In A city of multiple diversions, the creative management of time becomes a necessity.
As an example, during the final game of last year's World Series, a New York City radio station was celebrating the singing career of the American bass-baritone George London. I wanted to partake of both, so I turned off the television sound and listened to London sing. Opera on radio, baseball on television. Czar Boris Godunov and the New York Yankees in my living room.
A few nights ago, I was playing basketball at the gym. Our last game ended after 7 p.m., leaving me little time to grab a bite and get to Carnegie Hall for the second of six concerts that week presenting all of Beethoven's symphonies and piano concertos. They were being performed by the Staatskapelle Berlin under the direction of Daniel Barenboim.
For dinner, I munched on a Swiss-cheese sandwich on the subway and ate an orange outside Carnegie Hall. Only this way could I fit both basketball and the concert into a tight schedule.
Later in the week, I faced a predicament: to attend the fourth of the Beethoven concerts, or watch a New York Knicks-Utah Jazz basketball game on television. Utah, at the time the hottest team in the National Basketball Association and leading the Western Conference, rarely plays in New York.
I pondered and came up with a solution. Watch the game on television with the sound off, while listening to a Toscanini recording of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, the same work being performed at Carnegie Hall. This way I would not miss any of the Beethoven symphonies.
The Knicks were overwhelmed, 89-58. That night I may have been the only New Yorker to experience the majesty of both Beethoven and the Utah Jazz.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society