PDA

View Full Version : A Thanksgiving Odyssey: Bands, Buses, and Big Bad Balloons (Completed!!!)


GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-08-2011, 10:42 AM
Thanksgiving Odyssey



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/NY00-005.jpg




Bands, Buses, and Big Bad Balloons




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =




Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: Five Buses
Part 1: Were Off!! ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43468748&postcount=12)
Part 2: Space Management ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43475768&postcount=18)
Part 3: El Camino ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43539547&postcount=31)
Part 4: No Place Like Home ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43609727&postcount=35)

Chapter 2: Rock This Town
Part 1: If You Show Me Yours... ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43680386&postcount=47)
Part 2: Uncharted Territory ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43817737&postcount=61)
Part 3: From On High ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43864572&postcount=76)
Part 4: A Change in Direction ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43961941&postcount=86)
Part 5: Walking to Memphis ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44061776&postcount=93)

Chapter 3: Taking a Bite Out of the Apple
Part 1: A Place of Healing ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44160865&postcount=106)
Part 2: The Fruits of Other's Labors... ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44293416&postcount=112)
Part 3: Getting Our Fill ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44369492&postcount=119)
Part 4: Rumblings of Mutiny ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44738915&postcount=123)

Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway
Part 1: Zero-Dark-Thirty ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45438503&postcount=128)
Part 2: Inside... Looking Out ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45579341&postcount=136)
Part 3: Meanwhile, Back at Tesla Corner... ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45692359&postcount=142)
Part 4: Celebrities I Do Not Know ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45755829&postcount=146)
Part 5: A Bit of Americana ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45835475&postcount=151)
Part 6: The Blink of an Eye ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45986172&postcount=159)
Part 7: The Study of Pressure and Time ( http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=46053236#post46053236)
Part 8: Giving Thanks ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46117752&postcount=174)

Chapter 5: Remembrances
Part 1: What Is and What Was ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46185864&postcount=177)
Part 2: A Substantial Edifice ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46185897&postcount=178)
Part 3: The New Colossus ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46342837&postcount=187)
Part 4: Beneath the Surface ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46476826&postcount=194)
Part 5: Reflecting Absence ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46605704&postcount=199)
Part 6: The Last Hurrah ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46746961&postcount=206)

Chapter 6: A Whole Different Animal... ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46772497&postcount=214)




That's All Folks!!






= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =



When Homer... and before you say it out loud, I’m talking about the classical Greek writer, not the nuclear energy tech from Springfield.


Anyway, as I was saying…

When Homer first put quill to papyrus with the intention of jotting down a few thoughts about a guy who needed to go out for a few days on a business trip of sorts, I don’t think that he intentionally set out to create the literary trash genera of Travel Books. That was the farthest thing from the mind of this great epic poet as he was writing one of the books that every high school student (much to their chagrin) is now compelled to read:

The Odyssey.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3A1-000.jpg



No... what he had in mind was adventure, intrigue, grand sweeping vistas, monumental struggles, catastrophists and stunning turns of fortune, pivotal confrontations, exhilarating victories, bitter sweet moments and of course& jubilant homecomings.

But, if you think about it& these things...
these ideas...
they are the exact same elements that are required to tell even a run of the mill travel story.

With that in mind...

I am going to try my best to tell you a story: a story about a group of folks that embarked on their own Odyssey. An adventure that was the culmination of nearly two years of planning and became an amazing finally to what was an extraordinary summer and fall in the lives of a group of very dedicated young people and their families.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3A1-001.jpg



It’s quite the tale, but it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. First off its not a Disney story (which is why I didn’t post it in the TR section of the boards). But there were many aspects of the trip that closely mirror a good Disney TR (and believe it or not, Mickey will be making a couple of brief appearances).

Hopefully you’ll be able to find something interesting in the midst of the mindless blather that is to follow. I do promise that I’ll give you fair warning when I’m about to make a left turn into terra obscura. That way you’ll be able to quickly hit the back button and be spared the needless loss of brain cells. If you do choose to stay... you will learn entirely too much about high school bands and marching competitions; the care and feeding of teenagers; fundraising and deluxe bus travel; accommodations in the Hackensack area and whirlwind tours of NYC and most importantly... a behind the scenes look at one of Americas modern holiday traditions: The Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3A1-002.jpg



...and just what it takes to be one of the very few units that actually performs live music during the event.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3A1-003.jpg




If you’ve had the opportunity (or misfortune) of reading one of my previous TRs, you will already have some insight into the kind of dementia and generally unfocused meandering that is likely to take place here. If not... you might want to take a look at my past efforts and use them as a guide for determining whether you really want to take on the burden of deciphering the broken and disconnected thought process that make up my written musings. Here’s a couple of links to those literary disasters; you can go check ‘em out for yourselves...




Experiment-627
(A Caribbean Double with a Wilderness Chaser)
(http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2760910)




Youre writing a TR... Really?
(Christmas at POR, 2010)
(http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2717057)




I hope you decide to follow along and I’d really appreciate it if you’d also join in the conversation. Feel free to toss out questions, comments, observations, criticisms, witticisms, or any other ism that crosses you mind. And while I’m here, I want to thank you in advance for even checking in here in the first place. This was a once in a lifetime experience for my family and many others in the small town that I call home. I only hope that given my meager literary abilities; I can give this story the presentation it deserves.

Like it or not though...
I’m going to be making the attempt.




Just maybe I’ll be able to get somebody to listen.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3A1-004.jpg

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-08-2011, 10:43 AM
Bonus Features

These are links to anything off topic that ended up being tossed in here
(I already have a reputation as being: “Goofus Offtopicus”…
you can be certain that I will be defending that title)


01: Jamie Wants Big Boom ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43510091&postcount=22)
02: Your Charabanc Awaits… ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43752202&postcount=52)
03: A Coin to Pay Charon ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43817712&postcount=60)
04: Pointless Pictures ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43864557&postcount=74)
05: Tease! ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43864567&postcount=75)
06: Brave Sir Robin! ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45579259&postcount=135)
07: A Closer Look (Part-1) ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45707870&postcount=143)
08: A Closer Look (Part-2) ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45755923&postcount=147)
09: A Closer Look (Part-3) ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46059195&postcount=167)
10: Patience and Fortitude (Part-1: The Time Machine) ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46118006&postcount=175)
11: Patience and Fortitude (Part-2: A Higher Purpose) ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46118197&postcount=176)







:rolleyes1:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-08-2011, 10:44 AM
Flash Backs

This is something new that y’all have to contend with in my current TR.
The trip to New York and the parade are only half the story…
The events that lead up to the trip were an adventure in their own right.



01: The Big Reveal ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43510129&postcount=23)
02: You want us to build what? ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44061678&postcount=92)




:cool2:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-08-2011, 10:44 AM
Just one more

:rolleyes1

Captain_Oblivious
12-08-2011, 10:47 AM
I'm in! Looking forward to it! popcorn::

When Homer… and before you say it out loud, I’m talking about the classical Greek writer, not the nuclear energy tech from Springfield.

Awww...

Anyway, as I was saying…

No… what he had in mind was adventure, intrigue, grand sweeping vistas, monumental struggles, catastrophists and stunning turns of fortune, pivotal confrontations, exhilarating victories, bitter sweet moments and of course… jubilant homecomings.

Add in some explosions and fart jokes and it sounds like the perfect story!

(see, I can bring any conversation down to my level)

theduck619
12-08-2011, 11:20 AM
Count me in :thumbsup2

FreezinRafiki
12-08-2011, 11:21 AM
I'll listen!

Unless Mark starts telling fart jokes, then I'm outta here.
Just kidding, I probably have a few of my own to contribute. And long bus rides are the perfect place for them. :)

afwdwfan
12-08-2011, 11:23 AM
When Homer… and before you say it out loud, I’m talking about the classical Greek writer, not the nuclear energy tech from Springfield.
D'OH! :headache:


No… what he had in mind was adventure, intrigue, grand sweeping vistas, monumental struggles, catastrophists and stunning turns of fortune, pivotal confrontations, exhilarating victories, bitter sweet moments and of course… jubilant homecomings.
And a cyclops... don't forget the cyclops.


a behind the scenes look at one of America’s modern holiday traditions: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…
Now that looks very intriguing.


Feel free to toss out questions, comments, observations, criticisms, witticisms, or any other “ism” that crosses you mind.
I don't think that will be a problem.:lmao:


And while I’m here, I want to thank you in advance for even checking in here in the first place.
You're welcome in advance.


Just maybe I’ll be able to get somebody to listen.
Or at least to read.:rolleyes1

Add in some explosions and fart jokes and it sounds like the perfect story!

(see, I can bring any conversation down to my level)
Yeah, what he said. :thumbsup2

Grooovertoo
12-08-2011, 11:32 AM
You had me at Trip Report...popcorn::

baseballmickey
12-08-2011, 11:52 AM
I have a leather-bound copy of the Iliad and Odyssey that I have read several times, without any gun pointed to my head nor threatening glare from red pencil wielding authority figures.

Will this TR be written in the style of epic poetry??? will every character have an epithet???

Even if it isn't and they don't, count me in!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-14-2011, 03:10 PM
Add in some explosions and fart jokes and it sounds like the perfect story!

(see, I can bring any conversation down to my level)

Are you dragging it down, or bringing it up to a level that will be more suitable to more dads?

(…being as I don’t think I’m going to get too many of the ladies to follow along. Most of them wouldn’t be seen over here in our corner of the boards. The beer cans and graffiti alone would send them into conniptions.)

Welcome aboard!



Count me in :thumbsup2

Consider yourself counted (specifically, you second)
Welcome sir.




I'll listen!

It’s a Trap!!!


Unless Mark starts telling fart jokes, then I'm outta here.

I should believe this?


Just kidding, I probably have a few of my own to contribute. And long bus rides are the perfect place for them. :)

That’s more like it. Add all the embellishment you like (it certainly couldn’t hurt).
Welcome to the fray!




D'OH! :headache:


Who let you in here? The place is already disreputable enough with out having to deal with a certified nemesis…

Against my better judgment (as if I had any judgment), I suppose I’ll even welcome you to the party.

And a cyclops... don't forget the cyclops.


A Cyclops you say. Hummmmm… I’ll have to look into that possibility.

Now that looks very intriguing.


It was interesting to see, that’s for sure

I don't think that will be a problem.:lmao:


I didn’t think it would be (I need someone to add some interest to this pending disaster… even if it’s coming from you).

You're welcome in advance.




Or at least to read.:rolleyes1


Well… that’s a good start on the “smart-a**-isims”. You’re already having a positive influence on the TR (which is not very nemesis like… you’re supposed to detract, not add).



You had me at Trip Report...popcorn::

Then you’re easily had.
You may want to consider raising your standards considerably.

Welcome aboard!


I have a leather-bound copy of the Iliad and Odyssey that I have read several times, without any gun pointed to my head nor threatening glare from red pencil wielding authority figures.

Will this TR be written in the style of epic poetry??? will every character have an epithet???

Even if it isn't and they don't, count me in!

Apparently you have excellent taste. Sooooo…
What the heck are you doing signing on to this potential disaster?

Epic poetry? Not quite. More like in the style of “South’rn Conversation”.
Me and poetry (epic or otherwise) don’t much cotton to one an’other.
Here… let me demonstrate:

Roses are Red…
Violets are blue…
I hate rhyming…
Zerba!

See what I mean.

The idea of epithets might be entertaining though. I could refer to myself as “Mangler of Language” (I don’t foresee anyone rushing in to defend me from the implications of that moniker). In any case… consider yourself welcomed to the adventure.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-14-2011, 03:16 PM
Chapter 1: Five Buses (Day 1 - Monday)




Part 1: We’re Off!!
(and we’re leaving this morning as well)







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/NY00-001.jpg



According to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics:

“The Thanksgiving holiday period is among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a *destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent.

Most long-distance holiday travel, about 91 percent, is by personal vehicle, such as by car. Only 5 to 6 percent of holiday trips are by air, while 2 to 3 percent are by bus, train, ship, or other mode.”


Welcome to the world of two percent! It is estimated that of the USA’s 308 million soles, about 42.5 million got enough gumption to pack a bag or two and actually set out from their nice safe warm homes to travel toward parts known and unknown during the 2011 Thanksgiving Holidays. Using the Transportation Departments statistics, we know that about 850,000 of them were traveling via “bus, train or ship/other”. Just for arguments sake, we’ll divide that number up equally between the three categories and now we have about 283,000 fools that decided to take time out of their holidays to travel to where ever it was that they were headed on a bus. I can personally vouch for about 290 of those fools.

I was one of them.


As you already know (having mistakenly read this far already), we’re heading to New York, New York to take part in this little soiree…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-101.jpg


Well… our kids are actually going for this reason. The adults are traveling along as teachers, chaperones, support staff (my particular category), and a few who were just tagging along for the once in a lifetime experience.

This odyssey began at 3am in our house with the sounding of a rather obnoxious alarm clock. By 4:30 we were in front of the local high school setting our bags on the curb and staging all the gear that had to make the trip with us this day.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-102.jpg


The buses should be here by 5:00, but since we have a little bit of time, let me introduce you to the players taking part in this little effort. First there’s this rather questionable collection of ragamuffins…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-103.jpg


Of all the young’ens current attending Nation Ford High School (referred to as “NaFo” by the students and locals) in my home state of South Carolina, better than one in ten of them are taking part in the instrumental music program. That’s a fairly high percentage for any school. But these kids also have a penchant for working very hard. No, really… That’s how a group from a mid-sized school that is only just starting its fifth year of operation succeeded in getting the folks up at Macy’s to invite them to participate in this undertaking.

Now, being as there are better than 160 kids in this outfit (and better than 120 other travelers), there is no way I can tell the story from everyone’s point of view. So you’ll have to settle for hearing it as one small part of the group remembers the events that are to follow. To be specific, this group here…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/NY00-003.jpg


The boy on the left there is Max; sixteen at the time, and a proud member of the clan of Low Brass in the tribe of NaFo. The lovely girl on the right side (near that rather tall building in the background) is Tamara, proud mother and the stable rock around which my world revolves. That just leaves the scruffy guy there mucking up the middle of the photo. That’d be me… Rob. I could add a few superlatives to describe myself as well, but the bulk of them would be fairly derogatory and won’t really add much to the overall effect of the story (so I’ll just let you draw your own conclusions based on what you read through the rest of the TR). This time around we also had an additional person join the party…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-104.jpg


The girl in the back row there is my sister in law: Elaine. Like the rest of us, she felt that this was just too rare an event to be passed up, and figured she might as well follow along. Well that’s the major characters in this “epic”, now I can see that the buses are here so I suspect that I ought to get to work. I’ll send the girls off to find us a decent spot on one of the “parent” buses, while I take care of a few “administrative tasks”.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-105.jpg


If you hang on for just a minute or two I’ll tell you a bit more about that “administrative” process, throw out an explanation on the way this TR will work, and give you a look at the drive into the unknown (well… unknown for most of us anyway), but in the meantime, I’m in charge of packing Bus-2 over there and we want to be on the road by six, so I’d best get moving.







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-001.jpg

afwdwfan
12-14-2011, 03:29 PM
Welcome to the world of two percent!
I'd ask if the 2% went to Wall Street to visit the 1%, but I don't want any spoilers. :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


I can personally vouch for about 290 of those fools.

I was one of them.
Wow... you were .3% of the .1% of the 33.3% of the 2% :faint:



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-001.jpg

How appropriate.

theduck619
12-14-2011, 04:57 PM
I hope there will be a pic of you dancing on the Paino toy at FAO like Tom Hanks in Big :lmao:

cj9200
12-14-2011, 05:14 PM
Ahh, school road trips. The joy of getting up at insane o'clock to drop the kid off at the school so she can get on the bus.

Notice I said, "drop the kid off." Never stepped foot on one of those buses let alone let them close the door behind me. You are much braver than I am.

Captain_Oblivious
12-15-2011, 11:42 AM
According to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics:

“The Thanksgiving holiday period is among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a *destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent.

Most long-distance holiday travel, about 91 percent, is by personal vehicle, such as by car. Only 5 to 6 percent of holiday trips are by air, while 2 to 3 percent are by bus, train, ship, or other mode.”

And even though they are all traveling at the same time as millions upon millions of other people and refusing to alter their schedules, they'll still all blame the DOT for traffic jams! :thumbsup2 But I'm not bitter or anything.

Using the Transportation Departments statistics, we know that about 850,000 of them were traveling via “bus, train or ship/other”.

What's the "other"? Hovercraft? Jitney? One of those two-person push-rail cars? :confused3

But these kids also have a penchant for working very hard. No, really… That’s how a group from a mid-sized school that is only just starting its fifth year of operation succeeded in getting the folks up at Macy’s to invite them to participate in this undertaking.

Speaks well for the student population...

Wow... you were .3% of the .1% of the 33.3% of the 2% :faint:

:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-15-2011, 02:38 PM
I'd ask if the 2% went to Wall Street to visit the 1%, but I don't want any spoilers. :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


:lmao:
We did get a chance to head down toward that part of Manhattan, and while I’m sure that there were a few 1%-ers in the area, we were on a different mission. One that was more sobering and contemplative (but that’s not until Friday, so I’ve a good ways to go in this tale before I get to that spot on the map).


Wow... you were .3% of the .1% of the 33.3% of the 2% :faint:


I almost took the numbers on down to that extreme, but it started to make even my head hurt. Better you then me.


How appropriate.


I have a firm grasp on just exactly who and what I am.



I hope there will be a pic of you dancing on the Paino toy at FAO like Tom Hanks in Big :lmao:

That would have been good… but… we just didn’t have time to get up to FAO Swartz on this trip, so that one didn’t happen (but I did get to poke around in a shop that has more in common with these boards then a Hollywood film)



Ahh, school road trips. The joy of getting up at insane o'clock to drop the kid off at the school so she can get on the bus.

Notice I said, "drop the kid off." Never stepped foot on one of those buses let alone let them close the door behind me. You are much braver than I am.

As an accomplished diver and a veteran of multiple trips to The World (in the company of variously sized gaggles of teenage girls)… I’d say that you have earned your “bravery stripes”.

Welcome to this very un-Disney TR… I’m glad to have you along for the ride.


BTW: I like “insane o'clock”… it’s about as good as “0-dark-30”. I may have to add that one to the vocabulary.





And even though they are all traveling at the same time as millions upon millions of other people and refusing to alter their schedules, they'll still all blame the DOT for traffic jams! :thumbsup2 But I'm not bitter or anything.


Accepting responsibility is not very American. As a society, we’re glad to point out the failings and foibles of others (that IS… the American way), but the possibility of even considering… just for a moment or two… that we ourselves… may possibly be, shall we say, ummmm…. less then perfect…

Weeeeelllllllll…

But, it beings two great quotes to mind:
“Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.” – Mark Twain
"We have met the enemy and he is us." – Pogo (Walt Kelly)


What's the "other"? Hovercraft? Jitney? One of those two-person push-rail cars? :confused3


Thought just maybe you could shed a bit o light on that one. I was hopping it was Magic Carpet or something else as exotic as that, but I suspect it’s a combination of walking, hitch-hiking and parcel post.


Speaks well for the student population...


Thanks, I’ll pass that compliment on to the kid that earned it.

School starts midway through August, but band starts in mid July. At the same time that the ball players begin doing two-a-days, these kids start a week and a half of all-days. They work (out in the SC sun & heat) every day during school and three to four hours after school three days out of five. They also give up two to three Saturdays in September for all day rehearsals.

True Story…
On several occasions (and I do mean “several”) various new coaches have recommended to our directors that their kids probably needed to be doing some distance training or weight training to build up their endurance. Our director always meets this suggestion with an invitation for that coach to come out to one of the afternoon rehearsals and see if they can keep up with his “non-athletes”. Most except the challenge, all have at least come out and watched. All of them within an hour of arriving came to the same conclusion… that just maybe some of their kids needed to come out for some extra “band training” to build up their endurance.

There are two groups at school that get it though. The administration staff (because they see them working all afternoon out their windows), and the ROTC officers and cadets (because they’re working out of a similar playbook). Not every program is like this… but both of the schools in our town are, and our kids are the better off for it.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-15-2011, 02:58 PM
Chapter 1: Five Buses (Day 1 - Monday)




Part 2: Space Management
(Well… then we’ll find a way to make it fit…)







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-201.jpg



Most anyone that has ever been to a live concert has at least an inkling about the heard of trucks and small army of roadies required to entertain an audience just for an evening. If you or your children have ever been a member of any kind of band or orchestra, then you’ve likely seen firsthand that moving a group of musicians from point-a to point-b can be quite the undertaking. For those that have never really had to worry about such bits of minutia, let me take just a minute to show you what I’m on about here.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-202.jpg


That last picture is our group of young musicians as they were getting set up to perform during one of this year’s competitions. You’ll notice that on top of having to get 165 kids to this local, we also had to get all the rest of the gear that you see there moved as well. That includes instruments, uniforms, props, hardware, food and even a “gator” (which is cross between a golf cart and a tractor) to move everything around once we arrive. It takes a tractor-trailer to move most of it and sometimes we need extra trailers as well. Here are some shots of the load out after that particular competition…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-203.jpg


Now imagine that you’re going to move the same outfit several hundred miles for a one-week trip using only buses to haul everything (which now also includes clothing and personal items). That’s not something that’s going to happen without a plan (and a good one for that matter). One thing that helped was that we no longer needed to move any props and we were not bringing any of the xylophones or marimbas. That’s a good thing, but we still needed to pack all the horns, the rest of the drums, uniforms and any other miscellaneous gear that might come handy (and all that had to get stowed under the buses before the luggage could be loaded).
How on earth…

Well, we’re pretty lucky to have dedicated volunteers to help with this kind of problem. One of them is a retired engineer who took time to travel over to the bus garage and measure the storage bays on the buses that we were hiring. He then came up with a load plan to best use the space that we had available. That first picture at the top of this post is part of that plan (specifically the one that stuffed the five bass drums, six field-snares and the rest of the percussion into a single bay). Here’s another page from that same playbook…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-204.jpg


That’s the plan I was assigned to execute which loaded 26 low brass horns into another one of the bays. It took two more bays just for the tubas; two for the uniforms, another one for the “shakos” (the type of hats that go with our uniforms) and then the rest of the horns and bags had to fit into the space that remained. To pull this off we meet up at the school the day before.

While the kids were going through one last rehearsal…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-205.jpg


…we were inside packing everything up.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-206.jpg


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-207.jpg


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-208.jpg


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-209.jpg


This is one of those times when “the plan” actually did come together. Once the buses arrived, we had the whole shootin’ match loaded up and everyone aboard in about 45 minutes. Not too shabby.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-210.jpg



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =



Now before we let off he breaks and hit the gas, let me take one more moment of your time to talk about a slightly different kind of space management; the space that will make up this here TR. If you’ve read any of my previous trip reports (and that’s not something that you have to admit to in public), but if you have… then you are aware that from time to time I will through in an aside that has been dubbed: “A Bonus Feature”. These are posts with additional information (or sometimes a free gift) that I decide to toss in along with the rest of the story. There is no rhyme or reason for when these will appear or for the content of said feature. It just depends on what strikes my fancy.

As such you’re welcome to ignore them.
I mean… how would I know if you do?

But it seems only fair to warn you that with this TR, you will also run across an additional annoyance:

“The Flashback”.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-211.png


This is not just the story of an effort to spend a couple of hours strolling down the middle of several Manhattan thoroughfares. It’s also the story of how we got to this point and the more important work that took place prior to the expedition. These will cover a bit more ground per post then the parts of the actual chapters, but the back-story is just as compelling (well… to me anyway) as the trip to NY. You’ll get the full effect of what these will entail soon enough. Feel free to treat them with the same deference that you’d reserve for the Bonus Features.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-212.png


I can ask no more than that.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =



Well… I see that Max has found himself a spot along with the rest of his cohorts on Bus-3 so it must be time to get this circus train off the siding and on down the line. I found that the girls had settled in as well and staked us out a spot about halfway back on Bus-4. So for the next twelve hours or so, my field of vision will pretty muck look like this…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-213.jpg


It’s 5:54am… the buses are just about to pull out onto the interstate, and I don’t think we could realistically stuff anything else into these big lumbering land-barges. It must be time to roll.





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-002.jpg

afwdwfan
12-15-2011, 03:19 PM
One of them is a retired engineer who took time to travel over to the bus garage and measure the storage bays on the busses that we were hiring. He then came up with a load plan to best use the space that we had available.
Wow, an engineer was able to come up with a plan to load everything??? :scared1:

and they still can't design a decent road.:sad2:


This is one of those times when “the plan” actually did come together. Once the buses arrived, we had the whole shootin’ match loaded up and everyone aboard in about 45 minutes. Not too shabby.
:thumbsup2


But it seems only fair to warn you that with this TR, you will also run across an additional annoyance: “The Flashback”.
Oh fantastic. You're writing a trip report in the style of LOST. I just hope your TR has a better ending.:rolleyes1

Captain_Oblivious
12-16-2011, 02:37 PM
Accepting responsibility is not very American. As a society, we’re glad to point out the failings and foibles of others (that IS… the American way), but the possibility of even considering… just for a moment or two… that we ourselves… may possibly be, shall we say, ummmm…. less then perfect…

Weeeeelllllllll…

But, it beings two great quotes to mind:
“Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.” – Mark Twain
"We have met the enemy and he is us." – Pogo (Walt Kelly)

It's not very human, let alone American. Hence the Good Lord's instruction about removing the plank in your own eye before worrying about the speck in another's. I still have trouble applying that one. :guilty:

Thought just maybe you could shed a bit o light on that one. I was hopping it was Magic Carpet or something else as exotic as that, but I suspect it’s a combination of walking, hitch-hiking and parcel post.

I like the Magic Carpet idea. I'd say it also includes rocket sleds, guinea-pig-powered rowboats, and traveling by map. :thumbsup2

True Story…
On several occasions (and I do mean “several”) various new coaches have recommended to our directors that their kids probably needed to be doing some distance training or weight training to build up their endurance. Our director always meets this suggestion with an invitation for that coach to come out to one of the afternoon rehearsals and see if they can keep up with his “non-athletes”. Most except the challenge, all have at least come out and watched. All of them within an hour of arriving came to the same conclusion… that just maybe some of their kids needed to come out for some extra “band training” to build up their endurance.

That's awesome!

That includes instruments, uniforms, props, hardware, food and even a “gator” (which is cross between a golf cart and a tractor) to move everything around once we arrive. It takes a simi to move most of it and sometimes we need extra trailers as well. Here are some shots of the load out after that particular competition…

Behind-the-scenes people never, ever get enough credit for what they do.

One of them is a retired engineer who took time to travel over to the bus garage and measure the storage bays on the busses that we were hiring. He then came up with a load plan to best use the space that we had available. That first picture at the top of this post is part of that plan (specifically the one that stuffed the five bass drums, six field-snares and the rest of the percussion into a single bay). Here’s another page from that same playbook…

Let's hear it for engineers! :woohoo::cool1::banana::yay:

This is one of those times when “the plan” actually did come together. Once the buses arrived, we had the whole shootin’ match loaded up and everyone aboard in about 45 minutes. Not too shabby.

Impressive. :darth:

I do love it when a plan comes together.

If you’ve read any of my previous trip reports (and that’s not something that you have to admit to in public), but if you have… then you are aware that from time to time I will through in an aside that has been dubbed: “A Bonus Feature”.

Really? Hadn't noticed. :rotfl2:

But it seems only fair to warn you that with this TR, you will also run across an additional annoyance: “The Flashback”.

Cool! Special effects!

As Andy mentioned, it would also be appropriate to use flash-forwards, a la LOST. As long as you don't end up in Purgatory at the end.

I found that the girls had settled in as well and staked us out a spot about halfway back on Bus-4. So for the next twelve hours or so, my field of vision will pretty muck look like this…

Hopefully they have some good movies on this bus.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-20-2011, 10:35 PM
Wow, an engineer was able to come up with a plan to load everything??? :scared1:

and they still can't design a decent road.:sad2:


Care to comment of that one Mark?



Oh fantastic. You're writing a trip report in the style of LOST. I just hope your TR has a better ending.:rolleyes1

Well… I can guarantee that you won’t end up in purgatory.

Actually… I called that one. I watched the pilot episode along with the rest of America, and didn’t find anything that engrossing in the story to begin with. I said that evening that it looked to be pointless to me and I wouldn’t be investing any more time it. Obviously, they’re already dead and we’re just going to watch them work out the end of their lives and determine where each one will end ultimately up. I have witnesses to prove it. I just didn’t expect it to take seven years to be proven right, and I was more disappointed then satisfied to ultimately be correct.

Sad…




I like the Magic Carpet idea. I'd say it also includes rocket sleds, guinea-pig-powered rowboats, and traveling by map. :thumbsup2


Traveling by map you say… let the adventure begin


Behind-the-scenes people never, ever get enough credit for what they do.


No… but that’s not why we’re doing it either, so I guess it’s a bit of a wash.


Really? Hadn't noticed. :rotfl2:


You need to be paying more attention


Hopefully they have some good movies on this bus.

We’ll see….

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-20-2011, 10:48 PM
Bonus Feature 1:





Jamie Wants Big Boom




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B1-001.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msYHQOkrRHE)



For my first Bonus Feature, I’ve decided that it would be best if I were to satisfy a request form one of my more dedicated readers. I have so few dedicated readers that neglecting them would be foolish. But it would be even more foolish to ignore a dang good idea as well. And lets face it… I’m already boring y’all with my little TR on a topic that doesn’t suit the masses and also has precious little to do with Disney in the first place.

So… when Mark requested that I add copious amounts of explosions…

I mean really… just how could I resist such a request.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


The first one up there is one of the best compilations from one of my favorite programs that pays regular tribute to the concept of rapid oxidation: Mythbusters.

These folks do such a fine job of mixing, mayhem and science that they really do deserve out attention. And so… we’ll give them some. Here are a few of the more entertaining conflagrations and bits of high-speed disassembly.


First… one of the most famous: The Cement Truck

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B1-002.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIPprUxFap8)



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


Next… a look at the exploding water heater. What these puppies lack in the ability to generate a mushroom cloud, they make up for in “elegant carnage”… especially on extreme Slo-Mo.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B1-003.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=hWnL8SipXT8)




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


Well… since I mentioned the concept of mushroom clouds, it seems only fitting that I present you with one. So here you go… one “Big Boom”


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B1-006.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0wBdwekhv0)



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


An now for something completely different, but just as visually devastating (not to mention: entertaining): Snowplow Evolution. Even Darwin would and been struck dumb by the intensity of this collision.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B1-005.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y19Wn2iZuGc)



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


And nor for something even more completely different… but related… and funny.
That’s a win, win, win in my book.

Y’all enjoy and I’ll put up another part of the actual TR in a little while.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B1-007.jpg ( http://www.yourdiscovery.com/video/mythbusters-one-line-wonders/)

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-20-2011, 10:56 PM
Flash Back 1:





The Big Reveal
(April 15, 2010)



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-001.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6o6zrTNC1c)



Now first off… I don’t really expect you to actually watch that video up there. But… if you do (boring though it may be…), then you don’t really need to bother reading my first “Flash Back” post. However, it’s kind’a like choosing between a hanging and a firing squad… the outcome in either case is not particularly good for your continued wellbeing. You may want to choose option “C” and ignore this post completely.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The Process…


The folks that in charge of putting together the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (and there is an entire department of the company devoted to this exercise) receive reams of applications yearly form different groups that want to take part in this modern American tradition. A lot of them are local groups that apply regularly. A lot more are from farther afield and have either big dreams or an interesting back-story. Either way, there is a lot of paperwork and accompanying film and videos that the organizers have to wade through before coming up with a preliminary list. Generally applications need to be in their hands by the day of the parade to be considered for the one that will kick-off two years from that date.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-002.jpg


Along with the balloon volunteers, the troops of clowns and the dance and acrobatic ensembles that want to join in (celebrities are invited and don’t have to apply), one of the largest groups applying are the collage and high school bands. This seems obvious, as bands are traditional parade fair…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-003.jpg


The trick is that while several hundred will apply annually, only about ten will be accepted in any one year, and… they’re mighty picky about the ones they choose.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The Art of Rejection…


It’s that last tidbit back there, that “picky-ness” thing, which lead our teaching staff to put in an application in the first place. Their intention was not to be selected, but rather to be turned down.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-004.jpg


Now why on earth would you want to be turned away?


Answer: to get the critique documents. Here… let me explain a bit farther.

Nation Ford HS opened as a school in 2007 with just freshmen, sophomores and juniors (a fairly common practice for new high schools). This was a bit traumatic, as our little town has had only one high school for the prior century or so years. But growth in the whole area had reached the point where two schools had become a necessity. Like all other aspects of the school, the music program was a work in progress. That being said, they had accomplished much in two years including: two second place finishes in the marching seasons (while also taking 1st place in the music performance categories both times), two consecutive superior ratings in the spring concert festivals, high percentages of students earning spots in the region and state honors bands, and two consecutive OBA’s (SC Outstanding Band Award) and that last one takes everything else into consideration and is not easily achieved. At the time the application was turned in (one quarter of the way through their third year) they’d added to that list: a state championship in the 2009 marching season and a respectable first appearance in a national marching competition (competing against 97 other programs from across the country; three quarters of which were two to three times the size of our school).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/B12-04.jpg


All that sounds impressive, but there is still a lot of room for continued growth and improvement. The more you expect out of your kids… the more they will produce. There are very few parents (much less teachers) that will disagree with this.

By submitting applications to a national or international caliber events, those organizers and judges will do you the favor of explaining the points where they believe you can improve your program. They’ll tell you exactly what kind of standards you should be aiming for and what type of items need to appear on you résumé. That’s useful info for a staff that is trying to build the best music program possible. It’s basically a checklist of the kind of activities and accomplishments that will garner your program national attention and a road map of the things you’ll need to do to get there.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-005.jpg




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-006.jpg


So it was with no more then a goal of getting a few opinions in mind that the directors submitted an application in late November of 2009 (just under the deadline wire) and then just got back to business. There was a lot to do yet in the spring of 2010. We didn’t expect to hear back form that selection process for a while as our understanding was that the “Thanks for Applying” notices generally go out in late April or May. But that’s not the way it turned out. Instead of the critique list we wanted… A fell’a showed up and said that the kind of production and growth that our kids had shown in 2.5 years was phenomenal; especially for a school with a medium sized student body from a smaller town. Given these assets, the Macy’s folks wanted to invite us to bring the kids up to be part of the 85 anniversary Thanksgiving Day Parade in November of 2011.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-007.jpg


That’s the Good! Now there’s the bad. Well… really it’s the unfortunate. It was the current group of upper-classmen that did the bulk of the work it took to get to this point. These kids would be graduating and heading of to collage in barely two months. Needless to say… they were heading on toward bigger and better things, and weren’t going to be able to be part of this little party. For the most part, these kids were good with that. They’d had a great run, they’d just been on a major trip this past year, and it was time to move on. In general they may have been just a little disappointed, but mostly they were happy for the younger folks.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-008.jpg


So all was right with the world… right? Nope. We had a problem. This was where the ugly came in. To be able to pull this off… we needed to get busy right now on the process of raising the funds needed to pull it off. On the up side we had about a year and a half to get it put together. The whole process was going to require a concerted effort one the part of all the kids. Especially the rising seniors…

who themselves would be graduating…

in 2011…

in June of 2011…

Ummmm… “Huston, we’ve had a problem”.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-009.jpg


Now that’s just not right!

Like the current seniors, the junior class was instrumental (yah I said it… go ahead and take your shots at it), in accomplishing the goals that got us invited in the first place. The first thing that took place after the invitation was received, was a meeting between the directors and the administration to figure out a way to have a senior trip up to NY for the kids in the class of 2011. To the credit of our principal and her staff… they immediately agreed that this was both fitting and proper and that it would be done.



So now… All was right with the world



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F1-010.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTq20prt0K8)

afwdwfan
12-21-2011, 08:57 AM
Bonus Feature 1:





Jamie Wants Big Boom

KABOOOOM!!!!


Generally applications need to be in their hands by the day of the parade to be considered for the one that will kick-off two years from that date.
Wow, I have a hard time just planning 2 days in advance.


Now why on earth would you want to be turned away?


Answer: to get the critique documents. Here… let me explain a bit farther.
Hmmm... interesting concept.


Given these assets, the Macy’s folks wanted to invite us to bring the kids up to be part of the 85 anniversary Thanksgiving Day Parade in November of 2011.
Looks like somebody screwed up and did too good of a job on the application. :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:



That’s the Good! Now there’s the bad. Well… really it’s the unfortunate. It was the current group of upper-classmen that did the bulk of the work it took to get to this point.
It's a shame that they missed out... at least they can take pride in the fact that they were the foundation upon which a top tier program was built.


So all was right with the world… right? Nope. We had a problem. This was where the ugly came in. To be able to pull this off… we needed to get busy right now on the process of raising the funds needed to pull it off.
:headache: Money... why does it always have to be a limiting factor in everything?


The first thing that took place after the invitation was received, was a meeting between the directors and the administration to figure out a way to have a senior trip up to NY for the kids in the class of 2011. To the credit of our principal and her staff… they immediately agreed that this was both fitting and proper and that it would be done.
When did that trip take place? Was it for the entire senior class or just the band?

Captain_Oblivious
12-21-2011, 01:50 PM
So… when Mark requested that I add copious amounts of explosions…

I mean really… just how could I resist such a request.

:sad1: <---Tears of joy

I don't know how I can thank you enough! You picked some of my all-time favorite episodes, too. The water heater one is an all-time classic. It's so rare when a myth is not only confirmed, but confirmed in such spectacular fashion. And the rocket sled has a special place in my heart as well.

Generally applications need to be in their hands by the day of the parade to be considered for the one that will kick-off two years from that date.

I can see why you were helpful in this regard--it's like making ADR's at Disney World! :thumbsup2

It’s that last tidbit back there, that “picky-ness” thing, which lead our teaching staff to put in an application in the first place. Their intention was not to be selected, but rather to be turned down.

Sounds counter-intuitive, but your explanation makes a lot of sense.

The more you expect out of your kids… the more they will produce. There are very few parents (much less teachers) that will disagree with this.

If only more practiced that philosophy...

Given these assets, the Macy’s folks wanted to invite us to bring the kids up to be part of the 85 anniversary Thanksgiving Day Parade in November of 2011.

:eek: :woohoo:

Well… really it’s the unfortunate. It was the current group of upper-classmen that did the bulk of the work it took to get to this point. These kids would be graduating and heading of to collage in barely two months. Needless to say… they were heading on toward bigger and better things, and weren’t going to be able to be part of this little party.

That is a shame. I guess they knew ahead of time they were applying for 2011, though.

The first thing that took place after the invitation was received, was a meeting between the directors and the administration to figure out a way to have a senior trip up to NY for the kids in the class of 2011. To the credit of our principal and her staff… they immediately agreed that this was both fitting and proper and that it would be done.

Ultra-classy move right there. :thumbsup2

Captain_Oblivious
12-21-2011, 01:52 PM
Wow, an engineer was able to come up with a plan to load everything??? :scared1:

and they still can't design a decent road.:sad2:

:sad2:

I think farming has been around eons longer than road engineering, and yet they STILL haven't found a way to make vegetables taste good.

FreezinRafiki
12-21-2011, 02:55 PM
Ok, Rob. I've caught up on my trip report, and I've found time to catch up on some others, namely yours. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a band geek by any stretch of the imagination. I took up the trumpet for about 4 months in 5th grade and that was that. But, having watched my girlfriend (whom I eventually got around to marrying) perform in the marching band, I know the effort that goes into the production. Of course, she played the flute so her equipment load was significantly lighter.

Anyway, congratulations to the Nation Ford (is he any relation to Gerald Ford?) High School Band! I can't wait to read about the rest of the adventure!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-25-2011, 12:05 PM
Merry Christmas


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/Pix/Crimma07.jpg

Trombone Tony decided to drop by this morning and wish all y’all a very merry Christmas!

And just maybe I’ll get a little bit more of this here TR put some time this week end as well

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-26-2011, 10:12 AM
KABOOOOM!!!!


Gesundheit! And your welcome.


Wow, I have a hard time just planning 2 days in advance.


So do we… like everything else in life… we just sort of muddled through.


Hmmm... interesting concept.


The folks in charge of the program are very creative and very good at what they do.


Looks like somebody screwed up and did too good of a job on the application. :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


You might say that. It’s certainly not the result we were anticipating.


It's a shame that they missed out... at least they can take pride in the fact that they were the foundation upon which a top tier program was built.


Very true… on both counts. It will be interesting to see what adventures they head off on after Max graduates.


:headache: Money... why does it always have to be a limiting factor in everything?


If I could come up with an answer to that one…
Well…

I just wish I could come up with an answer to that one.


When did that trip take place? Was it for the entire senior class or just the band?


This was for the rising seniors (juniors at the time of the announcement). They took about thirty of them up during the Spring break (March 2011) and from all accounts, they had a marvelous time. It also gave the staff and some of the chaperones a chance to figure out how some aspects of the larger trip might play out.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-26-2011, 10:24 AM
:sad1: <---Tears of joy


And you are welcome sir. As one of my mentors in the “art of TR construction”, it seemed only proper that I honor such a perfectly reasonable request.


I can see why you were helpful in this regard--it's like making ADR's at Disney World! :thumbsup2


There was much about this entire expedition that was reminiscent of a trip to WDW.

Much…


Sounds counter-intuitive, but your explanation makes a lot of sense.


I will say this a lot in the confines of this TR, but the directors, support staff and administration at this school are amongst the finest folks working in public education. They all deserve better then to be political punching bags.


If only more practiced that philosophy...


::yes::


That is a shame. I guess they knew ahead of time they were applying for 2011, though.


We knew… everyone applying has the same problem. If you’re accepted, it will be for the festivities at least eighteen months into the future. We try to do some type of major trip every other year so that there are opportunities for every young’en to experience something new and be able to perform somewhere other then home.


Ultra-classy move right there. :thumbsup2


Ultra Classy lady… our principal.





Ok, Rob. I've caught up on my trip report, and I've found time to catch up on some others, namely yours. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a band geek by any stretch of the imagination. I took up the trumpet for about 4 months in 5th grade and that was that. But, having watched my girlfriend (whom I eventually got around to marrying) perform in the marching band, I know the effort that goes into the production. Of course, she played the flute so her equipment load was significantly lighter.


Well as another of my mentors in the “art of TR” I’m certainly glad to have you along. Like my TR on cruising, this one is meant to be “instructional”. You don’t have to “get it” to read along, and if I do this correctly, everyone will “get it” or at least understand it by the time I arrive at the end. Who knows, one or all of your young’ens may have additional musical talents just waiting to be pulled out by one or another fine teacher of the arts (sounds to me like it’s in your family’s blood already). Before you know it, you yourself my well be sitting in a booster club meeting of some type saying… “They're going where… to do what… Really!?!?”

After the panic subsides, it’s actually quite the rush.



Anyway, congratulations to the Nation Ford (is he any relation to Gerald Ford?) High School Band!


:rotfl:

Hummm… I know your just being “Barry” here, but you’ve stumbled onto a point of frustration for us. We have a hard time getting people to even say the name of the school correctly, much less understand why it’s called what it’s called (and there is history involved so folks naturally tune out once you try to explain). I may have to add one of my dreaded Bonuses Features on this topic...

(My... but that little joke may now prove to be costly :lmao: )

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-26-2011, 10:25 AM
Chapter 1: Five Buses (Day 1 - Monday)




Part 3: El Camino



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-301.jpg



Elwood: ”It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses.”

Jake: ”Hit it.”





How do you make a twelve-ish hour bus ride seem to be entertaining?
Hummmmm… let me think about that for a moment…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-302.jpg


Well… short of adding in a cross-country chase and wrecking about seventy-five police cruisers…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-303.jpg


I don’t know either, but that’s the task I set for myself.
If I were y’all, I’d be skipping this update (and probably the entire TR for that matter), but me, I’ve got no choice in the matter. Like any good curse, I’m both eternal and reoccurring. So… out of a need to meet that standard, I have to put up an update for the next part of this journey.


The first phase of the mission can actually be summed up pretty easily: “It was dark”.

OK, just to add a bit more detail... We pulled onto north bound I-77 just three miles shy of the NC boarder at about 6am in the midst of rain, fog and oppressive blackness. Most of us were still three-quarters asleep, and the rest were tired form stuffing all the gear into the cargo bays, so the two hours it took to cross North Carolina were little more than a caffeine deprived blur. When the sun did finally make an appearance, it had little effect on our surroundings as the Southern Piedmont was still immersed in fog and mist.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-304.jpg


We made the Virginia boarder by about 8am and stopped at the welcome center for our first stretch of the legs.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-305.jpg

And an opportunity to solve any other problems that may have arisen now that everyone was more or less awake…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-306.jpg


Once we’d collectively gotten a little bit of relief and clambered back onto the buses, we found that we had new drivers. The first group had made the drive from the garage in Spartanburg SC (nearly three hours to the west of our starting point) before picking us up and then made the drive up to Virginia. Legally, they weren’t exactly at the ragged edge of their daily driving limits, but there was no way they could make the entire drive up to Hackensack and this was the easiest spot on the map for the bus company to orchestrate the switch. With the administrative tasks cleared up, we headed back onto the interstate and started climbing.

It’s right about here on the map that the foothills come to an abrupt end. The next fifteen to twenty miles of highway travels more up then along and the road hugs the edge of the mountain sides. On a good day, there are some spectacular views of the farms and small towns in the valleys below (I’ve seen it many times while traveling up the WV to visit relatives), but the fog was still smothering the countryside and there was little to see this morning except the tops of the mountains rising up out of the mist.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-307.jpg


That’s not a lake in that last picture. It’s the top of a fog bank that was probably a half-mile or more deep and engulfing the valley below it. Shortly after I snapped this picture, we reached the plateau around Wytheville and turned onto North I-81. We’d spend about half of the day on this stretch of asphalt basically traveling up the Shenandoah Valley.



Lacking any better entertainment, it was at this point where something Disney would make its first appearance in this non-Disney TR. This would be in the form of a movie. Now, we happened to br riding on the first of the two “parent” buses, but in truth they were “family” buses. A decent percentage of the passengers were younger siblings along for the adventure, so with age appropriateness in mind, the first film of the day was the Pixar adventure:

“The Incredibles”


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-308.jpg


Yah… that’s a bit blurry, but buses bounce around a good bit and that’s pretty much how it looked as I half watched, half listened and half stared out the window (that’s the new math at work there). Regardless of the calculations involved… this film did a fine job of making the ride up to Stanton Va. fairly painless. This spot on the map also provided us with another rest stop and our second chance to hop off the buses for a spell.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-309.jpg


Unlike the first stop along the way…
this one was just a might less - shall we say - hospitable…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-310.jpg


I’m sure that once they're done remodeling the facilities here, it'll be a very nice place to take a break, but for now at least, we had to make do with what was available.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-311.jpg


Well… it certainly beat the trees and bushes, but still…

Anyway you could also tell that as a group we were starting to get a might punchy…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-312.jpg

What do y’all think… would Dennis make a good hood-ornament or not?
I like it myself.

While were stopped, let me introduce you to Dave…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-313.jpg



…the fellow in charge of Bus-4 and a fine driver.
Believe me, anyone who can maneuver a tour bus through downtown Manhattan during the Thanksgiving holidays and not lose their sanity (or our lives) wins the right to the title.

Dave earned the right.


Well, as the old punch-line goes: “Alright, everyone back on your heads!”
It was time to get back on the highway. Low and behold, Disney made another appearance at this point. Well, Pixar did. The film for this part of the trip was “Up” (and if you can watch the first bit of this film and not shed a tear or six, you ain’t gots no feeling at’all). Entertaining as it was (and it was), it still only lasted a couple hours, so we spent a good bit of time looking out the windows.

As my son pointed out latter on…
this is what Virginia looks like:


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-314.jpg


That pretty much sums up the whole state (at least the large chunk of it that is traversed by I-81). You could have closed your eyes for a half hour and opened them back up again and the scenery would basically have been the same. In a word… “pastoral”. Nice enough, but like most other Interstates, there just was not too much visual stimulation to be had. After a bit we left VA and entered a twenty-mile stretch of W.Va. and then hit Maryland. We all rather liked Maryland; it wasn’t that the state was all that amazing; it was just that we got to stop for lunch.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-315.jpg


Chick-Fil-A anyone?
Well that’s where our bus came to rest.

We split the five buses up across all the various fast food venues in the general vicinity of Hagerstown, Maryland to make the stop as short as possible. Fast-food chains aren’t high up on the list of new experiences, but they do know how to quickly handle a busload of people. Forty-five minutes and a couple of chicken sandwiches later and we were back on the road.

Five more miles up the way and we hit what for many of us was an almost earth shattering experience…

We crossed the Mason-Dixon Line.



You scoff…

But for folks that were born and raised in “The South”… that’s almost like losing a small part of your sole. We were strangers in a strange land now. It was almost as if we’d actually landed on Mars.

I mean... well, here…
just look for yourselves…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-316.jpg


Hummmmmm… you know…
now that I’m sitting here looking at that again…

It looks a whole lot like Virginia did (and that looked a whole lot like South Carolina). Ya’ know…. just maybe it wasn’t all that Earth shattering an event after all. But then again, I wouldn’t be much of a South’rn Story Teller, if’n I didn’t make-out that at least some otherwise minor detail was a matter of life and death…

now would I?

About an hour-ish into Pennsylvania and we crossed the Susquehanna River and entered the outskirts of the state capitol: Harrisburg.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-317a.jpg


No, no, no, no… not that river!

This one…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-317b.jpg

(that was actually a lot prettier than it looks… the mix of gloom, bus windows, motion and camera came together to make it less impressive that it might otherwise have been.)


It’s about this spot on the map that several things happened. None of them were particular noteworthy in and of themselves, but being board out of our skulls, any kind of change was welcome. Now as I was saying, several things changed, First we left the now mind numbingly familiar confines of I-81 and begin traveling via East I-78 bound for the Lehigh Valley
(odd… the landscape didn’t really change much.)


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-318.jpg


Save for the Hexes painted on the side of that barn, it looks a whole lot like the rest of the country we’d just traversed. The other couple of things that changes were the movie (which was now the still family friendly “National Treasure”), and the weather. Rain began coming down in earnest about here and we really wouldn’t see the sun again for the rest of the day.

Truth be told…
we wouldn’t see the sun again for nearly three days.

Long about the time that Nicolas Cage was finding a vast treasure hidden beneath Trinity Church (a real spot that we’d be getting a better look at in a few days… the church that is… not the treasure… dang…) as I was saying, it was along about this time that we crossed into New Jersey (but I did take a moment just before that to wave at Dave as we drove through the Easton / Nazareth area). We made our next stop of the day just inside Jersey…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-319.jpg


(Nice eh…)

…and then picked up I-287 heading north toward a rendezvous with Interstate 80 (the sun was long gone by now and there really wasn’t much to see at this point except billboards and taillights).

After this last northward sojourn and a little bit of eastward progress on the “Eight-O”, we pulled off to partake of a bit of dinner. So… what exotic new type of cuisine would our collect of bleary-eyed Southern travelers encounter now that we were completely ensconced in that mythical foreign realm previously known to us only as: “The North”?

Why fast food of course.

Surprised?

Yah… we weren’t either.

The five Cross Country Lines buses pulled into the Willowbrook Mall, conveniently located in scenic Wayne, NJ (07470), and commenced to disgorge their human contents directly into this fine gourmet establishment’s well stocked food court.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-320.jpg


Well… we’re finally just about done traveling for the day. From here it’s only about another fifteen-ish minutes until we arrive at our designated base of operations for the rest of this expedition. So, if y’all will excuse me for just a bit here… I’m going to go on in and grab me a bite to eat. Then we’ll get back to the story. For now, the only question is whether I’m just in the mood for "toasted white bread" or hungry enough to down "four whole fried chickens and a Coke"…

I s'pect I'd better "Think" about that one for a moment or two.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-003.jpg

afwdwfan
12-28-2011, 10:35 AM
It's 106 miles to Chicago
:scared1: I think the bus driver made a wrong turn! :rolleyes1


How do you make a twelve-ish hour bus ride seem to be entertaining? Hummmmm… let me think about that for a moment…
Movies... lots and lots of movies.

Oh, and pranks... especially when somebody falls asleep. Not that I'd know anything about it.


Well… short of adding in a cross-country chase and wrecking about seventy-five police cruisers…
Hmmm... That would be entertaining too.:thumbsup2


But unlike the first stop along the way… this one was just a might less hospitable…
Wow, you pulled over to use a port a pot? Why not just go on the bus. I'm sure they had facilities.:lmao:


Well… it certainly beat the trees and bushes, but still…
In what way?:confused3


What do y’all think… would Dennis make a good hood-ornament or not? I like it myself.
He's no Lotso.


Then we’ll get back to the story. For now, the only question is whether I’m in the mood for toasted white bread or hungry enough to down four fried chickens and a Coke…
Is there really a choice to make here? Four might be a bit much, but I'd give it a shot. :thumbsup2 :lmao:

FreezinRafiki
12-28-2011, 10:37 AM
Hummm… I know your just being “Barry” here, but you’ve stumbled onto a point of frustration for us. We have a hard time getting people to even say the name of the school correctly, much less understand why it’s called what it’s called (and there is history involved so folks naturally tune out once you try to explain). I may have to add one of my dreaded Bonuses Features on this topic...

(My... but that little joke may now prove to be costly :lmao: )

That's kind of what I was going for. You see, I'm what they call an "enabler". :thumbsup2


How do you make a twelve-ish hour bus ride seem to be entertaining?

Vent the tailpipe into the passenger cabin. That's really the only way.


Well… short of adding in a cross-country chase and wrecking about seventy-five police cruisers…

Or that. :thumbsup2


It’s right about here on the map that the foothills come to an abrupt end. The next fifteen to twenty miles of highway travels more up then along and the road hugs the edge of the mountain sides. On a good day, there are some spectacular views of the farms and small towns in the valleys below (I’ve seen it many times while traveling up the WV to visit relatives)
Sounds like some very good scenery...

, but the fog was still smothering the countryside and there was little to see this morning except the tops of the mountains rising up out of the mist.

...but you still got to see more of that that I have of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. Every time we drive from WI to FL, we hit that stretch in the dead of night. :headache:


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-307.jpg
That’s not a lake in that last picture. It’s the top of a fog bank that was probably a half-mile or more deep and engulfing the valley below it.

Cool!


Yah… that’s a bit blurry, but busses bounce around a good bit and that’s pretty much how it looked as I half watched, half listened and half stared out the window (that’s the new math at work there).
"Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical." -Yogi Berra

You're in some fine company there, Rob.


Well… it certainly beat the trees and bushes, but still…

Maybe for the womenfolk, but I'd just as soon use a bush.



We crossed the Mason-Dixon line.

Welcome to Civilization!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
12-28-2011, 02:37 PM
:scared1: I think the bus driver made a wrong turn! :rolleyes1


Could be, but these busses have a similar turbo drive as that found in Barry’s van, so we were able to correct for the error without too many folks realizing what had happened.


Oh, and pranks... especially when somebody falls asleep. Not that I'd know anything about it.


I ain’t buyin’ it.
We need to hear some of the stories that go with that comment.

Hmmm... That would be entertaining too.:thumbsup2


Yes… yes it would (have been)


Wow, you pulled over to use a port a pot? Why not just go on the bus. I'm sure they had facilities.:lmao:


True, but… while each bus certainly had one onboard port-a-pot… it would have to be shared by 55 to 60 people per bus (and much more importantly) wouldn’t be emptied or cleaned out until after we got back home at the end of the week and the busses returned to their garage.

It was in our best interest, to not use them if at all possible.


In what way?:confused3


From my perspective… it would have been the same. However, when viewed from the perspective of the 160 or so women and young girls...


He's no Lotso.


Granted…
But I know the guy and I think he’s reading along with this as well, so I’ll have to say, that he can be just about as diabolical as Lotso (sorry about that Dennis, but I had to throw someone under The bus here).


Is there really a choice to make here? Four might be a bit much, but I'd give it a shot. :thumbsup2 :lmao:


It depends… I’m more like Jake when it comes to my choice of dinning offerings, so I’d probably be going with the chickens as well.





That's kind of what I was going for. You see, I'm what they call an "enabler". :thumbsup2


Yes you are… but do you really want me to go into a Bonus Feature on something as esoteric as colonial trade routes, river navigation and crossings, railroad development in northern SC and the history of the local Indian tribe?

It’d put the lot of ya’ into a trance that Prince Charming couldn’t break.


Vent the tailpipe into the passenger cabin. That's really the only way.


Good point.



Sounds like some very good scenery...


...but you still got to see more of that that I have of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. Every time we drive from WI to FL, we hit that stretch in the dead of night. :headache:


you need to go on your own Rust Belt Road Trip
(and for that matter… so do I)



"Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical." -Yogi Berra

You're in some fine company there, Rob.


Yogi and I are kindred spirits (I think it has something to do with the number 12)


Maybe for the womenfolk, but I'd just as soon use a bush.


I do believe that you spotted the root of the problem right off there.



Welcome to Civilization!


I suspect that most of the folks on these busses, would beg to differ…


Myself, I’m originally form a boarder state so I can just sit back and watch the rest of ya’ savage each other (it’s at least as good as reality TV)

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-02-2012, 10:50 PM
Chapter 1: Five Buses (Day 1 - Monday)




Part 4: No Place Like Home



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-401.jpg





As Dorothy would finally figure out… there is no place like home. And our final destination for the day fit the category in so much as this was no place like any place that any of us would normally call home. Until now that is. For the next several days… this was home.

Welcome to the Hilton - Hasbrouck Heights


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-402.jpg


Well… that’s how the folks in charge want you to see it anyway. Those images are from the official website, and show you exactly how the building, lobby and a standard room do appear. But we always saw it from the perspective of the back packing lot and the entrance to the “Terrace Level” facilities. Now don’t go readin’ in that I’m complaining about the place. No sir-re-bub… as hotels go, this was pretty nice and honestly the folks running the place did good by us. It’s just that given the size and nature of the group, we didn’t see much of the front door or main lobby (fine by me).



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


New Digs



The buses pulled into the back lot at about eight thirty Monday evening and being one of the folks handling the gear I was one of the first off the coaches.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-403.jpg



The kids and the tag-along family members were asked to cool their heels on the buses for just a few more moments while the crew busted open the cargo bays and got busy. The bags were put to the curb while the horns and gear got staged over to the breezeway. While this was going on, one of the managers came out to welcome us in and just happened to catch me first. He offered to show me where they were planning to have us store the gear, and being as that’s exactly what I was needin’ to know at that moment, I told him to: “Lead on MacDuff”.

If I haven’t said this enough, let me repeat it again… our directors are amongst the best around. Martin Dickey, the head director, has been in the business for nearly thirty years teaching in Tennessee, and the Carolinas. He’s done a good bit of traveling with band kids and he’s gotten rather good at it. Having over the years taken high school kids as far as the Rose Parade in Pasadena and even to Hawaii to perform at the USS Arizona Memorial (man I’d liked to have been part of that last undertaking), he has learned how to plan ahead and take care of his kids and staff… very well. Case in point… He found and booked us into this hotel early enough to also be able to reserve a great deal of additional space for this little excursion. The first thing the evening manager showed me was one of the largest of the terrace floor conference rooms. He said that since these doors could be locked, this was where we could stow the gear. Compared to the storage facilities we have back at home… this was a virtual palace. Here’s how it looked after we got all the heavy gear in the door…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-404.jpg


I was just floored by the space available… we could have brought every single bit of gear we owned lock, stock and barrel up from SC and still had room left over in here. If we packed it right. This alone was going to make the job of getting everything in, arranged and handled a cinch for the entire week.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-405.jpg


Then to top it off… The fell’a pointed out that we also had exclusive use of the next two attached conference rooms for “relaxing and recreation”, and the entire grand ballroom for meetings, meals and indoor rehearsals if necessary.

Recon mission completed… I got my rump back outside and let the rest of the crew know what was up and where everything could be stowed. It was also just about now that everyone else was jumping off of our humble chariots and hunting down their individual bits of baggage. They had orders to tote their stuff inside, line everything up along the walls in the hallways outside the grand ballroom and then grab a seat inside said ballroom. While this was going on, the members of the Pit-Crew finished loading and organizing our fine new storage cavern (as “room” was just completely inadequate as a description) and then we retreated on toward the ballroom ourselves. I found Tamara and Elaine toward the back just as the directors were starting to explain the ground rules for the week.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-406.jpg


Basically… we’d be doing all our gatherings here in the ballroom and this would include breakfast each morning. Secondly, once someone was assigned to a room, no one really had any business being on any floor other than their own or down here in the basement. This being the case, none of us would be bothering any of the other guests. To make things easier to control, all of the girls were bunked on the seventh floor and the guys and “tag-alongs” were pretty much spread out on five and six. This arrangement also insured that it would be immediately obvious if anyone were in the wrong place.

Now that we all knew the law, it was time to get settled in. Starting with the girls, they called out names four at a time, handed out room keys, and sent each group on their way. The kids all had a chance to put together their own quartets up front, and anyone left over was grouped randomly after that. When the master list got down to the group that included Max, those four fellas ended up in room 634. Once the kids were all squared away, they started handing out room assignments for the adults and family groups. As it turns out, we ended up in room 630, just two doors down for Max. What this meant was that we could keep a bit of an eye on him, without having to be overtly watching over him. Truth be told… we really didn’t need to worry about it. The kids were so well behaved in general across the entire week that you’d have never known you were staying on a floor crowded with teenage boys. I’m told that it was a bit nosier up on seven… but only early on during the first night. The chaperones got all of that foolishness straightened out in short order and things settled into a proper routine pretty quickly.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
A Room With a View



As it turns out… room 630 also happened to be on the east side of the building. Why is this even a concern? Because it meant that we’d actually have a decent view of midtown Manhattan just across the Hudson (an added bonus the likes of which you’d be paying extra for were this WDW). But… having an opportunity to experience something does not guarantee that you will experience something. The weather was still miserable and mist and fog obscured everything. As for the first evening… we’d certainly have a fine view… it was just a fine view of buses spread across a wet parking lot.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-407.jpg


I’m sure you noticed that there are a few more than five buses down there. For now, just remember that you saw ‘em there and I’ll tell you more about it a bit later on.

Since there wasn’t much to be looking at or taking pictures of, we set about getting the room in order. Well… the girls got to that particular task. I had other business to attend to.

Business, business.

In order to be allowed to travel during the Thanksgiving holidays at all, I had to inform my employers way in advance. This I did, but that didn’t ensure that they would ultimately allow me to actually use that reserved vacation time. There are a number of processes that take place around this time of year which require my time and data processing skills to organize and deal with. Normally the function that was at issue in this instance is supposed to be dealt with by early October, but things got pushed back into November. On the Thursday before we were to leave I was informed that this chunk of data would be ready by Monday evening and that immediate turn around was a nonnegotiable necessity
(apparently, there was no way they could even consider waiting one more week).

“So… a failure to plan on your part translates into an emergency on my part!”

I was so ticked off that I actually said that… out loud… in a rather angry voice… to my immediate manager… while standing on the work floor around the rest of the folks I work with. Obviously… this is not something that you really want to be doing if you intend to remain employed in the US (did I remember to say that I was just a might ticked off at the time). As it turns out, my manager basically agreed, but this did not change the fact that “we”… meaning “I”… had a problem. The “solution” was that I had to agree to bring my antiquated work issue laptop along for the ride and check for these files of doom as soon as we arrived.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-408.jpg


If they were available, then I had to get all the information handled, turned around and available by the next morning. This would end up being a major pain in the… well… shall we say: it was an inconvenience. Worse, it ended up being a waste of time as well. In their brilliance and obvious super-human perfection, the higher powers who were so concerned about the turnaround time for this critical data, still couldn’t finalize said data (which was supposed to have been finalized back in September in the first place and still would not be ready until early December as it turned out).

OK… rant over, and I do apologize for going off like that, but it was a major part of my evening for the first few nights. There’s actually more to this story, but you’ve suffered enough, so let’s just say that once I was done wasting my time, it was also about time to call it a night. Oh, well… tomorrow’s another day…



Wait a minute… that’s the wrong movie!



Besides… it won’t really be until tomorrow that we’d realize that we’re not in Kansas any more
(nor South Carolina neither).





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-409.jpg

cj9200
01-03-2012, 12:46 AM
It really stinks that your employer demands that you work on vacation. Especially when it is just a waste of time.

Great update. Bet valet was happy to see you guys pull up. I remember one of the "rules talk" during one of DD's trips was a warning to not put your socks in the microwave to dry them off. Seems the trip before, some of the boys did that and started a fire. Needless to say they were asked to change hotels the next time.

afwdwfan
01-03-2012, 10:14 AM
Having over the years taken high school kids as far as the Rose Parade in Pasadena and even to Hawaii to perform at the USS Arizona Memorial (man I’d liked to have been part of that last undertaking)
That would be quite the epic experience... either one of those, actually.


Case in point… He found and booked us into this hotel early enough to also be able to reserve a great deal of additional space for this little excursion.
Wow, he plans for a band trip the way a Dis Dad plans for a Disney trip!


The kids were so well behaved in general across the entire week that you’d have never known you were staying on a floor crowded with teenage boys.
That's great! Usually you'd be well aware who you were surrounded by in a similar circumstance.


I’m told that it was a bit nosier up on seven…
Leave it to the girls...:rolleyes1


I’m sure you noticed that there are a few more then five busses down there. For now, just remember that you saw ‘em there and I’ll tell you more about it a bit latter on.
So what was it? I'm guessing you either boarded the wrong bus or loaded band equipment on the wrong bus. :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


Business, business.
:headache:


In order to be allowed to travel during the Thanksgiving holidays at all, I had to inform my employers way in advance.
Understandable


This I did, but that didn’t ensure that they would ultimately allow me to actually use that reserved vacation time.
Sadly, I understand.


Normally the function that was at issue in this instance is supposed to be dealt with by early October, but things got pushed back into November. On the Thursday before we were to leave I was informed that this chunk of data would be ready by Monday evening and that immediate turn around was an un-negotiable necessity (there was no way they could even consider waiting one more week).
Great... as Dave says, it always runs downhill, doesn't it?:sad2:


“So… a failure to plan on your part translates into an emergency on my part!”
Well, as long as the powers that be get to enjoy their holiday, who cares, right?:sad2:


I was so ticked off that I actually said that… out loud… in a rather angry voice… to my immediate manager… while standing on the work floor around the rest of the folks I work with. Obviously… this is not something that you really want to be doing if you intend to remain employed in the US (did I remember to say that I was just a might ticked off at the time). As it turns out, my manager basically agreed, but this did not change the fact that “we”… meaning “I”… had a problem.
Well, I guess it is a small victory just to have him agree with your point.:confused3 Doesn't seem to fix anything though. You didn't refer to the waste product of a bull at any point though and that would have probably been my reaction if I were in that situation, so I think you handled it very well.:thumbsup2


The “solution” was that I had to agree to bring my antiquated work issue laptop along for the ride and check for these files of doom as soon as we arrived.
Antiquated as in you had to use dial up?


Worse, it ended up being a waste of time as well. In their brilliance and obvious super-human perfection, the higher powers who were so concerned about the turn around time for this critical data, still couldn’t finalize said data (which was supposed to have been finalized back in September in the first place and still would not be ready until early December as it turned out).
That would have set me off. If it needs to be done and I have to do it, I can deal with a deadline... but if somebody else doesn't want to follow through.... :headache:


OK… rant over, and I do apologize for going off like that, but it was a major part of my evening for the first few nights.
Eh, the rant was justified.

Captain_Oblivious
01-03-2012, 11:39 AM
Catching up...

How do you make a twelve-ish hour bus ride seem to be entertaining? Hummmmm… let me think about that for a moment…

Drive at Ludicrous Speed!

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-307.jpg

Awesome picture! We drove through Shenandoah last year and really enjoyed the scenery there. Even though it was March and none of the trees had leaves yet.

Lacking any better entertainment, it was at this point where something Disney would make its first appearance in this non-Disney TR. This would be in the form of a movie. Now we were riding on the first of the two “parent” busses, but in truth they were “family” busses. A decent percentage of the passengers were younger siblings along for the adventure, so with age appropriateness in mind, the first film of the day was the Pixar adventure “The Incredibles”

So nobody wanted to watch "Speed"? :confused3


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-308.jpg

Yah… that’s a bit blurry, but busses bounce around a good bit and that’s pretty much how it looked as I half watched, half listened and half stared out the window (that’s the new math at work there).

I've driven through Virginia, and yeah...that's how it looks.

Well… it certainly beat the trees and bushes, but still…

You sure about that?

What do y’all think… would Dennis make a good hood-ornament or not? I like it myself. While were stopped, let me introduce your to Dave…

I thought he was trying to be a superhero. But he might want to turn around if he wants to stop the bus.

The film for this part of the trip was “Up” (and if you can watch the first bit of this film and not shed a tear or six, you ain’t gots no feeling at’all).

I seem to watch that part in dusty rooms for some reason.

We all rather liked Maryland; it wasn’t that the state was all that amazing; it was just that we got to stop for lunch.

And I could have taken you to an awesome Philly cheese steak place if you'd stopped in Delaware. Just sayin'. :rolleyes1

Chick-Fil-A anyone?

Although that's not a bad backup plan.

We crossed the Mason-Dixon line.

:eek: Did you suddenly start craving Pepsi and decide buy a Prius?

(that was actually a lot prettier then it looks… the mix of gloom, bus windows, motion and camera came together to make it less impressive that it might otherwise have been.)

I can vouch for the fact that the Susquehanna is indeed pretty scenic. Nice view at the I-95 crossing as well.

as I was saying, it was along about this time that we crossed into New Jersey (but I did take a moment just before that to wave at Dave as we drove through the Easton / Nazareth area). We made our next stop of the day just inside Jersey…

Barry welcomed you to civilization, and then you left it so quickly...:sad2:

Having over the years taken high school kids as far as the Rose Parade in Pasadena

My wife and daughter are in California right now, having gone to the Rose Bowl Parade yesterday. It's interesting to see this in a "behind the scenes" context.

I was just floored by the space available… we could have brought every single bit of gear we owned lock, stock and barrel up from SC and still had room left over in here. If we packed it right. This alone was going to make the job of getting everything in, arranged and handled a sinch for the entire week.

Wow! There's like, room to walk and everything!

I’m told that it was a bit nosier up on seven… but only early on during the first night. The chaperones got all of that foolishness straightened out in short order and things settled into a proper routine pretty quickly.

I remember one band/chorus trip when we had a massive water-gun/water balloon battle raging in the hotel. The chaperones may have been involved. :rolleyes1

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D1-407.jpg

NY looks more orange than I expected.

“So… a failure to plan on your part translates into an emergency on my part!”

:mad::headache:

Worse, it ended up being a waste of time as well. In their brilliance and obvious super-human perfection, the higher powers who were so concerned about the turn around time for this critical data, still couldn’t finalize said data (which was supposed to have been finalized back in September in the first place and still would not be ready until early December as it turned out).

Oh man, I feel your pain. My job is the same way--I feel like we bust our butts doing tasks that end up being a complete waste of time, over and over again. Sorry you were put in that situation. I feel your pain.

KatMark
01-04-2012, 09:21 PM
Okay, I found you...and am now subscribed. Be back later to catch up. :goodvibes

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-04-2012, 09:28 PM
Okay, I found you...and am now subscribed. Be back later to catch up. :goodvibes

Yes… yes you did…

But this one is just getting started (and it’s non-Disney) If you want a better idea of just how badly I can mangle a TR, then click on “Experiment-627” down there in my sig.

But… welcome to this TR as well

KatMark
01-04-2012, 09:48 PM
Yes… yes you did…

But this one is just getting started (and it’s non-Disney) If you want a better idea of just how badly I can mangle a TR, then click on “Experiment-627” down there in my sig.

But… welcome to this TR as well

I'll go check that one out next. However, are there are any other females on your TR's? You guys scare me when you are all together. :laughing:

And congatulations to the Band! Sounds like an exciting trip thus far.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-04-2012, 10:04 PM
I'll go check that one out next. However, are there are any other females on your TR's? You guys scare me when you are all together. :laughing:


There are a few women on the Disney ones, but you are the first one here.
You can blaze a trail for the rest.

We’re really pretty harmless as a group and I wouldn’t consider any of my entries to be beyond “PG” in the ratings scale. I figured that very few of the ladies would ever find this one in particular because it's in the DDC forum and it’s not Disney, but I write ‘em for fun, so I don’t worry about it.

There are a few women following along on the “627” TR, but I have a theory there as well. My son is in his teens, so there are not a lot of (OK… there aren’t any) pictures of cute kids or infants, so most of the feminine persuasion don’t see much that interests them in my TRs.


Either that or I’m just a terrible writer.
(your choice)



And congatulations to the Band! Sounds like an exciting trip thus far.


Thanks! It was an amazing experience
(and it toped off an even more amazing competition season).

