Archive for the ‘Mid-town’ category

2009 Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue

April 12, 2009

It’s Easter in New York City and the Easter Parade is still a major draw.

Remember, it isn’t a real parade.  The police cordon off 5th Avenue between 49th St. and 57th St. and people mill about.  The minority wear hats.  The majority have cameras.

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The place was jammed.  Biggest crowds there that I’ve seen before (this is my fourth or fifth of these).

Every so often, someone decides to do it nicely…or at least over the top in a more elegant manner.  The below were the ones I spotted this year.

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But it is almost universally a silly-hat-day.

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I liked this kid’s “bucket head” enough that I’m putting in two of him.  (The one below includes his mother(?) who didn’t quite go the buckethead route but kept her’s nice plus another person who went the hat-height method).  But the picture above was my favorite for the day.  So two of him in this post there shall be!

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You know, I really didn’t spot any absolutely-new-and-improved hats this year.  It all seemed a little derivative of earlier hats.  I guess that the tried and true route was the one everyone was really going for.

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But one thing was a little different from earlier years.  I’ll wait to the end to disclose it.

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Yes, there were lots of stuffed animals on hats.  And adorable children in colorful hats.

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And there were others who also took the “good” route.

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The weather was cold and windy. That’s sort of typical.

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The closer you get to St. Patricks Cathedral, the greater the crowding.

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An issue in the parade that happens every sunny year is that the shadows can really play havoc with pictures.  There are four carrot hats here.  The fourth one, on the left, sort of faded into the shadows.

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At this point I was in very close to St. Pat’s.  You can see it in the background of the next picture.

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I still had a number of pictures to take (I’m only halfway through with this post), but this just shows that the hat-wearers really hung around outside the Church.

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The next picture was a sort of traditional picture: dog with hat. In this case, the poor dog was surrounded by photographers and had put its head down and was completely unmoving. I looked at it for about 10 seconds and couldn’t figure out whether it was a real dog or a stuffed animal with a hat. Then the dog came to life and barked at someone near me. Yeah, it was a live dog. I took this picture just after it barked.

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Just more pictures of the hatted few.

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The next one was more imaginative than virtually all of the rest. Chia Lady.

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Down a block from St. Pat’s, there were some more commercial attempts at costumes. There were a small contingent of people dressed in bunny costumes and handing out eggs. I don’t know their reason for it, but I got the feeling that the eggs were promotional gifts. Maybe, maybe not.

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But the next guy was in it for the money. He did say something about how we could put money in his hat.

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Others seemed just to be heading up to the main crowd at St. Pat’s when all of us with cameras slowed them down.

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And when you pose with a costume character while 20 people are taking your picture…well, your picture ends up in places like this.

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Sometimes it was more difficult to tell the store-bought silly hats from the let’s-make-it-at-home silly hats. I hope this was just a family project as these 3 or 4 were amongst the most colorful of the day.

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Just as I was leaving the area, a bunch of people showed up and started to pose for us.

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And my last picture of the day. Once again, the shadows made picture-taking difficult for amatuers like me.

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Okay, all in all it was a little disappointing. A lot of that is because I was there until about 11:30am and there was still a lot of time left for the truly interesting ones to show up. But, this timing was pretty typical of my other trips so I don’t think that’s it. It was a lot colder than the last year or so and the wind was brutal. So that may also be part of it. Maybe I’m just getting blase about the Easter Parade.

I did note one difference from my earlier attendances: men in hats. The first time or two that I came, the only men in hats were those who had latched themselves to their wives as if to say: she made me do it! This year I seem to have noticed a lot of men just wandering around in their hats. Make of it what you will.

-H

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City 2008

September 7, 2008

Well, it’s September, it’s NYC, and the supermodels are wandering about. It must be Fashion Week.

I have to admit that I’m not particularly thrilled by the whole concept of Fashion Week, but I figure that the well-dressed must have some place to go to; so why not wander around Bryant Park for a week or so.

Yesterday, I wandered by there and found the set ups in place with all the requisite security and people with clipboards noting who to let in. I haven’t checked, but I guarantee that Famous Ankles isn’t on the “send him right on in” list. Last year, I did spend a few minutes waiting around looking for models, but it left me feeling a little…absurd. I hadn’t planned on doing anything for Fashion Week this year, but had taken two pictures of the initial setup. Here’s the better of the two. (Note, it’s Saturday morning around 9am and there’s nary a supermodel in sight.)

