I was recently in New York to give a poetry reading, thanks to a big fat writing prize I won. It was a pleasure and an honor, and I met some very wonderful people, but I admit one highlight of the trip was that I got to see The Book of Mormon (musical), and boy oh boy do I have a testimony!
I'm not going to post a review of it here, both because I might have lined up a gig that will pay me to do that (fingers crossed, at least--I'm trying to make that happen more and more, because as Chris Clarke points out, exposure kills writers), and because I think you should read Troy Williams's brilliant review.
For so many reasons, this was my best trip to NY ever. One of the main reasons I travel is to see people, and of course I like meeting up with my friends. But not everyone likes the same sort of touristy activities. I've also done a lot of traveling by myself and I admit to being someone who frankly enjoys it, even if many people don't. I can read a map pretty well, and I know how to amuse myself.
This trip was the perfect blend between doing stuff alone without worrying that it was boring someone else, and hanging out with people. Thanks to the magic that is Facebook, as soon as I posted "Holly is in Manhattan" as my status, I got notes and messages from people wanting to meet up. It was wonderful to hang out with friends I hadn't seen in years.
One thing I did that not everyone would want to do is walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. About a year ago I started researching a project that involves bridges, and now I love them. Growing up in Arizona, I figured I knew how bridges were built: you waited until the water dried up in the summer, and then you built whatever you wanted. But when I went to Europe at age 20 and saw bridges centuries old over rivers that never dried up, it really freaked me out. How did they do that without everyone drowning, I wondered? But I was too busy to bother to find out.
Now that I know I'm even more impressed by human ingenuity. I love bridges; I think they're among our most impressive engineering feats.
The Brooklyn Bridge is widely regarded as a masterpiece, and I have no problem understanding why. It was very innovative at the time; it does its job well; and it's very beautiful. The groined arches make it seem like a cathedral to transportation. I hardly took any photos while I was there--too busy looking at stuff to record it--but I had to photograph the bridge.