An Empire State of Mind Part 2

NYC Travelogue Day 3 4/16/10
6:10 a.m. We’re supposed to be down in the lobby, but instead we’re waiting for a friend to call us.
I don’t know if I was dreaming (I don’t think I was, since I remember sitting up and asking ‘What was that?’) but I heard the strangest noises last night. It was like someone in the hall was screaming.

10:19 p.m. What a day. So tired…I’ll just have to give you a quick rundown.
We went to the ‘Today’ show, and while we were walking there this random guy read the back of the t-shirt I was wearing from the Pro-Life club, and called me a ‘papist little sl**’. Now, doesn’t that seem a little anachronous to you? Just saying. Anyway, after that we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where I bought two gifts for a little girl I dance with who’s making her First Communion and got them blessed by a priest. From there we went to Rockefeller Center, then took a tour of Lincoln Center. That was all right, except our tour guide was pretty rude.
The one thing that was really cool was singing in Lincoln Center. Yep, you heard me right. We were in the opera house, which was ginormous, and sitting in the top balcony (yikes! One look down was enough for me!) when the tour guide, to show off the acoustics, asked one of us to sing a few bars of something, anything. We all just kind of looked at each other awkwardly for a few moments before I stepped up to the plate with the first few bars of “Simple Gifts”, a song that the Women’s Choir, which I’m not in, had sung at Children’s yesterday.
Oh, I almost forgot- the racket I heard last night really did happen! Ya see, there was evidently a volcano in Iceland last night, and all the ash from it is blowing across Europe, which closed airports. So now, since a lot of those flights were to and from NYC, there are all these Europeans here who are looking for places to stay, unexpectedly, and some of our rooms were supposed to be theirs, and vice versa- and that’s why one of the chaperones on the floor called security on this drunk guy in our hall singing really loudly in a foreign language! All the same, nobody in my room heard it besides me.
After the Lincoln Center, we split up into two groups for vocal and instrumental clinics. Of course I was stuck in instrumental, where we learned to play ‘On Broadway’ twenty bazillion times, and they didn’t even have bells music, so Landon- the other mallets player- and I were stuck with the second flute part, which had one note maybe every ten measures or so, after dragging our instruments clear upstairs, only to find that they had them for us! Grr. Meanwhile, the vocal clinic people were learning the first song in The Lion King with an understudy for Mufasa! Where is the justice?
After that, it was dinner at Mama Sbarro, which was pretty good, but seriously- we have one of those at the Piqua Mall. The evening went downhill from there. We went from the restaurant to something called the Gazillion Bubble Show. It was “unbubblievable”, all right- unbubblievably weird. That’s all I can say. I think that if we’d been about twelve years younger, it might have been more enjoyable, but we weren’t, so it wasn’t. You know, I’ve never been on acid, but that couldn’t have been too far off…
We had free time after that, and my small group wanted to go to the Disney Store, but it was closed. As in, for good.
So we walked a long, long time in the rain, Mom and I in our ponchos that didn’t do much to keep us dry, and we turned in early.

NYC Travelogue Day 4 4/17/10

11:05 a.m. It was a busy morning, since we had to pack up and check out. It was pretty much the same frenzied scene as checking in, only in reverse. No weird noises last night, and we went to Starbucks for breakfast after loading our things on the bus and boarding it for a tour of Manhattan.
Right now, we just got done with St. Paul’s Chapel, which is right by Ground Zero. We have the most interesting tour guide! Her name’s Jane, and she’s very funny, and the only word to describe her, I guess, is ‘zany’. She’s a bit self-centered, or seemingly so, and distracted, with a punchy, campy way about her that was a big hit with the parents and eventually won over the rest of us. Just overheard Mom say to Mrs. Shoenfelt that she thinks Jane used to be a guy. Come to think of it, it sort of makes sense. Sorry, getting off track again.

11:36 a.m. Well, this is fun. Not. We were supposed to go on a ferry ride to Staten Island and see the Statue of Liberty. That was planned…you know what? Everyone’s super-upset. The tension on this bus is tangible. It seems like you could reach into the air and grab a handful of it, and if you held up a tuning fork, it would probably start to ring by itself. Too mad to write. Will get back later.

12:15 a.m. It’s officially April 18th. We just got done with Mass at St. Malachy’s, a Catholic chapel specifically for actors on Broadway. As you might expect, it has some pretty unconventional Mass times, like the one we just attended at 11:00. Before that, we’d seen ‘The Lion King’. Boy, was that cool!
As for my last entry, the explanation was this: we were all really ticked off by the fact that Mrs. VT had decreed that since we were off schedule (well, duh. We’d been off from the get-go, trying to check out of the hotel that morning with everyone’s luggage and the elevators that still didn’t work.) we couldn’t take the ferry. If we did, “some people” (she herself) couldn’t get back in time to see ‘Mary Poppins’. When she said if we wanted to go, we would have to go in our three-hour block of free time later that afternoon -the free time which, by the way, began with us being dropped off in Times Square!- it was the last straw. Even the most patient of parents had had it. With my mother and Mrs. Shoenfelt, neither of whom had ever been fans of Mrs. VT’s arbitrary antics, sitting in front of us, another mother behind us and two more across from us, Caitlin and I got quite an earful.
My mom and I ended up meeting Amanda and Kyle, cruising Greenwich Village some more and having lunch. Perfectly peaceful. Before we had to meet back at wherever it was (I forget, honestly) to go to dinner and the Gazillion Bubble Show, we went to the Colony Music Store. It looked really tiny, and it was really tiny, but it had some of the coolest music! I ended up getting a piano book from Brigadoon, a musical and a movie (ever seen it? If you haven’t, you must. It’s one of those MGM golden oldies about these American hunters in Scotland who stumble across a village that emerges from the mist once every hundred years) the movie Pride and Prejudice and Riverdance.
Now we’re on our way home. I’m pretty excited, too. All in all, on a scale of one to ten, I’d give this trip a six or seven at the highest. It needed better organization, and one could only hope Schweller didn’t know everything about that Gazillion Bubble Show. My favorite things were Central Park, seeing Amanda, and “singing in Lincoln Center”.
So there you have it. Our trip to the Big Apple from start to finish.





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