austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Laugh about it, shout about it when you've got to choose

Despite my repeated avowals that we would get a taxi back from the barbeque place we didn't. It seemed like simple logic: we were only a few streets south of Rockefeller Center, and we were just a couple avenues to the west, and besides there weren't any taxis on the street right here but if we kept walking we'd be closer regardless whenever we did get a taxi and before my father and I quite knew it we were brushing up against those publishers with buildings that pretend to be part of Rockefeller Center but nobody counts as such. It was getting nearer to half-past 2:30, with the line we were promised forming no sooner than 3 pm.

By the stairs to go up to the mezzanine level --- where we would hopefully get tickets and line up to go in, a change from 1990s procedure where we lined up by the elevators on the first floor --- was an easel-propped sign for Late Night and several pages telling us that we were about fifteen minutes too early and couldn't wait here because of fire code regulations. At the risk of sounding cynical I suspect pages are told they may use ``fire code regulations'' as authority to direct the public in any way they wish. But they were watching us and I know that means to go get out of their line of attention for a while.

So we went to the lower floor of Rockefeller Center where, apparently, my father had never been and never considered going. He didn't realize it was full of shops, or restaurants, or Starbucks, which he pointed out to me so that I would know that yes, my mother could get Starbucks coffee here. He found most fascinating a sushi place with some nicely crafted plates of sushi on little foot bridges and the like. I did end up buying things here: at the ``Top of the Rock'' souvenir store I picked up some postcards but not a magnet, and wondered about the ``Top of the Rock'' concession being as low as it is possible for the public to get here.

By now it had to be very nearly a quarter-hour, so we went back to the mezzanine staircase where there was that sight both reassuring and distressing: a crowd of people around the stairs, some of them going up. Ahead of us. 210 seats.

Trivia: The first electric laboratory for the Tesla Electric Company was opened at 89 Liberty Street in Manhattan. Source: Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World, Jill Jonnes.

Animals In Space: From Research Rockets To The Space Shuttle, Colin Burgess, Chris Dubbs. It's about what you might guess from the title, and includes as extras things like strangely catchy pictures of dogs in pressure suits. It also offers a great quote for our and future times: [Project Able research group member Major David] Simons recalled ... ``This taught me a lesson: never trust a monkey who is not anaesthetised!''


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