Tag: World Financial Center

Lunchtime doo-wop

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 | All Things, Music

Throughout the years, I end up at my share of evening musical performances, but for sheer value and variety, it’s difficult to beat the free weekday afternoon recitals. The Financial District, especially, is full of options: Trinity Church’s Concerts at One and the Juilliard Artists at 180 Maiden Lane are just a couple of the more popular options. And in my own office building, the Woodhill Players perform lunch hour concerts in the historic lobby Tuesdays and Thursday during the summer.

The World Financial Center hosts a series of noontime concerts as part of the River to River Festival and this afternoon’s featured act was The Persuasions, the self-proclaimed “deans of streetcorner singing.” The weekend before, the a cappella group performed here as part of “The Big River Project: The Music of Johnny Cash” — a week-long celebration of The Man in Black’s music. (Where was Cash impersonator extraordinaire Vince Mira?)

The quintet began as boys singing on the streets of Bed-Stuy in 1962. They were discovered after sending a demo tape to Frank Zappa in 1968, who signed them to his Bizarre Records label. Later, the group recorded a tribute album to Zappa’s music, and went on to cover other such varied acts as The Grateful Dead, The Beatles and U2.

The blazing summer sun drove us inside the climate-controlled Winter Garden, from which we caught snippets of The Persuasion’s classic doo-wop, R&B and pop music repertoire as it came in from the Plaza. I recognized “Come Go With Me” and “Lean on Me”. At one point, SYB asked, “Isn’t that ‘Under the Boardwalk’?”

Through the glass, it all sounded a little like “Under the Boardwalk“.

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Rising up

Thursday, March 20th, 2008 | All Things

We crossed the West Side Highway at lunchtime this afternoon to attend the “Winter’s Palate” tasting festival at The World Financial Center — the cooler weather version of last July’s “Summer’s Palate.”

Except that when we arrived at the Winter Garden, the atrium was suspiciously quiet, save for the usual scattered assortment of suits and tourists. Where were the promised lobster ravioli and sushi, silky gelato and mini-burgers, “prepared to please the most discriminating palates”?

After making some inquiries, we finally got our answer from the staff at Godiva Chocolate: the event had been canceled, but apparently not removed from the WFC’s online Calendar of Events. Grrr.

Well, there’s always Ho Yip to fall back on.

View of the construction activity at Ground Zero:

Ground Zero construction

This spring, the frame of the Freedom Tower will rise above street level for the first time, with steel that has made its long journey from Luxembourg (where the columns are forged and cast) to Lynchburg, Virginia (where they’re cut to size), to a final home in Lower Manhattan.

Watch the progress of the project via live webcam.

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