great evening of drama.
Stephen Sondheim's "Pacific Overtures" is one of my favorite musicals and it was enjoying a revival on Broadway. What made this current production special for me was that I had actor friends performing in it plus the fact that I had performed in a concert reading of it in Dayton, Ohio. I knew the play well. The role I played, the Reciter, was being played by the gifted actor, B.D. Wong. Years before he won a Tony Award for his stunning turn on Broadway in "M. Butterfly," he was cast as my son in an episode of the television series, "Black's Magic." And now, here was my "son" on Broadway reciting the words I had spoken in Dayton, Ohio, a few years back. As I watched his engaging performance, I glowed with paternal pride. Friends from East West Players in Los Angeles, Sab Shimono and Michael Lee, were brilliant in principal roles. Good friend, Alvin Ing, was sheer delight as the murderous mother of the Shogun who poisons him with her chrysanthemum tea. Alan Muraoka, who was with me in the Dayton production, was his wonderful self as a councilor and a merchant. I would love to recommend this production of "Pacific Overtures" to you but, alas, I saw it near the end of its run and it is no longer playing. However, a captivating and more than a bit naughty puppet musical - of all things - titled "Avenue Q," is a big hit and should be around for a long time. I loved it.
A gripping drama from Britain's National Theater, "Democracy" by Michael Frayn, was another impressive play. It is about a spy in the inner circle of German Chancellor Willy Brandt's office before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Richard Thomas, who you might remember as "John Boy" from the television series, "The Waltons," was superb as the mole, as was Michael Cumpsty as his handler. There is rich fare on Broadway this year. My only disappointment was the over-hyped musical, "Wicked." Perhaps it was because we didn't see it with the original award-winning cast, but I thought it was hackneyed, mechanical, and an extravagant waste of talent, labor, and money.
The repetitive New York, New York also became a repeated reality for me this month because no sooner had I returned to Los Angeles but I was called back to New York for a quick meeting. Within a week, I was on a plane headed back to frozen New York City. On arrival, however, I learned that the trip was unnecessary. The meeting had to be cancelled. Rather than disappointment, this was for me another serendipitous turn of events - few more days to whoopee in New York, New York. Now the repeated New York, New York took on a happy, celebratory rhythm.
I decided to celebrate with a day at the newly redesigned Museum of Modern Art. I loved the old building and especially the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. I wondered what had been done to it. Might we have lost something we were fond of? A bit apprehensively, I entered the redesigned building. I was stunned. The new Museum was spectacular. The building had been transformed into an architectural sculpture. The building itself had now become the largest art piece at MOMA. Japanese architect, Yoshio Taniguchi, had taken space and shaped it as an elegant minimalist walk through sculpture.
The space flowed; it stretched horizontally, it eddied into intimate galleries, most dramatically, the space soared vertically. This is Manhattan; the most vertical urban statement in the world and the architecture captured that New York spirit of reaching for the sky. This verticality is most elegantly expressed in the central gallery, a shaft about four stories high and in it stands a single piece of sculpture, Broken Obelisk by Barnett Newman. The vertical space gives soaring context to the sculpture and the perpendicular inverted obelisk perched on a pyramid inhabits and elegantly compliments the gallery space. Space and the art in it becomes one. There is a comprehensive display of the many museums throughout Japan designed by Yoshio Taniguchi in the special exhibits gallery.
The unexpected and subsequently cancelled meeting in New York made this month a genuinely double New York, New York beginning of this year. It was a cold but wonderful beginning.
I returned home to Los Angeles, however, to learn that there was to be an ending as well. The long run of Star Trek on television was to come to a close. "Star Trek: Enterprise" had been cancelled. Immediately, I thought of how the actors on the show must be feeling now. I know the sadness and the feeling of disappointment they must be experiencing. I suffered those same emotions so long ago.
I remembered how we hoped against hope that we would be picked up. I remembered the anticipation and anxiety. I remembered the disappointment and hurt. Those actors on "Star Trek: Enterprise" were now going to be between engagements," "at leisure" - they were unemployed! Then I thought of the fans that had trekked along with us now for generations. Some had been with us from the very beginning in September of 1966, from the original series on through four spin-offs series. They, the fans, are the ones who really created the phenomenon of Star Trek. They are the real pillars of the series. I know how hurt they must be feeling. But I also know the history of Star Trek. Back in 1969, we thought we were done with Star Trek. The series, the journey, had ended - except for the reruns. Little did I know then. I think I've learned something from history since. As Spock once said, "There are always possibilities." As it turned out - there were.
