Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Monday Night Winter's Eve

Dec 1 was Winter's Eve, a fun evening celebration of music, food, and cheer around the Columbus Circle / Lincoln Center area. I have been to my share of tree lighting ceremonies in the past few years but was attracted by the sheer number of music groups advertised in this festival. and who doesn't love to go out on a Monday night!? 


After work, I took the subway to Columbus Circle. Got hit by the cold rain as soon as I walked above ground. Needless to say, I needed to warm up somewhere and headed towards Time Warner Center. Time Warner Center Stars are definitely crowd favorites around the holidays. Those spectacular stars change color and also dance to holiday music as part of a show. The best place to see them is on the 3rd floor. 


After warming up inside, I went outdoors again looking for food. Many local restaurants set up bite-sized foods in stalls around the center. I avoided the extremely long lines and still managed to have a 3 course meal courtesy of the following establishments. Total bill was $11. 
  • appetizer - duck soup from Asiate
  • main course - delicious pasta from Landmarc (also found a recipe online!)
  • drink/desserts - mulled cider and ginger cookies from Whole Foods. 


After dinner and fighting the rain with my umbrella flipping open every second or two, I walked to Apple Store to check out Hot Sardines. Then on my way back, I heard a great brassy sound coming from the Christmas tree. The music from Raya Brass Band was so warm, friendly, and festive that most of the audience started dancing despite the rain. 
You know a band is playing well when people opt to brave the cold outdoors to listen instead of going to a dozen other indoor performance offered throughout the night. I'm actually listening to their album on spotify as I write this. I've discovered that I like anything with a good brass section (tuba gets bonus points).


I met up with my friend D. near the Christmas tree and we walked towards Time Warner Center to see a jazz flute show I read about on the program. Elena Pinderhughes and her group gave a great performance. I recently got back into playing the flute again so was very inspired to hear her play. Everyone had a chance to show off their moves (bass, piano, flute, and drums).  

There are so many other bands to look up (and the website will likely get updated next year) but wanted to share the link anyway: http://www.winterseve.nyc/entertainment/

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