Wednesday, February 10, 2010

beginning the trip

The New York trip started out with our annual trip to MI and IL to see Steve's and my relatives.  It was quite strange make the usual Christmas trip after the holidays; it made New Year's not feel so much like itself.  We had Christmas and New Year's Eve at home, celebrating with Dan and Carmen, and then we flew to MI on New Year's Day.

We spent the weekend in MI with Steve's parents, visiting his grandparents in Harrison and his grandmother in Lansing.  While we were at Bruce and Bonnie's house, Bruce also got out some of his father's old cameras.   I enjoyed looking at them all and taking some pictures of them.  I even tried some Through the Viewfinder shots with the Accuraflex, shooting with my digital camera through the older camera.  Technically, I should have built a contraption to block the light between the two, but I didn't take the time.  I may play with it some more some day.

On Monday, we drove down to IL to visit my parents, aunt and uncle, cousin, etc.  As we did last year, we stayed with my aunt and uncle, who live next door to my parents on my grandparents' old farm.  This time, instead of Sheri and Daniel being there, Christine and most of her crew came from OH for a belated Christmas dinner and gift exchange.  (Sheri was busy being pregnant in MD.) Despite some communication problems about when the official dinner would be, it was good to see and spend time with Christine for the first time in two years.  Her youngest, Eddie, was especially cute at about 21/2 years old.  He smiled when I took his picture, and more than once, I heard him tell Christine he loved her.


My father also got a new cat since last year.  His name is Felix, and he belonged to my step-mother's new sister-in-law.  Her brother-in-law recently remarried after Jan's sister died a few years ago, and Ron didn't get along with his new wife's cat.  Felix started biting, and he had to go.  Luckily, my dad agreed to take him, and Felix now lives in the little office section of my dad's outbuilding—the building that houses his workshop and train set-up.  Felix seems to be a nice cat, but he's a bit camera shy.  I only got a few pictures of him.

After a couple nights in IL, Steve and I drove back to Lansing for one last night with his parents before flying to NY on Thursday.  Thursday was one of those days that was threatening to be filled with snow storms to muck up airports.  We got to the Lansing airport early, but our plane to Chicago was delayed a little.  Once we got to Chicago, our plane to Newark was also delayed.  They kept pushing the departure time back as it looked whiter and whiter outside.  Everything turned out fine, though.  The plane left about an hour late, but it wasn't canceled like a lot of the flights at O'Hare were later that day.  We got to Newark, got our bags, and caught a NJ Transit train to Penn Station.  From there, a short cab ride took us to the Park Central Hotel, where we would be staying.

We had enough time to unpack a little and change our clothes before going to find dinner.  The original plan had been to check out the Time Warner Center and possibly find food there, but since we had less time than we had expected, dinner needed to be on the way down to Times Square.

As we walked down 7th Ave., Steve spotted a very dimly lit French restaurant on a corner called Maison.  We walked a little further, and then we decided to go back and look at the menu.   It turned out to be a really good choice, and we were early enough not to have to worry about waiting for a table.  Steve ordered hanger steak, and I got two smaller plates, both with goat cheese.  The goat cheese tart with caramelized onions and tomatoes was wonderful.  The goat cheese and haricot vert salad—meh.  The tart was heavy enough that I would have been fine with just that.
From dinner it was on to Times Square and our first show of the trip: A Little Night Music, starring Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta Jones.  I thoroughly enjoyed musical.  Sondheim's score is so elegant, and it was great to hear all the voices live.  Any amplification with microphones was subtle enough not to be noticeable.  
Of course, Angela Lansbury is a musical theatre legend, so I was looking forward to seeing her on stage, even if Madame Armfeldt isn't my favorite character.  She played it well.  Catherine Zeta Jones' performance seemed a little affected at first, but I suppose it was the right character for a brassy actress.  By the time "Send in the Clowns" came, it felt much more honest.
I also thought that the sets were gorgeous, especially for the second half in the country.  They were mostly panels that looked like the walls of an old house, some of which could be moved to different arrangements.  There were often projections on the walls to look like wallpaper or pictures, and in the second half, the woods.
After the show, Steve and I went back out to Times Square to have another try at my last picture for Project 365.  I had taken a few before going to the theatre, but I wasn't entirely happy with them.  I had ordered a set of three ceramic magnets from Etsy with "3," "6," and "5" on them to use for my final shot.  I was thinking of taking a picture of them in my (or Steve's) hand, but I ended up using the magnets to stick them to a post in Times Square.  Then, using my new 35mm lens that I got for Christmas, I took pictures with the lights of the square in the background.  I even got some with the ball from New Year's in the background.  Once we were tired of freezing and I was satisfied with my shots, we walked back to the hotel.


1 comment:

  1. So that's... your step-mother's late sister's husband's new wife's ex-cat? Geez. Most complicated feline relationship ever! (He's got a cute kitty moustache though!)