Posts Tagged Hartford

Furniture Facelift

You know what I love? The Apple Store. I was having some problems with my 6-month old iPhone 4 so I made a Genius Bar appointment, proved that my home button was unresponsive and walked out with a brand spankin’ new phone. I didn’t even have to whip out the gay sass that I’ve often needed to get what I want out of customer service. I could have used some sass to upgrade to the white version but you gotta pick your battles, ya know?

You know what I hate? Walking out of the Apple Store with a new iPhone and having to revert to my last back-up. When I brought the new phone home, I synced up with my computer and realized that the last time I backed up my phone was June 14, four days before my epic dresser adventure with Kera. You all remember how I planned to transport, sand, stain, and paint my dresser and nightstands, right? Well, it was a success. My grandparents bought the pieces in the 1960’s and I inherited them when they retired to Delray Beach and I moved into my first apartment in Hartford. After a few years of saying how I wanted to refinish the pieces,Kera pushed me in the right direction. She offered her truck, he father’s shop, her assistance, and some booze (because what’s a tool belt without a beer in hand?). The 1960’s mod style dresser is now a fabulous retro avocado/lime green (shocking, I know) and the nightstands are sanded, primed, and awaiting a creative idea.

Now for a little metaphor: the whole process was like shedding a layer of skin. Taking a piece of furniture that I’ve had for 5 years, re-imagining it, and using my own physical labor to accomplish the refurbishment was the perfect therapy to kick the move to a new city. Because I put creative and manual work into it, it was much more therapeutic than going out to buy a new dresser…and it’ll look freakin’ awesome in my new apartment!

So, while I lost all the great photos of me in booty shorts, a tool belt, and power tools in hand, here is the before and after:

I should go into furniture refurbishment, don’t you think? Anyway, 3 days until the move!



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A Proper Introduction

As I said before, moving to New York has provided me the chance to reconnect with many old friends (I even get to meet up with a childhood friend from Israel this fall!). As I suspected, the move also provides me with the opportunity to make lots of new friends! My darling friend Abby, who I worked with for a year in Hartford and is now working an incredible job that has landed her in Spain on business, has taken it upon herself to make sure I meet lots of cool new friends when I move to Astoria (while she is not living in New York, many of her college friends are). Here’s how Abby introduced me to her friends:

Jared is the kind of guy who will call you on a Saturday morning and say “come join me and my ADORABLE dog Lucas on my blanket in the park while we listen to the free Jazz concert that only a few people know about.  Don’t worry… I brought wine.”  He is a wonderful, talented, caring, and giving soul who has an amazing tie collection, great taste in coffee, and listened to my bitching and soul-searching rants for an entire year.

Again, maybe it’s because of the crazy transitional period I’m going through but Abby’s words really touched me- there’s something very powerful about hearing a respected friend’s description of oneself. The description is succinct but accurately describes what I achieve to be.  Maybe I should change my about page? Needless to say, I’m excited to reconnect with old friends and make new friends…11 days to go!

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Grown Up Problems

Two weeks from today is my final day at the theatre where I began my career three years ago. Two weeks and one day from today I load up a truck and move to Astoria. The pressure is certainly on; I’m tying up loose ends at work, packing up my apartment, canceling my utilities in Hartford, and trying to make plans with all of my Hartford friends before I leave town. As much as my wonderful parents are willing to help me through this process, I find myself eager to make my own arrangements (emotional support is always welcome, though).

About a year ago, I read this article in the NY Times about adulthood; evidently, my generation holds on to childhood much longer than our parents and grandparents. It makes sense- in today’s economy and competitive workforce, it’s not as easy to land a job and set up financial independence, meaning there are more and more college grads living with their parents. We also hold onto our childhood by getting married and starting families much later in life (my parents were married, had purchased a home, and had their first child by the time they were my age!). While I’m definitely not ready for marriage or a baby (the pup fills that void), I love the idea of financial independence. It’s just so sexy, isn’t it?! Even though I haven’t really lived with my parents since high school and I’ve been in the professional work force for over a year, my parents still help me financially here and there. I have a savings account (what anal retentive gay Jewish boy doesn’t?) and this is what savings accounts are for, right? If I have to dip into it to cover some moving expenses, then I’ll know that it was my work brought me to New York. It’s funny when you catch yourself handling grown up problems without your parents by your side- yelling at the dentist for not explaining the charges, arguing with a boyfriend, filing taxes on your own, researching the safety of a neighborhood. Ah, I’ve just got to enjoy every moment of it!

