Beauty on Broadway

Fair spouse and I recently returned from a trip to New York City to enjoy our middle son performing at a Theater District cabaret. (We couldn’t get him to be quiet at home and now we have to pay a hundred bucks each for the privilege of listening to him, etc.)

We also had time to tour a little, and we were struck again by the superabundance of beauty that blesses that little corner of the world. Central Park—from its thick northern wildness to its meticulous southern cultivation. The High Line—abandoned railway track turned into a sweet green space literally above the urban fray. The Met and the Frick and MOMA and the rest of New York’s astounding homes for astounding art.

The beauty is everywhere. Look up and around! Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building (I’m still deciding about the Whitney)—fabulous edifices above fabulous stores offering fabulous clothes and jewelry and foods. Even the outwardly humdrum Garment District is beauty-full, where my life partner insists we go for her to procure, like a trader of old, fine fabrics unavailable in our benighted homeland.

We happened to visit New York this year at the end of Pride Month. And the climax of World Pride celebrations was held this year, yes, in New York City, on Times Square. Lucky us: our hotel was just off Times Square, selected to be close to where our son was to perform.

Well, there was beauty on display in Times Square, too. Pride has apparently become a generic “license to display,” whatever your sexual and gender affirmations, and there were beautiful bodies on display. Everywhere one looked, and everywhere one tried to look away, too.

That not being our scene, we took refuge in attending a couple of shows. And in one of them I saw beauty of an entirely different order, beauty that literally moved me to tears. I’m not kidding: I got weepy from about the fifth minute and I went through a pocketful of Kleenex over the next hour. What dissolved this Gibraltar of a man into a tiny, salty puddle?

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