KatMark
01-04-2012, 10:18 PM
There are a few women on the Disney ones, but you are the first one here.
You can blaze a trail for the rest.

We’re really pretty harmless as a group and I wouldn’t consider any of my entries to be beyond “PG” in the ratings scale. I figured that very few of the ladies would ever find this one in particular because it's in the DDC forum and it’s not Disney, but I write ‘em for fun, so I don’t worry about it.

There are a few women following along on the “627” TR, but I have a theory there as well. My son is in his teens, so there are not a lot of (OK… there aren’t any) pictures of cute kids or infants, so most of the feminine persuasion don’t see much that interests them in my TRs.


Either that or I’m just a terrible writer.
(your choice)




Thanks! It was an amazing experience
(and it toped off an even more amazing competition season).

Hey, I like the idea that your son is 16. I had two boys who were once that age...they are now almost 26 (gulp) and 23. I remember the teen years, fondly (most of the time).

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-04-2012, 11:03 PM
Well… since I’ve gotten my responses out of order, It seems only fair that I go ahead and try to catch up with the rest of y’all.


It really stinks that your employer demands that you work on vacation. Especially when it is just a waste of time.


Just par for the course (and that’s the sad part :sad2:)


Great update. Bet valet was happy to see you guys pull up. I remember one of the "rules talk" during one of DD's trips was a warning to not put your socks in the microwave to dry them off. Seems the trip before, some of the boys did that and started a fire. Needless to say they were asked to change hotels the next time.


Thanks!
I love the story about the sock rule.

OK… I’m issuing a general call for anyone following along that has a good school trip story to go ahead and share it here. If I get enough of em… I’ll even set up an index for all the different posts.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-04-2012, 11:08 PM
Wow, he plans for a band trip the way a Dis Dad plans for a Disney trip!


The man is very good at his job… Very… Good.


That's great! Usually you'd be well aware who you were surrounded by in a similar circumstance.


Actually (and this will get mentioned once or twice I’m sure), one third of all grades in the music department are based on how well they handle them selves in public. If the best player is a jerk… he/she will fail the class.

(I‘ll tell y’all another story along this line a little later on).


Leave it to the girls...:rolleyes1


Figures don’t it? Chatty Kathys mostly… but like I said, they got it straightened out very quickly, and that was the end of it right there.


So what was it? I'm guessing you either boarded the wrong bus or loaded band equipment on the wrong bus. :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


That would have been funny to say the least…
But it’s not all that amazing really… more of a minor detail to the story in general
Just wait for the next installment


Sadly, I understand.


Sadly… I suspect most of us understand


Great... as Dave says, it always runs downhill, doesn't it?:sad2:


:sad2:


Well, as long as the powers that be get to enjoy their holiday, who cares, right?:sad2:


I believe I said something to that effect as well. I may also have said something like: “They see themselves as people and they see us as things… and yet they also seem to believe that they deserve our respect! Why!”

Did I mention that I was pretty hacked off?


Well, I guess it is a small victory just to have him agree with your point.:confused3 Doesn't seem to fix anything though. You didn't refer to the waste product of a bull at any point though and that would have probably been my reaction if I were in that situation, so I think you handled it very well.:thumbsup2


I’ll take the small victory (which was really a matter of caving in, but unemployment at the age of 50 in the US could be potentially fatal).


Antiquated as in you had to use dial up?

You have no idea just how close you are :lmao:

The main problem was that I couldn’t get the first generation wifi card in it to work at all and the Hotel didn’t have any hard cable access, so I’d have been looking for a public library or something to try to get the work done had it arrived.



That would have set me off. If it needs to be done and I have to do it, I can deal with a deadline... but if somebody else doesn't want to follow through.... :headache:


::yes::

And I surely couldn’t get away with it.


Eh, the rant was justified.


Probably, but I’ll try to stick to the story from her on.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-04-2012, 11:19 PM
Drive at Ludicrous Speed!


They just didn’t have that feature installed on these particular busses


Awesome picture! We drove through Shenandoah last year and really enjoyed the scenery there. Even though it was March and none of the trees had leaves yet.


It is certainly beautiful country


So nobody wanted to watch "Speed"? :confused3


:lmao:
That might have been good, but no one thought to bring that one.



I've driven through Virginia, and yeah...that's how it looks.


We have a confirmation.


You sure about that?


In mixed company… yah, I’m sure


I thought he was trying to be a superhero. But he might want to turn around if he wants to stop the bus.


Your young’ens already have a valid clam on that title (acquired back in Chicago) so I suppose it’s just as well.


I seem to watch that part in dusty rooms for some reason.


Yah… that explains it.



And I could have taken you to an awesome Philly cheese steak place if you'd stopped in Delaware. Just sayin'. :rolleyes1


And I’d have taken you up on it, but I didn’t get a say in route plan (and we were trying to avoid as much heavy traffic as possible)


Although that's not a bad backup plan.


It’s edible enough.


:eek: Did you suddenly start craving Pepsi and decide buy a Prius?


“Not likely Mate”


I can vouch for the fact that the Susquehanna is indeed pretty scenic. Nice view at the I-95 crossing as well.


I need to put together a road trip of my own, but It’s gonn’a have to wait foe a while yet.



Barry welcomed you to civilization, and then you left it so quickly...:sad2:


:lmao:


My wife and daughter are in California right now, having gone to the Rose Bowl Parade yesterday. It's interesting to see this in a "behind the scenes" context.


You need to add a bonus feature to you current TR about their experiences on that one (or have them start their own TR on the trip)


Wow! There's like, room to walk and everything!


Believe me when I say that was actually a luxury.
We are absolutely starved for space back at school.



I remember one band/chorus trip when we had a massive water-gun/water balloon battle raging in the hotel. The chaperones may have been involved. :rolleyes1


I had a similar experience during the one and only long trip that my band was allowed back in the day. Compared to me these kids are civilized.

It’s almost scary.



NY looks more orange than I expected.


That’s just your “imaginary nation”… or it might be that same “gold hue” I encountered in my other TR that occurs when I forget to raise the flash and don’t have enough light.



:mad::headache:


Ditto


Oh man, I feel your pain. My job is the same way--I feel like we bust our butts doing tasks that end up being a complete waste of time, over and over again. Sorry you were put in that situation. I feel your pain.


Like I said to Andy a bit ago… I suspect that entirely too many of us regular Joes understand situations like this all too well.



Hey, I like the idea that your son is 16. I had two boys who were once that age...they are now almost 26 (gulp) and 23. I remember the teen years, fondly (most of the time).

Good! Then you can tell me whenever I’m fowling up.

Oh and

:welcome:

Officially!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-09-2012, 03:00 PM
Chapter 2: Rock This Town (Day 2 - Tuesday)




Part 1: If You Show Me Yours…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-101.jpg





Tuesday morning arrived with the same rain, fog and generally miserable conditions that we encountered during the drive up. Our window on the world should have had an excellent view of mid-town Manhattan, but the conditions ensured that to us it still looked like this…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-102.jpg


Believe it or not… there are a whole lot of skyscrapers buried in the midst of all that grey muck there on the horizon. We just weren’t going to be able to see them from here for another day or so. The forecast was for conditions to actually get worse across the day, but this mess was also supposed to start breaking up tomorrow and completely clear up by Thanksgiving morning. Since it could just as easily have been the other way around, we counted out blessings and resolved to deal with the rain and cold as best as we could (like there was really any other choice in the first place).

The kids were up fairly early to eat breakfast and then head outside to rehears for the better part of the morning. We were looking forward to doing some sightseeing later on but since this was still a “working vacation”, the work part has to come first. Just before heading down to join the rest of the adults for some breakfast we could hear folks practicing down in the parking lot, so I took a look out to see what they were working on…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-103.jpg


Guess what…that’s not our kids. Remember when I said that there were a lot more busses in the lot the night we arrived? Well as it turns out there were two other bands staying in the same hotel at the time. Imagine the nightmarish thoughts that must have been going through the minds of the folks who work in guest services in the hotel. “The good news is that there won’t be 250 kids staying a week; the bad news is that it will be somewhere between 700 and 800 teenagers in the same confined space instead”. Well… it wasn’t as bad as that really. One group loaded up and moved on to a different hotel early that morning (dropping the number of rogue teens down to about 500), but the other group, Legacy HS from Broomfield, CO (just north of Denver) would be staying here with us for the rest of the week. Their schedule for the day had them getting started a little before our kids and that actually caused a slight problem this particular morning.

The other group was supposed to be using the main dining room on the top floor for meals and meetings while we were in charge of the ballroom down in the basement. Signals got crossed, the folks from Colorado ended up down stairs first, and the staff didn’t notice the difference (I mean, how would they know… they were expecting a large group of teenagers and that’s exactly what showed up). No biggie… we just swapped spots that morning and had to pass the word to anyone that was seen heading in the wrong direction. Later on that day the various directors and staff got together and straightened that snafu out so all was normal and went as expected for the rest of the stay.

Plans altered, info passed, we headed up to the twelfth floor to have breakfast and about the time we sat down our kids were also outside in the far corner of the parking lot warming up…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-104.jpg


After some eggs and plenty of bacon, we dropped back by our room to let the girls finish getting ready and grab the coats and bags we’d be needin’ for the rest of the day. It was right about here that our young’ens started heading down toward the main lot for their turn to practice their parade routines in the larger space.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-105.jpg


The interesting thing about that picture is the number of kids in tee-shirts, shorts and pajamas (including Max in the white shirt a little to the right of center in this image… at least he was wearing sweatpants rather than shorts). The folks that plan the parade made a special point to “remind” the two groups form the Deep South (that would be us and a school from Homewood Alabama) that it actually does get cold in New York (wow, really?) and we should ensure that the kids dress warmly.

Dress warmly?
:lmao:

Look folks…
we have winter too; there’s just very little snow and the temperature swings more wildly during a typical day. We can’t get out kids to wear or carry a coat to save our lives. They just grit their teeth early in the day so that they don’t have to carry extra stuff around in the afternoon. A thirty-five degree morning will see our youngsters at every bus stop along the way with nothing more substantial than a foodie (and some of them wearing flip-flops as well). Being as this is the case, our headstrong brood was out there on a wet forty-ish degree morning in their regular attire. The hotel staff though we were insane… the kids however were completely nonplussed by the conditions.

At this point the two bands decided to play a little game of “if you show me yours… I’ll show you mine”. OK… all you concerned parents out there can calm down now… I’m talking about the different parade routines (you need to get your minds out of the gutter there). Since they were there first, Legacy performed first. Then the two groups switched spots and NaFo returned the favor before the other group headed off on their excursions for the day.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-106.jpg



Another shot showing Max among his cohorts waiting for the next order
(white shirt just ahead of the sousaphone in the middle line there).

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-107.jpg


Once “Show and Tell” was over the folks from the "Front Range" hopped on their collect of buses and departed for adventures unknown and our kids got back to work. Here’s a "vid" of one of those practice runs (and remember that I was seven stories up and listening to this through the sealed glass of our room at the time.)


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-107v.jpg (http://youtu.be/nxChsEzjdAQ)


Meanwhile, back up in Room-630…
Once the lady folk had everything organized for the day we headed on down to watch the rest of the rehearsal as the kids worked on various spots in the routine (well… there wasn’t much else to get into in beautiful scenic Hasbrouck Heights at this time of the day).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-108.jpg


You may notice in that last image that the adults are all wearing coats. Like I said, it wasn’t all that cold to us really and granted that the kids were working at the time, but the grownups are no longer worried about looking cool or proving how tough we are (that stuff gets old after a few years, and the teens know far more about life then we will ever hope to anyway, so we really can’t expect them to listen to us).

After working on the “official show” for a good while, they then set about practicing the pieces that would be played during the actual marching part of the parade.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-109.jpg


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-110.jpg


So… what’s the difference? Well, I may have explained this earlier, but the bit that gets shown on television is different from what gets played during the rest of the parade. Macys & NBC want an exclusive début of that first piece on a live feed and they don’t want any recorded performances prior to that début. So you have to play something else along the actual parade route. The other rule it that you can’t play “Christmas” music, because the "holidays" don’t officially start until St Nick arrives in Harold Square. Some bands got around this restriction by playing “winter” music that was not specifically Christmas oriented (say like: “Winter Wonderland”). Our directors chose three of the tunes that we normally play in the stands during ballgames that also generally get good crowd response (“Louie, Louie”, “Hay Baby” and “Money, Money”). The idea was to create more of a party atmosphere for the people watching along the route. The kids all know these tunes already (which is an added benefit) and as it turns out, the crowds along the way really did respond very well to these choices.

After working through the parade tunes for a while the kids were dismissed to stow their gear and grab whatever they wanted to bring along for the rest of the day.

By now our fearless drivers had the buses warming up in the bull pen…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-111.jpg



…and in just a few minutes we'd load up and finally head into town. You still couldn’t see Manhattan through all the gloom and low clouds covering the area, but we knew it was over there somewhere.

It was time to go hunt it down.








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-005.jpg

afwdwfan
01-09-2012, 04:36 PM
Our window on the world should have had an excellent view of mid-town Manhattan, but the conditions ensured that to us it still looked like this…
Quite... breathtaking??? :confused3 :lmao:


(like there was really any other choice in the first place).
Mother nature isn't very good about taking requests. :rotfl2:


but since this was still a “working vacation”, the work part has to come first.
:headache:


Imagine the nightmarish thoughts that must have been going through the minds of the folks who work in guest services in the hotel. “The good news is that there won’t be 250 kids staying a week; the bad news is that it will be somewhere between 700 and 800 teenagers in the same confined space instead”.
Even worse, just think of some random person who was actually paying money to stay in that same hotel. :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl::rotfl:


The other group was supposed to be using the main dinning room on the top floor for meals and meetings while we were in charge of the ballroom down in the basement. Signals got crossed, the folks from Colorado ended up down stairs first, and the staff didn’t notice the difference (I mean, how would they know… they were expecting a large group of teenagers and that’s exactly what showed up).
Oh no!!!:scared1: Did they eat all your bacon??? :confused3


After some eggs and plenty of bacon
That's a relief. At least they didn't order the continental breakfast.:rotfl2:


The folks that plan the parade made a special point to “remind” the two groups form the Deep South (that would be us and a school from Homewood Alabama) that it actually does get cold in New York (wow, really?) and we should ensure that the kids dress warmly.
Did they remember to speak loud and slow when they gave those reminders? :rolleyes1 :lmao:


Dress warmly?
:lmao:
Yep, overrated.:thumbsup2


Being as this is the case, our headstrong brood was out there on a wet forty-ish degree morning in their regular attire. The hotel staff though we were insane… the kids however were completely nonplused by the conditions.
Eh, I've been known to go outside in a T-shirt with snow on the ground.:confused3 Depends on how hard the wind's blowing and whether or not you're moving. I actually think it makes sense for them to be a bit underdressed while marching. Once you get hot and sweat it really does get cold.


(well… there wasn’t much else to get into in beautiful scenic Hasbrouck Heights at this time of the day).
Well, I guess you're allowed to watch now that you have all your work done for the day. :headache:


After working through the parade tunes for a while the kids were dismissed to stow their gear and grab whatever they wanted to bring along for the rest of the day. By now our fearless drivers had the busses warming up in the bull pen…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-111.jpg



…and in just a few minutes we load up and finally head into town. You still couldn’t see Manhattan through all the gloom and low clouds covering the area, but we knew it was over there somewhere. It was time to go hunt it down.
Woohoo!:woohoo: Sightseeing time!

cj9200
01-09-2012, 04:56 PM
Those Colorado bacon thieves. Luckily for peaceful coexistence you got to eat their bacon.

The band sounded and looked good. This is a life-time memory making trip for them.

Captain_Oblivious
01-10-2012, 01:38 PM
Part 1: If You Show Me Yours…

:eek::scared1:

Tuesday morning arrived with the same rain, fog and generally miserable conditions that we encountered during the drive up. Our window on the world should have had an excellent view of mid-town Manhattan, but the conditions ensured that to us it still looked like this…

Welcome to New Jersey!

Don't feel bad. We went to the Statue of Liberty last year, which was even closer to the city, and had this view of the majestic skyline:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Dpb4rGY8KWk/TVSaqOSUnRI/AAAAAAAABnc/qnWscd42G2A/s720/IMG_6880.jpg

Since it could just as easily have been the other way around, we counted out blessings and resolved to deal with the rain and cold as best as we could (like there was really any other choice in the first place).

It's just as well. They don't control the weather like Disney does.

We were looking forward to doing some sightseeing later on but since this was still a “working vacation”, the work part has to come first.

So you needed a vacation from your vacation? :confused3

“The good news is that there won’t be 250 kids staying a week; the bad news is that it will be somewhere between 700 and 800 teenagers in the same confined space instead”.

:eek: :faint:

Being as this is the case, our headstrong brood was out there on a wet forty-ish degree morning in their regular attire. The hotel staff though we were insane… the kids however were completely nonplused by the conditions.

...pharmacies in SC reported an uptick in orders for antibiotics later in the week.

You may notice in that last image that the adults are all wearing coats. Like I said, it wasn’t that cold to us really and granted that the kids were working at the time, but the grownups are no longer worried about looking cool or proving how tough we are (that stuff gets old after a few years, and the teens know far more about life then we will ever hope to anyway, so we really can’t expect them to listen to us).

::yes::

I believe I have reached that point where I am no longer cool, and don't really care. It started when I found myself unable to identify any songs on the radio.

Our directors chose three of the tunes that we normally play in the stands during ballgames that also generally get good crowd response (“Louie, Louie”, “Hay Baby” and “Money, Money”). The idea was to create more of a party atmosphere for the people watching along the route. The kids all know these tunes already (which is an added benefit) and as it turns out, the crowds along the way really did respond very well to these choices.

Sounds like a good choice. Much better than the theme from Platoon (which I have heard at a halftime show before). :rotfl2:

…and in just a few minutes we load up and finally head into town. You still couldn’t see Manhattan through all the gloom and low clouds covering the area, but we knew it was over there somewhere. It was time to go hunt it down.

popcorn::

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-15-2012, 10:51 PM
Quite... breathtaking??? :confused3 :lmao:

Quite :rotfl:


Mother nature isn't very good about taking requests. :rotfl2:


A lesson we would continually re-learn.


Even worse, just think of some random person who was actually paying money to stay in that same hotel. :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl::rotfl:


Most of them never even saw us. I was going to save this for latter on, but at breakfast on the Friday before we left for home, I was chatting with several of the hotel staff. I offered up a proper thanks for their hard work, and noted that we appreciated them for putting up with such a large group of young’ens. They collectively responded that we were actually very easy to deal with. They also noted that during our stay they had fewer complaints about noise or behavior then they otherwise would receive during a normal week of operations. I’ll elaborate a bit more on this later on, but I have to say that I was very proud of all the kids.


Did they remember to speak loud and slow when they gave those reminders? :rolleyes1 :lmao:


I’m sure they would have, but being uncertain as to weather or not we actually had working telephones, they wisely chose to communicate their concerns via the US Post. Here’s a piece of the letter that we received…
http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/untitled.jpg


Yep, overrated.:thumbsup2

Indeed.


Well, I guess you're allowed to watch now that you have all your work done for the day. :headache:

For the time being anyway…



Those Colorado bacon thieves. Luckily for peaceful coexistence you got to eat their bacon.


Direct result of folks not paying attention. Adapt and move on. We didn’t have any other problem the rest of the week. That says good things about the kids from the great west as well.



The band sounded and looked good. This is a life-time memory making trip for them.


Thanks. I’m pretty sure that this is a story they’ll all be telling their kids about.



:eek::scared1:

I wondered if anyone would pick up on that title.


Welcome to New Jersey!

Don't feel bad. We went to the Statue of Liberty last year, which was even closer to the city, and had this view of the majestic skyline:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Dpb4rGY8KWk/TVSaqOSUnRI/AAAAAAAABnc/qnWscd42G2A/s720/IMG_6880.jpg


Wow… I see the outlines of actual buildings! (sort’a ) So that what it was supposed to look like.
(and another great Oblivious Family Portrait)


It's just as well. They don't control the weather like Disney does.

That Maniacal Mouse…

So you needed a vacation from your vacation? :confused3

I could use a permanent one, but I’ve become rather accustomed to what salary I have left.

:eek: :faint:

I’m sure that was pretty much their initial reaction.


...pharmacies in SC reported an uptick in orders for antibiotics later in the week.

Actually, it was me that caught a cold toward the end of the week.


::yes::

I believe I have reached that point where I am no longer cool, and don't really care. It started when I found myself unable to identify any songs on the radio.


I dwell in this same cave.


Sounds like a good choice. Much better than the theme from Platoon (which I have heard at a halftime show before). :rotfl2:


Wow… an interesting choice I must say.
Our competition shows tend to be original works for this very reason. It’s harder to apply a preconceived idea of what the music should sound like of what message it should convey. I’ll demonstrate that in a couple of upcoming “flashbacks”





Woohoo!:woohoo: Sightseeing time!


popcorn::


And I’ll be getting to it in the near… but first I think I feel a Bonus Feature may be on the horizon.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-16-2012, 10:03 AM
Bonus Feature 2:





Your Charabanc Awaits…





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-001.jpg







A bus… is a bus… is a bus… right?


Well… actually no.
It depends on what job said vehicle is doing at the time (and its configuration as well) that determines whether it’s actually even a “bus” at all.




OH Noooooooooooooo!
It’s a Bonus Feature!!!!!!



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-002.jpg




That is a correct observation, and… I’d advise you go watch reruns of the Simpsons rather than spend time reading the rest of this post. But… we spent a lot of time on “buses” and most of the folks reading this will also have spent a lot of time on “buses” in their travels around “The World”. This being the case, I felt that a closer look at this humble mode of transportation was in order.



So what exactly is a bus?
That seems simple enough and a quick perusal of the nearest dictionary confirms our suspicions:


Bus /bəs/

1. Noun: A large motor vehicle carrying passengers by road, esp. one serving the public on a fixed route and for a fare.



But… is it really that simple?
Consider this accompanying definition from the same dictionary:



5. Noun: (electronics, computing) a substantial, rigid power supply conductor to which several connections are made, or a set of electrical conductors (wires, PCB tracks or connections in an integrated circuit) connecting various "stations", which can be functional units in a computer or nodes in a network.



Now why is that so? And… is it related in anyway?
Again, we get a yes and no answer. Yes, it is related in origin… no, it has nothing to do with vehicles
(per say).


Aaaaarrrrrrgggggg!
Can’t you just give me a straight answer?


OK, I guess it’s time to go back to the beginning. As usual we will start with some history.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =



The concept of a “bus” as a mode of transportation began in France in about 1828 when someone came up with a clever idea for a business venture. They started with a “coach” (which is not exactly the same thing and we will be getting to that in a bit), and striped it down to the basics. The result was pretty much just a wagon with seats in the form of benches down each side. They then used this new form of conveyance to offer an innovative type of public transport that (and this next bit is key) was open to everyone, of any social class. This was ground breaking and radical social engineering for it’s day. It was also an instant moneymaker and quickly spread as a business model. The designation our unnamed venture capitalists chose for their brainchild was:

“voiture omnibus”

meaning: “carriage for all”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-003.jpg



Like I said… the business model traveled quickly and the name of this new vehicle of trade traveled with it. Upon its arrival in England though, the Brits took one look at this haughty French phrase and immediately shortened it (I mean really… “voiture” was obviously just foreign rubbish, but that other word did happen to be classical Latin and they could live with that). So now this rig would simply be known as an Omnibus (“for all” in Latin). The now shorter name traveled back across the Channel to the continent just as quickly and soon became the accepted “nom de guerre” for this new type of public transportation.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-004.jpg



Once internal combustion engines were available and reliable enough, they replaced the horses and the new arrangement was at first known as an “Autobus”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-005.jpg



The word Omnibus would remain a fixture in the legal names of the business that operated these vehicles (as you’ll notice in the last picture), but the public, for ease of conversation, would shorten it farther to “bus” (oddly they dropped the “all” part of the word thus keeping only the “for something or other” suffix, but this was unintentional, as most folks never even questioned why it was called an Omnibus in the first place). This kind of shortening of names has always been common. I mean seriously, why on earth… would we all agree that this common device…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-006.jpg



…should be referred to as a “quiet”
(the Italian translation of “piano”).


The answer is simple: “gravicembalo col piano e forte”
(meaning: “gravity assisted harpsichord with both soft and loud capabilities”)

was just way too dang many syllables to be allowed. Outside of Italy, it was immediately shorted to “pianoforte” (again without any real thought as to actual meaning of the word, keeping only a contraction of the classical Latin words which this time translates to: “soft-loud”) and then shortening that word down to the modern: piano.


“Funny ol’ world… ain’t it.”



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =




Now then… remember that other definition for the word “bus”; the one that had to do with things electrical? Well it’s short for “omnibus-bar” and that word came to electrical engineering via politics.


Whoa… what!!!


Yep politics.

Shortly after the appearance of the word “omnibus”, the more learned (remember that Latin used to be taught in school) quickly understood that this verbal bit of ancient Rome which had recently wedged itself into the vernacular could also be used to describe anything that was intended to be “for all”. Some have credited Washington Irving as the first to realize this fact. For the record, he did use it in his commentaries; describing a particular piece of 1831 legislation thus: “The great reform omnibus moves but slowly” (“Poetry… sheer poetry!”). In this instance, a large number of somewhat unrelated reforms were all rolled together into a single piece of legislation. To this day… omnibus bills (especially omnibus spending bills) are a common tool of the US Congress (along with gridlock which is something that buses are actually supposed to alleviate).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-018.jpg



After the politicians succeeded in adding a new definition for omnibus to the language, it should not come as a surprise that engineers would see it as a good thing, pick it up and run with it. Electrical engineers chose to make practical use of the “for all” meaning of the original Latin when they borrowed it to describe a devise known as an “omnibus bar”. This device was originally a long metal bar that was electrified. Multiple separate devices would then be attached to said bar and “all” of them would derive their power from this single source. As is true with many names, this description was shortened over time and ended up as the same three-letter word used to describe a vehicle.


That is why these three guys…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-019.jpg



…were so concerned when this particular warning light on the “Odyssey’s” master control panel flickered on…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-020.jpg



Of course there were a lot of things (rather bad things) going on at the same time, but what that warning light was telling them is that every device which was attempting to use the omnibus-bar connected to “fuel-cell B” (the middle one) as its main source of power, was no longer capable of doing so.

This was very “not good”.

It’s also why:
“we’ve got a main bus B undervolt”

was the second thing Commander Lovell stated right after the more famous sentence:
“Huston… we’ve had a problem”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-022.jpg




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =




OK, fine… now we’ve learned about the alternate meanings of the word “bus” and we know why the vehicle in question is called a bus, but is a bus always a bus? Nope. Depends on how the device is configured or used.

One of the first developments was the “Tram” which replaced the wagon wheels of the omnibus with the steel wheels and rails that were in common us in the mining industry.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-007.jpg



These first showed up in Scotland (not surprising given the mining background). The word (which was already in use for the carts used in the mines) probably derives from the Middle Flemish “tram” meaning: "beam, handle of a barrow, bar, or rung" and referring to the rails that they ran on. The advantage of a tram is that the reduced friction of the steel wheel/rail system allowed fewer animals to pull vastly greater amounts of weight. When electricity became available as a source for powering these trams, the name changed (in the US at least) to “Trolley”. That word was derived form a device used in warehouses at the time called a “troller” which worked in a similar fashion.



Trolleys also made a significant contribution to Baseball. It seems the electric trams were so ubiquitous in the NY borough of Brooklyn around the turn of the 20th century that even crossing the street could become quite the adventure. As such, the local residents were derisively called “Trolley Dodgers”; a name that they chose to embrace and even gave to their first professional baseball team. It was later shortened to be just: “Dodgers”. As the U.S. grew, demographic and economic factors altered the game and, “D’em Bums” were moved to Los Angeles. If your were to ask a fan from LA what exactly a “Dodger” is and you’ll likely receive an answer like: “ummmmmmm…”. But now you can straighten ‘em out. They are routing for a team named in honor of Brooklyn working class folks who had to avoid being run over by trolleys while crossing streets, which was later forceable moved from brook line to the city of angles”.

Clear as mud ‘eh

Oh… speaking of transplanted ball teams…
while you’re at it, ask that LA fan just what a “Laker” is.




Another adaptation of the omnibus had more to do with how it was used. The “Charabanc” (pronounced: char-à-banc or sometimes: chara-bang`) was popular mainly in Britain during the early part of the 20th century. These were used mostly for sightseeing or day trips and were usually open topped to allow for the best field of vision.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-008.jpg



Again, first conceived of in France in the 19th century, once more it was the French that named the contraption. This time: char à bancs (meaning "carriage with wooden benches"). The Brits just rammed the words together this time. Originally horse-drawn like the Omnibus, they were quickly adapted to use combustion engines once available. At first these were much disdained by the more refined citizenry who called them “rolling pubs” because of the tendency for them to be operated by public houses who encouraged their clientele to imbibe during the various outings. Over time these early tour buses would have roofs added, but generally remained open sided so as not to block the view. I’m sure you’ve ridden on one or two of the modern variations of these devices (although they are often mistakenly referred to as “trams”)



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-009.jpg



So why is it that we don’t see Trolleys much anymore (and certainly not many Charabancs outside of those that work the parking lots and fine amusement areas). Well… most of them were killed off by the bus.


Wait a minute… they are buses… what are you talking about?


A conspiracy; that’s what I’m talking about. Really! You can check the court document out for yourself if you don’t believe me. General Motors along with Firestone and several other parts manufacturers and satellite companies were actually convicted of conspiracy to buy out trolley lines and other types of rail transportation in a number of cities and replacing them with buses.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-016.jpg



They also offered lost-leader deals on start-up costs and worked “behind the scenes” with a number of city officials to convince growing municipalities to also make the shift. The result it that intercity buses are common (although rarely is there enough capacity to properly service the city you find them in) and rail transportation is much harder to come by (and since the original infrastructure was ripped out in the past, the start-up costs for “light rail” are now astronomical. One slightly related thing you will see in some of the larger markets though is the Trolley-Bus…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-017.jpg



These hybrid critters make use of the previously existing overhead powered wire system to drive electric motors rather than diesel engines. Obviously their routes are limited by the existing infrastructure but the do tend to be less expensive to operate in the long run (assuming you had the wiring in place in the first place). Another interesting thing about that last image is that the bus is articulated. It’s two buses that have been hooked together and having a joint in the middle to help it navigate the curves and turns of urban streets while carrying greater passenger loads. This is also a feature seen from time to time on free-rolling buses, but it’s much more commonly found among the Trolley-Bus fleets.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =




So… now y’all now know everything that need be known about those busses that we rode around in all week… right?


Welllllllll…


As it happens, I learned something else while researching bus history that I was otherwise unaware of. It turns out that we weren’t riding on buses at all. Those are “coaches”.


Oh… give me a break!
Now I suppose you’re going to talk about those now huh?


Indeed I am.

You see…
a bus is used for short duration travel.

A coach is used to convey people (and sometimes cargo) over longer distances. Trough out history, the well to do and the powerful could afford better modes of transportation then the regular rabble (this goes without saying). Before the wheel, they’d be carried; afterward they’d be carried along in various types of “carriages”. By the 15th century, the best carriages were being built by the wheelwrights in the city of Kocs (pronounced "kotch") in Hungary. These were light (and therefore swift… an important feature for avoiding the highwaymen of the day), steel-sprung (to deal with the roads of the day), well appointed (well, because they were built for the wealthy at first) and yet rugged. Their common name is derived from the Hungarian word "kocsi", literally meaning "of Kocs".



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-010.jpg



Because of their speed and durability, these would come to be used to carry mail and would travel in stages from one town to the next thus acquiring the name stage-coach. Being long haul vehicles it was an obvious adaptation for businesses with mail charters to take passengers along with the mail as they traversed the countryside. As railways were developed the mail and passengers naturally move onto the larger devices and the name followed them. Again, as omnibuses developed and could be considered robust enough for long distance travel, they offered similar services to the passenger market that allowed folks to travel to spots that might not be as easily reached via rail.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-011.jpg


As you can see form the last image, former stagecoach operators were among those to adapt the bus concept for long haul travel. A coach very similar to that last one actually became a bit of a movie star. Specifically, this photogenic GM bus operated by Greyhound Bus Lines that appeared in the 1934 “Best Picture” Oscar winning comedy (you don’t see those words strung together anymore): “It Happened One Night”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-012.jpg



I love all the license plates that were attached to interstate vehicles of the time. This picture also illustrates some other differences between a coach and a general-purpose bus. Coaches will usually have a luggage hold separate from the passenger cabin (which also causes the passengers to be positioned higher off the ground), interior racks or shelving for additional storage, more comfortable seating and other “conveniences” in the more modern examples. You can see these changes in height and configuration a bit more clearly in the coaches from the late 30s and 40s.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-013.jpg



Roll forward another decade or so and they start to take on the form that most of us are more familiar with.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-014.jpg



At least that’s what a coach looked like when I was growing up and through most of my adult years. Somewhere in the 1990s they started getting somewhat sleeker and a bit more boxy. All the rounded edges and aircraft look faded away and the more modern vehicles that now fill the highways began appearing. The names of the manufactures have changed over the years as well. Many (if not most) of the buses and coaches built now are produced by European firms like this example here….



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-015.jpg



That… is a VanHool C2045 built somewhere between 2002 and 2006; one of the most common long haul buses on the market. Built by a Dutch company, it is their twentieth “coach” design series (thus the C20) and in the US is generally built to forty-five feet in length (the “45” on the end of the “C2045” designation). As buses go, these are pretty good. At least the five of them that we spent our time on during this trip were able to get us from point-a to point-b pretty reasonable.




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B2-021.jpg






“OK… now everyone remember where we parked”

afwdwfan
01-16-2012, 10:41 AM
Ok... bus to piano to Apollo 13 to trams to trolley to stage coach to motor coach. Is there anything you didn't link a bus to? :confused3

Oh yeah, aircraft carriers. How did you manage to write an off-topic post about transportation and not mention some kind of boat? :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:

Although it appears that one of your pictures was taken on a boat... nevermind, you did it. You included any type of transportation possible in this update.:thumbsup2 :lmao:

FreezinRafiki
01-16-2012, 11:38 AM
At first they were distained by the more refined citizenry who called them “rolling pubs” because of the tendency for them to be operated by public houses who encouraged their clientele to imbibe during the various outings. Over time these early tour busses would have roofs added, but generally remained open sided so as not to block the view. I’m sure you’ve ridden on one or two of the modern variations of these devices (although they are often mistakenly referred to as “trams”)

Next time I get on the parking lot tram at my favorite theme park, I will be calling it a "rolling pub". I will get the stink-eye from Bambi, and I will blame you. She may or may not hunt you down with a frying pan.

Consider yourself warned.

Aside from that, it was a great bonus feature!

Captain_Oblivious
01-16-2012, 01:28 PM
Impressive stuff! Now no matter what vehicle my wife gets on, she most likely will call it the wrong name, and I can correct her that she's actually riding a tram, or a trolley, or a charabanc, or a coach. She'll love learning all of this information! :rotfl2:

Seriously, good stuff. :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-22-2012, 08:49 PM
Next time I get on the parking lot tram at my favorite theme park, I will be calling it a "rolling pub". I will get the stink-eye from Bambi, and I will blame you. She may or may not hunt you down with a frying pan.

Consider yourself warned.

Aside from that, it was a great bonus feature!


Thank you sir, and I will consider myself to be forewarned. I’d expect no lees of you than to use the reference. I’d also expect no less of Bambi then to hold me personally accountable for promoting and even enhancing your incorrigible behavior.




"Oh, mother, I have got to get me one of these!"

http://amelanniza.blog.com/files/2010/11/pan-flynn.jpg

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-22-2012, 08:57 PM
Impressive stuff! Now no matter what vehicle my wife gets on, she most likely will call it the wrong name, and I can correct her that she's actually riding a tram, or a trolley, or a charabanc, or a coach. She'll love learning all of this information! :rotfl2:

Seriously, good stuff. :thumbsup2


Oh good… I starting to sense a pattern here.


Ummmmm… Mark…


Mrs. Knowitall wouldn’t happen to be as adept with the fine art of marshal frying pan arts as Bambi… would she?



“Frying pans! Who knew, right?”

http://media-cdn.pinterest.com/upload/69735494199667374_3bVRwQaU_c.jpg

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-22-2012, 09:01 PM
Ok... bus to piano to Apollo 13 to trams to trolley to stage coach to motor coach. Is there anything you didn't link a bus to? :confused3



Probably… But I had a feeling that I may have been pushing y’all just a might too far down this side trip.

I was beginning to feel just a might guilty.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-22-2012, 09:06 PM
Oh yeah, aircraft carriers. How did you manage to write an off-topic post about transportation and not mention some kind of boat? :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:

Although it appears that one of your pictures was taken on a boat... nevermind, you did it. You included any type of transportation possible in this update.:thumbsup2 :lmao:


Oh Snap… you did not just go there did you? :eek:


Now y’all have to know that I can’t possibly just let that stand (especially as it’s coming from my nemesis).
Well then… every one will know who to blame for what is about to happen.


But… I do promise that I’ll post an actual update to the TR itself right after I get done dealing with this bit of insolence. ;)

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-22-2012, 09:17 PM
Bonus Feature 3:





A Coin to Pay Charon





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-001.jpg






As it turns out…I checked back over my notes and research and found that I left an entire section out of my bus history feature (a situation that I’m now forced to correct).

Specifically… I left out a discussion on the bus that has no wheels.


Suppose that you were traveling on an extended trip and the coach you were riding on happened to come upon a river; a common geographical feature, which was now separating you from your destination. Well if there was a bridge over that river, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The same would be true if you were either carrying you own “Bailey Bridge” (which is unlikely) or just happened to be on an amphibious bus.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-002.jpg



Additionally, if the point at which you were attempting to cross said waterway was shallow enough, you could simply “ford” the river, but it’s far more likely that you’ll be in need of a “ferry”.


(remember this last bit there… there’s another bonus feature on the distant horizon where knowing the difference between a “ford” and a “ferry” will have a very definite impact).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-003.jpg

This particular ferry is part of the rout between Bangkok and Koh Chang in Thailand.



So what exactly is a ferry? Well… it’s a bus. It just happens to also be either a boat or a ship depending on size and configuration. Either way is a waterborne craft that is charged with the task of carrying human cargoes (and their possessions and vehicles) across bodies of water. Like a bus, a ferry will generally have a set route and will make scheduled trips between the points on this route. Historically speaking… the idea of a ferry (both in concept and as a profession) is ancient. There has long been a need to cross rivers and lakes for purposes of trade and communication…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-004.jpg



…or for the purpose of reaching an individual’s final destination. A number of ancient religions saw a river or water crossing as an integral part of their postmortem journey to come. Not least the Greeks who believed that Charon was waiting at the banks of the River Styx to ferry them to the underworld.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-005.jpg



They also knew that the ferryman had to be paid if passage was to be obtained. A belief that lead to the common practice of placing a coin either in or on the mouth of the departed prior to interment. This payment was known as “Charon's Obol”; a name that came from the specific amount required for the passage (an obol being one of the basic denominations of ancient Greek coinage that was reportedly worth one-sixth of a drachma)



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =



OK, enough mythology… let’s get back to the history. In their earliest incarnations ferries were simply skiffs or rafts, rowed by oars, or towed by men or horses using ropes. Fairly quickly the folks that operated these craft for a living settled on a common and simple configuration; that of a double-ended raft which in one manner or another was attached to a rope that stretched across the river in question. The rope served as a guide for crossing, a means of locomotion and as a defense against the current carrying them off course and downstream.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-006.jpg



Hollywood immortalized this particular type of ferry in the famous “Missouri Boat Ride” scene in the film “Outlaw Josey Wales”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-007.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkfgOHmNZss)



With the advent of steam power, the double-ended ferry concept became an extremely practical vessel for moving commuters and rolling stock along the coast lines and around major metropolitan areas (nearly all of which were purposely built on rivers, inlets and bays).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-008.jpg



Ferries are still a common site in larger cities, with numerous routes covered by these water-buses in New York alone. Probably the most famous of those would be the Staten Island Ferry; a ship that I would certainly catch site of later in the week…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-009.jpg



But not one I’d be riding on this time around (although I would find myself on a couple passenger only ferries later on as well…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-010.jpg



…but that’s a story for latter on).


City size however is not a dictating requirement for encountering a ferry system. The State of North Carolina maintains a small fleet of ferryboats to service parts of the Outer Banks.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-011.jpg



And in South Carolina there are several passenger ferries that provide the only viable access to Fort Sumter in the middle of Charleston Harbor.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-012.jpg




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =




Since the definition of ferry boat is related more to function then to specific design… it is also not unheard of for vessels that were never intended for the purpose to be pressed into the ferry service. Troupe ships are the most common military example of this. Both the RMS Queen Elizabeth and RMS Queen Mary were requisitioned for the purpose of ferrying troops across the vast expanses of the Atlantic Ocean during the Second World War (and the QE2 would see similar duty during the Falklands Conflict) …



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-013.jpg



…with “Elizabeth" once carrying a record number of 15,028 troops in one single trip.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-014.jpg



But still there is another relatively common instance of a ship being used as a ferry, which occurs with in the US Navy and is particularly jarring to the uneducated eye.


That would be this one right here…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-015.jpg



What you're looking at is the fight deck of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan covered with the vehicles of Navy Sailors heading to Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington. Having recently served in Asia, the Reagan was headed to the Puget Sound area for scheduled upgrades and repairs.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-016.jpg



Since she was going to make the trip one way or another and obviously would also need to bring her entire shore based support team (and their possessions) along. Doing it this way just makes sense. The only other way to move all the vehicles owned by the sailors assigned to this ship would have been to put them in another ship. This is just the most logical (if unexpected) and even economical method for solving the problem. It also illustrates how very dissimilar things can actually have rather close ties once you take time to look beyond the obvious.







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-017.jpg

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-22-2012, 09:18 PM
Chapter 2: Rock This Town (Day 2 - Tuesday)




Part 2: Uncharted Territory



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-201.jpg





Taking that first step into a new realm will evoke different responses from different folks. It can range from trepidation and fear to exhilaration. Either way there will be a bit of an adrenalin rush. For the most part, everyone in our group was looking forward to finally entering that foreign land of urban legend and film-induced myth known as New York.

With rehearsals finally out of the way for the day and all the administrative functions cleared up (for now), we climbed back onto our various coaches and jumped onto the interstates bound for Midtown. The rain had been very light and intermittent all morning and the mist and muck were finally starting to clear just a bit as well. This being the case, it was while rolling up the highway that we finally got a visual confirmation that Manhattan actually did exist.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-202.jpg


The ride in was somewhat troubled. I nearly titled this section of the TR “Road Blocks”. We quickly hit our first delay… a toll stop (not really a big deal, just an impedance to the progress, although… these are rather rare inconveniences in the Carolinas).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-203.jpg


No sooner did we get the coaches back in line then things started bogging down again. As it turned out, some unfortunate sole found that his or her subcompact had suddenly become part of the roadway’s brickwork when a considerably larger truck decided that it needed to occupy the exact same point in space. Despite Hollywood’s best CG moments, the laws of Physics still hold sway on this planet and the smaller object lost that battle.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-204.jpg


At least we weren’t on the other side of that center barrier… those folks were going to be waiting for a long while (we were just dealing with the rubber-neck effect).

Next site on our grand introduction to the Big Apple…
More toll.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-205.jpg


This one was to enter the Lincoln Tunnel.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-206.jpg


Imagine a $24 charge on a daily bases just to get yourself to and back form work (heck, I can't even justify spending five bucks on lunch during the workweek, so that wouldn’t fly… I guarantee you that I’d learn very quickly how to work with the mass transit systems).

We rolled through the center tube of the tunnel complex and emerged in the Hell’s Kitchen area heading north on Dyer, where we immediately came to another halt at the intersection of 40th.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-207.jpg


I can’t say exactly what was causing the problems here, but it took a good dozen cycles of the traffic lights and our drivers decision to go ahead and plug up the middle of the intersection for one of them before we were able to cross 40th. It did give me a chance to look around and snap a quick image or two of the kind of quirky local flavor that is unique to cities much larger then what I’m used to…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-208.jpg


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-209.jpg


$350 for hitting the horn button!

I guess it’s the untold scores of movies representing life in New York that had me thinking that the din of an auto-horn symphony was a constant feature of life in this borough.

Our caravan continued on into midtown and finally got to where they could drop us all off in the heart of Rockefeller Center; the first stop on this grand adventure. As our group hit the pavement we were welcomed by a great holiday fanfare!


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-210.jpg


Ain’t buyin’ it are ya’.


Well, you’re right. No one even flinched.

Buses and coaches drop hordes of people onto the streets constantly; we were just an annoyance to the locals trying to make their way between 5th and 6th Avenues that day.

Once on the ground, all were gathered in the plaza at the foot of the main tower (the 70 floor GE Building ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE_Building) more commonly known as: “30 Rock”) and waited for our marching orders.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-211.jpg


The word was passed that we had about an hour and a bit to grab some lunch or whatever before we needed to meet back at this spot for our first group-touring event of the trip. As for the time being…

we were on our own.

Being as we’d had a fairly large breakfast, and dinner was scheduled for around four-ish today, the immediate decision was to forego lunch on this day and use this little bit of free time to just walk around the plaza. First stop… the world famous ice rink…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-212.jpg


Having arrived during the week of Thanksgiving, but prior to the actual day… we got a fine glimpse of the famous 30-Rock Christmas tree… serving its sentence behind bars. Crews were still finishing up the installation, and the scaffolding obscured pretty much everything, including Paul Manship's well-known bronze of Prometheus recumbent. Here’s a better image taken by a considerably better photographer of how it ought to look (less the big ol’ tree of course)


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-213.jpg


Interestingly, although this is one of the most recognizable sculptures in the US, the artist himself wasn’t all that fond of the piece. Public art can be found throughout the entire “Rock Center” complex (which adds much charm and magic if you ask me), but surprisingly, this marks a turning point in the history of architectural sculpture, as it is among the last major building projects in the United States to purposely incorporate a program of integrated public art. Too bad… but there is no shortage of said public art throughout the plaza.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-214.jpg


(Try to ignore the gruesome fella there ruining an otherwise fine view of another Manship work [this one titled “Maiden”] and the entombed tannenbaum of course). Hummmm… I wonder if that last image will get me banned from the boards? Oh well… from here we headed toward 5th Ave just to see what we could see. What we could see (smack across the street) was St Patrick’s Cathedral ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Patrick's_Cathedral_(New_York))…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-215.jpg


I would really like to have had the time to stroll over there and poke around a bit… but as it would turn out, side trips were going to be difficult to add in this entire week. When you have such a large group you have to pick and choose your activities and hold to a fairly tight schedule. But then again… I now just have more reasons to travel back here in the future.

Since we were actually in the city it occurred to us that we probably ought to document the fact, so my SIL snapped this little photo of my lovely bride and the questionable ogre that she foolishly married.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-216.jpg


That counts as proof that we were actually there and I didn’t make up the entire expedition. Oh… and here’s a close up of that plaque just in case you were dying to know just what it said…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-217.jpg


And just for good measure… another shot of the tower from a Fifth Avenue prospective.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-218.jpg


From this point it was decided to make our way back toward the center and just rummage around the shops. After a bit of this random knocking about, the concept of thirst was beginning to make itself known. The group began to see the notion of coffee as a justifiable solution to that problem and a potential curb on the appetite as well (given the savory nature of the brew). While waiting for an elevator to the lower concourse, we ran across another group of adults from our expedition and learned that they’d, only just arrived on site. Thus we learned about the Saga of Bus-5. It turns out that Tail-End-Charlie got into a bit of a fender-bender. Not our driver’s fault, but it still took the NYPD to straighten everything out and write up the reports (and apparently some serious meds to calm down the driver that had their beloved BMW redecorated by imprinting the image of a bus bumper into its panels). I’m glad I wasn’t on that coach. Our ride in was plenty long enough without having to deal with an irate local in a center of a midtown Manhattan intersection.

After finding a pretty good cup of coffee, we noticed that the clocks on the walls we’re beginning to sound warning alarms. Time to head back up and meet the rest of the folks for the first signature event of the day. Back up at street level the kids and adults alike were starting to gather in the plaza at the foot of the caged Christmas tree. There are flagpoles surrounding the skating rink there and depending on the day you may encounter any number of banners. On this day, they were brandishing the flags of the various states and territories in the union. I found it quite auspicious that the flag holding down the corner where we were instructed to meet was a rather recognizable banner form our point of view…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-219.jpg


While we were gathering, one of the other parents caught this moment where a group or our young’ens (including Max there on the far left) were striking a pose with one of New York’s finest…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-220.jpg


A great moment, and I appreciate that they shared that picture with us. This image also bears mute testament to the fact that he’d pretty much spent all his extra walking cash for the week. Weeks before the trip, nearly all the guys in the band were discussing the one Mecca in NY that they unanimously wanted to hit right off: The fabled Nintendo Store at Rockefeller Center. Obviously… they had accomplished their mission (don’t worry, he still had money for food and snacks, this was just the bucks he pulled out of savings specifically for souvenirs and what-nots).

Well now that everyone was all gathered together and we’d taken a proper head count…
it was time to for our next sojourn.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-221.jpg


A bit of sightseeing that would include a fairly significant vertical component…










http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-006.jpg

cj9200
01-22-2012, 10:54 PM
After reading your dissertation, I came to the conclusion that you spent too much time on an omnibus, tram, trolley or other such mode of transportation on this trip. And you left one out. It is called the Duck. A touristy thing to do in Miami.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff148/cj9200/Misc/splash.jpg

afwdwfan
01-23-2012, 09:10 AM
It may be the most economical thing to haul all the vehicles on the carrier, which is why it absolutely shocks me that they did it. Since when does the US government ever do things the most economical way? :confused3 :lmao:


This being the case, it was while rolling up the highway that we finally got a visual confirmation that Manhattan actually did exist.
I guess you really weren't just making this whole thing up.


Despite Hollywood’s best CG moments, the laws of Physics still hold sway on this planet and the smaller object lost that battle.
Are you telling me that car chases in movies aren't feasible based on physics???? That's blasphemy!


Imagine a $24 charge on a daily basses just to get yourself to and back form work (heck, I can even justify spending five bucks on lunch during the workweek… that just wouldn’t fly… I guarantee you that I’d learn very quickly to work with the mass transit system).
:scared1::scared1::scared1:

I think I'd turn around... Yep, I've seen the skyline. Good enough. :lmao:


Being as we’d had a fairly large breakfast, and dinner was scheduled for around four-ish today, the immediate decision was to forego lunch on this day and use this little bit of free time to just walk around the plaza. First stop… the world famous ice rink…
Good idea. You definitely need to take advantage of a little bit of time to explore.:thumbsup2


Hummmm… I wonder if that last image will get me banned from the boards?
Where's a mod when you need one. :rolleyes1 :rotfl2:


Since we were actually in the city it occurred to us that we probably ought to document the fact, so my SIL snapped this little photo of my lovely bride and the questionable ogre that she foolishly married.
Yet more photographic confirmation that the trip actually did happen.


Thus we learned about the Saga of Bus-5. It turns out that Tail-End-Charlie got into a bit of a fender-bender.
Welcome to New York! :thumbsup2



A great moment, and I appreciate that they shared that picture with us. This image also bears mute testament to the fact that he’d pretty much spent all his extra walking cash for the week.
:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl: That's the first thing I noticed in that picture. I saw the big bag with Mario on it and thought he must have laid down some serious cash. That bag's big enough to hold about 20 games or so. :lmao:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-23-2012, 10:31 AM
After reading your dissertation, I came to the conclusion that you spent too much time on an omnibus, tram, trolley or other such mode of transportation on this trip. And you left one out. It is called the Duck. A touristy thing to do in Miami.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff148/cj9200/Misc/splash.jpg


I see that they’re purpose building new versions of these vehicles now.
Supposedly, the idea originating in Boston when some one thought to buy a surplus DUKW from the us military…


http://olive-drab.com/images/id_dukw_landing_full_2.jpg


Paint it yellow and start offering amphibious tours of the city. I saw them all over DC on our last Non-Dis vacation.

http://www.dcducks.com/wp-content/themes/dcducks/images/dc-duck-tours-1.jpg

http://www.trolleytours.com/washington-dc/images/washington-dc-tours-ducks.jpg

But since it’s basically a day tour vehicle with open sides…
It just another version of a Charabanc.
:lmao:





It may be the most economical thing to haul all the vehicles on the carrier, which is why it absolutely shocks me that they did it. Since when does the US government ever do things the most economical way? :confused3 :lmao:


Uncharacteristically thrifty to be sure

You asked me to tie busses to aircraft carriers…
I found a way to tie busses to aircraft carriers.



I guess you really weren't just making this whole thing up.


So far as you know


Are you telling me that car chases in movies aren't feasible based on physics???? That's blasphemy!


The truth can be a harsh mistress.


I think I'd turn around... Yep, I've seen the skyline. Good enough. :lmao:


Naaaa… we were already committed by this time (committed to what… that can be questioned, but we were committed).


Good idea. You definitely need to take advantage of a little bit of time to explore.:thumbsup2


::yes::


Where's a mod when you need one. :rolleyes1 :rotfl2:


It’s not like I did that on purpose…
:rolleyes1


Yet more photographic confirmation that the trip actually did happen.


So far as you know…
**cough**photoshop**cough**


Welcome to New York! :thumbsup2


And a rude one at that.


:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl: That's the first thing I noticed in that picture. I saw the big bag with Mario on it and thought he must have laid down some serious cash. That bag's big enough to hold about 20 games or so. :lmao:


Excellent marketing on Nintendo’s part. He bought one game and a book. They only had a couple sizes of bag, so they tossed that into the biggest one thay had (instant walking billboard). It’s also interesting that it’s the guys who are carrying the bags-o-merchandise… goes against conventional wisdom.

Captain_Oblivious
01-23-2012, 11:24 AM
And in South Carolina there are several passenger ferries that provide the only viable access to Fort Sumter in the middle of Charleston Harbor.

Researching...:rolleyes1

We quickly hit out first delay… a toll stop (not really a big deal, just an impedance to the progress, although… these are rather rare inconveniences in the Carolinas).

I think state law in NJ requires a tool booth roughly every 1/4 mile.

Imagine a $24 charge on a daily basses just to get yourself to and back form work (heck, I can even justify spending five bucks on lunch during the workweek… that just wouldn’t fly… I guarantee you that I’d learn very quickly to work with the mass transit system).

::yes::

NY and DC are the 2 cities that I just won't drive into, unless there's no other choice.

I can’t say exactly what was causing the problems here,

I'll give you a hint: you were in NYC. :sad2:

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-212.jpg

Not quite as festive with all that scaffolding, is it? I imagine this is what your tree usually looks like as well as you put it together, right? :confused3

Public art can be found throughout the entire “Rock Center” complex (which adds much charm and magic if you ask me), but surprisingly, this marks a turning point in the history of architectural sculpture, as it is among the last major building projects in the United States to purposely incorporate a program of integrated public art. Too bad… but there is no shortage of said public art through out the plaza.

I agree. Good art makes a place unique, and bad art means we can make all sorts of jokes in our TR's.

Since we were actually in the city it occurred to us that we probably ought to document the fact, so my SIL snapped this little photo of my lovely bride and the questionable ogre that she foolishly married.

She doesn't appear to have any regrets. :goodvibes

Thus we learned about the Saga of Bus-5. It turns out that Tail-End-Charlie got into a bit of a fender-bender. Not our driver’s fault, but it still took the NYPD to straighten everything out and write up the reports (and apparently some serious meds to calm down the driver that had their beloved BMW redecorated by imprinting the image of a bus bumper into its panels).

:eek:
The bus usually wins those collisions.

While we were gathering, one of the other parents caught this moment where a group or our young’ens (including Max there on the far left) were striking a pose with one of New York’s finest…

Great, candid shot. They all look like they're having fun.

The fabled Nintendo Store at Rockefeller Center. Obviously… they had accomplished their mission (don’t worry, he still had money for food and snacks, this was just the bucks he pulled out of savings specifically for souvenirs and whatnots).

Surely they offered student discounts in NYC.

Looking forward to Top of the Rock!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-23-2012, 02:30 PM
Researching...:rolleyes1


One leaves form the city marina; south side of the peninsula on the Ashley River nearer to the Citadel, the other leaves from Patriots Point.


I think state law in NJ requires a tool booth roughly every 1/4 mile.


Now it all makes sense.


::yes::

NY and DC are the 2 cities that I just won't drive into, unless there's no other choice.


I done seen it… an’ I’z got’s to agree.


I'll give you a hint: you were in NYC. :sad2:


Again… it’s all starting to become clear


Not quite as festive with all that scaffolding, is it? I imagine this is what your tree usually looks like as well as you put it together, right? :confused3


Sure… you have to keep them wild trees caged up or they can do lot of damage.


I agree. Good art makes a place unique, and bad art means we can make all sorts of jokes in our TR's.


Jokes in TRs… now why didn’t I think of that.

Most of what was here would be considered Art Decco in style.
I looked high and low for something more modern, but alas...
there were no gigantic chrome platted kidney beans to be found.



She doesn't appear to have any regrets. :goodvibes


No she doesn’t... does she?

I may need to get her examined… I’m a might concerned that she might just be nuts.



:eek:
The bus usually wins those collisions.


It did. :sad2:


Great, candid shot. They all look like they're having fun.


Yah it was. I'm glad to have that one. It’s all we can do to get Max to smile so you have to be very quick and prepared to catch him in the moments when he doesn’t think he’s being watched.


Surely they offered student discounts in NYC.


Shirley wasn’t working that day or he might have gotten a better deal.

I’m certain that the folks in Charlotte would have cut him some slac… ummmmm… never mind.

FreezinRafiki
01-23-2012, 03:14 PM
The same would be true if you were either carrying you own “Bailey Bridge” (which is unlikely)
Quite a bit of nostalgia that little sentance brought up. I would spend hours as a youth playing with my GI Joe Bridgelayer.

http://www.gadgetreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/bridgelayer_iso-580x334.jpg

You would think all that experience would have sent me down the path to be a DOT engineer. Thank goodness that didn't happen. :rotfl2:



or just happened to be on an amphibious bus.

More nostalgia in the same sentence! I love taking the Duck tours in Wisconsin Dells.

http://static.travelmuse.com/docs/artwork/wisconsin-dells/wisconsin-dells-overview-dells-duck-entering-full.jpg

I see you're already familiar with these WWII beauties from your reply to CJ, so I won't go into it here. Except to say that during one of our tours on the ducks, we were carefully navigating a steep wooded area on the banks of the Wisconsin River and Lake Delton. As we traversed a steep drop-off, our tour guide invited is to noticed the thin wire fence just off the path, were the drop off began. He said that we should not take comfort that the fence would prevent our fall. It was made of chicken wire and we were, after all, riding in a duck.


So what exactly is a ferry?

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111024012845/disney/images/thumb/0/08/Tinker_Bell_%28Disney_Fairies%29.jpg/258px-Tinker_Bell_%28Disney_Fairies%29.jpg


Well… it’s a bus.
Oh, that kind of ferry. I thought we were talking about something else...



…with “Elizabeth" once carrying a record number of 15,028 troops in one single trip.
Must have been hard to get spa reservations on that cruise.




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B3-017.jpg

(You probably should have mentioned that this picture is the USS John C. Stennis, not the Reagan. People might get confused.)

We quickly hit out first delay… a toll stop (not really a big deal, just an impedance to the progress, although… these are rather rare inconveniences in the Carolinas).
We don't have them here in Wisconsin, but if we want to go "south of the border" to Illinois, they are mostly unavoidable. I quickly invested in one of their electronic tolling devices, which not only lets you zip through the toll plaza at 65mph, but only costs half of the cash fee!



Imagine a $24 charge on a daily basses just to get yourself to and back form work (heck, I can even justify spending five bucks on lunch during the workweek… that just wouldn’t fly… I guarantee you that I’d learn very quickly to work with the mass transit system).
:eek:


Interestingly, although this is one of the most recognizable sculptures in the US, the artist himself wasn’t all that fond of the piece. Public art can be found throughout the entire “Rock Center” complex (which adds much charm and magic if you ask me), but surprisingly, this marks a turning point in the history of architectural sculpture, as it is among the last major building projects in the United States to purposely incorporate a program of integrated public art. Too bad… but there is no shortage of said public art through out the plaza.
I'll be the first to admit - I don't "get" a lot of art. Statues of people (real or mythological) are neat to look at, but large pieces of twisted steel doesn't evoke very strong emotions from me. That being said, I'd much rather see installations of public art that I don't understand than just building after building after building.

I found it quite auspicious that the flag holding down the corner where we were instructed to meet was a rather recognizable banner form our point of view…

Hmmm...a little advance scouting by the planning team or sheer dumb luck?


The fabled Nintendo Store at Rockefeller Center. Obviously… they had accomplished their mission (don’t worry, he still had money for food and snacks, this was just the bucks he pulled out of savings specifically for souvenirs and whatnots).
Well....what'd he get?

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-23-2012, 04:41 PM
Quite a bit of nostalgia that little sentance brought up. I would spend hours as a youth playing with my GI Joe Bridgelayer.

http://www.gadgetreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/bridgelayer_iso-580x334.jpg



Cool! I’m glad someone picked up on that one and ran with it.



You would think all that experience would have sent me down the path to be a DOT engineer. Thank goodness that didn't happen. :rotfl2:


Barry lobs one from the backcourt and Mark set up for the return strick… how do you suppose he will play this one sports fans?



More nostalgia in the same sentence! I love taking the Duck tours in Wisconsin Dells.

http://static.travelmuse.com/docs/artwork/wisconsin-dells/wisconsin-dells-overview-dells-duck-entering-full.jpg

I see you're already familiar with these WWII beauties from your reply to CJ, so I won't go into it here. Except to say that during one of our tours on the ducks, we were carefully navigating a steep wooded area on the banks of the Wisconsin River and Lake Delton. As we traversed a steep drop-off, our tour guide invited is to noticed the thin wire fence just off the path, were the drop off began. He said that we should not take comfort that the fence would prevent our fall. It was made of chicken wire and we were, after all, riding in a duck.


You gotta love a joke that takes that long to set up only to fizzle that horribly.

Oh… and I’m sure that you’ve figured that I’m familiar with a lot of different types of military vehicles, but feel free to embellish and expound…

I figured I’d abused the rest of y’all enough, but be my guest.



http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111024012845/disney/images/thumb/0/08/Tinker_Bell_%28Disney_Fairies%29.jpg/258px-Tinker_Bell_%28Disney_Fairies%29.jpg


Wrong Spelling…


Oh, that kind of ferry. I thought we were talking about something else...


Ding, ding, ding…


Must have been hard to get spa reservations on that cruise.


I suspect that the sommelier was somewhat frazzled as well.


(You probably should have mentioned that this picture is the USS John C. Stennis, not the Reagan. People might get confused.)


Caught that did you? Well… you are correct sir.
I just like the juxtaposition of the two types of craft in the image.

That is the Stennis in the background. I suspect that the she was headed toward Bremerton at the time.

The small ferry in the foreground is the MV Steilacoom II which is part of the Pierce County (Washington) ferry system. It currently services the Anderson Island - Ketron Island – Steilacoom route. But the image was more likely taken while it was being leased by the Washington State Ferry system to run between Port Townsend and Keyston.

(I have an Aunt and Uncle who are both retired from the WA State Ferry system and live on the Olympic peninsula… which helps explain my interest in such things)




We don't have them here in Wisconsin, but if we want to go "south of the border" to Illinois, they are mostly unavoidable. I quickly invested in one of their electronic tolling devices, which not only lets you zip through the toll plaza at 65mph, but only costs half of the cash fee!



Good plan… or you could avoid Illinois.


I'll be the first to admit - I don't "get" a lot of art. Statues of people (real or mythological) are neat to look at, but large pieces of twisted steel doesn't evoke very strong emotions from me. That being said, I'd much rather see installations of public art that I don't understand than just building after building after building.


Modern art tends to leave me looking for something else to look at. But I also agree that any art is better then any trash pile (unless the trash pile is in the middle of a swanky art gallery… then I guess it is art… Right?)


Hmmm...a little advance scouting by the planning team or sheer dumb luck?


Dumb luck… Hay now!


Well....what'd he get?


One game and a book dealing with some of the more secret secrets hidden in said game (part of the Zelda series I believe, but don’t hold my feet to the fire on that one).

FreezinRafiki
01-23-2012, 10:12 PM
You gotta love a joke that takes that long to set up only to fizzle that horribly.

Now that I think about it, it may have been "if it can stop a chicken, it can stop a duck." Either way, it was pure punny goodness. :thumbsup2



Oh… and I’m sure that you’ve figured that I’m familiar with a lot of different types of military vehicles, but feel free to embellish and expound…
Sure, let me tell you everything I know about them:
They make really cool tour vehicles in tourist destinations.



I suspect that the sommelier was somewhat frazzled as well.

We have a wonderful 1929 Bordeaux that will go well with your MRE.

Got any whiskey?
But of course, sir.


I just like the juxtaposition of the two types of craft in the image.

So do I. I was just giving you a hard time. :thumbsup2


Good plan… or you could avoid Illinois.
You're the amateur cartographer. Find me a route from Racine to Orlando that avoids Illinois and doesn't add 10 hours to my trip. (Or $400 in Ferry fees)


Modern art tends to leave me looking for something else to look at. But I also agree that any art is better then any trash pile (unless the trash pile is in the middle of a swanky art gallery… then I guess it is art… Right?)

I read an article a few months ago about a janitor in an art museum that started cleaning a pile of trash that turned out to be an installation. :rotfl2:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-23-2012, 10:37 PM
You're the amateur cartographer. Find me a route from Racine to Orlando that avoids Illinois and doesn't add 10 hours to my trip. (Or $400 in Ferry fees)



Details, details…
Are you tellin’ me that the infamous Minivan of Doom isn’t amphibious!

I’m shocked… SHOCKED I tell you.

OK… I can’t add ten hours… I’ll buy that one, but the ferry ride seems like a great addition to the trip if you ask me (until you get to the $400 dollar bit of the equation).

Oh! I got it! Got to DL instead. Sure it’s at least one third farther away from Racine, but you’d be able to completely avoid Illinois.

Captain_Oblivious
01-26-2012, 10:57 AM
You would think all that experience would have sent me down the path to be a DOT engineer. Thank goodness that didn't happen. :rotfl2:

Exactly. You would have found out that we don't get to use any equipment that's anywhere near as fun as the stuff GI Joe gets to use.

FreezinRafiki
01-26-2012, 01:51 PM
Details, details…
Are you tellin’ me that the infamous Minivan of Doom isn’t amphibious!
I can't comment on that. It's classified information.


OK… I can’t add ten hours… I’ll buy that one, but the ferry ride seems like a great addition to the trip if you ask me (until you get to the $400 dollar bit of the equation).
While the ride may be fun, it's certainly not practical. It's an extra half hour north, then 2 1/2 hours across the lake, just to make the rest of the drive...15 minutes longer that if I had just driven from home. :headache:

Oh! I got it! Got to DL instead. Sure it’s at least one third farther away from Racine, but you’d be able to completely avoid Illinois.
Now there's an idea!

Exactly. You would have found out that we don't get to use any equipment that's anywhere near as fun as the stuff GI Joe gets to use.
You mean you guys don't have fighter jets that fly in space?

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-26-2012, 02:28 PM
While the ride may be fun, it's certainly not practical. It's an extra half hour north, then 2 1/2 hours across the lake, just to make the rest of the drive...15 minutes longer that if I had just driven from home. :headache:



Now, if I read that right…
it’s no wonder you don’t wan to drive through Illinois.



Now there's an idea!


:thumbsup2


You mean you guys don't have fighter jets that fly in space?


I’m pretty sure they don’t even have atomic jackhammers

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-27-2012, 03:18 PM
Bonus Feature 4:





Pointless Pictures






I left off a pretty good picture from Rockefeller Plaza. This is the statue of Atlas that faces fifth Ave. You don’t need to see it… But I like it so there you go.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-001.jpg





Now, I have a tendency to take pictures that the rest of my family consider to be somewhat…


Odd.


They tell a store, but in their own way and generally only from the point of view of my eye (as it saw that particular thing at the time). Since these wont do much good in advancing the actual story line of the this TR in general…

I’ve decided to toss a few of them out here as “previews for things to come (for that purpose, they may just work pretty well). So, with that goal in mind.. I now present a “preview” of things to come in Chapter 3 and in the morning of Chapter 5 (we were rather busy on something else during Chapter 4)


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-11.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-12.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-13.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-14.jpg



I'll be back in a minute....

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-27-2012, 03:19 PM
Bonus Feature 5:





Tease!



And here’s a few more that offer up a preview form the bulk of Chapter 5. I pretty sure that some of y’all will recognize some of this stuff and get a pretty good idea of exactly where we’ll be heading in the near.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-21.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-22.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-23.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-24.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3P1-25.jpg

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-27-2012, 03:20 PM
Chapter 2: Rock This Town (Day 2 - Tuesday)




Part 3: From On High



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-301.jpg





I believe that I’ve mentioned in a previous TR, that I don’t much like “unprotected” heights. Climbing up on my roof is rather unnerving, so I generally won’t do it. But being strapped into a harness and dangling over the ocean from a parachute… that was fun. What’s the difference? It’s that “unprotected” part of it. If there’s really nothing there that will keep a bad step from allowing you to reconfirm the constant rate of acceleration due to gravity, then I’m going to by bypassing the experiment. If I have a fighting chance… I’m in. It’s not a matter of fighting off vertigo; it’s just a simple survival mechanism. This is why I was really looking forward to our next stop (more so then some).

The journey commences form the sidewalks along Rockefeller plaza, barely a few meters above sea level.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-302.jpg



With the whole contingent lined up by bus (mostly so we could get good headcounts of the kids, and let them go on up first) we made our way toward the 50th Street entrance of the GE Building to start the assent to the “Top of the Rock”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-303.jpg



Once inside, there is still a good bit of back and forth along corridors and up a couple of stairways. There are only so many elevators and the upper floors also only hold so many folks, so they have to spread everyone out. As you’re waiting you get a nice view of the street below and of Radio City Music Hall.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-304.jpg


Someone else got a better shot of the front of this same building later on in the trip (so you get to see it here).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-305.jpg



There’s a TSA style security station to get through (less the shoe check) then you can roam through a number of exhibits that look into the history and construction of the Rock Center complex. One of the cooler exhibits in this section is the “Beam Walk”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-306.jpg



Here is an image form their website that illustrates what this looks like a little bit more clearly.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-307.jpg



There is actually an I-Beam set into the floor with acrylic panels on either side. How deep the pit beneath it is I can’t say exactly, but there is some depth to it and there is a projected image of the rest of the buildings steel skeleton disappearing off into the distance beneath you.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-308.jpg



Trying to walk across and actually staying on the beam is a little interesting (even though you know there’s no way to fall through, it still plays with your eyes a might). On the other side of this you’ll be ushered into a small theater where they’re playing a ten-ish minute film loop about the designing of the complex, the artwork throughout and what sites you’ll encounter as you continue through the tour. As themeing goes, it’s all on par with anything in the World Showcase.

After about once through the film loop, our row was lead from the theater and to a bank of express elevators. There’s an attendant who counts out the passengers and stages you in front on one of these innocent looking sets of sliding doors (just like being in the basement of the ToT waiting for the next service lift).

Doors open…
in you go…
everything looks normal…
doors close…
lights go out!…


techno sound track starts up…
ceiling goes transparent...

and you quickly start to rise sixty odd stories with a view of the shaft lined in blue lights



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-309.jpg



It’s actually kind’a cool. I had a chance to ride an elevator to the top of the Empire State Building once about twenty years ago… this one was considerably faster (there were about fifteen fewer floors to traverse, but it was still a lot quicker). You get dropped off on the 67th floor. There are more exhibits and a few shops here. Just walk on around the floor and take the escalator up one more story and you’ve reach the observation deck…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-310.jpg


They completed a renovation of this entire area in 2005



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-312.jpg



“Shut up already and show us the view dag-nab-it!!!



Oh… all right. I’ve kept you waiting kept you waiting long enough…






Voilà





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-313.jpg


That’s Central Park stretching off toward the north, with the Hudson at the top left and the Bronx way off behind the fog and mist at the top of the image. Looking down over the east side ledge, St Patrick’s is now small enough to hide behind your thumb.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-314.jpg



I’ll shift the angle just a might and give you a better view of Midtown-East, the East River and Queens.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-315.jpg



Looking southeast… we get a better view of the East River (which is actually an inlet) Lower Manhattan, the Williamsburg Bridge and Brooklyn. Oh yah… there’s this other rather tall building there on the right as well.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-316.jpg



The next one is looking southwest toward the Upper Bay. That’s Ellis Island in the middle and Liberty Island just beyond.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-319.jpg



Since I made my way around most of the compass points, we might as well take a gander back to the west toward the Hudson River and Jersey.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-320.jpg



Being as we did com all this way just to see what we could see, I suspect that we should probably get a picture to prove it…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-317.jpg



And one of the sisters



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-318.jpg



And of course the family shot that I’d already tossed out back on the first page…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/NY00-003.jpg



Max’s group just happened to be at the top at the same time as we were. Generally, we try not to interfere with him when he’s around his friends, but this was not an opportunity that we’d be getting again anytime in the near.

