Traversing the High Line

Hidden away in the concret jungle of Manhattan, to the west, lies the High Line Park. Converted from old train tracks, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues.

I’m not sure what the plants are called, but they evoked in me a sense of wild and free. In a city where plants are practically non-existant it’s like an oasis, tucked away, waiting to be discovered.

There were many places for sitting and reading, or even relaxing during a lunch break. We a passed a very small lawn where quite a number of people were having picnics and sitting on blankets. There was also a contemporary dance exhibit going on when we were passing through. There are quite a few events going on weekly at The High Line, it seems a great place for family fun.

More Images on Flickr

How to Succeed on Broadway!

Rising before the sun, my friend and I headed into the New York City to stand in line at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre’s box office to get rush tickets. We were aiming for 8 a.m. but got there around 7:45 to find a 15 people queue – I asked the first in line, they were there since 6 a.m.).  I stayed until 9:30 and then left for work; 30 minutes later I got a text saying we got the tickets! yay! =)

If you want to try rush tickets, check the website for details. The show was definitely worth getting up before the sun!

The set was very simple, just a few coloured rises that moved on and off stage when necessary, the backdrops, office furniture and box designed to look like a lift. Very simple, but very well done.

Scene from Coffee Break (image via broadway.com)

The costumes were mostly business suits and dresses. I absolutely LOVED the colours, I would wear some of those styles to work! For some reason the costumes reminded me of Annie (the movie, I haven’t seen the Broadway show).

The story  follows a young and ambitious J. Pierrepont Finch (Daniel Radcliffe), a window washer at the beginning of the story, and his climb up the corporate ladder.

As J. Pierrepont Finch climbs the corporate ladder, a secretary Rosemary Pilkington, played by Rose Hemingway, has set her eyes on making him her husband. Meanwhile Biggley’s nephew, Bud Frump, played by Christopher J. Hanke, is trying to blackmail his uncle into giving him a higher position.

Daniel Radcliffe did a great job! It took me until Act 2 to remember that he English and was using an American accent, he blended in so well! Also, I was pleasantly surprised by his singing and dancing skills. I can see Daniel going a very long way with his acting career. John Larroquette who played J.B. Biggley, the head of World Wide Wickets, was one of my favourites in the show. His character was quite hilarious and probably the one that provided the most laughs for me. I also loved Christopher Hanke, he did a great job in portraying Bud Frump and adding more laughs to the show.

I listened to the songs before the show (on Spotify) and didn’t think I would get the soundtrack , but, after seeing the show, I think I’m going to getting it! Some of my favourite songs were Coffee Break (hilarious and great choreography), Paris Original (such a funny song!) and Brotherhood of Man – I think Daniel’s dancing skills shone through on this one, see video below from the Tony Awards.

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Great show, wonderful production. I had a fabulous time!

Tea Service at Cha-An

I went with my bookish friend, A, to Cha-An last week for dinner. They are located on the second floor and as of last week they only take cash.

They are rather small, and have a tea room in which they do 30 minutes Japanese Tea Ceremonies. Inside it’s very nice; the decor is very earthy and peaceful.

I decided to do the Afternoon Tea Set ($18) which came with two bagel sandwiches, scones with preserves and cream, an assortment of sweets and tea of your choice. The bagels were on the small side but were soft and yummy. I loved the salmon that came with the sandwich. I chose the genmaicha tea, which had a very earthy taste due to the rice that sits soaking in the tea. I loved it! I forgot the tea that A had, but I remembered that it was a fruity one and she liked it as well.

The bagels came in a little basket, but I was too hungry to remember to take a photo of it. I did remember to take a photo of the dessert though. It came with a green tea macaroon which was yummy. The scones were crunchy on the outside — due to some sugar-like crystals — but was soft on the inside.

The mochi dessert was A’s choice; all three were chocolate mochi and it was delicious!

The portions were small but filling, which was good. Usually tea services are so large that it’s difficult to finish it all; however, I was able to finish everything without issue. I’d definitely go here again; their lunch menu looks delicious.

Brunch at Alice’s Tea Cup

I’ve been a patron to all three Chapters of Alice’s Tea Cup and every time I go I usually get the tea service, as there are usually people in my party who have never had tea or been to Alice’s. So when my friends and I decided to go to Alice’s for brunch, I was excited. Ecstatic. Practically giddy with excitement, and I must say, Alice’s did not disappoint.

