Day two was by far our busiest itinerary. On the schedule was a hop-on/hop-off bus, a meeting with Rev Dr Levi Bautista, tickets to Jimmy Fallon, and tickets to Hadestown. All other days only had one or two things planned. This one cut it close a few times. If one thing got off, it could throw the whole day. We had some contingency plans up our sleeve but all ended up well and we squeezed it all in.
The hop-on/hop-off bus gave us a history of the different sections of Manhattan. While the main reason for taking this tour was to see as much of Manhattan as quickly as possible, the tour also told the story of people moving to different spots in the city and creating community there. SoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy, the garment district, the theater district, etc.. all had stories of a movement of people or a gathering of people that shaped and formed the area.
After lunch we had an audience with the Assistant General Secretary for United Nations and International Affairs. Rev. Dr Bautista is a United Methodist clergy person appointed to this role on behalf of the General Board of Church and Society and The United Methodist Church.
The first thing I noticed about his office was the stunning view. He looked directly over the UN building. But the second thing I noticed made my heart soar. It was the sign "Be Kind" - "For Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Great Battle." So much truth in that.
Rev. Dr. Bautista talked to us about global issues. He talked about global migration shifts, vaccine equity, nursing education and shortages, racial reconciliation, and a host of different movements and shifts that have happened while he has served 20 years in his role.
The next stop was to be in the audience for The Tonight Show. Here are a few observations:
- It was harder to get into see Jimmy Fallon with a ticket than it is to get into the airport with a ticket. Our tickets, vaccination cards, and photo id were show at least three times. We had to go through a metal detectors and large bags were not allow. Yet no one complained. No one said it was unfair. People will go through a host of obstacles for something that brings them joy.
- The set was soooo much smaller than I envisioned. That blue curtain is really not that tall or wide.
- Being a part of the audience at The Tonight Show isn't about seeing a show, it's about being part of the show. One of the things that makes the energy of the show work is the live audience.
We ended the taping and walked briskly to the Walter Kerr theater. Where this time, the show was for us to experience. This show has so much deep content that I can't really do it justice so please please please go see it if musicals are even remotely into musical theater.
The god Hermes is the guide and narrator. Hermes is known to be the messenger of the gods and is the god of movement. He aids people as they transition to the underworld. In this story he introduces Orpheus and Eurydice and we see them fall in love, become separated, and face a challenge in order to be together.
Here are just a few of the marvelous quotes from the show:
“To the world we dream about; and the world we live in now”
"Cuz here's the thing, to know how it ends and still begin to sing, as if it might turn out this time. I learned that from a friend of mine"
"See, Orpheus was a poor boy But he had a gift to give: He could make you see how the world could be, In spite of the way that it is."
“You got a lonesome road to walk And it ain't along the railroad tracks It ain't along the blacktop tar you walked a hundred times before I'll tell you where the real road lies Between your ears, behind your eyes That is the path to paradise And likewise the road to ruin”
Every part of our second day was about movement. Moving to one place, Moving through security. Movement of nations. Movement of our minds. Movement of our souls. We saw it all repeated in subsequent days. And it reminded us that we are still on a journey. We might not know where we are going but we know that the wind is taking us somewhere new and different. And although we could easily label the unknown as bad or anxious or worthy of worry, those thoughts are the road to ruin. Labeling this movement of change as the path to paradise sets our mind on Jesus so that any way the wind blows, we are ready to move and to create something that truly does set us free.
Until Everyone Hears,
P.S. - In case you missed the summary of day one of our trip, you can read about it here.
P.P.S. - Acts 17:28 (New International Version)