I’ve been very fortunate to spend the past few years working off the beaten path from the midtown madness — in theaters like New World Stages, 59E59, and the Neil Simon on 52nd Street. It was bliss — close enough to everything we love about midtown but far enough away from the overcrowded center of the city. Admittedly, I’ve grown into one of those New Yorkers who’s silently screaming as they sift through the saturated streets flooded with tourists standing idle and taking pictures of the place I call home. So you can imagine the reality check I got moving to the Nederlander Theatre, which lives on 41st and 7th — right smack dab in the middle of Times Square.
You wouldn’t think nine blocks could make such a difference, but it does. Everything around me is accessible but crowded, boundless yet limited, and amazingly frustrating. Brighter, louder, busier.
Especially when you work in the theatrical industry, you find that where you are is so crucial because, more often than not, you’ll spend just as much, if not more, time in your theatre’s neighborhood than you will in your own. But, as with any move to a new neighborhood, you find the eye of the storm. You find the peace within the chaos. You find your happy place. I am so lucky to have that on Forty First and Avenue of the Americas.
Bryant Park has been one of my happy places since long before my chapter in New York was penned. I fell for it when I was sixteen years old, sitting in a dark green folding chair, drinking an iced tea from Pax watching Broadway in Bryant Park with my mom. Because of its familiarity, I found myself a frequent visitor when I first moved here in 2014, but it’s since been so out of reach — until now.
I have spent many an afternoon over the past few years writing, reading, brainstorming, laughing, and dreaming in this park. To have it within arms reach again as I settle into new surroundings is such a blessing. I am grateful for the peace it has brought me, and will inevitably continue to bring.