radio city

Radio City Spring (very!) Spectacular!

I’ve tried to get this post up all day but there was the small issue of having to actually write it, get all of my pictures in order and “edit” some video footage. Then, of course, being at work didn’t help. And we all know it’s Tuesday and the Mindy finale was on (OMG. just OMG.) so naturally, I couldn’t do anything for the hour leading up to it and then I apparently needed an hour to get myself together. So, it will probably be Thursday before this goes up. I know you don’t care about specifics. I’m just annoyed at myself for not having a schedule and being all over the place. Let’s just say this whole ramble was for accountability or something.

Anyway, this is going to be a fun post. Spectacular, if you will.

This past Sunday I had a girl’s night out at the Radio City Spring Spectacular. And that it was. First of all, Derek Hough, of Dancing with the Stars fame, is in it. I love him on DWTS and I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to see an Emmy Award winning dancer on stage, in person. He didn’t disappoint. I mean between the singing, the dancing and the acting, the boy has skillz (to pay the billz). And he’s adorable, which is always welcomed.

When we walked in to the lobby we all got wristbands and were told that they were part of the show and to wear them like a watch. Our party all met up and we went to our seats. It turns out that mine was the aisle seat which made me so happy because it would be able to document. I should say before I insert any pictures, the seats we had for the Christmas Spectacular were better for pictures because we were closer. Unfortunately, these came out blurry or the lights were too bright, but the sets were so amazing I figured something was better than nothing. Also, I have this problem where I feel the need to document whatever I can at these things so I can have them forever. I’m trying to control this because I’m realizing more and more that I should really just be in the moment. I realize now that I missing so much while I worry about preserving memories. But that’s another post.

So, now we’re all seated and the lights go down and all of a sudden Derek is on stage. He’s Jake, an angel sent by God (Whoopi Goldberg) to New York to help save Bernie’s tour company. If he succeeds, he gets his wings! Bernie’s tour company is being taken over by Jenna (Laura Bernanti – amazing), who wants to make everything virtual. So Bernie, Jake, Jenna and Co. go on a tour of New York.

After the Rockettes do their opening number to Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York” (already, I’m hooked), Bernie starts off with a small history lesson about how Henry Hudson got lost on his way to China and found himself on what we all know and love today as New York island. Then we find ourselves at the Met. We also find out that Jake has magical powers. Powers that make paintings and statues come to life. And make our bracelets light up, which will come in handy later.

Bernie has two adorable grandchildren that join us for part of the tour. My favorite was the little girl who would not accept Jenna’s business card but wanted her Twitter handle instead. kids, i tell you. 

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While in Central Park, it started to rain. Literally, right on stage. I’ve seen Disney shows before, which are filled with that Disney magic, but this was right up there. Jenna’s assistant was also a master tap dancer and what else do you do in the rain but a full tap number? He was really great though. Like, Savion Glover good. (for the kids born after 1995, Google him.) As an avid watcher of DWTS, I know that Derek names Fred Astaire as one of his idols (and did an amazing tribute last season with Bethany Mota) so I wanted to get him dancing on the light pole on video but I got caught. Actually, I was going to take a picture, which is allowed, but the usher thought I was videoing, which isn’t. I was videoing, just not at that moment. There was also a moment during that number where one of the Rockettes fell on stage. I felt so bad. Here you are, in front of 6,000 people, and all of a sudden you’re on the floor. As bad as it sounds, I wish I had gotten that on video because she was a trooper. She fell but never broke stride. It’s almost a metaphor for life. It doesn’t matter who or where you are, if you fall just get back up and keep moving because the show must go on. Sounds good, no?

While the rain cleared (ha!) they showed a montage of movies made in New York. Well. I got emotional. It wasn’t meant to be a tearjerker or anything. On the way home, as we rode past the Empire State Building, my mom, my aunt and my cousin’s girlfriend were talking about the show and how great it was.

Me: Call me crazy, but I got emotional with the movie montage.

