Today’s Original Schedule:
- 10:30AM Brunch with Lingyi at Open Kitchen
- 11:30AM or 12 See Scotland on the Fountain Terrace concert at Bryant Park
- 2:00PM See Hamilton on Broadway
- 6:00PM Dinner at Rossini’s
- 7:30PM ? Observe Jupiter with the Amateur Astronomer’s Association at Lincoln Center
What really happened:
Woke up fairly early, got dressed. I listened to the soundtrack from An American in Paris on Spotify. Michael and Lingyi met us downstairs at our building and we walked over for brunch at Open Kitchen. We’d been there before so I got some old favorites from the buffet.
Michael walked her to the subway and we Ubered to Bryant Park for the bagpipe concerts. By then, it was pouring rain.
The scale of the chanter is in Mixolydian mode, which has a flattened seventh scale degree. It has a range from one whole tone lower than the tonic to one octave above it. The drones are tuned to this tonic note, called A. The nine notes of the chanter scale “low G, low A, B, C, D, E, F, high G, and high A”. However, the A pitch of most pipers and pipe bands currently is somewhere around 480 Hz, which is actually sharper than standard B♭ at 466.16 Hz. Historically it was indeed flatter, as evidenced by recordings, and extant instruments.
Highland bagpipe music is written in the key of D major, where the C and F are sharp (despite the key-signature usually being omitted from scores). Due to the lack of chromatic notes, to change key is also to change modes; tunes are in A Mixolydian, D Major, B Minor, or occasionally E Dorian.
Traditionally, certain notes were sometimes tuned slightly off from just intonation. For example, on some old chanters the D and high G would be somewhat sharp. According to Forsyth (1935), the C and F holes were traditionally bored exactly midway between those for B and D and those for E and G, respectively, resulting in approximately a quarter-tone difference from just intonation, somewhat like a “blue” note in jazz. Today, however, the notes of the chanter are usually tuned in just intonation to the Mixolydian scale. The two tenor drones are generally an octave below the keynote of the chanter (low A), and the bass drone two octaves below, but they may be retuned to suit the mode of the melody. Forsyth lists three traditional drone tunings: Ellis, A3/A3/A2; Glen, A4/A4/A2; and Mackay, G3/B3/C2.
The first group was Shamrock & Thistle Pipes and Drums from New Jersey.
They even had a djembe (drum) which was cool. Unscottish but cool.
We found the “best public bathrooms in the world”, according to reviews Michael had on his phone.
Then another group played. Some of them were very young.
We saw a high school group wearing raincoats and playing actual band instruments waiting to line up for the parade. Raincoats. Ha!
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so get yourself a sexy raincoat and live a little.” ~ Billy Connolly
Here’s the Shamrock and Thistle in the parade:
We walked to the theater for Hamilton. Just as well we had tickets for that since it was pretty cold/rainy for the parade. The concert in the park was a better substitute for the parade. We walked by Un Deux Trois again. I said no to lunch there.
We were early for Hamilton so we got coffee, banana and pastry at Corso Coffee across the street.
When we saw the Hamilton line moving, we went over. Michael had to buy these tickets from a reseller so we didn’t have seats together. He and I sat together and Tom was about 20 seats away.
Fantastic show. Tom liked it. I was afraid he wouldn’t because of the hip-hop music / rap but I was wrong.
We walked to Rossini’s for dinner. We stopped at those restrooms in Bryant park and I tried them out. Drama between women’s matron and men’s attendant over a water bottle in trash. <Sigh>
We got to Rossini’s early for our reservation. I had cream of broccoli soup and spaghetti, key lime pie and coffee. I also had a Black Russian which meant no Vicodin later.
We were so early that we missed the opera singer, although she came in just as we were leaving. Just as well since we didn’t have any obscure selections for her this time.
We ubered back to our place. We listened to a bit of Hamilton (The Kings first song), watched some stuff on YouTube, including the king teaching Steven Colbert how to do the walk, Bicycle band (video coming tomorrow!), Top Secret Drummers, Geocaching, handbell Pirates of the Caribbean and more.
