Things I Did and Places I Saw in NYC Part Six: Good Morning America and The Today Show

24 Jul

Everyone knows  that NYC is a hub of the entertainment industry here in the States, and it’s certainly a big locale for morning, daytime, and late night talk shows. This link shows just how many shows are filmed in NYC. Some tourists even come from far away to see tapings of these famous shows.  Unfortunately many of the shows you can only get into with advance tickets, or try to get tickets on the day of (embarrassingly enough, I was denied tickets to SNL on more  than one occasion because I tried to get them too late, haha). But several shows just let random passerby or random fans stand outside the studios during filming to witness the action and be a part of the background.

The first NYC morning show I went to was Good Morning America. I can’t say I went because I was a huge GMA fan, rather, I am a huge Coldplay fan, and they just so happened to be the musical guests  that day.

My roommate Emily reluctantly came with me, and even sucked it up when I insisted we leave our apartment at 5am to get there by 5:45am. I was determined to beat the massive swarm of Coldplay fans that was bound to show up and claim one of the coveted spots by the windows so I could look in on my beloved Chris, Will, Johnny, and Guy from close up. We succeeded and were right up against the window behind the drummer.

Besides being able to see my four favorite musicians in the world play from only 5-10 feet away, it was cool to see how GMA operated. It was interesting to see how all the people worked behind the scenes, and how the anchors acted behind the scenes (one kept staring at himself in a mirror and constantly fixing his hair Ron Burgundy style).

I also got to witness a taping of The Today Show when my friend Tiffany came to visit me. She is a big Today Show fan, and an even bigger Kathy Lee and Hoda (who are on the final hour of the Today Show) fan. So, again, we left my Brooklyn apartment in the wee hours of the morning to see the full taping (7-11am) of the show.

Even though it was April, the Today Show is filmed in the Rockefeller Center plaza, surrounded by other buildings, so Tiffany and I were freezing cold as we watched the taping happen. It was cool to see Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, and Al Roker up close and personal. They often came outside to do segments for the show, so it was cool to see them tape that. It was also pretty fun to be giddy little girls and wave every time we thought the  camera was on us 🙂 We didn’t make it much in the background of the early morning Today Show footage, but we were allllll over the Kathy Lee and Hoda segment, and here’s why.

Because we were cold and our feet hurt from standing in place for close to 3 hours, Tiffany and I decided to take a break and head to the NBC store which was across the street in Rockefeller Plaza. We hung out in there for around 45 minutes or so, before heading back to the plaza to watch Kathy Lee and Hoda’s segment. When we got back we were surprised to see that the crowds had completely dispersed. Even a lot of the metal barriers had been taken down. I guess many people show up to watch the early morning segment, but not as many stick around for Kathy Lee and Hoda.

Because so many people had left, Tiffany and I were now able to get A LOT of on-air time. On the outside of the building (where we were) there are TV screens up so anyone outside can see what’s going on inside w/ the taping. Because of the position of the sun causing a  glare on the windows, and because of reflectors inside, we actually couldn’t see into the windows AT ALL. We also weren’t able to see most of the TV screens outside. So that meant a few things:

1. We had no idea where we were on screen in relation to KL and Hoda.

2. One of us had to run all the way down the building to see what was going on on the screens and yell down to the other “OKAY YOU’RE ON!!!!” “OKA Y YOU’RE NOT ON ANYMORE!” “OKAY YOU’RE BACK ON!”

3. We kept mindlessly waving/dancing/smiling, not really knowing when we were or were not on screen.

What resulted from this debacle was a couple of hilarious videos:

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29054368#47231496 (the best part of the second video begins at 2:50)

Watch us in the background waving, smiling, dancing, doing The Victory Sign, and generally making fools of ourselves 🙂

Ann Curry and Matt Lauer from The Today Show

Tiffany and I outside the Today Show

Al Roker, Ann Curry and Matt Lauer only 20-30 ft away from us! Whoop whoop!

Waving at the camera

Waving again, making friends with the crazies around us 🙂

Those are my “Today Show” experience photos. To read a little more about my GMA/Coldplay experience and see pictures, click here.

