Friday, April 6, 2012

NYC the Adventure - Day 1

You know what I am experiencing.  Most of you have been here or to another major international city.

The excitement and the feeling of something going on all the time that fills the  air.  The mad dash of taxis.  (I live in a city town where you literally have to telephone for a cab.  They do not patrol anywhere except the airport.)
The train trip was fun and very relaxing.  Having driven it several times, we were amazed at how much faster it is to take Amtrak.

The hotel is nice (actually a bit nicer than I expected).  I had heard how small hotel rooms are in NYC, but ours is fine.  Maybe 10% smaller than we are used to, but plenty for us.  It has been recently re-done with new carpet, tile and bathroom fixtures.  The staff is friendly and helpful, and the other guests are friendly, too.
And, best of all .... there is a Starbucks only three blocks away and the prices are the same as at home!

We walked the neighborhood yesterday afternoon - to find Lincoln Center (five blocks), a place to eat dinner last night (many choices within three or four blocks), Columbus Circle (three blocks), Central Park (five blocks) and the restaurant where we are having lunch today (six blocks).  I know we have not even scratched the surface of the City, but we already feel more anchored just knowing where we are in this tiny little bit of it.

The Met -  What can I possibly tell you about the Met, except that it was wonderful.  A beautiful building, inside of which photos are forbidden.  A beautiful entrance and stairway and the most gorgeous chandeliers you can imagine.  Actually they are world famous and you  have probably seen them.  If I could have taken a photo inside, it  might have looked like this.

They were installed in the '70's I think and were inspired by Sputnic.  They were re-done in 2008 with all the crystals replaced with new Svorsky crystals, and they are gorgeous.

MacBeth was unfamiliar to us (musically, we know the story!), so it's difficult to evaluate.  Nadja Michael (Lady MacBeth) was wonderful and Thomas Hampson (MacBeth) was good, altho I have heard him sing in better voice.  Don't know if it was the part, or if he was not in best voice last night.  The production was lovely (and interestingly done), altho very dark.  No surprise there, but it would be nice if lighting directors would put a bit more ambient light in for those of us "of a certain age".

As much as anything, tho, we just loved being there.  It's like the Mecca of opera, in this country at least,  and a place I have longed to go.  About the same size as the Kennedy Center in D.C., but a bit more opulent, and since it was designed as an opera venue (only) every seat has an individual supertitle display which can only be seen by that person (so it doesn't distract one's neighbor), and which can be turned off if one doesn't like it.  That is a really special touch.  Can't wait to go back tonight!

Today's schedule:

6:30 a.m:  Catch up on blogs and maybe write about yesterday.  Let Michell sleep in!

Morning:  Central Park or a nearby museum.

12:30:  Lunch with Marie at Fiorello's

4:40:  Guided tour of Lincoln Center

8:00:  La Traviatta - My favorite opera with Natalie Dessay - France's leading soprano.  Can't be bad!


  1. Yes I should be working but I had to sneak a peek and see how you are doing.

    Sounds fabulous.

    Don't have to tell you to have fun clearly you are.

    You two give each other a hug form me.

    xo J.

    1. Actually, we did - hug that is - and agreed that we need to meet you in person. She's every bit as interesting in person as in print. Had a lovely lunch!

  2. It sounds so wonderful! We are living vicariously through you both and plan to shamelessly copy parts of your itinerary when we go north! E.

    1. Hope you have more than 2.5 days and if you are currently in Naples, then much more detail is available!

  3. I love, love, LOVE Central Park. When I was there last June, there were people in paddle boats on the lake, a couple getting their wedding photos done, a graduating class doing pictures, a commercial being filmed, plus all the people just meandering around and enjoying being outside. And there are tons of places to duck in for a little ice cream or chocolate, should you get the craving. ;) Glad you're enjoying the city! It's one of my favorites.

    And, for the record, I've never lived anywhere where you didn't have to call for a taxi.

    1. My funny taxi story is that I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee - a place that was "dry" alcohol-wise. Periodically, my dad would call "a taxi". Shortly thereafter, a man would arrive and deliver a bottle of bourbon or gin (depending on the season). I was in high school before I realized that "taxis" were not the same thing (in most places) as "bootleggers"!

  4. You are having a wonderful time, how good is that! All those sites, all those great restaurants and everything within walking distance. And La Traviata to top off the day, and perhaps a little night cap before retiring to that very nice hotel?