On Broadway...

Trip Start Feb 15, 2010
Trip End Feb 14, 2011

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Where I stayed
Country Inn & Suites, Long Island City, NY

Flag of United States  , New York
Sunday, April 11, 2010

This morning we awoke extra early to make our way down to Battery Park near the tip of Manhattan.  Our destination was Castle Clinton where we would go through a security check before boarding a ferry to Liberty Island.  On her previous visit, my mother had been able to make the ascent to the crown of the statue, but only a limited number of tickets are available for that each day now and they require reservations far in advance.  During my last visit to New York I was only able to view the statue from a harbor tour boat, and I wanted to visit the statue and Ellis Island, so off we went.

At Liberty Island, we started by walking around the perimeter of the island and looking up at the Statue of Liberty from every angle.  We also stopped to have someone snap a photo of us in front of the statue before moving on to visit the museum inside the statue's base. 

To enter the museum we were forced to go through a second (and more thorough) security checkpoint that included puffers.  The puffers appeared to be over-sized metal detectors, but upon standing inside one, each person is blasted with a series of puffs of compressed air that are used to dislodge particles that may be embedded on your clothes or hair.  The device is then able to sniff and test the particles for any dangerous materials that may be on your person.  It seemed to me that they could probably save some time and frustration by having these machines located at the first security check.  Unless they are that certain that someone could somehow procure some sort of dangerous material while on board the ferry.  The museum itself was interesting and had plenty of information about the construction and publicity of the statue.  Inside was the original torch, a recreation of the face, and a recreation of one foot.  It also covered how the statue was blended into popular culture and the many ways its image has been used to support different causes and advertisements.  Climbing a few flights of stairs from the museum, we were able to go out on the top of the statue's pedestal to have a look around before heading back down and returning to the ferry.

Our next stop was at Ellis Island.  Upon entry to the building, we were told that we could either watch a film about the history of the island or attend a ranger-guided tour of the building.  Considering the time we had available, we chose to go with the ranger.  Plus, I would almost always prefer actually touring the historical site with a guide to watching a film.  Besides, I can watch a film at home, and I'm willing to bet that most of them are available on youtube by now.  The ranger that led us around the building was very enthusiastic and full of knowledge about the operations that had gone on around the island.  After the tour, we wandered for a short while on our own, and made sure to sit on one of the original benches that remained before heading back down to the ferry.  We wished we had a little more time there, and would have liked to look up a couple of ancestors but between our lack of time and lack of information about them, we couldn't.  I did do a quick search with their online database on my phone as we were waiting for the ferry to return, but I wasn't able to find any satisfactory results for the names we had available.

Once returned to Manhattan, we made our way back up to the South Seaport TKTS booth to purchase tickets for the evening performances.  We settled on tickets to Chicago, which I had already seen a couple of times in other places, but figured it was a good enough show to see again since my mother knew nothing about it. 

With our tickets purchased, we made our way to the theatre for our afternoon performance of Avenue Q, and we stopped at a hot dog vendor for a quick lunch along the way.  Avenue Q turned out as everything it was advertised to be.  The use of muppets in the show was certainly a unique idea, and brought out a lot of fun opportunities.  The only problem was, I could never quite decide whether I wanted to watch the puppets or their equally animated puppeteers.

With another show down, we went to find somewhere for dinner before our final Broadway show of the trip.  After finding our next theatre and wandering the nearby streets for a bit, we entered Plataforma Churrascaria Brazilian Grill.  My parents had become very fond of a brazlian grill restaurant at their resort during a recent trip to Mexico.  I had never been to one, but the concept certainly sounded like a great one.  The restaurant had a large "salad" bar that included much more than simple salads and even had a sushi section.  The waiter warned us to avoid eating too much at the salad bar because we needed to save room for the meat.  I can't recall everything that floated past us on large skewers, but some I recall: prime rib, steak, pork, chicken, sausage, and lamb.  It was all good, but my mom claimed the one they visited in Mexico was much better.  The dismaying thing about this particular restaurant was definitely the bill, but we attempted to justify it in our minds by recalling the money we hadn't been spending by eating a lot of hot dogs.  In any case, I doubt I would find myself back there anytime in the near or distant future. 

Following dinner, we walked back to our theatre and found our seats for Chicago.  While it was still an entertaining show, and I hope my mother enjoyed it,  I would have to say it came in third on my list of the three performances I've seen.  The role of Roxie Hart was played by Michelle Williams from Destiny's Child and it just never felt or sounded right to me.  The best performance I had seen of the show was actually in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Every character just seemed to fit their roles perfectly in that performance.  One surprise for me was that the woman playing Velma Kelly in New York was actually the same actress from the performance in Johannesburg!  The 49 year-old actress, Amra-Faye Wright, is originally from South Africa and is currently overseas preparing to perform the role of Velma Kelly, yet again.  This time; however, it will be entirely...in Japanese.

After the show, we made our way back to the hotel for my mom's last night in NYC.
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