It's amazing to think how, as times change, so do the quality of products.
But this also includes items that were once considered commonplace that are now seen as vintage or even luxury.
For those who were around at the time when an item was first introduced, it can be surprising to see how the availability of that item changes over time, and even frustrating when it becomes increasingly expensive.
Redditor zombiem00se asked:
"What was normal 20 or 30 years ago, but is considered a luxury now?"
"New furniture made out of real wood."
"It's legit why I started woodworking. Even my s**tty projects that I'm unhappy with are infinitely better than the junk in stores."
"I hate that everything is a subscription now. I miss being able to just straight up buy Microsoft Office. Now you need a subscription."
"There's a hidden way to buy a license, but it has very basic functionality and limited apps, so it's kinda useless."
"Even my printer needs a d**n subscription to use the ink that came with it (which I hadn't realized or I wouldn't have bought it)."
"The days of paying no more than 30% of your income in rent."
"I lived in poverty housing and this was how they determined our rent. It was 30% of mom's income, regardless of how much she was making."
"That was 20 years ago, not sure what starving kids do today."
"Not being expected to be reachable 24/7."
"Yes, f**k this. I hate being bothered about work when I'm off work. I used to have a boss that expected me to answer when I wasn't at work so he would b***h and moan about it. Then I became known as the one who never answers."
"Concert Ticket prices."
"Sure does seem like ticket prices went from $50 to $200 really f**king fast."
"Household products that didn't break within the first few years of use. My grandma had the same fridge from 1993 for a good while before deciding to switch to a newer, bigger option two years ago. Yes, it broke within those two years. My mom's wedding cookware is still going strong 25 years later, but whenever she needs new pans, they start flaking Teflon into the food within a few months."
"Retirement plan built-in to your job."
"Or just retiring in general, lol (laughing out loud)."
"Farmer's markets. You used to be able to go down and get fruit and vegetables cheaper than the grocery store. Now it seems like they charge three times more than stores do."
"Being able to get things repaired instead of buying new."
Right to Privacy
"Privacy used to be implicit. It was just there. You didn't have to think about it."
"Now it's explicit. You have to seek it out and take steps to ensure it remains in force."
The Good Ole Days
"Being left the f**k alone."
"Buying something and just like, owning it."
"Playing a video game without an internet connection."
"Not having to provide your email address for every single f**king thing you do."
"I still miss the days of just putting a game in, turning it on and you go right into playing it. The game alone was the sole focus and purpose of the console. The GameCube is the last system I remember playing that had this."
Bins of Photo Albums Under the Bed
"Photographs on actual photographic paper. I know it's still possible but oh so rare."
"Good quality fabric in clothing. I have clothes from the 90s (and 80s from my mother) that still hold up today. These days, I'm lucky if my shirt isn't saggy and misshapen within a year."
FriYay and TGIF
"Being able to go out every Friday after work and being able to afford it."
We're always moving forward and looking forward to future advancements, but sometimes, it's nice to look back on where we've been and what we miss about the old days. Sometimes, it may even be a little sad to think of what's not available anymore, but at least we got to experience it.
Dating can be pretty fun, but like anything else, there are going to be some bad or weird dates.
But sometimes the person we think we're really into will do something so repulsive, we know instantly that relationship is over.
Redditor th3dankmemer asked:
"Redditors, have you ever gotten the 'ick' from a potential partner or love interest that instantly killed your attraction to them?"
"If so, what happened?"
Uninterested in Them
"We were talking about our interests, and after I listened to him blab about his ''lawn-scaping business,' I went to talk about my interests. He interrupted me to say, 'Wow, you really have nothing interesting to say, do you?'"
"I went out with a guy who would not stop grilling me, and I couldn't get him to actually answer any questions about himself."
"I finally just said, 'Look, it's cool that you're so interested in getting to know me, but I'd like to hear about you too. What do you do in your free time?'"
"He sat there and stared for a bit then started listing off TV shows, asking if I'd seen them."
"I had not."
"Finally, he got to 'The Wire,' which I'd seen a few episodes of, and because that was the only one I had any experience with, apparently that meant I needed a 20-minute monologue about what the show was about. I literally checked the clock when he started, and it was a full 20 minutes."
"When he finally petered out, we just sat in silence for a second before he stood up, shook my hand, and left without another word."
No Personal Space
"He grabbed me by the face on the first date, 'stroked' under my eyes, and said, 'You need to take better care of yourself.'"
"Sir, I’m a divorced 37-year-old woman with kids, and those under-eye circles were passed down from my grandmother. They’re family heirlooms."
