Friday, August 3, 2012

Back in the Air - Continued(second day in NYC)

Crowd near NBC plaza to watch Adam Levine's Live concert

Adam Levine at NBC Plaza
Next day, we woke up early to hit NBC plaza to see Live concert performed by Singer Adam Levine. I even visualized of myself showing off to TV cameras of my brightly decorated poster about my search for Lufthansa Steward with date and flight number and requesting anybody to contact me if they know the right person. But apparently, we did not wake up too early to even enter the block or even the nearby block where he was performing. Once the crowd got filled in, the police blocked the whole street. Walking back and forth the whole block, covering either side of the stage in a hope of a glimpse is no use other than killing time.  Not only the block, but the block leading to plaza has been blocked for late comers. I was so disappointed with the whole scenario. They could have a kept a walking path, for people to just get at least a glimpse of the stage. Totally horrible, but they are some real fans who somehow make it possible and stand right in front of the stage. All I saw was Al Roker and Adam Levine on a nearby TV screen.

What we came to know from this experience is NBC  prerecords and edits the show before showing it to the viewers. The concert too, they don't show the entire one but shows the viewers only the current hit songs of the singer. Even though, the singer performs for more than 30 minutes without long breaks.

From there, we headed to the hotel, to have our free hotel breakfast. I recall one particular incident, which  happened when I was trying to get on to the elevator. Even though, I pressed the button, the elevator doors got closed even though a young European tried his best to stop. After few seconds, the elevator door opened.....we both gave each other a satisfying look for being successful in our attempts to stop the elevator. Even though he was handsome...even though such a cute incident happened....even though our eyes met... I did not feel any connection with him. But the whole time on the elevator, I thought about Steward. That's when I realized, Steward was special. He and I had something special....rapport between was from the get go, nothing was forced upon, understanding and attraction between each other was instant which really, a very rare thing in this world.

After sometime, I saw the same guy downstairs, ready to hit the streets. But then came his girlfriend....holding  each other, they kissed for long time which made me feel uneasy. I really love "young love" - so much hope, innocence and purity especially from young guys.

After breakfast, we went to FAO Schwarz® Toys - home of the legendary toy company where kids can walk on the piano and make their own music. Kids were happy and satisfied with the store. The store covered pretty much everything from trains to classic characters. Even though, my daughter made us buy - make your own doll - we felt pretty expensive but couldn't say anything when our son got the best, unique and an expensive toy which you get only in FAO Schwarz.

Why to whine when you get the best toy ever -
The unbreakable remote controlled helicopter flies up and down, forward/backwards, clockwise/counter clockwise and left and right.

 In the city that never sleeps, there's a store that never stops.The Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York is unique because the store is underground. The only thing you can see above ground is a giant glass club with glass staircase, glass elevator and a big Apple logo.
From there on, we went to buy tickets to the famous Broadway show - The Phantom of the Opera for Saturday afternoon.

A great discovery, if you want to get discounted tickets to experience Broadway shows: TKTS Discount Booths offer tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway musicals and plays at up to 50% off. With dozens of productions on sale every day, there’s something for everyone.

Well, this information we came to know after we saw the show.

Well, what can I say about "Phantom of the Opera"? It is just perfect - the stage, the artist, the music, the haunting love story....

New York city visit is not complete if you don't get to see Broadway show. Totally, something unique and after the show, I really appreciated the expensive ticket prices. While buying ticket, we asked for cheaper tickets, the guy at the counter said, "Maybe you should watch a movie in a theater."

The lyrics are so well written for the story and the haunting music captivates and forces you to give undivided attention. Once the show got over, audience clapped for more than five minutes.

The Phantom of the Opera is a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux. "Phantom" means ghost in french. The story goes like this based on my recollections/understanding from the movie/show: A musical genius who composes music and writes stories for Opera, falls for a girl Christine, secretly teaches her music at nights, demands Opera owners to make her the lead singer but couldn't openly declare his love to her as he thinks she won't love him back if she sees his deformed face. She worships him, thinking that he is angel her dad sent to her after his death.