Things I Did and Places I Saw in NYC part five: Broadway shows

25 Jun

Everyone knows that NYC is one of the great art, musical, and theater capitals of the world. Musicians flock there to play shows, the museums hold amazing works of art, and the Theatre District is the place to go to see amazing Broadway shows. Last year I had the chance to see “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($30 for 4th row tickets!!!!!!!!) and “Avenue Q” (raunchy but still funny) with my dear friends Abbey and Nate when we first visited NYC.   While living in NYC this spring, I had the chance to see three Broadway shows: “Seminar” starring Alan Rickman (of Harry Potter fame), “Sister Act” starring Raven Symone (of Cosby Show and That’s So Raven fame), and “P for Parenthood” starring no one famous because it actually wasn’t that great of a show (but we saw it for free, so hey). 

“Seminar” was a play about a professor teaching a writing seminar to four aspiring writers. It’s funny and sometimes inappropriate but in the end it had a good message behind it. When I saw it it was starring Alan Rickman and Jerry O’Connell and we had a chance to talk to them after the show. Both men stopped by the crowds outside and signed our playbills. Jerry O’Connell was pretty obnoxious and thought we were drunk and I just said “Uhhh, can you just sign my playbill?” but when Alan Rickman came out, he was much more dignified 🙂 He was really friendly and stayed until he’d signed everyone’s playbills. I even told him “You did a really great job in the show” and he looked at me and said “Thank you.” 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 To have such a famous, well-known, and beloved actor be so kind and down-to-Earth was really great to see. He even WALKED home after the show. No car service or taxi or anything-just walking home like any other normal New Yorker. What a guy!! 

About to get my playbill signed after seeing “Seminar”

Me and Jerry O’Connell, haha

Alan Rickman signing playbills!

What a handsome man 🙂

Alan and I 😉

When my friend Tiffany came to visit me in NYC at the end of April, one of her goals was to see a show on Broadway. We chose to see “Sister Act” because I’d heard from multiple people that it was an amazing show to see. So we splurged on tickets and were definitely glad we did! Sister Act was an AMAZING show. It was hilarious, energetic, and was just a super, super fun show to see. After the show was over we went to the stage door and got to talk to Raven Symone and get her autograph on our playbills! She even told me she “loved my nails!” OH YEAHHHH! 🙂 

Tiffany and I outside the theater

Emily and Tiffany

LOVED this show 🙂

Me and Raven Symone

I don’t have much to say about “Rated P for Parenthood” as it just wasn’t a great show. My roommate Emily and I got free tickets from one of the ministry sites we worked with, and after seeing it we understood why they were free! The actors did a good job and were talented in acting and singing, but the show was just a little awkward and seemed to be trying too hard. 

Broadway shows are definitely a HUGE perk to living in NYC. If I was making a lot more money I would have gone to a Broadway show every weekend 🙂 They’re usually very engaging, energetic and entertaining! If you’re ever in NYC, you NEED to see a Broadway show 🙂

Things I Did and Places I Saw in NYC part four: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

22 Jun

Before my roommate Emily headed back to the great state of Nevada, she wanted to pay a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  So on one sunny, Saturday afternoon, she and I headed out to Liberty and Ellis Islands. 

The Statue of Liberty was much bigger than I expected. Emily and I spent about an hour on her island just looking at the Statue, going into the visitor’s center to learn about how she was made, and so on. I think the most interesting thing about the Statue of Liberty is that she is actually made of copper, and she got her blue color from rain degrading the copper over time. 

We then took the ferry to Ellis Island and saw the famous Ellis Island building, filled with artifacts and items from the 60+ years when immigrants flooded into the building from all parts of the world. I especially loved all of the photographs of immigrants from around the world. I even smiled when I saw a large portrait of a Slovak woman and her children 🙂 

The best thing about the Statue of Island and Ellis Island tour was that it was only $12! Of course we didn’t have the audio tour, but it was well worth the price. It took about four hours and we definitely could have spent longer there. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who goes to NYC. 

Ohhh yeahhhhhh Statue of Liberty!