"And get your hands off my face. We just met, and this is not a Nicholas Sparks movie."
"Literally every single problem she had was someone else’s fault. Even when there was proof it was her fault, she would argue nonstop that it was someone else’s."
"She got in a car wreck and called insurance over and over again to tell them that it was the other person’s fault. They checked the computer in her car because it saved the speed she was going right before the wreck. It told them everything they needed to know, and she STILL denied it."
"He bullied someone in front of me. Instant disgust."
Absolute Nose Blindness
"I had a guy once whose car smelled so bad, I had to try not to throw up while sticking my head out the window."
"He couldn't smell it. I thought I was going to die."
"It turns out he forgot about a double cheeseburger in the back of his car for over two weeks in the hot sun."
"I don't know what bothered me more. The smell or the fact that it didn't bother him."
Mom the Third Wheel
"I found out the reason he rented the house next door to his parents was so his mom would make his meals, wash his clothes, etc. He had the audacity to say, 'Let me call my mom,' when I mentioned I was a little hungry."
"She was a big enabler, and she was part of the reason I ended the relationship. I don’t need to be coached on 'how to please her baby boy.'"
The Two-Faced Partner
"She was 'best friends' with another girl who she constantly spoke s**t about when said friend wasn't around."
"Ooh, I had an ex who did that."
"She got SUPER MAD at her 'best friend' for wanting to go out for sushi a week before her birthday when she wanted sushi! It was totally on purpose just to steal her idea of getting sushi. Because you obviously couldn't go out and get sushi two weekends in a row."
"A couple of weeks later, they were best friends again. A couple of weeks after that, I got ghosted and realized I was better off."
"In college, I was seeing a girl who lived in a student residence with me but on another floor. She would always talk about how another guy, Tom, on her floor was obsessed with her and would show me texts between them. She said she only talked to him because he’s harmless and that they’re friends. I never met him."
"After a week, her ex-friend from high school pulled me aside and told me not to trust her. She said that the girl I was seeing is a notorious liar and that Tom doesn’t exist. That she added her own number in her phone as 'Tom,' would text herself, and then delete the sent messages."
"The only reason her ex-friend knew is that she saw the text message exchange happen in the reflection of a mirror when they were in the same room."
"I was close with the front desk and asked if they could look up the names from that floor. They said yes, and told me that there was no guy named Tom on her floor. I noped out of that real quick."
"My brief girlfriend bought me some hair care products before she came over because it was right by her house. In return, I said I would go grocery shopping and make her a nice dinner. I thought this to be an even exchange."
"That night I found her looking through my trash for the receipt for the groceries to make sure that the 30 dollars she spent on me was equal to the amount I spent on her dinner."
"Just to clarity, I saw her parents do this to her. It was her upbringing. She did this in every aspect of her life which gave me the ick but she did not have very good role models."
"I dated a guy who seemed chill but kept talking about social media and how people and his exes were scheming against him."
"I believed him at first until it got to a point where he thought things like a photo someone put up was an indicator that they were ‘getting him back’ when these people were literally just doing normal things and posting normal stuff."
"I think he was schizophrenic, but it was really unsettling. Months later, he rang me out of the blue to ask me about a link between his ex, myself, and a friend. The link was butterflies, and because of this link, he thought we were conspiring against him."
"He kept making assumptions about me on the first date, like 'I suppose someone like you...' or, 'A girl like you wouldn't understand...'"
"I am literally right here, ask me. Don't tell me what my life is or is like."
"Anyway, eventually I got up and left. They messaged me and asked what my problem was, so I wrote back something to the effect of, 'A boy like you wouldn't understand even if I told you.'"
"I realized he was faking seizures our entire relationship to get out of helping me do chores or cook meals."
"We dated for less than a year. I found out from his friends and family he never had a seizure in front of them."
"I came home one night after working a double, and I asked him to please try to make dinner."
"The next night, I found him asleep and woke him up to let him know I was home and where was dinner?"
"He said he had a seizure. This caused an argument where he admitted he faked it. He said his seizures were caused by flashing lights."
"I took him to countless doctors and no one could replicate what I saw all the time. After he admitted it, it finally clicked. He’d been faking it the whole time."
Weirder and Weirder
"I went on a date with a guy I met at a party. He made me prove that I liked 'Lord of the Rings' by answering who said what when he quoted someone."
"He pulled out a notebook of really poorly drawn anime characters and asked me if he could draw me."
"He was a lot shorter than me and asked if it bothered me. I said no, then he said, 'Good, I like Amazonian goddesses.'"