So, today I was coming back from Church and I saw crowds gathering. I had my camera and thought that maybe, just maybe, there would be something to see. I didn’t really expect anything. New Yorkers are very much gawkers and it was only noonish.

I was wrong. There was something to see! There was a protest. A pretty fun protest. A pretty weird protest against pretty people wearing fur. I love the sign: Vanity Sucks. If they didn’t have all these very pretty girls passing out literature on their behalf (and, yes, they were very pretty girls) I might have taken them a little more seriously.

That’s not true, either. I don’t take people in bunny suits seriously. Although I do like the simulated blood. (I see dead rabbits. They’re everywhere!)

They were really protesting DKNY. The group, NYC Animal Rights, was nice and loud; and had obviously put a lot of work into their preparations. Good for them. I love a good incoherent protest. It makes me feel all nice and warm. (I don’t know if they’re associated with PETA or acting with PETA or what-not.)

And they were pretty incoherent/unreasonable on so very many levels. I thought I had a picture of my favorite protest sign, but didn’t catch it. It said “Real designers don’t kill animals.” That sort of statement just boggles my mind. I kept going back and thinking of designers that aren’t fashion-oriented. For example, the designers of the skinning knives and stuff like that. Yeah, it’s a reach, but my mind was just rocked by the idea that this group only thinks of design in fashion terms.

And, of course, I kept thinking of leather belts, shoes, etc. that all but the most diehard of the animal rights people still use. And, mostly, why the writer of that particular sign would imagine there’s a connection between fashion design and non-cruelty towards animals. But, I also just kept thinking that the members of the group were being…well, fashionable in their protest. Nice costumes. Protesting against cruelty (where or where is the group in favor of cruelty I always ask). Situating themselves very well for drawing attention. And they had about 10 or 15 very attractive young women passing out literature. I remember thinking they were very nicely dressed.

I admit that I have never watched an episode of Project Runway. It’s just not something that I have an interest in watching although I know people who swear it is actually an intellectual endeavor that shows how people are forced to extend their creative juices in all sorts of interesting directions, fashionwise. But I promise I’d probably watch if they were to have an episode where the cast had to slaughter, skin, tan, and sew the skins of animals into clothing for supermodels (or just ordinary models).

Lastly, I have to admit having an urge at the sight of them and their protest. I wanted to break out into song. You know, of course, that there’s only one appropriate song. Yep, it’s “Kill the Wabbit” from Merrie Melodies’ “What’s Opera, Doc?”. 

Yeah, it would have been way too over the top and let them interpret it as a threat or something rather than a meat-eater’s humorous poke at their protest.  (What do you wanna bet they wouldn’t have shown any sense of humor at it?)

-H

2008 Pakistan Day Parade in New York City

August 24, 2008

On my way to Church on Sunday, I discovered that Madison Avenue had up the barricades for a parade. I hadn’t looked to see if any were scheduled, so I didn’t know who it was. I talked with a cop and he told me it was the Pakistan Day Parade and would be held at noon.

That made me pretty happy. The Pakistan Day Parade is one of my favorites and last year’s post on it is actually one of the most popular posts I have on this blog.

So, when I left Church, I didn’t bother going home, but showed up on Madison and 38th at about 11:30. I talked with another cop and he said it would be at noon.

And then I got disappointed. Noon came and went. The parade route had cars going north on it unimpeded by the police officers stationed at every corner. I could hear the bands warming up! I figured it was actually a late start or maybe a 12:30 parade. Finally, another cop walked by and I asked and he told me 1pm. It wasn’t worth leaving at that point and I did want to see the parade. So, I waited. Amazingly, at 12:45 I was the only person on my block waiting for the parade. A number of obviously Pakistani people went by (you could recognize them because they all seemed to have flags) but they were heading to the block or two north of me close to the very beginning of the parade.

Promptly at 1pm, the parade started. My block had a few more people, but not many. I looked in vain for the family that I had seen last year and the man who had proved to be the biggest hit of the parade. No luck.

First, came the cops on horses and then the dignitaries came. There was a bunch of ’em.

This year’s parade was a lot more political than last year’s. Well, it is an election year. I’ve seen this same limo for the candidate before.

