Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 5 - NBC and Carnergie - 28 MAY 08

Today was Day 5 and my last day in NY (on this particular tour) and I had to see whatever was left to be seen. So I began the day tour at the NBC Studio Tour. The tour begins from within the NBC Experience Store - a pricey store that sells memorabilia of NBC shows like Friends, Seinfeld, Heroes, etc. I was taken through the NBC news building at the Rockefeller Centre. I saw the MSNBC studios and also the studio where they film their hit show 'Saturday Night Live'. We were told some interesting stories and anecdotes of few of its illustrious guests like singers Sinead O'Connor (who, on a show that was aired Live on 3 October 1992, tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II after she finished one of her performances), Jessica Simpson and Gwen Stefani (lead singer of the musical group No Doubt ).
Then, they took us a mock news room but complete with real cameras and equipments that works in a typical newsroom. They asked for 2 volunteers; one to read the news and the other to read the weather report. It was a fun session.

Later, I took a tour of Radio City Hall. Although I had originally planned to take a tour of the Carnegie Hall, it's a good thing I went to Radio City Hall instead, because that week Carnegie was closed on account of graduation ceremonies being held there. Radio City Hall was an amazing facility with some of the most beautiful art deco that you'll ever see. It's a concert hall where musicians and singers perform. So, from the tallest chandeliers in the world, a grand staircase that is befitting of a Mughal palace and a beautifully woven carpet that contains patterns of musical instruments (obviously) such as a guitar, to washrooms galore, each of them artistically decorated in art deco and their walls and ceilings telling stories to a special meeting room that entertainers use to throw private parties or even to have luncheons, meetings, etc. The wall in this room is gold-plated 24-karat, can you believe it? The tour also takes you behind and below the stage and shows us the path-breaking technology of how a particular portion of a stage (there are 3 portions) is lifted up in an elevator sort-of mechanism, whereby the performing artist, say Elton John with his piano, makes his grand entrance on stage. It's showmanship - performers do not like entering the stage from behind the curtains anymore, they like to make a grand entrance. The story goes that the US government visited this site of the Hall and studied this technology and applied to its airplanes in World War II so that they can lift themselves up from a ship; a common sight in this day & age. Our (slightly-elderly)hostess on the Radio City Hall Tour was extremely gracious and the best tour guide that I have ever come across and made this tour all the more memorable.
With this, the New York trip came to a close. It's a beautiful and a very vibrant city that captivates you and has a lot to offer. It's expensive, but is so totally worth it.

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