Day By Day

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The View From Hawk Mountain

Yesterday "She Who Must Not Be Named" spent the day in New York, shopping, a show, dinner with a bunch of her friends. The usual. Ho, hum!

It got me to thinking. The show they went to see was "The Color Purple", a stage remake of the Spielberg film starring Oprah and Whoopie, etc. Last month they all went to see "The Light In the Piazza" which was a stage remake of the old George Hamilton film. A few months earlier I had gone with the group to see "Spamalot" which was a stage remake of"Monty Python and the Holy Grail," with a touch of "Life of Brian" thrown in. The next show they plan to see is "Tarzan" a stage remake of the Disney cartoon movie the name of which eludes me. The biggest hit of the past few years has been "The Producers" starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder..., no, wait, that was the movie version. The stage remake starred Nathan Lane and that "Sex In the City Babe's" sperm donor..., what's his name? Oh yeah, Matthew Broderick.

Do you sense a theme here? It used to be that first you had the stage play, then the film adaptation. Now it's the other way around. New York theatre, which used to be a vibrant, dynamic source of creative energy just does remakes of so-so films, that is when they aren't "reviving" shows from fifty years ago.

Sad. It suggests where the true cultural center of the country is, and it ain't in New York.

Anyway, while she and her buddies were gaily cavorting in the concrete canyons of Manhattan, I hied myself to the top of the mountain. It was great. The spring migration of the raptors is long gone and there was hardly anyone on the trails. In four hours I saw exactly six people and three of them from a distance. I happily climbed over rocks and along escarpments, keeping an eye out for something..., anything in the sky. At one point I ran into two of the student interns who were keeping the official tally of sightings. "What's the count?" I asked. "Three birds" was the response. Only three raptors in a full day of viewing.

I took lots of pictures with my inadequate camera. The one above is from the North Lookout looking north toward the little village of Hamburg. That's the "Little Schuylkill" river far below and Reading RR tracks heading up toward Tamaqua. Somehow, sitting alone there on the top of the mountain, I felt that I was closer to the essence of American culture than "She" and her friends could ever be up there in the city.

At least, that's how it felt.

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