The view from on high was spectacular and the pictures really don’t do it any justice. Were it a clearer day, we’d have been able to see considerably farther in the distance, but as it was we’d been relatively lucky to have avoided getting rained on all day. That was just about to come to an end though… at least I did get a few good pictures before the clouds finally opened up for the rest of the day.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-321.jpg



OK, just one more (slightly artsy-fartsy) image of the park framed by some of the buildings trim work…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-322.jpg



I like that one, but it would have been a whole lot better without all the mist and muck in the air. OK… I’ll leave y’all alone now, besides… it’s really starting to poor down. I think we need to come up with a new plan. The walk around the viewing deck here is getting a might slick. No sense in tempting fate here…





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-007.jpg

afwdwfan
01-30-2012, 09:40 AM
I believe that I’ve mentioned in a previous TR, that I don’t much like “unprotected” heights.
::yes:: When do we get to the original content in this update?


The journey commences form the sidewalks along Rockefeller plaza, barely a few meters above sea level.
Ok, there it is. That didn't take too long. :lmao:


With the whole contingent lined up by bus (mostly so we could get good headcounts of the kids, and let them go on up first) we made our way toward the 50th Street entrance of the GE Building to start the assent to the “Top of the Rock”.
I take it that you didn't lose any yet? :confused3


As you’re waiting you get a nice view of the street below and of Radio City Music Hall.
Nice view. Another NYC landmark I'd like to see sometime.


One of the cooler exhibits in this section is the “Beam Walk”
How did you feel about this one?


On the other side of this you’ll be ushered into a small theater where they’re playing a ten-ish minute film loop about the designing of the complex, the artwork throughout and what sites you’ll encounter as you continue through the tour. As themeing goes, it’s all on par with anything in the World Showcase.
Hmmm... you leave an attraction and enter a theater... on par with World Showcase.

Sounds like Norway! :lmao::rotfl2:


There’s an attendant who counts out the passengers and stages you in front on one of these innocent looking sets of sliding doors (just like being in the basement of the ToT waiting for the next service lift).
Are they wearing creepy looking bell hop uniforms?


Doors open… in you go… everything looks normal… doors close… light go out… techno sound track starts up… ceiling goes transparent and you quickly start to rise sixty odd stories with a view of the shaft lined in blue lights
Mark would never go on it. How many times did it drop and shoot back up? :confused3

Oh... and techno sound track???? :confused3


this one was considerably faster
It's that TOT technology at work.:lmao:


Great pictures, both of the view and the family. Having never been to NYC myself, seeing Central Park from that vantage point kind of caught me a bit by surprise. I guess I never realized how big the park is. I didn't realize there was that much of NYC that wasn't covered by concrete or asphalt. :rotfl2:

FreezinRafiki
01-30-2012, 10:04 AM
I believe that I’ve mentioned in a previous TR, that I don’t much like “unprotected” heights. Climbing up on my roof is rather unnerving, so I generally won’t do it. But being strapped into a harness and dangling over the ocean from a parachute… that was fun. What’s the difference? It’s that “unprotected” part of it. If there’s really nothing there that will keep a bad step from allowing you to reconfirm the constant rate of acceleration due to gravity, then I’m going to by bypassing the experiment.
It's not the fall that concerns me - it's the sudden stop at the end.
or
Don't worry, I'm OK. The ground broke my fall.


The journey commences form the sidewalks along Rockefeller plaza, barely a few meters above sea level.
Hey now, we're still in America. Don't be using that fancy-pants "metric system" Now, how high were you to those of us that still believe in American values? (And by "values" I mean thumbing our noses at a superior measuring system used by the rest of the world and using our antiquated, hard to understand system because we just don't feel like changing.)


There’s a TSA style security station to get through (less the shoe check) then you can roam through a number of exhibits that look into the history and construction of the Rock Center complex.
Oooo...bombarded with radiation and then sent to the top of a tall building. This can't end well.


Trying to walk across and actually staying on the beam is a little interesting (even though you know there’s no way to fall through, it still plays with you eyes a might).

Similar to the SkyDeck at Willis Tower (Formerly "Sears Tower", currently "Big Willy") in Chicago. Only here, there is a way to fall through - however remote it is.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4s72uZl_PwA/TyawNLMfLnI/AAAAAAAALUc/Q9ScaoNxVRA/s800/IMG_2152.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-hfTNYYJwh-0/TL7-p8T3ICI/AAAAAAAALUg/Twm490dOYxs/s800/IMG_2161.JPG


Doors open… in you go… everything looks normal… doors close… light go out… techno sound track starts up… ceiling goes transparent and you quickly start to rise sixty odd stories with a view of the shaft lined in blue lights

THAT is cool! Sort of like how the Haunted Mansion's stretching room ceiling disappears, but without the hanging corpse.

Looking down over the east side ledge, St Patrick’s is now small enough to hide behind your thumb.
I tried this on the photograph, and it worked. Independent Verification!



Max’s group just happened to be at the top at the same time as we were. Generally, we try not to interfere with him when he’s around his friends, but this was not an opportunity that we’d be getting again anytime in the near.

That's certainly one approach, but I see myself as being the type of parent that constantly hangs out with his children and their friends, for no other reason to embarrass the living daylights out of them. They can have their payback when they pick my nursing home.


Awesome pictures, Rob!

Captain_Oblivious
01-30-2012, 10:44 AM
I believe that I’ve mentioned in a previous TR, that I don’t much like “unprotected” heights. Climbing up on my roof is rather unnerving, so I generally won’t do it. But being strapped into a harness and dangling over the ocean from a parachute… that was fun. What’s the difference? It’s that “unprotected” part of it. If there’s really nothing there that will keep a bad step from allowing you to reconfirm the constant rate of acceleration due to gravity, then I’m going to by bypassing the experiment. If I have a fighting chance… I’m in. It’s not a matter of fighting off vertigo; it’s just a simple survival mechanism. This is why I was really looking forward to our next stop (more so then some).

Why do I see ToT jokes in my future for some reason? :confused3

I'm actually ok with heights, and even have been ok in "unprotected" situations. It's the actual sensation of falling that I can't stand.

Once inside, there is still a good bit of back and forth along corridors and up a couple of stairways. There are only so many elevators and the upper floors also only hold so many folks, so they have to spread everyone out. As you’re waiting you get a nice view of the street below and of Radio City Music Hall.

Sounds like they need some interactive games along the queue.

One of the cooler exhibits in this section is the “Beam Walk”

That does look cool!


There is actually an I-Beam set into the floor with acrylic panels on either side. How deep the pit beneath it is I can’t say exactly, but there is some depth to it and there is a projected image of the rest of the buildings steel skeleton disappearing off into the distance beneath you.

The Pit of Despair...

On the other side of this you’ll be ushered into a small theater where they’re playing a ten-ish minute film loop about the designing of the complex, the artwork throughout and what sites you’ll encounter as you continue through the tour. As themeing goes, it’s all on par with anything in the World Showcase.

So was the film made in 1974? Does it show lots of people with mullets?

There’s an attendant who counts out the passengers and stages you in front on one of these innocent looking sets of sliding doors (just like being in the basement of the ToT waiting for the next service lift).

You had to go there. :sad2:

I don't mind going UP fairly quickly.

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-313.jpg

Very nice!

The next one is looking southwest toward the Upper Bay. That’s Ellis Island in the middle and Liberty Island just beyond.

And the other building on the dock in front of Ellis Island is the departure point for the ferry to Ellis and Liberty Islands from Liberty State Park in NJ. (Sorry, that trip is still fresh in my mind)

And of course the family shot that I’d already tossed out back on the first page…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/NY00-003.jpg

:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

Were it a clearer day, we’d have been able to see considerably farther in the distance, but as it was we’d been relatively lucky to have avoided getting rained on all day. That was just about to come to an end though… at least I did get a few good pictures before the clouds finally opened up for the rest of the day.

Even with the bad weather, I think I need to get my family up there someday. We really haven't done much in NYC as yet.


Hey now, we're still in America. Don't be using that fancy-pants "metric system" Now, how high were you to those of us that still believe in American values? (And by "values" I mean thumbing our noses at a superior measuring system used by the rest of the world and using our antiquated, hard to understand system because we just don't feel like changing.)

Delaware had a law on the books that we had to change to the metric system by a certain date. So, being the pro-active department that we are, we made a huge effort to change all of our policies, standards, design plans, even road signs over to metric. It was a herculean effort, but we pulled it off. Then the politicians decided they didn't like it and drafted a law sending us back to the old system. :sad2:

FreezinRafiki
01-30-2012, 11:04 AM
delaware had a law on the books that we had to change to the metric system by a certain date. So, being the pro-active department that we are, we made a huge effort to change all of our policies, standards, design plans, even road signs over to metric. It was a herculean effort, but we pulled it off. Then the politicians decided they didn't like it and drafted a law sending us back to the old system. :sad2:

usa! usa! usa!

EDIT: Clearly, the DIS forbids typing "U" "S" and "A" in all caps right in a row. Yikes

afwdwfan
01-30-2012, 11:12 AM
usa! usa! usa!

EDIT: Clearly, the DIS forbids typing "U" "S" and "A" in all caps right in a row. Yikes

Clearly, the DIS is run by the terrorists. :lmao::rotfl2:

cj9200
01-30-2012, 02:00 PM
Chapter 2: Rock This Town (Day 2 - Tuesday)


Part 3: From On High


Looking southeast… we get a better view of the East River (which is actually an inlet) Lower Manhattan, the Williamsburg Bridge and Brooklyn. Oh yah… there’s this other rather tall building there on the right as well.

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-316.jpg

Like the pictures. Too bad the weather didn't cooperate. Unfortunately something missing from this picture that was further downtown.

That is DD at the WTC less than a month before 9-11.
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff148/cj9200/Towers/ObserA.jpg

The Top reopened just before I left NY. Next trip up there.

Also suffer from unprotected heights syndrome. Queasy just looking at this...
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4s72uZl_PwA/TyawNLMfLnI/AAAAAAAALUc/Q9ScaoNxVRA/s800/IMG_2152.JPG

Captain_Oblivious
01-30-2012, 04:06 PM
usa! usa! usa!

EDIT: Clearly, the DIS forbids typing "U" "S" and "A" in all caps right in a row. Yikes

:eek:

Test: CANADA!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-07-2012, 05:14 PM
::yes:: When do we get to the original content in this update?

Ok, there it is. That didn't take too long. :lmao:


Impatient are we? You know that you really need to be ignoring my commentary in the first place…

Right?


I take it that you didn't lose any yet? :confused3


Not as of yet…


Actually we did rather well on that front.
There was one close call on Friday, but that was it.




How did you feel about this one?

Knowing there was no way to fall, it should have been a cinch. But playing along and trying to stay on the beam while looking down at their clever optical illusion still put a few butterflies in my belly. There were more then a few folks that walked around it altogether.




Hmmm... you leave an attraction and enter a theater... on par with World Showcase.
Sounds like Norway! :lmao::rotfl2:


You’re closer then you know…


Are they wearing creepy looking bell hop uniforms?


Creepy is a matter of perception, but they were in uniform.




Mark would never go on it. How many times did it drop and shoot back up? :confused3

Oh... and techno sound track???? :confused3

Only two or three, but the one thirty story drop was quite exciting.


Great pictures, both of the view and the family. Having never been to NYC myself, seeing Central Park from that vantage point kind of caught me a bit by surprise. I guess I never realized how big the park is. I didn't realize there was that much of NYC that wasn't covered by concrete or asphalt. :rotfl2:


Thanks! The first time I encountered Central Park I was rather surprised as well. But if you weren’t near it or one of the other verdant squares, then there was a distinct lack of the color green to the place.







It's not the fall that concerns me - it's the sudden stop at the end.
or
Don't worry, I'm OK. The ground broke my fall.


There is nothing theoretical about the physics involved here



Hey now, we're still in America. Don't be using that fancy-pants "metric system" Now, how high were you to those of us that still believe in American values? (And by "values" I mean thumbing our noses at a superior measuring system used by the rest of the world and using our antiquated, hard to understand system because we just don't feel like changing.)

You make a good point, but to be a purest, I really should have made that measurement in cubits.


Oooo...bombarded with radiation and then sent to the top of a tall building. This can't end well.

It’s all good. The mutations caused by the radiation gave us enough temporary superpowers to survive anything they might throw at us.



Similar to the SkyDeck at Willis Tower (Formerly "Sears Tower", currently "Big Willy") in Chicago. Only here, there is a way to fall through - however remote it is.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-hfTNYYJwh-0/TL7-p8T3ICI/AAAAAAAALUg/Twm490dOYxs/s800/IMG_2161.JPG

That’s a whole different critter. I’d like to tour that as well, but we’ll have to see whether or not I actually walk out onto the thing. I suspect that the answer is probably… but I ain’t takin’ bets on it.




THAT is cool! Sort of like how the Haunted Mansion's stretching room ceiling disappears, but without the hanging corpse.

The corpse may have been hanging from beneath the elevator, but from our vantage point, we’d never have known about it. Now if they put a “Big Willy” type transparent floor on the elevator…

I believe that there’d be a whole lot more folks loosing their mind on that particular ride once it changed from opaque to clear.




I tried this on the photograph, and it worked. Independent Verification!

Thanks professor.

With your backing, now I should be able to apply for that grant.


That's certainly one approach, but I see myself as being the type of parent that constantly hangs out with his children and their friends, for no other reason to embarrass the living daylights out of them. They can have their payback when they pick my nursing home.


And I assure you… they will.



Awesome pictures, Rob!

Thanks

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-07-2012, 05:42 PM
Why do I see ToT jokes in my future for some reason? :confused3

Unavoidable considering the company you keep.
Maybe it’s that last bit there which needs reviewing.


I'm actually ok with heights, and even have been ok in "unprotected" situations. It's the actual sensation of falling that I can't stand.

I’m with you on that one. This leads me to be a bit picky when it comes to roller coasters. I’m all about speed and force… airtime however… not so much.


Sounds like they need some interactive games along the queue.

Couldn’t hurt. Of course making a point to see this particular attraction at some time other then when there’s a 300 person tour group waiting in line may alleviate most of the issues.

Most of our wait times this week were directly related to the fact that we were the ones clogging up the works.



That does look cool!

It’s a neat effect.
I wasn’t expecting anything at all but an elevator ride to the top. Their little queue area was a surprise and a bonus at the same time.


The Pit of Despair...

There are probable a number of NY psychologists that send their patents with height issues to see that little exhibit as a method of acclimation.


So was the film made in 1974? Does it show lots of people with mullets?

Naaaa… They’ve updated it just a might.
Actually… the observation deck was closed to the public from about 1985 up to around 2005. The last time I was in NY prior to this trip, I couldn’t have gone up there.


You had to go there. :sad2:
I don't mind going UP fairly quickly.

Sorry about that… but it does supply a proper frame of reference
(for most Disney readers anyway).


And the other building on the dock in front of Ellis Island is the departure point for the ferry to Ellis and Liberty Islands from Liberty State Park in NJ. (Sorry, that trip is still fresh in my mind)

Your good… It’s not as if I’ve never tossed a comment or extra detail into the middle of one of your TRs before (actually I believe I do that regularly).

Besides… you are correct sir. However I’ll wait and talk about our perspective of that spot on the horizon a bit later on in the trip.


Even with the bad weather, I think I need to get my family up there someday. We really haven't done much in NYC as yet.

We saw much, but we saw some of it rather quickly. I’ve already decided that I need to go back and re-see a couple of things and add a number of other things into the mix as well.




Delaware had a law on the books that we had to change to the metric system by a certain date. So, being the pro-active department that we are, we made a huge effort to change all of our policies, standards, design plans, even road signs over to metric. It was a herculean effort, but we pulled it off. Then the politicians decided they didn't like it and drafted a law sending us back to the old system. :sad2:

I remember there being a huge focus on learning it w-a-y back when I was in elementary and middle school. But by the time I got into high school, the notion of switching had long since fallen out of favor. From then on it only showed up in Chemistry to simplify the math.







usa! usa! usa!

EDIT: Clearly, the DIS forbids typing "U" "S" and "A" in all caps right in a row. Yikes

Whoa…that’s an unfortunate choice on the part of our hosts.

Let’s try it again…

USA! USA! USA!



Hummm… It let me do it









Like the pictures. Too bad the weather didn't cooperate. Unfortunately something missing from this picture that was further downtown.

Yah… they should have been standing on the very right edge of that image.
:sad1:





That is DD at the WTC less than a month before 9-11.
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff148/cj9200/Towers/ObserA.jpg


Great photo! Thanks for sharing.

Since I know “Crash” from more recent pictures it’s nice to see how she has grown in that time.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-07-2012, 06:44 PM
Chapter 2: Rock This Town (Day 2 - Tuesday)




Part 4: A Change in Direction




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-401.jpg




Plan B…

That common American phrase has its origins in the Civil War. From Ulysses Grant’s strategy planning sessions specifically. Grant liked options. Whenever his staff would discuss their next move, he expected them to have at least three or four alternatives for any proposal. When those alternatives were discussed they would be referred to as “Plan-A, Plan-B, Plan-C” and so on. The members of the press corps picked up on this nomenclature and wrote it into their accounts of the battles. In short order this synonym for “back up plan” worked its way into the vernacular. Which is a handy thing right about now as far as I’m concerned.

Why?

Because the onset of some considerably more persistent rain…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-402.jpg



…was forcing us to quickly abandon our Plan-A of remaining out of doors and heading on up to the completely unprotected 70th floor observation deck.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-403.jpg



Yah I know that picture ain’t from our visit or even from my lifetime… but it is of the 70th floor at The Rock and you get a look at the RMS Queen Mary being escorted along the Hudson River as a bonus. As such, I rather like the image, so I decided to inflict it upon everyone here.

My TR… My prerogative…


Anyway… we first chose to retreat into the little 69th floor gift shop, but the operative word here is little. As such, it was a might crowded and didn’t take terribly long to rummage through. Another port in the storm up at The Top is a light and sound installation called “The Breezeway”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-404.jpg



This is part light show, part “modern art”, and part video game. There are sensors built into the room that identify individuals as they enter the space.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-405.jpg



Once it has you locked in, you are assigned a color and that color will follow you around the room as you move from place to place. It also reacts to speed and type of motion. There is even a sign inviting you to “Walk, Move, Dance, be Part of the Experience”. Every so often it will reset itself by bathing the entire room in each of its main colors and then reassigning new hues to each person.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-406.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-407.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-408.jpg



The kids were having a good bit of fun with this funky addition to an otherwise scenic attraction.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-409.jpg



Here’s a small video I found out there on the “inter-webs” that will let you see and hear a bit of what’s going on…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-410-1.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xVmsQAqm7Q)



The Breezeway also overlooks a sitting area on the 68th floor where a lot of the kids were waiting out the rainsquall



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-411.jpg



Of course, if you give a teenager that large an audience and that much glass to stand in front of…
they’re going to have to start showing off…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-412.jpg



I mean…
this just goes without saying.



After a while it became clear that this time the rain just wasn’t going to stop as it had done the rest of the day. We’d gotten a few good pictures, bought us a trinket or two, played around in the breezeway a bit and watched the kids act like… well… kids. That’s about all we were going to accomplish for now, so it was decided that we might as well head back down to street level and poke around in a shop or two.
Besides, we’d be needin’ to meet up for dinner in a bit.

The trip back down from the summit to terra firma is pretty much the same as the assent. I found another little vid of this process (just in case you’re interested)



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-413-1.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlzCfe59BE8)



After a bit of mindless shopping my watch was telling me that we probably should head back to the plaza and queue up for the bus ride over toward dinner.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-414.jpg



It was still raining pretty steady so we were all huddling as best as we could beneath the few umbrellas that made the trek into the city with us that day. I was able to keep the girls fairly dry, but by the time our coaches had made their way through the early evening traffic, my coat was just about completely soaked through. Oh well… I’d dry out across the rest of the evening, but for now, I just had to deal with it.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =




Dinner tonight was going to be at a little spot off Times Square called “Dallas BBQ”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-415.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-416.jpg



Did I say little? I meant to say cravenness. Our five busloads of folk didn’t even put a dent in the seating capacity of this eatery. They put the adults up on the third floor



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-417.jpg



And the kids down on the second and way off in an extra dining room that was over top of the business next door



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-418.jpg



This place was like much of what we encountered in New York. What it looked like on the outside was completely unrelated to what it was on the inside. Small entryways lead to vast spaces… massive expanses of glass and signage hide small establishments tucked into the corner of an otherwise vacant floor. Nothing is as it first appears. You have to go in and find out what’s really there before you know if it’s any good or not

Hummmm… this sounds a whole lot like the way we ought to be approaching life in the first place, now don’t it?


As for the food… it was good. Not “to die for”, but pretty good. I’ve no doubt that there are for more enticing offering within the confines of Old New Amsterdam, but these folks could accommodate out fairly hefty crowd with no trouble at all and they offered up some decent (and affordable) barbeque.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-419.jpg



Now there are actually a couple of rather tender and smoky ribs buried underneath all those fries there (although the chicken wasn’t bad either), so I’m going to dig those bad boys out of there and gnaw on ‘em for a bit.



I’ll meet y’all down on 42nd Street right after dinner.




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-008.jpg

afwdwfan
02-08-2012, 11:20 AM
Actually we did rather well on that front.
There was one close call on Friday, but that was it.

Well, that's not bad. If you had lost one on Friday, at least the parade was over, so you wouldn't have to worry about filling any gaps in the marching order.:confused3 :lmao:


That common American phrase has its origins in the Civil War. From Ulysses Grant’s strategy planning sessions specifically. Grant liked options. Whenever his staff would discuss their next move, he expected them to have at least three or four alternatives for any proposal. When those alternatives were discussed they would be referred to as “Plan-A, Plan-B, Plan-C” and so on. The members of the press corps picked up on this nomenclature and wrote it into their accounts of the battles. In short order this synonym for “back up plan” worked its way into the vernacular. Which is a handy thing right about now as far as I’m concerned.
You've never lost a game of Trivial Pursuit, have you? :lmao::rotfl2:


…was forcing us to quickly abandon our Plan-A of remaining out of doors and heading on up to the completely unprotected 70th floor observation deck.
You mean you didn't want to stand outside on the 70th floor in the middle of a rain storm? :confused3



Once it has you locked in, you are assigned a color and that color will follow you around the room as you move form place to place. It also reacts to speed and type of motion. There is even a sign inviting you to “Walk, Move, Dance, be Part of the Experience”. Every so often it will reset itself by bathing the entire room in each of its main colors and then reassigning new hues to each person.
Looks kind of cool!:thumbsup2



Oh well… I’d dry out across the rest of the evening, but for now, I just had to deal with it.
Drying out was probably not an easy task in NYC in November. At least you shouldn't have to deal with AC in the restaurant.



Dinner tonight was going to be at a little spot off Times Square called “Dallas BBQ”
Hmmm... A group from the southeast, goes to NYC and eats Dallas BBQ. :confused3


Did I say little? I meant to say cravenness. Our five busloads of folk didn’t even put a dent in the seating capacity of this eatery. They put the adults up on the third floor
Wow, that place is huge! I guess there are probably quite a few busloads of tourists in NYC everyday and they need to eat too. This place looks like it can handle a few of them.


Hummmm… this sounds a whole lot like the way we ought to be approaching life in the first place, now don’t it?
Trivia and philosophy. You're offering just about everything in this update.


Now there are actually a couple of rather tender and smoky ribs buried underneath all those fries there (although the chicken wasn’t bad either), so I’m going to dig those bad boys out of there and gnaw on ‘em for a bit.
MMMM... ribs. I might have to splurge and get some for lunch.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-08-2012, 11:50 AM
Well, that's not bad. If you had lost one on Friday, at least the parade was over, so you wouldn't have to worry about filling any gaps in the marching order.:confused3 :lmao:


Can’t argue that logic :lmao:

The quick story is that some folks thought that one of their friends got left behind at a previous stop, but it turned out that the boy was just so tired that he was off in a corner snoozing and no one noticed him there.

Considering the amount of walking we did as a group though out the Manhattan area, it’s amazing that we did keep everyone together. There will be a coupe of stories on that topic as we roll on through the next couple of days.



You've never lost a game of Trivial Pursuit, have you? :lmao::rotfl2:


Not many, but… it does matter what category and which addition you’re playing.
If the questions are heavy on recent pop-culture…
I’m pretty much up the creek.



You mean you didn't want to stand outside on the 70th floor in the middle of a rain storm? :confused3


Call me foolish



Looks kind of cool!:thumbsup2


Kind’a cool is about right (for me). The kids like it a lot.



Drying out was probably not an easy task in NYC in November. At least you shouldn't have to deal with AC in the restaurant.


A/C would have been worse, but I really never dried out completely the rest of the evening.



Hmmm... A group from the southeast, goes to NYC and eats Dallas BBQ. :confused3


Wow, that place is huge! I guess there are probably quite a few busloads of tourists in NYC everyday and they need to eat too. This place looks like it can handle a few of them.


And that’s why we went. A true NY dinning experience would have been great, but we really had to stay with places that were a mix of affordable and spacious, so mostof our meals were good, but not spectacular.



Trivia and philosophy. You're offering just about everything in this update.


Just another service I offer.



MMMM... ribs. I might have to splurge and get some for lunch.


Yes… yes you should.
And were you down here I’d take you out to my favorite spot to gnaw on some ribs.

Captain_Oblivious
02-08-2012, 12:22 PM
When those alternatives were discussed they would be referred to as “Plan-A, Plan-B, Plan-C” and so on. The members of the press corps picked up on this nomenclature and wrote it into their accounts of the battles. In short order this synonym for “back up plan” worked its way into the vernacular.

Don't ever stop doing these little tangents. They're great.

Because the onset of some considerably more persistent rain…

NYC could have done a much better job scheduling these weather events. Couldn't the local weather union go on strike?

Once it has you locked in, you are assigned a color and that color will follow you around the room as you move form place to place. It also reacts to speed and type of motion. There is even a sign inviting you to “Walk, Move, Dance, be Part of the Experience”. Every so often it will reset itself by bathing the entire room in each of its main colors and then reassigning new hues to each person.

Um...ok.

Of course, if you give a teenager that large an audience and that much glass to stand in front of… their going to have to start showing off…

Note the male of the species, oddly comfortable in his natural habitat.

The trip back down from the summit to terra firma is pretty much the same as the assent. I found another little vid of this process (just incase you’re interested)

Cool...

I was able to keep the girls fairly dry, but by the time our coaches had made their way through the early evening traffic, my coat was just about completely soaked through. Oh well… I’d dry out across the rest of the evening, but for now, I just had to deal with it.

Very gentlemanly of you, sir.

Dinner tonight was going to be at a little spot off Times Square called “Dallas BBQ”

Because when you go to NYC, you think of Dallas. :confused3 Actually, BBQ does sound good. As long as they don't have Cowboys paraphernalia around the restaurant.

Nothing is as it first appears. You have to go in and find out what’s really there before you know if it’s any good or not

Hummmm… this sounds a whole lot like the way we ought to be approaching life in the first place, now don’t it?

I like the way you think there.

Now there are actually a couple of rather tender and smoky ribs buried underneath all those fries there (although the chicken wasn’t bad either), so I’m going to dig those bad boys out of there and gnaw on ‘em for a bit.

That doesn't look too shabby.

FreezinRafiki
02-08-2012, 12:47 PM
Because the onset of some considerably more persistent rain…

I hate it when weather rolls in.


…was forcing us to quickly abandon our Plan-A of remaining out of doors and heading on up to the completely unprotected 70th floor observation deck.

Maybe you'd be above the rain up there? Did you even consider that?

Yah I know that picture ain’t from our visit or even from my lifetime… but it is of the 70th floor at The Rock and you get a look at the RMS Queen Mary being escorted along the Hudson River as a bonus. As such, I rather like the image, so I decided to inflict it upon everyone here.

My TR… My prerogative…
I like the picture.


This is part light show, part “modern art”, and part video game. There are sensors built into the room that identify individuals as they enter the space.

Sounds like fun!

Every so often it will reset itself by bathing the entire room in each of its main colors and then reassigning new hues to each person.
This must be the "Game Over" section of the "part video game" you mentioned.


Of course, if you give a teenager that large an audience and that much glass to stand in front of… their going to have to start showing off…

I just hope no cheeks were pressed to glass. You know what cheeks I'm referring to.

It was still raining pretty steady so we were all huddling as best as we could beneath the few umbrellas that made the trek into the city with us that day.

Ironic. You're all huddled around like a herd of cattle...and you're going to a BBQ place for dinner. :rotfl2:


Did I say little? I meant to say cravenness. Our five busloads of folk didn’t even put a dent in the seating capacity of this eatery. They put the adults up on the third floor

And the kids down on the second and way off in an extra dinning room that was over top of the business next door
Good thinking. Separate the supervisors from their charges.:sad2:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-16-2012, 03:28 PM
Well… life has been really mucking up my planned update time lately. I’m hopping that I’ll get a bit of breathing room in the next day or two. I do have updates in the works, but I just need to finish them up. In the mean time, I figured that the least I could do is answer back to those that have been following along.


So never let it be said that I didn’t do the least I could do.




Don't ever stop doing these little tangents. They're great.


It’d be easier to cut off an arm, but…
You should be careful what you ask for. I pretty sure that not all of them are (or will be) “great”.


NYC could have done a much better job scheduling these weather events. Couldn't the local weather union go on strike?


I think they were on strike, so there was nothing to stop the rain


Um...ok.


Yah… I’m with you here.
It was there, it was a major part of the installation, I described it and the kids thought it was a lot more interesting then I did.

It was a lot like lookin’ at “Modern Art”… it still leaves me lookin’ for something else to look at.


Note the male of the species, oddly comfortable in his natural habitat.


When I do the video documentary I’ll have to invite you over to play the part of the guest Anthropologist.


Very gentlemanly of you, sir.


“That’s what you do…”
(Hay, that’s the only Man Law that I actually coined… I tend to say it fairly often).



Because when you go to NYC, you think of Dallas. :confused3 Actually, BBQ does sound good. As long as they don't have Cowboys paraphernalia around the restaurant.


Given the size of the group, we had to pick and chose on what we could really accomplish (and still keep the price in the realm of sanity). One of the delights of NY that we had to forgo was fine cuisine. Out of necessity, our watch words for dining establishments were: affordable, available, decent, and spacious (having a staff use to handling large groups was also a must).



I like the way you think there.


Thank you sir.


That doesn't look too shabby.



Actually… it was quite good. The chicken was a smidgen dry (but all chicken brests are dry these days… just the way we’ve reengineered an animal for commercial gains). The ribs were much better, and sine Tamara will only go after the easy pickin’s when it comet to food with an attached bone (ribs, chicken, pork chops, ect…) I got to gnaw all the goodness off those bones as well.







I hate it when weather rolls in.


Yet it always seems to make it’s self known at least once in any trip I take. I noted in a previous TR that I don’t believe I’ve ever driven over 400 miles at a crack without getting rained on at least once. But, this nonsense had been going on since Sunday and it was starting to get old.


Maybe you'd be above the rain up there? Did you even consider that?


I looked up for a moment or two… but since I could still see the top of the building, I figured that it was likely still below the clouds.



I like the picture.


Thanks… I’d like to have been the one to have actually taken it. Both Tamara and I are convinced that we were born in the wrong time period.



Sounds like fun!


Like I was tellin’ Mark… The kids rather liked it. To me… it was OK, but the most interesting part of the installation was the fact that it wasn’t raining in there.


This must be the "Game Over" section of the "part video game" you mentioned.


That’s about how I’d call it.


I just hope no cheeks were pressed to glass. You know what cheeks I'm referring to.



I’m sure it’s been done…
But not by our kids. They’d have found themselves very quickly on some type of conveyance that was heading south.



Ironic. You're all huddled around like a herd of cattle...and you're going to a BBQ place for dinner. :rotfl2:


Excellent insight (and very correct)



Good thinking. Separate the supervisors from their charges. :sad2:


No so. There were three distinct groups of adults along for the ride. The folks that were just sightseeing… the volunteers that were handling the gear and logistics :wave2: (those two groups were upstairs)… and then there was the chaperone corps who traveled with the kids the whole time. Trust me… not one young’en was ever out of eyesight or earshot for more then a minute of two (or in a group smaller then four people) without having a whole lot of splainin’ to do.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-17-2012, 09:36 PM
Flash Back 2:





You want us to build what?






http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-001.jpg


(The 2010/2011 season – Prelude to Macy’s)








Flash-Back time… I warned y’all that these would be arriving at random spots along the way, but there’s good news here. I’ve also posted the next part of the actual TR right below this post, so you can skip it if you want to. I really couldn’t stop you anyway, so you might as well just scroll on down.




Came back up here did ya’? OK, but I warned you. Now then, during our last encounter with the time travel aspects of this very un-Disney TR…

I took y’all back to the moment when it was reveled that the kids had been invited to be a part of the 2011 Macy’s Parade. I also noted that do to the way in which, selections are made and appearances are scheduled… the rising seniors from that year (who were instrumental in winning them that honor) would not be participating. Considering that fact, I though it would be good to note the hard work and accomplishments that they, and the rest of the kids put forth in the school year that lead up to the events that make up this TR. And so we begin in the summer of 2010.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


The Temple of the Sun



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-002.jpg




For the kids that are members of the Music Department at NaFo, one of the major events of each new school year is the unveiling of the name and theme of the competition marching show that they’ll be working on and performing the upcoming fall season. They were just coming off the heels of a great season during 2009/2010, but were looking forward to the next challenge. As such it was just before the summer break that the composer we work with showed up at school and presented a video that included some of the inspiration pieces of music, a few of the visual concepts and of course the name of the new show which would be…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-003.jpg


The idea is that it would present a musical & visual representation of the sun and ancient sun cultures. It would be broken into five movements titled: Sun Rise, Sun Culture, Rays of the Sun, The Cycle Ends and Apocalyptic.


Now while school ends in early June and does not start back up in till late August… the kids in band start back to school in late July. They would meet for indoor music rehearsals of the new pieces four weekdays out of five for several weeks leading up to “Band Camp” (insert “American Pie” jokes here… you know you’re going to) at which point they’d spend ten days out in the Carolina summer heat learning the drill and motions that had to go with that now memorized music.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-004.jpg


During this same time period the adult volunteers will start work on constructing props and building all manner of contraptions needed to move this circus from place to place and to add visual interest to support the work the kids were already doing. In my time as part of this group of volunteers
(known as “The Pit Crew”)…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-005.jpg



…I’ve been called on to help construct a number of interesting things so far. Things like for instance: a 45-foot long representation of a steam locomotive…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-006.jpg


A set of mobile railway crossing gates
(electrified no less and built onto hand-trucks to make them easier to move)…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-007.jpg


…and a 50 foot likeness of a railway trestle bridge…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-008.jpg


The locomotive ended up being just too heavy for the young girls in the guard to be able to handle successfully (so it was never used to its fullest potential), but the rest of these devices were wildly successful.


If we could pull that stuff off, we felt that we were ready for anything the directors could throw at us. We were nearly wrong. For Solaris, we only needed to build one main prop… a mobile facsimile of the Mayan Temple of the Sun. In plan English…

A Pyramid
(oh yah… and eight 14-foot long “brick walls” to go with it).



Whoa… What?



Well, we had our marching orders… so we set out to convert a busted up old trailer into a Sun Temple and fabricating the “walls” to go with it.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-009.jpg

By the way… that’s Perry, Ronnie and Jeff up there testing the integrity of the thing (I’d have been there as well, but someone had to take the pictures). Dang fine fellows all of them… if they were into Disney, they all fit in real well around here



And here’s what it looked like when we had to haul all that gear to a competition…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-010.jpg


Once at our destination we’d hook everything together and use a “Gator” to haul it all into the stadium
(our version of a “crazy train”).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-011.jpg


Before each performance we officially had two minutes to set everything up


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-012.jpg


Oh yah… the sun. Forgot about that prop… but the kids made and were responsible for that one
(we only had to get it on and off the trailer each trip).


If we did it right… Here’s how it would look, as the show was about to get under way…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-013.jpg

But as much work as that appears to be… it was nothing compared to the hours the kids put into it. Since you don’t generally think to take pictures at any of the regular rehearsals, and we’re all rather busy with concessions and such during the ball games, there just aren’t enough pictures to illustrate just how much work they do… but trust me it’s a lot. The net result od all this effort was a second consecutive State Championship (by 0.05 points over our cross town rivals, but a win none the less… truth is: they out marched us, but we out played them and that counts for more points… which it should… they’re bands for Pete’s Sake).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-014.jpg


Here are a few more miscellaneous images from that amazing season.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-015.jpg


And the best part of it from my personal point of view…
I managed to get through the whole fall and winter without landing in the hospital
(can’t say the same for the prior year, but that’s a whole-nother story).




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


The Class of 2011




Once the marching season ends you’d think that they’re pretty much done for the year…



Wrong!


First there’s the town Christmas Parade…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-016.jpg


And the winter Concert….


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-017.jpg


After the holiday break, there are actually more different things that go on in the late winter and spring then did in the fall. They just aren’t as much of a public spectacle and comprise smaller groups of kids working at each purpose. January brings Regional and All State auditions and February includes the actual performances of those honor bands.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-018.jpg


The “Solo and Ensemble” competitions take pace in March and the school needs to have a certain number “superior rated” performances from the various members of the group to qualify for the end of year “Outstanding Performance Awards” (also known as the OPA). That honor is presented by the Directors Association to a school’s entire program and takes the entire year’s achievements into account. It’s the ultimate goal each year (and these kids are currently five for five in winning that one since the school opened).

There are smaller groups that still perform competitively during the time frame as well. The Color Guard sends two teams to an indoor competition series and the Percussion section also puts together a separate show as well.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-019.jpg


The main horn line of band itself is divided into two groups and they begin working on the Spring Performance Festival. This is just as fierce a competition as the in the marching season, except that it’s entirely a musical performance. It’s a judged event and includes both a prepared piece competition and a site reading competition. As tough as the music they mach is… this stuff if vastly more difficult. The Wind Ensemble (mostly juniors and seniors, but you have to audition for a spot in this group) took three advanced collage level pieces into the festival and scored four superior ratings. Impressive but expected… as that group is made up of the best musicians from one of the better music schools. The better story is that the Concert Ensemble (similar in concept to a Junior-Varsity) took three collage entry-level pieces to the same contest. Few schools send two separate bands to Festival and almost none of these junior groups scores well. It’s pretty much looked on by the judges as nothing more then a stunt and they tend to be rather harsh of those groups. Our kids were the surprise exception to that assumption. They bought in tough music and nailed it scoring four more superior ratings. The work of the younger kids also ensured that the entire program would be awarded the OPA.


That’s a whole lot of work and a whole lot of excellent musicianship to accomplish before the end of April each year. The last event of the school year is the spring concert for the home folks in May.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-020.jpg


During this last performance, the students are allowed to either dress formal or wear their marching uniform. There is no shame in either choice as not every one can afford to get a hold of either a tux or a formal black dress. But we found an out of the way spot that sells used tuxes and splurged a little bit so that Max could dress the part.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-021.jpg


He cleans up rather well now don’t he?
And… now he owns a Tux. If he keeps he weight in check, it’ll never go out of style.




OK…one more picture


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-022.jpg


That there was the last image I thought to take that year. It was when we dropped him off early to begin warming up for that evening performance.

This is one of those pictures that says much without you realizing at first that it’s done so.

The easy read is that it shows how much my boy has grown over the years and just how much he’s now able to fend for himself. But it’s also a bittersweet foreshadowing of things to come. Specifically… the day that we will be on his own; the moment that he’ll walk calmly and confidently right out of our world in into a life of his own choosing. That though is a little hard to bear, but it also makes you more proud then you can possibly explain.



Especially to your own children.






OK before I go… here’s just one more thing that you now have the opportunity to utterly ignore (and who doesn’t enjoy that?) Below is a video of “Solaris” as kids from NaFo performed it at the 2010 3A State Finales at the end of October (this is that 0.05 point win I was talking about earlier). It was done with a hand held camera at a fairly decent angel but the sound is only so-so and crowd noise overpowers things in a couple of spots
(which is a shame because the thing they do best is play)



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-023.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edFuByxgmyM)


Give it about 15 seconds before the sound kicks in and watch the kids on those “walls” in the very back of formation right at the beginning of the performance (even before the Major start them off)

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-17-2012, 09:46 PM
Chapter 2: Rock This Town (Day 2 - Tuesday)




Part 5: Walking to Memphis





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-501.jpg



Time for a little walk.

Another interesting word, that last one there.
As the Vikings were hacking up everything in site on the British Isles a bit more than a millennium ago, they also managed to plant a few things that actually grew. No plants of course (I mean, what self-respecting plunderer would bother caring decorative greenery as cargo during an invasion).

No…
they planted words.

A fairly large number of them made it into the languages of those who were in the midst of being subjugated. A list that includes the Old Norse word: “vālka” which meant, “to toss” (and I’m sure that these conquerors got to “valka” more than a few craniums off to the side as they ripped through the unsuspecting populous like a hot iron through pig fat).

That word was one of those which stuck and would evolve into the Old English: “wealcan” and then the Middle English “walken” which both meant: “to roll or toss”. It wasn’t until the modern English era that the “en” got dropped (‘cause were lazy) and the meaning shifted to “travel on foot at a moderate pace” (and just why the meaning shifter from “roll” to “travel” is unclear). What’s more interesting (to me at least, as I’m assuming that y’all have already skipped this nonsense and moved on down to the actual TR part of this dissertation) is what we’ve done with the word since.

To “walk” could be: winning easily, being acquitted of heinous crimes, declaring a strike, quitting a job or abandoning something (or someone). You might take a walk or you could leave “the walk” (though the park rangers will caution you not to do so). One may walk the floors or walk the streets (but we’d think rather differently of you depending on which option you chose). You can walk someone to the door or down the aisle or through the steps. You might be forced to walk the plank…choose to walk the line… or have the strength of conviction required to walk the walk.

Walk on, walk off, walk in, walk out… walk all over someone, or just pick yourself up and walk it off. You can jaywalk, take the “perp-walk”, speak the “Jabber walk”, believe that you are the “**** of the walk” and then walk a mile (either in your own shoes or someone else’s). Ultimately you could decide to “walk away… just, walk away”.

Most of this walking has little to do with the concept of perambulation, but it does clearly illustrate just how nuanced and whimsical language can be. But the “walk” that best suits this TR at this particular time does convey a sense of motion. Actually it’s a “walking” phrase that is a well-known quote from a film.

This one:


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-502.jpg


“Gents… Take a walk.”



Of course we all know that Hector was merely urging his crew of cursed undead buccaneers to stroll out of site and beneath the waves in order to surprise the crew of a ship anchored out in the middle of the harbor (hay… it not like they were going to drown). But what it says to me is that we’re going to be traveling and were going to get mighty wet doing it.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Forty-Second Street



After dinner we were given the opportunity to roam around 42nd for a little bit. This had two objectives. First it got us out of the restaurant so that the proprietors could turn the tables around, and second it allowed us to spread everyone out and get prepared for the trip to the last venue of the evening (I’ll explain this more in a minute). Once on the street we encountered a scene that looked a lot like this…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-503.jpg



I didn’t take that picture (because my camera ain’t quite that good in these conditions), but it is the right spot on the map and that’s pretty much how it looked and felt… wet. If I had taken a picture, it would have looked like this:



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-504.jpg



Which it does, so now you know why I showed you someone else’s work first (but tell me… do you ever see a McDonald’s dressed up as showy as that one around your neck of the woods? I sure don’t). Now remember that we didn’t have but one umbrella, and my coat was still pretty much soaked through. Needless to say we didn’t stay out in that muck very long. A lot of folks ducked into the nearest Starbuck’s, but I didn’t feel much like spending eight dollars on a bad cup of coffee or waiting in a long line to do it. No… being Disney veterans we did what comes natural when a rainstorm opens up on what is basically a theme park… we ducked into a gift shop.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-505.jpg



Turns out that my son and his group had done the same, but we decided to just let them be (nothing more frustrating to a teen then having mom and dad pop into the middle of the group and start asking questions). I believe that he was already out of money at this point, but looking don’t cost nothin’. Really we were just waiting for the clock to roll around to 6pm. Once that time arrived, all the folks who were riding on Bus-4 were to meet in front of the B. B King Blues Club just down the street. That spot over there on the left…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-506.jpg

(a stock photo from a much prettier day)



You’ll notice right off that this location has an awning. Our group was lucky as this bit of structure gave us a reprieve from the steady rain for a bit. Each bus group was assigned a different spot along 42nd to congregate. This allowed the chaperones to get a clear head count of all the kids and hunt down any stragglers. Once that was accomplished… we started walking. We didn’t have all that far to go, we just had a lot of people to move.

Where were we going?

Here…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-507.jpg



Why?

We had to get to Memphis.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-508.jpg



So here we are in the middle of a good soaking rain… a veritable train of near three hundred people start hoofing it over to 8th Ave, then up toward 44th. Folks coming out of the shops along the way were both startled and perplexed to figure out what exactly was going on as they encounter this swarm of folks all heading like lemmings in the same general direction. One lady upon encountering the group hollered out “Oh what fun this looks like… where are we going” and started following along. Someone in the line answered her question and hollered back at her “Memphis”; at this she stopped in her tracks looking quite puzzled. We rounded the corner at 44th and found that we should have crossed first. Never mind, we just played the “dumb tourist” card and jaywalked across the middle of the block. Once across everyone squeezed as best we could under the awning in front of the Schubert Theater.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-509.jpg



This is actually the point at which all the tickets were handed out and it took a little while to accomplish this task and get everyone in the door and up into the high seats.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-510-1.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-511.jpg



But finally I was able to get back out of my coat and plop myself down into a comfy chair and try to dry out.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Sole of Schubert




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-512.jpg



If you’ve not heard of it, “Memphis” is an award winning musical. I was first produced in 2003 and opened in Broadway in 2009. At the 2010 Tony Awards it hauled in four statuettes in including “Best Musical”. It’s a fine show, but being as it has a little bit of age on it now (by Broadway standards), we were able to pick up tickets for the entire group at a reasonable rate.

The story line is based (very loosely) on the personage of Dewey "Daddy-O" Phillips (named: “Huey Calhoun” in the play) who was one of rock 'n' roll's pioneering disk jockeys, but there are also elements from the career of Alan Freed intertwined.

It starts off with a young Huey making is way across the tracks to hear the music being performed in a underground juke joint called Delray's in 1950's Memphis.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-513.jpg



At first it’s a bit like releasing a polecat into the middle of a church social, but he convinces the regulars to stay, claiming he is just there for the music. Here he also encounters a young woman by the name of Felicia Farrell who was singing at the time he arrived.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-514.jpg



He is smitten by her and particularly by her voice and vows to make her famous. From here he wangles his way into a DJ position at one of the local radio stations “right in the middle of the radio dial”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-515.jpg



Once there he hijacks the play list and captivates the town’s young folk with a manic and unpredictable style and of course some heavy doses of rhythm-n-blues and rock-n-roll that sets all the kids to dancing

(and their parent up in arms).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-516.jpg



He promotes Felicia’s music in particular and professes his love to her as well.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-517.jpg



As you might expect, from here things get complicated.
How will this forbidden affair progress?



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-518.jpg



What kind of obstacles will they have to overcome?



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-519.jpg



Can they even overcome them at all? I’ll be saving those details for now and say that as this play is about the hit the road, I’d recommend you try to catch it sometime in the future.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-520.jpg




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Q & A



After the play rolled through its grand finally and received a well-deserved Standing-O, the bulk of the crowd made their way out of the theater. We, however, were told to stay put for just a bit. Once there was plenty of room down in front of the stage everyone made their way down out of the mezzanine for one extra performance that the rest of the audience would be missing out on this evening.

Once the stage had been cleared for the evening, and the actors had a chance to get cleaned up and into their street clothes, a number of the performers who had entertained us this night came back out on stage and spent a bit of time talking with the kids and answering questions form the group.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-521.jpg



I wish I’d have thought to record this exchange because it was nearly as much fun as the play. The funniest moment came when nearly all of the folks on stage simultaneously answered one particular question.


The query posed?

“Eight or nine shows a week is a lot of work… what is the most important thing that you do to make sure that you are physically and mentally prepared for each performance?”


The response?


“Sleep!”


The adults in the room were pretty much on the floor laughing. So what of the rest of the folks in the room? Well, being teenagers… the suggestion that their teachers, or worse, their parents might be right to tell them that you didn’t need to be up till 4am on a nightly bases…


well…

let’s say that this just didn’t sit well with them. Truth is that since we arrived, this group had also been rolling their eyes at every admonishment from the directors and staff that they needed to get to bed at a rational hour each evening if they were expecting to do well on Thursday. One might just think that we’d bribed the cast to give that answer, and more than a few of the young’ens flat out stated as much. But… this was not the case. If we’d have wanted to, we couldn’t have planned it better than that.

After a few more exchanges, some more laughs and several knowing nods, the evening had come to an end.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-522.jpg



Time to get the back to Jersey.

We endured the November rain once more and made our way to the coaches that had by now succeeded in lining up along 44th and ‘round the corner onto Eighth Ave.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-523.jpg



A couple of lefts and strategic rights…
a little bit more time to contemplate the vast collage of neon, fluorescence and LEDs as seen through the abstract lenses of rain soaked bus windows…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D2-524.jpg



…a subterranean traversal of the Hudson…
and we were back in our rooms for the night.


It had been a fine day, but sleep was going to be arriving for me sooner rather than later. Once all the coats, hats and scarves were hung over the tube to dry out and we’d scavenged up a couple of sodas to sip, I basically decided to call it a night. Tamara and Elaine were chatting a bit into the evening as sister are want to do, but I had abandoned consciousness long before their conversation had ceased.


I needed my beauty sleep…

we were getting an early start tomorrow.





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-009.jpg

cj9200
02-17-2012, 10:13 PM
Great detour. Max looks pretty spiffy in that tux. It is amazing how much time and dedication kids put into their extra-curricular activities.

Know what you mean about soon starting their own life. Kind of exciting and sad at the same time.

afwdwfan
02-20-2012, 10:19 AM
…I’ve been called on to help construct a number of interesting things so far. Things like for instance: a 45-foot long representation of a steam locomotive…
Interesting indeed.:thumbsup2


A set of mobile railway crossing gates
(electrified no less and built onto hand-trucks to make them easier to move)…
:eek: Cool. You guys go all out on props.


…and a 50 foot likeness of a railway trestle bridge…
:eek::eek: Even more impressive.


A Pyramid
(oh yah… and eight 14-foot long “brick walls” to go with it).
Good luck. They're all counting on you.

Well, we had our marching orders… so we set out to convert a busted up old trailer into a Sun Temple and fabricating the “walls” to go with it.
I won'der if the world would last beyond 2012 if the Mayans could have moved their temples on a trailer too? :confused3 :rolleyes1

By the way… that’s Perry, Ronnie and Jeff up there
Oh, there you are, Perry.

(our version of a “crazy train”).
I thought that's what the 45 foot steam engine was.


The net result od all this effort was a second consecutive State Championship (by 0.05 points over our cross town rivals, but a win none the less… truth is: they out marched us, but we out played them and that counts for more points… which it should… they’re bands for Pete’s Sake).
It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning's winning.

Congratulations to Max and the band!

He cleans up rather well now don’t he?
And… now he owns a Tux. If he keeps he weight in check, it’ll never go out of style.
Wow, the only tux I've ever owned has been printed on a T-shirt.

Good looking young man right there.

This is one of those pictures that says much without you realizing at first that it’s done so.
::yes::


Time for a little walk.
And here we go again... :rolleyes1

I can honestly say, I never knew this is how the world walk came about. And the whole roll or toss becoming walk doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense to me either.


We had to get to Memphis.
Long walk.:rolleyes1


One lady upon encountering the group hollered out “Oh what fun this looks like… where are we going” and started following along. Someone in the line answered her question and hollered back at her “Memphis”; at this she stopped in her tracks looking quite puzzled.
:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


Never mind, we just played the “dumb tourist” card and jaywalked across the middle of the block.:thumbsup2


If you’ve not heard of it, “Memphis” is an award winning musical.
Looks like it must be a pretty good show. I'm sure the music that goes along with it is very good as well.


Once the stage had been cleared for the evening, and the actors had a chance to get cleaned up and into their street clothes, a number of the performers who had entertained us this night came back out on stage and spent a bit of time talking with the kids and answering questions form the group.
Wow, this is probably a pretty neat experience for high school kids who are active in the performing arts.


One might just think that we’d bribed the cast to give that answer, and more then a few of the young’ens flat out stated as much.
Surely they wouldn't accuse you of doing such a thing. :rolleyes1 :lmao:

FreezinRafiki
02-21-2012, 10:52 AM
To “walk” could be: winning easily, being acquitted of heinous crimes, declaring a strike, quiting a job or abandoning something (or someone). You might take a walk or you could leave “the walk” (though the park rangers will caution you not to do so). One may walk the floors or walk the streets (but we’d think rather differently of you depending on which option you chose). You can walk some one to the door or down the isle or through the steps. You might be forced to walk the plank…choose to walk the line… or have the strength of conviction required to walk the walk.
You forgot Walk of Shame. When you wake up in the morning, usually hung over, half clothed in the bed of someone you met at a local watering hole the night before. You gather up your stuff and quietly sneak out, trying not to be noticed, and have to walk home in the daylight dressed in whatever of your "going out partying" clothes you were able to find on the floor.


(but tell me… do you ever see a McDonald’s dressed up as showy as that one around your neck of the woods? I sure don’t).
There a very nice one in Wisconsin Dells all decked out in a Northwoods Lodge motif. Think Wilderness Lodge meets Mickey D's.


We rounded the corner at 44th and found that we should have crossed first. Never mind, we just played the “dumb tourist” card and jaywalked across the middle of the block.
A line of 300 people jaywalking must have been quite the site. And what is local law enforcement going to do, ticket all of you?


If you’ve not heard of it, “Memphis” is an award winning musical. I was first produced in 2003 and opened in Broadway in 2009. At the 2010 Tony Awards it hauled in four statuettes in including “Best Musical”. It’s a fine show, but being as it has a little bit of age on it now (by Broadway standards), we were able to pick up tickets for the entire group at a reasonable rate.
Sorry, I'm one of the uncultured slobs that can't tell Cats from Miss Siagon. I did see Rent when it came on tour through Milwaukee years ago. It was a good show.

We, however, were told to stay put for just a bit. Once there was plenty of room down in front of the stage everyone made their way down out of the mezzanine for one extra performance that the rest of the audience would be missing out on this evening.
Cool!

Captain_Oblivious
02-22-2012, 09:46 AM
Flash-Back time…

(insert super-subwoofing LOST flashback noise)

It would be broken into five movements titled: Sun Rise, Sun Culture, Rays of the Sun, The Cycle Ends and Apocalyptic.

How do you do the Apocalypse? Do all the band members fall into a giant pit? Or do they play It's A Small World for 3 hours? :confused3

A set of mobile railway crossing gates
(electrified no less and built onto hand-trucks to make them easier to move)…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-007.jpg

Those are awesome! Please tell me you have one on display in your home.

The locomotive ended up being just too heavy for the young girls in the guard to be able to handle successfully (so it was never used to its fullest potential), but the rest of these devices were wildly successful.

:sad1:

Before each performance we officially had two minutes to set everything up

You really are a pit crew.

The “Solo and Ensemble” competitions take pace in March and the school needs to have a certain number “superior rated” performances from the various members of the group to qualify for the end of year “Outstanding Performance Awards” (also known as the OPA). That honor is presented by the Directors Association to a school’s entire program and takes the entire year’s achievements into account. It’s the ultimate goal each year (and these kids are currently five for five in winning that one since the school opened).

I used to be a part of the choral competitions in my high school. Good times. Our men's choir had a lot of fun. Brought down the house once (and totally won over the judges) when we began a performance wearing our finest tuxedos...and finished, well, not wearing them anymore. :scared1:

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3F2-022.jpg

That there was the last image I thought to take that year. It was when we dropped him off early to begin warming up for that evening performance.

This is one of those pictures that says much without you realizing at first that it’s done so.

The easy read is that it shows how much my boy has grown over the years and just how much he’s now able to fend for himself. But it’s also a bittersweet foreshadowing of things to come. Specifically… the day that we will be on his own; the moment that he’ll walk calmly and confidently right out of our world in into a life of his own choosing. That though is a little hard to bear, but it also makes you more proud then you can possibly explain.

:goodvibes

Nicely put. I was reading a book lately that defined manhood as accepting responsibility, for yourself and others. Thought that was as good a definition as I'd read. You won't be left behind, though. You'll walk alongside of him. :thumbsup2

Part 5: Walking to Memphis

But do I really feel the way I feel? :confused3

Walk on, walk off, walk in, walk out… walk all over someone, or just pick yourself up and walk it off. You can jaywalk, take the “perp-walk”, speak the “Jabber walk”, believe that you are the “**** of the walk” and then walk a mile (either in you own shoes or someone else’s). Ultimately you could decide to “walk away… just, walk away”.

And none of this really explains Christopher Walken.

Which it does, so now you know why I showed you someone else’s work first (but tell me… do you ever see a McDonald’s dressed up as showy as that one around your neck of the woods? I sure don’t).

No, but the McDonald's around me doesn't sell cheeseburgers for $7, either.

A lot of folks ducked into the nearest Starbuck’s, but I didn’t feel much like spending eight dollars on a bad cup of coffee or waiting in a long line to do it.

That does, however, sound like every Starbucks I've seen.

One lady upon encountering the group hollered out “Oh what fun this looks like… where are we going” and started following along. Someone in the line answered her question and hollered back at her “Memphis”; at this she stopped in her tracks looking quite puzzled.

:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:

Once the stage had been cleared for the evening, and the actors had a chance to get cleaned up and into their street clothes, a number of the performers who had entertained us this night came back out on stage and spent a bit of time talking with the kids and answering questions form the group.

Cool!

“Eight or nine shows a week is a lot of work… what is the most important thing that you do to make sure that you are physically and mentally prepared for each performance?”

The response?


“Sleep!”

:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


There a very nice one in Wisconsin Dells all decked out in a Northwoods Lodge motif. Think Wilderness Lodge meets Mickey D's.

ANOTHER reason to visit Wisconsin! :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-22-2012, 10:25 PM
Know what you mean about soon starting their own life. Kind of exciting and sad at the same time.


It’s amazing how they grow and change… and need you to “interfere” less and less.

It bothers DW a bit more then me, but it should. We have different agendas. I’m sure I’ve said this somewhere before, but… She misses her little boy because that’s the time frame that was geared more toward her sensibilities and expertise (which is true of most women… **note I didn’t say all**). Dads generally have a completely different set of skills in relation to young’ens. I’ve been far more comfortable working with Max since about the time he turned 6 or 7 (basically once you could reason with him), which also makes sense as that’s when you start teaching the life skills and survival skills. The net result is that his growing independence makes Tamara a bit misty-eyed, while it makes me a bit more proud, so I deal with it a little better.

The grandkids will be a different story I assure you though.







:eek: Cool. You guys go all out on props.


Yah… you could say that. It’s our own fault. Our directors ask for things, and some how we figure out a way to do it. As such, the next time, they ask for a little bit more. Our Assistant Director is very creative when it comes to visual impact. He also works of the staff of one of the nations best Drum and Bugle Corps, and it’s those folks that drive a lot of the innovation in the arena of marching music.



Good luck. They're all counting on you.



We pulled it off too. This past years stuff was also interesting, but I’ll get to that latter on in a different flash-back. The real question in our house is: “I wonder what they’ll ask for this fall?”




I won'der if the world would last beyond 2012 if the Mayans could have moved their temples on a trailer too? :confused3 :rolleyes1


Good question. A better one might be why anyone puts any stock in their calendar at all. They saw themselves making it all the way to now, but somehow or other missed that Cortez would basically drive them into extinction in the 1500’s.

Telling the future doesn’t seem to have been their strong suite.


Oh, there you are, Perry.


Trust me… that gets said. Often.


I thought that's what the 45 foot steam engine was.


Naaaa… that one looked good, but it only churned out about 15-kid-power and was a bit low on torque. We need something with a few more horses to move that load.


It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning's winning.

Congratulations to Max and the band!



Thanks.
The 2011 season was interesting as well and lead up to a rematch with our local rivals (more to come on that).

Next year… our school gets moved up into the next class. That will make things tougher (but not imposable… we’ve meet and whooped some considerably larger schools in the past).



Wow, the only tux I've ever owned has been printed on a T-shirt.

Good looking young man right there.



Thanks again. He’s not a bad looker. Don’t know where he got that from… must have come from his momma. He wants’ to go into music performance and teaching so he’ll need one anyway. I played in a “wedding Band” when I was “much” younger, so a tux was considered work-clothes. As such, I know where to find them used. I’d never pay full price for one.




And here we go again... :rolleyes1
I can honestly say, I never knew this is how the world walk came about. And the whole roll or toss becoming walk doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense to me either.



The way that words get to be what they are fascinates me. Language is always changing and oddly enough its not uncommon for a word to end up getting it’s meaning nearly reversed over time.



Looks like it must be a pretty good show. I'm sure the music that goes along with it is very good as well.


The music was awesome! It’s interesting but when we asked Max what his favorite thing was that we did during this expedition… it was seeing the play the rolled up to the top of the pile.





Wow, this is probably a pretty neat experience for high school kids who are active in the performing arts.



I was amazed that they even offered to do it. But then again… the future of all artistic endeavors resides in the schools, so maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised. I’ll certainly stop and talk to folks after I been playing out somewhere, why shouldn’t they do the same.



Surely they wouldn't accuse you of doing such a thing. :rolleyes1 :lmao:




You’ve been around kids. What do you think? :lmao:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-22-2012, 10:43 PM
You forgot Walk of Shame. When you wake up in the morning, usually hung over, half clothed in the bed of someone you met at a local watering hole the night before. You gather up your stuff and quietly sneak out, trying not to be noticed, and have to walk home in the daylight dressed in whatever of your "going out partying" clothes you were able to find on the floor.


Yes… I did leave that one out, but I was counting on someone else to toss it onto the pile for me there.

Ya’ done good :rotfl:


There a very nice one in Wisconsin Dells all decked out in a Northwoods Lodge motif. Think Wilderness Lodge meets Mickey D's.


So basically is a type of camouflage designed to make it fit in even though it’s still nothing more then McDonald’s



A line of 300 people jaywalking must have been quite the site. And what is local law enforcement going to do, ticket all of you?



They weren’t around at the moment. What the folks that were driving along the road did was lay on the horns and holler out a few entertaining synonyms for the words “Beverly” and “Peanutbutter”. We just smile and waved back.



Sorry, I'm one of the uncultured slobs that can't tell Cats from Miss Siagon. I did see Rent when it came on tour through Milwaukee years ago. It was a good show.


It’s not a mater of being uncultured. Most Broadway plays don’t get seen outside of NYC at all. Every once in a while a road-show version of one of the older shows will show up in Charlotte, but the chance to even catch a play of that caliber is rare.




Cool!


Yes… yes it was.







(insert super-subwoofing LOST flashback noise)


Or maybe the Scooby Doo Flashback effect
(that’s probable more befitting my mental abilities.

Actually, I’m trying to figure out how to work a sound track into my TRs (no clue how to do it, but I’m thinking about it).


How do you do the Apocalypse? Do all the band members fall into a giant pit? Or do they play It's A Small World for 3 hours? :confused3


:lmao: Yah… IASW out’ta do it.

Actually… (and you open this door, so it’s your own fault), if you watch that video of the final performance linked at the bottom of the post, half the band actually “died” and fell off the pyramid. It was rather a cool visual.




Those are awesome! Please tell me you have one on display in your home.


Oh don’t I wish. We actually sold those.

Background story:
We work with a particular composer named Frank Sullivan (awesome fell’a). He works with our staff and they devise a theme for the next season and then Frank goes off and writes original music for our kids to perform. We debut and perform the piece, but it’s still his work so he can resell it to other schools after we’ve completed the season (and the better we do with it, the more valuable the charts are, so he write very good stuff for us). Anyway… After we performed that show (titled: “Fast Track”) and won our first state championship with it, Frank resold the charts to five other schools the next year (and more the year after that). One of them contacted us and offered to buy the crossing gates and several other bits of hardware. We actually made a small profit on them, which is good, because it helped finance the props for the next year.

And the moral of the story… Don’t give me the chance to add on any additional details. I’ll bore all y’all to tears before this is over with.


You really are a pit crew.


It’s quite the operation (and a whole lot of fun). Sometimes we actually have rehearsals to figure out how best to shave time off the process. That pyramid required a bit of planning and practice.


I used to be a part of the choral competitions in my high school. Good times. Our men's choir had a lot of fun. Brought down the house once (and totally won over the judges) when we began a performance wearing our finest tuxedos...and finished, well, not wearing them anymore. :scared1:


Do tell…
No really… do tell.
I want to hear more of that story. It sounds like y’all had a lot of fun with your performances. I love when that happens.
Art Rocks.
Art in schools Rocks… Absolutly.

:goodvibes

Nicely put. I was reading a book lately that defined manhood as accepting responsibility, for yourself and others. Thought that was as good a definition as I'd read. You won't be left behind, though. You'll walk alongside of him. :thumbsup2


And you said that rather well yourself.
Who knew that silly-ol’ Dis TRs would be a proper spot for goofy parents to wax philosophic.

Maybe we’re not wasting our time at all.



But do I really feel the way I feel? :confused3


Depends… did you see the ghost of Elvis on Union Avenue?

+1


And none of this really explains Christopher Walken.


Nothing really explains Christopher Walken.
He’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma


No, but the McDonald's around me doesn't sell cheeseburgers for $7, either.


The ones in NYC do :sad2: (and at 4am even, but that’s a story for later on).


That does, however, sound like every Starbucks I've seen.


::yes::


ANOTHER reason to visit Wisconsin! :thumbsup2



He does make it sound enticing, but…

again I say: “US-521 BBQ” (Ribs with possibly the best hushpuppies on earth), “Kings Mountain National Battle Field”, AAA Baseball, “Carowinds”; I have a spare room… It ain’t The Dells, but we have a few perks as well.

FreezinRafiki
02-23-2012, 07:14 AM
Do tell…
No really… do tell.
I want to hear more of that story. It sounds like y’all had a lot of fun with your performances. I love when that happens.

Yes, tell. Put please, no pictures. Well, maybe a "Before" picture, fully clothed.

afwdwfan
02-23-2012, 08:08 AM
We pulled it off too. This past years stuff was also interesting, but I’ll get to that latter on in a different flash-back. The real question in our house is: “I wonder what they’ll ask for this fall?”
To infinity and beyond...:rolleyes1


Good question. A better one might be why anyone puts any stock in their calendar at all. They saw themselves making it all the way to now, but somehow or other missed that Cortez would basically drive them into extinction in the 1500’s.

Telling the future doesn’t seem to have been their strong suite.
:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl: Good point!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-23-2012, 08:47 AM
Yes, tell. Put please, no pictures. Well, maybe a "Before" picture, fully clothed.

Yah… you’re going to have to say more about that one, ‘cause now Barry has done gone and put some really horrible visions into my broken brain. At the moment the visual has landed somewhere in-between the Village People and the Chippendales.
Neither one is a good picture.



To infinity and beyond...:rolleyes1


I like it.
The joke-answer in our house right now when ever Max brings it up is: “Ninjas”.
I can see it now… you hear the music, but can’t see the band.
Those props may be a might easier to build.

Unless…
It’s up to us to create and build magic/illusion type of smoke and mirror devices large enough to make it happen… now I’m not so sure it’s such a good idea.
:lmao:

FreezinRafiki
02-23-2012, 09:16 AM
Yah… you’re going to have to say more about that one, ‘cause now Barry has done gone and put some really horrible visions into my broken brain. At the moment the visual has landed somewhere in-between the Village People and the Chippendales.
Neither one is a good picture.


You know that Saturday Night Live Chippendales sketch with Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley? Something like that.

Captain_Oblivious
02-23-2012, 11:39 AM
Good question. A better one might be why anyone puts any stock in their calendar at all. They saw themselves making it all the way to now, but somehow or other missed that Cortez would basically drive them into extinction in the 1500’s.

Telling the future doesn’t seem to have been their strong suite.

:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


Actually… (and you open this door, so it’s your own fault), if you watch that video of the final performance linked at the bottom of the post, half the band actually “died” and fell off the pyramid. It was rather a cool visual.

I always have to catch up with the videos later, for fear of the Bandwidth Police.

Background story:
We work with a particular composer named Frank Sullivan (awesome fell’a). He works with our staff and they devise a theme for the next season and then Frank goes off and writes original music for our kids to perform. We debut and perform the piece, but it’s still his work so he can resell it to other schools after we’ve completed the season (and the better we do with it, the more valuable the charts are, so he write very good stuff for us). Anyway… After we performed that show (titled: “Fast Track”) and won our first state championship with it, Frank resold the charts to five other schools the next year (and more the year after that). One of them contacted us and offered to buy the crossing gates and several other bits of hardware. We actually made a small profit on them, which is good, because it helped finance the props for the next year.

Wow, it's not often you have a guy giving you original compositions to perform. Especially songs that are actually good enough to sell!

again I say: “US-521 BBQ” (Ribs with possibly the best hushpuppies on earth), “Kings Mountain National Battle Field”, AAA Baseball, “Carowinds”; I have a spare room… It ain’t The Dells, but we have a few perks as well.

Mmmm...BBQ is always a good argument.

Do tell…
No really… do tell.
I want to hear more of that story. It sounds like y’all had a lot of fun with your performances. I love when that happens.
Art Rocks.
Art in schools Rocks… Absolutly.

Yes, tell. Put please, no pictures. Well, maybe a "Before" picture, fully clothed.

You know that Saturday Night Live Chippendales sketch with Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley? Something like that.

*shudder*

It's not so bad. Our standard uniform was a tuxedo, so we wore that for the first song in the competition. We performed the Aussie folk song "Waltzing Matilda", and did a very nice, polished performance, if I do say do myself. The 2nd song was a pirate song (I forget the name). Unbeknownst to everyone--judges, audience, even the rest of our own school--we had t-shirts, Bermuda shorts, eye-patches, bandanas, etc. underneath the tuxedos. So, when we finished Waltzing Matilda, we immediately started stripping on-stage down to the t-shirts and shorts. The room just went ballistic. Then we sang the rousing Pirate song. The judges were laughing so hard they could barely speak into their recorders. We knew we had them in the palm of our hands at that point, just for having the stones to pull that stunt in a formal competition. 1st place! :woohoo:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-23-2012, 12:01 PM
Wow, it's not often you have a guy giving you original compositions to perform. Especially songs that are actually good enough to sell!



Nope… We pay him too (and his work is worth the bucks). That’s one of the things that the booster club specifically raises money for (the school district certainly can’t afford to do so). But… we get a set of charts written specifically for our program and exclusive rights to perform them the first year.

In the Schools first year, we purchased one of his older shows. Being as he keeps up with who performs his work and how well they go about interpreting it, he made a point to see a recording of that season’s competitions. He then contacted our staff and said that he felt that our rendition of that show was the best he’d seen done and offered to write pieces specifically for us. We’d have been foolish to say no.



Mmmm...BBQ is always a good argument.


::yes::


*shudder*

It's not so bad. Our standard uniform was a tuxedo, so we wore that for the first song in the competition. We performed the Aussie folk song "Waltzing Matilda", and did a very nice, polished performance, if I do say do myself. The 2nd song was a pirate song (I forget the name). Unbeknownst to everyone--judges, audience, even the rest of our own school--we had t-shirts, Bermuda shorts, eye-patches, bandanas, etc. underneath the tuxedos. So, when we finished Waltzing Matilda, we immediately started stripping on-stage down to the t-shirts and shorts. The room just went ballistic. Then we sang the rousing Pirate song. The judges were laughing so hard they could barely speak into their recorders. We knew we had them in the palm of our hands at that point, just for having the stones to pull that stunt in a formal competition. 1st place! :woohoo:




Bonus points for cojones!
Great story and a hash mark in the win column.


Now I’m just waiting to hear how Barry’s razor-wit-of-doom will be savaging that tale.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
02-27-2012, 11:32 PM
Chapter 3: Taking a Bite Out of the Apple (Day 3 - Wednesday)




Part 1: A Place of Healing





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-101.jpg





An apple a day will keep the doctor away…


Really…

you’re going to go with that?
Actually starting the next chapter off with a cliché?