My aunt: Yea. It’s a sense of pride. There are movies and television shows set here. Songs written about it. I mean, nobody writes songs about Florida.

When the stage was dry, Bernie and Co. were back at Madison Square Garden. Bernie was not the best hockey, basketball or football player but he managed to hit a grand slam at Yankee Stadium. They had lots of cameos cheering Bernie on. Henrik Lundqvist, Mariano Rivera, Joe Girardi, Walt Frazier, Kelly Ripa, Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr, 50 Cent. There was a point where Jake was dancing at the bottom of my aisle and I was convinced he was going to run up it. Don’t worry, friends. I was ready if he did. I was going to say “I love you, Derek” when he passed me. I’m sure he would have given me and my group backstage passes to meet Jenna and Bernie and a few Rockettes. Take a couple of pictures and wish him luck on DWTS. Him and I could have hit it off. He didn’t run up though so I guess we’ll never know.

Jenna, at this point, was tired of all of the cultural sights so she took us to Fashion Week. They wore Zac Posen, DVF, and Isaac Mizrahi dresses. They also wore jackets that lit up. Our bracelets were also going nuts, thanks to Jake’s magic. It was really something to see. I would love one of those light up jackets so whoever could hook me up, that would be great.

After Fashion Week, we went to the New York Public Library, which was my favorite part. We met the lions who sit outside. They’re known as Patience and Fortitude, but also go by Tina and Amy, as in Fey and Poehler. I love those two together. My favorite line was:

Amy: I don’t know what ‘fortitude’ means

Tina: ‘Patience’ means beauty. The most beautiful.

I guess you had to be there. All I know is, I would happily be the third wheel of that friendship. They’re great.

Me with the real Patience/Tina

Me with the real Patience/Tina

I think at this point Jenna and Jake came into the audience because Bernie was quizzing us. They called on two people, one named Sal and the other Joanne (I believe). Laura even broke character to tell us that her parent’s names are Sal and Joanne so she loved them already. The third person they called on might have been planted because he was asked to sing “New York, New York” and he was actually really good. “Jenna” seemed wayy too excited for this guy so I’m thinking Laura may have been genuinely surprised. This is also where Jenna and Jake realize they like each other so that’s why I think this guy was planted, to make sure the show kept moving, you know?

Now we’re at the top of the Empire State Building, where Derek looks good in a white dinner jacket and sounds great singing one of my personal favorites, “The Way You Look Tonight”. By now, my mom was crying because this part was pretty emotional. I’ll just leave it at that since I’ve given every other detail of the show.

Finally, they head to the Statue of Liberty (also Whoopi Goldberg) and that’s all I’ll say. The Rockettes are celebrating 80 years this year, which warrants super sparkly costumes and they did not disappoint. in my next life, i’m going to be a rockette.

Here’s the video I “edited”. It’s all of the clips I was able to get before I got caught. Again, sorry for the quality.

And that’s about it. After the show we had dinner at Juniors, which was delicious. I recommend the “Something Different” and a slice of cherry cheesecake.

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Sorry this was so long. The show was really that good.  It’s a limited run but if you could get tickets, GET THEM AND GO!

Woof. This was a long one. Thanks for making it all the way to the end!

Before I sign off, I did a bit of redecorating! Do you like it? I’m still working on a few things, but I’m liking it so far.

Let’s discuss!

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merry new york christmas!

Last week I ventured in to the big ol’ city to see the Rockettes at Radio City. I haven’t seen the show in quite some time and honestly, I couldn’t remember it at all. That’s the beauty of getting old – old things become new again.

We took the express bus in to the city and from the minute we disembarked from the bus and on the the sidewalks of 6th Avenue, my mother grabbed my arm as if her life depended on it. One thing about my mom is, she is not a particularly nervous person so I have no idea where this came from. We got to the corner right in front of Radio City and we got separated (read: I wriggled out from her grasp). There was a huge group of out of towners on the corner being very out of town like* and I had to maneuver around them to cross the street. When I finally got across, I found my mother and the look on her face was a mix of sheer panic and relief that we were reunited. Needless to say, this will be the last time for a long time that we make a trip to the city together.

