Monday/Tuesday – Day 144/145
Posted on 23rd December 2012
Something I completely forgot about Sunday night that was rather significant was the trip to Marie’s Crisis Bar, a somewhat infamous gay hotspot in the center of the East Village. There Mum and I joined in the loud singing to broadway tunes played by the charismatic pianist, accompanied by a few excellent voices.
Monday was another lazy day, with the morning spent in a cafe with the family as we are known to do on holidays. Following that, it was back home to pack my bag and set off back to Philly in order to clean out my room in preparation for moving out. At 1PM I grabbed by backpack and set off to Penn Station where I caught the Bolt bus back to Philly.
On arriving back in Philly at 4PM I raced around campus, madly trying to get all I needed done before 5PM when things would close. First stop was to the Internation Student Services center where I picked up a new copy of the documentation I would need to obtain a new F1 student visa for the upcoming six months. Then it was off to the engineering buildings to try and meet with Kostas, my professor for algorithms, to discuss taking a job as a teaching assistant in the coming semester despite less than stellar marks on the final exam. He reassured me and also invited me to a end of semester party for some in the computer science faculty which I graciously declined.
After that it was a race back to my room in Rodin to start packing up my stuff. In the process I also changed into my Glee uniform to prepare for the gig that evening, awarding Dr Amy Gutmann a prize on behalf of the city. The gig was fine but took a little longer than expected so when I returned I was in somewhat of a rush. Unfortunately I allowed myself to be caught up for a longer than needed dinner at Hillel followed by a longer than needed chat with Aviva who, was storing some of my stuff over the break. After I made it back to my room for the last time where I spent the next hour in an insane dash to pack everything up before the last bus back to NYC left. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite successful and had to leave a large back under Anil’s care in the room.
When I got back it was unfortunately time to say bye to Dad who was going to North Carolina for work. But before that I was called upon as usual to fix up a piece of technology, in this case his phone that was years behind in software updates.
Tuesday morning was spent at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a wonderful gallery. Though our time there was limited, Mum and I managed to see a number of interesting exhibits including a great Andy Warhol one and another on early photographic manipulation techniques that were employed in the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Following that we stopped off for lunch, this time at Pret A Manger, which wasn’t too bad. Then we received a call that I was most excited for. Family friends of our, who are close friends with a Mr Andreas Scholl, phoned us to let us know they were in a nearby cafe and that we should come to meet him and his wife.
Andreas Scholl is an opera superstar. A countertenor (the highest male voice) with a purity of tone and a richness of expression unmatched in the world. I had the pleasure of taking a public masterclass directed by him the previous year at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music where I study voice at home, however an opportunity to converse one on one with him I had never expected would come to pass. Eating croissants with him and his fiance, and discussing music, food and the good life, was probably one of the recent highlights of my entire trip and is certainly something that I’ll remember for years to come.
After that we returned home to pack my bags for tomorrows trip to Montreal, where I was to apply for the visa and packing a bag to leave behind at my cousins’ place in NYC so as to eliminate my need to schlep it across continental America.
We were late to dinner with my little cousins but how adorable they were! Tzippy and Sophie were so excited to see me again and to be able to play with me again. Dinner was at the 2nd Avenue Deli; Raph’s NYC favorite. Amongst the things he ordered was Gribines: chicken skin fried in schmaltz (rendered chicken/goose fat). Not something that hugely appeals to me, but Raph (my brother) is the king of fried food.
After that it was back to the apartment to finish packing up my stuff and preparing for the trip!