Yah, I should be flogged, but this is how I’ve chosen to play it.
It’s a new day in our odyssey to the “Big Apple” and we plan to spend the morning getting to know the place a little better. Depending on which of he Coaches one was ridding in, we’d all be getting a slightly different in depth lesson of one of the virtually innumerable aspects of this amazing city. For me… that particular bit of enlightenment would focus of a spot that is dedicated on many levels to healing, contemplation and even redemption. This being the case, that trite and abused opening statement seemed somewhat fitting (and I’ll try to redeem both it and myself in the musings to follow).

Can he do it?

Doubtful… but I will try.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The Next Adventure



Our third sunrise of the journey had arrived. Well… sort’a. I know the sun rose because the stars were no longer visible. But it was also true that Manhattan was still invisible (at least from the window in our room).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-102.jpg


It’s out there somewhere beneath all that muck on the horizon, but for now the only thing we have a clear view of is a wet parking lot and a small heard of motor coaches.

The general plan for today called for a bit of sightseeing in the morning; a bit of lunch and then a strategic retreat back to Jersey for some final rehearsals and a lot of rest (we were going to be somewhat busy rather early tomorrow). First things first though… food. Breakfast this morning turned out to be waffles and fruit served down in the Grand Ballroom. Unlike the previous day, all the scheduling and determining of who belonged where went off without a hitch and our hosts actually served up a fine meal. Really… it was pretty good. After a proper breaking of the fast, we loaded the whole outfit onto our five soggy coaches and headed east.

To get a different visual perspective (and not needing to head directly into “Mid-Town), we crossed the Hudson via the George Washington Bridge. From the upper deck I was finally able to make out at least a few elements of the famous NY skyline (thought much of this view looking south was still obscured by the mist and fog).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-103.jpg


Given the angle of the roadway approaching the GWB, we didn’t really get a good look at this grand structure until after crossing into the island and heading down toward Riverside Drive.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-104.jpg


First opened in 1931, this bridge in one of the busiest river crossings on Earth and can handle fourteen lanes of traffic on two levels. The structure was built near the sites of Fort Washington (in New York) and Fort Lee (in New Jersey). These fortified positions were used by General Washington and his American forces in an unsuccessful attempt to deter the British occupation of New York City during the American Revolutionary War. This fact led in part to the renaming of the bridge from its original designation of the "Hudson River Bridge" shortly after it opened. Initially the design for the towers called for a casing of concrete and granite. However, given the cost considerations during the depression in which it was built, folks decided that the exposed steel towers, were quite handsome just as they were thank you very much.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-105.jpg



Well lookie there… I found a way to throw in a picture that included a ship. Imagine that. Oh and by the way… that “ship” happens to be the USS Nautilus ( http://www.ussnautilus.org/) (SSN-571); the first nuclear powered submarine ever built and one that is open to the public (sans-reactor of course) over in Groton, CT. This is also my early warning (assuming that you haven’t already realized this) that what you’ll be getting during this part of the story will be half TR and half Bonus Feature (as I’ll be tossing out bits of history, folklore and tangentially associated smatterings of completely useless info along the way).


Once in Manhattan, our convoy of buses descended down to Riverside Drive and road along the water front park that extends from the bridge down toward Mid-Town. This is a very pretty drive, that I wish I had better pictures of, but alas… such is not the case. Given the opportunity, you should visit this section of the city. The park is worth exploring as well as there are a number of recreational amenities and many monuments including Grant’s Tomb ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant%27s_tomb). I’m certain we road right by that particular edifice, but I must have been looking the wrong way at the time. I did see this structure along the way though…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-106.jpg


That… is the “Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument”. It was erected in Riverfront Park at the beginning of the twentieth century and commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War. It’s also quite an impressive structure in its own right.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Imagine That…



Once we’d gotten down to the neighborhood known as the Upper Westside, the buses pulled onto one of the residential streets near the American Museum of Natural History ( http://www.amnh.org/) (a spot that I hope sometime in the future to return to and explore). It was at this point that we picked up our guides for the day. Each coach was going to take a slightly different route through Manhattan and stop at different spots along the way. Then we’d all meet up again for lunch at the South Street Seaport. The folks that were going to be showing us around town today were a father and sons team that hailed from Brookline who specialized in putting together various types of tours through out the five boroughs. As it turns out, Dad ended up commandeering Bus-4 and therefore our little group.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-107.jpg


I do not remember this fella’s name… and I’m actually quite upset by that fact. He did a really fine job of showing us around and making the things we were looking at come to life. As such he deserves better then to be forgotten, but I just can’t recall the name to save my sole.

Our first stop along the route actually was a stop.
The Coach pulled over at the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West and we all hopped off and crossed the street toward one of the entrances into Central Park. Once out of the reach of the traffic everyone gathered together for the start of a rather nice waling tour through this little bit of the park. Our guide started with a little discussion of the building that was just back over our shoulders. Any diehard Beatles fans probably already know the spot of which I speak from the corner that we stopped at, but for the rest of you, we’re talking about this place…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-108.jpg


That is an apartment building known as The Dakota. This was the home of John Lennon (and still is the home of Yoko Ono). And it’s here in front of the main entrance to said building that a very troubled guy decided to shoot and kill the singer, songwriter, musician, peace activist and former Beatle. First off I’ll tell you a little about the building because it’s kind of quirky by itself (I’ll come back to Lennon in just a minute, so just hold that thought for now). Anyway… “The Dakota” was built specifically as a co-op apartment building and took four years to construct; finally opening in 1884. It was built by a gent names Edward Clark who was head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company at the time. The architect that he hired was a guy by the name of Henry Janeway Hardenbergh who would go on to design the equally famous Plaza Hotel.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-109.jpg


I rather like that last picture. It shows just how underdeveloped the upper sections of New York were little more then one hundred years ago. I mean… that’s almost shocking to me considering the image I’ve had of the place stretching far back into my childhood. It also shows just how massive the building was for its day and leads to another interesting “story”. As our guide related to us, it is generally accepted that The Dakota earned its name because when built, the area was so sparsely inhabited and separated form “the city”, that it was considered to be as remote as the Dakota Territory. It’s more likely that moniker came from Clark's fondness for the names of the new western states and territories, but it’s still a great tale. Given its size and location, away form the traditional power centers of the old city, the Dakota has traditionally drawn its residents from “new money” and the more creative industries that were never welcomed in the established sections of Manhattan (although this seems to have changed over the last ten years or so). Other then the Lennons, current and former residents have included such disparate individuals as: Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Connie Chung, Rosemary Clooney, José Ferrer, Roberta Flack, Judy Garland, Lillian Gish, William Inge, Boris Karloff, John Madden, Rudolf Nureyev, Joe Namath, Jack Palance, Maury Povich, Gilda Radner, Rex Reed and Jason Robards.


Who knew that you could cram two paragraph of useless knowledge into a, inconsequential Trip Report that was based solely on just one pitiful building in the middle of one unbelievably massive city? Boggles the mind, don’t it? Anyway (and as I promised)… back to the subject at hand: John Lennon.



A number of actors and musicians have succeeded in acquiring the type of idealized fame that an early and untimely death brings, but most were the architects of their own demise. Lennon is relatively unique in having been attacked (and there not being any dispute about the events). Between that fact and the huge impact he had on pop culture in the 1960s and 70s, it is not surprising that many folks actually make pilgrimages to this spot. As such it shouldn’t come as a surprise that memorials have been erected in his honor, and one of them was just down the pathway from where we were standing.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-110.jpg


“Strawberry Fields” is a living memorial within a small section of Central Park that is dedicated to John Lennon. Officially opened on October 9, 1985 (the 45th anniversary of Lennon's birth), this quiet teardrop shaped section of the park was named for one of the Beatles' best-known songs (which in turn was named for an orphanage in Liverpool, England). Its centerpiece is an iconic black-and-white mosaic that was actually created by Italian craftsmen and given as a gift by the city of Naples.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-111.jpg


Along the path near the mosaic, you'll also find a bronze plaque that lists the 121 countries have chosen to endorse Strawberry Fields as an International Garden of Peace.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-112.jpg


The memorial is shaded by American elms and lined with benches. In the warmer months, flowers bloom all around the area. Apparently, strawberry bushes were also planted throughout as part of the original design, but the birds so ravaged the plants while trying to get at the berries in the spring that they were removed (at least… so says our guide).



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

A Walk in the Park



From the Peace Garden, we ventured farther into the heart of Central Park. The first non-organic site encountered was this one….


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-113.jpg


…a statue of Daniel Webster. The original version of this was sculpted during the mid-19th century by Thomas Ball and the image was actually patented to allow for repeated replications of a statuette based on the figure. Don’t laugh… it sold well and earned the artist a small mint. In the 1870s, Gordon W. Burnham requested that Ball make a larger-than-life-size version of the original for Central Park. The finished rendition proved too large for placement on the Mall as its donor intended and was subsequently installed here, on the West Drive. Now many, many folks have taken and distributed images of this statue… but only I’m brazen enough to prominently feature its backside. Honestly… given the wet slightly gloomy day, the image of a stoic individual standing with his back to us and gazing off into the distance seem rather more fitting.


It was right about here that we also encountered several of these new fangled contraptions…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-114.jpg


The carriages are a common site in the park. Carriage tours are offered daily and very in price depending on length of ride and added extras. Generally one of these leisurely rides will set you back about $100 to $200 bucks (and they don’t generally undercut each other so if it’s any cheaper you ought to question it). Tours can be reserved or you can try to catch one as a walk-up. When available the folks offering walk-up rides will generally be parked along the south edge of the park between 6th and 7th avenues. There are also strict rules about how hot or cold it can be and still operate (you’ve got to consider the horses ya’ know) so keep that in mind if you’re thinking about reserving one.


OK… moving on. As we were continuing along Terrace Drive, the next thing we ran across was this fellow here…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-115.jpg


“The Falconer” is actually a replica of a work by British sculptor George Blackall Simonds. The original work resides in Trieste, Italy. A local merchant so liked that piece that he commissioned the duplicate and had in placed in the park in 1875. The sculpture was actually removed from Central Park in 1957 after it was seriously vandalized and the falcon was stolen. In 1982, a missing arm and the falcon were recast and the stature returned to the park. A nice little redemption story says I.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

בית-חסדא

House of Mercy


A little bit farther along Terrace Drive and we came to the spot that was the actual point of the trip into the park this morning: the Bethesda Terrace…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-116.jpg


This lovely spot is actually one of the first structures to have been built in Central Park along with the lake that it looks out on.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-117.jpg


When first opened it was simply called “The Water Terrace”, but after the fountain was unveiled the name was changed to Bethesda Terrace.

Why?


Because of her…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-118.jpg


Not the pretty girl there foolishly hugging that ugly old galoot… the stone one in the background there. The unmistakable focal point of the Terrace is also one of the largest and more famous fountains in New York: a neoclassical sculpture known as Angel of Waters (although unfortunately for us, it was shut down for a bit of maintenance while we were there). It’s also the only statue in the park called for in the original design. The fountain was designed specifically to commemorate the opening of the Croton Aqueduct thirty years earlier.

Now just why would you went a statue to commemorate an aqueduct? Well… a lack of fresh, clean drinking water is the major cause of most disease in crowded urban areas (and a combination of disease and poverty is a very common cause for revolution, so solving at least one of the problems seemed to be a pretty good idea). The sculptor felt that the concept of pure water was important enough to us a biblical passage as the inspiration for the piece; specifically a passage from the Book of John that depicts an angle blessing a pool within Jerusalem and giving it healing powers. The pool became known as Bethesda (which means house of mercy), and now you know why everything else here received its name.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-119.jpg


Oh… one more little bit o trivia related to the Angel of Waters: the sculptor in question was a woman named Emma Stebbins and with this work, she became the first woman to receive a commission for a major work of art in the city of New York. Quite the trailblazer wouldn’t you say?

Decorative elements abound throughout the terrace and the entire structure is engulfed in carved panels and stonework. The numerous individual pieces are designed to evoke such themes as the Seasons, the Times of Day, the Ages of Mankind and other whimsical and abstract notions. Which is why you’ll find carving as curious as this one…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-120.jpg


The other major architectural feature of the Bethesda Terrace is the Arcade that travels beneath the roadway and is intended to act as a counterpart to the open terrace, by offering a completely different experience from the surrounding scenery.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-121.jpg


The original highlight of the arcade was an installation of more than 15,000 colorful, patterned encaustic ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encaustic_painting) tiles, made by England’s famed Minton Tile Company. These were designed by Jacob Wrey Mould , the same architect that conceived of the various decorative carvings found throughout the Terrace. This was also the only place in the world where Minton ceramic tiles are used for a ceiling. Over the decades, the 50-ton ceiling weakened and its tiles deteriorated until they were removed and stored in the 1980s.


The Bethesda Terrace has experienced many changes throughout the decades. As late as the 1960's its function aligned with its creators' intention as a place of social gathering and it even featured a restaurant. By the 1970's however, the entire terrace area was rather unsafe and used primarily for drug trafficking. To New York City’s credit, this was not allowed to continue and through a number of civic initiatives and policing, the park was restored as a sanctuary for the city’s residents. Even the Minton Tiles were refurbished and returned to the Arcade…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-122.jpg



I took a lot of pictures of this tile work, but none were anywhere near as good as this work that I found in the public domain. I felt that you deserved to get the full impact of the work that was done here, so this image beats all of mine hands down.



The Bethesda Terrace is known not only for its spectacular views and people-watching opportunities; it is also frequent by talented street performers. I can speak to this fact first hand as we encountered three vocalists who were taking advantage of the natural echo chamber created by the arcade.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-123.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ20AZuPTMM&feature=youtu.be)


Cool! Scenery, history and music…
three things that are pretty much guaranteed to make me happy.


Well… it’s about time to start back toward our waiting coach and continue on with the riding part of the tour. I don’t know about you, but I rather enjoyed this little walk in the park. I knew that Central Park was a major feature of the city, but really had no idea just how expansive it is. We saw just a very small part of this lush garden, and yet within it I encountered moments of calm, a desire for comfort, peace and healing, and numerous reminders of the powers of healing and redemption. If I were to see nothing else of interest the rest of the day… I would still have called it an amazing adventure.






Of course… it’s early yet, and there is more to see.







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-010.jpg

FreezinRafiki
02-28-2012, 10:12 PM
Rob,
Loved the tour of (part of) Central Park. As with many people, NYC is on my bucket list and Central Park is big part of that. Since my trip isn't even in the thinking about maybe planning stage, coming along with yours and reading your history and narration is almost like being there!

afwdwfan
02-29-2012, 08:33 AM
Not sure how to go through and multi-quote this one... I tried, but you used too much fact and not enough comments to make fun of. :rolleyes1

I really enjoyed the pictures and stories about Central Park. Like Barry said, that is some place I really would like to see sometime.

The part about the George Washington bridge was interesting as well. I'm glad you were able to find a picture with a historic Naval vessel in it.:lmao::rotfl2:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
03-02-2012, 11:08 AM
Rob,
Loved the tour of (part of) Central Park. As with many people, NYC is on my bucket list and Central Park is big part of that. Since my trip isn't even in the thinking about maybe planning stage, coming along with yours and reading your history and narration is almost like being there!

Thanks Barry…
That’s mighty high praise.

I’m just trying to show y’all what I got to see
(and find some way to make a 40 minute walk from a bus to a fountain and back sound more interesting then it might otherwise appear at first).
:rolleyes:



Not sure how to go through and multi-quote this one... I tried, but you used too much fact and not enough comments to make fun of. :rolleyes1


Yah I’m sneaky that way ;)



I really enjoyed the pictures and stories about Central Park. Like Barry said, that is some place I really would like to see sometime.


And I hope you both get to go some time in the very near.
I really need to go back. We saw much, but we saw it quickly.
There are some stops I want to return to and spend more time at.
There are even more spots that we missed that need exploring.



The part about the George Washington bridge was interesting as well. I'm glad you were able to find a picture with a historic Naval vessel in it.:lmao::rotfl2:


Oh good…
You found something in it to smack me up side the head with.
I was getting concerned, so good work there.

That one was pure happenstance…
I was looking for an older image of the GWB, and that one just popped up
I couldn’t resist.
:rolleyes1

Captain_Oblivious
03-05-2012, 11:09 AM
Hey Rob,

Sorry I'm late to the update. Just wanted to check in and catch up.

Nice shots of Central Park. I walked around that area in 2001...just before taking a tour of the WTC. :eek: We were there in May that year.

I remember exploring Bethesda Terrace, noting that it was the location where Mel Gibson's son got kidnapped in the movie Ransom. Sorry, that's just how my mind works.

I've always enjoyed the view of the GWB and NY skyline as well. Although I prefer to look at the GWB rather than attempt to drive over it. We like taking the Palisades Parkway along the Hudson so we can savor the view. :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
03-11-2012, 07:17 PM
Sorry I'm late to the update. Just wanted to check in and catch up.


You’ve been unquestionably busy… you have the right to miss an update or two.

I, on the other hand, really don’t have any valid excuse (beyond work) for not putting up the next chapter before now.

I’ll rectify that in a minute, but still…



Nice shots of Central Park. I walked around that area in 2001...just before taking a tour of the WTC. :eek: We were there in May that year.


Wow… CJ was there at around the same time.
It’s a bit strange to think of where we were at around then, or to think how long ago that was now.



I remember exploring Bethesda Terrace, noting that it was the location where Mel Gibson's son got kidnapped in the movie Ransom. Sorry, that's just how my mind works.


+1 for any movie reference… those are always useful in terms of dressing up my less then engaging commentary.

Here, I’ll add another one.

It’s also the spot where Dr. Peter Venkman chose to surprise and try and get a date with his recent client: Dana Barrett…

I’m sure you know the movie in question, but it will be making an appearance in my upcoming post as well.



I've always enjoyed the view of the GWB and NY skyline as well. Although I prefer to look at the GWB rather than attempt to drive over it. We like taking the Palisades Parkway along the Hudson so we can savor the view. :thumbsup2


Were I farther north I’d like to be traveling into the city more often myself. If I do get that far north again in the near, I’ll have to keep this recommendation in mind.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
03-11-2012, 07:23 PM
Chapter 3: Taking a Bite Out of the Apple (Day 3 - Wednesday)




Part 2: The Fruits of Others Labors…





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-201.jpg



If nothing is done… nothing happens.



Things don’t just appear out of nowhere. If you can see it, feel it, touch it or experience it… then either someone or something has done some type of work to make it so. Even a forest requires work. Granted it’s the plants and trees themselves that are performing the “labor” required to convert water, carbon dioxide and various minerals into the xylem and phloem needed to build these verdant cathedrals, but the work is getting done. And only after that work is completed can one lean back and appreciate the results. If you’re very lucky, you may even have done enough of your own work to allow yourself to “buy” the time and resources it takes to lean back and appreciate the results of other folks work.

We were very lucky.

Were we not, we wouldn’t even have been along on this expedition in the first place. But since we are here (and we are lucky), we were going to spend the rest of the morning enjoying the results of other folk’s labors. Specifically the labor it took to create the forest (both natural and synthetic) that is the city of New York.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-202.jpg


Given that lead in, I figure that y’all are expecting monumental things. Well, now I have to confess that what I’m up to here is really just a bus ri… errr… excuse me… coach ride through the borough of Manhattan. That doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing some great things, but I’m attempting to make a common jaunt on a tour bus sound as interesting as possible here. In truth, a “bus tour” is a good way to get oriented to a new place and identify which offerings you might want to come back to and explore in greater detail. Given our fairly limited schedule, however, much of what we were about to see would only be seen (by us anyway) thought the windows of our diesel conveyance while making our way to the southern tip of the island.

Que sera, sera…



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The Upper West Side



After completing the trek from the Bethesda Terrace back up to 72nd street, we found ol’ reliable Bus-4 waiting on us.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-203.jpg


Once everyone was settled, we headed south for a moment and then just passed the “Ghostbusters” building, a quick right onto 66th plunged us into the part of the city known as the Upper West Side. This is pretty much everything between the Hudson River and Central Park. The first thing we encountered was this small square at the corner of 66th and Broadway.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-204.jpg


There’s really nothing all that amazing here, but it does illustrates something I’ve encountered about NY. You won’t see anything there that you’ve never seen before… but you will see a whole lot of it. Farmers Markets are common but you just don’t think of them in places like NYC. Nor do you think that you’ll encounter them in nearly every square or about every ten or twenty blocks, but you do. There are bunches of ‘em scattered all over the place.

This one is open a few days a week on a spot that is named for Richard Tucker, a prolific American operatic tenor. There’s even a bust of the vocalist in question in the middle of the square. That unnecessary factoid about someone you’ve likely never heard of illustrates another facet of this neighborhood. While it is primarily residential and defiantly upscale, perception wise, it’s also considered to be the spot where you’ll find the city’s cultural and artistic workers (as opposed to the Upper East Side which is traditionally considered to be home for the more business oriented). This was not always the case. At one point the area was fairly rough and even served as a backdrop for the filming of “West Side Story” (thus the name of the tale). So what happened to kick off a renaissance? Well, there were several precursors, but the main culprit (or hero in this instance) was this little bit of urban renewal right here…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-205.jpg


The centerpiece of the "Lincoln Square Renewal Project" in the 1950s and 1960s…

Lincoln Center replaced what was once seventeen blocks of ethnic tenement neighborhoods with a world-renowned performing arts complex. Lincoln Center really isn’t one thing. There are numerous individual venues ranging from the Metropolitan Opera House to variously sized dance and symphony halls, theaters and rehearsal studios and even an outdoor amphitheater. Groups and organizations that call the center home include the Juilliard School, the New York City Ballet and the New York Philharmonic orchestra. Now I suspect that the 7,000 families who lost their homes through imminent domain were not near as impressed with all this as the rest of the populous, but nearly all advancement has it’s share of losers (it’s usually the same class of folks that end up being the losers, but that’s a discussion for a different time and place).

From here the coach headed on down the upper section of Broadway until we reached the southwest corner of the neighborhood at Columbus circle.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-206.jpg


Actually… that globe is not in the center of the circle, but from my side of the bus, it’s really all I could see at the time so this picture is useful in illustrating a unique downside of a bus tour; that being that the vehicle itself will at times prevent you from seeing what’s going on. But the Internet is here to help…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-207.jpg


There’s the monument to the first European to encounter the isles of the Caribbean (but didn’t actually find North America). You can see the same globe that I saw there in the background dressing up the area in front of the Trump Tower. Interestingly, I know that Bus-3 stopped in this exact part of town for their walking tour. I know this because I asked Max were they started out and he said: “Trump Tower”. So I asked him: what did you see, wha’d ya’ think…

**while shrugging shoulders**
“It’s pretty much just a big building.”

Not one world about Columbus, the circle, the USS Maine national monument, the Time Warner Center, or anything else that I’m sure their guide imparted on them.

Teens… :sad2:

Well before we leave this part of the city, let me list off a few other things that can be found in the West Side…

American Folk Art Museum

American Museum of Natural History
and the Hayden Planetarium

Children's Museum of Manhattan

New-York Historical Society

Museum of Biblical Art

You’ll also encounter such business concerns and organizations as: the American Broadcasting Company (“ABC” to you and me), the American Bible Society, Time Warner’s design headquarters, both ASCAP and BMI, and even the headquarters for The College Board (that’s the folks that run the SAT testing that will make or break your young’ens collage aspirations).


Any questions? Yes… you over there in the back, what was that again? “Ghostbusters”… was I planning to move on without even explaining that reference? Silly me. Yah, back there at the beginning of this section I mentioned the “Ghostbusters Building”. That would be this one…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-208.jpg


55 Central Park West (back at 66th St.) was used to depict the site where the “Dana Barrette” character resided and where the final confrontation between the erstwhile professors-come-parapsychologists and the powerful demigod: Gozer would take place. The chosen form of “The Destructor” (that of a giant “Stay Puft Marshmallow Man”) can be seen walking from Columbus Circle up CPW toward the building (if your watching carefully). The building is enhanced and depicted as being much taller, but it’s the same structure, and since the film’s release… the locals have all considered this venerable collection of apartments to be simply: “The Ghostbusters Building”.

OK… the light just turned green so it’s time to move on to the next part of the tour.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Midtown



The swath of the island stretching from Central Park down to 42nd Street is generally considered to be Midtown Manhattan. Actually there is a Midtown East and a Midtown West with 5th Avenue forming the dividing line. This apparently arbitrary boundary really isn’t random. City planners created it. All buildings between that thoroughfare and the East River contain “East” in their addresses designations (like: 89 East 42nd Street, AKA: Grand Central Terminal), while those to between Fifth and the Hudson contain the prominent “West” identifier (EG: 11 West 53rd Street: The Museum of Modern Art).

For our purposes, the tour starts here…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-210.jpg


…at the Grand Army Plaza; corner of Central Park South (also known as 59th street) and Fifth Avenue. Again, the “site” I’m trying to see is on the wrong side of the bus, but what you have there is a statue of Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman on horseback with "Victory" in front and pointing the way forward. This kind’a explains why it’s called the “Grand Army Plaza”; the name is taken from the victorious “Grand Army of the Potomac” (well… this is New York… they are Yankees… what did we expect). Had I been looking out my own window, I’d have seen this…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-211.jpg

(Thank you Internet)


The Pulitzer memorial fountain with its bronze statue of the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance: “Pomona”. This is also where you’ll find the famed Plaza Hotel (and yes… it is named from the “Grand Army Plaza” that it overlooks).

From here we traveled south along Fifth Avenue. There is much here and most of it is some relatively famous retail establishments (and most of that was on the other side of the bus from me). I did see this edifice as we got caught by one of the lights…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-212.jpg

St Thomas Episcopal Church.


Like any major church in Manhattan, there is plenty of history and significance to this structure, but that’s not why I’m including it here. Actually I just like the picture. Yah… the color and light is off a bit (it was still overcast and threatening rain). The angle being taken back over my shoulder and through a bus window is a might “whoppy-jawed” as well. Granted, but I like the details in the façade, the shadows around the doorway and the brilliant splash of color that the US Flag fluttering in the stiff breeze presents as it defies the gray and tan surrounding it. Simply put… I like it, so you’re stuck with it.

Moving on…

At the corner of 49th, our driver made a nimble right (well, nimble for a bus anyway), and drove us back through the middle of the same Rockefeller Plaza that we’d explored the day before.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-213.jpg


When we got to the ice rink, it was immediately obvious that all the state flags had been replaced by simple gold and silver banners (which changed the look of the place greatly… even amidst the gloom of this rainy week). The Christmas tree was still entombed by scaffolding, but they were just about to begin the process of freeing the giant for the official lighting that evening. We still wouldn’t be seeing it, but it was going to be happening.

A little bit farther along I caught this image…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-214.jpg


I can’t tell you for certain which building this was in front of (although I guarantee I can figure it out if you really want to know), but I liked the scene. Were it actually a bit darker, all the lights in the trees would have been particularly stunning, but either way, they played off right well with the pyramid of oversized ornaments that had taken up residence in the midst of the fountain.


Up at the next stop light along we were presented with this ordinary but rather well known visual representation of NYC…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-215.jpg


Not the food-cart (they’re common the world over)… I mean that chimney looking thingy. It’s hard to think of a movie that used the city as an overt background or even as a character in its own right, without also seeing steam escaping from either a manhole cover, a crack in the road or one of these plastic orange and white chimneys. But what are they exactly?

ConEd (that’s Consolidated Edison Power and Electric Co.) uses steam to produce power and also to supply heat to a good bit of the city. They started doing this in the 1880’s specifically in the financial district, but when a severe blizzard nearly shut down the city a few years later, the public became more accepting of the service and it expanded northward (as far as 96th St.). There are now more than 100 miles of mains and service pipes that make up the ConEd steam system. When one of these pipes breaks or requires maintenance or there is just too much pressure in the system, that excess energy has to go somewhere. The steam chimneys are placed over these vents and fractures to ensure that the resulting clouds of boiling hot water vapor are released high enough into the air to prevent pedestrians from being poached alive.

And now you know.


Time for a new direction. A sharp left and we headed south down 7th Avenue and into the middle of the area of midtown known as Times Square. The oddest thing I saw here was this vignette…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-216.jpg


Yes it’s blurry (we were on the move at the time), but your eyes are not deceiving you. Now I do not know why Mickey Mouse was dressed up at St Nick and greeting people outside of “M&M World” at Seventh & 48th. But there he was. The odder thing though is that there is such a thing as “M&M World” in the first place and that it takes up a space the size of a department store in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the “actual” world.

Another block or two down the way and we were in the center of Times Square proper.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-217.jpg


Physically… this is where Broadway crosses Seventh Avenue
(and heart of the Theater District)

Culturally… this is the symbol of commerce and commercialism in the US
(and the epicenter of televised New Year’s Eve celebrations)

Spiritually… it’s another redemption story
(of sorts)


Previously known as Longacre Square (I could explain why, but it would quickly take on a life of it’s own and grow into a Frankenstein of a rambling bonus feature), the name changed in 1904 when the New York Times moved their news print operations into a new building in the area (specifically the spot where the famed Times Square Ball drop now occurs every New Year's Eve). This spot on the map grew quickly as the city spread north and at first was considered one of the most desirable locations in town. But as usual, where money resides, folks with a knack for taking it soon follow. During the Roaring Twenties the square was besieged by crime and corruption, in the form of gambling and prostitution. As the Depression settled like a heavy shroud on the land, the entire atmosphere changed and the area acquired a “rep” as a dangerous neighborhood. From the 1960s to the early 1990s the square was personified by a seedy mix of “go-go bars”, sex shops, and adult theaters. Times Square had become an infamous symbol of the city's decline.

So what happened to change this?

Well, in a way… Disney happened. First the city stepped up the policing of the area and took position of a number of older buildings and theaters. Then they invited tourist friendly business (like one we are very familiar with) to set up shop with incentives and tax deals. They even closed Broadway to traffic within the square to increase pedestrian traffic (and cut down on the vehicular mayhem). There are those that actually refer to the make over as “Disneyfication” (and Disney is certainly one of the major residents on the square these days), but none can deny that the area has been reclaimed for the better (even if they themselves wouldn’t be caught dead mingling with the commoners and throngs of tourists occupying the place these days).


Apart from the sea of electrified billboards, the other most notable physical landmark is the TKTS booth and the Red Steps in Duffy Square…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-218.jpg



Wait a second… I thought you said this was “Times Square”!


I did, but the northern end (just before Broadway and 7th actually cross) is also named for Father Francis D. Duffy (who is depicted in the statue at the foot of the red stairs there). Duffy was the celebrated chaplain of New York's "Fighting 69th" Infantry Regiment during the “Great War”.


Now where was I? Oh yes, the TKTS booth. First conceived in the 1970s, it is run on behalf of the various theaters in the area and sells same day ticket to the major Broadway shows at greatly reduced prices. Additional blocks of tickets tend to be offered as curtain times approach and the theaters try to fill all the remaining seats. Choices can be limited but it supplies locals and tourists alike with the chance to see great entertainment that might otherwise be priced out of reach.

The “Red Steps” basically form a roof over the booth and are there to offer a place to rest and to get an elevated view of the entire square (which, let’s be honest, is pretty much just a vast tourist attraction in its own right).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-219.jpg


We’re just about done with the Midtown area, and I’m running into the image limit for posts as well, so I think I’ll bring this section of the tour to a close and pick it back up again a few blocks down and in the next entry of this here pointless TR. In the mean time, I’ll toss out a few more images of the current iteration of Times Square for y’all to enjoy (or ignore… either way is fine by me). As a group, we’ll be back here later on in the week so I’ll tell you more about it then.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-220.jpg

“Father Duffy”


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-221.jpg

“George M. Cohan”
(who also resides permanently in the square)


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-222.jpg

…and a little reminder of Disney’s uncanny ability to never be too far from our everyday lives.






http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-011.jpg

Captain_Oblivious
03-12-2012, 02:47 PM
If you’re very lucky, you may even have done enough of your own work to allow yourself to “buy” the time and resources it takes to lean back and appreciate the results of other folks work.

I could really use that right about now.

That doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing some great things, but I’m attempting to make a common jaunt on a tour bus sound as interesting as possible here.

It's either that, or I do more work. A bus tour sounds great.

Now I suspect that the 7,000 families who lost their homes through imminent domain were not near as impressed with all this as the rest of the populous, but nearly all advancement has it’s share of losers (it’s usually the same class of folks that end up being the losers, but that’s a discussion for a different time and place).

A lot of laws and procedures have been put into place since the 1960's in order to try and remedy that.

So I asked him: what did you see, wha’d ya’ think…

**while shrugging shoulders**
“It’s pretty much just a big building.”

I guess he won't be hired as a NYC tour guide anytime soon.

Any questions? Yes… you over there in the back, what was that again? “Ghostbusters”… was I planning to move on without even explaining that reference? Silly me. Yah, back there at the beginning of this section I mentioned the “Ghostbusters Building”.

Cool! I hope you were making marshmallow jokes the whole time. :thumbsup2

Simply put… I like it, so you’re stuck with it.

No problem. I like it, too.

The steam chimneys are placed over these vents and fractures to ensure that the resulting clouds of boiling hot water vapor are released high enough into the air to prevent pedestrians from being poached alive.

Well, that's considerate of them.

So what happened to change this?

Well, in a way… Disney happened.

Sounds like a good thing to me. I know most locals decry Times Square as only for tourists, and would never set foot there, but I kinda like it. I mean, you don't get to see a spectacle like that everyday.

FreezinRafiki
03-12-2012, 10:55 PM
Part 2: The Fruits of Others Labors…

Thankfully you're not talking about the Fruits of Other's Looms. This is a family board.



**while shrugging shoulders**
“It’s pretty much just a big building.”
Well, technically he's right you know.


Any questions? Yes… you over there in the back, what was that again? “Ghostbusters”… was I planning to move on without even explaining that reference? Silly me. Yah, back there at the beginning of this section I mentioned the “Ghostbusters Building”. That would be this one…

How many people on the bus started yelling "Who you gonna call?" I'll be there was at least one. Well, if I was on the bus there would have been. :rolleyes1


This kind’a explains why it’s called the “Grand Army Plaza”; the name is taken from the victorious “Grand Army of the Potomac” (well… this is New York… they are Yankees… what did we expect).
We one that one, you know. :thumbsup2


Yes it’s blurry (we were on the move at the time), but your eyes are not deceiving you. Now I do not know why Mickey Mouse was dressed up at St Nick and greeting people outside of “M&M World” at Seventh & 48th. But there he was. The odder thing though is that there is such a thing as “M&M World” in the first place and that it takes up a space the size of a department store in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the “actual” world.
And when I seem him in Disney World, he never expects a tip when I take a picture with him.



Remember all that stuff I said earlier about how great it is that you're playing tour guide to us since it will be quite a while before we'll have a chance to get there and experience it for ourselves?

Ditto. :thumbsup2

afwdwfan
03-13-2012, 09:20 AM
If nothing is done… nothing happens.
Unless somebody else does it. Isn't that how things work these days?:confused3


Now I suspect that the 7,000 families who lost their homes through imminent domain were not near as impressed with all this as the rest of the populous, but nearly all advancement has it’s share of losers (it’s usually the same class of folks that end up being the losers, but that’s a discussion for a different time and place).
I'm sorry your homeless, but it's for the arts! :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2



But the Internet is here to help…
This update has taught me something very important. As long as you have the internet, you don't really have to go anywhere to see these things!



Any questions? Yes… you over there in the back, what was that again? “Ghostbusters”… was I planning to move on without even explaining that reference? Silly me. Yah, back there at the beginning of this section I mentioned the “Ghostbusters Building”.
Hmm... I just got a sudden craving for smores. :confused3


This is also where you’ll find the famed Plaza Hotel (and yes… it is named from the “Grand Army Plaza” that it overlooks).
It is also where Kevin stayed in Home Alone 2. You know, in case you're looking for another movie reference.


Simply put… I like it, so you’re stuck with it.
I can't disagree with the elaborate description you wrote, but this would have sufficed.:rolleyes1 :lmao:


At the corner of 49th, our driver made a nimble right (well, nimble for a bus anyway)
So, what you're saying is the driver didn't curb it? :confused3


I can’t tell you for certain which building this was in front of (although I guarantee I can figure it out if you really want to know)
I'm surprised you didn't already do that research and put it in your update.


Now I do not know why Mickey Mouse was dressed up at St Nick and greeting people outside of “M&M World” at Seventh & 48th.
Mickey Mouse and M&M World... If DS had to describe Heaven, that would probably be it.


Apart from the sea of electrified billboards, the other most notable physical landmark is the TKTS booth and the Red Steps in Duffy Square…
Ok... Disneyfication... Duffy Square... you're starting to worry me.


I did, but the northern end (just before Broadway and 7th actually cross) is also named for Father Francis D. Duffy (who is depicted in the statue at the foot of the red stairs there). Duffy was the celebrated chaplain of New York's "Fighting 69th" Infantry Regiment during the “Great War”.
Thank God! I'm glad it isn't that stupid, commercialized, wannabe Pooh bear.


…and a little reminder of Disney’s uncanny ability to never be too far from our everyday lives.
Funny how that works, isn't it?

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
03-15-2012, 10:16 AM
I could really use that right about now.


Yah… it’s certainly about time for y’all to catch a break.



It's either that, or I do more work. A bus tour sounds great.


What? More work doesn’t sound better then my ramblings?
Your job must be near as bad as mine these days.



A lot of laws and procedures have been put into place since the 1960's in order to try and remedy that.


True, and that’s a good thing. But it’s more of a general observation on life. There will always be those that have and those that don’t, and in any competition, the “don’t haves” will generally loose out. It’s a natural process.



I guess he won't be hired as a NYC tour guide anytime soon.


He’s still way too young to actually be listening to what anyone else has to say.



Cool! I hope you were making marshmallow jokes the whole time. :thumbsup2

I’m not near as good with the quick off-the-cuff jokes as say… you and Barry.
Feel free to add them in at regular intervals. I’d hate for this TR to have to stand on just my writings.




Well, that's considerate of them.


It’s a little like putting up guard rails




Sounds like a good thing to me. I know most locals decry Times Square as only for tourists, and would never set foot there, but I kinda like it. I mean, you don't get to see a spectacle like that everyday.



I’m for it. When I was last in the city (1991 that would be), this section of town was pretty… ummmmm… unsavory. I don’t think that the locals would have said that it was the face they’d have picked to present to the world. It may not be the best representation of New York’s actual character, but it certainly creates a better environment for folks to start out with. Then they can branch out and explore on their own with more confidence.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
03-15-2012, 10:23 AM
Thankfully you're not talking about the Fruits of Other's Looms. This is a family board.


I don’t know…
Have you read some of the “conversation” that takes place on other parts of this here “family board”?


Well, technically he's right you know.


True, but technically WDW is just another amusement park, so I don’t need to be taking him back there any more.


How many people on the bus started yelling "Who you gonna call?" I'll be there was at least one. Well, if I was on the bus there would have been. :rolleyes1

And our trip was just a little bit sadder due to your absence.




We one that one, you know. :thumbsup2


Yah… we’re very aware of that. Y’all point it out rather often.


And when I seem him in Disney World, he never expects a tip when I take a picture with him.


Very true. I’ve herd a few bad stories about folks working that suit for profit. I can’t say what was going on here, but I hope it was something positive.


Remember all that stuff I said earlier about how great it is that you're playing tour guide to us since it will be quite a while before we'll have a chance to get there and experience it for ourselves?

Ditto. :thumbsup2

Thanks, I appreciate that.

Writing this stuff is kind’a like therapy for me. It keeps my mind off the things that trouble it. I’d be doing it any way, but I’m glade that there are at least one or two folks that care to read along.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
03-15-2012, 10:29 AM
Unless somebody else does it. Isn't that how things work these days?:confused3

My point exactly.


I'm sorry your homeless, but it's for the arts! :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2


As opposed to: I'm sorry your homeless, but it's for my own personal gain.
Neither are good… the second one is far more common.


This update has taught me something very important. As long as you have the internet, you don't really have to go anywhere to see these things!


You can go with that one it you like.
It will save you a good bit of money on travel expenses.


Hmm... I just got a sudden craving for smores. :confused3


Just leave out the burnt dog hair.



It is also where Kevin stayed in Home Alone 2. You know, in case you're looking for another movie reference.


I’ll take any reference you care to toss out there. Other wise everyone will just have to read my writings and no good will come of that.



I can't disagree with the elaborate description you wrote, but this would have sufficed.:rolleyes1 :lmao:


Yes it would... but you’d have far less material to savage were I to follow such austere guidelines.

And don’t you just love tearing into me verbally?



So, what you're saying is the driver didn't curb it? :confused3


:thumbsup2


I'm surprised you didn't already do that research and put it in your update.


I thought I’d leave that one to your imagination.
(I can’t do all the work)


Mickey Mouse and M&M World... If DS had to describe Heaven, that would probably be it.


They aim to please


Ok... Disneyfication... Duffy Square... you're starting to worry me.


Talk to the folks in Times Square… I’m just reporting what I saw.



Thank God! I'm glad it isn't that stupid, commercialized, wannabe Pooh bear.


Here I must agree with you. I have no use what so ever for that manufactured bit of nothingness.


Funny how that works, isn't it?


“The Maniacal Mouse”

That moniker is well deserved, but I’ll forgive them their excesses.
What they do well… they do very well.
What they do poorly, is generally easy to ignore.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
03-19-2012, 06:16 PM
Chapter 3: Taking a Bite Out of the Apple (Day 3 - Wednesday)




Part 3: Getting Our Fill…





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-301.jpg





Guess what? I’m not going to assault you with one of my pointless lead-ins (this time anyway). Since I plan to include plenty of unnecessary detail about things that you likely don’t really care about anyway… why not just get it over with. Besides, there is plenty of TR left to really abuse y’all with way too much useless clap-trap in the future. For now, I think we’ll just get back on the bus and begin making up stories about the rest of the ride down to the pier.



OK driver… take a left at the next light if you will sir.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Landmarks



Once we’d rolled through Times Square, our guide had us turn onto 42nd street. This road, immortalized on stage and in song, is one of the major cross-town streets. It is most known for the theaters and merchandising that resides here but it also marks the boundary between Midtown and the Garment District (in the center part of the island at least). This area is generally considered to cover the area from Fifth Avenue to Ninth Avenue, and from 42nd down to 34th Street. While being less than one square mile in area, this is where you’ll find the majority of New York’s fashion showrooms, major labels, design and production houses and wholesale sellers (both of raw materials and finished goods). Working for a textile manufacturer, I know this first hand and have this spot in town to thank for my previous two visits to NYC (It’s also where you’ll find Macy’s and where we’d be watching the parade tomorrow, but I’ll get to that later on).

As we rolled east along this “boundary road”, the first site encountered was this one…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-302.jpg

Bryant Park


That spot was originally used by the city as a Potter's Field ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potter's_field) until 1840, when thousands of bodies were removed. It has been a public space ever since. Like most public spaces in the city it’s had it’s ups and downs, from graveyard to picnic park to "no-go zone" (it was even called “Needle Park” during the 1970s due to the brisk trade in heroin). But like much of Manhattan, this is also a redemption story. A private corporation was formed using charitable funding in the 1980s and immediately set about reclaiming the space. It was even closed for a complete renovation at one point and since the 90s has been considered a triumph of urban renewal. As it turns out, I’d be getting a chance to take a closer look at this fine space. But it would be at arms length as there would be a rather large barrier that would prevent me from actually getting inside for a better look around.


Next stop, the main branch of the New York Public Library…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-303.jpg


Technically, this is actually still Bryan Park. It stands facing Fifth Ave between 42nd and 40th and the back of the building effectible creates the parks eastern barrier. This library is second only to the Library of Congress as a repository of volumes and artifacts. It was created at the turn of the twentieth century using philanthropic funds and by combining two existing libraries. The simplest way to describe the interior is that it is a massive reading room sitting atop seven floors of book stacks.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/02/NYC_Public_Library_Research_Room_Jan_2006.jpg/800px-NYC_Public_Library_Research_Room_Jan_2006.jpg
(from Wikimedia Commons)


There were over seventy-five miles of shelving in place when it first opened and the storage capabilities have since been expanded and extended underground and beneath Bryant Park. But all of that is stuff you can’t see through the window of a bus.

This, however, you can see…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-305.jpg


That… is “Patience”; one of the famed marble lion sculptures that guard the library. The one at the north end of the plaza here in known as “Fortitude”. I could tell you why, but being rather cruel I think I’ll save that bit for now and tuck it into something else that caught my attention in a future post (like it of not).


Continuing south we hit the boundary between the Garment District and the neighborhoods of Chelsea (to the west) and Gramercy (to the east). The linchpin that demarks these subjective boarders begins at about 34th street at a spot the USPS refers to as 350 Fifth Avenue. If you travel to that location you’ll encountered one of the most famous sites in the city (or the world for that mater); The Empire State Building…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-306.jpg


Well… that’s what it looks like as viewed through a bus window. Actually, if you look at that a bit more closely, you’ll note that the top is obscured by clouds. Yes, it’s rather tall (and with much sorrow, it’s once again the tallest thing in the city for now), but the problem is that the clouds were just that low. The rain that had plagued us all week was about to return once again.

Hummmm… I think I got off the subject there…
where was Iiiiii (yes Andy, I know… on a bus). Oh! I remember…

Like anything that massive, you have to back away from this giant to see it clearly. Being as we were driving right by the thing though, we really could only see it in pieces (as defined by the size of the windows).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-307.jpg



OK… here’s a mini Bonus Feature
(because this story tickled me when I head it)

The history surrounding the plot of land beneath the Empire State Building is as interesting as any in the folklore of the island. Like most everything on the numbered streets of Manhattan, this was once a farm. Later the area became known for the fine houses of the well-to-do including two members of the Astor family whose mansions sat side by side on this block. When a dispute arose between William Astor and his powerful socialite aunt, Caroline Astor, William tore down his late father’s home and erected the thirteen-story “Waldorf Hotel”. It purposely overshadowed everything in the neighborhood and most certainly his aunt’s home right next door.

The insult was effective as “Lady Astor” had no intention of living next to something as lowbrow as a hotel. At first she considered tearing her home down and replacing it with a stable (as an insult to the “grand” building beside it). Ultimately though she moved farther uptown and had her son, John Jacob Astor IV, erect the rival “Astoria Hotel” on the spot instead (making sure it was four floors higher).

Now, the fellow who built the Astoria for them was previously involved in building the Waldorf as well and shrewdly constructed the new building it in such a way as to be able to merge the two together later on. Once the feud calmed down, this is exactly what was done thus creating the now famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. That noted hotel and residence to the ultra wealthy still exists but it moved to a new building on Park Avenue in 1928, which cleared the way for construction of this block’s current occupant.

You want to know what that feud was about?

It seems that William (being the oldest living Astor at the time) felt that his wife should be allowed to use the title “Lady Astor”. His aunt however (who basically invented the New York social hierarchy of class, status and exclusion in the first place), begged to differ. Thus is can be said that the Waldorf-Astoria was the result of stunningly insufferable vanity.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Lower Manhattan



This next section will actually be relatively short (compared to my normal musings that is). Short in length, short on pictures, short on details (y’all can go on ahead and cheer it ya’ like… I’ll wait a minute)


:rolleyes1


Now, as I was saying a bit ago, the weather was about to conspire again to put a bit of a crimp in the day. In the mean time, Bus-4 continued on its course down Fifth Avenue and into the Flatiron District, which derives its name from the well know “Flatiron” building (imagine that). That structure was one of the earliest skyscrapers in town and is known for its distinctive and very narrow front façade (which makes it appear a little like an iron from above), but this site ended up being on the other side of the bus, so I’ve got no images of it worth sharing. But (and speaking of “worth”), I did get a better look at this odd monument…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-308.jpg


That is “General Worth Square” and it’s at the very north end (and considered part of) Madison Square. Originally this was the tomb of one: General William Jenkins Worth (the same fellow that Fort Worth, Texas is named for). Actually it still is his grave, and aside from Grant’s Tomb, it the only other city monument that is also a mausoleum.

When we got down to 8th Street, it was time to shift a bit east off of Fifth Ave, and picked up Broadway again to continue on south (this is also about the point that the rain started back up). A lot of the buildings here are now part of New York University, which doesn’t have a campus per say, but moves into anything that becomes vacant in the area whenever they need to expand.

Here’s the next “sight” I ran across…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-309.jpg


Although it’s not really all that famous, the Cable Building is the bearer of a number of odd distinctions. While it is currently fairly well known retail and office space recognized for its architecture, it was originally built as a power plant that generated the energy needed to run the cable cars system that once existed in this area (hence the name). The more interesting thing is that the building looked the same then as it does now. It blended into the neighborhood with the rest of the offices and residences while on the inside it was more of a factory in structure and feel. An additional thing that this spot does is to mark another neighborhood transition point. This is the corner or Broadway and Houston (which in NYC is pronounced “how’- ston”) and serves as the north boarder of “Soho”. The area of town that is:
“South Of HOuston”.

One other thing I can say about the previous picture is that it’s really the last thing I got a clear picture of for a while. The rain pretty much reduced the next series of shots down to something like this…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-310.jpg


Not much to look at. The remainder of the tour took us across Canal St (which serves as the heart of China Town), and then west back across the island on Chambers St. through the part of town known as Tribeca; another neighborhood acronym meaning:
"TRIangle BElow CAnal street".

It was about here that the rain let up just enough to at least take a picture…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-311.jpg


It’s an interesting pedestrian bridge but not that amazing a photo or landmark. I’m just pleased that it turned out at all, so you’re stuck with it now. From here the bus took a left and headed down West St and into the Financial District. This major right-of-way runs by the World Trade Center, but again I was on the wrong side of the bus (and we’ll be back here later on anyway). The route then traversed the very southern tip of the island, passed Battery Park, and headed toward the East River waterfront. Over here at the end a short street called “Old Slip” is this
unusually narrow building…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-312.jpg

This is the current home of the NY Police Department Museum and it was originally the location of the offices of the NYPD First Percent. There is also an extensive exhibit related to the September 11, 2001 tragedy on the third floor.

The next turn of the wheel took us onto South Street where we enjoyed this fog obscured, rain drenched perspective on the harbor and Brooklyn across the river on Long Island.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-313.jpg.


Next stop… end of the line at the South Street Sea Port.
It’s time for a little lunch, and a little bit of exploring.




Oh yah…


There will be pictures of ships too.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-314.jpg.





Now you’ve been fairly warned me ‘arties, so if you know what be good for ya’…
You’d be best to consider just passing by that chapter all together now.





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-012.jpg

FreezinRafiki
03-20-2012, 10:07 AM
Guess what? I’m not going to assault you with one of my pointless lead-ins
Oh really? Well, maybe I'll just skip this update then.

Since I plan to include plenty of unnecessary detail about things that you likely don’t really care about anyway… why not just get it over with.
Ok, you've lured me back.

While being less than one square mile in area, this is where you’ll find the majority of New York’s fashion showrooms, major labels, design and production houses
Note to self: avoid the "Garment District" while in NY. The the theme seems to be at odds with my Mickey Mouse t-shirt and $20 jean style.



That spot was originally used by the city as a Potter's Field ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potter's_field) until 1840, when thousands of bodies were removed. It has been a public space ever since. Like most public spaces in the city it’s had it’s ups and downs, from graveyard to picnic park to "no-go zone" (it was even called “Needle Park” during the 1970s due to the brisk trade in heroin). But like much of Manhattan, this is also a redemption story. A private corporation was formed using charitable funding in the 1980s and immediately set about reclaiming the space. It was even closed for a complete renovation at one point and since the 90s has been considered a triumph of urban renewal. As it turns out, I’d be getting a chance to take a closer look at this fine space.
Why? You trying to score some heroin?:eek:


That… is “Patience”; one of the famed marble lion sculptures that guard the library. The one at the north end of the plaza here in known as “Fortitude”. I could tell you why, but being rather cruel I think I’ll save that bit for now and tuck it into something else that caught my attention in a future post (like it of not).
Soooo...you're making us wait to see how Patience got his name. You're a shrewd one, Rob. Very shrewd indeed.


Continuing south we hit the boundary between the Garment District and the neighborhoods of Chelsea (to the west) and Gramercy (to the east).
It's weird - I've heard of most of these places before, but mostly from Law and Order reruns. You narrative tour - and the map you put up a few updates ago - are quite educational. The biggest city I've really had much experience with - Milwaukee - has basically "Downtown", "North Side", "South Side" and "West Side". Realized just how many people and how much stuff - and history - is packed into that small of an island is mind boggling.


It seems that William (being the oldest living Astor at the time) felt that his wife should be allowed to use the title “Lady Astor”. His aunt however (who basically invented the New York social hierarchy of class, status and exclusion in the first place), begged to differ. Thus is can be said that the Waldorf-Astoria was the result of stunningly insufferable vanity.

:sad2::sad2:

Captain_Oblivious
03-21-2012, 01:42 PM
Guess what? I’m not going to assault you with one of my pointless lead-ins (this time anyway).

Interesting. Changing tactics, keeping the reader on his toes. But can he avoid posting a picture of a ship? :confused3

While being less than one square mile in area, this is where you’ll find the majority of New York’s fashion showrooms, major labels, design and production houses

Is this also where they hold those "fashion shows" where models with weird hair-dos strut around in "clothing" no human being would ever wear even if his/her life depended on it?

The simplest way to describe the interior is that it is a massive reading room sitting atop seven floors of book stacks.

I'm a sucker for hanging around in the local Barnes & Noble, so I probably should never set foot in here.

There were over seventy-five miles of shelving in place when it first opened and the storage capabilities have since been expanded and extended underground and beneath Bryant Park.

Is that where they keep the heroin now? :confused3

That… is “Patience”; one of the famed marble lion sculptures that guard the library. The one at the north end of the plaza here in known as “Fortitude”.

These guys are fine. I don't want to meet "Hungry". :eek:

Well… that’s what it looks like as viewed through a bus window. Actually, if you look at that a bit more closely, you’ll note that the top is obscured by clouds. Yes, it’s rather tall (and with much sorrow, it’s once again the tallest thing in the city for now), but the problem is that the clouds were just that low.

Reminds me of the first time DW and I went to Chicago. We wanted to go up in the Hancock Tower, but it was socked in with clouds. We were forced to go back a few years later with the Frozen Monkey family. I wonder if you'll be suffering a similar fate...

Thus is can be said that the Waldorf-Astoria was the result of stunningly insufferable vanity.

Oh, to have the problems of the insanely rich.

Oh yah…
There will be pictures of ships too.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-314.jpg

Oh! So close! :rotfl2:

Note to self: avoid the "Garment District" while in NY. The the theme seems to be at odds with my Mickey Mouse t-shirt and $20 jean style.

::yes::

I got in a lot of trouble a couple of years back with my SIL when I wondered out loud what kind of moron pays $75 for a pair of "designer" jeans. Guess what she likes to wear? :eek::rotfl2:

afwdwfan
03-22-2012, 10:17 AM
For now, I think we’ll just get back on the bus and begin making up stories about the rest of the ride down to the pier.
So you're saying you made all this stuff up?:confused3


Hummmm… I think I got off the subject there…
where was Iiiiii (yes Andy, I know… on a bus). Oh! I remember…
:rolleyes1


Thus is can be said that the Waldorf-Astoria was the result of stunningly insufferable vanity.
If you look at a lot of well known landmarks around this country, it seems that vanity, rivalry or just simple hard headed attitudes led to their creation.:lmao:


Next stop… end of the line at the South Street Sea Port. It’s time for a little lunch, and a little bit of exploring.
Sounds like fun!


Oh yah…
There will be pictures of ships too.
We wouldn't expect anything less from you.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
04-29-2012, 05:05 PM
Chapter 3: Taking a Bite Out of the Apple (Day 3 - Wednesday)




Part 4: Rumblings of Mutiny








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-401.jpg



So there you are… you’ve climbed down inside the apple barrel because you’re just not tall enough to reach the goodies down there at the bottom. Since you’re already here, you figure it’s as good a place as any to rest a minute and enjoy a snack. Apple in hand, you take that first tasty bite and while your savoring that morsel and contemplating how lovely the next one will be, you suddenly find that you are guilty of eavesdropping. There is an impromptu crew meeting commencing just outside your sanctuary and their conversation involves a not so subtle plan to take over the ship. This is the kind of thing that could get a sailor keelhauled (or worse). And if the conspirators knew or even thought that they’d been overheard, then that “or worse” bit of the equation could very quickly befall you as well!


So what’s a young cabin boy to do with such dangerous knowledge?


Well for young Jim Hawkins, this rude awakening marked the bright line in the story where an amazing adventure turned into a life and death struggle.


For us…


A similar proposal to commandeer one of our vessels (specifically: Bus-4) wasn’t going to be anywhere near as consequential. If fact it might seem trivial, but… it would certainly lead us to a rather different adventure form the one that we’d originally signed on for. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Best to start at the beginning…





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The South Street Seaport



Bus tour of Manhattan now over, we said our goodbyes to the group of tour guides that had kept us so entertained this morning. From here, we’d be on our own for couple of hours. So where’s here?


Why… Pier 17 matey!

A place more commonly referred to as The South Street Sea Port.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-402.jpg


Well that’s what it looks like now. Originally this was the city’s main port. Pretty much every bit of freight that entered the city via the water came through this spot where Fulton Street meets the East River in what is now the financial district.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-403.jpg


The South Street Seaport Museum was founded in 1967 and the focus at the time was the preservation of the block of buildings known as Schermerhorn Row on the southwest side of Fulton Street. The idea was to create an educational historic site, with "shops" mostly operating as reproductions of working environments found during the Seaport's heyday form around 1820 up to about 1860 (and the beginning of the Civil War).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-404.jpg


This area was also formally home to the Fulton Fish Market. That facility has since moved to the Bronx but it is still the most important East Coast wholesale fish market in the US. After the market moved out, the museum group then acquired those building as well. The old structures on the pier were replaced at about this same time with what is basically a shopping mall. The intention there was to draw in more tourists. So far the decision seems to be working. In truth, given our rather short time frame for adventuring, we’d be spending pretty much all of our time in this newer area, but there is a good bit to explore, so I’d recommend taking a little time to walk around down here if you get the chance.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

On the Water Front



As I said, the buildings that are actually on the pier make up what is basically a mall…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-405.jpg


But there are also a good number of dinning options here and that was really the basic intention for this stop in the first place. I hunted down an independent counter that happily sold me a rather good cheese steak sandwich, and the girls went with a bit of seafood. All things considered, not a bad dinning experience.

We also caught sight of our young’en several times around here as he was roaming the area in the company of the other kids in his quartet (remember, loosing site of your assigned buddies was one way to quickly get yourself shipped back home at mom and dad’s expense). See him we did, but we basically left him alone and did no more then wave. It’s tough letting go of you teens, but it’s also necessary to give them the room needed to master that independence thing which will be descending upon them evermore rapidly as the last days of childhood pass them by.

After lunch we still had about an hour before we needed to meet up for the drive back to Jersey, As such, exploring was the order of the day but given the time constraints we decided to explore the sites that were close at hand. And from this point on the island the most obvious site to be seen would be this one…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-406.jpg


…The Brooklyn Bridge (and to think, no one even offered me a chance to buy the thing).

The other engineering marvel in the picture there is the Manhattan Bridge but it’s the older span that grabs all the headlines. If you look a bit more carefully from this spot though, you can actually see three bridges…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-407.jpg


That one in the distance there is the Williamsburg Bridge. Now then let’s get back to the main structure in this exhibit. As you can see, there was a bit of refurbishment in progress that spoiled the look of things just a might…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-408.jpg


But we still took the opportunity to have our mugs immortalized with another NYC icon…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-409.jpg


Yah… I’ve always wanted to have my picture taken with one of those quarter-driven tourist binocular/viewer thingies (they’re just so cool… oh, and the river and the bridges in the background are kind’a nice as well). Now with one more photo-op ticked of the list, I had a bit of time to wander the rest of the pier area. Just behind where we were standing I spotted something I wasn’t expecting to see at all: a wedding. Well, it was probably more a reception, but still not something I was expecting. The Groom was escorting his bride down the stairs to a lower level and what I must assume was a rentable space for parties and such…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-410.jpg


The odder thing here at least form an American perspective was that there was a wedding taking place on a Wednesday in the first place. That’s rare now-a-days, but it use to be far more common. Interestingly, I ran across a rhyme many years ago that was used to explain the superstitious benefits and pitfalls related to the day that one got themselves hitched. This bit of “folksy wisdom” was used up through the nineteenth century and goes like this…

“Monday for wealth, Tuesday for health, Wednesday the best day of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses and Saturday for no luck at all”

If there is any merit to that trifling missive, then it ain’t no wonder that over half of marriages in this country (most of which take place on Saturday) don’t quite make it. I mean we’re all starting out with no luck right off the bat. That’s a tough deficit to be inflicted with while you still haven’t even figured out just who you are much less how to compromise on everything under the sun with another strong willed individual (but it’s still been fun trying to figure it out). Oh well, either way, I wish those folks well.

That’s that end of that pointless and unrelated tangent, but now it’s time to talk about something that’s really boring…


SHIPS!


(y’all can feel free to skip the rest of this, ya’ know.)



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Tall Ships



The Sea Port really is more then just a shopping mall although that is what most folks are here for, but given our time constraints we really weren’t able to check everything out thoroughly. Other then the Pier-17 retail building and the block of storefronts on Schermerhorn Row…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-411.jpg


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-412.jpg


…you can also find: a working 19th-century print shop, an archeology museum, a maritime library, a craft center, a marine life conservation lab and a number of individual exhibition galleries. You will even encounter the remnants of a lighthouse ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic_Memorial_(New_York_City)) that was first erected as a memorial to the loss of the RMS Titanic. This structure now stands at the entrance to the museum complex, on the corner of Fulton and Pearl streets. But still, the most obvious and dominant artifacts that you’ll encounter are a collection of vessels that make up the largest privately owned fleet of historic ships in the country.

Just to the south of the Mall building at Pier-16…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-413.jpg


I mean, seriously… as they look rather quaint and out of place among the buildings of the Lower Manhattan skyline, they’re rather hard to miss wouldn’t you say?


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-414.jpg


This is a group of around eight historic ships with significant history relating to cargo handling, harbor duties and the merchant marine in general. This armada is made up of tugs, lighters, schooners, a light ship and a pair of Edwardian Era sailing freighters built and rigged to a style known as a braque. The grande dame of the group would be the “Peking” (1911)…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-415.jpg


And ranking a very close second in the categories of elegance and statuesque beauty would be the slightly older “Wavertree” (1885)…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-416.jpg


Even though steam power had long since surpassed even the great clipper ships for speed and reliability by the time these freighters were launched, iron and steel hulled sailing vessels were still being built and operated well into the twenty century. They were able to eke out meager returns by sailing routes that were difficult to serve by steam ships due to the vast amounts of coal that would have been required. The most common circuits frequented by this type of ship were the hazardous trips around the horn of South America and around the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa. They would carry bulk cargos such as jute, rubber and nitrates along these difficult and treacherous waters and did so until the advent of better canals, turbine engines and more light weight and low volume fuels (oil & diesel) finally made them unprofitable. Afterward, those ships that were not scraped outright were often abandoned, used in bulk storage functions or even as housing in some instances. These two examples were acquired by the museum at different times and refurbished over the years.


While I’m here, let me give you a better look at some of the smaller ships that you’ll encounter as well…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-417.jpg


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-418.jpg


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-419.jpg


I could tell you a lot more about each, but I figure that those who really want to know more will have already looked each one up (right)? Ok, I do believe that I’ve assaulted y’all about enough with this ship tour foolishness. Let me just say that while I enjoyed the close up look, I was disappointed that the exhibits were closed and no one could go aboard.

Such is life.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Arrrrr… We’re a commandeering this here vessel mate; savy!



It was right about here that Tracy (this lady is our head chaperone for most school functions) was able to track us down with both a warning and a proposition. Ya’ see, the plan for tomorrow was that the kids needed to be in town very, very early, but the “tag-along” folks weren’t heading out until considerably later in the morning (closer to sunrise). The problem was that our directors needed to spread the kids out a bit so that (for expediencie’s sake) they could carry some of the gear needed up in the bus cabins. They also needed additional room for the instructors and chaperones that would be walking the parade route as well but who had all ridden up on one of the two “adult busses” (the three busses with the kids were pretty much full to the rafters from the get go). What this meant to us was that Bus-4 would be leaving at O-dark-30 with the kids and… that there were going to be too many folks left back at the hotel for all to fit into the remaining Bus-5.

This was a problem… the mutiny was taking place one way or another but… Tracy had a plan and we could either profit by it, or take our chances and potentially find ourselves marooned in the morning. She was looking for fifteen loons… errrrr…. I mean good salts, that would be willing to join in on the bus-4 takeover and travel into town in the ridiculously early AM with the kids. Tracy is also no fool. She knew exactly which folks would most likely make that kind of sacrifice for the organization and in asking us… she proved herself correct.

I’ll tell y’all more about this decision and its consequences latter on, but for now…
It’s just about time to get back on the busses and head for Jersey.

All of the kids had by now started collecting in groups by bus number near the front of the piers.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-420.jpg


It’ amazing how when you trust folks, they will generally meet you expectations (and when you challenge them, they usually exceed them), but there was another potential problem on the horizon as well.

After we’d stood a little longer then anyone was initially expecting to have to, the word got passed along that Bus-1 had a flat tire and it wasn’t certain just how long it would take to fix. As a result, our leaders were contemplating spreading everyone out in the remaining buses by filling the isles and sitting on laps (both of which are seen as illegal in NYC and frowned upon mightily by our home school district). This wouldn’t be a first and sometime I’ll have to tell y’all the story about when on a different trip one of our busses was attacked by a turkey, but for now let’s just say that this was turning out to be a potential major headache. At least the rain had finally stopped or this would have been a rather miserable wait as well. As it turns out, however, the city of New York proved its resourcefulness and stepped up to help us out. Apparently it is true that one can find just about anything here (and on short notice too), so we had a bus tire repair crew on site in jig time and ended up loosing only about twenty minutes off the schedule. With that problem now averted, we loaded up and headed back up town toward the Lincoln Tunnel.

We rolled back across the financial district again…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-421.jpg


and even passed by “MIB Headquarters”…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-422.jpg


Gaurd: "Help you?"

James Edwards: "This dude gave me this card..."

Guard: "Elevator."



From here the caravan traveled up the west side of the island until we rounded by the art-deco light towers that mark the entrance to the tunnel…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-423.jpg


Before we knew it, the city was in our rearview. Once back at the hotel the “grownups” were free to “chill-ax”, but the kids all headed to their rooms, changed clothes, grabbed their horn and gear and headed back out to the parking lot for one last rehearsal session. After a couple of hours of fine tuning they were also dismissed and every one was invited down to the ball room for a pizza party dinner, compliments of the hotel kitchen…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-424.jpg


The sun had not yet set, but day three was ostensibly over. After a bit of grub and one more pep talk, lights out for those leaving in the first wave was announced as 19:30 hours. The directors could advise but not force the kids to get some sleep, but they could enforce an order for general quiet after lights-out. Being as we’d signed on (or had been shanghaied depending on your point of view) to be part of that expedition, we also decided it’d be best to comply with the early bedtime suggestion.




Oddly enough, we were still so tuckered from the combination of the drive up and all the running around of the last couple of days, that once the curtains were drawn and the lamps had been doused, sleep came easily and rather quickly.




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-013.jpg

FreezinRafiki
05-02-2012, 03:19 PM
This area was also formally home to the Fulton Fish Market.
And perchance the namesake of Fulton's Crab House in Downtown Disney?:confused3

The Groom was escorting his bride down the stairs to a lower level and what I must assume was a rentable space for parties and such…
My guess is that they just use those get-ups as an elaborate rouse to distract you while their cohorts pick your wallet.

But then again, I'm pretty jaded about the big cities....


“Monday for wealth, Tuesday for health, Wednesday the best day of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses and Saturday for no luck at all”
Sounds like a rhyme made up by the wedding industry to drive more business to the slower days of the week.


Other then the Pier-17 retail building and the block of storefronts on Schermerhorn Row…
You know one of the customary was to dismiss and idea is to modify the name of it?
"Johnny, do your homework."
"Homework, shomework! Let's got the park!"

How does that goes for Schermerhorn Row?

"We've got to get to Schermerhorn Row by 5:00."
"Schermerhorn, Shschermerhorn! Let's go to the park!":confused3

Bonus points: that without sounding drunk.

As a result, our leaders were contemplating spreading everyone out in the remaining buses by filling the isles and sitting on laps
I'm guessing each bus had at least one unoccupied seat in the back. Privacy door and everything. :rolleyes1

Captain_Oblivious
05-02-2012, 04:19 PM
But there are also a good number of dinning options here and that was really the basic intention for this stop in the first place. I hunted down an independent counter that happily sold me a rather good cheese steak sandwich, and the girls went with a bit of seafood.

A decent cheesesteak in NYC? I find that hard to believe.

It’s tough letting go of you teens, but it’s also necessary to give them the room needed to master that independence thing which will be descending upon them evermore rapidly as the last days of childhood pass them by.

Is that when they start cleaning their rooms? :confused3

…The Brooklyn Bridge (and to think, no one even offered me a chance to buy the thing).

Well, then let me be the first!

The Groom was escorting his bride down the stairs to a lower level and what I must assume was a rentable space for parties and such…

Snazzy white tux. :rolleyes1

“Monday for wealth, Tuesday for health, Wednesday the best day of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses and Saturday for no luck at all”

I got married on a Saturday...and I think I did ok. :thumbsup2

That’s that end of that pointless and unrelated tangent, but now it’s time to talk about something that’s really boring…

Cover sheets on TPS reports?

SHIPS!


Oh. That's not so bad.

I mean, seriously… as they look rather quaint and out of place among the buildings of the Lower Manhattan skyline, they’re rather hard to miss wouldn’t you say?

I'm not sure anything really looks out of place in New York.

She knew exactly which folks would most likely make that kind of sacrifice for the organization and in asking us… she proved herself correct.

The less selfish are always the ones that get dumped on.

and even passed by “MIB Headquarters”…

+1 :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
05-04-2012, 01:36 PM
And perchance the namesake of Fulton's Crab House in Downtown Disney?:confused3


Hummmmm… don’t know that for certain, but I like it. so let’s go with that one.



My guess is that they just use those get-ups as an elaborate rouse to distract you while their cohorts pick your wallet.

But then again, I'm pretty jaded about the big cities....


So I’m guessing you don’t head into downtown Racine very often then.



Sounds like a rhyme made up by the wedding industry to drive more business to the slower days of the week.


I would put it past them, but why would they then go on and discourage half of the days (including the most common one) in the same sentence.




You know one of the customary was to dismiss and idea is to modify the name of it?
"Johnny, do your homework."
"Homework, shomework! Let's got the park!"

How does that goes for Schermerhorn Row?

"We've got to get to Schermerhorn Row by 5:00."
"Schermerhorn, Shschermerhorn! Let's go to the park!":confused3

Bonus points: that without sounding drunk.



Drunk, Schmunk… like I care what other people think?

(Practical Yiddish lesson of the day)




I'm guessing each bus had at least one unoccupied seat in the back. Privacy door and everything. :rolleyes1


Interesting point, but you wouldn’t want to be the one with the privilege. The “Lav” on your standard coach is not quite as opulent as say… the ones on an airplane which by design whisk away all the undesirable offerings to some hermetically sealed and distant holding tank. On a bus, it’s a lot closer akin to a port-a-pot. We were warned at the beginning of the trip that we really should consider the restrooms as an emergency solution if at all possible. The reason? They would not be empting them out until the busses returned back to their garage once the trip was over. This being the case, any deposits made (and their associated aromatic auras) would be traveling with us throughout the week. I don’t believe I’d even be opening the door much less having a seat if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.







A decent cheesesteak in NYC? I find that hard to believe.


I said decent… not fabulous. It was certainly better then what’s available down this way or at your average chain restaurant.




Is that when they start cleaning their rooms? :confused3


Nope. That won’t be happening for you at all… they have to move out on their own first. They won’t be cleaning any room without a fight until it actually is “Their” room and they finally realize that if they don’t do it… then no one will.



Well, then let me be the first!


Just because you bought the thing doesn’t mean that I’m interested in taking it off your hands.


Snazzy white tux. :rolleyes1


I purposely chose not to comment on his fashion sense. He had enough things to be worried about starting the next day anyway (besides, it’s the brides day… she likely chose the attire in the first place).



I got married on a Saturday...and I think I did ok. :thumbsup2


As did I (and I also chose wisely as well), and nearly everyone else in the US and most parts of Europe starting at about the time Queen Victoria rewrote the standards. Weddings are a little like Christmas traditions. Most of the ones that are pushed heavily by retailers and the advertising industry are not really all that old. The rhyme was just something I ran across in my various readings of pointless trivia and it really goes back to the middle ages. Given their life expectancy and the general way the average individual was treated… I can see why they’d be looking for anything that would bring them even a little bit of perceived luck.



Cover sheets on TPS reports?


Hay… I am into useless knowledge, but I’m not a sadist.


Oh. That's not so bad.


That depends on whom you ask, but I’m pretty sure that Barry and you are the only folks reading this thing in the first place (and it’s fairly obvious just how much respect the three of us have for one-n-other).


I'm not sure anything really looks out of place in New York.


