Sunday, June 14, 2015

New York Yacht Club, Wall Street & A Play!

We had a wonderful invitation to join our New York friends Linda & Val for dinner in the city during our stay. We invited them to the boat for cocktails and apps, then all of us headed to NYYC for a fabulous dinner. 

The New York Yacht Club is a private social club and yacht club based in New York City and Newport, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1844 by nine prominent sportsmen. The members have contributed to the sport of yachting and yacht design. Membership in the club is by invitation only. 
The Isle of Wight in the Solent has long been the epicenter of yachting in England. In 1851, a schooner painted black arrived there looking to win races. This was the yacht America, owned by John Cox Stevens, the first commodore of the NYYC and other club members.
history1aPhoto of "America", the winner of a race and a trophy that came to be called the America's Cup.
Here's how the story goes...
America crossed the Atlantic on her own bottom and challenged all English yachts to a match race. No yacht was willing to race her, however.
Finally, America joined a free-for-all on Friday, August 22, around the Isle of Wight. Watching the race (which included 15 English yachts and America) was Queen Victoria, who supposedly inquired, "Which is first?" Told it was America, she asked, "Which is second?"
"Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second," was the reply. Or so the story goes. America won the Royal Yacht Squadron's "Hundred Guinea Cup." 
On July 12, 1857, surviving members of the America syndicate donated the silver trophy they won in England, the "Hundred Guinea Cup," to the NYYC. They called it the America's Cup, in honor of the yacht that won it. They invited yacht clubs around the world to compete and promised, "friendly competition between foreign countries." Finishing first in the America's Cup, NYYC boats did with amazing regularity. Boats flying the club flag held onto that trophy for 132 years, or until 1983. During that stewardship, NYYC boats won 81 of 93 races. The win in 1851 in England and then 24 defenses, from 1870 to 1980, has been described by journalists as the "longest winning streak in sports."
Of course, this scene in front of the club wouldn't be complete without our signature pose. 
The interior of the club was old world and absolutely gorgeous...steeped in yachting history.  The room below had a Tiffany glass skylight that was as dramatic as it was detailed. 
         The fireplace was a stunner!
    I supervised the podium positioning. 
There are full scale models of every Americas Cup winner and challenger in beautiful display cases all around their great room. Such a treasure trove of yachting history!
We had dinner in their formal dining room. It was designed as the interior of a ships hull. What a treat! 
               This trophy is exquisite. 
      What's that? Another trophy case!
We adjourned to the clubs library after dinner and had fun perusing the never ending yachting resources there. Val & Linda had a wealth of info on everyone and everything. I could get lost voraciously reading in this place for hours on end. 
Linda and I had such fun chatting and getting caught up. You couldn't have separated us if you tried. 
Val enjoyed showing Brad their extensive charts from around the world. 
Afterwards, we all strolled uptown and took in the views around Rockefeller Center. Here's 30 Rock...
Across the street is St James Cathedral. It's a stunner!
           Let's not forget Atlas man. 
After we said goodnight to Val & Linda, we made our way to the St. Regis for a nightcap at their King Cole bar. 
Small and immaculately appointed, this bar used to be a legendary society club. It is allegedly where the Bloody Mary was first introduced to America. It's named for the stunning Maxfield Parish mural which dominates the space.  

The next day we biked over to the financial district on a scorching 90 degree day. First up.. Checking out the New York Stock Exchange. 
What's an outing without some artistic culture?
Oodles of construction workers were lunching outside and staying cool under the tree canopy. 
Across from the stock exchange was Federal Hall. People would stand in front of Washingtons' statue and get their photo taken. Brad was on the lurk...
We checked out Federal Hall and I found this intricate safe fascinating. 
You just don't see this kind of workmanship any longer. Damon was on his game!
This is the stone George Washington stood upon as he took his oath as first president of The United States. Cool. 
A group of students formed a circle, held hands and broke out in song. I'm not sure if this was a flash mob or what. It sounded amazing in that domed rotunda. 
Outside, I stood at the corner of Broad and Wall Street. There were entrances to the NY Stock Exhange from both streets... So the Exchange isn't technically on only Wall Street after all. 
Here is an immigrant who can't let go of their old ways. Obviously, their system works well!
And then.. We came upon the bull of Wall Street. There was a crowd about 30 people deep to get a photo with him. 
         Brad had a more clever idea..
He went where no man was. As soon as I snapped a pic, some giggling Japanese tourists noticed us and were eager to pose exactly as Brad did. That's my trendsetter! 
We walked over to this beautiful Episcopal church. 

The door was magnificent. The last time I saw one like this was at Rodins garden in Paris. The craftsmanship is epic. 
    Inside the church... Pristine as ever. Everything embellished with exquisite details. 
Outside was quite the graveyard. Most headstones so old that they were crumbling and you couldn't read much. They dated back to the 1600's. Wow!
Later that day, we planned to take in a Broadway play. As soon as we arrived in Times Square, the sights were there for the taking. 
Patrolling on horseback. Such a great juxtaposition in this chaotic scene. 
Here's one way to get a nap in the afternoon and escape the city heat. Ha!
You never know what you'll see in Times Square, but here we have the "topless dancers" as they like to call themselves. They do however, have some kind of suction cup tops on their chest. Haha. What a crack up!
And life wouldn't be complete without a naked cowboy sighting...and yes, this is what he wears in the frigid winter too!
And then... A boisterous tour bus went by and this was not your average tour. This was more of a "fun" spazzy tour of NYC. Complete with DJ style guide and stadium seating with cool tunes. People were dancing in their seats on the bus. Too funny!
Lance and Adriana met us and we enjoyed a fabulous din din at The Lambs Club in The Chatwal hotel. A foodie experience and perfect for pre or post theater dining!
Adriana does her best Audrey Hepburn...

We all chose last years Tony Winner... "Something Rotten" to see. It was well done and quite cheeky. 

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