Every once in awhile, in the midst of my family's awful luck with traveling, we occasionally hit a small pocket of good fortune. In this case, we managed to somehow score $30 front-row tickets to watch West Side Story at the Palace Theatre on Broadway today! We just so happened to be passing by the box office, decided to pop in to see what the showtimes were, came in five minutes before the lottery drawing for day-of discount tickets, and won prime seats! Please disregard the fact that five minutes later, we accidentally dropped the tickets, panicked, spent 30 minutes looking for them, and finally retrieved them only by the grace of a good Samaritan who turned them in for us.
Being a bit of a musical theater buff, I've seen my fair share of shows, but this was my first actually on the Great White Way. It lived up to expectations, and being right next to the action definitely helped make the experience perfect. I had seen West Side Story live before but was sitting so far away I had to use binoculars, so this was a completely new and different experience for me. I was utterly enraptured the entire time and will be singing songs from the musical for days to come.
Right after the show, we taxied straight to Redeemer Presbyterian Church, led by pastor Tim Keller. Due to its renown and influence, I was expecting a lavish Sunday service with a 20-piece band, blaring music, laser light shows, and flashy handouts so commonly associated with mega-churches. Yes, the place was packed, but instead of fancy fanfare, the worship was led by a simple jazz ensemble, and the power of the service came entirely from the authenticity and truth of the sermon. It was so refreshing to see a huge, successful church that has managed to remain focused on what is truly important in Christian fellowship and teaching. The message was profound yet conversational, and it in all aspects pointed back to Jesus and emphasized the gospel in unique but understandable ways.
Other highlights of the day include visiting shops in Times Square, including the new Forever 21, the largest on the East Coast with four floors and 90,000 square feet. Normally this would be of no concern to me, except apparently the store now has a men's section, and I got a very nice new jacket for quite a steal. Before our show began, we killed time at the immense M&M's World, which just so happens to be one of my mom's favorite candies. We also visited some of the more legendary dessert spots, including Magnolia Bakery for red velvet cupcakes and Serendipity for their famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, then ended the night with a stroll to the Queensboro Bridge before heading back to the hotel for the night.
|Munching on New York pizza for breakfast in Times Square.|
|Yummy slices from Patzeria's Perfect Pizza in Times Square!|
|The Times Square Ball that famously drops every New Year's Day.|
|New Year's wishes written on confetti that falls over Times Square. Apparently someone wants alien goats to take over the world in 2010.|
|The Great White Way...there's nothing like it!|
|A New York-themed mannequin display at the gargantuan Forever 21 at Times Square.|
|Trying the famous Magnolia Bakery cupcakes!|
|Passing the time before our musical begins at the M&M World store.|
|My silly momma channeling the red M&M.|
|Mommy chilling with the yellow M&M.|
|My mom and I with the sexy green M&M.|
|We got to take our picture with the yellow M&M! The real one!|
|So excited about seeing West Side Story! I was singing the songs all day.|
|In our front-row seats at the Palace Theatre waiting for West Side Story to begin.|
|Mother waiting at our table at Serendipity 3.|
|Two lovely ladies having dinner and dessert at Serendipity.|
|The famous frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity!|