A Dance Parade, Protesters, Painters & People Stealing Garbage

People protesting something going on in Turkey.
People protesting something going on in Turkey.
A crazy guy dancing with a toilet seat. He usually does this by the large black cube at Astor Place.
A crazy guy dancing with the molding from a van window, I think. He usually does this by the large black cube at Astor Place.
This guy was taking a break from dancing to the tune of a nearby Buddhist meditation group. Shortly after this, he took a bag of trash from the public bin and walked away with it.
This guy was taking a break from dancing to the tune of a nearby Buddhist meditation group. Shortly after this, he took a bag of trash from the public bin and walked away with it.
This is Francis Virella. He wants to make it big as an artist.
This is Francis Virella. He wants to make it big as an artist.

Today, there were all sorts of things going on in Union Square. We just happened to be walking through and saw a crazy guy dancing, another crazy guy stealing a bag of garbage from a public trash can, had a conversation with a guy that wants to make it big as an artist, and then wandered into a dance parade. It was a lot of fun, and the random, amazingly entertaining things that you can just stumble into is one of the reasons I love New York City.

You can see the rest of the parade photos, in a higher resolution in my Flickr gallery by clicking HERE.

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular 2011

Radio City Music Hall 2011

Last Friday my wife and I went to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes. It wound up being a really great experience and it was a great way to spend the Friday before Christmas weekend.

Radio City Rockettes - 2011 Christmas Spectacular - 1

I saw the show once before, in 2006, and I was amazed by just how much the show has improved since then. The most memorable moment for me from the previous show was the toy soldiers. I was in the Army at the time and I remember being impressed by just how precise their marching movements were. I was sitting in the first mezzanine so I had the advantage of watching the turns and wheels from above. I’d marched in more than a few parades and military ceremonies so I had personal experience for comparison and the Rockettes were definitely better at it than anyone I knew. They work harder at perfecting parade marching too, though.

Radio City Rockettes - Christmas Spectacular 2011 - Toy Soldiers

This year, the toy soldier segment was just as much fun to watch, but we were sitting in the Orchestra, so the precision of the marching wasn’t as readily apparent. I almost wish I’d picked mezzanine seats instead! We were able to see the finale to the toy soldier portion just fine though:

There were a lot of changes to the show. I think I remember seeing the dance with dozens of Santas in 2006, but this year there was a segment meant to imitate the Rockettes traveling through the city in a tour bus, a portion that simulated a video game and even some 3D stuff that was a lot of fun.

Radio City Rockettes - Christmas Spectacular 2011 - Humbugged in 3D

Overall, the show was a very fun and very memorable way for my wife to spend her first Christmas in New York City. We’re looking forward to going again in a few years.

For a full album of pictures (with descriptions) from the show, click here. The album is on Google+ and won’t require a sign in to view.

Acrobatic Street Performers on Orchard Road

Asian Acrobats on Orchard Road in Singapore
Asian Acrobats on Orchard Road in Singapore

In January I happened to be walking down Orchard Road and I saw a crowd gathering.  There were two girls doing an acrobatics performance for tips.  They were really good, so I pulled out my camera and tried to record some of it.  The lighting was pretty bad since it was late, but this is what I got:

This past Saturday I saw them again, doing another performance on Orchard Road.  I was a bit surprised, but their act is good, so I suppose there’s no reason for them to stop.  This time, it was still early evening so I got out my camera and managed to get some better video this time, as well as the nice photo at the top of this post.

At the end of the second video, you’ll see a man walk up and lean forward.  He was dropping money into a basket.  We decided to chip in too, since the performance was really good and when we dropped our money in we saw that they were doing really well for themselves.  That’s good.  Real Talent should be rewarded.

I hope you enjoy the videos!  Let me know what you think of this pair and their act!