Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Days 45-48 June 28 to July 1, 2012

 Day 45- June 28

By Al

Today, we had tickets to see the Daily Show.  Actually, we had permission to stand in line by 2:30 PM to get tickets to the Daily Show.  When you sign up for tickets, all they give you is a reservation to get tickets.  However, they give out more reservations than they have tickets.  Presumably, this is because some people don't show up.  Anyway, they start giving out tickets at 2:30.  So, you have to get in line to get tickets.  Sally went there at 11 AM and there was nobody in line.  So, she left and went back about 12:00 and was still first in line.  I joined her about 12:30.  At 2:30, they gave us numbers.  This was the order that you would be admitted to the show.  We were numbers 1 and 2. 

So, then you have to come back at 4:30 to get in line and be admitted.  There were about 40 VIP tickets given out to advertisers, friends and family of staff, etc.  So were weren't exactly first, but we had really good seats, in the front row, in the middle.  About 5:30 a comedian named Paul Mercurio came out to do a warm up act.  He got us shouting and laughing, and did a pretty good job of it.  He performs in comedy clubs and would be entertaining to see. 

Then, John Stewart came out to answer questions.  Here are the ones I remember.

Will you ever do another rally in Washington?

He said he didn't know because it was hard working with some of the people.  He met with Cat Stevens and Ozzie Osborne about their performance.  He told Stevens that he was supposed to sing two stanzas of "Peace Train" and then Ozzie would come in with a song.  He didn't like not being able to sing the whole song, but agreed.  Ozzie didn't quite understand.  So he met with them again to explain it.  Then, just before they went on he explained it a third time, at which point, Ozzie asked, "Who is Stevens." 

He was asked if he would ever have Dick Chaney on.

He said that he doubted it.  He had Lynn Chaney on, Dick's wife.  About three minutes into the interview he asked her if her husband lied at home too.  It didn't go well from there.

He was asked if he had guests that he liked and didn't like.  He said he didn't like most of them except the ones that were his friends.  He told how he had Dick Rumsfeld on and then got a thank you note from him afterwards.  His thought was "What a nice asshole."

Sally will, I am sure, remember more.

So after that they did the show.  This was the day that the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Health Care act was issued.  So, the first part of the show was about CNN and Fox News jumping the gun and saying that the act had been declared unconstitutional.  They loved doing this, but because it was such new news, they kept rewriting the show during breaks.  Every break a writer would come out with new material.  The guest was Tenacious D.  This is Jack Black's band.  They were pretty good.  As John said after the show, he didn't think it was fair that we got in free because we got to see Tenacious D perform and were were only about 20 feet away.  It was pretty cool and he was kidding.

The line at 2:30.

The theater is the low, white building in the middle.

The sign at the end of the building.

Sally's Day- I spent the day at the Daily Show.  Knowing that they give more reservations than seats, I arrived at 11 a.m.  There was no line.  Fortunately, there is a Subway next door with a restroom and TV tuned to CNN.  I went there and watched coverage of the Supreme Court decision for about an hour, and went back to the front of the building (The Daily Show has its own building). Still no line.  I had my line sitting chair, so sat down to read my book club book (Madame Bovary).  Shortly later, a woman who had flown to NYC from Tokyo to see the show arrived.  Then a mom and son from California. Then Al arrived.  Finally, 2:30 arrived.

Then two hours spent at a Starbucks, sitting in a park, and more Madame Bovary.

No pictures are permitted in the show- so here is a picture of the sink in the bathroom- the closest I could get to the studio.

I hope you get to see the June 28 show sometime- John Oliver did an interview of Herman Cain. Cain was acting the role of the President facing a world crisis- Nicholas Cage had broken into the National Archives and stolen the Constitution.

It was a highlight of our time here (definitely goes into my Top 5 list).  If you go, I think that getting in line by 1 p.m. is sufficient.  Bring a book, and some money to buy a lunch at Subway.  If you want to go to Starbucks, it is located in the Range Rover dealership in the next block.  Interesting to have new car smell mixed with coffee.

Day 46 June 29

By Al

Today, Sally and I went to the Bronx Botanical Garden. It is a very large sanctuary in the Bronx with a lot of trees and flowers. They have an exhibit called "Monet's Garden." It is supposed to create a sense of Monet's garden at Giverny in France. It really was more a case of the types of flowers and plants that Monet had in his garden. There was no real re-creation. But, it was very pretty. They had two extensive lily ponds with many different types of water lillys

Re-creation of the Japanese bridge.

Water lilys

A coffee shop that delivers.  Outside the Bronx Botanical Garden.

That evening, Sally had a quilting class.  A friend of mine for the Twin Cities was in town for a conference, so we were able to get together Friday night.  We walked around Chinatown, which is always interesting and then walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.  If you come to New York, you really should walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at night.  It is a pretty spectacular view of Manhattan. 

The tall, lite building is One World Trade Center.