There were a couple of marching bands, but the Pakistanis really like to come in floats and virtually every one I saw was jammed. The guy at the front right of the float below was one of the parade highlights. You can’t see the movements, but he was very animated and having fun.

Like most national day parades, there were flags everywhere. As usual, most of the flags were of the originating country, but there were a lot of American flags, too. SM&B Construction’s float had a visual that I really liked.

I didn’t understand the next float. It had the name of Dr. Muhammad M. Haque from the Department of Immigration. I don’t know if it was a float he sponsored or one he is memorialized on. I presume the latter.

The next float was pretty cool. It was a celebration of the American International School System in Pakistan and noted how there are schools throughout Pakistan that use American connections and techniques and supplies to further their education. I gotta support that.

My personal highlight of the parade is something new this year: beauty queens. They are a staple of most parades, but I don’t recall seeing any in other parades so closely associated with Islam. All beauty queens are automatically pictured in Famous Ankles. So here you go, thanks to Wholesale Building Supply.

Last year’s parade was a pretty quiet affair. This year, lots and lots of music. I wouldn’t say this was the loudest, but it was one of the best. One of the DJ’s at the back was dancing in time with the music and it was pretty well done.

Finally, there was this next float. Apparently, it is a limo service.

Okay, why is this one of my favorite parades? It doesn’t even have the “big flag” and only a couple of beauty queens; what’s so great? The answer last year was the “Dad” character and the fact that the entire parade; the whole parade; from beginning to end was about 18 minutes long. This is a town where a two-hour parade is typical and I’ve left one parade after more than four hours while it was still going on!

This year’s parade was much longer than last year’s. It hit the 29 minute mark. Well done and a happy 61st independence day for Pakistan.

-H

Film Shooting on Sixth Avenue

August 15, 2008

Every so often when you’re walking around, you run across a film crew. This happened last weekend when I was on 6th Avenue near 52nd Street. I was on the west side and I noticed a huge group of people on my side looking directly across the street. I looked and saw the following sight:

Yeah, it doesn’t really stick out that much, does it? If you look a little closer, you can see a cameraman and some guy holding a big reflector. Okay, I did a little zooming in.

The next shot is actually during some of the filming. It only took about a minute and then they started to just sort of standaround and discuss whatever it is that they needed to talk about.

I tried to figure out who they were and whether it was a movie, TV, or commercial. I seriously doubt it was a movie. Generally, you can spot the trucks and the caterers and all those guys just up from the filming. It’s possible they were around a corner, but if it was a movie then it may have been some ancillary shots or maybe a smaller budget shoot. I’ve seen some movie stuff where there were entire semis stationed around all over the place.

It could have been a commercial. If so, its the one of the first times I saw any action on a commercial. They do a lot of preparation.

My guess; a TV shot. Maybe Law and Order or something like that. In any case, it just goes to show that we are all unreasonably besotted by the entertainment business. There wasn’t really anything to see but we all stood and watched; and I even got a post out of it.

Whatever.

Minor point: the area they were filming in is filled with tall buildings and several big plazas. I’m sure it was put to good use. If I ever see it on the screen, though, I guarantee that I won’t realize that I may have seen the live version.

-H

2008 Dominican Day Parade in NYC – Part 2

August 12, 2008

This is the second of two posts on the Dominican Parade.

The next picture was just one of those things. This guy may have been associated with some group, but I sure can’t figure out who. He and another cyclist were in an open area of the parade and they just kept doing some circling around in the street while waiting for the cross traffic at 46th to go by. In the meantime, this guy was doing the same trick again and again. He was pretty good at it, but it was obvious that he was still practicing. I gotta admit that I enjoyed the trick even though he seldom could hold the position for more than a moment.

A mambo group that didn’t mambo came through after the cyclist. But they didn’t dance at all while I was watching. The one photo that almost worked was accompanied by half the flag of my neighbor as she waved incessantly…so, no photo. Sorry.

Another group followed them that I sure don’t understand. It’s called “Grupo De Lechones” and had a sign mentioning Carnaval. Fine. But what were the Egyptian masks on the sign for? I just don’t understand. But I did like the weird skateboard used by one of the marchers. He’s below.

But following him was the parade highlight. I had seen these guys last year and just thinking of what they did raises the little hairs on the back of my neck. They were the “beasties” I mentioned in yesterday’s post, but beasties with weapons! Well, sort of. They had bullwhips and they were cracking those whips constantly. These weren’t little snaps and the like. They were loud and…well, they were really loud and close to the crowd at times.

