4. Harmonizing There is something about how we figured out harmonies that chills me. You’re making this sound with someone else where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It is the most beautiful form of listening. I was in chorus in high school and we sang “O Magnun Mysterium,” and we were accepted into this choral competition at Riverside Church in Manhattan. I remember us practicing in a hallway. I was a New Jersey teenager, smoking in diners and sort of living a Bruce Springsteen song like , “I can’t wait to get outta this town.” And we all sat in this hallway singing to each other, listening to the sound of each other’s voices and all the social constructs — the fighting, the cliques — melted away. Just a bunch of [expletive] teens from Jersey in this old church, creating something that was so beautiful that we couldn’t believe that it was coming from us. We sang it in this competition, and we were holding each other’s hands, tears streaming down our faces like, “ We did it! ”Then this show choir from Florida came right after us singing the exact same song. And they annihilated us.
Five. Wawa Hoagies Wawa was featured heavily on “Mare of Easttown,” and I was like, “Well, well, well, look at her go.” It was like seeing an old friend hit the big time. Wawa is basically a convenience store, like a 7-Eleven, but they make these hoagies, which is a very Jersey thing. I’m pretty sure they’re made from yoga mats. The meat is possibly not meat. It’s like cheese-colored or turkey-colored material. Sadly, I can’t eat them anymore because I’m vegan now. Ironically, they might be vegan because they might all be made of napkins. I have no idea. What goes into these things, it’s unintelligible.
6. Crossing over the Manhattan Bridge I have lived in New York for a million years, and when I am in a taxi with the windows down rumbling over the Manhattan Bridge — and I can see the skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty — I can’t believe that I live there after all this time. I always stop everything I’m doing and I just stare out the window at the majesty of where I live, and that the city continues to run and thrive, and it’s been through so much and it holds so much. It’s like a little prayer.
7. Amy Morton at the end of Act 2 of “August: Osage County” by Tracy Letts I think I had just dropped out of [New York University] when I saw that play, and I had never seen anything like that. I remember when she turned around — she spins over her shoulder and comes at her mother with her arm pointed — and the way that she bellowed, “I’m running things now! ”I still get goose bumps. My skeleton burst into doves. I melted in my seat, like my spirit rose away and was floating at the rafters.
8. Traveling Solo I was always very afraid to take solo trips. I have a couple of friends who had done it and I was like, “But what do you do?” And then I took one by myself. After a job, I went to the Adirondacks You’re one on one with your own personhood, and parts of your brain and heart open up when it’s just you and your thoughts, walking through the woods. I think it is so valuable. I ‘ve taken another solo trip since then, to the Galápagos, which I was very nervous about because it’s so far away. But I wanted to do one by myself again, to sort of shake hands with myself and say, “Hello.”
9. Blooper Reels It’s like an immediate dose of laughter, Prozac for your brain. I like compilations of people falling down, farts on live TV, all of that. I think the internet is so dangerous, but one part of it that I really like to utilize is being able to go onto YouTube and watch something that makes me laugh so hard that it’s just like a lovely little reset.
10. A Location Change I love going out so much, but I really love a location change. I like to go to like a place for dinner, and then you have a location change and you go to a bar, and then you maybe have one more location change for It’s like an adventure where I’m like, “What’s going to happen?” It feels like a delightful game of Russian roulette, which is one of the reasons why I love living in New York. It’s just endless possibilities, and There’s something about it that’s very sexy and romantic. It’s effervescent. It’s like if champagne were an activity.