Where It All Began - Fall 2019 travel blog

The Vessel

The Vessel

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reflecting pool

Timing is everything. The night we got here we ran into a vendor on the street who wanted to sell us $50 tickets to Hadestown, the latest Tony winner. It's never a good idea to buy tickets from a guy on the street for cash, but he offered to walk us to the theater a block away to make sure we got in. It was tempting, but we didn't have $100 in cash and and had not had anything to eat. Regretfully, we said no. The next day we were in Rockefeller Center and ran into a girl with a clip board that wanted to take us to a Late Night was Seth Meyers show taping. It would have conflicted with the Rockettes show which we already had tickets to. Again we regretfully said no. We went back again yesterday, but there was no girl with a clipboard.

Yesterday we took a food tour in the Flatiron District, so named because of the building with that distinctive shape. The neighborhood was a mix of classic buildings like the Flatiron built in the early 1900's and hum drum more recent stuff. This neighborhood was the first fancy neighborhood where families like the Roosevelts and stores like Tiffany's were first established. Eventually they moved north and the neighborhood fell into decline, although today it is more expensive to live there than most other Manhattan digs. Many of the classic buildings were covered with scaffolding. We were not inspired to take out our cameras. Besides our fingers were numb from the cold. In the evening we got half-price tickets to Dear Evan Hansen, another Tony winner from a few years ago we've been waiting to see. The lead who played an anxiety ridden high school student was so convincing. The show made us think of many troubled students we have worked with over the years. We enjoy great theater in Chicago, but here things are often of even high quality.

Today we went to Hudson Yards, a new entertainment complex that it not totally finished yet. People were waiting to climb The Vessel, a complex of 2,500 stairs that functions as a piece of outdoor art. We'll have to come back when The Shed its finished. From what we see on the web, from a distance, it looks like a giant silver train car backed into the side of an adjacent high-rise. The Shed, whose outer skin can actually move back and forth on a set of 24-ton wheels, will create an enclosed flexible performance space or an open plaza and plans to offer pop music and classical music and theater and visual arts. Amazing. Hudson Yards also had an enormous new mall full of fancy stores, good for window shopping only for people like us. The High Line, an elevated park built on an old railroad line connects Hudson Yards to points further south.

Last time we were here, we went to the 9-11 Memorial and came out of the museum and into a new railroad/subway complex that was just opening called The Occulus. Its architecture was so impressive, we returned today to see it finished. Again our timing was a bit off as workers were beginning to decorate for the holidays. We keep reading that retail establishments are struggling with all the on-line competition today, but you wouldn't guess that by what we saw today.

In the evening we walked up to Lincoln Center to see a play about LBJ's final years as president. Much of it was familiar, but we had forgotten how many problems Mayor Daley and our racist home town caused him as he balanced his Great Society program with the costs of the ever escalating Viet Nam War. We were left wondering how different our country would be today if he could have spent all that money on the poor and disadvantaged rather than on the Pentagon. Hindsight is 20/20.

Even with a few subway rides, according to our Apple watches, we walked over eight miles today. Feeling a bit achy, but glad that we still could do it.

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