Sorry for the gap in posts to this blog. Some of my time away was spent vacationing in New York City. Anyone from New York who happens to read this blog – you have a wonderful city. There is so much to see and do. The buildings, the people, the hustle and bustle — that’s what makes the big apple the wonderful city it is. I felt very safe, and enjoyed my discussions with New Yorkers I met at concerts, shows and in the local cafes. To my friends, I’ve downloaded some of my photos to Flickr and you can see them here.
Here are some quick highlights of our trip:
Broadway shows – If you’re flexible, it’s easy to score half price tickets for Broadway shows through TKTS. A few hours before showtime, theatres release unsold tickets to the TKTS box office. We went to a number of shows this way, including Boeing Boeing, Avenue Q and Hairspray. However, you won’t usually find tickets through TKTS for popular shows such as Mama Mia and Jersey Boys. Those we bought through the theatre box office. My favourite? Equus (starring Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Grffiths of Harry Potter fame).
Here’s a scene from Equus, courtesy of the New York Times. Once the show was over, a large crowd gathered by the stage door, hoping to get Daniel Radcliffe’s autograph as he left the theatre:
Museums – The Museum of Modern Art is superb, and usually always pretty busy. They currently have a special Van Gogh exhibit which includes excerpts from letters and sketches of some of his works, including Starry Night. You also can’t visit New York without going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art at the edge of Central Park in the Upper East Side. It’s huge!! I only just scratched the surface. They had a special exhibit of British painter, J.M.W. Turner. Other favourites included the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney Museum of American Art with it’s collection of paintings by Edward Hopper. All three of these are smaller museums and easy to take in if you set aside a couple of hours for each one, and are in a section of the city known as “Museum Mile”.
Here’s a photo of the Guggenheim Museum – the building itself is pretty stunning:
Concerts – We were in New York at the end of September which meant the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera were just launching their new seasons. A highlight for me was watching the the Met’s Opening Night Gala starring Renee Fleming via live transmission to Times Square. Broadway was blocked off between 44th and 45th streets and a red carpet laid down. We all received a souvenir program. I actually got to the Met two nights later and saw Deborah Voight sing in La Gioconda. I also attended the opening night of the New York Phil’s subscriber series with conductor Lorin Maazel and pianist Yefim Bronfman who treated the audience to a stunning performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 – considered by some the hardest piece in the concerto repertoire. Remember the movie Shine? People jumped to their feet as soon as the concert ended and gave the orchestra a standing ovation. In return, we were treated to two encores. My experience? that doesn’t happen very often.
Pictured below, one of the many ads profiling Renee Fleming’s appearance in the Met Opera’s opening night gala…
So that’s the cultural side. In my next post, I’ll talk about some of our general impressions of this city that never sleeps.