I had an early Call so I was up at 7:30 and walked to Park Central Hotel for a coffee and muffin at the deli in their lobby. Call Time was at 8:45 with rehearsal from 9AM until 2PM – no breaks. The two choir pictures show just Choir one which is about 200+ voices and sings Part I of the Messiah (the Christmas Portion). Choir 2 rehearses separately and is also 200+ voices. They sing Part 2 and 3 of the Messiah – the Easter portion of the Gospel. We will sing together on the Hallelujah Chorus, Worthy is the Lamb and the Amen – 400+ voices. I sit right under the directors podium…. he hears all my mistakes and doesn’t hesitate to say something! When I take too deep a breath, he says….. “I hear you!” But he is funny and friendly.
I met up with my family back at Hotel Edison, but took time for pea soup at Juniors Restaurant (from the 1950) before we headed out once again. They supposedly have the best cheesecake in NYC, but I didn’t try any this time. I think I missed my chance.
Tonight’s destination was the northeastern corner of Central Park by Jackie Kennedy Reservoir. We walked the path in that area and enjoyed the colorful trees that still survived this late into the fall season. One picture shows the Metropolitan Museum through the trees.
We walked past the Guggenheim to see its architecture, but again it was a free night, so we avoided the crowds this time. The line was around the corner and back as far as we could see. My rehearsals took away from the better times for the museums, but we knew that would happen.
We ate dinner at New Amity Restaurant, a classic old-school, NY diner with friendly service and neighborhood clients on the Upper East Side. It is a short walk from both the Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museums. Since I had eaten a late lunch, I enjoyed a waffle with ice cream – a reward for a heavy day of singing. The cold felt good on my throat, but probably wasn’t the best choice for it. We took the bus back to Times Square and watched the neighborhoods float by along the way. On our walk from the bus to the hotel, we stopped to watch the light show on the wall of Sak’s Fifth Avenue.
Norm, Eric and Andrea took off to tour Wall street and Lower Manhattan first thing in the morning. They took the subway to Brooklyn and then walked back to NYC over the Brooklyn Bridge. They were challenged to try the subway system for the first time, having negotiated BART in San Francisco and The Metro in Washington D.C. previously.
Brooklyn Bridge with Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center (with the spire) in center view. (Photo by Norm Ritter)
They also saw the Wall Street Bull and the Empowered Girl.
Norm found another friend, and they both say hello!
I had a leisurely breakfast at Friedman’s in the lobby, and then walked to rehearsal at Park Central Hotel, from 47th to 56th. In the early morning, my feet held up. Our Call was for 11:45 with rehearsal from noon til 5PM. I will always be seated, by request, so I shouldn’t have problems with my feet, but no one will be able to see me on the stage as I will be placed, along with a dozen others who are seated, directly behind the orchestra.
Norm, Eric, and Andrea met me in Park Central lobby and we walked to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). It was crowded with art students, but we joined the crowds to see three panels of Monet’s lilies, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Kirchner’s Street from Dresden, a Hopper, an Andrew Wyeth, and two Seurats. After a couple of hours, we crossed the street to Connelly’s Irish Pub for dinner. The walk back to Hotel Edison was not far and we were ready to call it a day.
We were awake and up fairly early as we needed to switch to larger rooms before heading out and about. We walked around Times Square and Rockefeller Center, eventually settling at 51st and 6th (near Broadway) to watch the Macy’s Day Parade. The angels outside Rock Center welcomed us and the camels were awaiting their stage time in the spectacular at Radio City Music hall. The windows included the Anthropologie store, The American Doll store and the Lego Store. We had visited this area in a summer in the 1980s as a family so it was a good starting point.
We chose a street corner where the parade would not perform as those spots would be overly crowded. We just wanted to see the balloons and wave to the participants.
We grabbed brunch at Heartland Brewery and Bakery on 5th Avenue, and we then continued down 5th Ave to view window decor, starting with Sak’s 5th Avenue where “Snow White” is the theme this year. St. Patrick’s Cathedral came up in the middle of our walk.
We also walked to Bryant Park – Winter Village and watched skaters. After walking about 16,000 steps in all, we returned to our hotel by 4:30 and rested a bit. Then we walked around the block to enjoy our traditional turkey dinner at Bond 45 on 46th across from the theater where “Hamilton” is being performed. Followed by … Hotel Edison… Sleep…. We didn’t plan a destination day, but just wanted to experience New York City for a day. I think we accomplished that, but there is much more to see and do!
We boarded Amtrak in Cary at 9:30AM (about an hour late due to heavy ridership). Comfortable, roomy seats with lots of leg room were a plus. We arrived at Penn Station @ 7:30PM, and grabbed a cab to Hotel Edison at W47th Street and 7th Avenue. A conversation in the lobby with a visitor told us security and long lines made viewing the balloon inflation impossible. After settling in, we began exploring Times Square. We soon were at Rockefeller Plaza and enjoyed some memories from long ago. (The first picture below is from Tuesday’s rehearsal). We found iL Fiorno in Hell’s Kitchen for dinner. Good meal. We walked back to the hotel and settled in for the night.