OK, so now I'm back from our annual visit to my wife's family (thanks, Phyllis!) in New York. We got back in safely about 2 hours ago. Now a couple of thoughts for the new year.
First, for those within visiting distance of New York City, consider visiting the Museum of Biblical Art's exhibition of paintings centering on the theme of the prodigal son. It's a fine, enjoyable exhibition of probably 3 dozen art pieces, ranging in time from medieval to contemporary, and well worth the visit. Suggested donation is $7.
Secondly, if you've never enjoyed opera -- or if you haven't enjoyed it in a while -- consider taking in an opera in 2008. Oh, it's easy to make fun of this wildly extravagant art form. It's big and overdone and often over the top, and it's usually performed in a foreign language, but the learning curve is not steep, and I enjoy it immensely.
The reason I mention it now is that my son Matt and I were privileged to see the Metropolitan Opera's performance of War and Peace. It's all of the above: a cast of probably over 100, overdone with a huge stage -- including a live horse on stage! -- it was all in Russian (with English subtitles) and lasted 4 hours and 15 minutes.
Tickets for seats there start at $105. But because I am cheap, we bought standing room spots for about $25. Now I am a big fan of standing for such things (church, too, but that's for a different day) but standing for over 4 hours (with a 20 minute intermission) was almost too much for me. But it was still a wonderful night, and a great performance and I have loved almost every one I've seen. (We saw Mozart's Die Zauberflute last year at the Metropolitan, and saw a local performance of Madama Butterfly this Spring).
My wife does not share my tastes. But I trust she will come around. Maybe you will, too.