Rockefeller Ctr, Sybarite5 Chamber String Quartet

Trip Start Dec 01, 2009
Trip End Dec 14, 2009

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, December 10, 2009

great sunny day, but quite chilly. (Chicago - bad with a wind chill of 9 degrees.)

I got up early before sunrise, shot some good shots down 23rd street, included on this site. I then went for a long walk west to 9th Ave and walked south ending going up and walking the old elevated train line = the "High Line." It is an elevated urban park with planting and concrete panels covering the old railroad tracks.

We spent the entire day at Rockefeller Center

After going crazy running around and trying to find the correct
location to procure tickets to the Top of the Rock so I would be up
there an hour before sunset, at sunset and then during dusk/twilight
and also tour the NBC studios, we took a short rest and then went on
the tour. We were provided with our own helper, Donald, about our age
who cleared the way all the time, even finding our own elevators. The
guides themselves were just great and had some personality. At the end
I volunteer to play the roll of a news anchor person and read the news
from a monitor. Lots of fun!

We went outside and viewed the Christmas tree, along with a gazillion
little kiddies on field trips. OMG! We then walked around the ice rink.
How convenient that there was a Metropolitan Museum of Art gift shop
right there! Well, we could not pass THAT gift shop! Bought the Robert
Frank book and more and are having all of it sent home.

Then we crowded into a small Dean and Deluca coffee shop across from
the Today Show window. We had some chili soup and ham and potato soup
along with a Cuban sandwich we shared and I had a large hot chocolate.

Unfortunately we did not run into Louis Mendes, who has been shooting
tourist photos in front of the tree for 40 years with a vintage Speed
Graphic 4x5 camera, potato masher flash and sells you a Polaroid print!
He even has a Facebook page!

We eventually went to the Top of the Rock where it was quite cold and windy.

Upon descending we found a Starbuck’s inside the lower level of the
center. Susan had a tea and I had a coffee mocha. We sat looking out
picture window onto the skating rink. As we looked out the window,
during the cleaning of the ice by the Zamboni, a guy and his girl
friend skated to the center of the rink in front of the gold winged
sculpture and the Christmas tree above it. He proposed to her, complete
with the ring. Sweet! A memory to cherish.

Although it seemed impossible to hail a cab, I managed to attack one
when I spotted one pulling over to drop off a well heeled couple. Such
good luck! That wind and cold was not pleasant.

Susan decided to relax at the hotel.

I went to a concert performed by The Sybarite5 Chamber String Quartet
at a small venue next door to the hotel called "the cell.' The group
was fabulous and played rock music that they or others had had arranged
for string quartet simply because there is virtually no music composed
for such a group - combination. Quartet yes, quartet, apparently not.
They opened with "The Rebel" by Piotr Szewczyk which was simply
dynamite. One piece was by Dan Visconti who has spent some time
Memphis, TN. It was titled " Black Bend," and evoked, at the beginning
the erratic circling of a bee. Then it picked up speed and it started
to truly swing! I found my foot tapping and noticed those all all the
musician's feet tapping as well. The reason was the slap of bass and
the cello. It proceed to really rock and have the flavor a bit of
country music. They also played two pieces by Astor Piazzolla
arranged by Piazzola himself. "Muerte de Angel" was really great. They
finished with "Heart Breaker" by Led Zepplin that brought the small
intimate group to it feet. I think a few even whistled.

Afterward there was champaigne and mixing with the group and audience. I spoke to the cellist for quite some time.
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