Were we talking about a person I’d agree 100%. Antiquated “things” however, do tend to stand out amongst all those hard edges.



The less selfish are always the ones that get dumped on.


And have the least power




Aren’t both of those statements, like… commandments or something?


+1 :thumbsup2


I posted that one just for you.

;)

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
07-10-2012, 03:30 PM
Well folks… I’m back.

I’d ask if you missed me, but I gots me doubts about that one.
:(

As the tiny handful that are following this mess know, I’ve gotten a might behind. This was first caused by an unusually high amount of job related interference. That then got exacerbated by a great deal of family life interference. The second one I can handle, but the first one tends to put me into a bit of a depression induced tail spin from time to time.
:faint:

To solve the problem I first decided to finish the “Experiment 629” TR that I was working on simultaneously. Doing two at once was actually not a good idea as it turns out, but that first mission is now accomplished. As such, it’s high time I got back on to the task of finishing this one up. Something I really need to do more quickly as in our house the first part of the school year will be starting up in about two weeks and being as it’s my boy’s senior year, this is going to be rather a rollercoaster of a ride for all of us. I may have to scale back on my grand ambitions for this story line just to get it in the box, but we’ll see how that goes.
:surfweb:

Consider this a formal apology for wasting your time to now and it won’t hurt my feelings a bit if none of ya’ even bother with this one any more. But I do intend to finish it up, so I’ll post up an actual update in just a moment or two here.

Be right back shortly there folks.

:wave2:


Really!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
07-10-2012, 03:53 PM
Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway (Day 4 – The Main Event)




Part 1: Zero-Dark-Thirty








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-101.jpg



1:15 in the very AM…


That’s the time the LEDs on our alarm clock displayed as it began making quite the ruckus on Thanksgiving morning. Just a few hours before, one of the other parents we were traveling with had asked me: “So… are you stupid too?” (For agreeing to travel into town early that is.) Well the blaring alarm will surface as the state’s Exhibit-A. The prosecution rests your honor.

The first thing I did was shut that blasted alarm off. The second was to snap a picture of the view out our window. Low and behold and for the first time this trip… I could see something other than rain, clouds and muck.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-102.jpg


I was actually able to see Manhattan sparkling in the distance.

“It’s gonn’a be a good day Tater”.


Once the girls had been rousted from their slumber, the telle got switched on for a bit of noise to help get us moving. “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” is what happened to be airing at the time. Now the only reason I’m relating that unnecessary detail is because this show is also the last thing I saw on that same TV back on Monday evening (well, Tuesday by then) when we first got to the hotel. Here it is, the start of our third day and this same show is the first thing I see in the morning.
Obviously my schedule is completely out of whack.

Next order of business… a weather check. The forecast was for a bright sunny day with the temperature currently pegged at about 27 degrees. A cold front had finally driven all that rain off the coast. But now it was also time to bust out the long-johns and wrap up in as many layers as we could get away with.

We were going to be out in the elements for a long while…
the high was only going to be about 54…
and the mercury wasn’t going to make it that far before the parade was over.

With everyone now somewhat awake, washed up and wrapped up in cocoons of our own choosing, we caught the elevator down to the lower level and encountered a flurry of activity. In no time at all the entire outfit (band, chaperones and those of us that had been hoodwinked into this predawn assault) had piled into four of the five bus... err... coaches.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-103.jpg



By 2:30… the whole circus was on its way.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-104.jpg



Once more we made the journey beneath the Hudson…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-105.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-106.jpg



Now back on the island, the caravan pulled along the curb on 37th street and disgorged its somewhat bleary-eyed contents.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-107.jpg



There were several other bands roaming around the same area as well but it didn’t take long before all our kids were properly rounded up and ready to move out. We meet our rep from the parade committee and she led the group up the street toward 6th Avenue.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-108.jpg



The “Avenue of the Americas” was uncharacteristically devoid of vehicles, but the bands that were preparing for their respective run-throughs, filled up the empty space quite nicely. Our directors wasted no time getting everyone into rank and file and then set them to warming up. As each unit ahead of us completed its turn on “The Spot”, every other group simply moved up along 6th Ave. until they reached 34th street. The kids form NaFo rounded that corner for the first time at 3:32 AM.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-109.jpg



This is as far as I was going to be allowed to travel with them. Security was fairly tight at this corner and if you didn’t have a badge identifying yourself as either: staff, a participant or a chaperone, you didn’t get beyond the barriers.

I struck up a conversation with a fell’a from Brooklyn who said that he came out at this wacky hour of the morning every year to watch and listen to the different bands go through rehearsal. It was just a tradition for him and he enjoyed the music and watching the kids. If I lived up that way, I could see myself doing something similar, but I’m also certifiably insane, so that makes sense.
Anyway… he was explaining that each unit generally took about three or more practice swings at it. One for the cameras to set their angles and for the parade directors to see how everything lined up; one more to make sure that everyone was listening when they were told what adjustments to make; and if lucky, a last shot at it to go through the whole routine. Some groups needed a few more attempts after that before everyone was satisfied. That’s what we were expecting, but it’s not what happened. Our kids got the signal to start their first run, the Major counted them off and away the whole operation went like a rather loud rhythmic machine.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-110.jpg



They hit the spot below the great “Believe” sign in front of Macy’s, broke formation, ran through the routine, reformed and continued on down 34th. A moment or two later the next group got the signal to move out and was promptly stopped and backed up for the second of what would be four runs. One and done… really? Apparently our kids had been smack on target and the parade staff didn’t need to change anything. Knowing how hard they had worked on this little one-minute fifteen-second routine (and everything else they do for that matter), I was quite pleased for them. They’d done good so far.

But it wasn’t until later on that I learned the magnitude of that little event. The woman who was acting as our band’s guide and liaison for the day (and was one of the VP’s of Marketing at Macy’s), told our kids that in the nine or so years shed been volunteering for this part of the show… no group had ever made it through the spot rehearsal in one shot. And, that she’d never heard of it having been done prior to her involvement with the parade either. That’s just a little detail, and not terribly important in the scheme of things, but still a quite nice testament to just how hard these kids work.

Kind’a makes you proud.











= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Nikola Tesla Corner



Did you know that 4:30 in the morning is actually too early for breakfast?
Well it is at McDonalds anyway.

Let me back up just a mite and then I’ll get back around to this tidbit in a minute.



After our kids had finished up their run-through, the guys in our group decided that we’d hang around and watch the proceedings for a bit longer. The clock hadn’t yet crossed the 04:00 barrier and the parade wouldn’t be starting until after 9:00.

We had time.

However, what we didn’t have (according to the women in the group that is) was brains. They decided that we could stand in the cold if we wanted to but they wouldn’t be joining us thank you very much. As such they retreated to a McD’s down the street for some coffee and a bit of heat. After about twenty minutes or so, with the adrenalin of the morning now completely worn off, the rest of us began to see the merit in their logic. As such, we also retreated back up a rather desolate and deserted 6th Avenue…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-111.jpg



In short order we located the ladies holed up in a Mc-Dining-Room. Since the whole group was together, and food was available, the decision was made to go ahead and grab some breakfast whilst also partaking of the warmth. The only problem with that idea (aside from the fact that what passes for breakfast at “Mickey’s” is marginal at best), was that the kitchen here would not be serving breakfast for another two hours.


Really? ? ?

So what was Plan-B?


Why, burgers for breakfast of course.
Good thing too as they were considerably tastier then whatever Egg-Mc-Whats-It I may have considered ordering.

As the clock made its way toward 6:00 the collective decided that we’d best steak out a spot somewhere along the parade route if we hoped to have front row accommodations. This meant bundling back up and heading out into the cold, which we did. A couple of blocks north we found what appeared at first to be an acceptable spot. Had we stayed there our view that day would have looked about like this…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-112.jpg



That’s in front of the “Residence Inn” on 6th. The only problem was that the bellhop demanded that we move along because only the hotel guests were going to be allowed to use that chunk of sidewalk.


Restricted access to a public sidewalk?
I don’t think so…

A cop happened to be walking by and my SIL (who enjoys a good confrontation form time to time and especially if she believes she’s in the right), asked the officer if this was the norm. The answer was: “Nope, it’s a public street”. But (and this is what settled the question for us)… he wasn’t going to get into the middle of the dispute unless fists started flying. Not being in the mood for a rumble or any other such nonsense, we let the little putz have his way (but I won’t be staying at that hotel any time soon). It turns out though that the royal jack-a$$ actually did us a favor. For just a block farther north we encountered…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-113.jpg


Nikola Tesla Corner



Now as to exactly why the corner of W 40th St and 6th Ave is named for this particular inventor, I haven’t yet researched (but you know I likely will).

This spot had a number of things going for it.
First off, it was across the street from Bryant Park…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-114.jpg



So our back-drop for the day would be trees and sky rather than tall buildings
(better for pictures, but you’ll be able to see that later on).

Since I was here I also took a moment or two to get a little better look at the park in its predawn shroud.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-115.jpg



It seemed a good idea at the time being as in a couple of hours I wouldn’t be able to even cross the street anymore.

The next good thing about this spot was we were smack on top of a subway grate…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-116.jpg



Every once and a while, the aroma was a might pungent, but the warm air forced out by the passing trains made the sharp cold a whole lot more bearable. Other useful elements of the topography included a permanent newsstand obstructing part of the area which helped keep the crowd down a might (and offered something to lean against), and the fact that being this near the side street, we should be able to get out of there more easily when it got to be time to cut and run.

At that point, we still had a good while before things would get moving, so with time to kill a few of the dads decided to walk up to Times Square and see what was going on. Even at this time of the morning, there were plenty of folks roaming around this glittering Mecca…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-117.jpg



Now the only vehicles on the street were the property of the NYPD and were there only to prep the parade route…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-118.jpg



But I was still amused to see so much activity so early on a holiday morning. The other guys wanted to see if they might make their way into some of the restaurants and shops in the square (just to look around), but I’d seen enough and decided to head back and join the others. On the way I caught site of the Chrysler building glowing in the distance (but the image bellow really doesn’t do it justice)…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-119.jpg



When I arrived back at Tesla corner, the city engineers were just getting around to moving the stop lights and street lights out of the way.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-120.jpg



No… Really!

That’s just not something that I thought about being an issue. However, one can imagine the havoc that all the signs and posts would wreak upon the lines and canvas that make up the various three story balloons that were about to ply the thoroughfares. It would be mayhem. Apparently all of the posts for the lamps, signs and signals are purposely designed to be swung out of the way. A cherry-picker would just roll up to each obstacle and one of the crew members would loosen a few bolts and then just turn the whole thing on its access.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-121.jpg



No rewiring, no fuss, no muss.

Because it never occurred to me before, this is one of the more interesting things I encountered on the trip. But then again, the folks up here have been putting on this little soiree for eighty-five years now so it does make sense that they’d have learned a trick or three on the logistics side of the equation.

Something else you’ll notice in that last image was that a little bit of daylight was actually starting to creep in. Dawn was upon us. This was something else I’d not yet encountered on this trip. A proper sunrise…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-122.jpg



It was turning out to be quit a beautiful day. The crowd had settled in along the route… we had a fabulous view across the Avenue of the Americas from which to watch the festivities… everything was clear and set to the south or us…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-123.jpg



Everything was “go” toward the north…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-124.jpg






We were cleared for takeoff.

It must be just about time to light this candle.





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-014.jpg

Captain_Oblivious
07-10-2012, 04:19 PM
1:15 in the very AM…

That’s the time the LEDs on our alarm clock displayed as it began making quite the ruckus on Thanksgiving morning.

:faint: Oh, that's painful just to read.

By 2:30… the whole circus was on its way.

Once more we made the journey beneath the Hudson…

Now we'll see if this truly is the city that never sleeps:

The “Avenue of the Americas” was uncharacteristically devoid of vehicles

Aha! Busted! :rotfl2:

I struck up a conversation with a fell’a from Brooklyn who said that he came out at this wacky hour of the morning every year to watch and listen to the different bands go through rehearsal. It was just a tradition for him and he enjoyed the music and watching the kids. If I lived up tat way, I could see myself doing something similar, but I’m also certifiably insane, so that makes sense.

Oh, sure, I could see doing that...


...once. :rotfl:

Our kids got the signal to start their first run, the Major counted them off and away the whole operation went like a rather loud rhythmic machine.

One and done… really? Apparently our kids had been smack on target and the parade staff didn’t need to change anything. Knowing how hard they had worked on this little one-minute fifteen-second routine (and everything else they do for that matter), I was quite pleased for them. They’d done good so far. But it wasn’t until later on that I learned the magnitude of that little event. The woman who was acting as our band’s guide and liaison for the day (and was one of the VP’s of Marketing at Macy’s), told our kids that in the nine or so years shed been volunteering for this part of the show… no group had ever made it through the spot rehearsal in one shot.

Awesome work. You guys deserve to be proud. :thumbsup2

So what was Plan-B?
Why, burgers for breakfast of course.

That's almost Macgyver-esque in its resourcefulness. :thumbsup2

The only problem was that the bellhop demanded that we move along because only the hotel guests were going to be allowed to use that chunk of sidewalk.

Restricted access to a public sidewalk?

Seriously. Did he produce a deed to the sidewalk? It's not even like it was the Ritz-Carlton, where you'd expect that kind of entitlement.

Nikola Tesla Corner

Now as to exactly why the corner of W 40th St and 6th Ave is named for this particular inventor, I haven’t yet researched (but you know I likely will).

My guess is somebody got lit up like a Christmas tree here.

It seemed a good idea at the time being as in a couple of hours I wouldn’t be able to even cross the street anymore.

I usually don't like to utter sentences that start with those words. :rotfl2:

The next good thing about this spot was we were smack on top of a subway grate…

There's a sentence you don't see everyday.

When I arrived back at Tesla corner, the city engineers were just getting around to moving the stop lights and street lights out of the way.

No… Really!

That’s just not something that I thought about being an issue.

Yet another reason why engineers are awesome. And under-appreciated. :thumbsup2

We were cleared for take off.

It must be just about time to light this candle.

popcorn::

FreezinRafiki
07-11-2012, 10:14 AM
1:15 in the very AM…
That's dangerously close to "why bother going to bed" territory.

Well the blaring alarm will surface as the state’s Exhibit-A. The prosecution rests your honor.
I hope you used an insanity defense.


Once the girls had been rousted from their slumber, the telle got switched on for a bit of noise to help get us moving. “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” is what happened to be airing at the time.
Exhibit-B. You're up before the Late Late Show finishes and before the Early Show starts.


Now back on the island, the caravan pulled along the curb on 37th street and disgorged its somewhat bleary-eyed contents.

I have a feeling that the drive in sucked all the adrenaline out of everyone. Just a hunch...
One and done… really? Apparently our kids had been smack on target and the parade staff didn’t need to change anything. Knowing how hard they had worked on this little one-minute fifteen-second routine (and everything else they do for that matter), I was quite pleased for them. They’d done good so far. But it wasn’t until later on that I learned the magnitude of that little event. The woman who was acting as our band’s guide and liaison for the day (and was one of the VP’s of Marketing at Macy’s), told our kids that in the nine or so years shed been volunteering for this part of the show… no group had ever made it through the spot rehearsal in one shot. And, that she’d never herd of it having been done prior to her involvement with the parade either. That’s just a little detail, and not terribly important in the scheme of things, but still a quite nice testament to just how hard these kids work.
Nice! :thumbsup2


The only problem with that idea (aside from the fact that what passes for breakfast at “Mickey’s” is marginal at best), was that the kitchen here would not be serving breakfast for another two hours.
Huh. Well, I guess they always advertise "Serving breakfast until 10:30!" (or whatever) But they never say when they start. Oh well. Nothing wrong with a Big Mac for breakfast.


That’s in front of the “Residence Inn” on 6th. The only problem was that the bellhop demanded that we move along because only the hotel guests were going to be allowed to use that chunk of sidewalk.

Restricted access to a public sidewalk?
I don’t think so…

A cop happened to be walking by and my SIL (who enjoys a good confrontation form time to time and especially if she believes she’s in the right), asked the officer if this was the norm. The answer was: “Nope, it’s a public street”. But (and this is what settled the question for us)… he wasn’t going to get into the middle of the dispute unless fists started flying. Not being in the mood for a rumble or any other such nonsense, we let the little putz have his way (but I won’t be staying at that hotel any time soon).
That's when you handle the situation "New York" style. Drop your drawers, mark the territory like a fox would, then say "you want this bit of sidewalk? It's all yours!" And walk away.


Nikola Tesla Corner


Now as to exactly why the corner of W 40th St and 6th Ave is named for this particular inventor, I haven’t yet researched (but you know I likely will).

But did you realize you posted this on his birthday? Admit it, that's why you waited so long between updates. You're a smart one, Rob. I'll give you that!


The next good thing about this spot was we were smack on top of a subway grate…


Every once and a while, the aroma was a might pungent, but the warm air forced out by the passing trains made the sharp cold a whole lot more bearable.
Seems we can all learn a thing or two from the homeless. Except hygiene. We shouldn't learn that from them.

Other useful elements of the topography included a permanent newsstand obstructing part of the area which helped keep the crowd down a might (and offered something to lean against),
Just like a garbage can on Main Street, USA for the Disney Parades!


That’s just not something that I thought about being an issue. However, one can imagine the havoc that all the signs and posts would wreak upon the lines and canvas that make up the various three story balloons that were about to ply the thoroughfares. It would be mayhem. Apparently all of the posts for the lamps, signs and signals are purposely designed to be swung out of the way. A cherry-picker would just roll up to each obstacle and one of the crew members would loosen a few bolts and then just turn the whole thing on its access.
It may have been an engineer that designed and built that, but you know some bureaucrat took the credit.


It must be just about time to light this candle.

You should have done that earlier. It would keep you warmer.

afwdwfan
07-11-2012, 10:47 AM
1:15 in the very AM…
The only time I have ever dragged myself out of bed that early was to start driving to Disney World. Coincidentally, that was about 23 hours after your early start. :rotfl2:

Obviously my schedule is completely out of whack.
::yes::

If I lived up tat way, I could see myself doing something similar, but I’m also certifiably insane, so that makes sense.
::yes::

The woman who was acting as our band’s guide and liaison for the day (and was one of the VP’s of Marketing at Macy’s), told our kids that in the nine or so years shed been volunteering for this part of the show… no group had ever made it through the spot rehearsal in one shot. And, that she’d never herd of it having been done prior to her involvement with the parade either.
Awesome! And to think they were functioning that well at such a ridiculous time of day.


aside from the fact that what passes for breakfast at “Mickey’s” is marginal at best
:confused3The McGriddles aren't that bad. Greasy as heck, but they taste good.:thumbsup2

Why, burgers for breakfast of course.
That works too.:thumbsup2

The only problem was that the bellhop demanded that we move along because only the hotel guests were going to be allowed to use that chunk of sidewalk.
Stupid peanut butter sidewalk nazi.

he wasn’t going to get into the middle of the dispute unless fists started flying
But if they would forcibly try to remove you, the police would be on your side...:thumbsup2

(but I won’t be staying at that hotel any time soon)
I won't either! :thumbsup2


Nikola Tesla Corner
nice!

I haven’t yet researched (but you know I likely will).
Insert bonus feature here...

The next good thing about this spot was we were smack on top of a subway grate…
That's a good thing???:confused3

Every once and a while, the aroma was a might pungent, but the warm air forced out by the passing trains made the sharp cold a whole lot more bearable.
Ok, the warmth would be a good thing, but I'd be afraid of what else might be on the other side of a grate in New York City.:scared1:

When I arrived back at Tesla corner, the city engineers were just getting around to moving the stop lights and street lights out of the way.
Cool!

That’s just not something that I thought about being an issue.
I hadn't really considered that detail either. I guess I'd assumed that stuff would be taken care of more than a few hours before parade time. I guess NYC was still in business mode all day Wednesday though.

No rewiring, no fuss, no muss.
Just some evidence of a DOT engineer being productive. (See Mark, I can give credit where it is due) :rotfl2::lmao:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
07-23-2012, 10:51 AM
:faint: Oh, that's painful just to read.


It was more painful to experience



Now we'll see if this truly is the city that never sleeps:

Aha! Busted! :rotfl2:


:lmao:
In defense of their clime, the road was blocked off.
We did se a good bit of activity in other spots of town



Oh, sure, I could see doing that...


...once. :rotfl:


You may be right, but I don’t see myself getting the opportunity to test this one any time soon.



Awesome work. You guys deserve to be proud. :thumbsup2


Thanks. They did good. Much is expected of this group and they generally exceed that expectation.



That's almost Macgyver-esque in its resourcefulness. :thumbsup2


I prefer burgers to most “breakfast foods” anyway.
Breakfast is a dish best served at dinner time.



Seriously. Did he produce a deed to the sidewalk? It's not even like it was the Ritz-Carlton, where you'd expect that kind of entitlement.


Nope… I suspect that being a putz just came natural.



My guess is somebody got lit up like a Christmas tree here.


:lmao:
I like your explanation.



I usually don't like to utter sentences that start with those words. :rotfl2:


I don’t know… “It seemed a good idea at the time” seems to be the first words uttered for a fairly large portion of my life’s stories.



There's a sentence you don't see everyday.


Extreme conditions require extreme actions.



Yet another reason why engineers are awesome. And under-appreciated. :thumbsup2


I was impressed.
You can take a bow here if you’d like.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
07-23-2012, 10:57 AM
That's dangerously close to "why bother going to bed" territory.


That was an option, but we actually hit the racks at about 7:30. At first I thought that would be pointless, but we were so beat from the previous few days of travel, the we probably got a decent five-ish hours of shut eye.



I hope you used an insanity defense.


I used it… the jury didn’t buy it.
“Stupidity” I think was the word they used.



I have a feeling that the drive in sucked all the adrenaline out of everyone. Just a hunch...


The cold woke ‘em back up though.



Huh. Well, I guess they always advertise "Serving breakfast until 10:30!" (or whatever) But they never say when they start. Oh well. Nothing wrong with a Big Mac for breakfast.


It worked for me.
I generally eat leftovers form the previous night’s dinner for breakfast any way.



That's when you handle the situation "New York" style. Drop your drawers, mark the territory like a fox would, then say "you want this bit of sidewalk? It's all yours!" And walk away.


Now why didn’t I think of that?



But did you realize you posted this on his birthday? Admit it, that's why you waited so long between updates. You're a smart one, Rob. I'll give you that!


Smart? More like a lucky confidence.
I’m surprised that someone else actually picked up on that one.



Seems we can all learn a thing or two from the homeless. Except hygiene. We shouldn't learn that from them.


I’m paying close attention to the homeless these days.
I suspect that their life style is a whole lot like the retirement I’ll be able to afford.



Just like a garbage can on Main Street, USA for the Disney Parades!


:thumbsup2



It may have been an engineer that designed and built that, but you know some bureaucrat took the credit.


Or a politician.
It would fit into either job descriptions.




You should have done that earlier. It would keep you warmer.


A bon fire would have been more effective, but cops on the beat would have it.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
07-23-2012, 11:04 AM
The only time I have ever dragged myself out of bed that early was to start driving to Disney World. Coincidentally, that was about 23 hours after your early start. :rotfl2:


So I’m not the only loon around here then.



Awesome! And to think they were functioning that well at such a ridiculous time of day.


They have a knack for functioning very well under very trying circumstances.
As parents, it make you just a might proud.



:confused3The McGriddles aren't that bad. Greasy as heck, but they taste good.:thumbsup2


Haven’t tried one of those, but I’ll keep the recommendation in mind.



Stupid peanut butter sidewalk nazi.


Yah… what he said!



But if they would forcibly try to remove you, the police would be on your side...:thumbsup2


Probably, but I really wasn’t in the mood to test that hypothesis



That's a good thing???:confused3




Ok, the warmth would be a good thing, but I'd be afraid of what else might be on the other side of a grate in New York City.:scared1:


It was all about survival.
Without the “warmth”, the women in the group would probably have killed us.
It was best just not to think about what was going on down there.



I hadn't really considered that detail either. I guess I'd assumed that stuff would be taken care of more than a few hours before parade time. I guess NYC was still in business mode all day Wednesday though.


That’s about right. I figured that they didn’t want to interfere with the “normal” flow of traffic until they absolutely had to.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
07-23-2012, 11:40 AM
Bonus Feature 6:





Brave Sir Robin!





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B4-001.jpg



The following has absolutely nothing to do with this TR or any part of our trip into Ney York City. But… you just can’t have too many references to “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”


Can you?


So now we pause for a musical interlude…
Hit it boys.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B4-002.jpg


MINSTREL (singing):

Bravely bold Sir Robin, rode forth from Camelot.
He was not afraid to die, o Brave Sir Robin.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin!

He was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp,
Or to have his eyes gouged out, and his elbows broken.
To have his kneecaps split, and his body burned away,
And his limbs all hacked and mangled, brave Sir Robin!

His head smashed in and his heart cut out,
And his liver removed and his bowels unplugged,
And his nostrils ripped and his bottom burned off,
And his...

ROBIN: That's -- that's, uh, that's enough music for now, lads.


{Scene with the three headed monster plays out here}



MINSTREL (singing): Brave Sir Robin ran away

ROBIN: No!

MINSTREL (singing): Bravely ran away away

ROBIN: I didn't!

MINSTREL (singing): When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled

ROBIN: No!

MINSTREL (singing): Yes Brave Sir Robin turned about

ROBIN: I didn't!

MINSTREL (singing): And gallantly he chickened out bravely taking to his feet

ROBIN: I never did!

MINSTREL (singing): He beat a very brave retreat

ROBIN: Oh, lie!

MINSTREL (singing): Bravest of the brave Sir Robin

ROBIN: I never!








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B4-003.jpg

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
07-23-2012, 11:47 AM
Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway (Day 4 – The Main Event)




Part 2: Inside… Looking Out








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-201.jpg



There are three general way to experience an event. You can see or hear about it second hand (the pay per view model of watching a boxing match for example). You could experience it firsthand (like those that bought tickets to the match and actually showed up). Or… you could be the spectacle itself (the boxer in the ring).

That last perspective provides a rather different view of things. And usually one that is blurry and obstructed. First off, you’re likely to be a little bit busy at the time and as such are not really paying attention to everything that’s going on around you. Second, you are limited in your point of reference. In a large festive event, say like a parade, only the bit of it that is just ahead of you is visible, and the bit just behind you may only be audible. The rest of it is a mystery at best. What does change in this instance is the scenery, but even then you still may not have time to really take everything in.

With this in mind, I’m going to tell you about the actual performance of 2011 Macy’s Parade twice. Once as the adults saw it unfold from Tesla Corner, and once from the point of view of the parade itself. Specifically… how it went down for our kids as they held one small spot about two-thirds of the way through the grand procession.

We’ll start off with their perspective.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-202.jpg



The view from the inside.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Preliminaries



As I mentioned in the last update, we lost track of the kids at the corner of 6th Ave and 34th Street at around 3:30 in the morning. Without the right credentials, this corner was as far as the officials would allow us to travel. But there were a group of about ten chaperones that were assigned to tag along and those folks will be supplying most of the visuals that I’ll use in this update. Starting with this one right here…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-203.jpg



You’re standing at 34th and Broadway; an area also known as Herald Square. This is the southeast corner of the of the physical Macy’s department store and in just a moment or two, the fellow wearing the headset will give the kids a queue for them to take their turn on “The Spot”. From the last update you’ve already heard how that turned out, so I won’t dwell on the details, but… if you’d like to “see” how that went (well… sort of see it, but you can hear it pretty well) then you’ll find a video of that run-through right here (if you care to give it a click)…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-204.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xew8E4CYrGw)



After the official rehearsal was over, everyone was loaded back onto the busses and taken on up to the Times Square area for a bit of breakfast.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-205.jpg



The folks that helped us put this trip together for us were able to hire one of the more “touristy” (and much maligned) spots just off the square to do the catering. The décor was B-grad space movie kitsch, but Max reported that the grub was actually quite good (but they may just have been hungry). This break also offered up an opportunity for a few folks to catch up on their beauty sleep…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-206.jpg



The whole group hung out here until about sunrise and then jumped back onto the busses bound for the Upper West Side; 86th Street and Columbus Ave to be specific. That was their assigned drop off point.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-207.jpg



From here the directors lined every one up and lead the way a few blocks over and down into Central Park.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-209.jpg



You can see the building on the corner of 81st Street in the background here. Just out of frame to the left is the American Natural History Museum. There is a good bit of open space here so it’s a fine staging area for the balloons. But with all the folks needed to handle the characters and be part of all the other units in the parade, it was still rather crowded and a bit chaotic. Our kids squeezed into their assigned staging spot along Central Park West and started to get warmed up.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-210.jpg



A few of the other parents told me that this was actually a fun part of the day. There was a lot of action to watch, and they could get a glimpse of some of the “celebrities” that would be lip-sync… errrr… I mean performing that morning. As the bands in the area warmed up and practiced their parade routines, there was even a good bit of applause and appreciation doled out by the other folks waiting their turn to line up.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Main Event





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-211.jpg




Show time had finally arrived. The first several units had already been staged in the middle of Central Park West (CPW) and at 9:00 they started on their way southward toward Times Square and finally to Macy’s. As each unit crossed the start line and those behind them moved up, the coordinators would then lead the next scheduled group out into the street and get them organized. After a while, it was our kids turn. They took their station on the line, got into parade formation and rolled out. Once they had crossed over 77th street, they were no longer spectators, but part of the spectacle.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-212.jpg



That last image sums up the bulk of their view for the next two to three miles. The main thing they could see was a giant inflated pink “Energizer Bunny” zigzagging along and at times changing course and charging back toward them (which caught the drum majors by surprise the first time it happened, so the kept a close eye of the critter from there on).

A few blocks down the way the official overhead photo got snapped…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-213.jpg



And it is revealed that the major balloon that they were escorting that day was the Pokemon character: Pikachu.

The kids never saw it though as they were too busy playing and marching.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-214.jpg

That image constitutes the proof that Max was actually there; outside row, second from the right in that image
(wielding a horn that’s half as big as he is).



What the kids did see while heading down the route was the people on the side lines and filling up the cross streets.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-215.jpg


Notice just how many rows deep the crowd is here? That’s just plain nutty and I’ll explain precisely how nutty it was a bit later on when the "grown-ups" encounter that kind of crush first hand.


I asked Max what the most memorable thing about marching in the parade was and he said that it was actually seeing all the folks watching form the windows of the buildings above…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-216.jpg



That one is at the corner of CPW and 71st Street (101 CPW to be exact).
If you can afford that kind of real-estate, you’ve got a great view of the proceedings to be sure.

Here’s how the crowd situation looked when they got to Columbus Circle in front of the Trump Tower…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-217.jpg



Max was not a fan of that particular part of the route. Being on the outside of the rank, it was quite tough to play, keep time and keep the line straight as they went the long way around that traffic circle (being as the folks on the outside had to move a whole lot faster than the ones on the inside of the circle… a physics lesson in action). He said it just about took all his breath away.

From there they headed east on Central Park South (aka: 59th Street) and then turned onto 7th Avenue (that’s the New York Athletic Club’s building in the foreground there).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-218.jpg



Heading down 7th seemed a little claustrophobic with skyscrapers rising ever upward on both side of them.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-219.jpg



They tell me that the wind was rather harsh as it whipped bitter cold air up this part of the route as well, but it opened up as they entered Times Square.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-220a.jpg



This is the only spot I know of where the local sign ordinances state that all building must be cover in neon signage… the more the better. And nearly every major American icon is well represented.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-220b.jpg

And I got to get a Disney plug into this part of the TR… Whooo-Hoooo!



From here the show progresses through the Square, crosses Broadway (which has been converted from street to pedestrian mall in this area and so is sadly no longer used as part of the actual parade route), and turns onto 42nd Street. One block to the east it turns again on to 6th Avenue. It’s along this part of the route that we got to see them just as they reached the clearing in front of Bryant Park.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-221.jpg



From here their journey is almost done. Just a couple of blocks below where we were standing is the “Quiet Zone”. Starting at 37th Street, the bands cannot play and the floats have to shut off any accompanying sound tracks so that they don’t interfere with the official taping going on in front of Macy’s itself. The kids just marched in line the three blocks from that point till they made their second turn of the day onto 34th.


And then…

It was their turn on “The Spot”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-222.jpg



I’ll talk about that moment a bit more later on, but the text that we all received form one of the parents that were along with them at the time went like this: “They aced it!”

The first half of the day was just about over for our youngen’s. They hit the last stinger at the end of the show arrangement, reformed into parade ranks, and continued west down 34th. The parade is officially completed once you cross back over 7th Ave, so the Drum Majors called them to a halt and then the group could now just walk along with the procession of people streaming down toward 8th Avenue. That’s where things start to break up. Floats and balloons go off one way, performers go another, and the bands turn south down Eighth to assemble for an official post parade photo…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-223.jpg



…taken on the steps of the main post office building on 8th between 31st and 33rd, directly across the street from Madison Square Garden (which oddly enough is no longer in Madison Square).


Show over, spectacle complete, from here it was a calm walk over to where the buses were parked. They stowed their gear and pretty much collapsed back into the seats.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-224.jpg



As you might have surmised, the ride back to the hotel that was just a little bit more sedate then the one that had started earlier at around two in the morning.










http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-015.jpg

Wherem I Now
07-23-2012, 10:27 PM
Great point of view pictures! What an experience! :thumbsup2

This took me right back to my days of bus rides, ridiculous practice times, long marches, and the adrenaline that keeps it all going. Of course, our band never did anything as cool as this. ;)

afwdwfan
07-24-2012, 09:26 AM
I chose not to multi quote since this was really about the kids and there was very little to make fun of you for, but that was cool to see it from the Parade's point of view.

I'm glad the kids Aced it when they had their time in front of the camera. That will be a memory to last a lifetime and I'm sure they'll enjoy sitting around watching the parade with their grandchildren someday and telling them about the time they got to march in it. :thumbsup2

I like your crowd pictures. It makes the MSEP crowd on Main Street look like nothing. :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:

FreezinRafiki
07-24-2012, 12:04 PM
I agree with Andy - it's really cool to see that massive of an undertaking from the inside. I'm sure it's an experience that Max and his classmates will never forget and kudos to them for nailing the performance! You may have answered this already, but how long is the route?

cj9200
07-24-2012, 12:36 PM
Very cool. What a memory for Max and the rest of the band. From now on when you watch the parade on TV, it will be, "Yea, my kid did that." Glad they nailed it.

Can personally attest to the crowds. When I lived in NY, my office was on 59th between 6th and 7th. Took the Pirate Princess to the parade one year. The crowds were lined up ridiculously deep. They have crossovers for pedestrians that are roped off. We would go to the crosswalk, get stopped there for a while so part of the parade could go by. Then when a break came, we would cross and then get into the line going back across the street. Did this a few times and worked out well. And yes, we scammed the system.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-01-2012, 01:52 PM
Great point of view pictures! What an experience! :thumbsup2

This took me right back to my days of bus rides, ridiculous practice times, long marches, and the adrenaline that keeps it all going. Of course, our band never did anything as cool as this. ;)

The band I was in way back when didn’t do anything quite as cool as this either. That’s one reason that I’m so tickled that my boy got a chance to be in such a good organization. It’s like many things in life; we don’t really live ourselves until we get to see the world through our children’s eyes.

I chose not to multi quote since this was really about the kids and there was very little to make fun of you for…

I’m sure you’ll make up for that in the near. :rolleyes:


…, but that was cool to see it from the Parade's point of view. I'm glad the kids Aced it when they had their time in front of the camera. That will be a memory to last a lifetime and I'm sure they'll enjoy sitting around watching the parade with their grandchildren someday and telling them about the time they got to march in it. :thumbsup2

I like your crowd pictures. It makes the MSEP crowd on Main Street look like nothing. :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:

Thanks! I can see it now…
He’ll tell his kids about it and they’ll roll their eyes.
But later on he’ll get to tell his grandkids and they’ll hang on every word and say:

“Really grandpa… man you are way cooler the mom and dad ever were!
It’s hard to believe that their you kids.”

I agree with Andy - it's really cool to see that massive of an undertaking from the inside. I'm sure it's an experience that Max and his classmates will never forget and kudos to them for nailing the performance! You may have answered this already, but how long is the route?

Thanks…

I say that like I had anything to do with it… :sad2:

I’ll be sure to pass the congrats on to the folks that actually did the work. :thumbsup2

Oh… and the whole parade route was a little over two miles.
Not all that bad really. They’ve shortened it a bit over the years.
For perspective, The Rose Parade is about 5 miles in length.





Very cool. What a memory for Max and the rest of the band. From now on when you watch the parade on TV, it will be, "Yea, my kid did that." Glad they nailed it.

Can personally attest to the crowds. When I lived in NY, my office was on 59th between 6th and 7th. Took the Pirate Princess to the parade one year. The crowds were lined up ridiculously deep. They have crossovers for pedestrians that are roped off. We would go to the crosswalk, get stopped there for a while so part of the parade could go by. Then when a break came, we would cross and then get into the line going back across the street. Did this a few times and worked out well. And yes, we scammed the system.

The crowds were completely nutty. On the up side we didn’t really have to deal with them until we actually decided it was time to leave.

But then… :eek:

I like how you scammed the system though.
Brilliant.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-02-2012, 12:10 PM
Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway (Day 4 – The Main Event)




Part 3: Meanwhile, Back at Tesla Corner…








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-301.jpg





We’ll you’ve seen the Parade as it appeared to the young’ens that were actually performing. It’s interesting… but the sites are just a bit lacking. The parents however (specifically the still groggy bunch that rode in with them earlier that morning got a somewhat different perspective on the presentation. And more importantly, we didn’t have to hike all over Manhattan to see it. The spectacle came to us.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Your Patience Will Be Rewarded…


Now that The Avenue of the Americas was completely devoid of life, and the sidewalks on either side were a burgeoning sea of claustrophobic humanity… it was time to get the show on the road. Literally. We debated among ourselves as to what site would make the turn onto 6th Ave first.

Several folks carrying a banner…
A vehicle carrying the parade officials in it…
A police escort (my guess)…
One of the Marching bands…
Balloons depicting the Macy’s Star…


Nope…
It was a bunch of folks on roller blades.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-301b.jpg



Followed by a Police Escort…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-302.jpg



That’s better.


Right behind them was the first band of the day:
The Great American All Star Band



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-303.jpg


This is an honor band made up of kids from across the country. They go through an audition process and two are chosen from each state. The folks selected get brought to NYC and basically treated like rock stars for a week while performing around the city and then finally leading off the parade. One of the kids in this group was even from our neck of the woods, but was a member of our cross town rivals band.

Next on the agenda was a word from our sponsor followed by the first Giant Balloon of the day



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-304.jpg



“Sonic the Hedgehog”

There’s a lot to see in this parade and it’s going to take me several updates to get it all in, so I’m not going to offer up a bunch of pictures of this particular Video Game icon (just yet). I’m planning to put in a final update after the parade with more detailed images of all the major balloons though.

But you’ll still get to see much, I promise ya’ that.



The first float of the day was titled: “Tom Turkey” and featured a couple of minor “stars” form the “Cooking Channel” along with Avril Lavigne.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-305.jpg



Now I don’t see Ms. Lavigne in that picture either, but folks around me swear that she was there. And they were certainly playing one of her tunes on the loud speakers.


The next unit was the first High school band of the day:
The Homestead HS Band from Cupertino, California



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-306.jpg



They were given the job of escorting this float…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-307.jpg


Titled: “Woodland Family Gathering”

Grandma Goose headed the table of a vegetarian feast and entertained such dinner guests as “Mr. Beaver”, “Father Fox”, wise old “Uncle Owl” and cousin “Church Mouse”
The fellow standing at the head of the float was country music star: Rodney Atkins. Or so I’m told… I don’t know the dude myself and couldn’t have picked him out of a police lineup.


Rodney was followed by the next Major Balloon of the parade; a depiction of the main character’s illustrated alter ego in the young adult fiction books: “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-308.jpg



And that was followed by a float devoted to the characters form Sesame Street.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-309.jpg



Now I know all about Big Bird, but some of the other Muppets up there I didn’t recognize.
My how things have changes since I was a young’en.



That float was followed by one of the more entertaining of the minor inflatables, of the day.
These contraptions were officially referred to as the “Bull Dog & Tough Guy Trike Guys”,



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-310.jpg



Being attached to the back of the bike, it looked for all the world like the Bull Dog character was pedaling along. The “Tough Guy” was on the other side of the street, so I don’t have a clear a picture of him, but he had a similar “build”, somewhat better dental work and wasn’t wearing a hat.

So what were these miscreants up to? They were on the lamb trying to get away from the flat foot that was bearing down of their tails…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-311.jpg

“They went that’a way officer.”




The next float to turn up was titled: “Local Heroes Helping Everyday”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-312.jpg


A salute to our neighborhood firefighters, doctors, nurses, crossing guards and police officers and all other first responders. They were in the midst of rescuing someone’s kitty from a tree so that all could return to their holiday feast. Now somewhere up on that float was another celebrity.
This time it was “indie-pop artist” Ingrid Michaelson.

Y’all let me know if you can make out just which one of those folks was Ingrid.


Following along behind that one were a group of parade volunteers dressed in firefighters gear and one little man made up to look like a Dalmatian. Now by this time of day that boy had done walked better than a mile and a half and his dogs were starting to trouble him. When he made his plight know to mom and dad… well…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-313.jpg



We’re all parents around here. Of course they scooped the boy up and let him ride in the “big dog” seat for the rest of the way…

Goes without saying.



The next section of the festivities was lead off by another of the marching bands. This time it was the folks that made up the Dobyns-Bennett HS “Marching Indian Band” out of Kingsport, Tennessee.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-314.jpg



One thing about parades is that some times, depending in where you are camped, the bands may not be playing when they go by your exact location. They need to take a break every then and again to catch their breath (especially being as they are the only folks that are actually performing live music in this pageant). As it happened, most of the units started playing about the time they turned off of 42nd onto 6th and were just about in need of a break by the time they got to us. That’s the way it goes. I got to hear them as they were coming up the street at least, but in general I didn’t get very many pictures of these young musicians playing when they were directly in fount of me.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Incongruence



The staff that goes about designing the parade tries to put “like themed” floats and units near one-n-other and then stitches those groupings together like a quilt (or a scarf given the length of the thing). Some times this works well. Sometimes you’re dealing with things that just don’t go together at all (unless you completely bonkers in the cabeza that is). The thread tenuously connecting those themes is usually one of the marching bands which are in turn generally followed by one of the “Giant Balloons”. That system held true here and the next feature balloon on the scene was a guy that may seem oddly familiar to us Disney/Pixar fans…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-315.jpg



He wasn’t flying per say, just floating…


With Style!



After traveling to infinity and beyond (40th Street)…
it was time for something else related either to space or possibly to toys right?

Wrong.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-316.jpg


Try Hockey.



This float was titled: “Frozen Fall Fun”. Everyone in our group just referred to it as the Hockey Float. Oh, the fellow standing on the platform… that was Cee Lo Green (a pop singer that just screams “hockey” if you ask me). The actual ice-rink on the float itself was cool though and the folks skating on the float were more entertaining,

Surprisingly… a fight never did break out.
Go figure.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-317.jpg

“What are you looking at you hockey puck?”
(hummm… maybe there was a slight connection there after all)




So what would you expect to see right after a tribute to Hockey?
Why a duck on a sled of course.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-318.jpg



Silly question.
Well, it is related to winter activity at least.
(as for the rubic’s “triangles” behind him… Ummmm…)

Anyway... this is an example of what the parade organizers call: a “Balloonicle”. Half inflated canvas critter (or whatever), and half driven vehicle. I’m not certain how the driver was able to see, but I didn’t hear about anyone being run over by a giant duck so I suppose that the folks at Aflac didn’t have to worry about paying out any cash on this day at least.


Next up…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-319.jpg



Ummmmmm… well…
Beat’s me folks.

If you have young daughters you’re gonn’a have to help me out here with this escapee form a cotton candy factory.

The title of the float was: “Zhu-Niverse!”

And it featured several of the major “ZhuZhu Pets”. I actually looked this up but it didn’t help much. Apparently the bigger characters are named “Pipsqueak”, “Mr. Squiggles”, “Chunk” and “Num Nums”.


Really?

Well on the up side, I was also clueless as to who the celebrity was so my state of bewilderment was at least consistent. Can one of y’all please tell me just exactly what a “Savannah Outen” is and why she was lip-syncing a bubblegum-pop song along with a passel of sappy critters?




Well the next thing in line was more recognizable.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-320.jpg



Now I’d rather have seen the “Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man”, but I get the appeal (to advertisers at least) of this fell’a.


It was as I was looking up to take that picture (and simultaneously thinking about a giant marshmallow man attacking buildings) that I noticed these folks…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-321.jpg



That’s both a great vantage point and a somewhat vertigo inducing precipice. Generally when someone is out on a ledge like this (at least those that aren't also sporting an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his or her back) there is often a crowd down below chanting:

“jump… jump… jump… “.



OK, back to the action. The next float in line was titled: “Home Baked Goodness”…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-322.jpg



At least it followed the baking theme. The performer this time was Scotty McCreery. I don’t really know this guy either but he was lip-syncing at least as well as the other “famous vocalists” I saw that day.

Right behind that big ol’ oven we were treated to a balloon trifecta…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-323.jpg



…featuring one of each of the major balloon types; the “Hot Dog” (novelty/mid-sized), the Kool-Aid Skateboarder (a balloonicle) and a giant sponge.

I suppose that thematically, the idea was that you might find each of these things (though in slightly different forms) somewhere in a kitchen along with the baked goods that lead off this section of the show.


Well… now that I’m completely confused (or at least more so the usual).
I’m also bearing down on the allotted amount of images I can stuff into a single post. What say we take a pause for a commercial break here (so that I can attempt to clear my head) and then well get back to the action in a bit.










http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-016.jpg


Next up: More Celebrities that I do not know….

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-03-2012, 06:46 PM
Bonus Feature 7:





A Closer Look (Part-1)





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-001.jpg





I said in my last update that I’ll be giving y’all a better look at the major balloons taking part in the 2011 Macy’s parade. Well it's time I started living up to that promise. In the actual updates I wanted to focus on the entire parade experience as best as I could. But, since the balloons are the unmistakable symbol of this event, I did copiously photograph these behemoths. Some came out, some didn't, but that's a different issue. Anyway, I’m going to go back after each update and give you a better view of the characters that passed by us in that section of the show.


Now of course the first “balloons” that we saw were two of these bad boys…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-002.jpg



Goes without saying don’t it? It is their sandbox so they get to decide who all else is allowed to play. These are an example of the middle sized balloons that are referred to by the event staff as: “Novelties”. They are smaller, and are more likely to be either a generic thing, a symbol or more allegorical in nature.



Then there are the “Giants”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-003.jpg



These are always sponsored by some corporate entity and are mostly animated characters drawn from the realms of literature, television, film, video-games or in some cases advertising.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-004.jpg



Sonic fits both the game and advertisement realms (depending on how you look at it). Here’s a better look at the details from the back as it headed on down the street.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-005.jpg




One of the stranger “novelties” we encountered would be the “heads”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-006.jpg



These are actually balloons that are designed to sit on a volunteer’s shoulders as a part of a costume.
I get the idea but if you ask me…

they're a might creepy.



Like I said, most “Novelties” are often very simple things like in this holiday appropriate example…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-007.jpg



Those particular balloons may turn up year after year. But the “Giants” are generally more topical and the pop-culture related ones may only be visible for a couple of seasons. Here’s one in its second season, and (considering that the movie didn’t do as well as the books or near as well as Hollywood had hoped) very possibly its last.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-008.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-009.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-010.jpg



So how do these gas bags accomplish that locomotion process? Well there are two common methods. The most common and most obvious is that they have a number of cables attached that are then held by a team of folks on the ground. Just like any kid with a party balloon.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-011.jpg


Just grander in scale.



Each group has a "Balloon Captain" who gives the commands.

Commands?

Well there are times when they need to reel in the lines and bring the balloon closer to the ground (and visa-versa). There are also cables attached to specific parts of the Balloon that are used to animate the critter... move an arm... twitch a nose... you get the idea. I also saw a couple of groups spin their charge around in circles to entertain the crowd whenever the procession came to a halt.


OK, enough unnecessary detail... here's the next "Novelty" on the scene (that I didn't give you a decent image of back there in the actual update).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-012.jpg



One of the more traditional offerings; the policeman and fireman images have been represented for many years. A more recent addition was the next "Giant" to roll up the avenue...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-013.jpg



No introductions needed here...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-014.jpg



The wing span is a bit narrower than in the films, but you've got to make a few concessions to get the big guy to fly infinitely down amongst the buildings of Mid-Town.


Now the next critter is also an example of the second most common method of conveying a balloon down the street...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-015.jpg



An invention of the Macy's Parade staff referred to as a "Balloonicle" (balloon vehicle). The globe shaped bit on the bottom is inflated as well and stretched over some kind of small four-wheeler like a "gator" or similar grounds keeper's cart.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-016.jpg



They actually looked kind'a spooky as they glided by.


The winner of the "What the heck?" award went to these two "Novelties"



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-017.jpg



I think they’re supposed to be a type of "Rubik's Cube" but we weren't really sure. I heard many folks holler out to the unit asking what they were, but I never hear the answer, so we'll go with my first instinct.


The next fellow was a well-known advertisement feature that has been in the parade a fairly long while.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-018.jpg



"Popin' Fresh" is actually considered a "Novelty". He's bigger than most of the medium sized balloons, but nowhere near as large as the "Giants".


Back in the update I only gave y'all one look at the last three features that showed up in the first third of the parade. So here's a better look at those guys. The first one was another l-o-n-g time veteran "Novelty"...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-019.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-020.jpg



He was followed by the second advertising Balloonicle of the day...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-021.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-022.jpg



And then another veteran "Giant" character in the form of the still popular...
Sponge-Bob-Squarepants.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-023.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-024.jpg



This is one of those examples of a balloon where the cable crew did a good job of articulating the character. an extra bonus was that the wind whipping up the street caused Bob's nose to twitch back and forth. A happy accident that just added to the effect of the character.



Well there's a better look at the actual balloons form the first section of the parade. Like I said, I'll try to do the same for the next couple of updates as well just so y'all can get a better look at the monsters that made this particular show so unique.





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B5-025.jpg

afwdwfan
08-04-2012, 02:49 PM
Your Patience Will Be Rewarded…
We'll see about that.


Being attached to the back of the bike, it looked for all the world like the Bull Dog character was pedaling along.
I think the "tough guy" is the one on the front of the bike pedaling to move all that weight.:scared:


As it happened, most of the units started playing about the time they turned off of 42nd onto 6th and were just about in need of a break by the time they got to us. That’s the way it goes.
Just your luck. :rotfl2:


Oh, the fellow standing on the platform… that was Cee Lo Green (a pop singer that just screams “hockey” if you ask me).
I thought he screamed "F" you. :confused3

Coincidentally, he was in the Magic Kingdom 8 days later to perform at the castle.


Can one of y’all please tell me just exactly what a “Savannah Outen” is and why she was lip-syncing a bubblegum-pop song along with a passel of sappy critters?
:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


The performer this time was Scotty McCreery. I don’t really know this guy either but he was lip-syncing at least as well as the other “famous vocalists” I saw that day.
And another one who was in the Magic Kingdom exactly 8 days later. He did a nice job with Holly Jolly Christmas, but it did get a little stale after I heard it about the 199th time.:lmao::rotfl2:



Nice job on the separate balloon update too!:thumbsup2

Did the Kool Ade ballonicle drive through any buildings? :confused3 :rotfl2:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-08-2012, 10:59 AM
We'll see about that.


Well… ours was, but we were there.
You’ve had to wait months just to see fuzzy pictures, so I’m guessin’ you’re not going to be quite as impressed.



Just your luck. :rotfl2:


Some times you win.
Not this time, but sometimes.



I thought he screamed "F" you. :confused3


Well then he did belong on a float devoted to jockey then.



Coincidentally, he was in the Magic Kingdom 8 days later to perform at the castle.


I remember reading about that. I’m also looking forward to the TR for your up coming holiday excursion to Disney.

There ya’ go… a nice plug for an up coming TR. Considering the vast number of folks reading this one you should now expect to pick up maybe… one more reader then you might have otherwise.



And another one who was in the Magic Kingdom exactly 8 days later. He did a nice job with Holly Jolly Christmas, but it did get a little stale after I heard it about the 199th time.:lmao::rotfl2:


I expect so. :lmao:




Nice job on the separate balloon update too!:thumbsup2


Thanks!


Did the Kool Ade ballonicle drive through any buildings? :confused3 :rotfl2:


There was some kind of commotion a couple of blocks down. I was hopping he ran over that $#%&*@ bellhop we’d run into earlier in the day.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-08-2012, 11:11 AM
Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway (Day 4 – The Main Event)




Part 4: Celebrities I Do Not Know








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-401.jpg





I’m not normal.




Stunned to hear that one aren’t ya’?

I’ll wait another moment or two for the laugher to subside and let everyone get their composure back (and you can go on ahead and insert your wisecracks here while you’re at it).




OK, now as I was saying… There is a way that “most” folks think; events that “most” folks follow along with, and concepts that “most” folks find entertaining or funny, or exciting or what have you. If this were not the case, advertising would not be a profession and… “Mad Men” wouldn’t be seen as popular or even particularly innovative. The fact that the vast majority of what counts as Pop-Culture leaves me nonplussed proves that “normal” is a state within whose boarders I do not reside. This partly explains why I had no clue as to who most of the “celebs” I’d seen so far were. The good news is that the condition wouldn’t be changing much during the rest of the parade. Why is that good? Because it adds much needed humor to this otherwise boring TR. Y’all get to keep laughing at the vastness of my social ineptitude (and “most” people very much enjoy laughing at others when they are either in the process of being embarrassed or humiliated).

So let’s get back to the action shall we?



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Changes in Latitude



The next section of the parade was lead off by another of the marching bands. This group was the Hawaii All-State honor band.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-402.jpg



They certainly won the prize for most distance traveled. This was also far and away the largest of high school bands that day. There were over 700 kids taking part.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-403.jpg



Imagine… there were actually that many kids that wanted to leave Hawaii while all the rest of us would much rather go there. Of course once this trip was over, they’d be heading back and we’d all still be wishing we could go there.

Now that we’d been offered a group of musicians from a warmer local, the parade organizers decided to stay on the tropical/nautical theme for a bit. The next float up was this little number…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-404.jpg



Titled: the Jolly Polly Pirate Ship, this colorful schooner was being sailed down the street by a mixed crew of adults, kids and puppets. There was also one of theme there celebrity type folks lip-syncing along to the musical accompaniment. This guy's name was Michael Feinstein, and while I’m sure I’m supposed to know just who that is…

I don’t. didn’t know him then… don’t know him know.
Would any of y’all care to enlighten me on this subject?

The coolest part of that float though was the pirate contingent that was following along in it wake and interacting with the crowd. They were even handing out a bit of swag in the form of “holiday coins”. One of the young girls in our group actually scored one of these little treasures…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-405.jpg



Good for her!


Next up... one of the smallest floats in the parade, a “rocking lobster”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-406.jpg



There were several “rocking” critter floats taking part, but this one obviously fit the theme of this section better then say… a “rocking giraffe” would have. I don’t think that the mermaid was a celebrity per say (certainly it wasn’t Arial), but considering the ambient air temperature, I imagine that she was looking forward to getting off that float and into a hot tub as soon as possible.

The main feature in this somewhat nautical section of the parade was the next of the “Giant” balloons and a fellow that just may seem somewhat familiar…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-407.jpg



Captain Mickey.
He’d decided to remind us all that as much fun as this little shindig was…
We could’a been cruising.

Thanks for that captain.


You can see that right behind Mickey, there was a grouping of small “novelty” balloons. This was basically just a collection of brightly colored beach balls and it closed out the tropical paradise section of the parade quite nicely.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Whose-its and What’s-its



After the beach balls strolled past the next several units were kind of a mish-mash of apparently unrelated things. First there were a couple of folks in “Power Ranger” costumes. They were followed by a “novelty” balloon depicting the Earth (or maybe it was one of Terra's Star Trek twins from a parallel universe).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-408.jpg



That was followed up by the next of the celebrity floats.
This one was transportation themed and titled: Bridge to the Future.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-409.jpg



The celebrities in question were (and I’m quoting here) “Synth-Pop Stars: Cobra Starship”.
If you look them up, the most common description of the music is “Dance-Punk”.

Never heard of ‘em.
I’m a musician, and I’ve still never heard of ‘em.

I don’t listen to every style, but I generally know who all is out there making a joyful noise (or a hateful one as the case may be). Obviously though age has now officially caught up with me and (like my parents before me, and theirs before them and so on, and so forth…) I’ve reached the age where the kids are listening to things that are just beyond my scope of interest.




Next!



That would be another of the “Giant” balloons that are the actual stars here.
This time it’s a panda.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-410.jpg



A Kung Fu Panda that is. The “Dragon Warrior” was bounding down Sixth Avenue threatening to use the Wuxi Finger Hold on anyone that attempted to impede his progress.

Once Po had cleared the streets of all potential aggressors, it was time for some more music. Actual live music supplied by the kids from Carmel High School out of Indiana…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-411.jpg



They were escorting the next celebrity float of the day which depicted a collection of oversized wooden pull toys titled: “On the Roll Again”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-412.jpg



The talent on this float was a Disney manufactured sudo-kiddy-pop-star named China Anne McClain. I don’t see her either but she’s up there somewhere. The young girls in our group screamed appropriately and when queried, explained precisely who this person was thusly…


“Oh my gawwwd! Like, she just like, the most awesomeist singer on television. Don’t you like, watch ‘A.N.T. Farm’… I mean… really! How can you not know her, I mean… like gaaaaaaa!”


And now I know…


In all honesty, I have at least “heard” of the cable show being discussed here. However, there are no young ladies in our household and with my son well past the tween stage, that specific program isn’t the kind of fair that I’ve ever purposely stopped to watch while channel surfing for the least horrid thing on the tube.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
And Now for Something Completely Different



So what could possibly even have a shot at successfully following up a group of giant pull-toys carrying a certifiably "awesome-tastic" Disney star? Why nothing of course. You can’t beat that so the folks in charge decided to use the old magician’s trick of misdirection instead. They strapped a jet-pack to the back of a giant sock monkey, sent the whole thing hurtling down the street and then crossed their fingers and left to chance that we wouldn’t notice the decided drop in entertainment the factor…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-413.jpg



Mission accomplished.


Next in line was a Rocking Giraffe.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-414.jpg



Well… if you were planning a Thanksgiving Day parade, what else would you consider lining up behind giant canvas sock monkey with a jet-pack?


I was about here that I noticed some folks had found themselves a rather nice vantage point from which to watch the show.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-415.jpg



You’ll observe that a couple of the Boys in Blue had noticed this fact as well. For a moment I thought we were going to be in for a very different type of entertainment, but these transgressors were dealt with quickly and quietly

Nothing to see here folks… move along.



OK, back to the action. Right behind the giraffe were members of the Oneida Indian Nation in various example of traditional ceremonial garb.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-416.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-417.jpg



They were escorting the only float I saw that was not sponsored by a corporate entity. The tribe was the sponsor. It was a curious depiction of a giant pine tree growing out of a turtles back…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-418.jpg



That's actually related to the Iroquois people’s creation myth ( http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TheCreationStory-Iroquois.html). Now as for the fell’a standing up there just in front of the tree; I can’t say whether or not I was supposed to know who that was, but suffice it to say that I didn’t. Still don’t either and I can’t find any credible reference to him anywhere, so y’all can make up any story you like about him.


Next on the hit parade?



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-419.jpg



Flower people of course (Far out maaaaaaaaann!), accompanied by a collection of bees, butterflies and a caterpillar in a top hat.

At least I think that was a caterpillar.
If either one of us had been taking nice long draws from a hookah at the time I might have been more certain.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-420.jpg



Well since there was a tree in the previous float, I guess that some plant and garden life does sort’a fit here. OK, so what should come next then? Well there were flowers to be dug up and a tree that needed marking, so you’d likely find a dog somewhere there-abouts.

Say… like a beagle.


Like this one…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-421.jpg



Snoopy! Or more precisely: “Aviator Snoopy”.

One of the oldest of the “Giant” balloons currently in the parade mix, he was doing a little bit of recon before taking flight to do battle with the Red Barron (a beagle’s natural foe). Backing up the World War I Flying Ace was his support crew…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-422.jpg



…made up of several of the major characters from the Peanuts comic world. At least that last transition made a bit of sense.



Coming up in the next installment:

Bits of “Americana” and a celebrity I actually do know
(but I don’t much like having to admit to that last bit there).









http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-018.jpg

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-08-2012, 11:18 AM
Bonus Feature 8:





A Closer Look (Part-2)





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B6-001.jpg





Welcome back. Time to take a second look at the major balloons form this section of the parade.

Starting off with…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B6-002.jpg



Captain Mickey.

Disney always has at least a couple of their characters displayed in the Macy’s parade. They were among the first to sign on and haven’t missed being part of one since. This particular incarnation of the most famous mouse was designed to celebrate their successful foray in to the cruise line industry.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B6-003.jpg



Certainly makes me want to go book a cruise.
It ain’t gonn’a happen any time soon, but it makes me want to.




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B6-004.jpg



There’s a closer look at the beach balls and…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B6-005.jpg



Mother Earth.

These simple “Novelty” balloons were good for filling in the spaces between the other units. The “Earth” balloon also offered up an example of how the handlers could go about animating their charge. When the parade had to come to a stop, the Balloon Captain would blow a specific pattern on his whistle and the whole group of handlers would run around in circles in the middle of the street. The natural result of this was that “the earth” would spin. The other natural result was that the crown wound cheer wildly.



OK, now it’s time for some Non-Disney characters; starting with Po.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B6-006.jpg



The pose made him look as though he were running…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B6-007.jpg



But the speed at which he passed by didn’t fit that look quite right.


The last of the Giant balloons in this section may be a bit past due for retirement.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B6-008.jpg



Not that seeing Snoopy isn’t entertaining, but rather that the physical balloon itself is starting to show a lot of age and ware.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B6-009.jpg



You can see a lot of cracks in the outer layers of the design and he's gotten a might droopy in the drawers as well. It will be interesting to see if this one shows up again in 2012.




Well that’s all for this part. I’ll be back after the next update to show you a few more details from any unidentified floating object that just might happen to glide by Tesla Corner.

afwdwfan
08-08-2012, 12:19 PM
Well then he did belong on a float devoted to jockey then.
I had to look back and remember it was hockey. I was sitting here thinking what in the beverly does the "F" word have to do with horse races? :lmao::rotfl2:


I remember reading about that. I’m also looking forward to the TR for your up coming holiday excursion to Disney.

There ya’ go… a nice plug for an up coming TR. Considering the vast number of folks reading this one you should now expect to pick up maybe… one more reader then you might have otherwise.
Thanks for the plug. Just gotta see if I have the motivation and a desire to do one. Maybe slightly more edited so as not to include the entire entourage against their will.


There was some kind of commotion a couple of blocks down. I was hopping he ran over that $#%&*@ bellhop we’d run into earlier in the day.
That would be a pleasant surprise! :lmao::rotfl2:


Part 4: Celebrities I Do Not Know

If nobody knows them, are they really celebrities? :confused3


(and you can go on ahead and insert your wisecracks here while you’re at it)
Don't worry. You don't need to leave dedicated openings. :lmao:


This guys name was Michael Feinstein, and while I’m sure I’m supposed to know just who that is…

I don’t. didn’t know him then… don’t know him know.
Would any of y’all care to enlighten me on this subject?
Why yes indeed. He's a local celebrity. He's with the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, IN. That practically makes him Stopher's neighbor!


OK, I had no idea until I used google.


The celebrities in question were (and I’m quoting here) “Synth-Pop Stars: Cobra Starship”. If you look them up, the most common description of the music is “Dance-Punk”.

Never heard of ‘em.
I’m a musician, and I’ve still never heard of ‘em.
Based on the Synth-Pop part, I'm pretty sure I don't want to hear of them either. :rotfl2:


Actual live music supplied by the kids from Carmel High School out of Indiana…

Wow, Carmel was really well represented in the parade! :lmao::rotfl2:


The talent on this float was a Disney manufactured sudo-kiddy-pop-star named China Anne McClain.
Heard of her... among the vast assortment of products from the Disney "music" factory.


Don’t you like, watch ‘A.N.T. Farm’…
And it helps that DW watches that show. I knew she had to be one one of those shows. :rotfl2:


However, there are no young ladies in our household and with my son well past the tween stage, that specific program isn’t the kind of fair that I’ve ever purposely stopped to watch while channel surfing for the least horrid thing on the tube.
Completely understandable. :lmao::rotfl2:


At lest I think that was a caterpillar. If either one of us had been taking nice long draws from a hookah at the time I might have been more certain.
:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:

FreezinRafiki
08-08-2012, 02:15 PM
I'm running short on time (leaving in 9 days and the boss wants all sorts of stuff done before I go) but I wanted to pop in, catch up, and say "nice job" on the updates.

And I'm absolutely, positively, without a doubt, 100% certain that the Captain Mickey balloon in New York City had nothing to do with the fact that Disney is sailing one of their DCL ships out of that particular city 9 months after the parade took place. No sir-y Bob. Total coincidence.

Oh, and the Oneida Nation float may not have been corporately sponsored, but I'm sure it was still pulled by a shiny new GMC truck, available at your local GMC dealer. Tax, title and fees extra. Some exclusions apply. See dealer for details or visit gmc.com.

Captain_Oblivious
08-08-2012, 03:13 PM
Rob, I apologize. Somehow I completely missed the last few updates, including the actual run-down of the parade itself. So I feel like I walked into the movie theater, watched all of the previews, and then left before the film started. :confused3

Anyway, I guess some of that was posted while I was away, so I'll just use that as my excuse, so I don't seem like an inattentive jerk. :rolleyes1

It's awesome that the kids nailed their parade routine. That whole task just seems both monumental and exhausting. Great to see all of that hard work pay off! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-15-2012, 09:04 PM
Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway (Day 4 – The Main Event)




Part 5: A Bit of Americana








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-501.jpg






There are many images and concepts that are distinctly American. More rather, I’m talking about things that are immediately recognizable icons of the United States (as opposed to any of the other nations within the confines of the American continents). Interestingly, many of them (if not most) were not so much invented here as they were adopted from elsewhere and then altered to suite us.

Example…


Neither apples nor the concept of pie are indigenous, but what is the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “As American as ______”.

Baseball… derived form a couple of English games.

Hotdogs… imported from Germany and named for their resemblance to something else originally bread in the same local.

Hamburgers… someone around here did think to slap it on some bread (and we’re still arguing about exactly who did so first), but the very name of the device belies its roots.

Icecream… French, but we determined that it ought to be served on top of a cone.

French Fires… completely misnamed because they’re Dutch in origin and are named for the type of cut, not a place (which is why renaming them “Freedom Fries” seceded only in making us look idiotic, but I digress).


And yet all of these things are considered to be as distinctly “American” as “Yankee Doodle”. The problem is… even that iconic song was composed by English troops as an insult. The Continental Army, however, decided to own it and proudly wear it as a badge of honor. It’s that last little bit there that I think makes something “American”. Not it’s origin, but rather the fact that we collectively decide to adopt it (or confiscate it as the case may be). When we like something… we make it ours. We generally change it in some way first, but then it’s ours baby!

That’s just who we are.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Show Must Go On




So, why did I start off on that “patriotic” tangent? Because the folks in charge of this shindig decided that “Americana” would be the theme for the next act of this here show. And they also decided to start things off with this “American” image…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-502.jpg



The Patriot Band form Homewood HS in Alabama. A very good group of kids showing off a number of very “American” spins on things adopted from elsewhere.


The 18th Century military garb was very European, but the world over, it (especially when including a “tri-corn” hat) is now regarded as quintessentially American.

Marching bands… more European military influence here, but only in America do they perform the elaborate musical pageants that we all know form football half-time shows and marching competitions.

Dancing Girls… dance is as old as humanity, but it took the US to figure out that you ought to dress ‘em in rhinestone hot pants, and go-go boots while then having them perform the Rockette High Kick.



So with a precedent now set, what should be trailing immediately behind a patriot band?

Why Mount Rushmore of course…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-503.jpg



…or a depiction there of. Along with a “celebrity” I actually do know (but only because I’m that dang old). Specifically that would be Neil Diamond. Neil actually did the best job of lip-syncing to his own music and genuinely appeared to be happy to be there that day. Interestingly, he was filling in at the last moment for another group, but has appeared in so Many Macy’s parades, that the staff knew he could be talked into to saving their bacon that day. As they say… the show must go on.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-504.jpg



Trains are not exclusive to the US (they’re more widely used nearly everywhere else in fact), but this 45 foot float modeled after a specific type of locomotive is about as American as one can get. Titled: “Wild West Express”; it’s an image of a type of wood burner known as a “4-4-0 American”. Really! And… the actual articles most certainly did help to take the “Wild” right out of the “West”. Along for the ride this day: former Macy’s Parade co-host and noted weather forecast presenter: Willard Scott


And now for something else uniquely American…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-505.jpg



I’ve no idea exactly what it is…
or intended to be…
but I can assure you, that you won’t see such in London, Berlin or Rome.


Next up… a “novelty” balloon based on what the ice-cream industry refers to as a “novelty item”…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-506.jpg



Followed by… more dancing girls.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-507.jpg



As a matter of fact, it was a whole passel of dancing girls…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-508.jpg



Actually, that might even be a ridiculous amount of dancing girls. All proud members of the “Spirit of America” Dance Team. This had to be just about the single largest unit to pass by Tesla Square that chilly morning. Now, can you imagine just how tough it would have been to be one of the chaperones for that group during their time in NYC? Nightmarish could only begin to describe the possible scenarios.


Ok, did you notice the clown in that last picture?
She was a harbinger of the theme for the next section of the parade…



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Thunder and Blazes




“da da dadada da da CIRCUS!
da da dadada da da AFRO!
circus! afro! circus! afro! polka-dot, polka-dot, polka-dot! AFRO!”



It ain’t Disney, but it is funny, and unless you’ve been under a rock for a while, you know what I’m alluding to here. That little bit of improve by Chris Rock was sung to an instantly recognizable tune that most folks just know as “that circus song”. Musicians in America however, know it by its local name: “Thunder and Blazes ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OkkU-UJc5o)”. But even that arrangement derives form an older tune. Specifically a piece titled: "Entrance of the Gladiators" which was written as a military march in 1897 and composed by a Czech named: Julius Fučík
(and no… I’m not making this stuff up).

So why did I belabor that point?

Because right smack in the middle of our salute to all things American, there was a sub-chapter devoted to those bits of Americana that are related (even if only slightly) to the circus.

Starting with this guy…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-509.jpg



Now, clowns are not particularly American per say, but that one sure is. Heck he was even originally brought to life by the “celebrity” that was riding in the 4-4-0 that chugged on by a bit ago. The shoe car was kind’a cool as well. Not as awesome as say… a “Weinermobile”, but still kind’a cool. These folks were leading the way for the next of the “Giant” balloons…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-510.jpg



Odd… that fell’a looks strangely familiar.


And that was followed by the next circus related object to appear on the horizon…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-511.jpg



Billed by the parade staff as: “Big Apple Circus - 1902 Wagon”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-512.jpg



Now there is such a thing as “The Big Apple Circus” and it’s quite well respected, but they don’t actually own that wagon. They barrowed it. And the more I looked into it the more interesting it got. So just remember that you saw that there and I’ll come back to it later on.

Next up was a float titled: Hatts Off to Our Heritage!



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-513.jpg



This one seemed out of place but being as the “celebrities” here were the current and former stewards of the Macy’s parade: Jean McFaddin and Robin Hall, it may be that they were making an inside joke as to what a circus it is to plan and execute this monstrosity. As for the other random characters on the float, they all (in one form or another) have been represented by “Giant” balloons in past parades. Now as for why there were bell hops following alongside…

Ummmmmmm…. OK, I got nothing.



After that, things turned back to the circus (somewhat at least) with the next “Novelty” balloon.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-514.jpg



Cloe the Holiday Clown

This one has been revised a bit here and there but has been in more parades then most of the balloon characters over the years.


Now it’s time to make a turn back toward the patriotic. This is one of the smallest floats (but possibly one of the largest drums) to appear in the Macy’s Parade…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-515.jpg



It even came equipped with a couple of celebrities. I think…
But I’m not certain. Here’s a closer look at one of ‘em



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-516.jpg



Do any of y’all recognize that young lady?


Oh well… I do recognize these next two fellows though.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-517.jpg



Two more specialized “Novelty” balloons depicting presidents number 1 and 16.
Those giant head balloons are still a might odd if you ask me though.

They were followed immediately by Uncle Sam, or at least the latest balloon-ified incarnation of him.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-518.jpg



There have been very few of these parties that did not include this image in some form (and usually in several forms). Sam was leading the way for a star spangled color guard made up of veterans, first responders, and a few civic leaders…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-519.jpg



And they, in turn, were acting as the guard for the next float of the day…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-520.jpg



“Gift of Freedom”

Based on the Lady in the Harbor’s famed torch, it is also a depiction of how that torch was displayed in New York parks during the mid-1800s while folks were trying to raise the funds needed to assemble that little gift.

