Saturday, June 21, 2014

Entertainment...New York City Style!

Entertainment means different things to different people.

I am a big "live music" fan and like to seek out quality sounds in a great acoustic venue.

During my recent short visit to New York, I had an array of sights and sounds so here's a sampler.

Think about these as you plan your next trip to "The City That Never Sleeps."

This was  Arturo's in the Village,a neighborhood pizza place - with a live Jazz trio - just a short subway ride from my lower Manhattan hotel.
But, the ultimate sound, the best acoustics EVER, in a large venue would have to be Radio City Music Hall.

I still recall sitting there back in my high school days, goose-bumpley enthralled by the building sounds of Ravel's Bolero. Wow.

Those hidden entrances that are spaced along each side had more musicians appear as the sound continued to rise.

Of course, back then in the 1950s, the Music Hall was only 24 years old.

Opened in 1932, it was built to offer a way for Depression people to enjoy some uplifting joy and music.

Vaudeville acts, live bands and a movie would fill the a reasonable price.

I had no idea that it could hold 5,000 people and was filled night after night.

On a tour, the guide seated us high in the 3rd balcony and we could hear the footsteps of a man who walked across the stage. Fantastic acoustics engineered and built by design. And, not a bad seat in the house!

Right around the corner is Broadway and the famed Times Square, from 42nd to 45th streets.

Back in the 1950s, I don't think I was allowed to make a stop here.

Not the sort of place a teenager from South Carolina would be expected to visit.

It has REALLY changed since then and is quite a visual light show - even during the day.

Later I would see it all bright and shiny lighted up at night as I left a Broadway show. Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Neil Patrick Harris had blasted it outta the park with an instant Broadway hit.

This was on top of his great long television run on the hugely popular "How I Met Your Mother" series that recently came to an end.

Not bad for the former very, very young Doogie Howser, M.D. 

I had just exited the early taping of the Late Show with David Letterman at the Ed Sullivan Theater - about 14 blocks away - and managed to snap a few daytime shots as I hurried up Broadway.

The crowd was still milling around outside so I knew I had made it in time.

Needless to say, this was another situation where cameras were not allowed.

With the proliferation of photos taken with cell phones, they were not popular either with the stern ushers who reminded us of the No Photos policy.

I obeyed and later found this picture online from the Emmys show a few weeks ago.

I can attest that it's the same outfit he wore onstage the night I sat in the 5th row.

Toward the end of the 97-minute blockbuster show, a man with a cellphone camera was quietly escorted out of the theater by two ushers.

He should have waited and taped a rerun of the Emmys where NPH won his acting award.

I did and therefore, was able to stay until the end.

Spoiler alert: his costume was more brief by that time.

Another entertaining feature of my New York visit was seeing the Prius painted as NY police cars.

Nothing against the compact fuel-efficient import, but I'm thinking a squad car should be bigger and badder. High speed chase cruisers.

The classic, big, Ford Crown Vic.

Oh, then I looked closer and saw these smaller vehicles were with the Traffic Division. Never mind.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

Instead of speeding fast, a Prius could hang behind until the bad guy stopped for gas.

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