The next picture shows one of the close ones. These guys were vigorous in their whipcracking. And very skilled. And loud.

The next picture shows two of my favorite beasties. (I have no other name for them and I kinda like “beastie”.) The guy on the left was very friendly and came over and was posing and talking with some of the people to my left. The guy on the right had the most interesting hat in the entire parade.

I enjoyed the next group that followed, too. It was a Dominican Tae Kwon Do group that did some moves and the like in front of us. The best part was what I took the picture of: one of the more skilled guys (I presume) leapt over the hand-held sign and broke a board being held by one of his fellows. A nice little trick, and very effective.

The group itself had people of a wide range of ages. Quite a few kids.

There was even a mention of the Iraq War issue by some military members and their families. The next picture shows some people carrying a picture and placard. The sign held by the soldier and the family(?) members are identical and state “I am Boricua Air Force Reserve Sgt. Daniel Jorge and I am headed to Iraq. Please don’t forget the sacrifice of my military borthers Dominican soldiers Alex Jimenez, Juan Alcantara and Marine Rian Tejada and Columbian Jonathan Rivadineira and pray for my safe return.” God bless you, them, and your families.

Incidentally, “Boricua” seems to be a word for the Puerto Rican people.

Some more beasties. Ah, they were ever present in the parade and I got so few good shots of them. They are just so colorful and weird that I don’t know why it really doesn’t come out better.

During much of the parade, there were lots of political candidates present and/or being represented by lots of supporters. Except for Mayor Bloomberg, who had no overtly political signs around (he marched in the “dignitary” group); every single politician was a Democrat. But that’s so very typical of NYC. I really have no interest in showing their signs and the like, but two of the three usual group was in the parade: Charlie Rangel rode in his convertible and Anthony Weiner did his bullhorn bit. No sign of Chuck Schumer.

But the one political display I will show is the next picture. I just looked at it and laughed that State Senate candidate Monserrate viewed this as a parade vehicle. There were lots of his supporters around and I doubt the candidate was in this stretch limo, but I can’t resist putting this into the posting. I presume it is rented, but the idea of this being one of his vehicles is a hoot. How much do we pay State Senators here, anyway? (I googled it and it seems to be just below $80K, but it is only a part-time position.)

So, there was candidate after candidate. To tell you the truth, the weather was looking a bit iffy and I wasn’t very happy with the caliber of the displays. But then some dancers showed up and made me perk up. This group was quite good. As I always say, combining native costumes and dance is always a real plus in a parade.

There were some more floats and some were fine. There were politicians and money order businesses and the like. But after that last set of dancers it wasn’t until 14 minutes later than I found a group I enjoyed enough to write about: models. I think it was some sort of model school, but maybe not. The thing I really liked was something I really couldn’t capture: they spent a while standing and doing this sort of weird wave that reminds me of Queen Elizabeth when she waves to crowds. A sort of minimalist twist of the arm more than a wave. These young ladies were more than a little bored although one of them is giving me a bit of a saucy look. Well, maybe to someone on my right…

The parade itself was very good. Too many politicians. Not enough dancing. But those are quibbles. The crowd’s enthusiasm was wonderful and a sight to behold. The ear-splitting cheers and flag waving and the like were a delight. It’s a good thing to be compared to the Puerto Rican Day Parade and this parade is getting into that class. It needs a few celebrities and maybe about 10 more decibels, but that’s probably about all.

-H

2008 Dominican Day Parade in NYC – Part 1

August 11, 2008

Sunday had the annual Dominican Day Parade on Sixth Avenue. Like last year, it was big, it was loud, it was loud, and it was loud. All in all, a good parade with an enormous amount of audience enthusiasm and, as can be expected, a lot of politics in an election year.

The parade did start on time. The crowd was large, but I did manage to get a front row position. That’s the good news. The bad is that I was right next to a young Dominican lady somewhere between 15 and 19 years old (I’m guessing, of course). She seems to have spent the previous year in a training program in professional screaming. And wild flag waving. She must have been tops in her class. My right ear is still suffering. And about 1/3 of my pictures ended up with part of her flag in it.

