Sunday, January 17, 2010

Adventures in Opera Going...

Today we went to the Met to see Carmen. We sat in a box in the balcony, which was one tier up from where we sat when we saw the Barber of Seville. It was a little high up, but the ticket price was very, very reasonable and I have to say I just love sitting in a box. There's no one in front of you and you have your own chair that you can move around and it's just a lot easier to get comfy. Not to mention, with Miss B. it's a lot easier to keep her comfy and occupied.

Beforehand we had brunch at the Grand Tier Restaurant and we had snacks throughout the performance thanks to a ziploc bag packed at home. (What, when viewing opera with a toddler you've got to have snacks). The performance was fantastic and Miss B. did great. It was also nice to see a lot of families with children at the show.

In an interesting twist of fate, today's performance was not only part of the Toll Brother's Saturday Opera Matinee radio broadcast series (typically available on your local Public Radio or classical station) but it was also simulcast in HD in theaters around the country.

After the performance we headed outside to the plaza at Lincoln Center. Unfortunately the fountain wasn't turned on, but Miss B. had fun running around anyway. Before leaving we ran across Marilu Henner. The Husband and I were walking with Miss B. and I hear the Husband say something and I look up and say "What?" just as he's saying: "Look, it's Marilu Henner", I look up, see her walk right past me and as she's passing she says, loudly: "What?" Sadly, I don't think her companion was saying: "Look, it's that Blogger, Rue de la Clef!" But, you never know.

We had planned on walking around the city and doing some shopping but we're all getting lame in our old age so we opted for a visit to The Shops at Riverside Square in yes, Hackensack. What, parking is free and we were able to walk around without our coats on. First stop? Putting our name down at Houstons. It's 6pm and they tell us we'll have an hour and forty-five minute wait. Okay.

So we hit up "Mr. Cupcake" and then did some shopping. After a successful spin at the Saks Fifth Avenue we wandered back to Houstons and were advised that we were next! (So much for an hour and forty-five minutes)...

But, apparently, "next" to the people who run the desk at Houston's means behind five other people and at least a 15 minute wait.

There were at least four people working the desk and they whole time we stood there they were worked up into a frenzy. Last night we watched The Hurt Locker and it really demonstrated the high stress environment of US servicemen who work in the Explosive Ordinance Disposal units. I think the people at Houston's were trying to give these guys a run for their money. It's was as though if someone asked "Courtney" the head receptionist whether she'd prefer to work the front desk at the Houston's in Hackensack or be on a 365 day tour of Iraq with an EOD she would consider doing the time in Iraq.

Okay, folks... it's just a restaurant.

Regardless though, the wait was soon forgotten. We had tons of tasty grub and overall a fun and exciting, though tiring, day.

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