One day, he takes her to his world by singing this beautiful song: 
Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams 
Purge your thoughts of the life you knew before 
Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar 
And you live as you've never lived before 

 Softly, deftly, music shall caress you
 Hear it, feel it secretly possess you 
Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind
 In this darkness that you know you cannot fight 
The darkness of the music of the night

See the lyrics of the song "Think of me". She sings while thinking about her childhood friend, on her first day as a lead singer:

Think of me, think of me fondly 
When we've said goodbye 
Remember me once in a while 
Please promise me, you'll try 

Then you'll find that once again you long 
To take your heart back and be free
If you'll ever find a moment
Spare a thought for me

Whenever I hear this song, I'll think about steward. When she was singing this song, her childhood friend Raoul hears and from there on their love affair starts which makes Phantom jealous. He starts destroying whoever comes on their way. Finally, Phantom captures Christine and gets her to his dark place but Raoul without fearing for his life comes to rescue love of his life. Phantom cleverly designs his dark place in such a way that when Raoul comes to rescue, he will get trapped in a cell. He requests Christine to forget Raoul and love him but Christine says I would have loved you irrespective of your deformed face but she can't love his deformed soul. He threatens Christine to kiss her once or be ready to lose Raoul. She kisses him for her beloved sake. And then at the end, The Phantom, having experienced kindness and compassion for the first time, sets them both free. Christine returns the Phantom's ring to him, and he tells her he loves her. She cries, forces herself to turn away, and exits with Raoul. The Phantom, weeping, claims, "It's over now, the music of the night!" before huddling on his throne and covering himself with his cape. The mob storms the lair and pulls away the cape—but the Phantom has vanished; only his mask remains. Meanwhile, Christine and Raoul sing their song "All I ask you"....
All I want is freedom 
A world with no more night 
And you always beside me 
To hold and to hide me 

Than say you'll share with me 
One love one lifetime 
Let me lead you 
From your solitude 
Say you need me 
With you 
Here beside you 
Anywhere you go 
Let me go too Christine 
That's all I ask of you

Actually, in the movie, they show the elderly Raoul at the auction recollecting about the past glory of the place and at the end the elderly Raoul rides to a cemetery where he goes to visit Christine's tomb, which reveals that she died only two years before, in 1917, at age 63. Her tombstone says "Vicomtess of Chagny" and "beloved wife and mother", suggesting she married Raoul, had children and died of old age. He lays the Phantom's toy monkey which he wins at the auction at her grave site, and notices that on the left of the tombstone lies a red rose with a black ribbon tied around it (a trademark of the Phantom) with the engagement ring attached to it.


There is this famous song by Andrew Lloyd Webber called "Love Changes Everything" truly portrays what happens when you fall in love. I can easily relate to the song.

Love, Love changes everything:
Hands and faces,
Earth and sky, 
Love, Love changes everything: 
How you live and How you die
Love Can make the summer fly, 
Or a night Seem like a lifetime. 

Yes, Love, Love changes everything: 
Now I tremble At your name. 
Nothing in the World will ever 
Be the same. 

Love, Love changes everything: 
Days are longer, 
Words mean more. 

Love, Love changes everything:
Pain is deeper Than before. 
Love Will turn your world around, 
And that world Will last for ever. 

Yes, Love, Love changes everything, 
Brings you glory, Brings you shame. 
Nothing in the World will ever Be the same. 

Off Into the world we go, 
Planning futures, Shaping years. 
Love, Bursts in, and suddenly 
All our wisdom Disappears. 

Love Makes fools of everyone:
All the rules 
We make are broken. 

Yes, Love, Love changes everyone. 
Live or perish in its flame. 
Love will never, 
Never let you 
Be the same.


Well, what do you think about the story? Thinking about the story makes me wonder how some are so lucky  to have not one but more than one true lover. Th best part of the Broadway show was even my kids enjoyed it. After coming from the trip, my kids played over and over, the Phantom of the Opera CD. And even watched the movie. Good decision by me to choose this show over Spiderman or Evita.

If I trace back my memory lane, we saw the show on Saturday not on Friday. After buying tickets, we went to NBC studios which I tell is totally waste. They freely promoted Dr. Oz about smart he is and when he records the show and how he interacts with audience....blah blah...Later, we saw Saturday Day Night Live studios which is totally a very small place but manages to call popular musicians to perform. Later, they picked up two young members from audience to show us how the meteorologists report about weather in the newsroom. Freak incident was when the young girl couldn't read from the prompter due to her eye sight. Anyway the whole thing was just waste of time and money. 

Rockfeller center in Summer. Sorry! no ice skating rink, no romance, no serendipity.
Yes, of course, Beautiful place to eat but too harsh on your wallet!

Sitting area outside Macy's in NYC.
We need it after all that shopping!!
Never in life faced foot pain
which I faced after shopping at Macy's
because of walking with high heels.
Got to be stylish even though
your feet is aching :)
From there, we went on to do shopping. So amazed to see the designs, vibrant unique colors and unlimited choice. Not only, for women but for kids and men. My daughter would have got spoiled if we lived in NYC.Think about the indifference girls will feel if the rich kid dresses up everyday with modern, eye pleasing fancy clothes. But what I noticed in Macy's store was clothes
 were moderately priced, so anybody with a good sense can afford to buy some fancy clothes for their kids.

Inside Macy's store - seven floors of shopping paradise be continued

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