The parade started with cops on horses and cops on motorcycles; but my first picture was one of the highlights of the parade. These horses have some sort of equestrian training. They took very quick little steps in a prancing motion. Very cool, and impossible to capture in a picture.

The horses were followed (at a discrete distance) by the dignitaries including Mayor Bloomberg.

And that group was followed by some guy who appears to be the king ‘o the parade. I presume he’s a local character of some sort or the figure may be some sort of cultural icon. In either event (or neither), he got a lot of enthusiastic yells from the crowd. Of course, with this crowd you could have walked an chewed gum and the audience would have been leaping in joy. They were really, really wired up for this parade. And that’s the fun in parades. Almost never the participants alone, but in the give and take between paraders and watchers.

Goya foods is one of the big supporters of the parade. They had a number of floats. As is the Famous Ankles tradition, beauty queens get pictured. Here’s the first of many.

One of my best memories from last year’s parade was centered on what I can only think of as “beasties”. These are some sort of devil critters that seem to be very prominent in the culture. Whoever creates the costumes can be proud of how imaginative they are. There were lots and lots of beasties. Some of them came over very near me. Some will show up later; others are pictured with a young lady’s flag between them and my viewpoint.

Well, here are some more Goya beauty queens. And I should mention that everytime you see a float; think in terms of 120 decibels of fun streaming from them. Very loud. Not quite Puerto Rican Day Parade loud, but getting close.

A dance troupe called “Little Dancers of Borinquen” performed very nicely. Ah, but discerning readers may note that Borinquen is in Puerto Rico, not the Dominican Republic. Hey, it’s a probably a case of any opportunity to dance in public to very loud music. The group’s picture below is just of the youngest, but there were young ladies of every age in the group and they all did just fine.

Well, we’ve gone long enough without some beauty queens. Here are two from the New York Daily News. Nice smiles, ladies. I really am pointing out the “beauty queen” bit here because it nearly vanished in the last half of the parade. That’s when things got a lot more political…and boring.

One of my favorite bits in any parade is native costumes matched with vigorous dancing. It’s one of those things that riles up the crowd just right and brings out the energy. There just weren’t enough of these groups in the parade, but I did appreciate the ones that were there. And the crowd did, too.

The next picture shows a child in one of the same sort of costumes as above. But there was something a little different. Right before she and the boy behind her came up was a man in the same costume doing a comedy act. Not a transvestite, but some sort of Milton Berle in drag sort of comedy routine that I saw a couple of times and made me think there was a cultural in-joke that the crowd knew, but I didn’t (well, except the comedy was broad enough for anyone to catch). The fact that these two followed them so closely had me thinking that they were part of it, but it’s hard for me to remember why I made that conclusion. She may have been just too young or too tired to do the dance routine and her proximity to the comic may have just been coincidental.

More dancers showed up. These ladies were great and very energetic. I have several pictures of them with the girl-to-my-right’s flag in front of them. She was a waving machine with them.

As always, I like to get a good photo of the crowd. It was big. I was around 46th Street which means this wasn’t anywhere near the most crowded part of the route and just look at them!

I’m going to finish this part of the coverage with another beauty queen. I haven’t any idea of who she is or what she represents. Okay, she’s representing the Dominican Republic and doing a very fine job of it.

There were still a number of big things to come in the parade. I’ll cover the most interesting ones of them in tomorrow’s post, but a lot of it became very political. Lots of politicians and their supporters. And every single one of them was a Democrat. Welcome to NYC, what did you expect?

-H

Jack Moelmann and the Wurlitzer Organ at Radio City Music Hall

August 10, 2008

About two weeks ago, I got an e-mail from my cousin in Florida mentioning some retired Air Force colonel’s quest to rent out Radio City Music Hall’s auditorium to play the organ. I hadn’t heard a word about Colonel Jack Moelmann up until that point and the storyline probably wouldn’t have caught my attention without her pointing it out.

I thought about it and thought about it; and finally decided to go.

I must admit to not being too much of an organ fan. It’s a fine instrument and the one at Radio City has, with some qualifications, claim on being one of the biggest in the world. Hey, they call it “the mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ”. That’s a very cool name. 

I have to admit that I’ve never gone out of my way to listen to the organ, except in Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Godda-Da-Vida and Bach’s Tocatta and Fugue (the last link actually has a sound file).  Neither was played last night, but I think the last one would have brought the house down.  My best memory of an organ itself is meeting the uncle of a good friend and watching him build part of a world class organ for a large Virginia church.  Amazing.

