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22 December 2017
During the day, Emma met a friend who also happens to be in New York and shopped at bookstores, John and Griffin went to the new Star Wars movie on an IMAX screen, while I had my nails done and generally avoided the cold outside.
At night we came together to attend Hansel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera. Visually, it was a lavish production. You see, it is not the most exciting opera but through its set, costume design and dark humour this production made it more engaging and fun. For instance, there was a feast scene where a dozen or so chefs came in to serve the table, each being a person with an enlarged costumed bobble head, and the maitre d’ was a fish head atop a suit (click on the hyperlink to see this amazing sight). Obviously it was all too much for the person playing Hansel who took ill and was replaced by the understudy after intermission.
After the opera, we did what everyone would warn us not to do - we walked through Central Park late at night, the only other idiots being the dog walkers. Note how much Times Square light ups the skyline in the picture below. And that's Emma trying to capture the perfect shot a little closer than John did.
Around midnight we caught the train from Grand Central and stumbled upon this group busking (video below). I think the liquid near the homeless dude in the foreground is his spilt drink, not the end result of said drink.
Between the park and catching the subway, we walked a good length of 5th Avenue, a financially safe option, since nearly all the shops were closed. It was also nice to do it with less people around, except outside Saks where people were looking at the Christmas/Disney window display and light show (if you click the hyperlink, start the video at 5:40 to avoid boring speeches). There was also a crowd at the Rockefeller Centre (below left) and a police presence around Trump Tower, although Trump and his family are at Mar-a-Lago for this Christmas weekend. We are in New York until Tuesday.