A close-up view of Carnegie Hall, where the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra would play later that night:
I have to admit that I was disappointed when we first saw Carnegie Hall. After being spoiled by the beauty and elegance of Fort Worth's Bass Hall, Carnegie Hall seemed like nothing more than a utilitarian brick building. The inside was different, though. Elegant, richly decorated, and warm, it made a lovely backdrop for our beloved orchestra.
Before we went to our hotel room to freshen up and change for the concert, we stopped for a hot dog to tide us over until dinner. I asked the vendor if he minded if we took a photo. He kindly obliged, even inviting me behind his cart and posing with me. Our experience will New Yorkers was that they were all very helpful, friendly, wanted to know where we were from, etc. (And yes, Martha, that was one of the best dawgs I've ever had! lol)
Darren had chosen seats for us that looked directly down on the stage. I was thrilled! Around these parts, it's no secret that I'm MADLY IN LOVE with Miguel Harth-Bedoya, the music director for the FWSO. Oh MY how I'm in love with him. You would be, too, if you got to watch him get all sweaty on stage every month, passionately moving to the beat of his music, and speaking in that beautifully thick Peruvian accent have mercy I'm breaking a sweat as I type this. Whew. Darren thinks I buy him season tickets every year because I love him so much. Naw. He knows. I buy 'em 'cause I'm in love with Miguel. ;)
I've never seen him from this vantage point, though. I loved watching him. He seemed so very encouraging - nodding and smiling broadly at each section as they swelled and softened under his direction. He conducted the last piece, Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony, without a score. I don't know that I noticed the musicians during that piece. It's amazing to me the way Miguel so intimately knows the music, the way he FEELS the music, and the way he pulls that music from his orchestra in a way that makes me feel it, too. And I don't even consider myself a classical music fan.
The orchestra played SO BEAUTIFULLY that night. I was really proud to be from Fort Worth! The NYC audience gave us two standing ovations, and demanded an encore. (Read the New York Times' review here!) I was near tears, I was so proud of my hometown orchestra!
Afterward, as we walked down the stairs (me hobbling, of course), we heard someone say, "Barbara, blah blah blah". Then The Voice, replying, "Oh thank you. I appreciate that." It was BARBARA WALTERS!! Walking down the steps RIGHT. BESIDE. ME. I made eye contact with her and we smiled, but I didn't say anything. Darren scurried ahead to try to get a photo of us. I had other things on my mind. I headed instead for the opposite side of the staircase, making my way to where I thought Miguel might come out and mingle with the crowd. So I missed a photo op with Barbara WaWa. (I wouldn't have asked her for a photo - after all, she was just trying to enjoy the symphony too. And I didn't realize that Darren was trying to get one, though if I had, I probably would've indulged him.) But my mind was on seeing Miguel, and possibly meeting him finally. I TOLD you I have a crush on our director. A Big One. (In case you missed my post where I explained that the FWSO was the main reason we chose New York for this year's anniversary, click here.)
After the concert, we ate a real dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, and then stopped to mug with my other Texas Crush on the way home: