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AUTUMN IN NEW YORK
22 November 2009
I sat here in the lobby of the hotel yesterday morning and watched the sun rise on the tree outside the window and thought how lovely that we are experiencing, as my friend Ron put it, "a glorious autumn."
It had not been a good night, bed-wise and I was up with stabbing back pains at 2:30, finally giving up and coming downstairs at 5 to read.
Walt lazed about in bed until a good 7 or so and finally came down and joined me for breakfast here in the hotel, then we started on our day of exploration.
My friend Lynn (from Houston) was here for a weekend with a group of friends and we had made plans to meet her and go to lunch, so we took the bus up to Times Square and waited by the George M. Cohan statue. They are preparing for the big Macy*s Thanksgiving parade already and there were bleachers set up and barricades ready to be put into place at the right time.
It was so good to see Lynn.
We went, en masse, to a Mediterranean restaurant called "Dervish." One of her group, a woman named Jo, had traveled to Turkey several times, teaching students about neonatal intensive care, so she loved Mediterranean food and she was invaluable in ordering, as well as communicating with the waiter.
We ordered several appetizers and three entrees and all shared...it was more than enough.
The dolmas were the best that I'd ever had...I could have made a meal on those alone (and I'm not a big fan of dolmas!).
As we sat and visited, the background noise got louder and louder. When Lynn's friend Kerm complained to the waiter, he was told that there was a very important soccer match going on, so we understood and just put up with the noise (later, as we walked thru the front part of the restaurant, we realized that there were big screen TVs there and lots of Turkish-looking people very involved in the game).
Jo told us a lot about traveling in Turkey, so now I'm all enthused about going and hoping that our proposed trip will actually happen at some point.
After lunch, we said goodbye to Lynn et al. They were off to see a show, and we were off for a tour of Radio City Music Hall. We got tickets for the 2 p.m. tour, which gave us half an hour to kill, so we walked up to Rockefeller Plaza to see the big Christmas tree, which is being decorated for a December lighting. I never knew how they decorated that tree and it was actually quite interesting.
There were men on each of the levels of scaffolding around the tree, shaping it by trimming off extraneous branches and putting on lights. The star on the left there will go on the top of the tree.
We also stopped to watch the ice skaters.
We finally returned to Radio City Music Hall, where we had a fascinating backstage tour (and where I climbed more stairs that I think I did in Europe -- minus those 300 stairs down to Portovenere).
The walls backstage are lined with movie posters.
We watched the finale of the show that we are seeing on Sunday from a viewing booth, watched a film about the building, its history and its technical aspects (most of which I have now forgotten, but it was fascinating), and "Merrell," one of the Rockettes talked about costumes and what it's like to be a Rockette.
When we left there, I was ready to sit down somewhere, so I sat down by a fountain across the street from Radio City while Walt did some walking around. I sat there watching it get darker and getting colder.
We discovered that a cell phone is pretty much useless in this town. There is so much noise that you can't hear it ring. I called Steve, he called me twice, I called Walt, he called me and none of us heard any of the rings, but we got a lot of "missed calls. I still haven't actually spoken with Steve.
We tried to decide whether we were going to hang around downtown or go back to the hotel before our 8 p.m. show, but it was too early and too cold to find a place to stay for 3 hours, so we came back to the hotel. I chose not to climb the 40 stairs to the room, but sat in the lobby and read for awhile until it was time to leave to go back and find some dinner and the theatre.
I have to say that Walt has been just fantastic, parking me someplace and going to find the closest bus stop or a metro station with an elevator. I've given up even feeling guilty about it...I'm just feeling grateful!
We had tickets for Danny and Sylvia, a show about Danny Kaye, starring the amazing Brian Childers as Danny Kaye and Kimberley Faye Greenberg as his wife, Sylvia Fine.
First we stopped off at Famiglia, self-described as "New York's Favorite Pizza." It's a little hole in the wall, and I laughed at the description, but since it was wall to wall people trying to get pizza and since the pizza we had was delicious, the description may just be right!
We got to St. Luke's Theatre (lots of churches seem to double as theatres) for the show. We were about the first to arrive and while we were waiting two different groups came in looking for Zero Hour, to be directed to the St. Clement's Theatre, one block away. In truth, during the evening, I heard several different groups discussing Zero Hour, which I figured was a good sign!
The Danny Kaye show was delightful and Childers nicely captured the Danny Kaye I remember so fondly. We had front row center tickets, which I wondered about when we saw clearly that Childers is a "spitter," but no globules landed on the audience, so we just enjoyed the show.
Then back to the hotel. By the time we got here, I was too tired to climb up to the room, so I sat for about half an hour downstairs and tried to read, but was too sleepy. When I finally dragged myself upstairs I did something I have never done before--at least not in recent memory. I walked in the door, collapsed on the bed and declared I was too tired to write this journal entry. I think I was asleep within 5 minutes.
Of course I was up a couple of times with back pain and got up to come down here to the lobby at 5:30, but all things considered, I feel more rested this morning and not nearly as sore as I was last night.
And tonight we finally attend opening night of Zero Hour.
Oh...and Ashley says Higgins got adopted yesterday!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Stage for the Danny Kaye show.