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Days 54 – Wednesday June 13, 2007 – New York, New York
Once again, Wednesday started pretty late. After arriving in Manhattan, in typical New York style, we shoved everyone aside on our way over to the ½ price ticket booth. =0 When we got there, ironically, they were closed. To our dismay, the ticket booth didn’t open until 3pm. With some extra time on our hands, we took a stroll around Times Square, before deciding to join the line at the ticket booth around 2pm. We figured lining up early would allow us to get tickets right at 3pm. In turn, we would be able to make it uptown to the Guggenheim Museum before it closed. After all, we needed to do at least one City Pass activity today, if we are going to complete them all.
Normally they post what tickets are available for the evening performances at 2:30pm. This gives people thirty minutes to think about what show they want to see before the booth opens. Unfortunately, today they didn’t post the shows until two minutes before they opened. Jasmine and I had already gone through a list of shows we thought might be available, so we weren’t completely blind in our decision making. In the end, we decided to see The Color Purple. It was a debate between nicely packaged family friendly musicals and deeper darker not so family friendly ones. Unfortunately, most of the family friendly musicals that were available (Tarzan, Hair Spray, etc.) didn’t really interest us or we had already seen them in one form or another. Neither Jasmine or I had ever seen The Color Purple before and both of us heard that Fantasia (American Idol Season 3 winner) who recently took over the starring role, was wonderful. At worst, I figured that the darker areas of the subject matter would go over Shawn Reece’s head. We purchased the tickets and then headed uptown to the Guggenheim Museum.
The Guggenheim Museum is another world famous New York art museum. The attractive exterior of the building is going through major renovations and scaffolding surrounds it. To our dismay, many of the exhibits inside were also closed for outside construction access. Out of the six floors, two were completely off limits and one was partially closed. Getting into the elevator, we heard someone say it only took about thirty minutes to get through the entire museum. To be honest, at that point, we didn’t know what to expect. In the end, it took us about an hour to completely maneuver through the open areas of the museum. Personally, I liked it much more that the Metropolitan Art Museum, but it was much smaller. Shawn Reece’s favorite exhibit was a multi-colored floor, which flashed different patterns, according to the loud hip hop music in the background. (Yes that is art folks!) After leaving the Guggenheim, we decided to walk across the street to take a nice stroll through Central Park.
I wish that we had more time to explore Central Park. We did take about forty-five minutes to walk through the park, but it is so big. I remember in San Francisco Jasmine and I took an entire day to explore Golden Gate Park, which is similar in size. With that said, we didn’t take the time to stop much, but we enjoyed the walk tremendously. We started at the reservoir and walked south for quite a while, before finally emerging on the western edge of the park. In the middle of it, we passed an open area where concerts are regularly held. In fact, they were setting up for a show to be held this upcoming weekend. Next time we come to New York, Central Park will be more of a priority. At least we were able to get a taste!.
We left Central Park, grabbed a quick bite to eat and arrived at the theater around 7:30pm for our 8pm show. When we walked up to the theater, the entry line wrapped around the corner of the building. We took our place in line and eventually made it into the theater about ten minutes before the start of the show. Our seats were in the last row of the orchestra section. Even though we were in the back, it was definitely preferable to being on the balcony, as we had a very nice view.
The Color Purple is the story of a black woman in Georgia from 1904-1944. She struggles with abuse, love and loss and somehow triumphs over all of the adversity it in the end. Fantasia was phenomenal in this role. I don’t think that there was a dry eye in the house at the end. (Believe me, I looked!) It was one of the best stage performances I have ever seen. To be honest though, Shawn Reece didn’t like it very much. Most of the material was aimed towards adults and went right over his head. Even with Shawn Reece’s infrequent complaints, (He got ice cream for behaving in the theater) I was still glad that we saw The Color Purple, since we saw greatness personified in Fantasia’s performance! After the show, we headed back to the hotel exhausted from another New York day.
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