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New York City, July 24-27, 2014


Although I had visited NYC in June while Merle was in the Philippines, we had a chance to return the following month to see some people, and see some shows.

We checked in to our room, then headed to the Philippine Embassy where Merle had some business to do, but we were told to return later that afternoon.  So, what's next? 


Times Square... to get some tickets!

Before our show, we had a chance to visit and share a meal with the Mayor of Oakland, NJ, Linda Schwager...who happens also to be our cousin...and her husband Steve.
And, we even got a pen out of the deal!!

Through tkts, we were able to get seats in the orchestra section to see If/Then starring Idina Menzel


Although probably several readers of this post would probably hate her when they realize she sings that song "Let It Go" from Frozen, she was amazing in real life. 

After the show, fans would wait at the stage door to see the actors, and there was a large group that waited about 45 minutes for Idina to emerge. 
Although it probably gets tedious night after night to wade through the crowds and sign programs and take pictures, she was very gracious to all the fans.

Next day, we had to go back to the Philippine Embassy to do more of Merle's business. 




Then, we see some sights around the city. 

30 Rock
We went to visit the 9/11 memorials, which were built on the footprints of the previous towers. 
When my Aunt Gloria noted my expression, she added this picture to show that not much changes over time.
In this picture, you can get an idea of how big the footprint was.  The central part of the fountain is the same size as the core of the building, where all the elevators were located.  The areas around the core, according to one tour guide, was all open atrium.  The fountains go through 24,000 gallons of water a minute, but the water is recycled.

After that, it was time for lunch. 


Merle said "I have three words for you:  I need rice." 

Friday afternoon, we went to visit MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art.  They had many interesting exhibits, but some were hard to understand, like this one called Polar Bear in Snow Storm. 
They had some cool stuff, like these works by Van Gogh, which made me wonder about the application of the adjective "modern," but apparently it refers to art this is ground-breaking or avant-garde. 
Either way, it was cool to see some of the actual famous pieces.

In this Picasso called "The Mirror," the audio tour (hence the headsets) helped explain some aspects of this painting. 


I think the gist of it was "does this mirror make me look fat?"



Some of the paintings were certainly over my head, like the works by Jackson Pollock, which to my untrained eye, just looked like paint droppings. 
This drawing by artist Cy Twombley looks much like the walls of Merle's sister's house where Merle's nephew has had a tendency to write on the walls....
These pictures by Andy Warhol of the Campbell's Soup cans were so realistic, Merle wanted to eat them. 
Later that evening, we went to see the musical adaptation of Woody Allen's movie Bullets Over Broadway

We had great seats, center, 7th row.  Here is a view of the stage, of which, this photo taken with me standing up, as opposed to LOOKING THROUGH THE GIANT HEAD OF THE GUY IN FRONT OF ME! 


Oh. sorry.  The show was very good. 

After the show, Merle staked herself out at a good spot to see the actors as they were to exit the stage door, for some prime autograph-obtaining real estate. 






And, she did well !!!

Here's more proof!! 
Saturday am, we took a subway to Queens to meet Merle's friend Eloisa for lunch. 
We wound up going to the exact same restaurant where we visited her a year ago, but the restaurant had been remodeled, and we were sitting where the fish tank was previously located.  How time flies, and them fish were delicious!! 

Saturday afternoon, we saw Pippin



Although the second act was a little hard to integrate into the whole theme, the dancing, singing, audience interaction, and the acrobatics were really amazing. 

Saturday evening, we had dinner with Merle's cousin Joel, her Auntie Norma, Joel's wife Mia, and Jaden. 
Here is what Jaden looked like the last time I saw him.  See what happens to kids when you keep feeding them? 
Merle and Joel. 
Bye, bye, New York!!
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