So I got in and had a pretty good seat. There are actually two organ consols in the place. One to the audience’s left and one to the right. I made a guess that the one on the left would be the focus of the performance and before the show started I managed to catch a quick photo. This is the last of the “good” photos because they banned flash photography. I gotta bunch of lousy pictures. You’re going to see the best of the worst from here on out.

At first, the place was pretty empty and I wondered about the turnout. I was pretty much there to support a retired Air Force colonel (just like my dad was) and his pursuit of his lifetime dream. (Actually, I don’t know how long he had the dream but I like to think of it as a longtime, even lifelong, quest.)

Radio City Music hall has about 6,000 seats from what I understand. The place did start to fill up, but I don’t think it hit the halfway point which is what I figure he would need to break even. The crowd was pretty eclectic, but certainly skewed toward retired types that appeared to be retired military.

Well before the above picture took place, something very nice happened. I was sitting there and some guy in a white jacket appeared and talked to some people near the front. I really only noted him because of the white jacket and how out of place it was. He then went to a couple of other rows and I started to suspect it was the Colonel. I hadn’t seen any interview or any picture that I could recall.

As he did a little bit of wandering, he came and started talking to some people two rows ahead of me and their words indicated it was Colonel Moelmann. He started talking and I recognized one of his phrases from an article I read; something about the Rockette’s wouldn’t come because they cost $90,000.

I shoulda taken a picture, but I didn’t. Interestingly, nobody near me did either. I just couldn’t believe that the show’s star was coming out to greet his audience only about 15 minutes before the show.

Anyway, the show started with an introduction by Fr. Gus Franklin and Nelson Page. They were front and center on the stage, but that area wasn’t used again until the very end of the show.

After about a two-minute intro, Jack Moelmann came out and climbed onto the organ’s seating. For the period of his main playing time, he got on and off that thing about six times, each time we all wondered (and he wondered aloud) whether he was going to fall off the elevated perch. There didn’t seem to be much room between the back of his (movable) bench and the edge of the perch. How he didn’t fall at some point remains a mystery. Of course, the guy was probably walking on clouds anyway.

Colonel Moelmann wasn’t alone in his playing. Early on, he was joined by Russell Holmes (the pianist for the Queen Mary 2 liner) playing on the organ consol to the right. I tried to get a photo of it, but no luck.

The Colonel played for about twenty minutes or so. Most of his repetoire was pretty standard songs from the thirties and on. His first one: The Trolley Song from “Meet Me in St. Louis”. One of the most modern ones? Rubber Ducky. He did some Cole Porter, too.

He was followed by a fellow organist, Walt Strony. The picture below is pretty much the sort of thing we saw all evening. During his conversation with the audience, Colonel Moelmann stated that one of the “rules of show business” is not to turn your back on the audience. Well, with the Radio City setup, there was no way to not have your back to the audience.

The next organist was Lew Williams. The next picture is such that both he and Walt Strony were hard to tell apart.

At the very end, they went to the main stage and Col. Moelmann was presented with an award from the Theatre Organ Society International. The members of his Church sent flowers and the Colonel told us to get out.

The program itself was pretty standard. There was the first medley from Moelmann. He was joined by Russell Holmes for a few tunes. Walt Strony and Lew Williams did a few themselves, giving the Colonel a chance to take a breather. He came back to lead a sing-along. There was an intermission and then each of the four did some more playing. Plus, Fr. Franklin played some at the end with Moelmann.  There was one classical piece performed, I believe by Williams.  Lots of Broadway tunes.

One or two items. His playing was fine, but his three main accompanists were much sharper. No problem. Second, there was so many other sounds coming along with the organ playing that it seemed that the organ was played almost as much as a synthesizer than just a regular organ. I don’t know these things, but some of the sounds were such that they may have been recorded to play at the touch of a button rather than the sound changing because of the flick of a switch. For example, some bell-type sounds were very fast and there didn’t seem to be any corresponding movement in the organists bodies to show that they were being created on the fly.

But that’s of no consequence. It was good to see somebody’s dream come true. To his credit, the Colonel said that he his main dream was to entertain us, but however you cut it; seeing him do this accomplishment was one of the main entertainments of the evening.

-H