Another reason that I love New York City II

New York City can inspire great love, and sometimes fear or intimidation, for those who don’t know it, or are not used to large cities.  There is no doubt that it is a mecca for the arts – full of opportunity both to perform and to see the world’s greatest artists.

But I am often struck by the little moments that can pass by so swiftly that they might not register as unusual, or uniquely New York.

Yesterday I wrote about my morning subway ride.  This morning, as I walked down Amsterdam Avenue from 72nd Street (a bit late to work after a late evening of auditions) I passed the branch New York Public Library that is just around the corner from Juilliard.  And there was a line outside, because it was about 10 minutes to 10.

Shouldn’t all libraries have lines of eager people outside, just waiting for them to open?

Another reason that I love New York City

This morning, I was on the subway at a ridiculously early hour, on my way to work for our January auditions.  Many train drivers are quiet, and don’t use the P.A. system except to announce delays, etc.  But sometimes, you ride a train with a driver who is feeling chatty.

So, I’m sitting down, a little bleary-eyed (having had only one cup of coffee before leaving my house), and the driver says:

“This is the 1 train to South Ferry.  Next stop, 96th Street.  [Long Pause]  And just a reminder, this is a very special day today.  Today is the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and tomorrow we get a new president.  Happy Holiday, and God bless America.”

Thank you, Mr. Driver, whoever you are.

“…this sinking feeling scares me…”*

By: Mónia C. Estima, Senior Assistant Director for Music Admissions

And we’re back from the holiday break. (OK, we got back on Jan. 5th but it’s been hella busy and this is the first chance I’ve had to write.) (Yes, I do know that “hella” is, like, SOOO five years ago.)

Auditions for 12 music departments are due to take place over the next two weekends. While the rest of my colleagues in Admissions prepare audition forms and whatnot for those, I’m working on e-mailing and scheduling the roughly 1000 music applicants we expect for March auditions.

::Mónia’s heart seizes::

No, I’m fine. Really.

Stressed? Who, me? Nah, that’s crazy talk, everything’s going along swimmingly, why–

::Mónia sees pretty pink eighth notes doing the can-can along her wall::

Hmmm, that’s curious. Never seen anything quite like that be–

::Mónia smells coffee brewing, even though there’s no coffee-maker in the Admissions Suite::

Mmmm, I could use another cuppa…what, I’ve only had about 6 today so–

::Mónia hears the cannon shots from the 1812 Overture::

Now that’s just weird; I’m listening to streaming online radio on and there’s no way they’d be playing Tchaikovsky (unless it was part of some really sick mash-up or remix or something).

::Mónia realizes she’s hallucinating again and gives herself a good shake::

Look, it’s ok, right? We’ll audition about 400 applicants this month, plow along in February to prepare for March auditions, and everyone’s going to be ok; us, applicants, moms/dads/guardians/significant others/pretty pink eighth notes… Right?


To all of you cool cats auditioning in January: bassoonists, clarinetists, bassists, flutists, horn players, harpists, oboists, percussionists, ‘bones (tenor and bass), trumpeters, and tuba players—we salute you!

Good luck everybody! And, you know, if you too start seeing/smelling/hearing things that aren’t real, don’t fret; this too shall pass.

*The title for this blog was fished from “The Flame,” by Arcadia (a sub-division, if you will, of Duran Duran).