from Tuesday, June26th of the year2007.
Wish You Were Here gets better every time I hear it. The way it’s situated in the program is a little scary; it’s right after the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, which is (a) a warhorse, filled with precise little orchestrational details and (b) music that the players play all the time. To follow that up with something brand new must be awkward; as I said before, though, to have four consecutive performances of something is a rarity for new orchestral music, so, as the saying goes, I should be so lucky.
I am staying in a hotel in Boston, which feels really funny; I normally stay with friends here, and I went to high school just an hour south, in Providence, so I know the town pretty well. I am enjoying being a total tourist, though. The axis of Hotel-Symphony Hall is pretty much entirely different than the Symphony Hall-Brookline axis to which I am accustomed; I wonder how people who stay in hotels in New York ever really get a taste for the city. I recently met with French visitors for breakfast in their hotel on 57th street and Broadway and thought to myself, “These people are going to have the worst worst worst culinary time, staying in this neighborhood.” I’m sure they figured it out, but hotels do tend to steer you, just in terms of where the doors spit you out, towards pretty grim options. Generally, in smaller cities, an old-fashioned Wander can point you towards the funkier neighborhoods with the place with the genius pot pie, or the particularly chatty chicken gizzard monger, but in New York-sized places, you really need to know where to go.
Here, when you walk out of the door, you are immediately confronted with Copley Square on the right, and then the giant Copley/Prudential mall. I wonder how many guests here, when faced with the prospect of actually eating a $4 bag of Cracker Jack from the Minibar, scurry across the way into the food court. Would it be really bad if I had a glass of wine and a fried clam at the Legal Seafood in that mall?
I am going to be going to Chicago in November for this piece and will presumably be put up in a hotel at that time. I’m looking forward to a good wander around, although I’m hoping that some kind citizens will also take pity on me and email me about the desired gizzards.