Saturday, 15 February 2014

Day 37: New York! Part 1

What went well? 
  1. My bus had wifi, so I managed to plan my trip on the bus. I seriously didn't know where I was going until I got there.
  2. Had a productive bus ride too. I've recently become very interested in the idea of deliberate practice, which is a key ingredient for mastery, so I came up with a checklist for deliberate singing practice (targeting my key vocal/musical issues). I'll print it out and have it out whenever I practice to make sure I'm on track.

  3. Really enjoyed mindfully appreciating the exhibits at the Rubin Museum of Art. It's a museum especially dedicated to artwork from the Himalyan region, including Tibet, India, Mongolia, etc., especially Buddhist artwork. Also, I had a great tour guide who was very comprehensive and the information about some of the figures and some tips on reading Buddhist art really helped with understanding the rest of the exhibit.
  4. Photographic reproduction of part of a Lukhang Temple mural.
    Skull-shaped bone prayer beads. I had no idea prayer beads came in such diverse shapes.

  5. I was about to book an Uber car for 2.25x the usual price because of peak demand in the blizzard, to get to the Met Opera, since I was cutting it fine (It was already 7.30pm; the show started at 8pm). But just as I was about to agree to pay a ridiculous amount of money for transport, a taxi pulled up!! So it was $10 (including generous tip) rather than like, $30-$40.
  6. Got a reply for a thank you note I sent (in which I said, "no reply required" - make life easier for busy people) to one of the faculty fellows who organised the Working Moms dinner, and she offered to chat another time to answer any other questions I have. Very kind and generous... :)
  7. Saw Renée Fleming star in Rusalka at the Metropolitan Opera. She was phenomenal. Every note was just so expressive, full of pain and longing. Here are some photos from the Opera House:

What did I learn? 

  • How to navigate the subway system. Also, the importance of asking. One question avoided me being transported to the opposite side of town.
  • Always leave MUCH earlier than you think you need to leave for an event, especially if it's snowing.
  • Some basics about reading Buddhist Art. Also, that "art" in the usual Western sense of "aesthetics" was a relatively recent idea for Buddhists, who traditionally used art for very practical, didactic purposes. Since not everyone could read, art was a very important storytelling device.

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