Along for the ride this morning was the U.S. Military Cadets Chorus and joining them (for some reason) was the current “Miss America”: Teresa Scanlan.

(Hummmmm… now I wonder if those two lady on the drum a while back might not have been the runners up from that other type of pageant?)

Anyway… it seems only fitting to me that as I close out this section of the parade, that we take one more look at my favorite “American” Symbol of the day (and one that we just may get a better look at later on)



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-521.jpg



That’s right pretty if I do say so myself.
















http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-018.jpg



Next up: The reason we’ve been standing here.
Followed by a desperate attempt to escape from harms way.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-15-2012, 10:30 PM
I had to look back and remember it was hockey. I was sitting here thinking what in the beverly does the "F" word have to do with horse races? :lmao::rotfl2:


:lmao:



Thanks for the plug. Just gotta see if I have the motivation and a desire to do one. Maybe slightly more edited so as not to include the entire entourage against their will.


I’ve seen other deal with that same issue in different ways. I’m sure you’ll figure out a suitable method.



That would be a pleasant surprise! :lmao::rotfl2:


Yes… yes it would.


If nobody knows them, are they really celebrities? :confused3


Good point, but then again, I know so few celebrities that it might not be a fair comparison.



Don't worry. You don't need to leave dedicated openings. :lmao:


Oh it wsn’t for you, you’ll jump in with a left hook or a low blow at nearly any moment.

I was thinking about my more civilized rea… Oh never mind.
There are only a hand full of ya’ reading along and I don’t think any of us here are even properly house broken.



Why yes indeed. He's a local celebrity. He's with the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, IN. That practically makes him Stopher's neighbor!


And there ya’ go. Mystery solved.



OK, I had no idea until I used google.


:lmao: :lmao:
Nice stealth comment there in the white type, but either way the mystery is solved.
I think?



Based on the Synth-Pop part, I'm pretty sure I don't want to hear of them either. :rotfl2:


Rodger that… disregard bogie.




Wow, Carmel was really well represented in the parade! :lmao::rotfl2:


So it would seem. :lmao:



Heard of her... among the vast assortment of products from the Disney "music" factory.


And it helps that DW watches that show. I knew she had to be one one of those shows. :rotfl2:


I knew that it would be someone with females in the house that was actually aware of whom this was, but I was expecting it to be DDs rather then an adult.

Hay I watch stranger things… to each his (or her) own.



I'm running short on time (leaving in 9 days and the boss wants all sorts of stuff done before I go) but I wanted to pop in, catch up, and say "nice job" on the updates.


Thanks and I do understand. You’ll catch up later on and more importantly, I’ll get to read along with a new Frozen-Monkey TR in the near. One that actually has something to do with Disney.



And I'm absolutely, positively, without a doubt, 100% certain that the Captain Mickey balloon in New York City had nothing to do with the fact that Disney is sailing one of their DCL ships out of that particular city 9 months after the parade took place. No sir-y Bob. Total coincidence.


Almost certainly…
They’d never dream of such, I assure you.



Oh, and the Oneida Nation float may not have been corporately sponsored, but I'm sure it was still pulled by a shiny new GMC truck, available at your local GMC dealer. Tax, title and fees extra. Some exclusions apply. See dealer for details or visit gmc.com.

I hadn’t thought of that.
Just goes to show you that I ain’t really paying attention.
It wasn’t until now that I realized that all the floats were being towed by SUVs from the same manufacturer.



Rob, I apologize. Somehow I completely missed the last few updates, including the actual run-down of the parade itself. So I feel like I walked into the movie theater, watched all of the previews, and then left before the film started. :confused3


Not a problem. Being tucked away over here far away from the TR forum, it’s easily overlooked. And… the fact that I was forced by work obligations to take nearly a two-month hiatus on updates certainly pushed this little effort right out of mind.



It's awesome that the kids nailed their parade routine. That whole task just seems both monumental and exhausting. Great to see all of that hard work pay off! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2


Thanks and I’ll make sure that they hear about it.

This is one of those rare times in my life where all I really had to do is just sit back, hold on to the bumper and ride in their slipstream. The young’ens do all the heavy lifting. And, lucky for me, they’re getting into a brand new season as we speak. The music already sounds awesome and we have some interesting travel destinations scheduled this year (including a November trip up to Indiana that I just might be ale to tag along on).

Captain_Oblivious
08-16-2012, 10:00 AM
There are many images and concepts that are distinctly American. More rather, I’m talking about things that are immediately recognizable icons of the United States (as opposed to any of the other nations within the confines of the American continents). Interestingly, many of them (if not most) were not so much invented here as they were adopted from elsewhere and then altered to suite us.

This sounds a lot like a tribute to all nations, but mostly America.

When we like something… we make it ours. We generally change it in some way first, but then it’s ours baby! That’s just who we are.

I guess "Give me your tired, your poor, your downtrodden, etc." works for traditions as well. We take other countries' castoffs! :woohoo:

Dancing Girls… dance is as old as humanity, but it took the US to figure out that you ought to dress ‘em in rhinestone hot pants, and go-go boots while then have them perform the Rockette High Kick.

I'm not hearing any objections from the masses.

Specifically that would be Neil Diamond. Neil actually did the best job of lip-syncing to his own music and genuinely appeared to be happy to be there that day. Interestingly, he was filling in at the last moment for another group, but has appeared in so Many Macy’s parades, that the staff knew he could be talked into to saving their bacon that day.

Mmmm...bacon.

"There are two types of people in this world: people that love Neil Diamond and people that don't. My ex-wife loved him."

Trains are not exclusive to the US (they’re more widely used nearly everywhere else in fact), but this 45 foot float modeled after a specific type of locomotive is about as American as one can get.

Big Thunder Mountain! Excellent!

I’ve no idea exactly what it is… or intended to be… but I can assure you, that you won’t see such in London, Berlin or Rome.

A drunk wearing a barrel? :confused3

Actually, that might even be a ridiculous amount of dancing girls.

And they're not dancing.

But even that arrangement derives form an older tune. Specifically a piece titled: "Entrance of the Gladiators" which was written as a military march in 1897 and composed by a Czech named: Julius Fučík
(and no… I’m not making this stuff up).

Whoa, careful how you type that one.

Now, clowns are not particularly American per say, but that one sure is.

"To me, clowns aren't funny. I guess it goes back to the time when I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad."

As for the other random characters on the float, they all (in one form or another) have been represented by “Giant” balloons in past parades. Now as for why there were bell hops following along side…

Aaaaaaaaaaaa…. I got nothing.

To be fair, this makes as much sense as the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies did.

Do any of y’all recognize that young lady?

:confused3

FreezinRafiki
08-16-2012, 10:20 AM
Hamburgers… someone around here did think to slap it on some bread (and we’re still arguing about exactly who did so first), but the very name of the device belies its roots.
Seymour, Wisconsin. Everyone else is a liar.


Dancing Girls… dance is as old as humanity, but it took the US to figure out that you ought to dress ‘em in rhinestone hot pants, and go-go boots while then have them perform the Rockette High Kick.

And God Bless America for it!



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-505.jpg


I’ve no idea exactly what it is… or intended to be… but I can assure you, that you won’t see such in London, Berlin or Rome.
It's a rodeo clown! They're the slightly insane people that hang around inside the ring as cowboys attempt to ride a very unpleasant bull. When the cowboy falls off he's basically a sitting duck, usually crumpled up in the dirt for a few seconds while he gets his bearings and stumbles to his feet. During these few seconds, the clowns rush in, distract the bull and buy the cowboy time to get up and get to safety. Some clowns basically walk around in barrels for protection. Much like a turtle, they're pull their head, arms and feet inside while the bull smacks the barrel around the ring.


Followed by… more dancing girls.
USA! USA! USA!


As a mater of fact, it was a whole passel of dancing girls…
I prefer "harem" as the collective noun. :thumbsup2

[QUOTE=GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes;45835475]composed by a Czech named: Julius Fučík[/QUOTE}
ROB! Go wash your mouth out with soap for using that word on the Internet.


[QUOTE=GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes;45835475]
Billed by the parade staff as: “Big Apple Circus - 1902 Wagon”

Milwaukee used to have a circus parade. I think it's every other year now due to lack of funding. They'd get all of these classic circus wagons from the Circus World Museum in Baraboo and run it right down town.

afwdwfan
08-16-2012, 11:36 AM
Nice touch... I like how you did comments from the last update AFTER this update just so you could start at the top of the page.


Baseball… derived form a couple of English games.
But we changed the rules and made it better! :thumbsup2


Dancing Girls… dance is as old as humanity, but it took the US to figure out that you ought to dress ‘em in rhinestone hot pants, and go-go boots while then have them perform the Rockette High Kick.
http://carlwk.typepad.com/.a/6a00e550888f718833011570e58c8d970b-800wi


Along with a “celebrity” I actually do know (but only because I’m that dang old). Specifically that would be Neil Diamond. Neil actually did the best job of lip-syncing to his own music and genuinely appeared to be happy to be there that day.
Let me guess... Coming to America? :confused3

Specifically a piece titled: "Entrance of the Gladiators" which was written as a military march in 1897 and composed by a Czech named: Julius Fučík
(and no… I’m not making this stuff up).
Wow, you're just an i away from being banned from the DIS. :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:

So why did I belabor that point?
I thought it was because you wanted to use that name. :confused3 :lmao:



Now, clowns are not particularly American per say, but that one sure is. Heck he was even originally brought to life by the “celebrity” that was riding in the 4-4-0 that chugged on by a bit ago.
I thought he was banned from NYC. I mean they put a limit on how big of a drink you can buy, I thought surely he'd be tarred and feathered if he entered the city limits. :rotfl2:


Odd… that fell’a looks strangely familiar.
And nothing is as American as product placement! :thumbsup2 :rotfl2:


As for the other random characters on the float, they all (in one form or another) have been represented by “Giant” balloons in past parades.
It's like the float of Thanksgivings past.

Or maybe something you'd expect to see around Pop Century. :rotfl::rotfl2:


It even came equipped with a couple of celebrities. I think…
But I’m not certain. Here’s a closer look at one of ‘em
Nah, I think it's just a couple of dancers that escaped their chaperones and decided they didn't want to walk anymore.

To be fair, this makes as much sense as the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies did.

:rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:

It's a rodeo clown! They're the slightly insane people that hang around inside the ring as cowboys attempt to ride a very unpleasant bull. When the cowboy falls off he's basically a sitting duck, usually crumpled up in the dirt for a few seconds while he gets his bearings and stumbles to his feet. During these few seconds, the clowns rush in, distract the bull and buy the cowboy time to get up and get to safety. Some clowns basically walk around in barrels for protection. Much like a turtle, they're pull their head, arms and feet inside while the bull smacks the barrel around the ring.
I don't want to give Barry a bigger head than he already has so instead of saying the words I'll just say this...

::yes::

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-16-2012, 12:18 PM
This sounds a lot like a tribute to all nations, but mostly America.


“You’ve got a minute and a half…”


(Yah, we’ve been down that road before, but it’s still funny)



I guess "Give me your tired, your poor, your downtrodden, etc." works for traditions as well. We take other countries' castoffs! :woohoo:


We’ve even been known to confiscate a few things that they might rather have kept.



I'm not hearing any objections from the masses.


And none from me either.



Mmmm...bacon.


From “…some wonderful, magical animal”



"There are two types of people in this world: people that love Neil Diamond and people that don't. My ex-wife loved him."


Not a fan either, especially of the later stuff. :crazy2:
Now he did compose, "I'm a Believer" so there is that.



Big Thunder Mountain! Excellent!


My favorite mine train



A drunk wearing a barrel? :confused3


I cant speak for or against her level of sobriety.



And they're not dancing.


Yah… They started a routine that was mostly hand movements shortly after that last picture, but really had to keep moving with the parade. Once they got to The Spot of 34th, there was a lot more action to view.

(So I’m told… I’m still looking for a copy of the parade as it aired on the telle.)



Whoa, careful how you type that one.


There are risks to supplying that particular detail on a Family Board



"To me, clowns aren't funny. I guess it goes back to the time when I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad."


“If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting”


To be fair, this makes as much sense as the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies did.


Good point.
I don’t think I saw Mary Poppins even once during the parade.





Seymour, Wisconsin. Everyone else is a liar.


There are folks in Connecticut and St Louis the may beg to differ.
Myself? I’ll have a good burger just about anywhere it’s offered up.



And God Bless America for it!


“Land the I love…”




It's a rodeo clown! They're the slightly insane people that hang around inside the ring as cowboys attempt to ride a very unpleasant bull. When the cowboy falls off he's basically a sitting duck, usually crumpled up in the dirt for a few seconds while he gets his bearings and stumbles to his feet. During these few seconds, the clowns rush in, distract the bull and buy the cowboy time to get up and get to safety. Some clowns basically walk around in barrels for protection. Much like a turtle, they're pull their head, arms and feet inside while the bull smacks the barrel around the ring.


Extra Detail Bonus Feature!
Nice work Barry.

But… in my opinion, this is a better representation of those rare breads…

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TjTFXtldCLU/TO0dihFgnFI/AAAAAAAAAbY/sKPEFZFbl4c/s1600/rodeo-bull-and-clown.jpg

What I saw in the parade was more like a Pink Nightmare!

Well, except that it was more yellow and brown in color…
But you get the idea.




USA! USA! USA!


What… no time for the full on Technicolor fonts?
You must be busy getting ready for that trip down to WDW.



I prefer "harem" as the collective noun. :thumbsup2


I like it.
Apparently we need to start our own list of such words and get them submitted to Webster’s.



ROB! Go wash your mouth out with soap for using that word on the Internet.


Just clean you contact lenses and then go back and read it again.



Milwaukee used to have a circus parade. I think it's every other year now due to lack of funding. They'd get all of these classic circus wagons from the Circus World Museum in Baraboo and run it right down town.


I wondered if you might just pick up on that.
So this means that you’ve actually seen that particular circus wagon before.


More to come!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-16-2012, 02:56 PM
Nice touch... I like how you did comments from the last update AFTER this update just so you could start at the top of the page.


Ain’t I a stinker…



But we changed the rules and made it better!


As Stopher would say (were he so inclined to stop by this pointless exercise)…

Precisely…



http://carlwk.typepad.com/.a/6a00e550888f718833011570e58c8d970b-800wi


http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif


Let me guess... Coming to America? :confused3


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggg!!!!!!!

I’d blocked it out, but now it’s all flooding back!
Oh the horror!
Oh the humanity!



Wow, you're just an i away from being banned from the DIS.


That’s the dudes name.
It’s no different then if Mark had discussed Jim Furyk’s legendarily quirky swing on the links.

Besides, it’s not like I was testing the patients of the board’s Mod’s or anything.




So far as you know.



I thought it was because you wanted to use that name.


Naaaaa… that was just a bonus.
Purely serendipitous



I thought he was banned from NYC. I mean they put a limit on how big of a drink you can buy, I thought surely he'd be tarred and feathered if he entered the city limits. :rotfl2:


:lmao: :lmao: :rotfl:



And nothing is as American as product placement!


http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif http://www.audiaddict.net/images/smilies/salute_smiley.gif



It's like the float of Thanksgivings past.


It seemed out of place thematically, but so did many other exhibits.
But then again, for some odd reason that I can’t quite put my finger on…
I liked it two.



Or maybe something you'd expect to see around Pop Century.


THAT’S IT!


Nah, I think it's just a couple of dancers that escaped their chaperones and decided they didn't want to walk anymore.



:lmao: :lmao: :rotfl:

I do believe that we have a winner in the guess the celebrity contest.



I don't want to give Barry a bigger head than he already has so instead of saying the words I'll just say this...

::yes::

Don’t feed the animals…
It only encourages them ya’ know.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-29-2012, 02:27 PM
I was originally planning to put up one of my infamous Bonus Features right about here, but that monster is still growing and getting completely out of hand. As such, I think I had best offer up the next actual update to the Parade.

It’s been a couple of days and my extensive collection of readers might just be getting restless.

Not bloody likely ehhh… :sad2:


Well, I can dream can’t I?


Back in a minute or two… :rolleyes1

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-29-2012, 02:31 PM
Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway (Day 4 – The Main Event)




Part 6: The Blink of an Eye








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-601.jpg





We spend long parts of our lives waiting. Waiting for moments which themselves will be but a mere flash on the time spectrum. Months spent waiting for seconds, years spent waiting for days. It seems like madness to focus so hard on those fleeting wisps of time, but it’s not. Strong memories, the kind that shape us, make us who we are; they’re all made up of miniscule amounts of time when compared to one’s entire life.

It took us a year and a half to prepare for and then finally embark on this adventure. Yet the reason for the trip was an event that would last less than three hours. The part of it we had come to witness specifically would be within in our line of sight for only about ten minutes. The culmination of our kid’s hard work to get here would last but a minute-fifteen (and that would be ignored by most of the populous).

So was it all a waste?

Of course not.

A purely logical mind would dismiss such things out of hand, but, people aren’t purely logical. We can pull off that “logic thing” from time to time, but what we really are is emotional creatures. And a few seconds of pure unadulterated emotion will create a flame so intense, so bright, so overwhelming that it will utterly obscure years of earnest logic.

So let us stop being logical for just a little while longer.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Gotham



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-521.jpg



Why am I starting off with an image that you’ve already seen before? Well it’s a beacon; a symbol of light and understanding (and it provides a smidgen of continuity). We’re transitioning from the “Americana” part of the parade into an “NYC” centric themed part of the show, but there are a few things that only just sot’a fit into the new scenario. I started with an image that itself is unmistakably Gotham, because the next new element didn’t fit the bill quite as succinctly.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-603.jpg



Spiderman!

Now I suppose that you can say that the character is an urbanite, but it’s a bit of a stretch to call him a New York City icon. The next thing however did meet the qualifications and got things more squarely on track.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-604.jpg



The officer that had been in charge of keeping the piece on our corner was understandable pleased to see the NYPD Band moving into view. He made sure to get several images for his scrapbook. Couldn’t blame him, I was here for a very similar purpose.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-605.jpg



It’s an all-volunteer organization and they were actually quite good. Granted, I heard only one tune as they marched by, but they did a fine job of it.

Next up a float…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-606.jpg




Titled “Big Apple” (for obvious reasons), this one featured Mary J. Blige as the Celeb-du-jour. Her I know. I was more impressed with the musician of her earlier career then I am with the current staple of awards shows and red carpet events that was aboard the float though.

Ehhhh… to each their own.


Next in line were the combined units of the Mounted Parks Enforcement Patrol and NYPD Mounted Police.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-607.jpg



Just as this unit arrived at our point on the route the whole precession came to one of its momentary halts as things were starting to back up a bit down at the turn onto 34th. Having a moment to take a break, one of these noble steeds chose to heed the call of nature. I wasn’t expecting to see a representation of a waterfall in the midst of the parade, but we’re dealing with domestic critters here and they have a different sense of what meets the requirements of decorum.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-608.jpg



As New York’s finest began a slow trot out of sight, they were followed by an obligatory sanitation crew, but there wasn’t much their shovels were going to do to abate this particular spill.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Sporting Life




The job of “drying” up the pavement was left to the next few groups on the agenda. Starting with a whole bunch of stars…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-609.jpg



That young’en was smart enough to stay close to the crowd and away from the toxic spill. The folks who were in charge of the next couple of “Novelty” balloons that was being escorted by all those stars had no such option.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-610.jpg



As you can see, this is where the theme took a rather radical turn way from all things NYC, and entered an ephemeral salute to “sports”.


Sort of.


By the way, I know that you see that big rabbit back there and I also know that if you read the first part of this chapter, then you are aware of what that means to us. But for now we’re still talking “sports”.


As the over inflated Baseball and Basketball passed by us, we were next entertained by this rather jarring site…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-611.jpg



The little float was concealing a sound system (and I’ll explain why in a moment). The fellows following behind are the proud members of the “610 Stompers”. This is an “all-male dance crew” (their description) from New Orleans. The numerical part of the name comes from one of the Interstates down that way.

As for the rest of the costume…


Well… that’s just their signature look
(including the mustaches)

Here’s a closer look…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-612.jpg


Yikes…



They perform in various Mardi Gras parades and at local sporting events (thus the tenuous tie into the sporting theme). In that picture, the sound system hidden in that little star float had just started pounding out the melody of the pop song: “I Need a Hero” and the guys were doing a choreographed dance routine for their captive audience.


Really!

I’ve got to give them credit for enthusiasm though.


As all those red satin jackets and sweat socks started to ease on down the road, we finally got to the next “balloonicle” in the parade.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-613.jpg



Yep… he just keeps going, and going…

Actually the “Energizer Bunny” meandered left and right and up and back all over the street.
Easily the least disciplined “character” to cross our path this day.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-614.jpg



Cool shades though don’t you think?

I suspect the tie into the “sports” theme was that he’s a staple of sports advertising.
I can’t really think of any other reason.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Band In Black




Well the folks in charge of this bash decided that it was time for another transition. As had been done up to this point, a transition generally started off with one of the bands, and that is exactly what we got next. Specifically, the group lead off by these color bearers here…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-615.jpg



Notice the big grin on the face of the young lady on the near side of that lead-off banner?
Well for some unknown reason the twenty odd folks around me had commenced to hootin’ and hollerin’ at the top of their lungs. You’d have thought that we’d all lost our collective mind. Apparently, this group of asylum rejects had gotten her attention.

I’m told that this particular band represents one of the two high schools in this one particular small town in South Carolina. It is also said that these two schools end up battling each other pretty much annually for state championships. This group (known locally either as “NaFo” or “The Band in Black”) just happened to have pulled off the “upset” victory over their rivals for the past three years (something that does not go down well with a few of the old timers back home). Statistically, they are also representing one of the smallest schools to be offered an invitation into this little party, Better than 1 in 10 of the kids attending “NaFo” are also musicians and were along for the ride. They take music pretty seriously down there.

Anyway, the kids marched up with a cadence to point right in front of us and the parade came to one of its halts while waiting for traffic to clear on down the way. Good timing. The cadence finished about then and we actually got to hear them play a tune.


Bonus!



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-616.jpg


Of course we didn’t get a video of it.


AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG!


I thought Tamara was doing the video, and she thought I was, so we just got pictures.

:headache:

But... there were parents spread out all along the route and the folks up closer to Columbus Circle were more clear headed then I. As such, I do have a “vid” of them actually playing in the Macy’s Parade. And you can see it here if’n you’re interested…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-617.jpg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wykyvi0J7AU)




There’s a lot of noise in that recording and the band can’t really be heard very well until about a minute into it. There’s also not a lot to see once they break back into a cadence other than them marching by. Just so you know.

A little more info about their performance that day:
They actually rotated through three different tunes along the route and then the official “Show Tune” on ‘The Spot” in front of Macys (you can’t play the official piece until you get in front of the cameras because Macy’s demands exclusivity and the copyright as part of your being allowed to participate). Now, the tune that they are playing in that video up there is a crowd favorite because these kids are the only band that actually sings back to the audience and tries to get them to follow along. The song, “Hay Baby”, is a piece originally recorded by Bruce Channel way the heck back in 1961. It’s also a staple of what is colloquially known as “Beach Music” in the Carolinas and represents that area quite nicely. They were one of the few bands that day not playing tunes with a holiday or wintery theme opting instead to go with a more playful and party time feel.



OK, back to Tesla Corner… Just about the time that the song was over and the percussion battery broke back into their cadence; the procession started moving along again.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-618.jpg



Strange… that young’en there on the outside of that line looks oddly familiar.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-619.jpg



And the chaperones bringing up the rear must have known some of the folks around where I was standing as well. Go figure.




Chronologically… that small part of a big parade took only about five minutes. Not much in the scheme of things. But those five minutes will always be very important to the people that had traveled long and hard to see it.

They’re interesting things; memories. A flicker here, a glimmer there, and the next thing you know you’re standing on a New York City sidewalk with a whole bunch of other folks enjoying one big party and no longer even noticing just how cold it was.




Strange how that works out aint’t it?








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-019.jpg



Next up: The Great Escape and maybe a bit of dinner.

Captain_Oblivious
08-29-2012, 03:46 PM
We spend long parts of our lives waiting. Waiting for moments which themselves will be but a mere flash on the time spectrum. Months spent waiting for seconds, years spent waiting for days. It seems like madness to focus so hard on those fleeting wisps of time, but it’s not. Strong memories, the kind that shape us, make us who we are; they’re all made up of miniscule amounts of time when compared to one’s entire life.

So true. And then we forget to stop and enjoy the actual moment when it happens, and soak in the experience. We're idiots.

So let us stop being logical for just a little while longer.

Ok. I can do that.

Spiderman!

Now I suppose that you can say that the character is an urbanite, but it’s a bit of a stretch to call him a New York City icon. The next thing however did meet the qualifications and got things more squarely on track.

Man, what a stretch. That's like trying to include an attraction based on the Caribbean and an attraction based on the Middle East in one themed land. :sad2:

It’s an all volunteer organization and they were actually quite good. Granted, I heard only one tune as they marched by, but they did a fine job of it.

It's a Small World?

Just as this unit arrived at our point on the route the whole precession came to one of its momentary halts as things were starting to back up a bit down at the turn onto 34th. Having a moment to take a break, one of these noble steeds chose to heed the call of nature.

Now that fits completely with the theme of NYC. Much better than Spiderman. :rotfl:

The job of “drying” up the pavement was left to the next few groups on the agenda. Starting with a whole bunch of stars…

Welcome to New York, kids!

They perform in various Mardi Gras parades and at local sporting events (thus the tenuous tie into the sporting theme). In that picture, the sound system hidden in that little star float had just started pounding out the melody of the pop song: “I need a Hero”, and the guys were doing a choreographed dance routine for their captive audience.

Really!

I’ve got to give them credit for enthusiasm though.

Wow. Just...wow. Remember that talk about waiting for big moments to occur? Well, this was a couple of minutes you'll never get back.

Specifically, the group lead off by these color bearers here…

Hmm. I've heard this name somewhere before. :scratchin

Well for some unknown reason the twenty odd folks around me had commenced to hootin’ and hollerin’ at the top of their lungs. You’d have thought that we’d all lost our collective mind. Apparently, this group of asylum rejects had gotten her attention.

You wouldn't have been part of that group, would you? :confused3

This group (known locally either as “NaFo” or “The Band in Black”) just happened to have pulled off the “upset” victory over their rivals for the past three years (something that does not go down well with a few of the old timers back home).

Heh. That'll teach 'em.

Good timing. The cadence finished about then and we actually got to hear them play a tune.

Bonus!

:woohoo:

Of course we didn’t get a video of it.

AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG!

I thought Tamara was doing the video, and she thought I was, so we just got pictures.

:headache:

D'oh!

As such, I do have a “vid” of them actually playing in the Macy’s Parade. And you can see it here if’n you’re interested…

I'll have to check it out at home.

They actually rotated through three different tunes along the route and then the official “Show Tune” on ‘The Spot” in front of Macys (you can’t play the official piece until you get in front of the cameras because Macy’s demands exclusivity and the copyright as part of your being allowed to participate).

Lawyers. :sad2:

They were one of the few bands that day not playing tunes with a holiday or wintery theme opting instead to go with a more playful and party time feel.

Cool. Zig when the others zag.

Chronologically… that small part of a big parade took only about five minutes. Not much in the scheme of things. But those five minutes will always be very important to the people that had traveled long and hard to see it.

They’re interesting things; memories. A flicker here, a glimmer there, and the next thing you know you’re standing on a New York City sidewalk with a whole bunch of other folks enjoying one big party and no longer even noticing just how cold it was.

Beautifully written. :thumbsup2

Cinderella's Fella
08-29-2012, 04:35 PM
Hi Rob, really nice work here buddy! Just finished reading page 6, and am very much enjoying your saga. :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-30-2012, 10:44 AM
So true. And then we forget to stop and enjoy the actual moment when it happens, and soak in the experience. We're idiots.


Well… I am.
I think everyone else is just too busy to remember to pay attention.
:lmao:



Ok. I can do that.


I bet so.


It's a Small World?


To quote Randall…
http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g447/rnaspapa/hahanosmiley-1.gif


Now that fits completely with the theme of NYC. Much better than Spiderman.


:lmao:
Didn’t think about in those terms, but I suppose so.


Wow. Just...wow. Remember that talk about waiting for big moments to occur? Well, this was a couple of minutes you'll never get back.


Combined with an image that I really didn’t want stuck in my mind…
That’s why I decided to share to with y’all.
Misery loves company.


Hmm. I've heard this name somewhere before.


Ya’ think?


You wouldn't have been part of that group, would you?


Ummmmmm… could be.


Heh. That'll teach 'em.


It’s quite the battle actually.
I may discuss it farther in a “Flashback” post, but that one will be easy to spot...
and therefore easy to ignore.


Lawyers. :sad2:


Everyone’s got ‘em
(kind’a like what they say about “opinions”)








Beautifully written. :thumbsup2



Hi Rob, really nice work here buddy! Just finished reading page 6, and am very much enjoying your saga. :thumbsup2

Thanks!

Every English teacher I ever had is currently either spinning in her grave or has just collapsed into one due to the damage caused to the fabric of the universe by those statements…

But I thank y’all anyway.

afwdwfan
08-31-2012, 10:45 AM
So was it all a waste?

Of course not.
A lifetime of memories is never a waste. :thumbsup2


Having a moment to take a break, one of these noble steeds chose to heed the call of nature. I wasn’t expecting to see a representation of a waterfall in the midst of the parade, but we’re dealing with domestic critters here and they have a different sense of what meets the requirements of decorum.
That's a shame that Nation Ford had to be after them. :rotfl2:


As New York’s finest began a slow trot out of sight, they were followed by an obligatory sanitation crew, but there wasn’t much their shovels were going to do to abate this particular spill.
Somebody get a sham wow! :rotfl2::lmao::rotfl:


As for the rest of the costume…

Well… that’s just their signature look
(including the mustaches)
I realize you've taken a long time on this TR, but I thought it was supposed to be the 2012 parade, not the 1982 parade. :rotfl2::rotfl:


I’ve got to give them credit for enthusiasm though.
Ok... if you says so. :confused3 :rotfl2:


I suspect the tie into the “sports” theme was that he’s a staple of sports advertising.
I can’t really think of any other reason.
I don't know... the dude isn't even all that relevant. I'm not even sure when the last time was that I saw an Energizer bunny commercial on TV. :confused3




Maybe he's more a fixture of Philadelphia sports. :rotfl2::lmao::rotfl:


Specifically, the group lead off by these color bearers here…
:cool1::banana::yay:


Of course we didn’t get a video of it.

AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG!
Great job! :thumbsup2 :headache:


But... there were parents spread out all along the route and the folks up closer to Columbus Circle were more clear headed then I. As such, I do have a “vid” of them actually playing in the Macy’s Parade. And you can see it here if’n you’re interested…
Well, thankfully someone didn't drop the ball.


They’re interesting things; memories. A flicker here, a glimmer there, and the next thing you know you’re standing on a New York City sidewalk with a whole bunch of other folks enjoying one big party and no longer even noticing just how cold it was.
So, you're saying it was all worth it? :confused3 :thumbsup2

FreezinRafiki
08-31-2012, 11:31 AM
A purely logical mind would dismiss such things out of hand, but, people aren’t purely logical. We can pull off that “logic thing” from time to time, but what we really are is emotional creatures. And a few seconds of pure unadulterated emotion will create a flame so intense, so bright, so overwhelming that it will utterly obscure years of earnest logic.

Traveling to former swamp land in Florida, plopping down a few thousand hard earned green backs to be entertained by a mouse isn't logical either. But it sure is fun.

So let us stop being logical for just a little while longer.

Now we're talkin'. :thumbsup2

Having a moment to take a break, one of these noble steeds chose to heed the call of nature.
And I'm guessing he got quite an ovation from the crowd, huh?


The job of “drying” up the pavement was left to the next few groups on the agenda. Starting with a whole bunch of stars…

Step lively, kids, but don't splash in the puddles.


Well for some unknown reason the twenty odd folks around me had commenced to hootin’ and hollerin’ at the top of their lungs.
Yes....their lungs. I'd bet dollars to donuts that later in this TR you're going to be searching for a cup of hot lemon tea to alleviate a sore throat.


Anyway, the kids marched up with a cadence to point right in front of us and the parade came to one of its halts while waiting for traffic to clear on down the way. Good timing. The cadence finished about then and we actually got to hear them play a tune.
Pixie Dust works in the cold too!


I thought Tamara was doing the video, and she thought I was, so we just got pictures.
Clearly, you're in the wrong. I have no idea why, but when a female spouse assumes the male spouse is doing something, and it turns out he isn't, he's wrong. It's just how life works.


But... there were parents spread out all along the route and the folks up closer to Columbus Circle were more clear headed then I. As such, I do have a “vid” of them actually playing in the Macy’s Parade. And you can see it here if’n you’re interested…
:thumbsup2:thumbsup2


Strange… that young’en there on the outside of that line looks oddly familiar.

He's not making eye contact. He must owe you money or something.


Chronologically… that small part of a big parade took only about five minutes. Not much in the scheme of things. But those five minutes will always be very important to the people that had traveled long and hard to see it.
And a big congrats to all of you!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
08-31-2012, 02:20 PM
Somebody get a sham wow! :rotfl2::lmao::rotfl:


OK… that was funny.
Nemesis or not…
that was funny




I realize you've taken a long time on this TR, but I thought it was supposed to be the 2012 parade, not the 1982 parade. :rotfl2::rotfl:


Apparently there were a bunch of folks hitting 88 miles per hour that day,
Because that most was certainly some serious S***


I don't know... the dude isn't even all that relevant. I'm not even sure when the last time was that I saw an Energizer bunny commercial on TV. :confused3




Maybe he's more a fixture of Philadelphia sports. :rotfl2::lmao::rotfl:


A long way to go just to take a shot at Mark.
Nicely done there.
:rotfl2:


Great job! :thumbsup2 :headache:


http://hungrytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/homer_doh.png


Well, thankfully someone didn't drop the ball.


Not every one out there is me.
(and Luckily not everyone out there is you either).



So, you're saying it was all worth it? :confused3 :thumbsup2



You could say that.









Traveling to former swamp land in Florida, plopping down a few thousand hard earned green backs to be entertained by a mouse isn't logical either. But it sure is fun.


Yes… yes it is.

And when exactly is your next TR starting up?



And I'm guessing he got quite an ovation from the crowd, huh?


Well, as a matter of fact…



Yes....their lungs. I'd bet dollars to donuts that later in this TR you're going to be searching for a cup of hot lemon tea to alleviate a sore throat.


I wouldn’t *hack* know *cough, cough* nothin’ about *hack, wheeze* that.



Pixie Dust works in the cold too!


Well, there is an insanely awesome Disney Store just a couple of blocks from where were we were standing.



Clearly, you're in the wrong. I have no idea why, but when a female spouse assumes the male spouse is doing something, and it turns out he isn't, he's wrong. It's just how life works.


Clearly…

This most certainly is one of those moments when you can bust out a sentence that ought to begin with “Clearly”



He's not making eye contact. He must owe you money or something.


That he does my friend…
That he does.
:lmao:



And a big congrats to all of you!



Thanks, but mostly to the kids.
They done good (and continue to do so).




This story, however, is a bit like your last one
(except for it not taking place at WDW and all).

The “Main Event” may be over…
But there are still more yarns to spin.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-04-2012, 11:26 PM
Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway (Day 4 – The Main Event)




Part 7: The Study of Pressure and Time








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-701.jpg





“An ice age here, a million years of mountain-building there, plates of bedrock grinding against each other over a span of millennia...”


It took many of those millennia and almost unfathomable forces to create the Island of Manhattan. But it only took a few hundred years for people to reshape it.

Hummm…. Ya’ know, that may just make for an interesting Bonus Feature…



Oh wait… I’m already working on an update.
I probably ought to stick to the topic at hand for the time being
.

As I was saying…

Pressure and force are integral parts of physical existence, but they are also major players in human interaction. Just on a ridiculously smaller scale (although, being human, we’d like the privilege of believin’ that our travails far outweigh the importance of any force of nature). For us, time was growing short, and pressure had been building steadily. We just didn’t realize that last fact until it became necessary to fight back against it.
Not until escape became imperative.

But again, I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s go back to the last moment where we were still certain of ourselves and pick up the story there.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
All the Time in the World




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-702.jpg



The parade started moving again. The folks gathered on Tesla Corner took a moment to collectively catch their breath and then looked on blearily as the kids headed off down the Avenue of the Americas. They were now traversing the final six blocks toward 34th Street, and their turn on The Spot. Less than a half block down the way, the battery signaled a cadence turn-around and the band broke into another of their parade tunes. We got to hear them once more that day as they disappeared into the distance. It has been a fine morning to be sure.

Just at that moment something else caught my eye. Well, it’d been rather hard to miss it honestly.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-703.jpg



How this related to the sports theme that had been going on previously, I didn’t know, but it did go along with the advertising character theme I suppose. He was also the last of the “Giant” Balloons that we’d encounter this day. Not the last one in the parade, just the last one we would see.


Well the next unit brought things solidly back into the prevailing sports theme.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-704.jpg



Say hello to the lovely young ladies of the “Varsity Spirit Cheerleaders”. Of course if you were to attempt to introduce yourself to them individually, you’d have been busy for a while…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-705.jpg



There were 650 of em’. That’s a lot of cheerleads right there. All I can add is: bless their poor chaperones hearts…

Now, imagine finding yourself at the MK with that group behind you and one of them “flag following” tour groups ahead of you…

I believe I’d have to find some means of escape as quickly as possible.


Something else we could also see in that last image was that our kids were now about half way between us and the turn onto 34th. Right about where “the quite zone” commences. Back in the darkness of the early morning, when the buses first arrived in the city that day, we figured there was enough time and sights ahead of us to keep us busy till Rapture. But what once seemed like all the time in the world was now starting to run short.

Short indeed.

A quick look back to the north revealed a Hail Mary in the form of our last “Novelty balloon” of the day…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-706.jpg



…and that was followed up by some more cheerleaders. A somewhat more reasonably sized squad and they came equipped with their own float titled: “Pep Rally”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-707.jpg





Honestly, with that wholesome image in front of me…
what my busted brain expected to see next was this vision…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-718-1.jpg



But that’s a different film from the one I’ve set off to plagiarize here, so I’ll just leave it at that.



One more quick look to the south and I saw the “Pink Nightmare” disappear around the corner heading off of Sixth and westward toward the spot, banging the bass drum as he vanished. An unmistakable sign; our kids were right back where they started this morning. Making the last turn on the route.

Lookin’ back to the “north”, we see something that just screamed “South”.
Well… It might have in the narrow worlds of stereotype and pulp melodrama at least…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-708.jpg



These are the “Mobile Azalea Trail Maids”


Honest truth… at first I thought that this had to be something dreamed up by a “Yankee” as the result of a bad acid trip which occurred during a public showing of GWTW (curse that dang movie). But nooooo… We did this to ourselves. South’nrs that is. Some individual or committee of such, who actually call the Southeast part of the nation home, went and dreamed this one up all by themselves. Now let me also say that first impressions are not always what they seem (and are generally unfair… which is the case here). I have researched this group and, these young ladies deserve more credit that they were going to be getting from the crowd that day. The City of Mobile annually chooses 50 high school seniors to serve as the city’s ambassadors and represent the traditions of "Southern Hospitality". They have to be academically gifted and are also required to be knowledgeable of Mobile’s landmarks and history. These skills are needed because they are often charged with the task of greeting and escorting foreign dignitaries and distinguished visitors.


It was just about here that everyone in our group on Tesla Corner simultaneously received a text message…

“The band just started their run …”




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Thick as Thieves




Back to the north we could see that the theme of the parade had apparently made an official transition from all things Sports, to all things ostentatiously South’rn. The next unit on the horizon after all those hoop skirts was a float titled: “The Marion-Carole Showboat”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-709.jpg



The celebrity of the moment was country music recording artist Shelby Lynne. I would tell you what song she was lip-syncing, but honestly, I didn’t hear it. Because it was just at that moment that every cell phone within fifteen feet of me went off again. This time the text message received simply read:

“They aced it!!!”

What that meant to us, other than we could be proud of our children, is that it was time to get a move on.

They were down there, and we were up here. It was time to get busy. Since we’d ridden in with them that morning the choice now was either get back to the busses or be left behind in the city to find our own way back to Jersey. We said our goodbyes to those that were staying, and then wriggled our way from the curb back to the wall of the building behind us.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-710.jpg



That is the last I saw of the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Being on the front row all this time, I hadn’t realized just how packed the sidewalk had become behind us.


Until now…

But I was in for a far greater shock. As we reached the corner of the building to make the move on down 40th Street and on toward Seventh Ave, we encountered an unimaginable sea of humanity. This might give you an inkling of the biological density here…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-710c.jpg



I honestly figured there’d be about five or six more rows of folks to get past, but nothing more. I was wrong. It was more like an entire brigade of troops standing shoulder to shoulder and pushing forward as if to overwhelm a bastion. A Roman Legion could not have plugged up the roadway more thoroughly. Our group’s initial idea was to try and stay together since we were all heading toward the same ultimate destination. One of the other dads was ahead of me holding two of his younger daughters hands as he dived head long into the throngs. The little girl closest to me reached back and grabbed my hand as well. I quickly grabbed Tamara’s, she got a hold of her sister and we all sank into the crowd.

I’ve got to be honest here; this was a somewhat disturbing experience. I like my personal space and I’ve never been one to just mussel my way past and around otherwise innocent bystanders, but it had become a matter of servile. We squeezed by folk that were no less than twenty ranks back behind the barricades to begin with, and better than twenty more away from the back of the scrum. There were folks tending to strollers that had kids still sitting in them. I mean, honestly, the only thing those young’ens could possibly have seen was the butt at eye level directly in front of them. Just what was the point of that nonsense, I ask you?

As the crowd started to fight back against us (I “kid” you not), the young girl who had my hand lost her grip on her dads hand and faster the Lightning Sands in the Fire Swamp that crowd closed off the gap before she could do anything about it. I saw it happen, but couldn’t stop it either. “Daddy”, she called out. At this point the “daddy” in me kicked into high gear and there was no question of what had to be done. I hollered out just loud enough for both the girl and her father to hear me: “I’ve got you”, and then I let go of Tamara’s hand (that right there was hard to do, and I still feel bad about it… Tamara had a good hold onto her sister but even that fact don’t change things). If you could have taken a picture of our plight at this moment, it would have been very close to this overhead image of ciaos…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-710b.jpg



With two hands now available I first made sure to get a good hold of the little girls hand and then her coat collar. From here I pulled myself around ahead of the child and told her to use both hands to keep a tight grip on my hand and sleeve, while making sure to also keep a firm grip on her wrist. Then it was a matter of leading the young’en through the madness in the direction where her dad and sister had disappeared. From this point on I no longer cared whether or not the folks I was wedging myself around and amongst were offended. Very Un-South’rn of me, but their concerns were no longer mine. A few arduous minutes later, the crowd began to thin and we emerged into a clearing, and rather quickly found her dad and sister. All was well.


Lord! It's a miracle!

Well sort’a… I had lost track of Tamara, and that was not even a notion I could contemplate rationally.

I want her found! Not tomorrow, not after breakfast! Now!

I was seriously just at the brink of diving back in to the masses and beginning the process of parting the Red Sea when she and her sister finally made their way into the clearing. A quick hug and we started westward down the street and past the secondary police barrier at Seventh Avenue.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-711.jpg



I’ve got to tell you… just writing that gave me some very vivid and disturbing flashbacks. It rather got the ol’ BP up quite a bit as well. Seriously! I think I’ll go get me a drink and I’ll be back in a moment or two…




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Lickety-split. I wann’a get home…



OK… I’m a bit calmer now, but that was N-V-T-S Nuts!

From the spot of that last picture, the various family groups ended up getting more separated than originally planned as each attempted to get their bearings, or stop at a vendor’s cart for drinks, or peel off in search of a privy. Well, it had been a while since anyone had the opportunity to visit the necessary, and this fact was also a concern for some members of my party. That being the case we continued on down the middle of 40th…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-711b.jpg



It’s rather odd to see folks just walking in the middle of a New York street, but with all the traffic locked out of the Midtown area it certainly helped to simplify the task of getting away from the bedlam of the parade crowd. A turn to the left and we located a Starbucks on the corner of 39th and Eighth. For those in search of some relief, this was a welcome sight. The long line for the one-person-at-a-time-ladies-room wasn’t a hit though, but at this point beggars could not be choosers.

Having a moment, I texted one of the chaperones that was with the kids and asked where the busses were parked. The answer came back: “39th between 9th and 10th”. Good, we were right where we needed to be. I related back that we had to make an emergency stop but would get there as soon as possible. This time the response was: “We won’t leave without you… promise!”

A bit later once I’d gotten our party “recombobulated”, the girls asked where we needed to be. Knowing this is my job. Tamara will admit to that one. She would not have dared roam around NYC on her own, but so long as I was with her, she figured we wouldn’t be lost for very long and didn’t worry about it much. As it turned out we just needed to head two long blocks to the west. Five minutes of strolling…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-713.jpg



…and the busses came into view. Amazingly, even with the delay, the kids hadn’t beaten us there. But they also weren’t long in arriving after that…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-714.jpg



A little worse for wear and noticeably tuckered, they were welcomed back to their chariots with the appropriate hoots and accolades deserving of conquering heroes.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-715.jpg



Once the larger horns and percussive implements were packed and stowed, the whole crew loaded up and the drivers got the caravan back on the road.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-716.jpg



West bound, back through the Lincoln Tunnel and into New Jersey, we could see the daylight city skyline clearly for the first time since arriving.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-719.jpg


Later on we’d be getting a different look at that same skyline and from a rather different perspective, but first there were about 165 kids and about thirty or so parents and siblings that were in need of a bit of down time.


So… was it worth all the time and trouble?

Easiest time I ever did.


No such thing as easy time, you say?

We still had the music (and the memories) to keep us company.




They can’t take that from you, y’ know.





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-020.jpg



Next up: Thanksgiving Diner… on the water… :boat:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-05-2012, 02:48 PM
Bonus Feature 9:





A Closer Look (Part-3)





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-001.jpg





Well… now that I actually presented the last of the actual parade posts, I believe that it’s time that I finished up the “Closer Look” series as well. There were a lot more balloons in the first section of the parade, then in the last half (of what we saw of it that is), so I’ve been waiting until now to collect up all the better perspective shots of the Giants and Novelties.

Time to get a move on… We’ll start off with the “Mc Clown”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-002.jpg



Giving us the thumbs up of approval.

Between the size of the balloon (one of the largest that day), and the angle of the character, I didn’t realize until the unit had carried him by us, just what the “story line” was for this one. Ol’ Ronald is enjoying a nice day of speed skating on some idyllic frozen lake somewhere. You just couldn’t see the skates or the balancing hand behind his back until he was right on top of you.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-003.jpg



Next up, a better look at the Novelty balloon version of “Cloe” This is based on an ornament series that the folks at Macy’s sell annually. When the design changes, the balloon changes, but generally you’ll see Cloe in one form of another during most of the Thanksgiving parades.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-004.jpg



Also appearing is nearly every parade in the last 85 years…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-005.jpg



This one’s design changes fairly regular as well to keep up with current pop imagery and balloon construction techniques, but he’s pretty much always somewhere in the procession.



The next giant balloon we saw was Spiderman…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-006.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-007.jpg



I’m not necessarily a big Spidey fan (more indifferent about him as animated characters go), but this was one of the nicer balloons in the parade; impressive in size, coloration, pose and execution. He was a hit with the crowd regardless of age.


The next Novelty balloons on the horizon fit into the simple image category…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-008.jpg



There was a similar “basketball” balloon right behind, but I don’t really have a better image of that one. Besides, it wasn’t all that different, so I believe you get the picture pretty well with just this one here.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-009.jpg



The pink nightmare was next on the scene. This one was a balloonicle, and they made sure to over animate the critter. This one zigged and zagged the whole way.

Entertaining for the crowd…
not so much for the unit directly behind that bad boy.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-010.jpg

If you have kids under the age of about twenty-five, you’ll likely recognize this simple sphere as a “Poke’ Ball”. Simple as novelty balloons go and oddly out of context.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-011.jpg



Well it would have been were it not immediately followed by the next of the Giant balloons…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-012.jpg


“Pikachu”, is easily the most recognizable of the myriad of critters spawned by the Japanese television show and cards game. I can certainly say, that I’ve seen enough of him in my house over the last 17 years to be well sick of the critter. The balloon was pretty cool though. They even went as far as to build flashing bacon lights behind the red cheek spots. Something new for a Macy’s balloon and the imagery worked pretty well.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-013.jpg



The last balloon we actually saw that day was a novelty representation of a football



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-014.jpg



Pretty straight forward as images go.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Stuff we didn’t get to See





There were several other balloons appearing that day, and apparently a bunch of them showed up right after we had to make our escape.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-015.jpg



I have tried to scout out images of those from the other parents and elsewhere on the web.

The next one in line should have been this fellow…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-016.jpg



It’s a Tim Burton creation called: “B Boy”. He’s not actually a character from any book or film, just something Tim designed. The story is that he is made up of bits and scraps from balloons of past parades.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-017.jpg



Very Burton-esk



The next couple I wasn’t all that unhappy to have missed.
Starting with this waste of time…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-018.jpg



That’s really not fair.
If I had raised daughters, I’m sure that I’d have a very different opinion of this bit of advertising.

Maybe...


“It could happen’!”


Actually, I had to barrow that image because none of the other parents snapped one of it either. There is a really nice site with some very good images from the parade here…



http://totallycoolpix.com/2011/11/the-macys-thanksgiving-day-parade-2011/



Y’all go take a look if you like…
I don’t want to barrow anymore that our group didn’t take if I can help it.



Back to all the action that I missed…
I ain’t much of a fan of the next character either.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-019.jpg



But that image did let me see pretty much how the last of the giant balloons would be appearing in the third of the parade that I couldn’t see live. The next one was a cross between a Santa and a bouncy-ball. You can sort’a make him out in the last picture, but I don’t have a better image of him handy. The last two however, I do have access to.


Yes Virginia, there is a Christmas…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-020.jpg



There are some nice details on that one.


The last Giant Balloon (that I’m aware of) was this little green fell’a…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-021.jpg



Hi Ho!


Well that’s it for the Balloons.
It’s fun to see them on the Tell’y, but they are truly impressive when you get to see ‘em up close and personal.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Big Guy





There is one other thing that our early exit from the festivities deprived us of experiencing…

the end of the show and the arrival of St Nick.


It seems only fitting that since there are a couple more images allowed in this post that I ought to use them to illustrate the grand finally of the this entire process. So here ya’ go…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-022.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-023.jpg



Well that about wraps up the Parade section of this here TR and puts a nice jolly bow on top as well. Hope you enjoyed the show, but don’t ya’ be going off anywhere. There is still more to this expedition. Really!

Some of it is even mightily impressive.

And some more of it is very sobering.


All of it was very much worth the trip. I just hope I can do it all justice for the rest of you.








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B7-024.jpg

afwdwfan
09-05-2012, 03:54 PM
Hummm…. Ya’ know, that may just make for an interesting Bonus Feature…
I'm sure it would, but you're still writing this TR 9+ months after it happened as it is.


Oh wait… I’m already working on an update.
I probably ought to stick to the topic at hand for the time being
But why should you start now? :confused3 :rotfl:


How this related to the sports theme that had been going on previously, I didn’t know, but it did go along with the advertising character theme I suppose.
Aren't they all part of that advertising theme in some shape or form?:confused3


There were 650 of em’. That’s a lot of cheerleads right there. All I can add is: bless their poor chaperones hearts…
As the husband of the coach of about 15 - 20 high school cheerleaders, all I have to say is :scared1::scared1::scared1::scared1::scared1:

Note: I would have used more smilies, but I hit my 25 picture limit.


Now, imagine finding yourself at the MK with that group behind you and one of them “flag following” tour groups ahead of you…

I believe I’d have to find some means of escape as quickly as possible.
Not even funny. :faint:


Honestly, with that wholesome image in front of me…
what my busted brain expected to see next was this vision…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-718-1.jpg

Now we've got a real parade! :thumbsup2


But that’s a different film from the one I’ve set off to plagiarize here, so I’ll just leave it at that
My suggestion to you is to start drinking heavily.


One more quick look to the south and I saw the “Pink Nightmare” disappear around the corner heading off of Sixth and westward toward the spot, banging the bass drum as he vanished.
Coincidentally, after I made a comment about having not seen him on TV anytime recently, I saw him in a commercial this weekend. I don't know if it is that I use DVR and fast forward through the commercials so often now, or if it is the fact that I've seen that thing so many times and for so many years that I'm essentially numb to his existence. Maybe a combination of the 2. :confused3


These skills are needed because they are often charged with the task of greeting and escorting foreign dignitaries and distinguished visitors.
That looks like quite a few young ladies in that picture, and it leads me to wonder...

Exactly how many foreign dignitaries and distinguished visitors actually go to Mobile, AL in a year. :confused3 :rotfl2:


What that meant to us, other then we could be proud of our children, is that it was time to get a move on.
WHAT??? :eek: The parade isn't over!!! We haven't seen Santa Claus yet!!!

Are you trying to tell me we get to go to the Macy's parade but we don't get to see Santa???


I hadn’t realized just how packed the sidewalk had become behind us.
:headache:


I like my personal space and I’ve never been one to just mussel my way past and around otherwise innocent bystanders
What about at Disney World when they tell you "there is no line, fill in all available space?" :confused3 :rotfl2:


I hollered out just loud enough for both the girl and her father to hear me: “I’ve got you”, and then I let go of Tamara’s hand (that right there was hard to do, and I still feel bad about it… Tamara had a good hold onto her sister but even that fact don’t change things).
:thumbsup2 Well done. And I hope you were forgiven. :rotfl:


From this point on I no longer cared whether or not the folks I was wedging myself around and amongst were offended.
The offensive lineman in Rob was unleashed.


I’ve got to tell you… just writing that gave me some very vivid and disturbing flashbacks.
Maybe you should see a therapist?:confused3


This time the response was: “We won’t leave with out you… promise!”
So are you saying I could still be watching the parade instead of fighting my way through approximately 234,108,632,001 people????


Between the size of the balloon (one of the largest that day)
Rather fitting for the representative of a fast food chain. :rotfl2:


Ol’ Ronald is enjoying a nice day of speed skating on some idyllic frozen lake somewhere. You just couldn’t see the skates or the balancing had behind his back until he was right on top of you.
So he's the largest balloon, but he's working out! :thumbsup2


Very Burton-esk
Confession time... I've never really "got" Tim Burton. :confused3 Sure, I've enjoyed some of his films, but I just don't get his... whatever it is. :rotfl2:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-05-2012, 09:00 PM
I'm sure it would, but you're still writing this TR 9+ months after it happened as it is.


And yet your still read along.
Who's the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him? :darth:



But why should you start now? :confused3 :rotfl:


Good point…
think I’ll have a brew instead.



As the husband of the coach of about 15 - 20 high school cheerleaders, all I have to say is :scared1::scared1::scared1::scared1::scared1:

Note: I would have used more smilies, but I hit my 25 picture limit.

I absolutely believe you here.
(And I rarely believe what you say).



Not even funny. :faint:


I figured you’d be able to envision that one.



Now we've got a real parade! :thumbsup2


:woohoo:


My suggestion to you is to start drinking heavily.


Working on it!
http://boards.disdads.com/images/smilies/ExtraSmilies/beerchug.gif



That looks like quite a few young ladies in that picture, and it leads me to wonder...

Exactly how many foreign dignitaries and distinguished visitors actually go to Mobile, AL in a year. :rotfl2:


Interesting question. Maybe one of us ought to pose as a foreign dignitary (‘cause no one would believe that either of us was distinguished), and go research that more thoroughly.



WHAT??? :eek: The parade isn't over!!! We haven't seen Santa Claus yet!!!

Are you trying to tell me we get to go to the Macy's parade but we don't get to see Santa???


:sad2: Yep… we were taking one for “the team” here.

I mentioned this unfortunate turn of events back in the “ Rumblings of Mutiny ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44738915&postcount=123)” chapter.

Figured you’d remember, heck you’ve been reading this thing for 9+ months



What about at Disney World when they tell you "there is no line, fill in all available space?" :confused3 :rotfl2:


Not my favorite situation, But just to be at Disney...
I’ll suck it up.



:thumbsup2 Well done. And I hope you were forgiven. :rotfl:


Yah… she understood. Would have done the same I’m sure.



Maybe you should see a therapist?:confused3


Well I’ve been drinking for a good bit now…
Wont that do me just about as much good?

And be more cost effective?



So are you saying I could still be watching the parade instead of fighting my way through approximately 234,108,632,001 people????


There were limits to that promise…
Twenty minutes, I might have gotten away with.
Another hour and a half

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g447/rnaspapa/hahanosmiley-1.gif



Rather fitting for the representative of a fast food chain. :rotfl2:


Hadn’t thought about it that way.
Nicely played.



Confession time... I've never really "got" Tim Burton. :confused3 Sure, I've enjoyed some of his films, but I just don't get his... whatever it is. :rotfl2:


Confession time... I have to agree with you on that one.
(Lord… :eek: and mother always told me never to agree with your nemesis).

Really, I just see most of his visuals as overtly unnecessary.
They actually interfere with what otherwise is a good story or in the worse cases
stand in as the substitute focal point for a week story by being nothing more the odd.

afwdwfan
09-06-2012, 09:13 AM
And yet your still read along.
Who's the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him? :darth:
Who's following? I'm mocking. :thumbsup2


I absolutely believe you here.
(And I rarely believe what you say).
You wanna talk about things that will drive you to drinking...

Interesting question. Maybe one of us ought to pose as a foreign dignitary (‘cause no one would believe that either of us was distinguished), and go research that more thoroughly.
Woo hoo! Road trip!

I mentioned this unfortunate turn of events back in the “ Rumblings of Mutiny ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44738915&postcount=123)” chapter.

Figured you’d remember, heck you’ve been reading this thing for 9+ months

I guess it has either been too long since I read it, or I just skimmed over that part. :confused3:rotfl:

Yah… she understood. Would have done the same I’m sure.
Possibly even with no regrets.

Well I’ve been drinking for a good bit now…
Wont that do me just about as much good?

And be more cost effective?
Good point! :thumbsup2

Confession time... I have to agree with you on that one.
(Lord… :eek: and mother always told me never to agree with your nemesis).
:cool1::dance3::cheer2::dancer:

Really, I just see most of his visuals as overtly unnecessary.
They actually interfere with what otherwise is a good story or in the worse cases
stand in as the substitute focal point for a week story by being nothing more the odd.
Pretty much sums it up.

Captain_Oblivious
09-06-2012, 09:50 AM
Working on catching up with the latest updates, but somehow I missed this:

I don't know... the dude isn't even all that relevant. I'm not even sure when the last time was that I saw an Energizer bunny commercial on TV. :confused3

Maybe he's more a fixture of Philadelphia sports. :rotfl2::lmao::rotfl:


A long way to go just to take a shot at Mark.
Nicely done there.
:rotfl2:

:headache:

We keep losing and losing and losing and losing and losing...

Captain_Oblivious
09-06-2012, 10:18 AM
Part 7: The Study of Pressure and Time

That's all it takes, really. Pressure and time. That, and a big @#$% poster.

There were 650 of em’. That’s a lot of cheerleads right there. All I can add is: bless their poor chaperones hearts…

Now, imagine finding yourself at the MK with that group behind you and one of them “flag following” tour groups ahead of you…

I believe I’d have to find some means of escape as quickly as possible.

::yes:: We had one such encounter on our trip as well...:eek:

A quick look back to the north revealed a Hail Mary in the form of our last “Novelty balloon” of the day…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-706.jpg

This picture made me laugh. Looks like you're about to lose your camera. :rotfl2:

These are the “Mobile Azalea Trail Maids”

Um...ok. :confused3

I would tell you what song she was lip-syncing, but honestly, I didn’t hear it. Because it was just at that moment that every cell phone within fifteen feet of me went off again. This time the text message received simply read:

“They aced it!!!”

:woohoo::cool1:


But I was in for a far greater shock. As we reached the corner of the building to make the move on down 40th Street and on toward Seventh Ave, we encountered an unimaginable sea of humanity. This might give you an inkling of the biological density here…

:eek:

One of the other dads was ahead of me holding two of his younger daughters hands as he dived head long into the throngs. The little girl closest to me reached back and grabbed my hand as well. I quickly grabbed Tamara’s, she got a hold of her sister and we all sank into the crowd.

Once more, into the breach...

I mean, honestly, the only thing those young’ens could possibly have seen was the butt at eye level directly in front of them. Just what was the point of that nonsense, I ask you?

:confused3

“Daddy”, she called out. At this point the “daddy” in me kicked into high gear and there was now question of what had to be done. I hollered out just loud enough for both the girl and her father to hear me: “I’ve got you”, and then I let go of Tamara’s hand (that right there was hard to do, and I still feel bad about it…

With two hands now available I first made sure to get a good hold of the little girls hand and then her coat collar. From here I pulled myself around ahead of the child and told her to use both hands to keep a tight grip on my hand and sleeve, while making sure to also keep a firm grip on her wrist. Then it was a matter of leading the young’en through the madness in the direction where her dad and sister had disappeared. From this point on I no longer cared whether or not the folks I was wedging myself around and amongst were offended. Very Un-South’rn of me, but their concerns were no longer mine. A few arduous minutes later, the crowd began to thin and we emerged into a clearing, and rather quickly found her dad and sister. All was well.

Good work! That could easily have ended much worse.

Lord! It's a miracle!

Well sort’a… I had lost track of Tamara, and that was not even a notion I could contemplate rationally.

I want her found! Not tomorrow, not after breakfast! Now!

This wasn't a conspiracy, though.

West bound, back through the Lincoln Tunnel and into New Jersey, we could see the daylight city skyline clearly for the first time since arriving.

Happy Thanksgiving! You can spend it in New Jersey.

Easiest time I ever did.

No such thing as easy time, you say?

We still had the music (and the memories) to keep us company.

They can’t take that from you, y’ know.

I have no idea what those two Italian ladies were singing about.

The pink nightmare was next on the scene. This one was a balloonicle, and they made sure to over animate the critter. This one ziged and zaged the whole way. Entertaining for the crowd… not sop much for the unit directly being the boy.

You look like a pink nightmare. Do you want to wear that?

It’s a Tim Burton creation called: “B Boy”. He’s not actually a character from any book or film, just something Tim designed. The story is that he is made up of bits and scraps from balloons of past parades.

I agree with you and Andy on Tim Burton. I don't "get" him, either. Feels like style over substance, and weird just for the sake of being weird. I can't remember any of his movies ever having much of a plot.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-06-2012, 01:28 PM
Working on catching up with the latest updates, but somehow I missed this:


Take your time…
Not many folks are bothering with them in the first place :lmao:



We keep losing and losing and losing and losing and losing...


At least you have major league baseball in your neck of the woods.
The best we’ve got is AAA, but their moving that out of my neck of the woods and into Charlotte’s center city. Once there, the added frustration and expense of dealing with the area will pretty much rule out my ever going again.



That's all it takes, really. Pressure and time. That, and a big @#$% poster.


What say you there fuzzy britches…

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2f/Raquel_welch_1millionyearsbc.jpg

feel like talking?



This picture made me laugh. Looks like you're about to lose your camera. :rotfl2:


I was wondering why the ball looked like it was getting larger…
Then it hit me.



Um...ok. :confused3


Um… yah… :sad2:




Happy Thanksgiving! You can spend it in New Jersey.


Actually… we got to spend it on the Hudson and East Rivers…
But more on that in a bit.



I have no idea what those two Italian ladies were singing about.


Truth is, I don't want to know.
Some things are best left unsaid.



You look like a pink nightmare. Do you want to wear that?


You’ll shoot you eye out!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-10-2012, 10:47 PM
Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway (Day 4 – The Main Event)




Part 8: Giving Thanks








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-801.jpg





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Fall Out!



Once the busses rolled back into the hotel parking lot, most folks stumbled off and headed toward their rooms. Those of us in the “Pit Crew” had things to do though. We pulled the heavy gear back off the busses and stowed it in our assigned lock down room.


Then we waited.

Not for long though. The kids started back down our way shortly afterward with their uniforms and the smaller horns. As they’d arrive we would take their gear and start to boxing n’ packing everything for the trip back home. Then we’d direct them into the next room were there directors and chaperones had set up boxes of bagged chips and such, an assortment of water and light drinks, and about 20 pizzas that had been ordered ahead and were waiting on us when we arrived. The kids grabbed themselves a snack and then disappeared back up into the higher reaches of the building.

Once the last of the gear had been dealt with it was our turn to fall out. Which I did.
When I got back to our room, the girls were chilling… I just collapsed onto the bed.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-802.jpg


Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Atlantica





The next thing I remember was being rousted from my slumber at about dusk. It was time to get cleaned up and get a move on. We had a boat to catch. A short bus ride came first though. Between the morning’s events, a welcome nap and anticipation of an interesting excursion, everyone was in high spirits. Being in good moods, the time it took to get five busses loaded up and down to a Jersey City marina seemed like just a moment or two.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-803.jpg



It was good to see all the kids in such fine moods and for the record, they all cleaned up real nice as well. Actually even Manhattan had gone to the trouble of dressing extra pretty for the occasion.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-804.jpg



Shortly afterward we started boarding “The Atlantica”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-805.jpg



Not a particularly good image there. This is something that is going to be a problem for most of the rest of this update. I didn’t much pay attention to the camera settings, and worse, generally forgot to take pictures a good bit of the time.

Anyway… here’s a better look at our accommodations for the evening (as provided by her crew)



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-806.jpg



And a look at the lounge area and upper deck under better lighting conditions…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-807.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-808.jpg





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
All the Trimmings…




Once aboard, we stumbled around and found an opening at one of the tables. Being as we were also toward the back of the line when boarding, it wasn’t long afterward that the lines were cast off and Atlantica was underway headed south along the Hudson. Almost immediately after that, the salads hit the table, followed a bit latter by the entrée.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-809.jpg



Sliced turkey with variations on the traditional sides. Yah… you’d have gotten a whole lot more food during a family gathering over at your Great-aunt Mabel’s house, but this meal was actually pretty good. Additionally, there were no great family arguments or impromptu fistfights to contend with. Not to mention, there were some additional trimmings to be considered. Things like the spectacular views…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-810.jpg



By the time dinner was finished and the plates had been cleared, we’d traveled around the southern tip of Manhattan and started northward up the East River. Tamara and I decided to stroll the open decks for a bit in an attempt to get a few good pictures and to see what all else was going on.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-811.jpg



That’s the area around the South Street Seaport where we’d been roaming just the day before. From here we passed under the Brooklyn Bridge and continued northeast.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-812.jpg



We’d been standing on the second deck fantail up until now and decided to head up topside and see what all the ruckus was. As it turns out, the ruckus was just a bunch of our young’ens in the midst of having a mighty fine time…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-813.jpg



One deck down in the Lounge the rest of the kids were similarly engaged (but as you might expect, they weren’t quite as chilly as the folks out in the open).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-814.jpg



My traveling companions decided that these kids had the right idea and followed their example of self-preservation by finding a nice spot down in the dining room where they could chat with some of the other parents, enjoy a little bit of coffee and stay warm. Being more foolhardy (or foolish… your choice), I roamed around the decks a bit more just watching the water and seeing what I could see.

Our evening river cruise had made it up to around the Wallabout Bay area near the site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard (now home to a couple hundred businesses and a fair number of artists all renting space within the old facilities). From there the captain spun her around and started back down the East River.

I got this “relatively decent” shot from the bow as we are approaching the Manhattan Bridge with the Brooklyn Bridge just beyond…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-815.jpg



And this view of the fantail after crossing back beneath the Brooklyn…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-816.jpg



Around about this time I decided to find the rest of my group and partake of some coffee and pie (pumpkin of course). A bit after that, we noticed that the trip back was taking a slightly different course. They drove the ship a bit farther south into the sound.


Why?

So we could all get a good view of this minor landmark…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D4-817.jpg



I took a number of pictures of the lady and her lamp, but that one was the only image that even remotely turned out.


That’s life…



But I’d be getting a chance to correct that error.







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-021.jpg



Next up: Exploring the Oyster Islands

Well… in the next actual update that is (and a new chapter to boot)
Something else will be immediately following this post however...
Something dark and ominous…
Something to be feared…
Something you should avoid at all costs…

but after that…


that’s when we’ll get to the Oyster Islands.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-10-2012, 11:13 PM
Bonus Feature 10:





Patience and Fortitude

(Part-1: The Time Machine)





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-001.jpg





The title of this next section is more a warning then and overview. That is because this Bonuses Feature is constructed specifically to test your ability to implement both of those qualities. You’re going to have to be even more stoic then our stone guardians up there.

I had intended to put this up before the beginning of Chapter Four, but my world got so hectic back in the spring that I lost nearly two months between updates and I figured that you deserved to get a good chunk of the actual story first.

With Chapter 4 concluded, my charity is now at an end though.


Oh, just a thought here…
you may want to stop reading this update right about now.



While I generally tuck a number of random Bonus Features into my TRs, there is usually one where I get all carried away and go completely nuts in the research department.
For this particular TR…

you have now encountered that unfortunate entry.

You see, while I was researching the specifics of the original trivia question that prompted this exercise, I kept running across other bits and pieces of irrelevant and useless minutia with tenuous ties to the subject that just kept me saying things like: “Really… I didn’t know that”. And the more it happened, the more outlandish my planes for this feature became. It’s going to take two separate parts to get this all in and you really don’t want to know how much additional research I had to throughout just to keep things down to that unreasonable level.


So let the extravagance commence…



or you could just hit the “Alt” and “F4” keys and be done with it.






= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Only Thing Constant is Change




A while back (and I do mean a l-o-n-g way back calendar wise), while I was discussing the bus tour through Manhattan, I just may happen to have mentioned that the two lion statues guarding the entrance to the NYC Public Library were named: “Patience” and “Fortitude”.

I then flatly stated that I’d explain why that was so...
"Later On".


Well, we’ve now arrived at "later on"…


First off, I’m going to go ahead and spoil the whole thing for you by revealing the end of the story: it was politics.
Pure and simple, it was done for political reasons (well that and in an attempt to boost moral).

Now why did I just give that away? Because it’s gonn’a be a while before I get back to the Lions specifically. I’ve got a lot of set up to do first, but since you already know the punch line, you can now bypass the details.


(well looky there… I gave you another chance to save yourselves)



Detail #1…

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-002.jpg



What you are looking at there is the New York Public Library’s main branch (now known as the Schwarzman Building). That particular photo was snapped in 1908 during late stage construction and if you look closely, you’ll note that the two lion statues that kicked off this exploration have not yet taken up residence. They were still being carved (and I’ll talk about that later on as well), but the pedestals do stand at the ready waiting to receive their stoic sentinels. It took almost unimaginable amounts of work and preparation to get this site ready to receive their world-renowned tenants. In fact, had you been standing on the same spot at the corner of 42nd Street and 5th Ave - say, about ten years earlier - then this is how that bit of land would have appeared…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-003.jpg



Now that’s a rather imposing structure ain’t it.

Not quite the row of small buildings or even and open field that I was expecting to see I’ll tell you that much. The lion statues may be what started me looking into this feature, but it was that massive somewhat Egyptian looking structure that turned the entire exercise into an over the top research project.

So, just what is that building and why have I never seen nor heard of it prior to this? Well, I’ll get to that but first we need to go back a bit farther time wise; back to when the locals were few in number and for the most part: hunters. Using this corner as a reference point, I’m going look at how we got from there to here.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Inclenberg


Time to test your patience….



Now just suppose that we had a working version of Jules Vern’s time machine sitting on the corner where those last couple of images got snapped.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-023.jpg



(I know that the standard 88-mile per hour version is more fun, but I don’t have a flux-capacitor handy and this more compact model will do since we’re not going to stray very far from our physical stating point. Well, other than fourth-dimensionally of course)


Ok, now that we’ve chose the appropriate chronological transportation device, let us now suppose that we were to give the throttle lever a slight shove in the reverse direction for oh… say four hundred years to the times when the area was sparsely inhabited by the Lenape peoples.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-004.jpg



Quite the difference ehhhh…
you’ve dropped yourself in the midst of a “Red Maple Swamp”. Really more a wet land then a swamp, but lush, green and most certainly not very urban. In fact, what is now a relatively flat urban area once included some 500 hills, 88 miles of streams, 21 ponds and 300 springs. Our current position on what will be the corner 42nd street places us in a valley between two rocky hills. These rises are made up of debris left after glaciers receded from this area. As I said, there were many such hills and valleys here; a fact that lead the locals to call it “mannahatta” which roughly translates to “island of hills”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-005.jpg



There are creeks to the north of you and one to the south that also feeds one of the larger ponds on the island. Both of these streams empty into the East River in or near a cove that would come to be known as Kip’s Bay.