"He kept trying to put his jewelry onto me despite my protests. He asked what I wanted to order for food, and then ignored me and ordered me something else and got frustrated I didn't eat it all."
"He referenced being arrested, made me guess what for, and when I refused to guess for not knowing him well enough, he said GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm)."
"He was a trainee doctor and asked if I'd ever broken any bones. When I replied yes, he said that he was going to look up my X-rays."
"And the icing on the cake... When I wanted to leave, he got my knee-high boots, slipped them onto my feet, zipped them up, and said, 'You should always be treated like a goddess... My Morticia Addams.'"
"ALL ONE DATE."
Saving Marriages One Story at a Time
"This thread is saving my marriage."
"My parents love to say that after going out in public, there’s no one else they’d rather go home with."
We've all met some unusual people in our lives, but it's especially strange when we're dating them and make unexpected discoveries about them.
At least a relationship doesn't have to last forever unless it's meant to.
This November, Puerto Ricans can vote on one of three options–including becoming the 51st state in the U.S.
The U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Puerto Rico Status Act last December.
The bill would grant the island commonwealth either U.S. statehood, independence, or independence while retaining some U.S. affiliations.
"Americans, how do you feel about Puerto Rico possibly becoming the 51st state?"
People weighed in with their thoughts.
From A Resident's Perspective
"I'm Puerto Rican and I can tell you that support for statehood and the commonwealth is almost evenly split. Practically nobody supports independence."
"This is not a good deal for most Puerto Ricans. They also don't get the same benefits that citizens in states are entitled to despite paying federal payroll taxes for some of these benefits, like Social Security and Medicaid."
"The territory has a median household income of $21,000, so over half of households would not be required to file federal taxes anyway. Of those that would be required to file, the vast majority will be paying less than 15% of income, less with deductions. This is a pretty awful tradeoff for the (again, largely poor) residents to be ineligible for SSI and the territory receiving only a fraction of the Medicaid funding that it would as a state."
"If Puerto Rico becomes a state, it will get more congressmen and thus more influence to negotiate more subsidies from the federal government, as well as repeal some of the extractive policies the US imposes on Puerto Rico. These benefits will likely outweigh the increase in taxes."
Contrary To Popular Belief
"It’s so funny because I see mainland Puerto Ricans who are like 'independence is the only thing we want' and it’s like, you aren’t living there, why are you choosing for your people. I’m not Puerto Rican but I see this and get confused, especially because I see people in PR who don’t want independence."
How The Government Might Handle Things
"The way a Puerto Rican friend in PR has explained it to me: it’s not so much that people don’t want independence, it’s that they know their government won’t handle it well and they’ll crumble the second they get it. Obviously that’s just one Puerto Rican and he doesn’t speak for all. I just hope that they are the ones who get to choose in the end and the result is one that ends up working for everyone."
"Considering the political class we would inherit, the terrible geography, being in the direct path of so many hurricanes, losing access to a $26t economy and billions in annual stimulus, I’d say it’s a very risky bet."
"And our closest analogs are Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti. DR is fine, but a clear downgrade in prosperity. And Cuba/Haiti are collapsing. Puerto Ricans can see this which is why only 5% of the state legislature is pro-independence."
"I know many Puerto Ricans in Virginia or in metro Orlando making six figures and buying two-story houses. By all accounts Puerto Ricans who move to the mainland do incredibly well."
"So why would you give that access away when the alternative is Cuba or Haiti (at worst) or DR at best (which is stable, but still far poorer than Puerto Rico). The next time Hurricane Maria hits, who is going to cut us a $15 billion check? Independence is simply impractical."
People were talking numbers.
Making It Count
"My only objection is that 50 is a nice round number. Merge the Dakotas and I'm in."
The Perfect Number
"All I ask is that we find two other states to add as well. Make it 53."
"Truly a nation indivisible."
Keeping It 50
"We should stick with 50 states. And since Puerto Rico has more people than several states, we should make it a state and combine the 2 Dakota's into one state."
Some people were indifferent.
Supporting Their Decision
"As far as I can tell PR citizens are still split inside their nation about joining the union. I kinda feel like they should be on the same page first. That said, I would support them if it was a question of my support."
A Strange Situation
"Anyone born in Puerto Rico after 1952 is an American citizen. They are already technically in the union but, due to slightly more complicated reasons do not have equal representation in Congress. They aren’t a protectorate and are technically classified as a territory of the US. It’s a very strange situation to me"
"I have no strong feelings one way or the other."
