Last weekend, I found out that the New Phoenix Theater in Buffalo was having a liquidation sale. I was unable to go, but my father went in search of Christmas gifts and some sort of situation for his record player. I have written about this theater before, because that is where I was working when I met both my best friend Sahar, as well as my husband, Mark. He didn’t work at the theater like Sahar did, but he did hang out at the coffee shop around the block, and we met after rehearsal one night. So were I not hanging around that theater every night when I was 20, I might not have met the man I ended up marrying. I know I would not have Sahar, because we came from totally different worlds. I am forever grateful for these two people, and perhaps it is silly, but I am grateful for the building that brought them to me.

I found out a while ago that the owner of the theater, Richard, was putting it on the market. I was instantly sad, and truly desperate for a million dollar lotto win so I could take it off his hands. Alas, that is not reality, though I did hear that local theater folk tried to purchase it to retain it as a theater. Unfortunately, that deal fell through. And so, it will be turned into living space.  Sigh.

Now, it’s a pretty cool building as buildings go. I don’t know it’s complete history, but I do know that it was a sort of convent/soup kitchen situation prior to Richard purchasing it. It’s at least 100 years old, and a beautiful representation of old Buffalo architecture. It has a very scary basement, complete with spider webs and leaky pipes and possible ghosts. The first floor was the stage and seating, as well as a small reception area where photos of local stars lined the walls. On the second floor was the rehearsal hall, and a bar area where receptions were held after shows. Passing that were the dressing rooms, and a staircase up to the third floor, which was a full apartment. Richard lived when I first met him.

Richard always owned the theater, but when I was young it also housed a second company called the Buffalo Ensemble Theater. It was BET who posted a flyer on the bulletin board at my school for a youth theater group. It was called the Explorers, and was run by the Boy Scouts of America. It was coed prior to Boy Scouts becoming coed, and was career focused. So. BET put together a group showing careers in theater. I jumped at this, and ended up being the club Treasurer on day three. 5 years later, I stopped doing shows there when the theater started to dissolve.

But God did I love that building.

So, years later: I was fresh off my first stage managing gig and ran into Richard, so I was thrilled when he asked me to come work a show at New Phoenix. The show he hired me for never came to fruition, but I did end up doing another there soon after. I always hoped I would return to work there again someday, but it turns out that is not in the cards.

Richard retired to Florida, and likely the building will become apartments or something. But when we were young, that place was so magical! I know so many people who discovered their talents there and went on to pursue them, and really…we were just kids. We were just having fun, and look what happened!  Life skills!

Anyway, I’m very much looking forward to Christmas morning to discover what trinket Dad collected for me from the liquidation sale. And I guess I can muster some excitement to see what they do with the building in the future…hopefully it isn’t terrible. It doesn’t matter though, because I will always be grateful for that place, and everything it brought into my life.

Friends, family, and confidence.


Wanted: New Adventures. Inquire Within.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, but I tasked myself with the enormous and time consuming (or wasting, perhaps,) feat of copying my first blog to a word file.  I am about ¾ through copying it and almost halfway through reading it and I am not holding out much hope for something good.  I have found a few things that might work for a project I have on the backburner, but otherwise it is one cringe worthy rant after another.  In my opinion.  Of course, I was the angsty twenty-something writing it and it’s hard to remember the days my devils got the best of me.

While working on this it occurred to me that frankly, I don’t get around much anymore.  In my old blog, I updated almost constantly at first, with details of what was going on in my life.  Then as the years went on, I updated less frequently, but when I did they were long and rambling entries covering several days of adventures.  These experiences led me to write about the human condition and life in general and that is what I have been looking for.

Mark and I make adventures a big part of our relationship.  We are always looking for new outdoor activities, such as swimming and hiking, and interesting local places, like diners and farmers markets.  It’s lovely, but I don’t have much to say about these places, other than maybe a small anecdote.  And while I have acquired some lovely places to add to my collection of settings, I feel I lack the experiences and relationships I had before.

Now, about half of that has to do with growing up.  I can’t expect Molly to show up at my door at 10pm and suggest we go to New York City to buy a t-shirt (true story) because we have things like husbands and jobs and responsibilities.  I can’t expect Sahar to be available 24/7 like she used to be because she’s got two babies and moved to that hell state.  Also, we grow apart from the friends we have when we’re young.  Life just gets in the way, and no love is lost, but it gets hard to stay together.  There’s a quote I like about how it’s better to have 4 quarters than 100 pennies, and that’s how I feel about friendship, but also, I am in my 30s and it is NOT easy to make new friends.

The other half of the problem is my anxiety.  Only in the past year have I seen some improvements, and it got particularly bad for a bit.  I isolated myself as much as possible, and when I finally started to emerge from that bubble I found myself more alone.  I lost interest in things I used to love, and now I don’t quite know how to get them back.  I tried first with writing.  I started this blog, and I started polishing and submitting my poetry.  But what else?  I’m desperate to get a 9-5 but I know I’ll lose it the second my gastroparesis acts up.  I’ve found myself missing theater on occasion, but I honestly would not even know where to begin there.

I can’t wait until am done copying this old blog so that I can delete it forever.  I can’t wait until I am done reading it so I can chop it up into little pieces and farm them out to other projects.  It makes me feel like I am living in the past, because I am spending so much time remembering it and that’s not particularly healthy.  What I need is new experiences and people and places and to stop isolating myself so much because it is depressing in here, guys.  The worst is that I have nothing to write about.  Writing is what keeps me going and sometimes I feel like I am not experiencing life enough to write about it.  I’ve decided that I will try my hardest to find new experiences so that I have more fodder for my writing.  Suggestions welcome, as I don’t even know where to start.


A snapshot from our latest adventure at Stonybrook State Park