Travel Log

NYC and Beyond

To say this past weekend was exceptional would be putting it lightly. I not only had the extreme pleasure of visiting one of the most exciting cities on the earth, but I had the great opportunity to see one of my favorite musicals, The Phantom of the Opera, while also visiting with family, enjoying beautiful weather, visiting tranquil forests, and even taking in a movie at the end of the weekend to round out some wonderful memories. Justin's father came to visit us and had his first trip to New York City. We all decided to drive into the city rather than take the train, and that my friends was an adventure all in itself. Driving in New York can be a little intense, but thrilling none the less.

Once we arrived and parked the car, the decision was to have some lunch to hold us over while watching the play. We ate at Smith's near the Majestic Theater. Timing is everything and boy did we have the timing down pat. Finishing our lunch and with twenty minutes to go, we headed over to the Majestic, which was only about three minutes away, got some trinkets, and headed to our seats. What an incredible view we all had! Sitting in the front row of the third level balcony, we could see the stage perfectly and my oh my the chandelier, what a perfect view to watch it rise in the beginning and come crashing down at the end of the first act. When the lights went down and the orchestra's music filled the theater with the chandelier rising high above, I must admit I got a bit teary eyed, a feeling of awe coming over me that I was really there experiencing The Phantom live right before my eyes.

The cast did such a fantastic job and the stage sets and designs were simply out of this world. A truly breathtaking experience. I could not contain my excitement during or after the show had ended. Once the show had ended, we decided to take Justin's dad to Times Square so he could see what New York City was all about. Afterwards, we walked around a bit more, taking in the sites and gorgeous weather. Feeling a bit hungry, and with Don Giavani's restaurant in site, we ate al fresco and dined on some lovely Italian cuisine. Around 6:30 seemed to be a good time to leave, seeing as how we would have to fight traffic and unwind on the two hour drive home once actually leaving the Lincoln Tunnel. All in all, a marvelous day spent in New York City with so many memories to cherish.

Friday was more of a relaxing day. Justin and I took his dad to Ricketts Glen State park, up to where Justin's new job is, a quick stop at Bowman's creek to scout out some fishing spots, a quite dinner on our front porch followed by some summery drinks, and lastly some catching up conversation. Saturday we all headed over to Harvey's Lake to have breakfast with my dad. Afterwards, we all took a family photo by the lake and bid Garry a safe trip home, while my dad went to a picnic with the boy scouts, Justin went fishing, and I relaxed and caught up on some chores around the house. Sunday was breakfast with my dad and watching the new 22 Jump Street up at Cinemark, my most favorite movie theater.

Some Interesting facts about The Phantom of the Opera:

  • Widely considered one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's most accomplished scores.
  • One of the show's most spectacular set pieces is the replica of the Paris Opera House chandelier, nine feet wide and made of 6,000 beads. It weighs one ton and the original took four weeks to make, being built by five people alone.
  • The falling of the chandelier is based upon a real incident at the Paris Opera House in 1896 where a falling counterweight killed a 56-year-old concierge. It was her one and only visit to the opera.
  • The Phantom's latex makeup originally took three hours to make, now it is reduced to two hours.
  • Since opening at the Majestic theater in 1988, Phantom has since played to over 130 million people across 27 countries and won more than 50 major awards.
  • The original cast recording is the biggest selling cast recording of all time, with more than 40 million copies sold.
  • In 2004 the musical was captured on the silver screen starring Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, and Patrick Wilson. It was nominated for three Oscars.
  • In 2006, the show broke the record for the longest running Broadway musical, surpassing  the 7,485 performances achieved by Cats.
  • The largest grossing musical in Broadway history.
  • The Phantom of The Opera is a global phenomenon, its $5.6 billion box office (to date as of last year) far outstanding blockbuster films, makes it the most successful entertainment venture of all time
  • The New York City production celebrated its 25th anniversary January 2013, This feat, unprecedented in Broadway history, reaffirms the musical's iconic status, proving the classic tale's enduring popularity for audiences all over the world.

The only thing I do regret about the NYC part of our excursion is not having my camera with me. Blast! Justin did not think it would be safe to bring it to the theater seeing as how we did not know their policy with such big cameras. I did have my iphone, though it has horrid quality with indoor pictures, they are still memories none the less. So please excuse some of the quality with the iphone pictures, but do enjoy the beautiful theater settings and sky scarpers of the big apple.