Now we’ll give that time machine a nudge and roll up to the time of the American Revolution. In general, things would not go well for the Washington’s Continental Army in this area. But just before we arrived here, he was able to execute a brilliant retreat from Long Island onto Manhattan (and yes a retreat can be brilliant if it saves an army to fight again later on). The Red Coats were none too pleased to realize that those “terrorists” had slipped away, and General Howe was determined to correct that minor detail. Below is part of a British map from the period depicting the Manhattan Island area of operations. You can see Kips Bay (although they spelled it: “Kepps”) and a few of the more important hills in the area. The “x” marks our starting point in the flats north of the hill that is now called “Inclenberg”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-006.jpg



Most of the wetlands in this area have been drained and converted to meadows and farmlands by this point in time, but it’s still backcountry and a long way from the actual town of New York. The better part of General Washington’s troops are spread out across this valley trying to get organized after pulling back off of Long Island. The closest civilization is the large estate and farm of one Robert Murray, a merchant whose grand house is on the top of that hill and commands the view of the area. When the Brits landed their forces at Kipps Bay several days later…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-007.jpg



…the officers paid a visit to the Murray estate (ostensibly to survey the area from the heights). Legend has it that Mrs. Murray used her charm and hospitality to successfully delay the commanders long enough for Washington to complete the process of moving his men and equipment out of the area and on toward the Harlem Heights (where he’d win and important victory a few days later).

The Murray family was so important to this area and time period that the hill their land included was renamed Murray Hill by the locals and that physical area of Manhattan still bears the name.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D3-202.jpg


(The “4” on that neighborhood map just happens to marks the same intersection where we have been standing all this time).



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Grid



Time to move forward chronologically. About another thirty years, specifically to the year 1811. When we bring our time machine to a stop this time, you’d be sitting on the front porch of a small house owned by a farmer named Isaac Burr. Right where the red box is in the middle of this map in located…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-009.jpg



Again, much has changed. Firstly there is less open land and many more fenced off individual farms. The Burr farmhouse stood at the corner of what was once called “The Middle road” and a smaller cross-road that connected the “Eastern Post” and The Bloomingdale” roads. These are basically the three main arteries connecting the “city” of New York (still well to the south of here) and the towns farther north. Isaac’s Land comprised most of what is now the block between 42nd and 43rd at Fifth Ave. Just across that connector road was the farm of the brothers Joel & Jotham Post (no relation to the “Post Road”). The land on the other side of the Middle Road was then and even now, still owned by the “Corporation of New York” (another way of saying that the city owned that property).

As you may have surmised from all of this, at one time nearly every famous structure north of Soho (and therefore north of what is now called Houston Street) was farmland. To illustrate this huge change the Museum of the City of New York and the Manhattan Borough Presidents office put together a rather fascinating map of the properties north of the old city that also include the grid of the current street system. Known as the Randel Farm Map ( http://www.mbpo.org/free_details.asp?id=371), This tool is what I used to build the image of the properties around our time machine.

But what I’m portraying with this particular time and location is not just a fairly major physical crossroad. We are also at a cross roads in city history. In the early 1800s the folks in charge of the actual city of New York realized that if they wanted to control the growth (and profit from the lands that they still held) they needed a better plan. Certainly something other then the random expansion which resulted in the hodgepodge of streets and lanes that are most European cities. To that end, the city’s street commissioners certified the no-frills street matrix that transformed New York into a “City of Angles”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-010.jpg



This rigid 90-degree grid of avenues and streets was laid out across the island regardless of its physical features and that would have a great impact on the topography. The following illustration, which looks north along Fifth Ave from about where we are standing, shows how the terrain would end up being cut down and altered to suit the plan.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-011.jpg



Even the great “Murray Hill” would end up being completely leveled and used to fill part of the eastern shore of the island. As such, Kipps Bay and the creeks that feed into it no longer exist. Although part of the area still bears the name, the actual geological features have been completely erased.

Not only would this plan physically alter the land, it would also spur unprecedented development and gave birth to the concepts of gridlock and jaywalking. Another thing it would do is spawn a new breed of entrepreneurs who would exponentially raise the value of Manhattan’s real estate. There are a number of scholars that consider the grid plan to be the most important document in the history of the city’s development.

As a side note, that ridged grid structure would also inadvertently create a unique pop cultural reference known as “Manhattanhenge”. On two days a year, the sun rises and sets along the east-west axis of the street grid.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-012.jpg



For 2012 the “Manhattan solstices” occurred on May 29th, and July 12th and the next occurrence will be on about June 21 of 2013.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Potters Field



To fully understand that degree of change that just this one spot on Manhattan Island has endured, we’ll be giving that time machine another nudge of about twenty-ish years. Once we hit the brakes, we likely find a fair amount of activity taking place on the city owned land across Fifth Ave form our spot of the corner of 42nd. Activity that would look very similar to this…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-013.jpg


“Bring out your dead… Bring out your dead… “



So why are mass graves being dug on this land? Well fairly early on, the City of New York took on the responsibility of burring those unfortunate soles that were either indigent at the time of their demise or “unbefriended” once arriving at the morgue. There is nothing new about this. Large pockets of civilization have always had to deal with this issue (for disease prevention if for no other reason). These paupers’ cemeteries are generally referred to as Potter's fields. A biblical term derived from the land supposedly purchased with Judas’ 40 pieces of silver (after he was no longer in need of it of course). That small valley where Jerusalem’s potters had previously been extracting clay for their works was put to use as a burial plot for “strangers”.

New York tried to have these necessaries, as close to the far edge of the city as possible. But the city kept growing, and that was no small problem. The first such site was in what is now Washington Square in Greenwich Village. But as the wealthy moved farther up town to escape the poor unwashed masses, they were somewhat put off by having the unwashed dead masses continuing to be deposited in close proximity to their fine mansions. So the existing field was converted into a park…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-014.jpg



…and beginning in 1823 the dearly (impoverished) departed were hastened much farther up the island; to the spot where we’re standing to be specific. Some thousands of the old field’s “residents’ were moved as well, but not all. Estimates are that better than 20,000 of the forgotten still reside beneath the sidewalks and lush grounds of the Square.

The new site was in use for about another twenty years until the city was in need of this land for a rather different purpose. Across a period a nearly ten years, the remains of 100,000 paupers and strangers were disinterred and quite literally stacked up a few blocks north. Then in 1857 all were move on to Randall’s and Ward’s Islands. A few years after that they were transferred one final time on to Hart Island, which was acquired by the city in 1868 and began receiving remains the next year. Having been cast off of Manhattan like so many of its family farms, the Potter’s Field would no longer clash with Victorian sensibilities or even more importantly inhibit the ever growing real-estate boom.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-015.jpg



Hart's Island, in the part of the Long Island Sound that is controlled by the Bronx, is still in use as the public cemetery today. There are some 800,000 graves dating from is opening. The city department of transportation runs a single ferry to the island, and prison labor is used for burial details. Simple pine coffins are stacked in two rows, three high and 25 across, and once filled, each plot is marked with a single concrete marker.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-016.jpg




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Cool, Cool Water




Now that the former residents of the city land between 40th and 42nd had been served their eviction notices, that spot was immediately put to a new and very important use. It basically saved the city by ending the relentless spread of most communicable urban diseases. At least those that are waterborne.

But first, let’s back up just a bit…

For nearly two hundred years the city had been getting its water from wells and from the many ponds and springs that dotted the island. The main source however was a large spring feed lake known as The Collect Pond.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-022.jpg



By the early nineteenth century, however, it had become a literal cesspool due to the many tanneries and breweries clustered near its banks. Not to mention the sewage and other garbage dumped there by the locals. The city began draining the Collect starting around 1802 by backfilling it with construction debris, the rock and dirt from one of the larger hills that was being leveled at the time and whatever garbage they could find. The problem was that all that water had nowhere to go at first. The city then built a canal to drain the water from the surrounding area, and whatever remained of the pond. The Collect Pond finally ceased to exist by around 1811, but since the poor workmanship resulted in a damp, boggy and malarial area. The recovered land became the home of the notorious slum called Five Points, and to an even more notorious prison known as The Tombs.

Today, all of the original streams and ponds on the island have long since ceased to exist as they were filled in and built over. But you can’t have a city where there is no water. So they started bringing it in from farther afield. First, the Croton River, better then forty miles to the north, was dammed…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-017.jpg



Then the water from the resulting five-mile long, 400-acre lake was sent south via tunnels and aqueducts until it crossed onto Manhattan via the “High Bridge”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-018.jpg



This structure still exists and is the oldest bridge connecting the boroughs of Manhattan, and the Bronx. The High Bridge has never been used for auto or horse traffic, but it has included a walkway since the 1860s. Although that walk was closed in 1960, there is still talk of opening it back up as part of a refurbishment of the two parks connected by the structure.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-019.jpg



Once on the island the water was first sent to a massive receiving reservoir in the middle of what is now Central Park. From there it was piped a bit farther south to a brand new structure that opened to great fanfare on July 4 of, 1842 at the corner of 42nd and Fifth Avenue. Right where we have been sitting all this time. Now well just bring our time machine forward a bit and we find…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-020.jpg



Looks familiar now don’t it. That’s that same big ol’ Egyptian looking building that got me started on this ridiculous adventure. So what exactly is it?




The Croton Distributing Reservoir…


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-021.jpg



It’s not so much a building as it is an above ground man-made lake. Designed to hold 20 million gallons of water at a crack, this is the point from which fresh water was piped out to every building and residence in the city.

The reservoir was 4 acres in area, surrounded by massive, 50-foot high, 25-foot thick granite walls. Along the tops of the walls were public promenades, which offered breathtaking views of the city. As such, it became a popular place to refined residents to go strolling.

But there was more to come for this area. Great exhibitions were in the offing. Celebrations were planed and folks would even be able to view the city from even more dizzying heights. At least for a little while, but then tragedy would rear its ever-present head. More change would occur before we’d be able to allow the great lions of knowledge take their proper place in the fabric of New York.

And you can be certain that I’ll be tell y’all entirely too much about it all in the second half of this insanely overwrought Bonus feature.




So stay tuned! I’ll be back shortly.





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B8-024.gif

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-10-2012, 11:36 PM
Bonus Feature 11:





Patience and Fortitude

(Part-2: A Higher Purpose)





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-001.jpg





Normally… I’d warn you not to waste time reading this type of update.

But, as I need to get busy with the rest of this foolishness, y’all are on your own. The first half of this feature abused your patience mightily. This half is designed to test you fortitude. The question is: now that you’ve foolishly come this far…

are you actually willing to allow the suffering to continue?




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Glass Houses




For the first several years after completion of the Croton Distributing Reservoir, the land behind the structure and fronting Sixth Avenue would be used as a public park. And a park is exactly what it is today, but there was something else going on here in-between those two time periods. In 1853, a “World’s Fair” titled: “The Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations” was held in New York. This was a private undertaking, but the city did offer the use of the land free of charge for five years. This undertaking was inspired by a highly successful fair held in London a couple years earlier, and to house the exhibition, another idea was copied from that same London fair…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-002.jpg



The American version of “The Chrystal Palace” was a good bit smaller than its British counterpart, but this does not mean that it was not an impressive space.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-003.jpg



At about 200,000 sq. ft. the structure was an iron framework sheathed in glass and included a dome a hundred feet across at the center of the structure. Critics considered it nothing more than an “exaggerated greenhouse". Twenty-three foreign countries were represented among the 4,800 exhibitors at the time of the opening. The US emphasized it industrial and mechanical prowess and the exhibition saw the public introductions of both the first “safe” passenger elevator and the sewing machine among other devises. Grand as it first appeared, the enterprise was a financial failure. To rectify he problem the folks in charge even consented to hiring P. T. Barnum as the organization’s elected president in hope that the master showman could turn things around. But during his relatively short tenure in the position, Barnum could not revive interest in the venture, and the entire question was rendered moot when an 1858 fire took less than twenty minutes to reduce the entire structure to ash and twisted metal.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-004.jpg



I find it rather interesting that the fire occurred as the building was just about to turn five years old, and the rent free lease on the city’s land was therefore due to expire.

Things that make you go Hummmmmm…


Interestingly, there was another ambitious structure built here which you likely have also never heard of. This was the Latting Tower. As the name would imply it was an observation tower built just across 42nd street form the Palace…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-005.png



Completed in 1853, the tower was 350 feet high and would hold the record as the tallest structure built in New York for many years. The only thing that came even within ten feet of its height was the very top of the spire at Trinity church. Steam elevators would carry paying customers aloft, and telescopes and maps on each landing let them see the city in a way never before available to the masses. Like the Exhibition however, this too was ultimately unsuccessful and had to be sold off shortly after opening to pay the debts.

Although conceived and built thirty-five years before the Eiffel Tower, the Latting would only grace the New York skyline for three years. Again like the Palace, fire would be the force that moved to erase it from the landscape and our memories. While it stood though, a person with a little bit of coin could take in unheard of views of a great city still in its infancy…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-006.jpg



Well look… you can see our little time machine parked down there on the corner of 42nd and Fifth. Let’s hop back in and bump everything ahead about another forty years.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Astor and Lenox




The reservoir had served invaluably for quite some time, but that which was once seen as amazing, often ends up becoming “an eyesore”. This was especially true as it was now within eyesight of the wealthy folks who had continued migrating farther and farther north in order to separate themselves from the sub-human blight that made up the lower classes.

By the 1880’s, the Croton had been made unnecessary by further water main construction under Manhattan streets. As such, a number of proposals for the disposition of this property emerged including that of an armory, a park, an opera house, a polytechnic institute and even of selling to developers and thus returning the land to the tax rolls. When a beer garden was proposed for the top of the reservoir in 1891 (and even received favorable general support), the well healed in the neighborhood would have no more of it (I mean just imagine having drunks and reprobates roaming the sidewalks right outside their parlor windows… unthinkable). Instead a far more “civic minded” solution to the problem was devised; one that you should have no problem divining by now.


There were already a number of mostly private lending libraries in the city by now, but the two largest and most prestigious were both struggling at the time.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-007.jpg



A friend convinced John Jacob Astor to bequeath a healthy sum of money for the creation of a public library in his name and after Astor's death in 1848… that is exactly what happened. Based initially on the benefactor’s collection the Astor Library was built in 1854 in the East Village. Created as a free, reference library, its books were not permitted to circulate, but by 1872, was considered one of the great reference and research resources in the nation.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-008.jpg



The Lenox Library was created in 1870 by an act of the state legislature, and build farther north in the Upper East Side. This library was created to house the holdings of James Lenox and with the core book collection also included his vast collection of Americana, art works, manuscripts, and extremely rare books (including the first Gutenberg Bible in the New World). This facility always charged admission and it did not permit physical access to much of the literary items; acting more as a museum.

By the 1890’s, both of these libraries were struggling, and that is when a third factor entered into the picture. Former Governor and presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden felt that a library with citywide reach was required (and certainly had no qualms about having such an amenity tied to his own legacy). This being the case, he bequeathed the bulk of his fortune to "establish and maintain a free library and reading room in the city of New York". This money would sit untouched in a trust for several years, until a local attorney, and trustee of the Tilden fortune, came up with an idea to merge two of the city's largest libraries
(and free them of their financial obligations)




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Metamorphosis



Now there was a plan, and there were funds and there was a driving force. All of these elements came together to once again repurpose the land across the street from our time machine. First off… the old Croton had to go….



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-009.jpg



Then the cornerstone was laid in May 1902 and work could finally commence on the new structure.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-010.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-011.jpg



The building would follow a Beaux-Arts design and would also be the largest marble structure in the United States at the time of completion.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-012.jpg



And complete it they finally did. On May 23, 1911, the main branch of the New York Public Library was officially opened in a ceremony presided over by then President: William Howard Taft.

Imposing as it is visually, there is actually more of the library underground then above it. There are literally miles of book stacks; shelving that fills rooms for several stories beneath the main building and more space underneath Bryant Park to the rear of the library on the same block.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-013.jpg



The building is more than just a collect of books. There are art galleries, and museum quality exhibits like that rare book I mention from the Lenox collection (and pictured as the intro for this feature). But at its heart, it is a library. There are several reading rooms with specialized subject material and references, just as you’d find in most any town library…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-014.jpg



But generally, visitors do not descend down into the Stacks. Rather instead you would enter into the grand reading room, search the catalog for those items that you wish to review, and report to the main desk.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-015.jpg



From there it’s much like ordering pastrami at Katz’s Deli. You turn in the requests, and wait for your number to be called. The actual selection list is sent down into the bowels of the structure where one of the librarians will hunt down the volumes desired and send them aloft via dumbwaiter. Once the tomes are back on the surface, you are notified and can retrieve your treasures.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Top Cats




The design for this edifice called for a pair of statues to be places on either side of the main entrance portico.

Wondering if we were ever going to get back to this subject didn’t ya’?

The fellow who got the job of creating these bits of public art was Edward Clark Potter. Potter was paid $8,000 for the design, and the Piccirilli Brothers executed the carving for $5,000 more
(and remember that you saw that second little bit there).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-016.jpg



Now I have not yet been able to sus out whether or not the statures were to have been of lions all along or if it was French’s idea, but the design was accepted and the work was executed, but not to initial popular acclaim. As with all public art, there were critics… numerous ones. It’s actually surprising they remained long enough to become icons considering the responses of the (well healed) locals. They were called: "squash-faced, mealy-mouthed and complacent" among other descriptions. One letter writer declared: "We do not want square-jawed lions." Another said that they looked like “a cross between a hippopotamus and a cow,” and dismissed them out of hand as “monstrosities.”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-017.jpg



Monstrosity? I don’t see it that way.


Sad times for “Leo Astor” and “Leo Lenox” but they persevered and were gradually accepted by the city.

Halleluiah! We’ve finally gotten to the names of the bloody beasts!!!!

Yes… yes we have.

Those are the original names gifted to the statues and honoring the two libraries that made up the original cash of references and volumes contained within. Being as the new facility was roughly halfway between the older buildings, the statues garnered the names of the library closer to its position on the plaza. Astor held down the south side and Lenox the north.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-018.jpg



Shortly after they were renamed “Lady Lenox” and “Lady Astor”, but being male cats, this never really made any sense. The names that they currently have and will likely always keep were acquired during the Great Depression. The mayor at the time, one Fiorello LaGuardia, officially chose “Patience” and “Fortitude”. The reasoning was that these were the qualities he felt New Yorkers would need to survive those tough times. Patience still guards the south side of the Library's steps and Fortitude sits unwaveringly to the north. As much as this one little bit of land has changed over time, it is hard to say that they will always stay there, but it is hard to imagine them not being there.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Know your Piccirilli




Last tidbit and then I’ll stop.

Honest Injun’


Remember a moment ago when I said that E C Potter designed the lion statues? I also said that he didn’t actually carve them; that was done by someone else. As a matter of fact, this is more normal then one might think. Potter most certainly designed and executed the original small-scale statuettes and got the approval of the project with those, but the large-scale work was done by New York’s own Piccirilli Brothers to French’s specifications.

At that time most prominent sculptors would create their original work in clay. From that clay model a caster would generate a plaster model. The model would then be sent to a carver (the Piccirilli Brothers in this instance) and they would carve the final stone piece based on a casting from that mold. The renowned brothers became the carvers of choice for a large number of American sculptors of the time including the likes of Daniel Chester French (and we’ll get back to that fact in a moment).

As an additional matter of fact, while much of the architectural carving throughout the city was designed by one individual or another, most of it was then executed by this same family. Just a couple of other examples of vast number of works this group finished for other sculptors in the Five Boroughs area include:



The Pediment of the N.Y. Stock Exchange
[Done for John Quincy Adams Ward and Paul Bartlett in 1903]


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-019.jpg



And the Washington Arch
[Done for Stanford White and company in 1918]


and sitting in the middle of another famous Potter’s Field that I’ve discussed previously


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-020.jpg



These fellows are also known for works installed outside on New York and many of those reside in Washington DC. Two in particular that meet this category I’ve had the honor to actually see for myself.

In 1920, the Piccirillis took on a large-scale monument project for Daniel Chester French (see I told you I’d get back to him in a minute). The piece in question was carved of Georgia white marble, weighs 175 tons, and had to be shipped in 28 separate pieces.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-021.jpg



And here’s how it looked when my family got to be in the area…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-031_zpsbbaebf6e.jpg



Another equally noteworthy example of their work is actually a very simple structure that was completed in 1931. But being simple does not mean that it is not a powerful symbol with the ability to move one to stunned silence or even tears.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-023.jpg



And again, here is how we were able to experience the Tomb of the Unknowns, at Arlington National Cemetery…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-032_zps432c1163.jpg



I set out with the intention of understanding why the Lions at the library were named what they were. Then I ran into the fact that Potter didn’t carve the actual figures, and that this was also not that unusual an occurrence. Then while double checking where they were physically placed, I found a massive building on the same land (which I'd never heard of) that was built just for water. The more I dug, the more I found and the wackier this whole thing got. I am very aware that I’ve wasted much of your time. Just as I am very aware that only about three people are even bothering to read this mess at all. But then again, I did have fun learning about all this foolishness and that’s good enough reason to write it down.



OK, I promised I'd shut up, and it’s about time I did so.
One more semi-related picture from my own personal archive (and just because I like this one), and then I’ll go.



So, here tis…




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3B9-033_zpsdef190d4.jpg





Bye y’all!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-17-2012, 02:53 PM
Chapter 5: Remembrances (Day 5)




Part 1: What Is and What Was








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-101.jpg





Guess what? We’ve made it to the last day of this trip.

Ya’ know what that means?

Well, to you it means that there isn’t all that much more that you’ll need to be reading of this self-absorbed little essay (and that’s probable a very good thing). For those of us on the expedition… it means one last day to take in a little bit of the history, majesty and even silliness that New York has to offer.

So why not get started.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Daybreak





Breakfast was being served promptly as 7:00 on Friday, so we had to get a fairly early start on the day. Not the insane kind of early that we were dealing with yesterday, but still early enough to see things like this…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-102.jpg



The weather promised to be even better today than yesterday and would beat the livin’ daylights out of the beginning of the week.


Everyone was in the ballroom for pancakes and waffles pretty much on time. As we were getting breakfast from the buffet, I made sure to thank the staff for the good work they’d done by us all week. They in turn were glad we’d been there and were amazed by how well behaved so large a group of teens could be. The general consensus was that they’d had fewer problems dealing with us then with any large group of adults that had ever booked a gathering there. As such, they were going to miss us after today. I’ve mentioned it before, but one third of the kids grades (and this trip was part of their grades) is based on how they handle themselves in public. “Deportment” as we call it. The staff was amazed that we did it that way and said that the kids had certainly earned whatever marks they’d be getting.


As folks finished their meals, everyone started to congregate in the lower lobby waiting for the buses to get warmed up. That’s where I caught up with my boy and his traveling companions…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-103.jpg



We’d see him off and on all day, but the kids were ordered to stay in assigned groups of four at all times so we really couldn’t pull him aside without causing problems. No matter… it’s better that he experience the trip in the context of an adventure of his peers then as one of a family outing anyway. Besides, I had fun stalking him all day. It got to be a bit of a game after a while.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Terminal




The plan for today was to visit a few of the more significant landmarks (historically speaking). The first stop of the day was Liberty State Park ( http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/liberty.html). This is also where you’ll find the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal complex.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-104.jpg



And the reason we were lining up here…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-105.jpg



…was that we needed to catch a boat.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-106.jpg



But I’ll get to that in a moment. First let’s talk about the terminal. During its heyday, this was one of the busiest transportation hubs in the nation and physically one of the largest covered train shed/terminals around…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-107.jpg



It was also a ferry terminal and prior to the completion of the tunnels and some of the more modern bridges, this was the main way that folks got into and out of Manhattan. Ferries carried folks back and forth between their jobs in the city…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-108.jpg



And the trains that that carried them back toward their homes…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-109.jpg



But as we entered a terminal all the evidence pointing toward this location’s prominent historical place in rail transportation, was little more than shadows today…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-110.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-111.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-112.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-113.jpg



The passenger ferry half of the building however was another story. For immigrants that were just arriving in America…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-114.jpg



…this was the first point from where most of them set foot on the mainland once being released from Ellis Island.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-115.jpg



We, however, were making the reverse trip this day. Our first historical destination of the day would be that great hub of late nineteenth and early twentieth century American expansion. But first we had to do just as those many incoming folks did…

We had to wait in line for a while.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-116.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-117.jpg



And one of my stalker photos of the day (just for good measure)….



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-118.jpg





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
All Aboard



The reason for all this Disney scale queuing turned out to be associated with what is now the new reality in the US (at least new since the turn of the current century). That being the high security now put in place to prevent potential acts of terror. It really wouldn’t have taken all that long to load a group of high school kids and their chaperones onto a ferry boat, but everyone in the group had to go through one of only two inspection lines much like what exists in our airports now. Everything had to come out of every pocket; belts had to come off as well. Each of us was whisked with a handheld metal detector even after passing through the freestanding verity. All bags and backpacks had not just to be x-rayed, but opened and rummaged through as well. A couple of pocketknives even got confiscated…

it all took a while.


We also were forbidden to take pictures inside the “secure area” of the terminal (kind’a like the way it’s done on the first floor of the DCL cruise ship terminal). But you can still get a few interesting shots of the Manhattan skyline even form our current spot at the back of the line.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-119.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-120.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-121.jpg



That last one of the old ferry landing ramps was actually right after I finally got through the security check; another forlorn insight to the scale of activity that this spot used to know.

From this point all that remained of our business in New Jersey for the day was to get everyone on board one of the current fleet of ferries serving the run.

Specifically: the Miss Freedom…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-122.jpg



And then we’d be making the short cruise to the spot where so many folks began their new lives in a new world…





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-123.jpg




Next up: Descending the Stairs of Separation

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-17-2012, 02:57 PM
Chapter 5: Remembrances (Day 5)




Part 2: A Substantial Edifice








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-201.jpg





Oysters have long been a source of sustenance throughout the world. This fact was certainly true of the east coast of North America prior to the colonial period. The Lenape peoples who originally lived on and around the island of Manhattan made use of vast oyster beds in the sound just south of the island to ensure their survival. These beds were so large and thick that they formed several temporary islands of life during low tides. As sediments built up around them over time they became physical islands. One of these islands has since been swallowed up by expansion from the mainland, but the other two still exist. In radically different physical form, but they do exist. This morning we’d be exploring these two remaining “Oyster Islands”. Starting with the one that the locals called: "Kioshk"


.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Gull Island




Once the Miss Freedom had taken on all the passenger she could hold, the lines were loosed and all aboard began the short sailing away from Liberty Park



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-202.jpg



As I was roaming around the boat I was able to pick up another “stalker photograph” of my young’en who had taken up residence on the upper deck.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-203.jpg


Like I said, we really couldn’t be dragging him away from is traveling group today, so I just settled for stealing the occasional electronic representation of his presence. It got to be a bit of a game.



Anyway, back to the story, our next destination was Fort Gibson.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-204.jpg



Well… it used to be Fort Gibson. Actually, it “use to be” a lot of things. You already know that the Lenape called it "Kioshk" which means Gull Island, and they used it as a source of sustenance. The first colonists called it and the other small dots of land around it the Oyster Islands, but did so for the same reasons. After that time this spot was referred to by various names including Dyre Island, Bucking Island, Anderson's Island and even Gibbet Island (due to its having been used as a place for hanging pirates and other criminals from time to time). But in the 1770’s this small bit of land took the name of its then owner and has since been known as Ellis Island.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-205.jpg



The Federal Government first acquired what was then a small 3.3 acre speck of land in New York Harbor shortly after the Revolutionary War. The intention was to use it as part of a ring of fortifications dedicated to protecting the city, and its vital harbors. Once completed, the result was a 14-gun circular battery with a magazine and barracks that was originally named Crown Fort. The name was later changed to Battery Gibson (in honor of a War of 1812 veteran) and later still it became known as Fort Gibson.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-206.jpg



The original “First System” fort was turned over to the U.S. Navy during the Civil War and used as an ammunition depot and magazine. Around 1890, the Navy turned the island over to the department of immigration so that it could be used to handle the ever increasing number of immigrants flooding into the United States.

Ellis Island has been greatly expanded over time. First artesian wells were dug, and landfill was hauled in to enlarge the land area. Ballast form incoming ships and even construction debris from New York City's subway tunnel projects was used to complete the task. The initial result was that the island doubled in size to over six acres. This land reclamation project continued one step at a time through 1934 and today Ellis covers 27.5 acres



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-207.jpg



The first facility on the island designed specifically to act as the main immigration hall, was built of white pine with a slate roof…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-208.jpg



This building successfully handled about 1.5 million immigrants during its five years of use, but in 1897 a fire (probably electrical in nature) reduced the whole thing to ashes. Luckily no lives were lost, but most of the immigration records dating back to 1855 were destroyed in the conflagration. As a result of this unforeseen turn of events, a decision was made that the replacement building should be much larger, much stronger and be designed to impress all those that approached and entered. “It should be a substantial edifice”, was how one of the members of the design team put it. A building that was as grand as the aspirations and monumental changes in life that were about to befall each of the individuals that were destined to enter it.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-209.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-210.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-211.jpg





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
“Processing”




When potential new Americans arrived at Ellis…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-212.jpg



They were led directly from the docs to the main entrance of this massive structure. That, however, is not where you’ll find the famous “Great Hall” of this immigration station. The main floor is where you’d find the baggage handling areas, administrative offices and other working spaces. The “Great Hall” was on the second floor. As such, the first thing a new arrival encountered was a long steep stairwell leading upward.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-213.jpg



This was no random design decision. It was done for a specific reason; that being an aid in identifying people with potential problems. “Doctors” stood at the top of the stairwell and watched for folks that were struggling either to make the clime or to keep their breath (a sign of possible disease or heart problems). Once at the top of the stairs they were given an "official" medical exam that might last as long as ten or fifteen seconds (and yes, I said seconds). They were quickly checked for very specific things that might cause a person either to be sent back home or interned in the islands medical facilities. Depending of what conditions were found, the physician of record would literally write a one or two letter code on the persons back in chalk signifying the area of concern.

Some of those codes included:




B – Back Problems
C - Conjunctivitis
CT – Trachoma (an eye disease)
E – Eyes
F – Face
FT – Feet Problems
G – Goiter
H – Heart Problems
K – Hernia
L – Lameness
N – Neck Injuries
P – Physical and Lung Problems
PG – Pregnancy
S – Senility
X – Suspected Mental defect




Once through this inspection gauntlet, you’d be dived up by family groups and sent into one of several possible queues for continued processing.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-214.jpg



What was at first long rows of simple wooden benches became a maze of fencing and long lines of benches. All of this is gone today, but the hall itself still offers an imposing and impressive site to those that make the assent up that long stairwell.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-215.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-216.jpg



Once the bewildered immigrant finally made it to the front of the hall and there by, to one of the Immigration Officer’s desks…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-217.jpg



Once there, the officer on duty would start jotting down the particulars about that individual. General this information would be checked against copies of the manifest from the ship on which they had arrived (in hopes of catching anyone trying to change their story).

Tradition also holds that there were 29 questions specifically asked of each individual including straight forward queries such as: name, occupation, and the amount of money being carried. It was important to the government that new arrivals be able to support themselves in the short term, so they needed to have a little bit of money on hand to get started. The average amount deemed acceptable would have been between 18 and 25 dollars at the time (Which is equivalent to about 400 or 500 bucks or so today).

Some other questions that you very much needed to give “the right” answer to included such things as: who paid for your passage, have you ever been in prison or an institution for the care of the insane, and where you either a polygamist or an anarchist.


Depending on all that had transpired up to this point, you’d generally have been in the Great Hall anywhere from between two to five hours. Your next "step" was along another intentionally built physical barrier that came to be known as the ‘Stairs of Separation”.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-218.jpg



If sent down the right side, the bottom lead to the railroad ticket office and ultimately onto a ferry headed for New Jersey (from where we’d come that morning). The left hand side of the stairs would see you boarding a ferry bound for Manhattan. Being sent down the middle meant that you were being detained and potentially sent back from where you came. The landing at the bottom of these stairs may very well have been the spot where you last saw a loved one.

Horrible as that last possibility sounds, only about two percent of those who arrived here were denied admission to the U.S. and sent back to their countries of origin. Far more likely was that there was some type of medical condition that prevented your immediate release and in that case you were bound for the hospital on the other side of the island…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-219.jpg



Tens of thousands of lives were actually saved via this process. In truth, the US very wanted much for you to be there. At the time we needed the labor to run the rapidly expanding manufacturing economy that was the engine of growth at the time. A person was really only seen as a potential threat if they were a known felon, an anarchist or were unskilled and had no family or National Society willing to vouch for them.

That last one there deserves a little bit more clarification. Nearly every nationality that had large numbers of folks coming to America had set up Societies to advocate for new arrivals. They would camp near the front desks and look out for folks from their homelands or with similar ethnic backgrounds. Once found, society members would act as translators and advocates for the individual and help them and the Immigration Officer get all the information needed to allow that person or family to pass through. The Society's rep would then assist in getting those families onto the correct boat or train. And from there on toward their proper destination or to the right parts of town where one could find shelter, work and folks with whom they could communicate.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-220.jpg



Politicians did similar things for new immigrants by offering to help get them established in exchange for a promised vote. Of course there were also hucksters and criminal elements hanging around waiting to do their song and dance as well. All of this being true, one was lucky if they were able to meet up with a member of their own society first (or even at all).



Ellis Island was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States and was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until in closed in 1954. Our group of travelers would only be here for about an hour and a half this day. That is nowhere near enough time to explore this remarkable place and I hope at some point to return and explore it far more thoroughly. But at least, I did have the opportunity to see it for myself and that will stay with me for the rest of my days.




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-221.jpg





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-222.jpg





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-223.jpg





Next up: Bedloe's Island

Captain_Oblivious
09-17-2012, 04:30 PM
Rob,

Still reading along! Haven't had time to go back and pick out individual quotes for snarky comments yet, but I'm still with ya! :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-17-2012, 11:03 PM
Rob,

Still reading along! Haven't had time to go back and pick out individual quotes for snarky comments yet, but I'm still with ya! :thumbsup2

I appreciate that Mark, but don’t worry about it overly. :)
I’m going to finish this up even if no one reads along.


I have, however, decided to cut it down in scale a bit (since not many are reading along). There are about three “Bonus Features” that wont be seeing the light of day. I’ve also decided to discontinue the “Flash Back” segments as well. It was a good idea at first, but I’m behind on them, and honestly, I don’t really think y’all want to listen to me drone on about band stuff much more.

I’ll probably have this wrapped up in about three or four updates at the most and then we’ll call it quits until I get back to Disney (although that may be a long time from now).


I would have liked to write about our excursion to Dayton back in April or about this past summer’s trip to the Williamsburg and Norfolk area, but again, I don’t think there will be much audience for those non-Disney adventures.

Wherem I Now
09-18-2012, 08:55 AM
I’m going to finish this up even if no one reads along.

WE ARE HERE!!!
http://www.animationconnection.com/inc/image.php?file=/images/graphics/lj82877l.jpg&w=400

afwdwfan
09-18-2012, 11:22 AM
Wow... I got way behind. I was going to go back and multi quote responses, but I read so much stuff this morning, I've already forgot what I wanted to say. :rotfl2::lmao:

The Thanksgiving dinner cruise looks like a lot of fun. From the food aspect, I think I'd prefer the family meal where there is enough turkey to stuff yourself silly until you pass out for a couple of hours, but you definitely can't beat the view on that cruise.

The feature on the lions is actually very interesting. I never thought I'd learn so many new things this morning at work. :rotfl2:

The visit to Ellis Island looks very fascinating as well. That is one place I definitely want to have a chance to visit at some point in time, but that update is making me feel sorry for Max. He's just trying to enjoy some time with friends and his dad is acting like the friggin paparazzi. :rotfl2::lmao:

Captain_Oblivious
09-18-2012, 12:35 PM
Ok, I'm all caught up.

First: the night cruise around Manhattan looks really fun. I imagine the views must have been spectacular, seeing the city lit up at night. But I have to admit that if that tiny plate had been all that amounted to my Thanksgiving "feast", I'd be a little upset. :rotfl2:

It ain't a Thanksgiving meal unless you've had second and third helpings and then have to unbutton the top pants button while you fall asleep on the couch in front of a football game. :thumbsup2

Looking at the evolution of the NY Public Library was interesting from the eye of an engineer. As I read about the changes to the topography I kept thinking, "Do you have any idea how many permits and bureaucratic red tape we'd have to wade through to be able to fill in those creeks and wetlands today?" :rotfl:

The Roman-style aqueduct was pretty cool, too. And the Library itself looks like a spectacular building on the inside.

I would have assumed "Patience" and "Fortitude" were qualities that visitors to NYC would need. :lmao:

Finally, the trip to Ellis Island was a nice blast from the past. Although it looks like you had a much better view of the skyline than we did when we took my daughter up there for her birthday! Definitely a worthy trip for any American.

I appreciate that Mark, but don’t worry about it overly. :)
I’m going to finish this up even if no one reads along.


I have, however, decided to cut it down in scale a bit (since not many are reading along). There are about three “Bonus Features” that wont be seeing the light of day. I’ve also decided to discontinue the “Flash Back” segments as well. It was a good idea at first, but I’m behind on them, and honestly, I don’t really think y’all want to listen to me drone on about band stuff much more.

I’ll probably have this wrapped up in about three or four updates at the most and then we’ll call it quits until I get back to Disney (although that may be a long time from now).


I would have liked to write about our excursion to Dayton back in April or about this past summer’s trip to the Williamsburg and Norfolk area, but again, I don’t think there will be much audience for those non-Disney adventures.

Your TR, so it's your rules. Who cares about the audience? If these reports help you re-live the adventures, go for it. I can't speak for anyone else, but I really enjoy your writing, your sly movie references, and your dry sense of humor (I may glaze over a bit with marching bands--sorry.) :rotfl2:

I really enjoy the historical tangents, too. The volume of research you do is impressive, and no one can ever say they're less well off for having learned something new.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
09-18-2012, 09:40 PM
WE ARE HERE!!!
http://www.animationconnection.com/inc/image.php?file=/images/graphics/lj82877l.jpg&w=400

Thanks!
I appreciate that. :goodvibes

I’m almost down to the last entry or two so I’ll try to get them put up in the near.




Wow... I got way behind. I was going to go back and multi quote responses, but I read so much stuff this morning, I've already forgot what I wanted to say. :rotfl2::lmao:



I dodged a bullet there, didn’t I?



The Thanksgiving dinner cruise looks like a lot of fun. From the food aspect, I think I'd prefer the family meal where there is enough turkey to stuff yourself silly until you pass out for a couple of hours, but you definitely can't beat the view on that cruise.


More would have been better, that’s for certain, but between the lingering exhaustion form the day and the time spent on the water, I just didn’t realize that I wanted more. The pie and coffee severed latter in the evening was right tasty though (but then I’m rather partial to pie).



The feature on the lions is actually very interesting. I never thought I'd learn so many new things this morning at work. :rotfl2:


That one got away from me. I intended to just learn about the statues, and the thing just took on a life of its own.



The visit to Ellis Island looks very fascinating as well. That is one place I definitely want to have a chance to visit at some point in time,


Ellis was really interesting and we didn’t have near enough time to really dig into what was available. I’d like to get back up there and spend the better part of a day looking over all of the exhibits and archives.



…but that update is making me feel sorry for Max. He's just trying to enjoy some time with friends and his dad is acting like the friggin paparazzi. :rotfl2::lmao:


He hates being in pictures. That means it’s my job to break him of it.
Besides, I take them for his momma. He’ll grow up and leave the house…
For me, that’s the goal of raising a man.
For his mother, that’s a tragedy of loosing her baby.
The least I can do for her is steal a few pictures.

Max does deserve your sorrow though…
Just imagine having to admit that I’m his dad.






Ok, I'm all caught up.
First: the night cruise around Manhattan looks really fun. I imagine the views must have been spectacular, seeing the city lit up at night. But I have to admit that if that tiny plate had been all that amounted to my Thanksgiving "feast", I'd be a little upset. :rotfl2:

It ain't a Thanksgiving meal unless you've had second and third helpings and then have to unbutton the top pants button while you fall asleep on the couch in front of a football game. :thumbsup2


Agreed.
I’ll make up for it this Thanksgiving though.
I can guarantee that.

But… I was on the water.
That just about made up for it.



Looking at the evolution of the NY Public Library was interesting from the eye of an engineer. As I read about the changes to the topography I kept thinking, "Do you have any idea how many permits and bureaucratic red tape we'd have to wade through to be able to fill in those creeks and wetlands today?" :rotfl:

The Roman-style aqueduct was pretty cool, too. And the Library itself looks like a spectacular building on the inside.

I would have assumed "Patience" and "Fortitude" were qualities that visitors to NYC would need. :lmao:



I can see where that would have peeked your interest. I knew that the island had been deforested. That was obvious. I also knew that the changes in the depth of the bedrock determine how everything would be built up once skyscrapers were the order of the day (that why there are tall building at the south end and north end, but not so much in the middle). What I didn’t know was just how many hills and valleys just simple disappeared.




Finally, the trip to Ellis Island was a nice blast from the past. Although it looks like you had a much better view of the skyline than we did when we took my daughter up there for her birthday! Definitely a worthy trip for any American.



I enjoyed reading your write up of that trip, but y’all got to see it all a bit better then we did (as you’ll see in the next chapter). Yet, I’m very glad to have had the opportunity at all. I’d truly recommend that every American find a way to see this part f the country for them selves; even if just for a little while.






Your TR, so it's your rules. Who cares about the audience? If these reports help you re-live the adventures, go for it. I can't speak for anyone else, but I really enjoy your writing, your sly movie references, and your dry sense of humor (I may glaze over a bit with marching bands--sorry.) :rotfl2:

I really enjoy the historical tangents, too. The volume of research you do is impressive, and no one can ever say they're less well off for having learned something new.



Thanks

I do enjoy putting these together… it just takes me a while to get them finished up. I tend to put more detail into them then is really necessary. That’s a character flaw I’ll admit to (it actually amazes my wife as to just how much of what we’ve done I can remember in such detail). The current goal it to have this one finished before the next Parade kicks off. A year is long enough for any thread to linger (a detail that Andy appropriately thumped me for a little while back :lmao: ).

FreezinRafiki
09-25-2012, 09:00 AM
Rob - as you can tell from the "frequent" updates to my own TR, I've been a tad busy lately. But I sat down yesterday and got all caught up on this one. Fantastic work - the Thanksgiving cruise looked really cool and the history of the library is fascinating. I'd hate to think how many people walked around that giant reservoir at night and decided to take a wiz in it. :scared1:
Keep writing, sir. I may not be the timeliest with my reading or responses but be assured that it is all fascinating stuff. :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
10-03-2012, 09:15 PM
Rob - as you can tell from the "frequent" updates to my own TR, I've been a tad busy lately. But I sat down yesterday and got all caught up on this one. Fantastic work - the Thanksgiving cruise looked really cool and the history of the library is fascinating. I'd hate to think how many people walked around that giant reservoir at night and decided to take a wiz in it. :scared1:
Keep writing, sir. I may not be the timeliest with my reading or responses but be assured that it is all fascinating stuff. :thumbsup2

And a gracious thanks sir.
And I need to get back over to you current effort and catch up as well.

I certainly intend to keep up with the writing, but it would be nice to have something to write about (tat other folks would want to read that is). Like I’ve said, I’m close to having this one done but work has started really interfering with my extra time. That combined with the start of our boys senior year as high school means that we’ve been rather busy lately. My goal is to have this finally completed before the next actual Macy’s Parade (it seems only fair). Given that goal, I suppose I ought to go on ahead and put up the next little part of this history/travel log.

So I think that’s just what I’ll do. :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
10-03-2012, 09:18 PM
Chapter 5: Remembrances (Day 5)




Part 3: The New Colossus







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-301.jpg





Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"








In 1883, and after a good bit of coaxing, Emma Lazarus wrote a sonnet titled: "The New Colossus". Her intention in doing so was to offer it as one of many items that would be auctioned off. The proceeds of that auction were to go toward building a pedestal.



Now without any other context available, that little bit of information there brings a few questions to my mind.

Firstly, being as “pedestals” are usually pretty mundane affairs, why would fundraisers be required to have one built? Next, if there’s a “New Colossus”, what became of the “Old” one? And more importantly, just why am I bothering you with this foolishness in the first place?


Well, just to be different, I’ll answer those in reverse order; starting where I left off a little bit ago…

on Ellis Island.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Liberty Enlightening the World





I for one would like to have stayed on Ellis Island for a lot longer than an hour and a half. There is far too much to take in during that short a time frame. However, we intended to make a number of other stops on our last day in New York, so it was time to round up all the kids and get a move on.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-302.jpg



It takes a lot of work to keep nearly two hundred youngsters all together and the chaperone corps deserved special thanks for pulling that job off in good fashion. Between the busses, ferries and extensive walking needed during this trip; we never once lost a sole (we thought we did at one point, but it turned out that someone was just not paying attention).

So we were on the move again. Our next mode of transport for the day would be the ferry “Miss New Jersey” which was just gliding into the landing channel at Ellis.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-303.jpg



Once aboard we were off for the next rather familiar destination. A little spot on the map called Liberty Island.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-304.jpg



Notice the rather long “pole” just to the left of the lady holding up the torch? That was actually a harbinger of an unfortunate development. Well, unfortunate for us at least, but not so for the lady with the lamp. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

When we arrived a few minutes later, the lady who resides on the island had her back to us.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-305.jpg



That is normal but it would turn out that our host would be giving us a bit of a cold shoulder this entire visit. Granted she was rather busy attempting to enlighten the rest of the world, but you see… the folks that look after Lady Liberty were also in the midst of celebrating her 125th birthday.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-306.jpg



And the gift they decided to get her this year was a makeover…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-307.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-308.jpg



A very thoughtful gift for the recipient, but a problem for those of us invited to the party. With the renovation still in progress, much of this monument’s amenities were closed. We couldn’t get into the Immigrant Museum and certainly not into the base or climb the statue itself. A disappointment? Yes, but still… it’s not every day I get to be this close to a national treasure, so we made the best of what opportunities we did have.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-309.jpg



I was also able to continue my evil paparazzi mission when we ran across Max and his compadres. You can see pretty clearly in their expressions just what each one thought about my intruding on their adventure…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-310.jpg



On a more “structural” note, you’ll also notice from the last image that nearly half the height of the statue is made up of a great deal of stone work. Some of that structure is younger then the Lady and some of it is older. A whole lot older as a matter of fact. So how did that come to be true?


“Well… I’ll tell you.”



King: “No! Wait! Stop that!”




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Fort Wood





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-311.jpg



When European colonists arrived in the New World and imposed the higher concept of land ownership upon the silly fools that had been sharing it up until that point, they also took to assigning new names to the various bits of acreage encountered. In some instances the moniker adopted would be an anglicized version of what the locals were already using. Like: “Manhattan” for instance. But rather more often the name assigned to a place was that of the person that ended up owning said property. This is how the largest of the “oyster islands” in New Amsterdam’s harbor (the one the locals called: “Minnissais”, meaning Lesser Island) came to be known as Bedloe's Island (although even that was anglicized as the Dutch owner’s name was actually spelled: Bedloo).

After gaining a shaky independence, the new US Government decided that its major cities needed fortification to defend them from sea born attack. To that end a number of islands around New York were acquired and put to the purpose. In 1809, construction of an eleven-point star shaped granite fort was begun on Bedloe's Island, and a bit after its completion, this installation would come to be known as Fort Wood.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-312.jpg



It’s that ominous mass at the far middle-left of the above illustration which otherwise depicts the view of the bay as seen from Long Island. It had been used on and off as a fort from around 1811 through the Civil War, but was basically abandoned by the time it caught the eye of a fellow named Bartholdi.

Frédéric Bartholdi was working on a piece of sculpture. His inspiration was to recreate one of the seven wonders of the old world, namely, The Colossus of Rhodes. Scholars and scientists alike agree that at one time, there was a massive statue guarding the entrance to the harbor on the Greek island of Rhodes. At least there was until an earthquake knocked it down. There is argument though as to whether it stood to one side or “straddled” the entrance, but they generally agree that it held some type of torch aloft and soared to better then one hundred feet above its already oversized base. In any case it would certainly make an impression on those that sailed into the harbor.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-313.jpg



With this as both an inspiration and a goal to exceed, Bartholdi began work and perfected the basic design with a “life-sized” bronze study casting. If you were to find yourself strolling through the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, you can still see that original work…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-314.jpg



This bronze was used as a guide for a somewhat larger variation on the theme…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-315.jpg



His intention was to give the finished piece to the people of the United States. All they had to do in return was agree to build a proper place to display it. Since all ships had to sail past Bedloe's Island to reach New York, it looked like exactly the right spot to erect his gift. Interestingly, the federal and state governments would have nothing to do with it (being as we were in the midst of a depression at the time). The War Department did however stipulate that the pedestal could be built on the grounds of Fort Wood though.

This explains why Ms. Lazarus was donating a poem to an auction in the first place; to help raise funds for the project. The formed copper parts that make up Liberty were actually finished, shipped to the US in 241 separate crates, and put into storage long before the base could be completed. When sufficient funds were finally raised (entirely from private sources so know that your tax dollars were not wasted on public art here), then and only then was construction begun on the massive base that famed architect Richard Morris Hunt had designed for the occasion.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-316.jpg



Rather than tearing down the existing fort, the base was built in the center parade ground. After that, the whole thing was simply filled in and became part and parcel of the monument.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-317.jpg




And what a fine monument it is too, but I’ve been spending a lot of time talking so why don’t I just hush up for a bit and let the images speak for a while…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-318.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-319.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-320.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-321.jpg







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-322.jpg




Next up: A bit more Liberty…

Followed by a ferry and a castle

FreezinRafiki
10-04-2012, 09:16 AM
Well, just to be different, I’ll answer those in reverse order; starting where I left off a little bit ago…

HA! I'm going to read this entry backwards so I can get the answers in the order I want them! And you can't do anything about it!


It takes a lot of work to keep nearly two hundred youngsters all together and the chaperone corps deserved special thanks for pulling that job off in good fashion.
They probably hired a Brazillion as a consultant. Were your kids singing and chanting much, by any chance?

(we thought we did at one point, but it turned out that someone was just not paying attention).
Huh? Wha? Where'd everybody go?

Our next mode of transport for the day would be the ferry “Miss New Jersey” which was just gliding into the landing channel at Ellis.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-303.jpg

I did a Google Image Search for "Miss New Jersey." My results are much nicer than that picture. :thumbsup2



Notice the rather long “pole” just to the left of the lady holding up the torch? That was actually a harbinger of an unfortunate development.
Just like Magic Kingdom in September! That D*#$ Crane Ruined my vacation pictures!!!


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-309.jpg

We haven't seen many pictures of you and your lovely bride, so I thought this would be nice time to interject with : Nice Picture!


“Well… I’ll tell you.”
Yaaaa!! More History!!

(Note: no sarcasm was used in writing that last sentence. History rocks. Well, actually, geology rocks. History is awesome. )

The formed copper parts that make up Liberty were actually finished, shipped to the US in 241 separate crates, and put into storage long before the base could be completed.
How much would you freak out if you were cleaning out a long-forgotten attic or garage and found a giant toe? Yeah, me too.

afwdwfan
10-04-2012, 10:03 AM
Well, just to be different, I’ll answer those in reverse order; starting where I left off a little bit ago…
Here we go again... :rotfl2:


Notice the rather long “pole” just to the left of the lady holding up the torch? That was actually a harbinger of an unfortunate development.
:eek: Oh no! Lady Liberty has taken up pole dancing????


A disappointment? Yes, but still… it’s not every day I get to be this close to a national treasure, so we made the best of what opportunities we did have.
:thumbsup2


There is argument though as to whether it stood to one side or “straddled” the entrance, but they generally agree that it held some type of torch aloft and soared to better then one hundred feet above its already oversized base.
They don't know exactly how or where it stoood, but they know it held a torch up. :confused3 Kind of wonder how they come up with some of this information sometimes.


(entirely from private sources so know that your tax dollars were not wasted on public art here)
Thanks for reassuring me, but I already knew that my tax dollars didn't go toward building that pedestal. :rolleyes1 :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:


I did a Google Image Search for "Miss New Jersey." My results are much nicer than that picture. :thumbsup2
:rotfl::rotfl2::lmao:

Do you have a new wallpaper on your computer at work now? We won't tell Bambi. :rotfl:

Just like Magic Kingdom in September! That D*#$ Crane Ruined my vacation pictures!!!
Maybe the photoshop crane removal expert should try to help out. I'm sure Max would like a picture of him and his friends without a crane. :rolleyes1

Captain_Oblivious
10-04-2012, 05:03 PM
And more importantly, just why am I bothering you with this foolishness in the first place?

I don't know. What other foolishness would you like to bother us with?:confused3

Between the busses, ferries and extensive walking needed during this trip; we never once lost a sole (we thought we did at one point, but it turned out that someone was just not paying attention).

Impressive. :darth:

Once aboard we were off for the next rather familiar destination. A little spot on the map called Liberty Island.

I think I've heard of it... :scratchin

Notice the rather long “pole” just to the left of the lady holding up the torch? That was actually a harbinger of an unfortunate development. Well, unfortunate for us at least, but not so for the lady with the lamp. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

It would have been cool if they'd hung a sign on it that said "Gone Fishin'".

With the renovation still in progress, much of this monument’s amenities were closed. We couldn’t get into the Immigrant Museum and certainly not into the base or climb the statue itself.

:sad1:

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-309.jpg

Nice one!:thumbsup2

“Well… I’ll tell you.”



King: “No! Wait! Stop that!”

He's going to tell! He's going to tell!

When sufficient funds were finally raised (entirely from private sources so know that your tax dollars were not wasted on public art here),

Great! Then they can waste them on something else.

Nice pictures! Looks like you made the best of it.

I did a Google Image Search for "Miss New Jersey." My results are much nicer than that picture. :thumbsup2


:lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
10-05-2012, 01:57 PM
HA! I'm going to read this entry backwards so I can get the answers in the order I want them! And you can't do anything about it!


And I’d expect no less.
The only problem is that it’s all just an illusion.
There are no answers to any questions here.


They probably hired a Brazillion as a consultant. Were your kids singing and chanting much, by any chance?


Thankfully… no. :rotfl2:



Huh? Wha? Where'd everybody go?


That was just about the actual response at the time.
I’ll probably add that detail into the next update.



I did a Google Image Search for "Miss New Jersey." My results are much nicer than that picture. :thumbsup2


I’m not surprised :lmao: :rotfl2: :rotfl:
And if you’d have added “topless” to the search (not that I’m sayin’ you’d do such mind you), I’m sure the results would have been even more interesting.


Just like Magic Kingdom in September! That D*#$ Crane Ruined my vacation pictures!!!


Unexpected obstacles have been known to wreak havoc on vacation pictures.



Right Mark?



We haven't seen many pictures of you and your lovely bride, so I thought this would be nice time to interject with : Nice Picture!



Thanks.
I’d take more, but she gets upset with me whenever I point a camera in her direction.



Yaaaa!! More History!!

(Note: no sarcasm was used in writing that last sentence. History rocks. Well, actually, geology rocks. History is awesome. )


Ya’ know that encouraging me usually ends up badly, right?
But yes ::yes:: History is rather awesome


How much would you freak out if you were cleaning out a long-forgotten attic or garage and found a giant toe? Yeah, me too.


Here…
You might as well have a visual to go along with that mental image.

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3-022.jpg

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
10-05-2012, 01:59 PM
Here we go again... :rotfl2:


Down boy… Behave.



:eek: Oh no! Lady Liberty has taken up pole dancing????



:lmao:
OK… I didn’t see that one coming.



They don't know exactly how or where it stoood, but they know it held a torch up. :confused3 Kind of wonder how they come up with some of this information sometimes.


There was wreckage from where the thing collapsed strune about the harbor, so the historians of the day did know a good bit about the structure. But, the base was not documented as well. Most credible descriptions have it standing to one side of the harbor entrance. The argument about ships having to pass between the statues legs to enter the harbor (which also presents a somewhat disquieting image) shows up more often in stories from folks that were just relating what they’d heard and had never been to Rhodes.



Thanks for reassuring me, but I already knew that my tax dollars didn't go toward building that pedestal. :rolleyes1 :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:


Not that old ‘eh? Pup.
Well be sure that your taxes did go toward the recent refurbishing of that bit of public art.

You can complain to your congressman now.




:rotfl::rotfl2::lmao:

Do you have a new wallpaper on your computer at work now? We won't tell Bambi. :rotfl:




I don’t know… Bambi may just need to hear about such :rolleyes1




Maybe the photoshop crane removal expert should try to help out. I'm sure Max would like a picture of him and his friends without a crane. :rolleyes1


Max would rather never have a photograph of himself in existence.
Like his mother, he can’t abide seeing pictures of himself which is just odd…
I’m the only ugly person in the house, but I can’t seem to convince everyone else.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
10-05-2012, 02:03 PM
I don't know. What other foolishness would you like to bother us with?:confused3



Hummmmm…
How about a brief discussion on skeletal structure, the reason why nineteenth century immigrants use the phrase: “a castle garden”, to describe anything that is disorienting or confusing, or why a beat up wreck of a world globe makes for a very sobering bit of remembrance?



I think I've heard of it... :scratchin


I seem to remember you sayin’ something about it.


It would have been cool if they'd hung a sign on it that said "Gone Fishin'".


:lmao: that would have been rather funny
(and more family friendly then the previous suggestion ;))




He's going to tell! He's going to tell!



CONCORDE: Quickly, sir! Come this way!!!

LAUNCELOT: “No, it's not right for my idiom. I must escape more..........[sigh]”

CONCORDE: “Dramatically sir?”

LAUNCELOT: “Dramatically!!!!“ [crash] [Launcelot hovers on chandelier]
“Excuse me, could, uh, could somebody give me a push, please...?”


Great! Then they can waste them on something else.


Roads and schools come to mind…
But most of my neighbors think that such socialist trappings are Un-American. Well… not “their” schools and roads of course, just those frequented by all those other scumbags out there that won’t take responsibility for themselves.



Nice pictures! Looks like you made the best of it.


I was still thrilled to be there.
Truth be told, if the museum were open, we probably still would not have had enough tome to really explore it.
I just need to take Tam back up there sometime in the near.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
10-17-2012, 09:59 PM
Chapter 5: Remembrances (Day 5)




Part 4: Beneath the Surface







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-401.jpg





The next bit of this trip was actually a transitional one. We were headed from Liberty Island toward the Financial District. But there was obviously a little bit more involved here then a short walk or hailing a cab. Now I’d probably be doing myself (and certainly y'all) a favor by just skipping this bit, but rather instead I think I’ll use it to tell a couple of small stories and bury some more unnecessary details.



Cause... that's what I do.

(but that don't mean that you have to read it)




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
An Inner Strength




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-402.jpg




Since we could not get inside the statue this day, I decided to do a bit of research about the bits that I could not see, and that's bad news for you...


Mini Bonus Feature time!


Remember when I said that the Statue of Liberty arrived in over two hundred crates? Well there's a bit more to that story. What Frederick Auguste Batholdi actually built for the people of the United States was not so much a statue as it was a shell. What was in most of those crates were the exterior pieces or the skin of the statue. The internal workings were something else that had to be figured out. All of the beaten, pressed and molded copper plates were designed to fit together into a harmonious whole, but without some kind of skeleton, the whole thing would simply collapse upon itself.


What to do, what to do?


Well, this is the part of the story where another fairly famous designer arrived on the scene to help solve the problem. Everyone on this side of the pond just had to wait for him to finish up the project that he was working on at the time...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-403.jpg



...a temporary structure being built for some minor World’s Fair project.


Temporary?


Well yes...

No one in their right Victorian mind would have allowed anyone to erect such a hideous assault to the eye if they'd thought for a moment that the thing might become permanent scar on the skyline of the City of Lights.

Anyway, when Gustave Eiffel was finally available to take on another commission, he designed an armature that would properly support the ladies graceful form and flowing robes from the inside while also relieving the exterior of the structure from all load-bearing responsibilities (a nice bit of engineering, that).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-404.jpg



What this meant is that the individual plates could be thinner and more detailed while still being able to stand for far longer than originally expected. It also meant that the entire sculpture could be built in France, dismantled, shipped to the US and then reassembled (thus, all those crates).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-405.jpg



And when finally completed, Lady Liberty wielded another kind of inner strength. Well...

It’s actually more of an overtly outer strength...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-406.jpg



You can also see in that last picture that the guns along the batteries outside of old Fort Wood were left in place at first. The War Department did give up the now outdated star-fortress, but not the entire island fortification. Despite the new resident and the official change of name from Ft. Wood to Liberty Island, the historic oyster isle would continue to act as a military installation well into the next century.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-407.jpg



It was not until the 1950s that the last of the gun emplacements, barracks and shop buildings were finally removed and the island ended it dual role to become solely a monument.



Ive got one more little bit of hidden detail; the broken shackles. As imagined, Liberty is actually walking and in doing so she is trodding over a set of broken leg irons...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-422.jpg



It’s one of the more symbolic features of the entire structure yet it generally can’t be seen except from above.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-423.jpg



...and we weren't going to be offered that specific angle on this day.
Maybe next time.




Thats enough for now.
We return you to your regularly scheduled TR presentation already in progress...






= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
On the Water Front




Since the museum was closed the NPS has set up a mini-museum in the form of a tent that was designed to explain the restoration work being done. Unfortunately, it wasn't open at the time either... but it was there. Oh well... There was a full size piece of Liberty's torch outside though to give you an idea of the detail, size and general thickness of the copper structure of the statue itself.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-408.jpg



I don't know if this was an original piece, a potential replacement piece, or just a mock up, but it did give you an idea of the structural elements being dealt with here.



We basically made one slow lap around Liberty Island. We saw the bits of artwork spread along the paths, and read most of the placards along the way. Id show you more of those, but they really only covered a bit of the information that I’ve already gone into in greater detail in the past two updates, so there's no sense in beating that horse any farther. Rather instead... Ill beat on a different dead horse by showing you another picture of a ferryboat.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-409.jpg



I just love watching the water and ships gliding along it. Actually seeing this one heading toward the dock was a bit of a reminder that we were starting to run a bit short on time. The decision was made that we ought to check out the gift shop (cause that's what tourists do by God) and then head back to the dock to meet up with the rest of the group.

I’ll say two things about the gift shop on Liberty Island. First, apart from the regular pencils, postcards and foam Liberty Crowns, there are actually a lot of relatively classy nick-knacks in there. Well... classy for kick-knacks that is, but we found a very nice understated Christmas ornament that included the image of Lady Liberty and the year. We collect ornaments from our travels... they make fun memories and being as we pull them out every year, they give us reasons to stop and reminisce while decorating the house. The second thing I’ll say about that gift shop is that it was hot. Physically stifling! Even for November, the wave of dry heated air that erupted from the door when you opened it was almost oppressive. We were all wearing coats and sweaters to deal with the cool of the day, but you had to strip all of those layers off if you planned to spend any more than a moment or two in the building. I don't see how the employees could stand it to be honest.

OK... that's enough of that particular useless detail. It’s time to move on (to the next useless detail).
So we waved good bye to the Lady of the house...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-410.jpg



And started back toward the boat dock and the crush of folks waiting to board.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-411.jpg




Being as a couple of unanticipated events chewed up a bit more time that I'm usually comfortable with (I'm a bit of a worrywart when it comes to schedules. ya' know) we were straggling just a mite and found ourselves pretty much at the back of the scrum. We were going to have to rely on hope that there would be enough room on this particular ferry for everyone in the group. It turns out that there was. The MV Statue of Liberty V, this particular ship, is one of the largest on the route. Most certainly a good thing. Much of the space aboard is devoted to standing rather than sitting, but there was space. No abject lessons had to be learned today at least. Being one of the last folks allowed on the boat, it was no time at all after boarding that we were on our way and leaving this most famous American symbol in our wake...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-412.jpg



The next stop was actually back to Ellis Island where nearly every other passenger got off. That left this ferry's limited seating completely available for our group to confiscate. This was an unexpected win considering that at first we were unsure that we'd even catch this run in the first place. After taking on additional passengers at Ellis, we were off again.


The new destination?



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-413.jpg



...the financial district at the very southern tip of Manhattan Island. This was actually a fairly decent little ride so I had plenty of time to man the rails and watch the water. And especially to eye the other ships on the water; like this one...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-414.jpg




The Coast Guard patrol boat USCGS Tybee was making sure that everyone else on the water was playing by the rules. A little farther along and I caught a good glimpse of this somewhat larger vessel...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-415.jpg



The renowned Staten Island Ferry is not one ship. There are currently eight of them in service making the round trip (that one there happens to be the MV Senator John J. Marchi). These ships are also the only form of public transportation in the area that is free (at least the only one that I'm aware of). Yep... you pay not a single farthing, halfpenny, hay-penny or any other imaginable type of penny to board one of these ships. A round trip across the length of New York harbor and right by both of the oyster islands costs the thrifty tourist exactly...

bupkis.

That's something I'm going to have to do the next time I'm up there.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
All Ashore




At this point, we were just about to the end of our final mini cruse with Battery Park looming into clear view just ahead of us...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-416.jpg



As the name would suggest, this was once a defensive position and it is still where you'll find Castle Clinton...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-417.jpg



Dating back to 1808 this sandstone fortification was originally on an artificial island, but the entire area has since been filled in and landlocked the fort. After spending relatively little time as an armed bastion, it was turned over to the city in the 1820s. The name then changed to Castle Garden and it has served over the years since in many capacities including stints as a beer garden, an exhibition hall, a theater and a public aquarium. It is perhaps best remembered though as America's first immigration station (predating Ellis Island). There is even a sculpture known as The Immigrants just outside the old fort to commemorate the diversity of folks that passed through here



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-419.jpg



Between 1855 and 1890 more than 8 million new Americans first experienced the hustle and bustle of US life by attempting to navigate the noisy, chaotic and confusing confines of the Castle just after stepping off the boats. So vivid was the mass confusion experienced here that for many generations, the speakers of Yiddish would refer to any disorganized or frustrating experience as a Castle Garden.


Well, it’s just about time we got started toward our next destination on today's tour of remembrances. So from here well say a final goodbye to Lady Liberty...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-418.jpg


And start our walk into the heart of very old New York. The last bit of history we encountered before marching up Trinity was this rather battered bit of art...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-420.jpg



This was a bit of foreshadowing, and I’ll tell you more about it and the changes that modern events have brought to this part of the city in the next update. But as a somewhat of a curiosity builder, here's a different and older view if this piece of public art...



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-421.jpg




Next up: Solemn Waters

Captain_Oblivious
10-19-2012, 08:48 AM
CONCORDE: Quickly, sir! Come this way!!!

LAUNCELOT: “No, it's not right for my idiom. I must escape more..........[sigh]”

CONCORDE: “Dramatically sir?”

LAUNCELOT: “Dramatically!!!!“ [crash] [Launcelot hovers on chandelier]
“Excuse me, could, uh, could somebody give me a push, please...?”

I think Launcelot's tale is my favorite part of the whole movie.

Roads and schools come to mind…
But most of my neighbors think that such socialist trappings are Un-American. Well… not “their” schools and roads of course, just those frequented by all those other scumbags out there that won’t take responsibility for themselves.

As always, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Government-funded national parks and art certainly contributes quite a bit to our culture and quality of life. And roads and schools are important and necessary. But it's also hard to justify new expenses in that category when you're trillions in debt.

Since we could not get inside the statue this day, I decided to do a bit of research about the bits that I could not see, and thats bad news for you...

I think your research paid off. This is basically what you would have learned in the museum, anyway.

What was in most of those crates were the exterior pieces or the skin of the statue. The internal workings were something else that had to be figured out. All of the beaten, pressed and molded copper plates were designed to fit together into a harmonious whole, but without some kind of skeleton, the whole thing would simply collapse upon itself.

It is pretty amazing to see the inner structure and all those weirdly shape braces on the skin.

Well yes...
No one in their right Victorian mind would have allowed anyone to erect such a hideous assault to the eye if they thought for a moment that the thing would be permanent scar on the skyline of the City of Lights.

Clearly. :rotfl2::rotfl2:

Ive got one more little bit of hidden detail; the broken shackles. As imagined, Liberty is actually walking and in doing so she is trodding over a set of broken leg irons...

I don't even remember seeing that when I was looking down from above. It's hard to get to those particular windows.

I just love watching the water and ships gliding along it.

In other news, the water is wet. :rotfl:

The decision was made that we ought to check out the gift shop (cause thats what tourists do by God)

Especially if you're exiting a Disney ride.

Well... classy for knick-knacks that is, but we found a very nice understated Christmas ornament that included the image of Lady Liberty and the year. We collect ornaments from our travels... they make fun memories and being as we pull them out every year, they give us reasons to stop and reminisce while decorating the house.

We do the same! We have a little Statue of Liberty decorating our tree as well. But it gets lost in all the Mickey ear ornaments. :thumbsup2

However, the idea of always pushing a deadline past is maximum safe limit is normal for her... so off she went. Being as the idea of always pushing a deadline past its maximum safe limit is something I avoid like the plague... her sister and I werent quite as enthusiastic.

I'm with you. I hate being late for anything. So I'll join you in virtual aggravation.

The renowned Staten Island Ferry is not one ship. There are currently eight of them in service making the round trip (that one there happens to be the MV Senator John J. Marchi). These ships are also the only form of public transportation in the area that is free. Yep... you pay not a single farthing, halfpenny, hay-penny or any other imaginable type of penny to board one of these ships. A round trip across the length of New York harbor and right by both of the oyster islands costs the thrifty tourist exactly bupkis. Thats something Im going to have to do the next time Im up there.

We've talked about taking that route into the city next time we feel up to the adventure that is visiting NYC. It's both cost-effective and scenic, so that makes it hard to beat. :thumbsup2

As the name would suggest, this was once a defensive position and it is still where youll find Castle Clinton...

Can you inhale there?

And start our walk into the heart of very old New York. The last bit of history we encountered before marching up Trinity was this rather battered bit of art...

Judging from the buildings in the background of the "old" picture, this is going to be a very sobering update.

afwdwfan
10-19-2012, 09:35 AM
Ive got one more little bit of hidden detail; the broken shackles. As imagined, Liberty is actually walking and in doing so she is trodding over a set of broken leg irons...
I'm actually not sure I ever knew about that detail...


Since the museum was closed the NPS has set up a mini-museum in the form of a tent that was designed to explain the restoration work being done. Unfortunately, it wasnt open at the time either...
:furious: Ain't that just your luck? :rotfl:


We were still cooling our heels. Just as the crew finished clearing the ship and opened the walkway for boarding... my SIL strolls up just as calm and casual as could be and asks if we were ready to head out. This kind of thing is normal for her and I do love the girl (bless her heart) but for Tamara and I, thats just far more stress that we really wanted to deal with.
I wouldn't have been too happy in that situation either. I'd have been tempted to just let her find her own way off the island if it came down to it. :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:

Interesting look at the engineering of the statue and the boat ride over to Manhattan. I'm sure the next update will have some very interesting bonus features to it as well.

FreezinRafiki
10-19-2012, 10:02 AM
http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-401.jpg
Look at Rob posting a dirty "up the skirt" picture. Sinner.

http://sharpiron.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/church_lady.jpg



but rather instead I think Ill use it to tell a couple of small stories and bury some more unnecessary details.


Cause... thats what I do.
And we'd expect nothing less.

I decided to do a bit of research about the bits that I could not see
hehehehehehehe "bits that I could not see'. sinner.


All of the beaten, pressed and molded copper plates were designed to fit together into a harmonious whole, but without some kind of skeleton, the whole thing would simply collapse upon itself.

What to do, what to do?
DUCT TAPE!!



Since the museum was closed the NPS has set up a mini-museum in the form of a tent that was designed to explain the restoration work being done. Unfortunately, it wasnt open at the time either.
Maybe they should have set up a table next to the tent next to the museum to explain why the tent that explained why the museum wasn't open wasn't open. Trust me, I did the math. That sentence is correct.

The decision was made that we ought to check out the gift shop (cause thats what tourists do by God) and then head back to the dock to meet up with the rest of the group.
So, you can actually avoid a gift shop if you choose? How very un-Disney of them.


My SIL had bought a couple of post cards and wanted to mail them to her son from the island so that theyd have the unique postmark on them. A nice idea, but we were running out of time. However, the idea of always pushing a deadline past is maximum safe limit is normal for her... so off she went.
Yes...Bless Her Heart. :mad:


The name then changed to Castle Garden and it has served over the years since in many capacities including stints as a beer garden, an exhibition hall, a theater and a public aquarium.
If that particular building was in Wisconsin, it never would have made it to the exhibition hall, theater or public aquarium stages of life.:drinking1

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-01-2012, 04:46 PM
I think Launcelot's tale is my favorite part of the whole movie.


That and the discussion on Swallows.



