His parents took him to New York City Opera, and he was smitten. It was hard for him to keep it a secret like he did the fact that he was queer. (He went through an obligatory engagement to a Nice Jewish Girl in Queens, then panicked and got out of it.) He could not contain that he was crazy about Bev, and even his family caught Bubbles fever. They all got repeating subscriptions to New York City Opera season, and when Richard was able to leave Queens and set up housekeeping (with a boyfriend who was a high-style interior decorator), he volunteered at the opera selling opera tchotchkes in the second-floor-promenade lobby at the New York State Theater. He was around the opera so much that the miracle happened: He met her. She became his friend. Maybe not a close friend, but definitely someone Sills knew and, with her own sharp eye to New York City Opera’s survival, cultivated. Richard Gold and his numerous peers represented the next generation of New York City Opera supporters: young, aggressively crazy about opera, and solvent enough to do something about it. By the time I met Richard, in the mid 1970s, through a mutual friend (OK, mutual once-boyfriend), he was awash in the opera, and financially and socially in a place to bask in the reflected magical glamor that opera is all about. (Richard got his parents to endow a scholarship for young singers at New York City Opera; he became active on committees to raise funds for it.) And magic was what it was all about in that period, before the bean counters completely took over the arts. Life in New York was still cheap enough and easy enough that you could exist as a total “culture vulture,” someone who lived for art, and not drive yourself crazy over a job or money. Many of my friends were culture vultures, and culture, high culture, nosebleed high, was being made here. For an almost ridiculously small sum you could go to New York City Ballet every night, and when it was off and New York City Opera was in season (they both shared the same stage of the New York State Theater, built to George Balanchine’s dance specifications), you could hyperventilate your way through their season. The Metropolitan Opera, across Lincoln Center’s plaza, was stupid. It was stodgy.
Who Will Be the New York Knicks’ X-Factor This Season?
Kept talking about prolonging his career. Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) September 30, 2013 It is not clear what Bargnani’s role will be. After averaging 21.4 points in 2010-11, his career regressed to the point that Toronto Raptors fans booed him out of town. Bargs has the potential to improve the Knicks offense if he regains his shooting touch, but the Italian big man is a poor rebounder and defender. His game is too limited to put the Knicks over the hump in the Eastern Conference. Iman Shumpert can develop into a difference-maker. The third-year guard is an excellent athlete with quick hands, a long wingspan and an impressive feel for the game. He established himself as an elite on-ball defender in his rookie season and has flashed the potential to be a great offensive player as well. More importantly, Shump’sgamehas plenty of room for growth, and he has demonstrated the work ethic necessary to fulfill his potential. For example, while recovering from knee surgery in 2012, he spent countless hours reworking his shot, specifically not elevating as high on his jumper. Between his first and second seasons, Shump’s three-point shooting percentage climbed from 30.6 percentto 40.2. Several other areas of his game need improvement. The former Georgia Tech standout struggled with his shot selection last season, often launching long jumpers outside the flow of the offense. The result was a drop in shooting percentage from 40.1 percenthis rookie year to 39.6. Shump is not going to average 16-18 shots per game in an offense that includes Anthony, Smith, Bargnani and Felton, though he can seize a greater number of opportunities by refining his skill set.