Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lottery Winners!

Every summer the outdoor Delacorte Theater in Central Park puts on a Shakespeare play and one musical.  Each show runs for about two weeks.  This is a public theater which means that most of the tickets are free---for a price.  The price you have to pay is that you must stand in line the day of the show to get your tickets.  Most people begin lining up about 4:00 a.m. and tickets are distributed at 1:00 p.m. for that evening's performance.  There is also a virtual lottery and you can sign up each day and hope that you win which gives you two tickets for that evening's performance.  I have signed up for the virtual lottery almost every day for the four summers we have been here and never won.  Last year we wanted to see Al Pacino in "Merchant of Venice" but ended up paying for tickets when they produced it in a theater on Broadway in the Fall.  It was fabulous.  This year we wanted to see the musical "Into the Woods" starring Amy Adams.  I signed up for the lottery each day and each day got the memo "Thank you for entering the virtual lottery.  Unfortunatley blah, blah, blah...."   So I set aside my Wednesday to join the others standing in line.  On the Monday previous to that I signed up for the lottery out of force of habit and at 1:00 I saw the magical words "Congratulations, you have won two ticket for tonight's performance of Into the Woods."  As luck would have it, Paul didn't have to work late and it was a spectacular summer night.  I like to even say there was a hint of fall in the air.  Paul met me at the theater and we were guided to our fabulous seats on the aisle and about 10 rows up.  It doesn't really get any better than that.  The show was really well done and as is often the case with Sondheim, the music and themes in the show are quite haunting.  The lyrics are worth reading because you can't catch every joke and every poignant thought because it moves so fast. 
Another thing we really enjoyed about the whole experience was that it felt so much like we were watching this show with our neighbors.  Not many tourists spend the time waiting in line all day to get tickets, so you really do get mostly local people in the theater and there was just a nice feeling.  It really did feel like we were part of a community.   We all felt like winners. 
(PS--No picture taking allowed! Sorry)

Two bucks to pony up

I think I have mentioned how much Paul and I enjoy riding the carousel in Central Park.  I know it's been a bad day when Paul asks if I'll meet him at the Carousel after work.   After just one ride and about 30 minutes of listening to the calliope music he is ready to cast away all cares and worries.  We'll  ride the carousel even when we are feeling good-----things just get better.

Saturday we decided to take a quick trip to Brooklyn to check out a new carousel that had recently been renovated.  Jane's carousel, as it is called, was built in 1922 and purchased in 1984 by Jane Walentas and her husband.  Jane spent the next 25 years restoring the carousel to it's original condition in her DUMBO art studio.  And it is a beauty.  An architect designed a glass enclosure that surrounds the carousel and that allows the riders a clear view of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge,  and the skyline of Manhattan.  The setting is just stunning.   One caution however:  if you weight 255 pounds or more, you have to ride the pony's that don't go up and down.  Believe me, it's worth the weight loss. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

From Swan Lake to Coney Island

It was quite the cultural journey I made from watching the ballet at Lincoln Center to the hot dog eating contest on Coney Island.  I can't really compare the two events except to say that history was made at both events.  The ballet was simply beautiful and little did I know that I would be witnessing history that night when Angel Corella danced his last dance and retired from the ballet.   Angel came out for a curtain call and the audience went wild.  Flowers were thrown on stage and then for about 20 minutes, former dance partners, directors, family members, etc. came on stage and placed bouquets of flowers at his feet.  It was quite emotional actually. 
And now for the hot dog eating contest on Coney Island.  Of course you have to cheer for Joey Chestnut who finished first with 68 hot dogs in ten minutes, but the real surprise was the victory for Sonya Thomas aka "the Black Widow."  She bested her record by eating 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes and thus history was made.  It was also interesting to learn that she only weighed 100 pounds.  She clearly doesn't keep those hot dogs down for very long.

I will attend the ballet again.   And while I enjoyed the spectacle of the hot dog eating contest, I think "one and done" works for that.  It's just another example of how you can find anything you want in this great city.