July seems to have disappeared almost without trace, taking with it the fourth anniversary of our move to America. Four years! It was also a month of contrasting weather, from the refreshing cool of the Montana mountains to some properly sweltering Manhattan summer days.
We don’t seem to be doing at all well with any of the usual New York summer pursuits – I’m not sure whether that’s because we experienced most of them in previous years, or if the weather is just too discouraging, but other than rooftop cocktails on evening with some friends visiting from England, and an evening drinks reception on the Highline, we haven’t participated in any outdoor offerings so far.
We even went so far as to see a piece of outdoor theatre at an indoor venue, as a Shakespeare’s Globe production of The Merchant of Venice was playing at one of the Lincoln Center venues. Back in London, of course, we would have lined up early with the rest of the groundlings angling for a spot leaning against the Globe stage; here we paid considerably more than £5 for seats in the front row of the balcony. It was a fantastic production – one of those pieces of theatre which you don’t actually want to end, and then can’t stop thinking about afterwards. It would still have been nice to have had a front-row spot but we were still close enough to see all the action, and in fact there was some really effective lighting design which wouldn’t have been possible at the Globe, so I guess it all balanced out. (We also appreciated the air conditioning!)
The last week of July saw Tom fly back in England for a work event, whilst I stayed behind to sweat in some serious humidity. To make things interesting while he was away I’d decided to attend an event in Washington DC, so I took a just-less-than-24-hours midweek jaunt down the coast. Thanks to Amtrak and the Downtown DC hostel this was surprisingly affordable, and in addition to my meeting I spent a very enjoyable afternoon in the National Museum of the American Indian. I was particularly interested to see their exhibit on the Inka Road, but I was also quite taken with a selection of works by a native American artist Kay WalkingStick, who combines landscape painting and abstract techniques to create some really beautiful effects.