We got to do the coolest thing today! I am in New York (for the first time my life) with my daughter and her school orchestra - so if I want to be truly accurate I have done a lot of cool things today. Right, back to the story.
We were dropped off at Rockefeller Plaza in the pouring rain at 8am after an 18 hour bus ride. After the organized tours we had free time and my group of kids wanted to go to Carnegie Hall. When we arrived our clothes were soaked despite our umbrellas, the raincoats had served as a really effective way to channel water right down our backs, and our shoes were squishing as we walked.
As we opened the door and stepped in we were greeted by "Greg" and directed to the ticket table for tours. "Are there any parts of the Hall we can see without going on the tour?" I asked. His answer was the expected "no" but he offered to sell us tickets to a concert that night. "Thanks," I said, "but we have to meet our group for dinner." He offered two other opportunities for us to return, but I each time we had another event planned.
We either looked really disappointed (or really pathetic) because he said, "Hold on." He talked briefly with another guide and said, "Would you like to watch the rehearsal?"
He escorted us into Carnegie Hall and directed us to seats near the back. We watched more than an hour of a closed rehearsal for the New York Pops Orchestra. At one point I looked over at the four kids with me; one held back tears and the others sat watching every moment.
That was not the highlight though. The highlight was realizing that I was with a group of teenagers who would consider special admission to a rehearsal at Carnegie Hall the highlight of their day.