After Michael left, we watched some Downton Abbey, had ice cream and off to bed.
Michael’s original schedule for today:
What really happened:
We left DC on schedule. I happened to get this picture out the train window at New Carrollton and had no idea what these hands were:
A bit of sleuthing when we got home came up with this article from the Washington Post:
Answer Man: The Big Hands of the Law
By John Kelly
Monday, June 20, 2005
My query is about the two enormous hands on black-and-white pillars outside the Internal Revenue Service building across from the New Carrollton Metro station. A friend at the IRS suggested they represent the idea that “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.” Somehow I feel there is a more lofty story.
Gretchen Dunn, New Carrollton
The two pillars are just 66.6 percent of artist Larry Kirkland ‘s sculptural work in front of what is technically, if rather drably, known as the Federal Building.
The centerpiece is a black granite pyramid etched with the U.S. Constitution. Across a little plaza are the two columns. Each is composed of alternating bands of black granite and white marble. (For some reason they reminded Answer Man of the Hamburglar‘s outfit.)
The most striking elements are the huge, white marble hands atop each column. Each hand points skyward, one with the forefinger extended; the other is an open hand, the fingers ever so slightly cupped.
They are open to many uncharitable interpretations: One hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. The pointing hand is the IRS telling you to pay your taxes; the other is where you put the money.
So what’s really going on?
The 1997 work is called “Vox Populi,” which is Latin for “the voice of the people.” The hand with the raised index finger represents deliberation, argument, the gesticulation of a speaker giving his or her opinion. The hand with an open palm represents the act of voting or taking an oath.
The columns are engraved with more hands, the profiles of people engaged in conversation and quotations from various well-known figures, including Ben Franklin, John Milton and Frederick Douglass. One catchy selection is from the late senator Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine), whose basic forms of “Americanism” include “the right to criticize, the right to hold unpopular beliefs, the right to protest, the right of independent thought.”
Here’s a better picture, courtesy of Google.
We arrived at Penn Station right on time and Michael met us.
We took the subway to the Wall Street stop and walked over to our Airbnb which I chose because it was so close to Michael’s apartment.
We followed Sam’s directions (Airbnb owner). I felt a little like a secret agent!
There will be a lockbox set on the apartment door, and the code is ****. There will be two door keys inside of the box.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, when you enter the building, directly go front-left, there will be two sets of elevators, turn right on the second set, and go to the 23rd floor. Turn left when you get out of the elevator. The apartment number is PHS (there will be lockbox on the door, so it will be obvious).
The reason I don’t want you to ask doorman for access is that the doorman will call my room (I will not be home), and if you just walk in directly, the doorman will not stop you.
We finally got into our penthouse home for the weekend at 10 Hanover Square and no doorman was used.
Looked around, unpacked a little and decided to eat before the show. A quick walk past Hanover Square and we ate at Harry’s Cafe and Steak across from Hanover Square.
After a yummy meal, we walked up to Modells so Tom could buy new shoes. His old ones had holes in them so they weren’t so good in the rain. (He bought black Nikes.)
We took subway to the Palace Theater for An American in Paris.
It was a fantastic show, different than the movie, but somewhat similar. There was some Gershwin music added that came from different shows. The woman in front of me was humming along to most of the music, which was most annoying.
The backdrops were so clever but the dancing was out of this world.
From the Variety review:
After the show, we took subway to Michael’s stop and got a new knee brace and snacks at Duane Reade in the Trump Building, then back home.
We found this place has no tv so we watched Downton Abbey on my iPad.
My knee was very uncomfortable from all the walking and stairs (lots of stairs in the subway!) so I took 1/2 a Vicodin and put on the new brace.
At first I thought the bed was too hard but it was a firm foam. Very comfortable.
According to my phone, we walked 3.66 miles and climbed 13 flights of stairs!