Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall in Love with Free Opera

Considering how beautiful Bryant Park now is, I can't believe it used to be called "Needle Park" when the park was rampant with heroin dealers and cracked out users. Remember the 1971 movie Panic at Needle Park starring a young Al Pacino? The movie was a pretty disturbing and gritty story about a group of heroin addicts who hang out in NYC's Needle Park. Bryant Park couldn't be any different now. Bryant Park felt almost like some parks in Paris, especially with the small cafe-style tables dispersed throughout the park.

From now until October 8th, Bryant Park is celebrating classic music season to preview the upcoming seasons of New York City's best classical music organizations like the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, and The New York Pops. The concerts feature 90-minute performances and are free to the public.

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of listening to the New York City Opera's performance of Love American Style. The performances were outstanding but we were completely unprepared (meaning, under dressed) for the biting chilly weather and couldn't stay for the entire performance.

Sometimes we wish we had kids (or nephews and nieces, at least) so that we would "have to" ride with them on the Carousel.

This Alice in Wonderland Blue Bunny is the one I wanted to ride.

The park also has a little children's reading room area near the carousel.

Bryant Park also has other things happening at the park, like yoga and tai chi classes and free knitting lessons (Marie, maybe I'll take one of these classes and knit you a sweater, which will consist of one arm being too long and the other being too short, and absolutely no buttons!).

And we're looking forward to Bryant Park's Holiday Shops, a European style holiday market hosting over 120 shops, most of the shops selling handmade gifts from around the world, from November 22 to December 28. They also supposedly turn the park into a temporary ice skating rink during the holidays, and admission is free if you bring your own ice skates.

During the summer, HBO, which is headquartered across the street from the park, has its free summer film festival at the park. Good Morning America also has free summer concert series.