Day 70: The Gods Love Nubia
The weather was colder than I expected on that April day, back in 2001, but it was the first time I met her. Nothing, not even dreary weather was going to put a damper on my long awaited introduction. She wrapped me in the hustle and bustle of a world like I'd never seen, and I was hooked. This wasn't like any typical addiction, and my heart would never be the same. We wouldn't live together for another seventeen years, but she'd be on my mind the whole time. I was in love, and her name was New York.
Hello again, my thirsty readers. Growing up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, I wasn't exactly exposed to a ton of culture. Therefore, I ended up being the weird queer kid, in blue collar America, wondering where I fit in, thinking I didn't belong anywhere. That changed a lot when I was seventeen. Taking a choir trip with my high school, I visited New York City for the first time, and it gave me a glimpse of the world which was out there waiting. I was so blown away by trying new foods, the sight, the sounds, even the smells, but nothing about that trip had a bigger impact on me, than seeing my first Broadway show.
With all the options out there, I'm glad we ended up seeing Aida. The Elton John and Tim Rice musical opened that year, winning four Tony's and four Touring Awards, just to name a few. While watching it, you could feel it was something big, but anything was big to me. I was just some kid from Butler, Pennsylvania. I'd never really been anywhere, and here I was seeing the most popular Broadway musical of the year. Of course it was going to be life-changing.
Like any good tourist, I bought the CD of the cast recording, and I must have listened to it over a thousand times, singing along to all the numbers. I mentioned in earlier posts, how I was the kid walking around the halls singing to myself everyday. This certainly didn't help matters too much, but I knew I wanted more. That tiny taste of "elsewhere" gave me hope. Maybe there were more people out there like me, and maybe I wasn't alone.
I had all ready decided to pursue a degree in musical theater, but actually visiting the home of Broadway, really helped me feel good about that decision. It' reminds me of one of the songs from Aida, "The Gods Love Nubia." Looking back, those lyrics speak to me even more now. "Take me in my dreams recurring, one more longing backward glance."
The Gods Love Nubia
2oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (I used Don Q Cristal, rather than being a super rum-forward drink, this lets the other flavors come out a bit)
.75oz Elderflower Liqueur
.5oz Lemon Juice
.5oz Coconut Cream
2 dashes Cardamom Bitters
Shake and double strain into chilled glass.
Garnish with flower and freshly grated coffee bean.
I'm feeling optimistic today. If I can capture those memories of youth and put them into a drink, maybe I can navigate this new world too. I can't stop thinking about that song now. It's an anthem of hope, and it says we are strong and will overcome. "The gods love Nubia. We have to keep believing. Though scattered and divided we are still it's heart." You give me hope, thirsty readers, and I wanted to say thank you for reading. Knowing I'm not in this alone, makes it that much more manageable. Get out there, enjoy your day, and keep shaking.