Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Malaysian (and Singaporean) in New Yawk..

I went to watch my first my first Broadway musical last weekend in NYC, and like most of the hype generated for people who don't live in NYC, the overall experience was pretty spectacular to say the least. Tickets were courtesy of my cousin sister, PW, from Singapore. She was here on holiday after a short trip to Chicago for business. She stayed at her younger sister, PL's, place.

Friday - The Malaysian and Singaporean Tourist

But before that, just a little tourist-y update. PW and I went on Friday to Times Square, and I, not realizing that it was also Good Friday, had to deal with the humongous tourist crowd that gathered in the Big Apple. And when I mean crowded... it was REALLY crowded! If you put a crowd like that in KL, we might assume it's a demonstration! Anyway, we went to Rockefeller Center for breakfast and she bought us combo tickets to go to "The Top of the Rock" (ie. top of the Rockefeller Center), and the Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA).

The "Top" is probably an equivalent of our KL Tower or the top of our Twin Towers. We could see Manhattan, and even Brooklyn and Queens to distance, rooftop view. It was remarkable, to say the least. One of the more interesting aspects of the tour up there, besides the strict security checks, were the small little things:

1) the down-to-the-minute well-planned organization of the queues. The crowd is separated to three rows. And for the duration of the queue, there's big video presentation of the Rockefeller Center, and at the end of each presentation, it tells you which row is to go up next!

2) The moment the elevator door closes when you enter it, another video presentation lights up on the ceiling of the elevator. And the timing is so precise that the presentation ends when you arrive at the destination floor.

3) Strategic placements of certain technical artworks at certain places in various parts of the rooftop.

The rooftop itself has three levels for scenic view, each upper level with floorspace smaller than one below. The first two has glass panels placed all over the edges of the rooftop so that pictures can be taken without any obstruction (if you don't consider the tourists tho!). The topmost level has a slightly higher wall, but no glass panels, so you could see the view of the city the clearest here. But there's one thing you have to try to resist, the cold, strong wind blowing at you. Wind speed was really strong that even I could feel the strong push when it blows.. the kind that wrecks umbrellas like breaking toothpicks.

Dumb thing was I forgot to bring my camera (or so I thought.. I realized later it was in my bag all along! ARGH!), so I took pics with PW's camera. So I might have to wait awhile before I can get them.

After the Rock, I took the opportunity to get some stuff from the music store, and also get my horn adjusted slightly. PW also bought tickets to the musical Legally Blonde, at the Broadway Palace Theatre. After that, we had lunch, and we headed to MoMA.

MoMA was interesting, as it had a lot of different artworks from different periods and styles, from the more traditional works of Picasso, Van Gogh, to modern works of Dali, Warhol, and others. Artworks range from paintings, sculptures, architectural designs to trinkets of various sizes. I'm not so knowledgeable of visual arts, but it was certainly an interesting experience to have seen a whole bunch of different artworks! I have to say, I was intrigued with some and others I didn't really dig a whole lot.

Saturday - Legally Blonde the Musical (LBtM)

Spent most of the day working on my assignment, and only went out to meet both my cousin sisters at the Broadway Palace Theatre to watch LBtM. LBtM was really entertaining, but what was interesting to note was how well produced it was - from the sets to the dance choreography, the music (!), the actors of course (including the two very well-trained dogs!), and the change of scene choreography! The cast were all fantastic singers and dancers, and the overall sound was also very well done (the sound engineers here are amazing!), too.

If you've seen the movie, you probably know what it is about. But to see it done as a musical, was something else. The storyline was simple, at best, but it was extremely entertaining. Read the NYTimes review of the show here. For me, I just enjoyed the show was it was, and being my first musical in the musical capital of the world (at least to some), it was an experience just worth having.

Again, thanks PW for the tickets!

PS: Pics of artwork at MoMA coming soon!

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