Sally's Day-

It is hot,hot, hot.  My only comfort is that it is just as hot in St. Paul- so we're not suffering more here than there.

The New York Botanical Garden is located in the Bronx (which has led me to have the lyrics "New York, New York, it's a wonderful town, the Bronx is up, the Battery down [which refers to the fact that the Bronx is north of Manhattan, and the Battery at the south end of Manhattan]).

The Monet exhibit will disappoint anyone  who has been to Giverny, and be an appetizer to people like me who have not been there.  They also had two Monet paintings on display, and lots of information about the actual garden. 

The rest of the Gardens is spectacular-  a huge rose garden, acres of conifers, a magnolia garden, a huge vegetable garden, and a lovely perennial garden.  We will go back when it is about 70 degrees.

We had lunch there- not wonderful.  There are lots of restaurants close to the gardens if you want food.  Easy to get to by train or bus. The Bronx Zoo is part of the same park.

My quilting class was fun.  Good to be back with a bunch of women talking quilts and life in general.

Day 47- June 30

Sally's Day
I spent the day going to Kennedy Airport to spend some time with a friend from MN who was coming back from Sweden. 

The trip to Kennedy is easy to make by train.  Fortunately,  I took Madame Bovary along to finish reading (spoiler alert- she commits suicide in the end).  The trip takes about 2 1/4 hours each way.  When you get off the train, you transfer to the AirTran- which is a monorail that takes you to all of the terminals.  
It was fun to spend time with Julie and hear of her adventures. 

By Al

I stayed home and relax, read, went for a walk.  It is good to be retired.  Nothing else to report.

Day 48- July 1

Sally's Day

We worshipped at Marble Collegiate Church in lower Manhattan.  This  church is a Reform Church, and probably most famous for its longtime minister Norman Vincent Peale.  It it located in lower Manhattan. Bus M3 goes to the front door.

The music was excellent.  A solo by a tenor- who was deservedly applauded at the end of his song.  Three ministers- all women. Great sermon- the first time I have heard a sermon applauded.  The offering was before the sermon- another first for me.

We sang America the Beautiful- with the traditional first verse, and second and third verses written in 1993.  The second verse lyrics are:

Indigenous and immigrant,
Our daughters and our sons:
O may we never rest content
Till all are truly one.
America! America!
God grant that we may be
A nation blessed with none oppressed,
True land of liberty.

(written by Sister Miriam Winter, 1993).

Plaque on front of church.

Front of church.

Church with Empire State Bldg. in background.

Lunch at Mee Noodle Shop- 53rd and 9th Street. I would call it a Manhattan Best Buy- excellent food, fast service, and reasonable prices.   We both had enough food for another lunch.  Unfortunately, it took us over an hour to get there from the church because Manhattan bus service is limited on Sunday.

We saw Beasts of the Southern Wild in the evening.  It has been called a "masterpiece" and won a bunch of awards. We were less than impressed.  It appeared to glorify life in a part of Louisiana beyond the levees.  The children seemed to be neglected and/or abused.  The child who narrated the movie and was the main character was struggling to deal with the loss of her mother when she was an infant, and trying to care for her alcoholic, abusive father.  It appeared that she was able to survive by using her imagination to create a world of her own.  I would be interested to hear others' opinions of this movie.

Today (July 2) is beauty and service day.  Off to get a haircut and pedicure and then serve meals at a shelter this evening.

By Al

I just want to add some comments on the movie, "Beasts of the Southern Wild".  Critics seem to like this movies because it is somehow a movie about people being independent and surviving.  In fact, it is a movie about dysfunctional people who could not exist anyplace except in the dysfunctional place that they live.  It is about a five year old girl being raised by an emotionally abusive drunk father.  Most of the adults in her life are drunks.  She will likely end up pregnant at age 14 by a abusive, drunk boyfriend.  Not the paradise that the critics think.  I think the critics view of this movie is probably more disturbing than the movie itself.  In my opinion, the movie glorifies the triumph of a 5 year old over a really shitty upbringing.  However, she is still five years old at the end of the movie, and I don't think she is going to keep that determination for another 15 years of abuse.  The movie is supposed to be an allegory, but I am not sure of what.  May that we don't need to stop child abuse, because resilient kids will be okay anyway?  I don't think so.

After the movie, I walked home from the movie through Central Park.  On the way, I found what is called the Mall.  This is famous from the movie "Kramer vs. Kramer."  This is where Dustin Hoffman is teaching his son to ride a bike.  It is also in several other movies.

This is one of the fun things about New York, recognizing places you have seen in pictures.

It was also fun to locate the elevated area where they have the battle at the end of Avengers III and where Will Smith is chased by zombies in "I Am Legend."  I will provide a picture later.

Anyway, next to the mall, there were two groups of street musicians.  This is another fun thing about New York, lots of random music.

I don't know if these will play, but it was interesting and fun.

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