I remember the first time I ever visited Lincoln Center. I was in middle school, living in the mountains and traveling to New York for the first time with my drama class. The weather was starting to get warmer, seeing as it was an end of the year pilgrimage, and the city bursting with verdant foliage. It was that time of year that I had my first introduction to Lincoln Center. And I thought that it was one of the ugliest landmarks that I had ever seen. The austere buildings and jeweled interiors struck me as dated and cold. I lamented the fact that the US lacked a true Bolshoi Theatre or Palais Garnier.
Years later, and after having visited both the Bolshoi and Palais Garnier, I could not disagree more with my younger self. A glamorous, palatial theater would look gauche against the New York City Skyline. Lincoln Center has a quiet dignity and grace that serves as the perfect counterpoint to the spirit of the city that I now call home. It’s a sanctuary, yet not an escape, from the every day. You go there to exhale and consider the experience of others, to open your mind and your heart and your soul, but not to forget the world outside. It’s architecture ensures just that.