I think your research paid off. This is basically what you would have learned in the museum, anyway.


Good to know… But I still need to take Tamara back up there and see a number of different thing more thoroughly.



I don't even remember seeing that when I was looking down from above. It's hard to get to those particular windows.


That is one detail that I wish were more easily noticed.
It says much.



In other news, the water is wet. :rotfl:


Already know me well, do you. :rolleyes1



Especially if you're exiting a Disney ride.


There… it’s compulsory.
Here it was a distinct (and possibly foolish) choice on our part.



We do the same! We have a little Statue of Liberty decorating our tree as well. But it gets lost in all the Mickey ear ornaments. :thumbsup2


That can be a problem. We’ve taken to having multiple trees in the house to accommodate the various collections. :lmao:



I'm with you. I hate being late for anything. So I'll join you in virtual aggravation.


We live by the rule: if you’re on time… you’re late.
Nearly all my friends and a fair number of relatives however, work under the premise of: schedules are for others, surely they don’t mean me!



We've talked about taking that route into the city next time we feel up to the adventure that is visiting NYC. It's both cost-effective and scenic, so that makes it hard to beat. :thumbsup2


And it would have to be easier to park a car on Staten Island then it would be in Manhattan.



Can you inhale there?


Wrong Clinton, but I’ll leave the choice up to you.



Judging from the buildings in the background of the "old" picture, this is going to be a very sobering update.


::yes::
I found it to be so.





I'm actually not sure I ever knew about that detail...


As my daddy said to me more times then I can count…
Ya’ learn something new every day if you’re not careful.



:furious: Ain't that just your luck? :rotfl:


I win a few… that one I lost.



I wouldn't have been too happy in that situation either. I'd have been tempted to just let her find her own way off the island if it came down to it. :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:



The thought did occur… but internal family strife is not in my best interest.
Now if we were to move about 500 hundred miles farther south where visits would be far less frequent (and a perfect place of refuge would be redialy available with the purchase of APs), that’d be a different story.



Interesting look at the engineering of the statue and the boat ride over to Manhattan. I'm sure the next update will have some very interesting bonus features to it as well.


Not as many as I might have originally liked.

I decided to have this done by the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and I’ve run into a lot of things that are requiring more and more of my time. :sad2:





Look at Rob posting a dirty "up the skirt" picture. Sinner.

http://sharpiron.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/church_lady.jpg


:lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao: :rotfl2:
Only you’d see it that way…



And we'd expect nothing less.


but no one expects the Spanish Inquisition…

http://rationalwiki.org/w/images/0/05/NOBODY_EXPECTS_THE_SPANISH_INQUISITION!.jpg



hehehehehehehe "bits that I could not see'. sinner.


I strung together a group of words.
You supplied the image all by yourself. :rolleyes1



DUCT TAPE!!


Had it been available at the time…
I suspect it would have been tried. :rotfl2:



Maybe they should have set up a table next to the tent next to the museum to explain why the tent that explained why the museum wasn't open wasn't open. Trust me, I did the math. That sentence is correct.


I should trust you math skills?
That would be in my best interest, how exactly?



So, you can actually avoid a gift shop if you choose? How very un-Disney of them.


When they move the statue down to Florida…
I’m sure that unnatural condition will be rectified very quickly.



Yes...Bless Her Heart. :mad:


And it needs to be blessed and blessed often. :rolleyes:



If that particular building was in Wisconsin, it never would have made it to the exhibition hall, theater or public aquarium stages of life.:drinking1


You math skills I’ll question. That last sentence…


I’ll accept that unconditionally.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-01-2012, 06:01 PM
Chapter 5: Remembrances (Day 5)




Part 5: Reflecting Absence







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-501.jpg





It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since I last spoke to y’all. I could bore you with details, but I’m already boring you with details from something that happened nearly a year ago as it is. Piling more on top just seems to be inhumane. So in the interest of peace and harmony amongst my fellow humans, I believe I’ll just start back up right where I left off.


Right here…



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Sphere





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-502.jpg




At the west edge of Battery Park there is a temporary display of a piece of public art. The name of this statue is “The Sphere”. It is a 25 feet high bronze created by German sculptor Fritz Koenig, and was meant to symbolize world peace through world trade. That should be more than enough clues to place this piece in the context of recent history. The work originally stood in the middle of Austin J. Tobin Plaza, the area between the World Trade Center towers. After the process of clearing the ruble left from the tragedies of 2001, this was one of only a couple of artifacts that remained relatively intact.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-503.jpg



The damage is unmistakable, but it is almost miraculous that it was recovered in any recognizable condition at all. When asked in what way his feelings about the piece may have changed Koenig said:

"It was a sculpture, now it's a monument…
It now has a different beauty, one I could never imagine.
It has its own life – different from the one I gave to it."


That it does.


I said that this is its temporary home. No decision has been finalized for the ultimate fate of this work, but I hope that the city finds a more permanent place to maintain it. It’s more of a statement of resilience and recovery now and a fitting symbol.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Corner of Greenwich and Liberty




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-504.jpg



Just about a month before we had arrived in New York, the city had opened a new monument on the grounds of a previous tragedy. The scars (seen and unseen) and internal feelings that go along with the events of September 11, 2001 are still quite fresh to most of us. They are especially strong for the folks that live and work in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. To be respectful to everyone, I’m not going to go into great detail on what happened, or what decisions were made or any other major historical details at this time. My intention is to let you see what we saw, and then to let you take from that whatever you want or need to take.





From Battery Park our ponderous group started out on a short unguided walking tour of a small piece of the financial district. As we’d done all week when a longish walk was required to reach our next destination, everyone one gathered into groups by bus number, lined up by ones and tows, and headed off in a long train toward a new destination. Our penchant for doing this nearly always prompted interesting comments from the locals we encountered. They would attempt with varying degrees of success to determine just what the heck was going on that such a long procession of people would be clogging up their often narrow streets like lemmings headed for a cliff. Here are some of the folks from Bus-4 starting off toward Trinity and Church Streets….


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-505.jpg


The first “sight” we encountered on this tour was once a mundane structure that has now become quite the attraction for bus tours and movie buffs alike;

MIB Headquarters…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-506.jpg



Hopefully, they're not Code-101 right now.



What you’re actually looking at here though is a building that houses part of the ventilator systems for the Brooklyn – Battery Tunnel. Here’s a look at the back side where it sits directly above the western entrance to the tunnel.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-507.jpg



From there our train continued along Church Street, which got its name honestly.

This is where you’ll find Trinity Church…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-508.jpg



…one of the oldest and most important churches in town. When the current building was completed in the 1840s its steeple was by far the tallest structure on the island and would remain so for better than fifty years…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-509.jpg



The walking train continued up Church Street until we got to the narrow cross street of Thames. This, at the time, was where you’d gather before being allowed to enter the 9/11 Memorial.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-510.jpg



And yes… the majority of that mass of people was our group. We were waiting for our 4:00 entry time. To control the number of folks in the new park, you have to get a timed ticket for entry. They are also very strict about searching every one before allowing you on the grounds. Like the process for the Liberty Island boats, everyone was screened but even more thoroughly than before. If something was left in a pocket or a belt was left on, or a bit of metal was attached to a garment (including under-wires in the ladies bras... seriously), there was cause for great concern followed by additional and diligent inspection. Finally, we were allowed into the mostly completed memorial gardens.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-511.jpg





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Memorial




Once everyone was accounted for, we were given free reign of the park. I had no idea what to expect, as rather uncharacteristically I’d not researched this part of the trip at all. I knew that there was plan to use the original foot print of the two towers to create a water feature, but that was all.

Let me say that the result was both spectacular and moving…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-512.jpg



That is the fountain for the North Tower. The city asked architects, artists and designers to submit ideas for how best to respectfully re-imagine the main area of the WTC. After extensive reviews by a number of panels an idea created by American architect Michael Arad was chosen. Titled: "Reflecting Absence", the design called for two pools within the footprints of the Twin Towers. Each 1-acre pool is recessed into one of the original lower basement levels and is fed by waterfalls cascading down their sides. The water then makes its way to the center of each pool and cascades again to a lower level that cannot be seen directly by the viewer.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-513.jpg



These are currently the largest man-made waterfalls in the United States and the sound of the falling water is intended to drown out the harsher sounds of the city, making the site a contemplative sanctuary. The design works very well, and when you are here...

contemplation comes naturally.


The next major feature is the names. The names of all individuals lost that day are inscribed on 76 bronze plates attached to the parapet walls which form the edges of the two memorial pools.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-514.jpg



I caught Max on his own for a moment as he was considering the memorial.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-515.jpg



He rejoined his friends as they were reading the names and breathing in the view of the expansive sheets of water falling down the sides of what was the base for the south tower.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-516.jpg



Images stolen, I left them to experience the memorial in their own way. Letting go is tough for parents, but it’s also the most important job we have (which kind'a stinks). At this point he was just one year short of being declared an adult. Time to build his own experiences amongst his own peers is now more important than my desire to know exactly what he thought or how it affected him. It is also interesting to consider that when the events commemorated by these waters actually occurred, the oldest of these kids here had only just begun the second grade. Their understanding of it is almost exclusively from a historical perspective. And yet, it seems that all of them were very much moved by our visit to this memorial. That speaks well for the intent and work done to create this place of remembrance.


There is also a museum being built on the site…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-517.jpg



...but it was not yet open. Unfortunately, as of this writing it still has not been opened but I am hopeful that this will be corrected I the near future.

We stayed in the memorial garden until just after sunset and the change in light showed many different sides of the pools and grounds. I believe I’ll leave you with several more images from the memorial. I’ll also hush up for a bit and let you do the thinking and considering for a while.




http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-518.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-519.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-520.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-521.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-522.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-523.jpg



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-524.jpg









Next up: The kids take the square…

afwdwfan
11-02-2012, 10:25 AM
As silent contemplation is the best way to take in that memorial, it is also my only response to this update and the pictures.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-02-2012, 10:46 AM
As silent contemplation is the best way to take in that memorial, it is also my only response to this update and the pictures.

Agreed and thanks Andy.

I had to think for a long time about how best to show this part of the trip.
It was one of the most important experiences and I hope I gave it proper respect.

FreezinRafiki
11-02-2012, 11:16 AM
Images stolen, I left them to experience the memorial in their own way. Letting go is tough for parents, but it’s also the most important job we have. At this point he was just one year short of being declared an adult. Time to build his own experiences amongst his own peers is now more important then my desire to know exactly what he thought or how it affected him. It is also interesting to consider that when the events commemorated by these waters actually occurred, the oldest of these kids here had only just begun the second grade. Their understanding of it is almost exclusively from a historical perspective. And yet, it seems that all of them were very much moved by our visit to this memorial. That speaks well for the intent and work done to create this place of remembrance.


I was hoping you'd touch on that aspect of the memorial - that there was a significant percentage of your traveling party that experienced this a whole lot differently than most of us.

Captain_Oblivious
11-02-2012, 12:35 PM
Images stolen, I left them to experience the memorial in their own way. Letting go is tough for parents, but it’s also the most important job we have. At this point he was just one year short of being declared an adult. Time to build his own experiences amongst his own peers is now more important then my desire to know exactly what he thought or how it affected him. It is also interesting to consider that when the events commemorated by these waters actually occurred, the oldest of these kids here had only just begun the second grade. Their understanding of it is almost exclusively from a historical perspective. And yet, it seems that all of them were very much moved by our visit to this memorial. That speaks well for the intent and work done to create this place of remembrance.

Well said, Rob. Thanks for the pictures and description. The memorial looks like a fitting reminder of a horrible day.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-02-2012, 03:47 PM
I was hoping you'd touch on that aspect of the memorial - that there was a significant percentage of your traveling party that experienced this a whole lot differently than most of us.

Well said, Rob. Thanks for the pictures and description. The memorial looks like a fitting reminder of a horrible day.

Thanks guys,
first for reading and for commenting.


Max was just a couple of weeks into the first grade the morning when the towers collapsed. The decision was made that for kids that young; it wasn’t the place of the school to go into the events in any detail. I believe the kids were fully aware that something bad had happened and that the teachers in particular were rather upset, but it was left to the parents (as it should have been) to work through it with them. We also felt that generalities were all that my overly sensitive six-year-old needed at the time. That being the case, Max learned the greater details over time both at home and at school and therefore sees that day more historically.

Given that similar back ground for all of the kids on this trip I was interested to see how they’d react. To a person, I believe that every one of them could feel the immense gravity of the place where we were walking. And every one of them behaved as dignified ladies and gentlemen while we were there. Watching them conduct themselves so gracefully and also seeing that they were all trying to work out what they were seeing against what they’d been taught was very satisfying.



Watching your kids “become” (as my momma use to explain it) is both exhilarating and terrifying.

If you do it right, you’ll suffer terribly from the apparent loss or your priceless and adorable children…

but you get to witness the building of very fine adults.

We have them for so short a time, but the world is shaped by them for decades and even centuries to come.

Wherem I Now
11-02-2012, 11:12 PM
Well done update. Thanks for sharing this.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-19-2012, 04:58 PM
Chapter 5: Remembrances (Day 5)




Part 6: The Last Hurrah







http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-601.jpg





We had run out of daylight and tomorrow our adventure was ending. Fairly early in the morning we’d be headed back home to start new adventures (just at a slower pace). Those were bittersweet facts, but we still had an evening on the town ahead of us. It’s a little like watching the fireworks after the ball game (or “Wishes” after a day at the MK for that matter). We were basically done, but there was still just a little bit more entertainment on the horizon.


So let’s chase that horizon, what say?




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Back to Midtown




We stayed at the 9/11 Memorial a bit longer then first anticipated. This was not a problem, it just takes a while to maneuver a fleet of busses… excuse me, coaches… through downtown Manhattan. Once they had arrived on the scene, the whole group quietly exited the memorial via the reverse route from which we arrived and loaded ‘em up.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-602.jpg



Our next destination was just too far off to walk easily, and the heat on the buses was a welcome arrival since the sun had fully set by now.

A little maneuvering, a couple of turns, a score or so of traffic lights to wait through and it was dinnertime.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-603.jpg



This place is actually another chain restaurant. As I said before, we had different priorities, so finding the perfect and memorable New York City dining experience just wasn’t in the cards.

So, was the food here fabulous?

Well, no…

but it was quite good, and they set up a nice all you care to have buffet…
and (most importantly) they could seat 300 guests at a crack on a single reservation.

This is also the only time all week when I had a bit more to eat then I really ought to have. Buffets will do that to you.


Next stop: Times Square





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Long Acre




Now this was actually going to be a fairly short update at first, so it seemed like a good spot to stick in a mini bonus feature.

That being the case…
that’s what you’ll get
(assuming you don’t skip on ahead that is).


I’ve actually discussed a bit of the square’s history a little ways back in this particular TR update right here…



The Fruits of Other's Labors... ( http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44293416&postcount=112)



But I want to touch on a different aspect of it now. First a little set up for those that have no intention of going back to read the prior update…

Times Square is basically the point where Broadway crosses over Seventh Avenue and officially stretches from 42nd to 47th Streets. In the nineteenth century the area was the hub of the cities manufactures of high-end carriages and was named Longacre Square.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-605.jpg



The name was in homage to a similar section of London known for producing the same high-end product. That changed in 1904 after the compellation of this little bit of architecture…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-606.jpg



Dubbed the New York Times Building, or simply as the Times Tower, this 25 story skyscraper at 42nd Street and Broadway was the second tallest building in Manhattan when it opened. Technically, the address of the place should be 1475 Broadway, but right after the owners got the city father to rename the square in their honor, they also got the official address changed to One Times Square.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-607.jpg



New Year’s Eve was first celebrated here in 1903 even before he building was finished. Fireworks were shot from the roof top for all that cared to watch. The event for which the area is most famous though first occurred in 1908 when the Time’s editor decided to expand on a common practice along the dockyards of lowering a “time ball” built around a roof top pole to mark certain hours of the day. They just lit the contraption internally, performed the stunt at night and marked the passing of the year at midnight (finally explaining what connection a glittering ball has with the marking of time).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-608.jpg



The square has been a New York gathering spot for momentous events for some time now. Folks would gather to wait for news of the blow-by-blow action of the latest Dempsey fight, or to hear the play-by-play account of the World Series.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-609.jpg



And to mark and otherwise celebrate any other marginally noteworthy event that may have spring up along our national time line …



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-610.jpg



Interestingly, the building for which this square is named still resides in the exact same spot, but you’d have a hard time telling it. All of the stone work has since been removed and now it's really just a massive billboard. Not that this is a bad thing necessarily. The revenue derived from the various bits of signage are so great that there are no longer any actual tenants within the building itself (except for the retail space on the lower couple of floors).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-611.jpg



The digital signs are considered to be the most valuable in the world and can be rented by anyone so inclined for as little as $10,000 per hour.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Taking the Square




After dinner we had one last item on the agenda.


A photograph.


Not just any photograph mind you, we were going to walk over to Times Square and get a professional shot of the entire band on the Square amongst all the hustle, bustle and bright lights of the city. So after dinner, we did what we’d done most of the week. We started walking. One long train from 42nd, down 8th Ave to 46th and then onto Broadway smack in the middle of the pedestrian center of the square itself…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-604.jpg



From here everyone was on their own for the next couple of hours. Well… not the kids at first, they had something else on the agenda. For those of us traveling with them it was time to get out of the way, let them have their last moment on the stage and find something different with which to entertain ourselves. It didn’t take long for me to find a small spot on the square that perfectly fit that bill…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-612.jpg



Well, well, imagine that… Disney made an appearance on a New York street. Actually, it’s the Disney folks that are partly responsible for revitalizing what had become a rather seedy area. It also gave the fairly jaded locals something to sneer at. Midtown and Times Square in particular are considered to be tourist central and a “true city dweller” wouldn’t be seen here.

Ehhh… their loss.

Does the area scream “NYC? No, but to the rest of the world, it certainly screams “America”. So what was on the inside? Well, other than a fairly cool carousel for mannequins and stuffed animals…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-613.jpg



It looked like the inside of every other Disney gift shop. But I was able to get me a shirt from the closeout bin for less than a sandwich would have cost on the streets.

Next on the agenda…

Cheesecake!
(the desert, not the photo-genre)


There’s a dinner on 45th just off the square that is renowned for the stuff: Juniors of Brooklyn (obviously this is the tourist version of the original in Flatbush)



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-615.jpg



It may be a dinner and that part of the business takes up most of the space, but the little take-out shop beside the dining room is the place to be in the evenings. So renowned are the goodies here that on this average Friday evening the line was out the door. All the directors and staff were buying entire cakes to bring back home. That was enough for me to give it a shot. We got a couple of slices and found a table in front of the shop to nibble. One bite in and we were back in line buying a couple of whole cakes to bring bank home as well. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend the stuff.

After leisurely enjoying our ill-gotten gains we were basically done for the evening. The plan was to head back to the square, and find the spot where all the rest of the folks from Bus-4 were gathering…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-617.jpg



Once a head count of the kids was done we started out in our usual single file and “marched” off the square and back toward the bus pick up. As usual, the overly organized stream of people on the move turned a lot of heads as the locals and tourists alike were trying to figure out what was going on. At one point we passed by a cop on horseback that was at first chatting up some of the other tourists, but was now intently watching us back trying to figure it out. Right about the time I walked by the officer and his noble steed, he hollered out: “Ohhhhh… all you guys must be one of the bands from the parade yesterday!” We gave a little shout to introduce ourselves and let him know that he had it right. The group of folks around him gave us back a hoot and a small round of applause. One last fun moment before we boarded the buses and headed back to Jersey…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-619.jpg



That was that.


We’d seen all of New York that we were going to see this time around. I think everyone was ready for bed by now (especially as we had a long ride ahead of us in the morning). But it was still a lot of fun to the roam the streets gawking at all the over the top billboards and electronic eye candy (both inside and outside the various shops). One last hurrah and one last chance to collect up a few bits of brick-a-brack and otherwise unnecessary souvenirs. Well… not all of them were unnecessary. The one we had stopped on the square to get in the first place was most certainly worth the trip and it’s one that y’all have already seen before (you just probably don’t remember it from all the way back on page one of this mess). That would be this one right here…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3A1-001.jpg



If you ask me… that’s one fine looking bunch of young’ens right there.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Long Road Home





http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-620.jpg



Our last sunrise view of the Gotham skyline…


At one point this section might have been an update unto itself. But after a bit of consideration there are really only a couple of points about the ride home that are really worth discussing. One of them would be the delay.

The plan for the day was to be up early and get on the road. All the gear was already packed up and all that needed to happen was to serve everyone a bit of breakfast and throw the luggage in the last empty compartments. Fate had other plans though.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/NY00-007.jpg



The rear tire on Bus-1 that had given us trouble earlier in the week, gave out completely. We had to call folks in to replace it before heading out. That cost us about an hour and half of daylight (and a few more big bucks). To make up the time we skipped several of the rest stops along the way back.

Ehhh… Could have been worse.

For the rest of the day, my basic view of the world was pretty close to this one…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-621.jpg



There’s not much to look at along most of the Interstate System. There were a couple of films on the monitors, but nothing as entertaining as say… a Disney flick. At one point there was an attempted Coup d'état amongst the guys to get a decent football picked up off the satellite antenna tossed onto the screens. The women folk put a quick stop to that one. In retaliation for such an egregious act, they demonstrated their absolute authority by running a DVD of “The Devil Wears Prada”.



“Respect my authoritah!”


Point made… now the monotonous landscape passing by my window was far more entertaining. Actually the sunset along the Virginia highlands was spectacular.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-622.jpg



That image doesn’t do it justice, but still…


There was one other significant event. Significant to simple country hicks like us that is.

Once we finally crossed back into South Carolina and were literally less than five miles from home, all the busses pulled into the Welcome Center just past the state line. I was told later by some of the chaperones that the kids started questioning this turn of events demanding (rather emphatically) to know what was up. The Director said back to them: “Well… If you stop you’re complaining I’ll show you what you missed out on a couple of weeks ago”. Now, a couple of weeks ago, these same kids had succeeded in winning their third consecutive state marching band championship. As much fun as this whole trip had been, it didn’t compare to the excitement of that accomplishment. Really, this had just been the icing on the cake for all the hard work done so far that year. What they missed out on though was a proper small town police escort back into the city afterward. It seems that there were two separate fires and several active police calls going on when we got back home late that evening (something do take priority over the revelry of youth… not much, but some). As such, the city vehicles were somewhat busy. No big deal, but all concerned decided that what needed to be done was to give the kids an official escort along the last few miles home after their triumphant return from the big city.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-623.jpg



Yah… that’s a crappy picture of the commotion going on ahead of us, but you get the idea. Call us simple country folk, but that was actually quite exciting. A couple of squad cars lead the way and fire engines took up position between each bus. Lights flashing, and sirens blearing, we made quite the ruckus for the last few miles of the trip. As the procession pulled onto school property, all the waiting parents set off their car alarms and start honking on the horns. If you lived anywhere near the school, you weren’t going to be getting back to sleep for a while.

Just look at us bumpkins. We’d done spent a week in one of the most glamorous and cosmopolitan cities on Earth, and were we are all excited about a small town police escort.



Silly us…







Next up: I’ll finally wrap this entire disaster of a TR up in just one post…

“Really!”

Wherem I Now
11-20-2012, 06:15 PM
So, You gonna finish this off at about the one year mark aren't ya? I wonder how many of those kids will be sitting in front of the TV on Thursday saying "that was me last year".


This place is actually another chain restaurant. As I said before, we had different priorities, so finding the perfect and memorable New York City dining experience just wasn’t in the cards.

So, was the food here fabulous?

Well, no…

but it was quite good, and they set up a nice all you care to have buffet…
and (most importantly) they could seat 300 guests at a crack on a single reservation.

This is also the only time all week when I had a bit more to eat then I really ought to have. Buffets will do that to you.

I've never had a bad meal at a Chevy's. Bad service yes, but not a bad meal.


Interestingly, the building for which the square is named still resides in the exact same spot, but you’d have a hard time telling it. All of the stone work as since been removed and it really now just a massive billboard. Not that this is a bad thing. The revenue derived from the various bits of signage are so great that there are no longer any tenants within the building itself (except for the retail space on the lower couple of floors).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-611.jpg

Seems that not having any tenants in the upper floors is quite a waste of valuable space. Maybe all of the signage blocks the windows and therefore the fire escapes.


After dinner we had one last item on the agenda.

A photograph.

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3A1-001.jpg


If you ask me… that’s one fine looking bunch of young’ens right there.


:thumbsup2 That's one that those kids (and some proud parents) will have up on the wall for years.

Actually the sunset along the Virginia highlands was spectacular.

:wave:

No big deal, but all concerned decided that what needed to be done was to give the kids an official escort along the last few miles home after their triumphant return from the big city.


That's an awesome welcome home! :cool1:

Captain_Oblivious
11-21-2012, 10:12 AM
So let’s chase that horizon, what say?

Bring me that horizon!

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D5-603.jpg

You're eating cars for dinner?:confused3

This place is actually another chain restaurant. As I said before, we had different priorities, so finding the perfect and memorable New York City dining experience just wasn’t in the cards.

Never eaten here (or heard of it, actually). But the phrase "all-you-can-eat-buffet" is basically magic words to me.

New Years Eve was first celebrated here in 1903 even before he building was finished. Fireworks were shot from the roof top for all that cared to watch. The event for which the area is most famous though first occurred in 1908 when the Time’s editor decided to expand on a common practice along the dockyards of lowering a “time ball” built around a roof top pole to mark certain hours of the day. They just lit the contraption internally, performed the stunt at night and marked the passing of the year at midnight (finally explaining what connection a glittering ball has with the marking of time).

Thanks for explaining this. I never knew why they had settled on a big ball dropping.

The square has been a New York gathering spot for momentous events for some time now. Folks would gather to wait for news of the blow-by-blow action of the latest Dempsey fight, or to hear the play-by-play account of the World Series.

So I see it's always been this crowded.

Interestingly, the building for which the square is named still resides in the exact same spot, but you’d have a hard time telling it. All of the stone work as since been removed and it really now just a massive billboard. Not that this is a bad thing. The revenue derived from the various bits of signage are so great that there are no longer any tenants within the building itself (except for the retail space on the lower couple of floors).

Shame. Looks like it was a beautiful building. It's interesting that there are no tenants. Seems like a waste of space.

The digital signs are considered to be the most valuable in the world and can be rented by anyone so inclined for as little as $10,000 per hour.

That works out to about $2.78/second, so I could probably shell out for a good 3 seconds of advertising. I'll have to see if that's in the marketing budget for Cinematic Recording Arts Productions.

It didn’t take long for me to find a small spot on the square that perfectly fit that bill…

Good choice.

It also gave the fairly jaded locals something to sneer at. Midtown and Times Square in particular are considered to be tourist central and a “true city dweller” wouldn’t be seen here. Ehhh… their loss. Does the area scream “NYC?

Actually, I think it does. Nowhere else in America do you see a place like that.

It looked like the inside of every other Disney gift shop. But I was able to get me a shirt from the closeout bin for less then a sandwich would have cost on the streets.

:thumbsup2

One bite in and we were back in line buying a couple of whole cakes to bring bank home as well. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend the stuff.

Any particular flavor? And did they use cream cheese or ricotta? I've tried ricotta cheesecake at some Italian places and...:crazy2:

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3A1-001.jpg


If you ask me… that’s one fine looking bunch of young’ens right there.

Agreed. It's a great shot! :thumbsup2

There’s not much to look at along most of the Interstate System.

Probably because you skipped Delaware again, didn't you?

At one point there was an attempted Coup d'état amongst the guys to get a decent football picked up off the satellite antenna tossed onto the screens.

:woohoo::cool1::banana:

The women folk put a quick stop to that one. In retaliation for such an egregious act, they demonstrated their absolute authority by running a DVD of “The Devil Wears Prada”.

:sad2: What happened to equal time? Hopefully this was followed by a screening of Commando.

Actually the sunset along the Virginia highlands was spectacular.

Looks beautiful.

What they missed out on though was a proper small town police escort back into the city afterward. It seems that there were two separate fires and several active police calls going on when we got back home late that evening (some thing do take priority over the revelry of youth… not much, but some). As such, the city vehicles were somewhat busy. No big deal, but all concerned decided that what needed to be done was to give the kids an official escort along the last few miles home after their triumphant return from the big city.

Very cool!

afwdwfan
11-21-2012, 11:32 AM
It’s a little like watching the fireworks after the ball game (or “Wishes” after a day at the MK for that matter). We were basically done, but there was still just a little bit more entertainment on the horizon.
And those little moments are sometimes some of the best and most memorable.


This is also the only time all week when I had a bit more to eat then I really ought to have. Buffets will do that to you.
Well, the American English translation of the word buffet is actually "challenge." Not many people know that.


I’ve actually discussed a bit of the square’s history a little ways back in this particular TR update right here…
I think I vaguely remember something about Times Square being mentioned a long, long, long time ago.



The event for which the area is most famous though first occurred in 1908 when the Time’s editor decided to expand on a common practice along the dockyards of lowering a “time ball” built around a roof top pole to mark certain hours of the day. They just lit the contraption internally, performed the stunt at night and marked the passing of the year at midnight (finally explaining what connection a glittering ball has with the marking of time).
And here's what I learned today. :rotfl2:


The revenue derived from the various bits of signage are so great that there are no longer any tenants within the building itself (except for the retail space on the lower couple of floors).
I'm definitely curious about this one... why isn't it in use? As valuable as real estate is in that city, I can't believe that they'd just let a building sit idle, regardless of how valuable its facade is, unless there's a really good reason.


The digital signs are considered to be the most valuable in the world and can be rented by anyone so inclined for as little as $10,000 per hour.
Think we can find a mysterious benefactor to scrape together that kind of change to air a live broadcast of the live Disdads podcast recording at the convention?:confused3


But I was able to get me a shirt from the closeout bin for less then a sandwich would have cost on the streets.
A Disney shirt for cheaper than a sandwich??? How does anyone afford to eat in NYC????? :scared1:


One bite in and we were back in line buying a couple of whole cakes to bring bank home as well. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend the stuff.
Love a good cake. Like Mark, I'd like to know what kind you had.


After leisurely enjoying our ill-gotten gains we were basically done for the evening.
Ill-gotten??? Did you "forget" to pay?


If you ask me… that’s one fine looking bunch of young’ens right there.
::yes::


At one point there was an attempted Coup d'état amongst the guys to get a decent football picked up off the satellite antenna tossed onto the screens. The women folk put a quick stop to that one. In retaliation for such an egregious act, they demonstrated their absolute authority by running a DVD of “The Devil Wears Prada”.
:scared1: :faint:


A couple of squad cars lead the way and fire engines took up position between each bus. Lights flashing, and sirens blearing, we made quite the ruckus for the last few miles of the trip.
Cool experience. I'm sure the kids enjoyed it.


As the procession pulled onto school property, all the waiting parents set off their car alarms and start honking on the horns.
Well, you keep talking about country bumpkins and everything, but it can't be all that backwoods and redneck if there are car alarms to be set off! :lmao:

afwdwfan
11-21-2012, 11:35 AM
You're eating cars for dinner?:confused3

No, it's named after the comedian, not the car.

Their signature dish is a dry turkey jerky, but they have a really good jello for dessert and I've heard they serve squirrel now. :rolleyes1

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-23-2012, 04:39 PM
So, You gonna finish this off at about the one year mark aren't ya? I wonder how many of those kids will be sitting in front of the TV on Thursday saying "that was me last year".


That’s the plan. We’ll see if I can pull it off.
As for those watching this years parade …
Hard to say (but I know we had it on the telle while enjoying a little bit of brunch)



I've never had a bad meal at a Chevy's. Bad service yes, but not a bad meal.


Something to consider. The place was an unknown to us as there aren’t any example of it in the area. Like I said, the food was good, just not over the top good. Bad service however… that’d make me think twice before going back.



Seems that not having any tenants in the upper floors is quite a waste of valuable space. Maybe all of the signage blocks the windows and therefore the fire escapes.


The story goes that they make so much from the billboards that they don’t need the tenant income. There is also a secondary problem. The upper floors aren’t centrally air-conditioned. That upgrade was never put in since the bulk of the renter moved out years ago, and now it would be pricey to correct for no more additional income then it would generate. Or so say a couple of the articles that I based the feature on.



:thumbsup2 That's one that those kids (and some proud parents) will have up on the wall for years.


::yes::



:wave:


That was along I-87 crossing through the Shenandoah valley. We weren’t too far from where you call home



That's an awesome welcome home! :cool1:



The kids got a kick out if it.
Awwww, who am I kiddin’… the “grown-ups” did too.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-23-2012, 04:44 PM
Bring me that horizon!


Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!



You're eating cars for dinner?:confused3


No… I was eating burritos, but I’ve heard of a fellow that tried to eat a jeep to prove that he was too crazy to be in the army.



Never eaten here (or heard of it, actually). But the phrase "all-you-can-eat-buffet" is basically magic words to me.


All-you-can-eat is a powerful siren call. We actually went out for a similar buffet for Thanksgiving yesterday. That was also tasty, and I didn’t have to clean either the house or the dishes. That is also high of my list of magical things.




Thanks for explaining this. I never knew why they had settled on a big ball dropping.


I wandered about it myself… thus the real reason behind that mini-bonus feature. I’d heard of the “time ball” used to communicate between docks and he ships entering and leaving a port, but I never put two and two together to understand the New Year’s tradition until now.



So I see it's always been this crowded.


It seems so…
And more so in the past then now.



Shame. Looks like it was a beautiful building. It's interesting that there are no tenants. Seems like a waste of space.


They make so much form the advertising that the only tenant is the “ball” that they’ll be dropping in a few weeks.



That works out to about $2.78/second, so I could probably shell out for a good 3 seconds of advertising. I'll have to see if that's in the marketing budget for Cinematic Recording Arts Productions.



Let us know when you’re planning on launching that photo blitz. We might have to get a bunch of the dad’s up there to see if we can determine exactly when it occurs.



Actually, I think it does. Nowhere else in America do you see a place like that.


Your closer to right then they are.
Like I said they’re busy being fashionably jaded.



Any particular flavor? And did they use cream cheese or ricotta? I've tried ricotta cheesecake at some Italian places and...:crazy2:


They’re all the traditional cream cheese verity. As for flavors, I’m sure that they have a number of good ones, but I wasn’t paying attention to those verities. When I order up a cheesecake, I go after the real thing; the original unadulterated Yiddish artifact. Yummmmm….


Probably because you skipped Delaware again, didn't you?


I didn’t get to choose the route, so I’m pretty sure that we made a hard right just before getting to that particular boarder.



:sad2: What happened to equal time? Hopefully this was followed by a screening of Commando.


“Hope is a dangerous thing. Drive a man insane. It's got no place here. Better get used to the idea.”


Very cool!


Everyone should experience a police escort at least once.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-23-2012, 04:49 PM
And those little moments are sometimes some of the best and most memorable.



Feeling a bit philosophical are we?
And you’ve forced me to once again agree with my nemesis.
Nicely played.



Well, the American English translation of the word buffet is actually "challenge." Not many people know that.


I’ll be sure to tuck that little detail into my next bonus feature.
Oh…I’ll be sure to credit you of course.



I think I vaguely remember something about Times Square being mentioned a long, long, long time ago.


What a long strange trip it’s been…
But it almost over now so you can breath a sigh of relief.



And here's what I learned today. :rotfl2:


Glad to be of service.
There’s apparently not enough useless crap rolling around in your noggin, so I’m attempting to rectify the situation.



I'm definitely curious about this one... why isn't it in use? As valuable as real estate is in that city, I can't believe that they'd just let a building sit idle, regardless of how valuable its facade is, unless there's a really good reason.


The profit form the signs is really that good…
And they don’t have to upgrade the interior or field complaints from the tenants.
Signs don’t complain much



Think we can find a mysterious benefactor to scrape together that kind of change to air a live broadcast of the live Disdads podcast recording at the convention?:confused3


It’s a fine goal to be sure…
Not in my budget, but still a fine goal.



A Disney shirt for cheaper than a sandwich??? How does anyone afford to eat in NYC????? :scared1:


That’s a good question.
At this time though, I don’t have a good answer,
But it’s a good question.



Love a good cake. Like Mark, I'd like to know what kind you had.


The real stuff. Traditional with no toppings.
Real cheesecake don’t need ‘em.


Ill-gotten??? Did you "forget" to pay?


Oh I paid for them.
In many ways to be sure…




Cool experience. I'm sure the kids enjoyed it.


Probably. Being teenagers they were a bit blaze about it when questioned afterward.
The adults however were as giddy as little girls at a slumber party.


Well, you keep talking about country bumpkins and everything, but it can't be all that backwoods and redneck if there are car alarms to be set off! :lmao:


Oh I forgot to mention that the alarms were really just a mixture of barking dogs, cowbells, and the odd shotgun being fired into the air.

Does that bring it back into perspective?

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-23-2012, 05:23 PM
Chapter 6: A Whole Different Animal…








http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-101.jpg





I was and am quite thankful. Thankful that we had the chance to travel to New York; thankful that our kids got to be part of a iconic national event; thankful for the many unique experiences that we’d had through the entire year; but mostly, I was thankful that we had traveled back home on Saturday. That gave me at least one day to convalesce before having to go straight back to work. And that’s a good thing because I wasn’t even worth shooting the next morning.

First off I was dealing with fairly nasty cold that had started to manifest itself on the long ride home (that wasn’t much fun). But mostly I was just beat from the extreme and rambling schedule that the trip had required. Most everyone in our house spent the better part of Sunday in our own familiar, comfortable beds (something else you tend to miss while traveling).

But even still…
Monday was upon us before we knew it and it was back to the regular grind.


Well… not exactly.


There was one more minor event on the calendar that demanded the attention of our little high school band.

A parade…


What!?!?!? Another Parade!?!?!?
Isn’t that where we came into to this D-Grade excuse for a TR in the first place!


NOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo……….



Oh yes Virginia, and it gets worse.
It’s a small town parade.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
No Place Like Home




I want to welcome y’all to our hometown.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-103.jpg



I actually moved around a good bit in my early youth, but I’ve been in this particular county since the bicentennial and this little town is the only home my son has ever known. Since you took time to drop in, let me show y’all around a bit.

Here’s the memorial park (every southern town has some variation on this theme)…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-104.jpg



And another ubiquitous small town feature: the rail line running smack through (but no longer making stops within) downtown…

Followed immediately by the pièce de résistance… Main Street!



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-105.jpg



All two blocks of it.

Yep…
I said two blocks.

You see that ugly, multicolored, flowery looking thingy at the top of the hill on the far left of that last image? That questionable bit of public art marks the northeast end of the street and the railhead at the bottom of the hill is the southwestern terminus of our glorious rendition of Broadway.

That’s it, there ain’t no more.


Now, we do have a few “major” monuments just like the big cities. There’s our veterans memorial (a fairly new feature here that the local boosters, myself included, are quite proud of)…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-106.jpg



And the big ol’ waving Saint Nick standing on the hill top overlooking Main Street and the “Mill Stone Plaza”.

Yah… we’re hicks… we’re quite aware of that fact.



So why am I bothering you with all these pointless details?

So that you’ll have a little bit of context surrounding the major event that all these folks were gathering to see…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-107.jpg



With myself being among them…




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Let’s get this party started…




We staked ourselves out a spot just after the turn off of Main Street. As it turns out this was good for getting a clear view of the various units, but it had a slight downside that would crop up later on. That’s a minor detail though… let’s get on with the show.

Up in the big city, they started the parade off with folks on roller-blades, a police escort and a big ol’ balloon. Down here we kicked it off with an ROTC unit. That just seems like the thing to do. The two schools down here maintain Marine ROTC posts and they will take turns leading off the town parades.


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-108.jpg


After a couple of council rep and local officials, the next bit of actual entertainment was the synchronized go-carts maintained by one of the area Shrine clubs. A little like the Energizer Bunny, these guys would head up a little ways and then turn and come back variously breaking into figure eights or crisscross maneuvers before turning again to move farther down the way.



And finally… a celebrity I know. Well… Sort’a.

Meet “Fat Elvis”



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-109.jpg



The bottom image was before the parade started. I figured you’d like a clearer look just to see for yourself that Elvis is indeed still alive (He may have just gone back home, but still saw fit to return just long enough to appear in our humble procession.

We are truly blessed…



Next up… a choir



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-110.jpg



Little else speaks to the hearts of a small town like an elementary school choir. I don’t remember specifically which carols they serenaded us with, but does it really matter.


Children were singing.

Christmas had arrived.



Now the next two entries are prime examples of the difference between a big city parade and a small town parade. Up in New York the city sent out a brigade of boom-lift trucks to move all the street lamps and traffic signals. Down here we have a different use for a “cherry-picker” truck during such festive occasions. As parade floats…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-111.jpg



As for that second picture… I’ve got no clue how to even explain that one. What they intended to represent or even what connection the papier-mâché dragon’s head that had been built onto an office chare had to do with the Christmas season escapes me at the moment (Chinese New Year maybe… still not sure). But again, does it really matter? A group of proud parents and small children got to march in a parade.

What could possibly be more festive or speak more to the heart of the season?



Next… a bit of music.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-112.jpg



Introducing… our rivals; the very fine young musicians that make up the Fort Mill HS Band. With decades of experience and better than twenty state marching championships, they deserve respect (and I do respect that program, but I also rather enjoyed seeing our kids taking the championship over them that year).

Speaking of respect… The Grinch was in the process of acquiring a little bit of that commodity. It seems that the County Sheriff’s officers had picked him up and were offering the ol’ boy a bit of time to consider his actions (a concept close akin to the old colonial concept of a public pillory).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-113.jpg



Right behind the mobile Whoville Penitentiary was something a bit more serine; one of the local hand-bell choirs. Quite the jarring bit of juxtaposition wouldn’t you say? They were a might hard to hear over the general outdoor noise, but it was still a nice and unexpected touch for a holiday parade.


Now it’s time to get back to a little bit of Americana. Does that mean Dancing Girls? Not just yet, we’ll get to that later on. Right now though we encountered something else very American, are more typical of small towns… Boy Scouts.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-114.jpg



This is a group from a very well run troop/pack from the next town out. One of their signature annual events is a great push-go-cart race and they decided to bring out some of the better entries built by the kids and their parents that season.



Pop Quiz! When you don’t have a lot of floats handy to glide down the thoroughfares at your local parade what do you use as a substitute?

Random trucks of course…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-115.jpg



Ok… not completely random. We encountered the Elks Club’s pick-up promoting drug awareness. The “Servepro” truck however, actually was rather a bit random (if you ask me), but it appears that the Grinch had escaped from the county sheriffs and was hitching a ride. Gratuitous advertising aside, no parade is truly complete until you see an old fire engine and that last image right there was one mighty fine example of the breed.


I said earlier that our spot along the route had a disadvantage. This issue was that we were just beyond where the local television cameras had set up. Generally not an issue, but since the three bands performing that day would make a point to play at that spot, they likely would be walking by us in a cadence. That being the case, I figured I needed to walk over to the corner to get a better picture of the next group in the procession. These kids right here…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-116.jpg (http://youtu.be/10xn5VTd-Ms)



If you were to click on that little image, you’ll notice that what they were playing was distinctly not very Christmassy. Well… they’d only had a week to prepare and decided that rather than play a medley of carols, they’d play the same stuff that had worked so well up in NYC. Not to mention the hometown folks (and local cable television folks) hadn’t gotten to hear it live prior to now anyway.

I was headed back to my chair as they made their turn off of main and on to the home stretch when the majors caught me off guard and kicked off the next tune without rolling through the cadence. As such I missed the first few measures of the next tune…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-117.jpg (http://youtu.be/pXVM1imN9ag)



That’s my favorite of their various pep-band tunes, simply because it represents the Carolinas so nicely. That vid also allowed the girls from the school’s “Dance Team” who were uncharacteristically traveling along with the band that morning to get a little bit of camera time. Hay, it’s the holidays… we can share the limelight.


Right behind our kids was a couple more fire trucks
(of the more modern variety).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-118.jpg



The kids riding along in the basket out in front of that last truck looked to be having the time of their lives.

Next on the agenda was this hillbilly-esk contraption
(Please don’t ask me to explain it… I don’t think it’s possible).



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-119.jpg



But as you can see, we did try to atone for our appalling lack of judgment by immediately following it up with more cub scouts (pictures of young kids are second only to pictures of babies when it comes to quickly changing the subject).

Now, I don’t want to miss lead you into thinking that our little rendition of a parade was completely devoid of festive holiday floats. Such is not the case. There is a group of folks down here that own about a half dozen or so “generic parade floats”. This same hand full of glittery trailers will show up at each local parade in turn. You just slap a sign or two for the local sponsor on the side, load up a few of said sponsors employees or principals along with some kids and at least one person in a costume of some type, and you get visions like these…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-120.jpg



Now I can’t speak directly to the character of the individuals working the suits, nor for the choice of image that said suites are intended to represent, but I can say with all certainty, that there actually were floats in the parade that day.

Next up… the third band of the day.



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-121.jpg



These kids are from the next town over (and if you dot speak South’rn… that would be to the east), and yes the name of the town actually is Indian Land. That’s not a slur or a slight; it’s the name of the town. And you can tell by the size of their corps of ambassadors that it’s a very small town as well (making ours look like a veritable metropolis). Being small however doesn’t mean that you can’t be good at something and these kids are quite competitive in their class (and entertaining to listen to).


By now it’s fairly apparent that about the only thing we saw in the Macy’s parade that we’d not yet seen in the hometown variant, was dancing girls. Not to worry, we’ve got that one covered too…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-122.jpg



You’ve got to know that the local dance schools live for stuff like this. There were elves, snowflakes, reindeer and various Mrs. Clauses all just a clickin’ their heels and succeeding in being down right adorable to boot.

As things were starting to wind down, we were next treated to a number of fine example of classic automotive locomotion in the form of one of the local car clubs…



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-123.jpg



And as you can see that was immediately followed by a triumphant appearance of our Mayor.
Wait a minute…
that’s not the mayor!

At least I don’t think it is…

is that him?

Nooooo…
that’s not him I’m sure of it.

I think?



Oh wait!

Look!


A Tae Kwon Do demonstration!!!



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-124.jpg (http://youtu.be/BT59_yoisdE)



Followed none too soon by another ROTC unit.

It’s about time y’all showed up I was starting to worry about the overly serious themes that this parade was turning to. Bless the Army ROTC for returning us to something more honorable.

Oh… and you did think to go back up there and click on that last compilation of images didn’t you?

Well did ya'?


OK, now that the fine young ladies and gentleman of the junior officer corps have reinstated a bit of sanity… there really is only one other possible unit that could be coming up next in this shindig.



“The big man… The head honcho… The connection!”

Riding what else? A fire engine of course.
(What? You were expecting reindeer?)



http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-125.jpg



And as with any great holiday event… the appearance of the Jolly Ol’ Elf signaled the official end of another traditional pageant.



Huzzah!!!




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
So what was the point?




By the way…
This here TR is actually complete now, so y’all are under no obligation to read any farther.


Really!




So why did I decide to close this distinctly Non-Disney Trip Report by comparing our grand adventure to New York City back to a humble small town Christmas parade? Well… on the surface, there really was no “reason” for it at all. The Christmas Parade was simply the next event on our kids schedule and the official end of the 2011 marching season. So it just seemed to be the next logical entry in my chronology of events.

But then again… these two event were just days apart in my realm of experience. The famous national event was still quite fresh in my mind as I was enjoying the more simple innocence of our home event. It seemed to put everything we’d experienced into perspective. The trip to New York was a rare opportunity for the kids and parents alike. We saw and experienced things that for many of us will never be available again. We expanded our worlds a bit and got some firsthand experience with people and places that most of us really knew only from books, films and pop culture.

I think that the real point of all this nonsense is to say that when a chance to travel presents itself, no matter how it is disguised, make sure that you hop on that bus


“Baby steps… get on a bus…”


This is true no matter how far the bus is traveling. The entire world may be just over the horizon, but the entire world is also all around you if you take time to experience it. And more importantly, take time to realize that you are a part of that world, and not just existing within it. Proverbs proclaim that every journey begins with a single step. But they’re never specific as to when a journey ends. The easy answer is that it ends when you stop taking steps. The real answer is that is ends when you either don’t remember or no longer care about the steps you take. Myself I’m looking forward to taking more steps away from where I currently am.


If you’d care to follow along, I’d be grateful for the company…









http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-126.jpg

Wherem I Now
11-24-2012, 09:36 AM
There was one more minor event on the calendar that demanded the attention of our little high school band.

A parade…


What!?!?!? Another Parade!?!?!?
Isn’t that where we came into to this D-Grade excuse for a TR in the first place!


NOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo……….



Oh yes Virginia, and it gets worse.
It’s a small town parade.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
No Place Like Home

I was just thinking after the last update that they probably had a local parade (or a few) to do back at home... :thumbsup2

Nothing like a hometown parade. Sure, you don't have giant balloons, national recording stars, and Network TV coverage, bit Macy's doesn't have Fat Elvis, Grinch in a cage, or Shriners! :rotfl:


So why did I decide to close this distinctly Non-Disney Trip Report by comparing our grand adventure to New York City back to a humble small town Christmas parade? Well… on the surface, there really was no “reason” for it at all. The Christmas Parade was simply the next event on our kids schedule and the official end of the 2011 marching season. So it just seemed to be the next logical entry in my chronology of events.

But then again… these two event were just days apart in my realm of experience. The famous national event was still quite fresh in my mind as I was enjoying the more simple innocence of our home event. It seemed to put everything we’d experienced into perspective. The trip to New York was a rare opportunity for the kids and parents alike. We saw and experienced things that for many of us will never be available again. We expanded our worlds a bit and got some first hand experience with people and places that most of us really knew only from books, films and pop culture.

I think that the real point of all this nonsense is to say that when a chance to travel presents itself, no matter how it is disguised, make sure that you hop on that bus

“Baby steps… get on a bus…”

This is true no matter how far the bus is traveling. The entire world may be just over the horizon, but the entire world is also all around you if you take time to experience it. And more importantly, take time to realize that you are a part of that world, and not just existing within it. Proverbs proclaim that every journey begins with a single step. But they’re never specific as to when a journey ends. The easy answer is that it ends when you stop taking steps. The real answer is that is ends when you either don’t remember or no longer care about the steps you take. Myself I’m looking forward to taking more steps away from where I currently am.


If you’d care to follow along, I’d be grateful for the company…


This was a great way to close out this Trip Report!

This has been a fun an interesting read. I think I may have even learned a thing or two from the Bonus Features.

I like the What about Bob reference above. As I read through that section, another movie quote with a different transportation service was running through my head. "The thing about trains... it doesn't matter where they're going. What matters is deciding to get on." That may apply to buses as well...

Thanks for taking us along for the journey Rob! :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-26-2012, 09:58 AM
I was just thinking after the last update that they probably had a local parade (or a few) to do back at home... :thumbsup2

Nothing like a hometown parade. Sure, you don't have giant balloons, national recording stars, and Network TV coverage, bit Macy's doesn't have Fat Elvis, Grinch in a cage, or Shriners! :rotfl:


Very true.
The images presented in the big city may be what folks “calm” to aspire to…
But it the small town stuff that says who we really are.

And all things considered, that’s not a bad thing.





This was a great way to close out this Trip Report!

This has been a fun an interesting read. I think I may have even learned a thing or two from the Bonus Features.


Thanks for following along Mike. It took me a while longer that it ought to have to get this one done, but I enjoyed putting it together. I don’t generally pick up a lot of followers (especially when it’s for a non Disney trip), but I appreciate those that do follow along.

Thanks again.



I like the What about Bob reference above. As I read through that section, another movie quote with a different transportation service was running through my head. "The thing about trains... it doesn't matter where they're going. What matters is deciding to get on." That may apply to buses as well...

Thanks for taking us along for the journey Rob! :thumbsup2

That’s a great quote as well (and more seasonally appropriate).
I may need to bust that DVD out in the near.

afwdwfan
11-26-2012, 10:49 AM
But even still…
Monday was upon us before we knew it and it was back to the regular grind.


Well… not exactly.


There was one more minor event on the calendar that demanded the attention of our little high school band.

A parade…
So... this parade was Sunday afternoon??? :scared1: Busy weekend. :rotfl2::lmao:


And finally… a celebrity I know. Well… Sort’a.

Meet “Fat Elvis”
Well, better than a few of them you saw in NYC... :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


It seems that the County Sheriff’s officers had picked him up and were offering the ol’ boy a bit of time to consider his actions (a concept close akin to the old colonial concept of a public pillory).
So, is this considered to be another celebrity sighting? :confused3 :lmao:


The “Servepro” truck however, actually was rather a bit random (if you ask me), but it appears that the Grinch had escaped from the county sheriffs and was hitching a ride.
So, somebody apparenlty didn't get the memo that the Grinch was already in the parade. They'll scar the kids for life. That doesn't sound like very good advertisement. :rotfl2:


Next on the agenda was this hillbilly-esk contraption
(Plese don’t ask me to explaine it… I don’t think it’s possible).


http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-119.jpg
Ok, I'll take a stab at it...

It appears that some movie buff tried to merge this:

http://www2.volocars.com/galleria_images/946/946_main_f.jpg

With this:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XedbccYa75M/TuC_R0OyN9I/AAAAAAAABCE/kunHmBeqMCg/s1600/MV5BMTM0ODI0NDkyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTc1MTkxNA%254 0%2540._V1._SX640_SY427_.jpg

:thumbsup2


By now it’s fairly apparent that about the only thing we saw in the Macy’s parade that we’d not yet seen in the hometown variant, was dancing girls. Not to worry, we’ve got that one covered too…
Where was the Mickey balloon? :confused3


And as you can see that was immediately followed by a triumphant appearance of our Mayor. Wait a minute… that’s not the mayor! At least I don’t think it is… is that him? Nooooo… that’s not him I’m sure of it.

I think?



Oh wait!


Look!




A Tae Kwon Do demonstration!!!
No, not good enough, back to this holstein you have for a mayor...


Riding what else? A fire engine of course.
(What? You were expecting reindeer?)
Or at least a cow with antlers velcroed onto it's head. :confused3


Looks like a nice little parade. A bit different from the big stage experience in NYC, but maybe a bit more meaningful to all involved with all the friends and family present. :thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-26-2012, 11:23 AM
So... this parade was Sunday afternoon??? :scared1: Busy weekend. :rotfl2::lmao:


Actually it was the next Saturday, so while it was still a break from the regular grind, we all still had to deal with that grind for at least the first five days before another diversion showed itself.



Well, better than a few of them you saw in NYC... :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:


And… I knew who it was. Bonus!



So, is this considered to be another celebrity sighting? :confused3 :lmao:


In my book… it counts (and both the Grinch and Fat Elvis are far more deserving of the title “celebrity” then most of the folks laying calm to the distinction).



So, somebody apparenlty didn't get the memo that the Grinch was already in the parade. They'll scar the kids for life. That doesn't sound like very good advertisement. :rotfl2:


Well kids don’t generally get on the phone to hire a “post disaster clean-up” company, but it was somewhat of an oversight. My explanation for the young’ens around where we were sitting was that he’d simply escaped form the sheriffs and was making his get-away from town by hiding in plain sight.



Ok, I'll take a stab at it...

It appears that some movie buff tried to merge this:

http://www2.volocars.com/galleria_images/946/946_main_f.jpg

With this:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XedbccYa75M/TuC_R0OyN9I/AAAAAAAABCE/kunHmBeqMCg/s1600/MV5BMTM0ODI0NDkyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTc1MTkxNA%254 0%2540._V1._SX640_SY427_.jpg

:thumbsup2


A picture is worth a thousand words.
Those two speak volumes.



Where was the Mickey balloon? :confused3


I forgot to post the picture of the street vendor pushing a grocery cart full of various carnival trinkets and souvenirs before the parade got started. Amongst the stuffed animals, blow-up “Santa” dolls, glow sticks and knock-off light-sabers, he also had helium filled balloons, and I’m pretty sure one of them looked a lot mike a Mickey-Head.



No, not good enough, back to this holstein you have for a mayor...


What… you’re telling me you elected officials are more respected and capable then our Holstein?

I’m gonn’a need proof of that one.



Or at least a cow with antlers velcroed onto it's head. :confused3



Better then antlers stapled to the head of a door mouse.

Actually… now that you mention it, I think that there were a set of antlers strapped to the mirrors on either side of the fire truck (or at least there will be once I go photoshop them in).



Looks like a nice little parade. A bit different from the big stage experience in NYC, but maybe a bit more meaningful to all involved with all the friends and family present. :thumbsup2


It was fun and we’ll get to watch the current version of that one this coming weekend.


That’s the last easy shot I’ll be teeing up for you to whack me for taking so long to finish this TR so you best find a really good come back for it.



While I’m at it…
Thanks for following along Andy. It may be a while before we have another trip that will merit a TR (on this board at least).

I am looking forward to the TR for your upcoming trip. I’ve been reading the PTR, but I’m waiting for the real thing to get started before regularly harassing you.

afwdwfan
11-26-2012, 11:44 AM
What… you’re telling me you elected officials are more respected and capable then our Holstein?

I’m gonn’a need proof of that one.
No actually, I'd compare ours to a different kind of barnyard animal known for its stubborn demeanor... Although, ironically, most of them are from the party that uses a different animal as its mascot.


It was fun and we’ll get to watch the current version of that one this coming weekend.


That’s the last easy shot I’ll be teeing up for you to whack me for taking so long to finish this TR so you best find a really good come back for it.
:confused3

I'll just save the low blow for the next part.

I am looking forward to the TR for your upcoming trip. I’ve been reading the PTR, but I’m waiting for the real thing to get started before regularly harassing you.
So what will you be doing next Monday morning? :rolleyes1

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-26-2012, 12:06 PM
No actually, I'd compare ours to a different kind of barnyard animal known for its stubborn demeanor... Although, ironically, most of them are from the party that uses a different animal as its mascot.


Our officials fit the same ironic description as well (including the Holstein).




I'll just save the low blow for the next part.


There ain’t no next part, I’m officially done with this TR.
So go on ahead and take your shot now.

Unlike you, I don’t even have a trip on the horizon at all.
It's sad that I wont have the year “2012” listed anywhere in my Sig.
Just plain sad :sad2:




So what will you be doing next Monday morning? :rolleyes1


Working at a job I no longer enjoy and being envious of the big family trip y’all are on. :(

So you’ll need to get the new TR started up pretty quickly.
I’ll be needin’ someone to vent all that frustration out on.


Y’all have fun down there! :thumbsup2
(and try to avoided anymore confrontations with big ol’ cranes on barges).

Captain_Oblivious
11-26-2012, 03:58 PM
And that’s a good thing because I wasn’t even worth shooting the next morning.

Are you sure? Did you ask Andy?

What!?!?!? Another Parade!?!?!?
Isn’t that where we came into to this D-Grade excuse for a TR in the first place!


NOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo……….

:faint:

You see that ugly, multicolored, flowery looking thingy at the top of the hill on the far left of that last image?

I'm not sure that passes the Captain_Oblivious Art Test.

We staked ourselves out a spot just after the turn off of Main Street.

I'm sorry, I've just been trained differently. Whenever there's a parade you're supposed to head for the ride that usually has the longest wait. :rotfl2:

After a couple of council rep and local officials, the next bit of actual entertainment was the synchronized go-carts maintained by one of the area Shrine clubs. A little like the Energizer Bunny, these guys would head up a little ways and then turn and come back variously breaking into figure eights or crisscross maneuvers before turning again to move farther down the way.

Now that's fun. More of these guys, please!

Meet “Fat Elvis”

:sad2:

Next you'll tell me they had so much trouble coming up with celebrities that they put 2 Grinches in the parade.

I figured you’d like a clearer look just to see for yourself that Elvis is indeed still alive (He may have just gone back home

That's Agent K's story.



Christmas had arrived.

As for that second picture… I’ve got no clue how to even explain that one. What they intended to represent or even what connection the papier-mâché dragon’s head that had been built onto an office chare had to do with the Christmas season escapes me at the moment (Chinese New Year maybe… still not sure). But again, does it really matter?

The Fort Mill Christmas Parade...We'll Let Anybody March!

Now it’s time to get back to a little bit of Americana. Does that mean Dancing Girls? Not just yet, we’ll get to that latter on. Right now though we encountered something else very American, are more typical of small towns…

The Pool Hall? Motorcycle gangs?

Boy Scouts.

Oh...right.

Pop Quiz! When you don’t have a lot of floats handy to glide down the thoroughfares at your local parade what do you use as a substitute?

Please say zambonis. Please say zambonis.

Random trucks of course…

Rats.

Next on the agenda was this hillbilly-esk contraption
(Plese don’t ask me to explaine it… I don’t think it’s possible).

I like Andy's theory. Although he missed the Griswold Christmas tree.

But as you can see, we did try to atone for our appalling lack of judgment by immediately following it up with more cub scouts (pictures of young kids are second only to pictures of babies when it comes to quickly changing the subject).

Hey, it works for Barry's TR.

Oh… and you did think to go back up there and click on that last compilation of images didn’t you?

Well did ya'?

::yes::

"Site Blocked"

Riding what else? A fire engine of course.
(What? You were expecting reindeer?)

No zamboni?

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
So what was the point?

There was a point?

I think that the real point of all this nonsense is to say that when a chance to travel presents itself, no matter how it is disguised, make sure that you hop on that bus

::yes:::thumbsup2

I'm with you, brother.

“Baby steps… get on a bus…”

Dr. Marvin!

Dr.! Leo! Marvin!

The entire world may be just over the horizon, but the entire world is also all around you if you take time to experience it. And more importantly, take time to realize that you are a part of that world, and not just existing within it. Proverbs proclaim that every journey begins with a single step. But they’re never specific as to when a journey ends. The easy answer is that it ends when you stop taking steps. The real answer is that is ends when you either don’t remember or no longer care about the steps you take. Myself I’m looking forward to taking more steps away from where I currently am.


If you’d care to follow along, I’d be grateful for the company…

If you do the journey right, it should never end. There's always something new around the corner.

Lead the way, sir. I'll be right behind you.

Unless the game's on. I just got HD, and it's spectacular. But it should only be a couple of hours. :teeth:

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-27-2012, 11:33 AM
Are you sure? Did you ask Andy?


That’s not really in my best interest now is it?



I'm not sure that passes the Captain_Oblivious Art Test.


It don’t pass my Art Test either…
But there it sits.



I'm sorry, I've just been trained differently. Whenever there's a parade you're supposed to head for the ride that usually has the longest wait. :rotfl2:


Around here that would be either the Olive Garden or Outback.
At about 90min on a Friday or Saturday, that’s about the longest queue for a few hundred miles.

I wouldn’t be waiting for them mind you, but everyone else around here…
:sad2:



Now that's fun. More of these guys, please!


Tell ya’ what…
This year’s rendition of the event just happens to be this Saturday.
I’ll record these guys and post it up just for you.



:sad2:

Next you'll tell me they had so much trouble coming up with celebrities that they put 2 Grinches in the parade.


Us? Do something as unsophisticated as that?
Sacrilege!
:lmao:



That's Agent K's story.


The most respected agent in MiB history.
The most feared human in the universe.
And you’re doubting his story?



The Fort Mill Christmas Parade...We'll Let Anybody March!


So you’ve see it before?
You should have stopped by and said howdy!



The Pool Hall? Motorcycle gangs?


You forgot strip clubs, massage parlors, title loan hucksters, and 24-hour bail bond services.



Please say zambonis. Please say zambonis.


Not bloody likely…
There’s more ice in my freezer then we see during a given winter.



I like Andy's theory. Although he missed the Griswold Christmas tree.


:thumbsup2



Hey, it works for Barry's TR.


It works for nearly every TR
Mine tend to suffer from a distinct lack of “cute”



::yes::

"Site Blocked"


Can’t get to Youtube at work eh?
You didn’t really miss much.



No zamboni?


I thought we covered that earlier?




There was a point?


Shhhhhhh… Don’t’ let on.
I’m trying to fool the hundreds of lurkers following this TR (:lmao:) into believin’ that they haven’t been wasting their time.


Dr. Marvin!

Dr.! Leo! Marvin!


That movie give’s me nightmares.
There are some great lines, but still… Nightmares.



If you do the journey right, it should never end. There's always something new around the corner.

Lead the way, sir. I'll be right behind you.


I appreciate the encouragement



Unless the game's on. I just got HD, and it's spectacular. But it should only be a couple of hours. :teeth:


So much for encouragement (but we must keep our priorities in order).


Thanks for following along on this apparently pointless TR.
Hope it wasn’t too painful.

Captain_Oblivious
11-27-2012, 04:31 PM
Thanks for following along on this apparently pointless TR.
Hope it wasn’t too painful.

Not at all. I actually like your writing. So there. And I love your philosophy on seeing the world, raising your child, and doing things right (without too much fuss). You're a good man, Charli--uh, Rob.:thumbsup2

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
11-27-2012, 07:59 PM
Not at all. I actually like your writing. So there. And I love your philosophy on seeing the world, raising your child, and doing things right (without too much fuss). You're a good man, Charli--uh, Rob.:thumbsup2


Thank you sir. I am honored.


Undeserving…

But honored.

FreezinRafiki
11-28-2012, 12:50 PM
Arrrrgggg! I feel like Charlie Brown, and that b*#%! Lucy keeps pulling the football away when I try to kick it. As you can tell from the blistering pace that I'm updating my own TR, my employer has decided that my "work" time needs to be spend on more "work." This really cuts into my DIS time.

However, I have thoroughly read (and thoroughly enjoyed) every word of every entry of your TR. Having spent only about 3 months of my life in 6th grade in any type of band (playing a trumpet), the whole "band trip" idea was a bit foreign to me. Growing up playing high school football, the band was merely something to play the fight song after touchdowns and entertain the good folks at halftime. Sure, I knew there was work involved in all of it - you don't play that well without practice - but I had no idea how much time, energy and effort it takes simply to march in a straight line and play music. Throw on top of that all sorts of funky choreography (while still playing music) and you've got a Herculean effort to put forth. I'm glad your young'ens got to head on up the big city and perform so admirably in front of a national audience. The lights and sirens welcome home was quite a treat as well!

Oh, and as far as this thing:

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv185/RuledByVenus/TR%202011%20Macys/T3D6-119.jpg

It reminds me of a "parade entry" (I can't in good conscience call it a float) that is in my home town's St. Patrick's Day Parade every year. 51 weeks out of the year, it's New London, Wisconsin. But around the middle of March, the city council and a few guys from the Dept of Public Works dress up as leprechauns and put up new signs on the outskirts of town welcoming everyone to New Dublin. (Yes, they're big on their Irish up there. And the green beer that comes with it.) Anyway, there is an old green hearse known as Finnegan's Wake that makes it's way down the parade route, following whatever band or elected official or whatever position it is in the lineup. The latches on the back door are faulty, so whenever it speeds up, the casket rams into the door, knocking it open, and the casket ends up laying in the middle of the street. The lepreachaun-clad driver and his assistant jump out of the car and scramble around to re-load the dearly departed. Meanwhile there is much rejoicing and celebration by the parade goers that were witness to the events. Rinse, lather and repeat on the next block. Small town parades. I wouldn't trade them for anything. :thumbsup2

But back to the TR. Sure, it wasn't Disney. And while we certainly would like to, none of us think about Disney 24/7. It was great to follow you and your family on such a grand adventure. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I wish Max the best of luck on his college career and hope he can follow his dream of teaching music to the next generation of American youth.

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
01-14-2013, 11:36 AM
Bad News!!!!
New TR started today.

Worse news…
This one ain’t about Disney either. :sad:
But you’ll find it right here just the same…



I should’a taken that left in Albuquerque
(a TR that won’t make it to Disney)
( http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3047307)





Oh, one more thing… I may actually be getting back to WDW this summer.
If that does occur, I promise that there will finally be an new GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes TR that is actually about a trip to Disney coming up in the late Summer or early fall.

Something else for you to ignore, but it will at least be something Disney that you can ignore.




We now return you to the reply that I slould’a made a good while back.







Arrrrgggg! I feel like Charlie Brown, and that b*#%! Lucy keeps pulling the football away when I try to kick it. As you can tell from the blistering pace that I'm updating my own TR, my employer has decided that my "work" time needs to be spend on more "work." This really cuts into my DIS time.


Well, if it makes you feel any better, I missed where you responded back as well and am only just now getting around to answering back.

Seems tom me that you’ve been quite busy. First off, congrats of running the Half Marathon at Disney this past weekend. I’m looking forward to reading (hopefully) several TRs based on events of the First DDCC. I know that work has been rough for you lately, so you’re going to have a hard time finishing the current one much less starting a new on, but just the same, I’m looking forward to both events.


However, I have thoroughly read (and thoroughly enjoyed) every word of every entry of your TR.
:thanks:
Thanks!


Having spent only about 3 months of my life in 6th grade in any type of band (playing a trumpet), the whole "band trip" idea was a bit foreign to me.
Don’t worry, it quite foreign to nine out of ten folks (actually its more like nineteen out of twenty).


Growing up playing high school football, the band was merely something to play the fight song after touchdowns and entertain the good folks at halftime.
Yep… that’s far more normal (and we’re aware of that fact).
You’re in very good company there

But at our school, the first half of the ball game was the opening act and the second half was when you’d hit the concession stands. We’re not normal in any way (and we’re quite aware of that as well). This past year there was nearly equal interest in both though and I hope that trend continues in the future.


It reminds me of a "parade entry" (I can't in good conscience call it a float) that is in my home town's St. Patrick's Day Parade every year. 51 weeks out of the year, it's New London, Wisconsin. But around the middle of March, the city council and a few guys from the Dept of Public Works dress up as leprechauns and put up new signs on the outskirts of town welcoming everyone to New Dublin. (Yes, they're big on their Irish up there. And the green beer that comes with it.) Anyway, there is an old green hearse known as Finnegan's Wake that makes it's way down the parade route, following whatever band or elected official or whatever position it is in the lineup. The latches on the back door are faulty, so whenever it speeds up, the casket rams into the door, knocking it open, and the casket ends up laying in the middle of the street. The lepreachaun-clad driver and his assistant jump out of the car and scramble around to re-load the dearly departed. Meanwhile there is much rejoicing and celebration by the parade goers that were witness to the events. Rinse, lather and repeat on the next block.

:lmao:
Most Excellent!




Small town parades. I wouldn't trade them for anything. :thumbsup2

::yes::
Where else could we possibly get entertainment of that caliber.



But back to the TR. Sure, it wasn't Disney. And while we certainly would like to, none of us think about Disney 24/7. It was great to follow you and your family on such a grand adventure. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.


And thanks again for the thanks, and more importantly, thanks again for following along.



I wish Max the best of luck on his college career and hope he can follow his dream of teaching music to the next generation of American youth.


Actually Max recently received the acceptance letter from the University that is his first choice. Now we just need to get through the audition for acceptance into the School of Music (and then figure out how to pay for it).

Rowdymom81
07-06-2013, 08:33 PM
I'm not even sure how I got here but I just want to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. You sucked me in and I was with you all the way to the end.

Good job all around!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
07-07-2013, 10:04 PM
I'm not even sure how I got here but I just want to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. You sucked me in and I was with you all the way to the end.

Good job all around!


Wow!!

I ain’t sure how you got here either, but I’m glad to hear from you.
Read the whole thing you say? That… took some doing.
Thanks for the kind words

I’m sure that you’ll find even better work to read on the official Trip Report Forum as well.

http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=18

There are some very fine storytellers around here (and when you find those that you like, make sure to go read some of their older works as well… some really good stuff back there)

Thanks again and welcome to the DIS Boards!

Rowdymom81
07-07-2013, 11:23 PM
Wow!!

I ain’t sure how you got here either, but I’m glad to hear from you.
Read the whole thing you say? That… took some doing.
Thanks for the kind words

I’m sure that you’ll find even better work to read on the official Trip Report Forum as well.

http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=18

There are some very fine storytellers around here (and when you find those that you like, make sure to go read some of their older works as well… some really good stuff back there)

Thanks again and welcome to the DIS Boards!

Thanks for the welcome. I've been all over the board and read lots of trip reports. Your's are the first ones I've made a point to read them all.

Of course, it may be because we're "neighbors". (I'm about a half hour north of Charlotte... just off I-77, too.) :)

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
07-08-2013, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the welcome. I've been all over the board and read lots of trip reports. Your's are the first ones I've made a point to read them all.

Of course, it may be because we're "neighbors". (I'm about a half hour north of Charlotte... just off I-77, too.) :)


I did notice the location there. There aren’t near enough Carolinians on these here boards so I’m glad to see you roaming around these parts. You say you’ve read more than one of my TR’s… I might have to question your sanity but that’s a commodity I pretty much lack in the first place so who am I to question other folks mental faculties.

Thanks again for reading along and for taking the time to holler out.
And if you’ve completely lost you mind… I intend to start up a new TR sometime this week. It’ll be based on our June trip to the World and even to “that other pace whose name I must not speak”. You’re welcome to follow along on that one as well.


And as for everyone one else who may still be getting notifications from this old TR, you may consider that a warning as well.