— Feathers and Wax

A girl in the city

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New York is my home away from home. It has been that since I was about 12 and my father moved there. He and my stepmother lived in Washington Heights for more than a decade. I’d visit in the summertime, loving how the subway could take me wherever I wanted to go, loving to spend full days wandering around the Metropolitan Museum of Art, loving the views of the Hudson River from my bedroom window and loving the cold Snickers bars from the bodega down the street, where they were kept in the fridge.

Although my parents have since moved to DC, I still try to go back to the city once a year. It helps that my best friend lives there now, so I always have a place to stay. I just got back from my nearly-annual pilgrimage and I’m still very much in love with that city.

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My first day was packed with the best New York has to offer: food, art and theater!

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I loved seeing Matilda! I read the book over and over as a kid and I daydreamed about being as smart and strong as she was, and wished I could find a teacher as wonderful as Ms. Honey. I was just so impressed with this production overall – the movable set pieces, the sound design and the costume design were all so fantastic, and even the theater was beautiful. But I think the most impressive part of this show was how talented all the children in the production were. The actress playing Matilda certainly had a great set of pipes, I loved her voice most of all.

What I love most about the story is how it blends fantasy with reality, and a very harsh reality, at that. Matilda overcomes all of this adversity – psychological abuse from a family who never wanted her, as well as oppressive bullying from the headmistress of her school – all through reading, learning and believing in herself and her own abilities and standing up for others. I think it’s a story that a lot of children can relate to, and I love how Matilda is such a strong role model.

After we walked out of the theater I realized that it was Fleet Week – there were sailors EVERYWHERE. I got a photo idea and quickly approached one, who had just taken a swig from a paperbag-covered flask, ha. I figured he might be game to do something a lil’ silly. I love how you can tell he tried SO HARD to keep it together at first and not crack a smile.

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What a good sport.

Stay tuned for more about my trip, and thanks for reading Feathers and Wax! x

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