Lady Liberty from the side

Whoo!!

Up close

The edge of Liberty Island offered us great views of Manhattan.

With Manhattan in the background

Ellis Island

Immigrant belongings

Immigration papers

Large room where immigrants were arranged and documented

 

Things I Did and Places I Saw in NYC Part Three: The Brooklyn Bridge

21 Jun

One of my favorite and one of the most beautiful landmarks in NYC is the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge has been around since the last 1800s, and at the time it was completed it was the tallest structure in the United States. That’s kind of hard to believe as the bridge is somewhat dwarfed in the midst of the great skyscrapers that make up Manhattan and Brooklyn now. A lot of tourists walk the bridge for the views, and I don’t blame them. The bridge is located near the southern tip of Manhattan, so as you walk on the bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn, amazing views of Manhattan stretch out behind you while amazing views of Brooklyn stretch out before you. The farthest you go away from Manhattan, the more you see-to the south, the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, the Freedom Tower (former World Trade Center site) and the business district, and to the north-the Empire State building, Chrysler building, Met Life building, and the Manhattan bridge. The views of the city from the Brooklyn Bridge are spectacular. 

As a part of my job I led groups on a prayer tour throughout the city (generally on the first day of their trip). This prayer tour was a day long tour of the city where, instead of snapping photos and learning facts about the height of skyscrapers and things like that, we’d go to various spots in the city, some well-known like Times Square and Rockefeller Center, and some less-known parts like the Bronx and Harlem, and pray over issues affecting the city like homelessness, poverty, hunger, etc. The prayer tour always concludes on the Brooklyn Bridge. We take students across the 5, 989 ft (1825 m) long bridge and stop halfway through to pray for the city as a whole. It’s an amazing moment and definitely made the typical tourist event of walking the Brooklyn Bridge even more special for me. Students often say the bridge is their favorite part of the prayer tour, and I don’t blame them. Given the five months I lived in NYC, I calculated that I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge a total of 15 times. Wowza! I’d do it again today if I could 🙂 I loved it!

Anyway, enough of my blabbing about the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge, here are some of my pics of it: 

Brooklyn Bridge with pedestrian walkers

Beautiful pillars

View of Southern Manhattan

View of Midtown Manhattan

Bff and I on the bridge

Myself on the bridge

Things I Did and Places I Saw in NYC Part Two: The Museum of Natural History

12 Jun

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the most well-known museums in the country. My roommate Emily was a big history buff, and being a fan of history myself, we were both eager to get to the museum and explore. One AMAZING thing about the museum is that they have a suggested pay for entry, but it’s only that, suggested. The suggested pay is $15 for adults, but you can pay what you want to get in, since the museum is funded primarily by donations. But Emily and I both only paid $5 each. Shazam!

According to Wikipedia, the museum has over 32 million specimens. That was definitely evident. Emily and I spent about 2 and a half hours exploring the museum and saw A LOT of things. We saw meteorites, diamonds and jewels, dinosaur skeletons, clothing and artifacts from all around the world, plants and animals from all over the world, and tons more. The museum was really interesting and impressive, but I think it’s somewhere I’d rather go with children. A lot of it seemed geared toward children and I think children would be more in awe of some of the large animals and things than adults are. Regardless, it was still fun. Anyway, here are the pics:

 

American Museum of Natural History

Teddy Roosevelt statue

Some kind of Native American boat on display. It was humongous!

Human skeleton

A meteorite!

Planet exhibition! My favorite section!

Dinosaur!

Things I Did and Places I Saw in NYC Part One: Central Park

11 Jun

During my time living in New York City I was pretty much working constantly. That constant work didn’t leave me a lot of time for blogging. When I wasn’t working I did my best to get out into the city and explore different places. My roommate Emily and I had fun seeing new and different places and stumbling upon fun things around the city. So now that I am home and my life has calmed down a bit, I’d like to write about the different things I got to do and see around the city.

One of the most peaceful, tranquil, and beautiful parts of New York I got to experience was the famed Central Park. When I went to NYC for the first time in 2011, I was only able to hang out in Central Park for about an hour. But living in NYC definitely gave me more of an opportunity to hang out in Central Park.

