Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Big Apple Bite (Part I)

My flight was delayed for an hour yesterday from Detroit Wayne County Airport because the Northwest Airlines authorities have to do the standard security sweep of the aircraft who came in late from Las Vegas.

After an hour or so, we were finally allowed to board and having gone from a 12- hour ER shift and had to pack my things until the wee hours of the morning so I can catch the 6:25 a.m. flight, I found myself dozing off the entire flight to the Big Apple that even the soothing voice of Anna, the Filipina stewardess failed to rouse me off from my deep slumber for breakfast.

I arrived at quarter past nine at La Guardia and the chilly New York weather greeted me as I stepped out of the airport and waited for the cab to take me to Waldorf Astoria and along the way amid the notorious traffic of the Big City (but it was nothing compared to Metro Manila, LOL) and the cab driver’s daredevil way of driving (e.g. changing lanes and not flashing his signal lights and zigzagging his way on the crowded streets in wild abandon) I couldn’t help to think that New York City and Manila have so many things in common.

Anyway, I noticed during the short trip from the airport that there is really a large Filipino community in New York as can be seen on the signs posted on several automobile dealerships exhorting them to come and drop by for a visit; signs like “Tuloy Po Kayo” and “Ask for a Kababayan” were ubiquitously displayed on large streamers and advertising signs.

I tried to take a couple of shots of the ad signs but found out to my consternation that I forgot to load the camera with the SD Card! Now, I can’t blame myself for procrastinating, huh? Ha-ha.

So after checking my luggage at the Hotel, I ventured out on the sidewalks of Park Avenue and find myself leisurely strolling on familiar grounds-- Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue and finally stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and then the Rockefeller Center and watched the skaters on the rink do their fancy routines and the other tourists pointing and shooting at everything that their eyes could fancy of, with their ever ubiquitous digital cameras and handy video cams of course.

I found myself wandering in Times Square and found out that the TKTS booth have moved. I went into one of the electronics store there and asked for a 1GB SD Card and a Latino guy gave me one with a price tag of $150.

Now this is Times Square and I know from past experiences that the prices here are way marked up to fleece unsuspecting tourists of every dime that they could spare to throw away but being Batang Quiapo back in Manila, I started to haggle with the guy to lower the price.

Then the store manager came in and turns out to be a true- brown Pinoy from Lopez, Quezon and he finally agreed to part with the SD Card for a much, much lower price of $70 provided I pay in cash and even referred me to a fine Filipino restaurant that have a very tasty Kare- kare and Dinuguan. So, it’s really nice to find a Kababayan here and at the same time give you some discount and tips on the side. LOL

Later in the night, I went to Carnegie Hall and watched the students of famed violinist Itzhak Perlman at their recital being conducted by the master himself. The Israeli- born virtouso was a sight to behold on stage. I feel myself lucky to have watch him do his thing up close and personal.

The dashing actor, Alec Baldwin who was a big supporter of the arts was the night's Master of Ceremonies and came in with his raven- haired girlfriend for the two and a half hour show.

I didn’t dare to take a picture of him even though I was just a meter and a half from the dais and also three seats away from where they were seated and an elbow's length whenever he would come down from the stage at the end of his spiels to watch the show and pass me by on his way to his seat and girlfriend what with the Carnegie crowd who are or pretended to be immune to celebrity sightings quite common for the people living in New York plus the notorious fact of his past rows with some paparazzi, I wouldn’t want to be at the receiving end of the wrath of this very stocky man. Besides, there were a lot of very pretty ladies in the crowd that I couldn’t help myself but to “babe- watch.” LOL

The Perlman Music Program have given its First Annual Arts Make Music Award to multi- awarded artist Chuck Close, that was presented to him by Adam Weinberg, the Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

All in all, it was a very nice performance at the Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall by Mr. Perlman’s very talented students. I’ll write more extensively about this when I get back to Michigan for at this time, I am so overwhelmed with a lot of things to do and visit in my very limited time in the City that Never Sleeps.

Tonight, it will be Lea Salonga and the rest of the guys in Les Miserables’ turn to entertain me. I can’t wait for the clock to strike 7 o’clock.


fruityoaty said...

Oh, I love New York City. I've been there a couple of times. How I envy you... Lea Salonga. Lez Miz! Cool.

mitsuru said...

yup, i love the big apple. been here in the summer of '05. i'm back here in the spring of'07. my plan is exp autumn & winter in new york too.

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