Wednesday morning started with a quick visit from Emily who had just arrived in town on the red-eye from San Francisco for a wedding. She showed up at our hotel bright and early, showered, dressed, and caught a cab for the BDO office downtown (work first, play later). We were still out cold in bed but it was a nice wake-up call. The rest of the morning was spent in the gym (trying to work off Tuesday’s corned beef) and blogging. Later we walked down Broadway to a plaza full of street vendors for a quick lunch then to Madison Square Garden (not located on Madison Square…but once was, so) where we got a personal tour from our friend Courtney (VP of Service & Retention).
The facility is amazing (as are the price points for tickets) and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of both The Eagles and Billy Joel doing sound tests for their upcoming concerts. Courtney took us through all the clubs, up and over the sky bridge, and of course, into the arena. The Garden is located smack dab in the middle of downtown Manhattan, right above Penn Station. I just can’t get my head around how that part of NY functions on game days! And apparently there is some kind of event at MSG over 300 days per year. Incredible.
After the tour the three of us walked to the Stephen Sondheim Theatre to see Beautiful, The Carole King Musical. This was special. Robin saw it a year ago in San Francisco with some friends. She came home and told me how much I would love it. She was right. I think most of us who came of age in the 60’s & 70’s owned Carole King’s Tapestry album. Those coming later know many of her timeless songs. What we maybe did not know was the scope of her work writing songs for other artists (Up on a Roof, The Locomotion, One Fine Day, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow). The play covers her life from the first song she sold through the Tapestry album plus many songs by friends Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (On Broadway, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, Walking in the Rain). Amazing talent. So much fun.
Thursday was spent checking off items from the bucket list. Dave and Louise Fong (see prior post) were able to arrange a private tour of the New York Stock Exchange and invited us to join them. Public tours were stopped after 911 so getting in the building and on the floor is pretty difficult. Once past security we toured the trading floor with Jimmy Smith of Morgan Stanley. The highlight for us was spending time at Post 9 where the CNBC studio is set up (I watch it religiously, so Robin gets daily exposure too). We watched several of the anchors and reporters do their thing, which today was talk ad nauseam about Friday’s Alibaba IPO.
The trading floor was not at all what we expected (huge, crowded, noisy, messy, chaotic). Jimmy explained that since trading went electronic, the vast majority of floor employees were no longer necessary. The Citi station, once manned by dozens of employees, now has three (that mostly drank coffee, visited other traders, and occasionally checked their computer screens). The floor itself is fairly small, fairly clean, and very busy but not manic. Plenty of room to roam around and take it all in. The experience was simply outstanding. Thanks again Dave and Louise!
After our trip to the NYSE, we picked-up Emily from her office and went for a nice lunch in Bryant Park. The park was busy with food vendors, jugglers, musicians, people playing ping-pong, and parties. Guess they take long lunches in NYC!
Our next event……Jimmy Fallon! We met Emily and Courtney outside Rockefeller Center and made our way to the NBC studio for today’s taping of the Tonight Show. Robin’s cousin Josh Lieb (winner of many Emmy awards) is the Executive Producer and was kind enough to get us tickets for today’s show with Billy Crystal. Oh my God. We all laughed so much and so hard our faces actually hurt.
Afterward we got a quick back stage tour by Josh’s assistant Brittney and then a quick get together with Josh in his office. It was so nice to visit with Josh and to get an inside look at what goes into creating the show (much more chaotic than the NYSE). Certainly an experience we will cherish always.
Capped off an unbelievable day with dinner at Olive & Fig.