The brunch menu had a lot of choices, including the regular tea service; however, while I did want tea, I wanted something more breakfast-like and so I decided to go with French Toast. The toast was infused with apricot brandy and it also had fruit coulis, vanilla creme anglaise and a few berries alongside.

I have to say, this was the best french toast I’ve ever had! I want to go back just to have the french toast! It was amazing. Fabulous. Fantastic. Magnificent and such.

 

My companions had some egg dishes which they enjoyed. I heard the potatoes were delicious! As usual, Alice’s did not disappoint.

The Whitney Museum and Foursquare

The Whitney Museum of American Art partnered with Foursquare back in February. Their partnership offered a badge to users – after checking in to certain places – so that the cost of admission for anyone with the badge would be $5 (as opposed to the usual $18). I visited the museum this past weekend, using the discounted price, and took a stroll through the exhibits.

A few of the exhibitions stood out to me. The Glenn Ligon exhibit was pretty heavy. It is available until June 5th and has a number of prints, photos, drawing and even some neon lights. It’s not light hearted and whimsical, it practically reaches out and punches you in the gut. I’ve never thought about my minority status in society as much as I did while walking through this exhibit.

I’ve been lucky to be unaffected by racism or prejudice when it comes to my colour and womanhood — or, if I have been subjected to any prejudice I haven’t noticed. However, while walking through this exhibit one thing struck me, that thing is, at a young age I never knew colour. I never looked at my brown hands and thought, oh, I’m brown and that person is white or black. I just saw people. Even now all I see are faces and humans and I’m glad for that bit of colourblindness.  However, it was only when another person voiced it that I realised that we were all different. I appreciate the differences and can understand the need to cling to your own “group” so to say, but I still don’t quite grasp it as I never feel comfortable with only one race or one social class.

One of the things that stood out to me about this exhibit wasn’t just colour, but also the need to be a part of a group, or to have an identity. It’s a longing inside everyone to be a part of something greater. That’s what grasped me most of all.

One of my favourite pieces was on the fifth floor. It was the Walk, Don’t Walk sculpture by George Segal, made to represent pedestrians in New York who move along in a zombie-like state as they carry on with their day.

I can understand this piece. Sometimes I feel the same way. When I walk down the streets it’s usually to get from one place to the next. Many times I have my ipod in my ears and I hardly pay attention to the people around me. No smiles, no chatting with strangers, just pure focus on getting to my destination. It amazes me that I could stand so close to someone on the sidewalk, waiting for the light to change and not even realise that they are there. How robotic it seems. Then there are times when I make an attempt to be aware and to see what’s going on around me. During these times I get a glimpse of beauty of the city I live and work in, or snatches of conversations that reveal a lot about the people around me. For example, there was a time when a woman on her phone was arguing with her significant other. I felt sorry for her, I wanted to give her a tissue so that she could wipe the tears that she was holding back. Couldn’t the other person wait until she was home to have this conversation? I thought. I didn’t act on my impulse, because if I did I would be breaking that unspoken rule, you do not listen to other people’s conversations, even if it’s happening right next to you. You just pretend that you don’t hear and you carry on your life.

The Breaking Ground: The Whitney’s Founding Collection was perhaps my favourite exhibition. According to their website:

At the turn of the twentieth century, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, an heiress and sculptor born to one of America’s wealthiest families, began to assemble a rich and highly diverse collection of modern American art. This group of objects, combined with a trove of new works purchased around the time of the Whitney Museum’s opening in 1931, came together to form the founding collection.

The portrait of Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney was my favourite in this exhibit, I’m not sure why, it just caught my eye and reminded me of another time and another society. Then of course my imagination took over. What happened in that time? What happened right before, or after, or even during this painting? What was the world like?

I’m really glad that Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney decided to follow her dream as a sculptor and open a museum for American Art. I think it’s important to see our culture captured through art of all forms. The expression of an artist – what they are going through, how they view the world – is very important for others to experience. I think that once we can see the world through another’s eyes, it becomes difficult to ignore others and to stay in our little bubble. I was glad to have experienced a bit of the past, a bit of another person’s point of view and also to understand a bit more of myself through the art I saw.

The partnership and lower admission cost goes on until May 31st, I would highly recommend foursquare-ers to take advantage of it! Also, all images here were from the Whitney Museum website. I couldn’t take photos while inside, which is sad, but understandable. I’m just glad the website had the images that I wanted to keep in memory.