We checked out pretty early from the Airbnb. Neither of the hosts were there so we left the key on the counter and took our luggage over to Michael’s.
Breakfast/brunch today was at Koyzina Kafe,
From there, we took an Uber to the interim Steinway Hall. Michael and I were the last people ever to play at the last Steinway Hall, in the main room. We played a 2-piano version of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I’m sorry that the video quality is so poor:
That first time, Michael played Mozart’s Rondo in D Major, also poor quality video 🙁
Fortunately, the new Steinway Hall, when completed, will have built-in professional recording.
Adapted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steinway_Hall:
That Steinway Hall (on 57th Street) was designated a registered historic and cultural landmark in 2001. The exterior featured a bas-relief of Apollo and a musical muse by Leo Lentelli located in the lunette above the grand window at ground level.
The main room, a two-story rotunda, featured high domed ceilings, handpainted by Paul Arndt. The interior design was appointed with marble and portraits of composers and concert artists. Some valuable paintings are showcased throughout Steinway Hall, by such renowned artists as Rockwell Kent, N.C. Wyeth, Leopold Seyffert and Charles Chambers. The main rotunda seated up to 300 guests and a small symphony orchestra. The showrooms were covered with wood panels for better acoustics. In the basement of Steinway Hall was a concert grand piano bank: an exclusive collection of Steinway concert grand pianos, maintained for the use in live concerts as well as for studio recordings by performing artists.
At the end of June 2013 Steinway & Sons announced that they sold the leasehold interest in the Steinway Hall on 57th Street for $46.3 million in cash.
The current, interim location is a rented building on the address 1133 Avenue of the Americas.
They will move to their new, permanent location in February, 2016
We got to our location faster than expected and walked around the block. I was stunned when we saw Cafe Un Deux Trois!
Cafe Un Deux Trois has a special memory for me. November 2, 2003, Michael decided to run the New York Marathon. We went to NY to see him run. (He finished in 4:21:57. The average for males that year was 4:28:56).
From good-old Wikipedia:
The New York City Marathon (branded TCS New York City Marathon and formerly branded ING New York City Marathon for sponsorship reasons) is an annual marathon (42.195 km or 26.219 mi) that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is the largest marathon in the world, with 50,304 finishers in 2013. Along with the Boston Marathon and Chicago Marathon, it is among the pre-eminent long-distance annual running events in the United States and is one of the World Marathon Majors.
My best friend, Alice, and her brother (David) were living in Brooklyn and they decided to meet us in Manhattan on Saturday night. Michael and a friend went to a comedy show while Alice, David, Tom and I walked around Times Square, just talking. We turned down a side street and saw… Cafe Un Deux Trois. We decided to go in to eat.
I remember nothing about the meal. But, at the next table was Ben Gazzara, Gena Rowlands, Peter Bogdanovitch and 3-4 others I didn’t recognize. After about half an hour, Carol Kane came in, too. It turned out that Ben Gazzara was in a one man show across the street which had just opened: Nobody Don’t Like Yogi. All this made the meal very exciting.
For the last several years, every time we’ve been near Times Square, I’ve looked down the side streets for this restaurant and never saw it again until this day.
A very nice memory of Alice.
When we got back to Steinway Hall, the doors were opened and we went up to the recital room. A friend of Tom’s came to listen, too.
Michael played Partita II by Johann Sebastian Bach
Our duet this year was an old Christmas favorite, Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams
After Steinway Hall, we went to Tony’s di Napoli for lunch, Then rested for a bit at Michael’s.
We planned to go to a museum but were running short of time so we walked around Battery Park, took a picture…
Took a picture of the Wall Street Christmas Tree at dusk:
Then we picked up our stuff at Michael’s, took the subway to Penn Station and headed home, exhausted.
