My mother came to visit us this past weekend. Since it was the coldest week of the year so far, we tried to stick to indoor activities. On Saturday we watched the Steelers-Jets game at home, then went out to dinner in our neighborhood. We took her to the recently reopened MoMA in midtown Manhattan on Sunday afternoon, then ate dagwood sandwiches for dinner while watching the Golden Globes. On Monday we went to the Museum of the City of New York to see the subway photo exhibits, then met one of her friends for lunch and a stroll along Broadway to Zabar's. I made mostaccioli with mozzarella and basil for dinner, a recipe from my Lidia Bastianich cookbook.
Tuesday night was the real highlight of her visit. We went to the New York Philharmonic to hear Phil Myers, the orchestra's principal French horn, play Strauss's 1st Horn Concerto. My parents went to college with Myers, and when I was growing up my mom would point him out in the NY Phil's horn section anytime we saw the orchestra on TV. I don't know the right words to describe his performance. When he played the opening horn call of the work, the sound just soared through the hall. My mom and I looked at each other as if to say "if this is how he plays the beginning, how great will the entire piece be?" We were not disappointed. He made that horn sound like it was singing. It was just a fantastic, beautiful display of artistry. The rest of the concert was good, too, but the horn concerto was by far the best part. At intermission we went to the green room and introduced ourselves to Myers (or in my mother's case, got reacquainted). He signed our programs and mentioned that he's currently working on one of my grandfather's compositions. There was a growing crowd of people eager to talk to him so we only stayed for a few minutes. But I had the chance to tell him that I'd seen him on TV and in concerts for years, and that it was an honor to meet him in person. Things like that don't happen to me that often, and it made the evening even more rewarding.