Two hundred and thirty-three members of the US House of Representatives voted for statehood while 191 were opposed.
The bill providing Puerto Ricans a binding referendum awaits passage in the Senate–where at least 60 "yes" votes are required from the 100-member chamber.
A similar referendum procedure occurred in the 1950s when Hawaiians and Alaskans voted for or against U.S. statehood.
People Debate Mandatory Retirement At 75 For Congress And The Supreme Court
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away in the fall of 2020, the United States panicked.
Namely, democrats and liberals were terrified by the prospect of another conservative judge on the United States Supreme Court, which already had a two-seat majority.
Then of course, there was the ongoing debate as to whether or not then-sitting president Donald Trump was entitled to pick another Supreme Court judge, as the 2020 presidential election was only weeks away.
Barack Obama was famously banned from appointing Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court owing to the fact that it was an election year, even though President Obama still had eight months left in his presidency.
Of course, RBG's death at age 87 also brought to the forefront an ongoing debate about whether there should be age limits for Supreme Court Justices.
"Would you support a mandatory retirement age of 75 for US House, US Senate & US Supreme Court Justices and if not why?"
If There Are Minimums, There Should Be Maximums
"We have age minimums."
"We need maximum age limits these people are making decisions for a future they won't be involved in."- mattjf22
Age Doesn't Always Equal Wisdom...
"I am 82 years old."
"Personally, I feel that anyone my age who still gets off on power needs to be kept away from normal people."
"But to the point of this post, the world has been run by old people since the beginning of our species, and just look at the place!"
"Yes, if you were intelligent to begin with your wisdom and common sense will increase with age, but so will your cynicism."
"If you were a young jacka**, you will become an old jacka** — and a hide-bound prejudiced old jackass at that."
"Give them a nice pension at 70, with the condition that if they mess with politics or government again they lose the pension."- SemichiSam
Would Have Greatly Affected The Last Two Elections
"70 and as for president no one can run over 65."
"FFS get with the program folks just retire."- Upstairs-Bid6513
Age Limits Are Only The Beginning
"Age requirement of 65, 2 term limit, Congress people serve 4 year instead of 2 year terms, and no campaigning more than 60 days before the election."- Deedoodleday
Term Limits First
"I feel like if we were to attach an age to it, it should be the age of retirement, but I feel like it would be more important to have term limits."
"Limits would fix almost all the same issues and address more, without arbitrarily deciding someone is too old to serve the state."- Askmyrkr
"Term limit is the way to go."- bob2235
Not Where Our Concerns Should Be...
"No, the problem isn't age, it's our election system."
"Politicians get old in office because it's so f*cking hard to vote them out!"
"End legal bribery, end FPTP, and we'll see a much healthier turnover in our political processes."- FountainsOfFluids
What Matters Is Their Qualifications And Abilities
"I'll be the contrarian."
"If you're good, you're good, regardless of age."
"I'll take a 75-year-old who is smarter, savvier, and better representative of my values than a 35-year-old."
"If you don't like them because they're senile, don't vote for them, that's all."
"Honestly, I feel the same about lower-age limits that aren't just the age of majority."- walkerintheworld
75 Is still Too Old...
"I would go even younger at 70."
"Sure that may mean we would lose Bernie, we would also be ditching McConnell, Pelosi, and the other fossils in office who refuse to address the problems we face."- Daryno90
"Would rather see mandatory voting like Australia."- szthesquid
Wouldn't Change Anything
"Making politicians retire at some arbitrary age would not address the underlying problems our system has."- giope_1995
"What problem are you trying to solve by doing this?"
"Apparently, people want to be represented by ancient dinosaurs."- SideShow117
Defeats The Point Of Democracy
"No, absolutely not."
"Nor should there be a minimum age (apart from 18)."
"The point of a representative democracy is that the people vote for whom they want."
"Putting restrictions on who can run serves no purpose other than invalidating the votes of people you disagree with."
"It's not up to you or me to decide who is 'valid' as a candidate."
"That's the entire point of democracy."
"And to those of you that are convinced that if all the old people were just gone, then everyone would agree with you, you're ironically the exact kind of uninformed voter that you claim to be trying to prevent."- scottevil110
"No, because if there was a 76-year-old candidate I liked I would want the freedom to vote for them."
"Supporting things like this is so short-sighted."- tedesco455
In the heat of the moment, it's easy to make rash decisions about government and democracy.
Frustrating though it may be, it's important to remember progress is a slow, steady stream and doesn't come easily.
Also worth remembering, there are indeed two sides to most arguments, and far more can be resolved in a discussion than in an attack.