Walking today: 4.19 miles, 6 flights of stairs
Where the pictures were taken (I didn’t take pictures everywhere and Tom didn’t have his phone):
This time we went to NY, there were some “firsts”. Our regular dog sitter was unavailable, and so was our dog’s sister so we asked a friend in the neighborhood who also had dogs. Mimi had met Sue near her house but never near ours. Sue came over several times and Mimi found her acceptable so the trip went on as planned.
Since our past regular hotel is no longer available and we weren’t all that thrilled with the hotels we’d stayed in, I decided to try Airbnb. I’d never used that before and I was a little overwhelmed by the choices that were available. Unfortunately, I started looking on a Sunday morning when I rang handbells at both services. So, I found the place I wanted and, since it was our first time, scanned in my driver’s license. During church, I got a message that the scan was too blurry. So, between services I scanned again and went back to church. There is a time limit that they hold the place, so I was concerned. After the second service, I found out we were accepted. Hooray!
The place I choose had several amenities but the best was how close it was to Michael’s place. Only .3 mile walk. No subways, no Ubers. Just a short walk.
On Friday, December 11, 2015 we headed out for Union Station in a reasonably timely fashion – only about 15 minutes late! Getting on Route 66, Tom realized he had forgotten his phone. For once, we didn’t go home to get it. Our schedule was very tight and we couldn’t miss this train.
The Amtrak parking lot was nearly full so we parked up on the very top layer, way on the side. But we found a space. They were already boarding when we got downstairs but we were able to find seats together on the train. The trip was normal, which was good. We arrived in NYC on time. Also good. Michael had taken a half day off work, so he met us at Penn Station.
We took the subway and there was a stop right outside our Airbnb – very convenient! We took our things in and met one of the owners, Paul, and their 2 adorable corgis. Paul showed us around and gave us our key for the weekend. The dogs followed us everywhere and I fell in love with them.
Back on the subway to the Lincoln Center for the Big Apple Circus. We’d seen them a couple times here but Michael had never seen them. On the grounds of the Lincoln Center, everything is under the tents where here, much is outside.
We found that Michael had bought tickets in the VIP Seating & Lounge. This included:
- The best seats in the tent! First row, center ringside
- Private Concierge
- Complimentary Circus Meal – includes hot dog, soda and choice of popcorn or cotton candy
- Cheese, vegetable and fruit crudite
- Juice, water, wine, and beer
- Souvenir Book (We didn’t get this!)
- Private restrooms (They called this the Golden Restroom)
- Coat rack
- Photo opps as you try on our circus costumes and hats
- Close-up magician who did card tricks with us
THE GRAND TOUR is a circus extravaganza set in the 1920s and featuring acts from the four corners of the globe. Ships, trains, automobiles, and airplanes will serve as the backdrop for breathtaking acts of wonder, accompanied by the seven-piece Big Apple Circus Band playing live at each of more than 100 performances. Acts will include clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists, from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America, as well as domestic and rescue animals, all creating performances that will leave audiences smiling and cheering. The show runs 1 hour and 50 minutes including a 20-minute intermission.
I was glad to see the ringmaster, John Kennedy Kane, was back. The last time we went here at home, there had been a female ringmaster.
There were so many neat acts and we were right there, front and center, to see them. Some of the acts seemed like they would land in our laps.
This is one of the clown acts:
A sample of some of the other acts. I loved the Wheel of Wonder, about 1:20:
And, a short TV interview:
This video is so cool – “Our performers give a bird’s eye view of what it’s like to perform under the Big Top! Get your tickets today and see the joy and wonder of this season’s show for yourself!”
After the show, we went out to eat. Our first choice wasn’t available so we ended up at a French restaurant, La Boite en Bois
We took an Uber back to the airb. Tom talked with Paul for a while and I fell asleep immediately. I couldn’t find my contact case so I used the case for a SD card. Worked ok as a temporary fix.
Overnight, I could smell the fabric softener they’d used on the sheets or comforter but I was too tired to take any meds for that.