In the week or two since I snapped this picture, its become a piece of history. The NYPD cleared Zuccotti Park of these Occupy Wall Street protestors on November 15th.
While in rehearsal, the production staff of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular works at this computer laden series of tables. For a few weeks, the theatre takes on the look of mission control, with comparable amounts of delicate and precise technology.
Hanging at the back wall of the Radio City Music Hall stage is a forty foot high LED screen. The content for this screen is played back by a computer especially designed for the task. So, when this computer requires maintenance, the back of the stage becomes a giant computer desktop.
Though retrofitted for modern bulb technology, this original followspot is still in use at Radio City Music Hall. The custom design allows one operator to run two spots simultaneously. I was having a little fun with filters, so the shot looks as old as the spotlight. But its from just a few days ago.
This is a glimpse backstage at Radio City Music Hall. Well, to be more accurate, it’s really the understage. The stage floor is broken up into three pieces, and each of those pieces can be raised or lowered from 27 feet below to 13 feet above the stage level. This is the machinery that makes it all happen.
As the story goes, these lifts were so advanced when they were built in 1932, the Navy used them as a model for aircraft carrier elevators. So, during World War II, government guards were posted in the basement to protect the technology. Except for a few minor improvements, the system still works the same way today.
A worker makes final preparations for the Friday morning unveiling of the new and improved glass cube atop Apple’s flagship 5th Avenue store. The new cube is made from fifteen panes of glass; only three per side. That’s down from the 90 it took to make the old one.
Dappled morning sunlight bounces off the neighboring glass towers and onto the famous neon sign of the Radio City Music Hall. This has been my office for the last ten days, where I’m working on the famous Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes. I’ll share some fun backstage images when I’m certain doing that won’t get me fired!
The Peggy and David Rockefeller Building of New York’s newly renovated Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. John D. Rockefeller’s wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, was one of the museum’s founders. The family’s legacy is impressive in this neighborhood, with the 19 buildings of Rockefeller Center merely two blocks away. The closest of those is, of course, Radio City Music Hall. More to come on that in the next few weeks.
After a $57 million dollar renovation, the New York City Center, on 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, reopened last Tuesday. Originally called the Mecca Temple, the theatre was built in 1923 by the Shriners as a meeting place when they were evicted from Carnegie Hall. After the market crash of 1929, the building reverted to city ownership and was turned into a performing arts center. Today it regularly hosts the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, the American Ballet Theatre and is the home of the Manhattan Theatre Club.
I stumbled across the finished building this week because I’m spending more time than usual in the neighborhood. Stay tuned to find out why.
This three dimensional version of Charles Ebbets’ famous photo, Lunchtime Atop a Skyscraper, which depicts fearless ironworkers lunching on a beam high above the Rockefeller Center construction site, was created by Sergio Furnari and toured the country after 9/11.