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Radio city gaga

This afternoon, Brian, Candy and I went first to the chirch next door, when Brian is the sexton. It burned in the 1870's or 80's and the obviously wealthy parishoners of the time contributed to the restoration. It's a very fine example of Victorian Gothic, but it mostly notable for the stained glass windows. The parishoners were able to choose whichever artists they liked and clearly had good taste. There's a window by William Morris, several by Tiffany - who also deisgned the fittings of one door - and the only window by Edward Burne-Jones on this side of the Atlantic - or it's possibly the only artwork by E B-J over here - I can't remember exactly which one Brian said. Darned impressive collection of windows anyway. And I touched somethihng designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany ! *squees with art-geek delight*

After that we went to the Radio City music hall and showed up just in time for one of the backstage tours.  The building was restored in the last decade back to its full Art Deco glory, and is a wonder to visit. After gawping at the entrance hall and chandeliers, we had our first visit to the astounding concert hall (which used to double as a cinema and still holds the occasional premiere) The proscenium arch and ceiling are curved and beautifully lit. The vast curtain is controlled by an elaborate series of pulleys and rods, which can be controlled to make the curtain look as though it is dancing. They were so proud of this that the dancing curtain was an act all on its own on the opening night in 1931. While we were there, the stage was being set up for a recording of the TV game show, 'Jeopardy'.

We then toured around behind the scenes, getting a glimpse of the some of the costumes worn by the Rockettes; the famous troupe of high-kicking dancing girls, which has been in existance since the music hall opened. I remember seeing the Tiller Girls on TV in the UK, and knew they were the same kind of act, but it turns out that the Tiller Girls are the older troupe and the Rockettes were inspired by them. We had a chance for a short chat with an actual Rockette, and also for a photograph with her, but only one person, a bloke, went for that. She was leggy and exquisitely made up and presented, and I knew that if I was photographed alongside her I'd just look dumpy and dishevelled.

After leaving the 30's grandeur of Radio city, we had food from the nearby street vendors. They sported signs boasting that their food was halal, which made me feel at home. We then took a look at more of the Rockefeller centre - 19 buildings over 3 blocks, of which Radio city is one building., The area includes the plaza that they freeze over for an ice rink every year. We came home tired, and sat around recovering for a while. Then Brian came in again and told we were having dinner out, and we went back to the restaurant visited on thurs - the one that does dinner for two shared menus. There were six of us this time, so we had one of everything and a couple spare, and everyone helped themselves to everything. My stomach feels like it has a lead weight in it. We walked back from the restaurant in Grand Central Station, which was probably just as well from the point of view of my waistline, if not from my leg. Energy levels are definitely flagging, and I may not get out of bed for a dat of two after getting back. May not do much of anything for a week or so afterwards. I think I've used at least a month's worth of energy units in the last 10 days.

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August 2018


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