It started out as an ordinary afternoon stroll down West 4th Street in New York, merely a quick hop up and out of the subway station into Washington Square park, and on towards the vegetarian restaurant V2 for a giant bowl of Buddha Noodle soup (vegetables with udon). What a stroll it became…
As I was wandering I came across what looked like a mini cathedral, a micro Notre Dame stuck between two nondescript buildings. The sign outside said, “Tonight – a benefit for the Greenwich Village Philharmonic’s development fund – featuring Tian Jiang, and Philip Glass.” Now, as I read this I couldn’t really believe it. “Philip Glass? No (expletive) way. Not that Philip Glass. Is Philip Glass’s name spelled with two Ls or one? Maybe this is a young kid named Phillip Glass who shares the name with Philip Glass, or something.
So being the curious person I am, I entered the church (Washington Square Methodist) and asked the secretary in the front office, “is this the actual Philip Glass?” Much to my shock…it was! The church is small but cozy, and I surveyed the interior. There was a gorgeous grand piano in the middle of the room, surrounded by chairs, some mere inches away. “Oh…my…God…” I thought to myself, “how can this be true and not a dream? I could see Philip Glass performing own the piano, inches away. The tickets are probably $200 each since this place is so small…I’ll bet the tickets are already sold out, maybe even months ago.” They weren’t! The tickets were $20 each, and seating was general. I couldn’t believe it. I bought a ticket and went over to V2 to eat, but I could barely get anything down; all I could think was,”Holy God!! I am going to see Philip Glass from 20 inches away, for $20!!!”
I still couldn’t believe it so I bought a couple of cans of Diet Coke, went to the church and settled in 2 hours before the concert. “There has to be a capacity crowd coming, I can’t risk not sitting up front. This will never happen to me again…”
I sat in the empty room, all alone, confused and trembling with anticipation. I was going to hear Philip Glass…little did I know just how much and for how long!
(Part Two coming soon…)