January 2007

Tourist Attractions07 Jan 2007 12:37 pm

By Chris Hale

Metropolitan opera

   The original Metropolitan Opera House first opened October 22, 1883 on a parcel of land between 39th and 40th Street on Broadway. The current Metropolitan Opera House opened September 16, 1966 and is situated on W. 62nd through W. 66th Sts. between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center Plaza is one of the world’s greatest opera houses. The opera house is first-rate in every aspect – from its majestic sets and staging to its featuring the world’s most revered artists accompanied by superior orchestral and choral musicians. The opera season runs over 32 weeks (from opening night at the end of September to the first week of May). During that period the opera house stages more than 200 performances with about 800,000 total attending the performances. The current opera house is a magnificent structure. Inside the opera house you are treated to swirling red carpeted stairs, crystal chandeliers, 24K gold ceilings and two enormous Chagal paintings. A recent addition to the opera house is the “Met Titles” feature: computerized screens that are mounted on the backs of the spectator seats to provide each person with their own opera-translation monitor. The Met Opera Guild offers backstage tours from October through June. For further information call (212) 769-7020 Monday thru Friday between 10-4 pm Eastern Standard Time. Current tour costs $9.00 per adult and $4.00 per student. Lincoln Center Tours (which includes The Metropolitan Opera) are given daily. For information call (212) 875-5350. The charge for this tour is $9.50 per adult, $4.75 for children 6 to 12 and $8.00 for students and senior citizens. Metropolitan Opera House, 132 W. 65th Street, New York, New York. (212) 362-6000.


 Photo: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2006

Restaurants05 Jan 2007 12:09 am

by Lucy Foster

grand tier restaurant

  Grand Tier Restaurant, at the Metropolitan Opera House on the Upper West Side between W. 62nd & 65th Streets and Columbus & Amsterdam Aves. New York, New York. Open two hours before performances for opera ticket holders only. Reservations suggested: (212) 799-3400 If you are looking for a memorable experience and are an opera lover (or trying to be an opera lover), this unique and beautiful restaurant is on the  Grand Tier level of the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. This restaurant has museum-size Chagall paintings hanging in extravagant bright yellow, green and blue amidst modern crystal chandeliers. Add to this massive windows that look out beyond the Metropolitan Opera’s balcony with a splendid view of Lincoln Center Plaza and its warmly lit fountain. This restaurant is an ideal setting for a night at the opera. The restaurant is only open for pre-curtain and intermission dining and you must have a ticket for that performance to eat there. The restaurant serves pre-opera full-dinners, but you can also have your various courses of dinner over two 20 minute intermissions. Intermission dining works as follows: before the opera, you order your meal. At intermission you are shown to your table, where your first main course is served and waiting at your table. At the later intermission, you order dessert. The desserts have been reviewed as the best items to order, surpassing the dinner options. The restaurant accepts all major credit cards. Food served is expensive.


Photo: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2006

Holiday03 Jan 2007 02:27 pm

By Chris Hale

  christmas american history museum
  Located in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, the Origami tree has been an annual tradition at the American Museum of Natural History for over 30 years. Every year a different theme is chosen and volunteers begin “folding” this Christmas tradition as early as July. The 2007 theme was “Mythic Creatures” where unicorns and dragons are among the creatures tucked into the branches. The tree is filled with hundreds of magical creations and is on display from November 19 thru January 1st. 
  The American Museum of Natural History is located at 79th street and Central Park West. When entering through the main entrance, two lit holiday decorated Barosaurs are on display as well.
  When purchasing your admission tickets, the museum provides a free map for you to navigate successfully through the four levels.
  Directions to the museum by subway: take the B train on weekdays or the C train to 81st Street. If you chose to drive in, the Museum provides a 3-story underground parking garage that you enter from West 81st Street.


Photo: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2008