Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Colors

The sweet aroma of an apple orchard

Old Father Winter visited us early this year and even gifted us with a surprisingly early October snowfall of a couple of inches. The last time New York City received such measurable snowfall in October was in 1952 ! In the meantime, the fall foliage in New York City was still limited. We just have to contend ourselves with the beautiful golden hues of fall colors reflected in Mother Nature's seasonal gifts of mum flowers, ornamental fall cabbages, pumpkins and apples.

Stunning fall colors of mum flowers

Beautiful mum flowers to add a welcome touch to the front doors.

Ornamental fall cabbages for the gardens

Animated pumpkins

Animated pumpkins

I just could not resist buying some of the colorful mums and a little pumpkin to decorate our doorsteps.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Brooklyn Flea Market in New York

Brooklyn flea market in the Fort Greene 

The forecast for the Saturday before Columbus Day called for beautiful balmy weather hence we decided to head to the Brooklyn flea market in Fort Greene. Over the years, the Brooklyn Flea event has mushroomed into two venue attractions: the Saturday one in the Fort Greene neighborhood and the Sunday event in Williamsburg.  New Yorkers and tourists flock to the Brooklyn flea market which has been described by some as a town square get together while others hailed it as vintage bazaar.

Brooklyn flea market in Fort Greene

Brooklyn flea market in Fort Greene

Brooklyn flea market in Fort Greene 

Brooklyn flea market in Fort Greene

This flea market featured a myriad of vintage items ranging from cameras, typewriters, luggages, handbags, costume jewelry, clothings, shoes, books, posters, postcards, furniture and other knick knacks. Check out those vintage typewriters in the above picture. Until I visited this flea market, I have never seen typewriters in such lovely blue and pink colors. They were in good working condition too and typewriter ribbons were also available for purchase.

Flea markets bring about unexpected gems. I saw a beautiful vintage scarf but I decided it was a "nice to have" item rather than a "must have".  Hence I didn't  purchase it.  A woman bought a beautiful vintage jacket at the same stall.

Lobster roll offered at Brooklyn flea market in Fort Greene

There were also food vendors and my appetite was teased by the Maine lobster rolls stand. I finally gave in and bought a lobster roll. It was delicious. Let the treasure hunt continue !

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New York Paid Tributes to Steve Jobs

Tributes paid to Steve Jobs in at the Apple flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York.

The recent passing of Steve Jobs has brought an outpouring of tributes to the late technology guru.  At the Apple flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, tributes in the form of flowers, apples, pictures, signs and other items were laid on the steps at the entrance of the store.

A friend commented that some of the apples presented were of the granny smith types instead of the macintosh variety. Nevertheless, the "fans" were sincere in their respects paid to the late technology whiz. Inside the store, it was as crowded as usual with a long wait at the genius bars.

Tributes paid to Steve Jobs in at the Apple flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York.

I first learnt of Steve Jobs when he appeared on the cover on Times magazine celebrating the success of the first generation of Mac computers. Over the years, I read about his eventual ouster from Apple and then his foray into building the Next computers and then establishing the Pixar graphics studio. Pixar was eventually bought out by Disney leading him to be the biggest shareholder in Disney.

Steve Jobs' return to Apple gave way to a phoenix-like trajectory of  the company into the upper echelon of America's most successful and valuable companies. The trailblazing sleek design and ease of use of the  iPod, iPhone and iPad products made him a household name.

Steve Jobs, the Thomas Edison of our era, passed on too soon. His upcoming biography Steve Jobs (currently a best seller already while on pre-order on Itunes and Amazon) would probably be a fascinating read. RIP Steve Jobs.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wicked on Broadway in New York

Playbill for the Wicked musical

When the musical Wicked  premiered on Broadway in 2003, I did not pay too much attention to it. Over the years, the show had won Tony awards and played to full house audiences. Friends who had attended the performances raved about the musical. Hence I decided to put it on my "to watch" list.

 Hoping to score a discount ticket for Wicked seemed to be an exercise in futility. You  would never see it offered on any of the Broadway discount code web sites. Neither  had it been featured at the Manhattan Times Square discount ticket booth. The only  times I've seen it discounted was during the Kids Night On Broadway promotion and  those tickets were sold out instantly.

 Fortune smiled upon us recently when Wicked was one of the shows offered during  the September Broadway Week promotion where you could purchase two tickets for  the price of one. I managed to score some tickets saving at least $75 per piece.

The author of Wicked took the liberty to wax poetic about the formative years of the two witches featured in the iconic The Wizard Of Oz story. There was Galinda, later known as Glinda, the good and beautiful witch in contrast to Elphaba, the emerald-toned "wicked" witch. The story focused on how these two characters met in school and became friends in confidence. Along the way, one learn how Elphaba evolved to be "wicked" while Glinda fit into the good witch role.

Elphaba, fiery and misunderstood, was ostracized by her society based on on her outward appearances. However, she was strong willed and steadfast to her ideals of justice and stood up for the oppressed citizens in her world. Glinda on the other hand, was rather shallow although she had good intentions in her undertakings. Basically, what was alluded to was that what you see around you sometimes was just "smoke and mirrors" obscuring the harsh realities.

Attending Broadway shows has always been a special treat. These live shows have never failed to capture me with  their brilliant and dazzling stage sets. I sat there spellbound as usual by the powerful vocals and live energy channeled by these world class performers.

To my untrained ears, the actress who portrayed Elphaba sounded quite a bit like the performer Idina Menzel's powerful vocals who had originated the Elphaba role on Broadway and had won a leading actress Tony award for it. Last season, Idina had played Rachel's mother in the TV show, Glee. These world class performers were honored with  a rousing standing ovation from the full house audiences at the end of the night. A very well deserved honor indeed.


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