New York City
The BIG APPLE
It’s not often we go there (like, never except for Dan and work) but Sunday July 15th found six of us behind enemy lines in the heart of Gotham. There was Barbara, Dan, Carolyn, Matt, Andrew from across the street, and Kaweh – another Redefining Voice band member. We had this trip planned since January when we bought tickets to a concert at Madison Square Garden by a favorite group of ours: Dispatch. A big thanks to Matt for introducing us to their music. They are a folk/reggae/rock band formed at Middlebury College in the 90’s who never signed on with a record company but instead relied on word-of-mouth and an Internet fan base including a presence on MySpace. As a result, they have a tremendous underground following which allowed them to sell out MSG three nights in a row in no time. For a good description of the band, take a look at their wikipedia entry.
We decided to make a day of it by going in early and seeing the sights. We drove to Stamford, CT to the Metro North train station for the final leg of the trip into Grand Central Station in midtown Manhattan. First we walked over to the United Nations building but were disappointed because none of the flags for all the countries were flying. They must have been on summer recess. We had a good lunch in the area anyway. Next we headed northwest to Sak’s Fifth Avenue and were amazed at the $3500 leather jackets and other outrageously priced items. Almost across the street we went inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Quite an impressive place.
We were basically going in a counter-clockwise circle through midtown Manhattan heading over to MSG. Next stop was Times Square and the Hard Rock Cafe.
After that, we stopped into Macy’s to cool off and have a drink at the Starbucks inside. There are Starbucks stores on just about every block in the city.
We finished our tour by going up the Empire State Building. Here is a scan of the brochure with good descriptions of what we saw, along with proofs of the photos they take of everyone and try to sell you for $25.
Finally, it was on to the concert!
Here are a number of articles about the show and group, both before and after. The show lasted more than three hours, from 8:30 to 11:45 PM! They played 27 songs including the encore. We barely made the 12:25 train back to Stamford, getting there at 1:30AM. We got stuck for over an hour on Rte 91 in Connecticut just north of New Haven when the highway was shut down for some reason we never found out. We pulled into our Driveway in Tewksbury at 6:15 AM. Night owls, indeed!