Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,


How time flies. I still haven't written about Halloween 2009. I did nothing for Halloween itself, but that weekend joined my sister's family for Family Weekend at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, where nephew Joel was a freshman. They flew up from Miami, while I took a bus from Port Authority. The bus hit nearby Easton ahead of schedule, and I thought we'd be early, but it took forever to wind through Bethlehem and other local stops, and we ended up arriving late. The family waited patiently at the bus station, but almost left when I was one of the last off the bus. I saw my brother-in-law and knocked frantically on the window, but he didn't hear/see me. Yes, a cell phone would have been useful.

We walked around campus a bit (it's really nice, not too big or small - the school has around 2200 students), and went to the library (which has the "Wordplay" DVD) where we heard a lecture about Harry Potter fans' reaction to the end of the series. We then took some of Joel's friends to Carrabba's (Italian chain) for dinner. I asked younger nephew Jeffrey if the kids knew about me and "Wordplay" and he said yes, but they were told to act natural. Jeffy is so funny. We were all in the same hotel, which almost didn't happen when their online system said it was booked. I called and they'd just had a cancellation and fit me in.

On Saturday morning (Halloween), we heard a lecture from President Randy Helm on the state of the college.  He is known for his bow ties and for attending many student events, and joked that there are actually a bunch of guys with bow ties who go around to the events. He told of the school's support for Jacy Good who was in a devastating car accident on the way home from her 2008 graduation, and another student who was able to graduate with his class despite serious illness. My sister and I said something about Barnard, and another parent heard and said she went there around the same time. We also went to an interesting talk on the Middle East.

After lunch in the fast food-type cafeteria GQ (eh), we headed for the mall. Jeffrey and I went to the Barnes & Noble, while the others hit the Apple store. Dinner was at the very nice Melt, in a different mall. The car's GPS had us going in circles until we finally called for directions. That night we saw a student production of "Bat Boy" which was well-done and quite professional. By coincidence, Charles Richter, the director of the school's well-respected theater program, graduated Great Neck South in 1969, so my elementary school classmates (who mostly went to South) know him even though I don't.

I took the bus back Sunday, and while I technically arrived in time to make an NPL minicon that afternoon, I didn't want to carry my luggage there, and by the time I got home, I was too tired to go back downtown.

Here are some pictures from the weekend.

This Halloween I was in Manhattan, and saw two plays. "Middletown," by crossword-friendly Will ENO (at the Vineyard), examines life in a small town. The quirky residents often muse on birth, death and in between, and don't talk like real people. There are some well-crafted lines and a few chuckles, but it all seems self-conscious. Georgia Engel as a librarian still sounds just like her MTM character Georgette. En route to the next play I had to pass the crackhouse, I mean the Strand bookstore. I had brought my lists of books wanted and owned, and ended up with 5 books for $5 from the outside stands. This meant I had no time to eat before the next play, "In the Wake," at the Public, and was chagrined to hear it was almost 3 hours long. Lisa Kron's play featured rich, fully realized characters (a group of East Village friends), but it sometimes got bogged down in political discussions, and the second act dragged (possibly because by this time I was starving). Still pretty good. I made my way home amid throngs of costumed revelers and immediately ordered Chinese food.

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