I think what most people don’t know about Central Park is that it is huge. MASSIVELY HUGE. The park is 843 acres and spans 51 blocks from north to south. Getting lost in Central Park is easy, and there is a lot to see. They have everything from a zoo to various playgrounds to a John Lennon memorial to a boathouse to playgrounds to sports fields and tons more. I definitely didn’t see all of Central Park, but I saw a good amount of it!

Central Park was a beautiful places where many, many New Yorkers go to escape daily life. I know I stopped there a lot to have some peace and quiet and to get away from the ‘concrete jungle’ of the city.

Hanging out on the rocks in Central Park

My friend Joe with a book bag we found on the rocks in Central Park 🙂

Peaceful Central Park ❤

Belvedere Castle in Central Park

Also a great place for photo shoots 🙂

Free French film in Central Park

I love this place!

The Greatest Weekend in NYC pt. 1 or That Time I was Ten Feet Away From Coldplay

12 Mar

Last weekend I had the best weekend I’ve had in NYC thus far. Granted, I’ve only been in the Big Apple for a month and a half now, but this weekend tops them all and I’m sure I’ll have a hard time finding one that can top it in the future!

It began early Friday morning, March 2. And when I say early Friday morning, I mean early Friday morning. My roommate/co-worker Emily and I awoke at the wee hour of 4am. Why would we do such a crazy thing, you ask? Well, for one reason and one reason only: COLDPLAY. Yes, my favorite band was playing at ABC’s Good Morning America show in Times Square and we wanted to be there. So we got ready, headed to Times Square, and showed up around 6am to find that about 100 people had beaten us to the punch. Most people were standing by the big window where cameramen film the outside audience. AKA: those crazy people with signs that say things like “Hi Nana!” and “We drove 1,700 miles to be here! We ❤ GMA!” But there were only about 30-40 people standing by the windows where the band was visible. I walked up to one of the windows and gasped a little bit as I saw my four musical heroes-Chris, Will, Jonny, and Guy-the men of Coldplay, inside. Emily and I snagged spots at the window directly behind Will the drummer, and Emily waited patiently while I walked to the other windows to take more pictures (from where we were we could just see Will and Guy, the bassist). Our view looked a little something like this:

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At the other window was Jonny and “Chris”. I put that in quotes because that day was actually Chris Martin’s birthday, and as a little treat for him, he was relieved of soundcheck duties and a doppleganger for him sat in. Of course at the time I didn’t realize this, so while everyone obsessively snapped photos of him I thought “That can’t be him! He doesn’t look like that! Does he?!”

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The crazy Coldplay fan in me was so excited to just be so close to the band and all of their equipment. I was looking at their instruments and set pieces with such excitement. Here’s a case for one of Will’s cymbals.

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The band warmed up until the show began at 7am. It was really cool to watch them doing their thing, talking to one another, and glancing back and waving at us. They were set to play at 8:30am, so they went to the green room til around 8:15. Then the REAL Chris Martin came out 🙂 

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The band put on an AMAZING show. They sang three songs-Yellow, Charlie Brown, and Paradise-and all were fantastic! We could hear the music from the speakers outside, and it was awesome to have an up close view of what they were doing. I have always loved Will’s drumming, but I have a billion times more respect for him after seeing that show and seeing him play so close.

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The only bummer was that when one of the hosts Robin was interviewing them, we couldn’t hear any of the audio. But we got to see the interviews go down.

Overall the show was AMAZING. It was worth getting up at 4am and being slammed against a window for 3 hours in order to see everything. When the show was over the band stood and waved to us for awhile and  then took photos with the cast/crew of GMA. Will even gave his drumsticks to one of the anchors as I looked on in anguish wishing I were as lucky as he.

At the end Chris left without signing autographs 😦 and Will, Jonny, and Guy only signed a few, and I wasn’t one of those lucky few.

Unfortunately I’m not able to get any more pictures to load, so I’ll just leave you with this delightful little video of one of their performances. I am right behind Will in the smallest window 🙂