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.
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):