Wednesday, June 28, 2006

So You Already Know You Can Dance

Summer brings with it one of my favorite shows. As with most reality shows, SYTYCD is of course a formulaic creation, the All-American, the underdog, and of course the villain. The more drama, the higher the ratings.

Last season's villain was Blake McGrath, a truely (well, as true as TV allows) dispicable personality. In addition to his exaggerated cocky attitude, Blake brought with him an extensive professional resume. Beyond being a dancer on several concert tours (Britney, Destiny's Child, Aaron Carter), McGrath had also danced with SYTYCD Judge Brian Friedman in his 2004 instructional dance video.

This season's villains have less bite and more American cherry pie. The wholesome local favorite Travis Wall has previous experience in his mother's VA Beach dance studio and a few Broadway performances under his belt. Fresh-faced favorite and West Coast Swing king Benji Schwimmer is returning to the dance scene after a 2 year missionary hiatus. Benji's class clown attitude and incredible flexibility as a solitary and partner dancer puts him as an early favorite for America.

I wonder though, if you're an established dancer, why would you want to worry yourself with a piddling Fox publicity stunt? Let a dancer who actually needs the opportunity make the most of it.

On a more positive note, one of my favorite East Coast Swing/Lindyhop/Prep Step groups performed an abbreviated version of one of their award winning routines on the show tonight. For the full length high flying act, check out the New York based Hop, Swing, and a Jump.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sleepless in DC

People have commented to me on a regular basis how surprised they are at the number of independent single women that they have encountered in the DC area (compared to other areas that they've lived in)....I guess the numbers prove it. According to a Boston Globe article, Boston, Newark, and DC rank the highest in concentration of singles. I was suprised that NYC was not on the list.

This doesn't mean that it's easy to connect with friendly singles in these cities, it just means that these singles are very busy exercising their independence. These cities have the infrastructure and resources in place to nurture the kind of lifestyles that most singles tend to choose: night life, cheap eats, bars, etc that encourage behavior towards being social butterflies. 86% of singles surveyed feel that marriage is a fulltime job. I counter that with the fact that managing a full social schedule, often 3 weeks in advance can be just as mind-numbing. It's really just opposite sides of the same coin.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The City that Never Sleeps

New York city is an amazing city. It is vibrant, young, brash. It is lively for the sake of be rebellious and energetic. It is, because it can. It is a city with a magnetic pulse so undeniable that it commands you to step in time. It can be cruel, harsh, and difficult; an simultaneous assault on all five senses.

There are several things that I'd like to do in NYC this summer. I rather enjoy being a tourist. Sadly, tourists often appreciate a city much more than the natives themselves, and for that I would much rather continue to explore and to discover. Natives may know the backroads, but they always seem to lose appreciation for the essence of the area they live in by virtue of marinating in it.

Bodies the Exhibition will be at the South Street Seaport indefinitely. This exhibit is the Chinese rendition of the German exhibit Body Worlds. Both displays feature human bodies plastinated to showcase and educate on different systems within the body (muscular, blood vessels, reproduction). The bodies are eerily lifelike and usually posed in an active manner (playing chess, swimming, dancing, etc). Alot of controversy surround these types of displays in regards to the source of the body donations.

One of my favorite movies is now a musical! The Wedding Singer opened on Broadway in late April. Is it too early wax poetic on an era that's barely passed us by? I don't think so. If it takes clever lyrics to get a new generation to experience Broaway through a populist theme, I'm up for it even if it includes big hair and puffy seafoam bridesmaids' dresses.

Brunch is a Sunday morning ritual in Manhattan. It is a gradual easing into the day started off with a sunny glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice, a tasty muffin, and friendly service heralded by the swishing of well-starched and bleached aprons. Brunch is a momentary haven from the bustle outside. So far I've only had dimsum in Chinatown and brunch at Sarabeth's. While both were fantastic, the city leaves plenty to be explored.

Even pets deserve to take a bite out of the Big Apple. The Meow Mix Cafe (on Fifth Avenue no less!) is the perfect bonding opportunity for pet and owner. Supposedly they serve meat-centric dishes for humans to match the meat flavors of their flavor pouches for felines. So after shopping at Harry Winston and Takashimaya, I think I'll need to make a quick stop for the Jackster. Oddly enough there is only one photo (so obviously a bad one from a cameraphone) of the cafe itself on Flickr. I'll be out to change that.

It's time to strap on my comfy walking shoes and head on back.