*I have to make this announcement right here, right now. If you are not from any of the five boroughs and decide to make a trip to New York City with either your whole family or the entire congregation of your church, please heed my advice. The city is an extremely busy place, where people just GO. If you are lost, or if people are missing from your group, please move to the side and wait for them. DO NOT wait en masse on the corner of any intersection. DO NOT wait en masse in the middle of any sidewalk. You all have cellphones, move over or duck into a store and make a phone call. They will find you. Also, I’m all for taking pictures and I totally understand and appreciate the beauty that is New York City, however there is an art to doing it. Do it fast and, if you can, do it on the move. hustle, hustle, hustle! Practice taking pictures while walking before you get here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy tourists. I really do think you guys are a big part of the appeal of the city. Especially when you point to the Chrysler building excitedly and exclaim how beautiful the Empire State Building is. Warms my heart.

Anyway, we make it to the entrance for ticket holders and we try to find somewhere to wait for my aunt that was coming from the other direction (read: Staten Island). It started to snow pretty hard by this point so we hugged the building and hoped she’d get there soon.

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After my aunt arrived, we headed through security and into the warmth of Radio City. It’s beautiful. It’s old and ornate and just ugh. lovely.

The chandelier was all crystal snowflakes. Each one different from the next, as snowflakes are. It sparkled like you wouldn’t believe. Honestly, I would have stood there for the hour and a half and just watched it twirl. Which I hope was on purpose because if not, someone better look in to that.

The recording that was playing outside and all through the lobby was pretty emphatic about no flash photography or video during the performance. So like the good little girl I am, I tucked my phone and my camera in my bag and waited for the show to begin. The man in front of me, however, did not. He took pictures without flash AND VIDEO of the whole show. And he had a nice, big DSLR camera so his photos were quality. I was highly annoyed. (Had this been a Disney on Broadway show, his ass would have been on the street before Santa could say HO HO HO) Finally, towards the end I noticed cellphones popping up and no wardens ushers telling anyone to put them away. I took this as my cue to whip my phone out and take some shots. don’t mind if i do.

I know they’re blurry, but had I known I wouldn’t get thrown in Radio City jail for bringing my big DSLR camera, they would have been better.

After the show ended we had some time before our reservation so we went to see the tree. I’m noticing as I write this that I’m using terms that only people from the area would use. THE city, THE tree. It almost diminishes the magnitude of what they are. (I know I must be coming off as highly ego centric or hometown centric and I apologize.) What’s so great about a tree?

THIS. this is what is so great about a tree.

She’s a real beaut, Clarke. – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

While we were at the tree my mom did the whole vice grip on my arm thing again and kept asking me if I was OK.

Mom: Are you OK?

Me: Yep

two minutes later…

Mom: Are you OK?

Me: I just tripped over a small child because you’re insisting that we literally stick together, but yea I’m fine.

two minutes later…

Mom: Are you OK?

Me: Yes, Mom. Are YOU ok?

We all ducked into the NBC Experience store because back in the day, it used to be a really cool place. They used to give tours, let you do the weather, sit at Leno’s (?) desk. Not anymore, but we made the best of it.

On our way to dinner we passed one of my favorite light displays in the city (after the windows and the tree)

The BAWLS, the LIGHTS, and those majestic looking REINDEER!

After dinner we headed back to the bus to go home. I looked up at one of the buildings across from us and saw that the Empire State Building was reflected on to the building. All of a sudden my inner Annie Liebovitz came out and I needed a picture. More regret that I was without my nice DSLR.

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The bus came and we got on, therefore essentially ending our adventure. It was a great time and can’t wait to do the same in the spring because the Rockettes are doing a new show all about New York City. Minus the tree, the lights and the other holiday goodness, of course.

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