Hey, I’m holding on to my childhood too: when over-stressed by all this transition, I’m still allowed to snap at my mom like a 13 year old and, thanks to Obama Care, I can go back on my parents health insurance while I wait for my new benefits to kick in. I’m also about to paint my dresser a vibrant lime green. And hey, if they want to rent the moving truck for me, who am I to refuse?

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Curtain Call

Opening nights in the theatre world carry an inexplicable exciting energy; an energy I felt in my stomach for the first time when I hopped on stage in a mostly white, middle-school production of Once on the Island. Since then, I’ve experienced opening nights onstage, backstage, in the audience, in auditoriums, in a barn, and of course, at Hartford Stage. Unfortunately, the last year or so has left me feeling a bit jaded to the opening night energy I love about theatre. I work a long day in the office and then work and attend a pre-show dinner for donors; by the time the 8pm curtain comes around, I’ve been running around too long to really allow the opening night excitement to seep in. Often, I don’t even see the performance as I make my way over to a local bar to prepare for the cast party. Friday night’s opening of Gem of the Ocean at Hartford Stage put that exciting feeling back in my tummy.

This particular opening marked the end of my time at the theatre where I began my professional career at the ripe age of 21. My three year journey at Hartford Stage feels like a play in itself- Each department I journeyed through is like a separate act with a unique plot line, setting, and cast of characters. In one scene I sat backstage squeezing lemon after lemon and orange after orange to provide a star actor with her specifically requested freshly squeezed juice. A few scenes and costume changes later I was featured as a producer with a luxury problem: a line of customers that stretched out the door to the end of the block. Opening night gave me the chance to reflect on my journey, reconnect with the inexplicable opening night sensation, and look forward to the next act.

By the way, opening night also gave me the chance to see a quality piece of theatre directed by a friend and mentor I met on my Hartford Stage journey. If, like me, you’re going through a crazy life upheaving transition, you should check this out.

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The 4Everybody Email

My departure from Hartford hit me hard today when my boss sent a “4 Everybody” email. An email adressed to our 4Everybody outlook distribution list hits the whole staff and Board in one instant and makes the contained piece of information wildly public and somehow real. The topic of today’s 4Everybody email? Well, me of course:

It is with very mixed feelings (sad for me, happy for him!) that I need to announce that Jared has accepted a position at a production and artist management company in New York City.  Jared has worked his way through pretty much all departments here over the past three years, and has been an invaluable assistant to me this past year and a half.   I suppose New York was eventually going to nab him, so we will send him off with all good wishes when that moment happens at the end of June.  Jared has generously agreed to stay on through June 28.  Look out for details about a send off event in the next few weeks.
My boss’ email and the flood of “congratulations” and “we’ll miss you” messages that hit my inbox and facebook wall remind me of how much I have accomplished and how many friends and mentors I have gained in my time here. I started as an intern 3 years ago and it’s been an amazingly wild ride ever since…Stritch, Fisher, 3 Galas, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, a multi-million dollar renovation project, and a national search for a new Artistic Director; I’m definitely prepared for this next step.

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Yesterday was a big day for me (for a number of reasons). I accepted a position with a Production/Artist Management Company in New York, had my first experience writing a letter of resignation and giving my notice to my current employer, and had a fair dose of personal life upheaval. Even though I have plenty of time to get things in order before my July 1 move to the city, my love for organization got me started on one of my famous “to-do lists” this afternoon…and let’s be honest, I needed a project to keep my mind busy. The list so far:

  • Find an affordable apartment in a charming neighborhood with an easy commute to midtown*
  • Organize contacts (because those need to be in order before a move)
  • Write thank you cards to my new colleagues and my amazing references
  • Order personal business cards
  • Pack up my current apartment

Ok so actually the first thing on the list was to go out, get trashed and tear up the dance floor with my Hartford family- I love crossing an item off a list. Anyway, the above is a very preliminary and scattered draft; as it evolves, so will this blog. Want to see my move from Hartford > NYC and transition into a city boy? Stay tuned.

Also- I have the chance to sublet an apartment in Hamilton Heights (which is part of Harlem, yes?) for July and August. For under $500/mo I can’t turn it down, right? It’ll give me a chance to get settled and discover some new neighborhoods. Thoughts?

* – I’ll find it, I swear!

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