Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Fleet Week Fun

What a fun few days we have had! I'm going to break it all up into a few separate posts, so consider this the first installment in our Memorial Day Weekend Series. This here post is about the weekend days leading up to Memorial Day itself.

The weather on Saturday was fantastic. Sunny, warm, just what we've been longing for for months. Eric and I went to Pier 86 (where the Intrepid - which I toured with my dad - is docked) to check out the Fleet Week festivities. We had heard the cast of "Wicked" was going to be performing at 1:30, so we made sure to get out there in time for that. We walked around a bit first, exploring the different booths and activities they had set up. Then we watched the "Wicked" performance, which was okay. We had hoped they might do a few different songs, but it was just one song by one cast member. It was nice, though.

"Elphaba" performing "The Wizard and I"

After the performance we walked a little further south to an adorable little public area at Pier 84. They have a great water fountain that kids were playing in, a nice dog park (although it doesn't have much shade), and places to eat. It was such a beautiful day, we were just enjoying being outside!

Kids playing in the fountain at Pier 84, with the Intrepid in the background

From there we walked to our favorite New York BBQ restaurant, Daisy May's. We had some delicious pulled pork, corn, mashed sweet potatoes and cornbread. Yum. Man, I love BBQ.

We went back home then and gathered up the pooch. We took him with us to the Central Park bandshell for the highlight of the day: a U.S. Marine Corps Band concert. We brought a blanket and parked ourselves right in front for the concert. It was so enjoyable! Achilles was a little on-edge, but he settled down for the most part. The exception was the applause after each piece - whenever everyone started clapping and cheering, Achilles would jump right back up and start barking! I like to think he was trying to express his appreciation for the music as well. I'm sure that's it.

USMC Band in the bandhsell

Standing to play the National Anthem

Achilles and me enjoying the music

Eric and Achilles

VIDEO: A snippet of "Fanfare for the Common Man," which started the show. Love it.

VIDEO: Just so my dad doesn't get a big head because of all the brass featured in the last video, here's a piccolo solo. Ah, much better.
(My dad [a brass player] and me [a woodwind] have a long-standing disagreement over which is the superior brand of instrument. I don't know why he's so confused about it. Clearly woodwinds, and flutes/piccolos in particular, are way better than brass. Especially french horns.)

I really enjoyed the concert. It made me think of summer evenings when I was a kid in Ohio - my family would go to outdoor concerts at Blossom Music Center. We would bring a picnic dinner and camp out on a blanket and enjoy the orchestra concerts. That was always so nice.

After the concert was over, while most of the band was packing up, a smaller group of them (a couple trombones, saxes, trumpets and drums) marched around the plaza New Orleans-style. It was wonderful! Very laid back, fun music. They were all just having a good time and the crowd ate it up. We all gathered around and enjoyed the show, including a bride and groom who were pulled to the center of the circle for a photo-op, and a crazy man in a dress with a bird on his head dancing through (and surprisingly enough, it was not the first time we have seen this man in the city! We saw him on Easter - the guy with the dog with dyed fur! The dyed fur dog was back for the concert, too).

The small group

The bride and groom!

Crazy man in a crazy dress with a crazy dog and a crazy (real) bird on his head. Okay.

VIDEO: Dueling trombones, dance-off style!

Sunday was a more relaxed day. We went to church and stayed for a new member orientation class, because next week we will become members of our church! That's very exciting. Then we ran some errands and did some cleaning to prepare for Heather and Rick's visit yesterday. I even made good use of my new bundt pan once again and made a banana rum cake! And can you believe that I haven't even sampled it yet? Geez. That's how busy we've been!

Don't get complacent, rum cake. I'm coming for you.

And that will do it for this portion of the weekend recap. Next up: Heather and Rick, and our Memorial Day! Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Nice band music!

Anonymous said...

Oops! That was from Aunt RAchel who liked both the brass and woodwinds!

Molly said...

If you look at the picture of Eric holding Achilles, and you kind of cover up the boy close to Achilles's head, his pants look like Achilles is wearing a Navy hat! Ha! So patriotic!

Dad said...

It really looks fun and Fanfare is one of my all time favorite pieces. Glad you had fun like you two always do. One thing though...notice how teeny tiny itty bitty the piccolo part was? You know, an ear can only put up with so much .....heh