New York City, Day 3
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):
Saturday, June 6, 2015, Part 2
During Michael’s workout, I wrote part 1 of today’s post. When he arrived at the hotel, we set out for Tribeca Park on our search for the Sing For Hope pianos.
We found it!
Then, we Ubered (is that a word?) to Michael’s apartment for us to practice a bit. We dropped by Duane Reade, a relative of Walgreens, for some munchies and actually practiced – finally!
From there, we got another Uber and headed to the Lincoln Center complex. Our plan was to eat at the same restaurant we’d found before we saw The Marriage of Figaro at The Met.
When we got there, there was some sort of upscale street fair on the grounds. It turned out to be the American Crafts Festival.
We walked through that to find the next S4H piano, which we located in the Charles B Benson Grove. Yamaha grand. There was a woman playing ragtime and a long line of folks who wanted to play. Turned out the woman played clubs around the city and was using this event to advertise.
Off we went to the restaurant to find it closed for 2 months renovation. The next place reservations only so we went back to the Lincoln Center and had sandwiches in their coffee shop. Not bad!
We went to our pre-program Mozart lecture given by Joelle Wallach. Very interesting!
Then, into Avery Fisher Hall to hear an all-Mozart program including:
Piano Concerto No. 21
Symphony No. 38, Prague
Piano Concerto No. 20
Here’s a review of the exact same performance that we attended! The same program had been performed on Wednesday.
Review from the New York Times: New York Philharmonic Gives Mozart His Due
As the festival continues to evolve in directions that have less and less to do with its namesake, the Philharmonic, perhaps sensing an opportunity, offers a Mozart program of its own this week: the “Prague” Symphony and the Piano Concertos No. 20, in D minor, and No. 21, in C, with Jeffrey Kahane as guest conductor and soloist.
The “Prague” must be every opera lover’s favorite Mozart symphony. Composed in Vienna in 1786 and evidently given its premiere in Prague early the next year, it is a virtual caldron of tunes more or less shared with “Le Nozze di Figaro” (1786) and “Don Giovanni” (1787).
More than that, the symphony, played before intermission, evokes the moods and characters of those operas, especially “Don Giovanni.” Mr. Kahane treated all of that a bit matter-of-factly at Wednesday evening’s performance, with little lingering to search out lascivious byplay in dark recesses or to limn a bumbling Leporello.
So it came as a delightful surprise, after intermission, when Mr. Kahane injected the condemnatory sequence of rising and falling scales from “Don Giovanni” into his own cadenza for the first movement of the D minor Concerto. His playing was deft and virtuosic in both concertos, though his fast tempos in the outer movements of the C major resulted in some blurred scalar passages and a slightly hectic feel at times.
You might have feared a certain weightiness from the Philharmonic in Mozart, but Mr. Kahane generally drew stylish playing from a reduced band of 40 or so. The strings had a pliant quality, and the woodwinds were especially fine.
The program was fantastic but we wondered why it was Concerto-Symphony-Intermission-Concerto. With that type of programming, it started with the piano on stage, then moved out, then moved back during the intermission for the final concerto.
A quick stop at Duane Reade for night time snacks than an Uber home. We went right by the cruise terminal on our way to the hotel.
Tomorrow’s a busy day with Steinway Hall then boarding the cruise ship. I may not finish writing these until we get home, depending on WiFi and other activities – but I’ll take good notes 🙂