[Come summer heat, much of my blogging momentum melts away. Hence an experiment until Labor Day: fifty minimalist posts about whatever.]

I just laid out $390 for three Westminster Conservatory trips to the Met next year. The price does include round-trip bus rides from Princeton to Lincoln Center and back. No program choice though; the three operas on offer were all the Conservatory could buy block tickets for on Saturday afternoons. I hesitated before committing. Did I really want to see Bizet’s Les Pecheurs de Perles, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux? I’m not such an opera buff.

But I do like getting in to the city without effort and expense, even like lunching there by myself if one of my few Manhattan acquaintances still alive can’t make it. And what compares with the sound of a live orchestra? Although the first two trips are in January and February, not ideal for visiting New York, at this point in my life, when energy and stamina are noticeably waning, I take what’s offered when it’s offered. It’s not quite beggars can’t be choosers. Beggars don’t have $390 to burn.

Yet sometimes that’s what it feels like. I can no longer do the things I used to do whenever and however I want to do them. Recognizing that is one of the harder parts of getting old.