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Today was a fun day. I went down to Times Square to attend the Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA)’s Annual Flea Market and Grand Auction. Held yearly in the heart of the theatre district, the Flea Market raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for AIDS research. Since my friends Cabot, Mel, and Jeff would be down there helping out at one of the booths, I decided to go down. I am so happy I did.

One of the booths down there was Pic-A-Tic from the Theatre Development Fund (tdf). tdf operates the tkts booth in Times Square. It is the place to go to if you want cheap ticket to a show that day. I have frequented there many a times. Anyways, tdf had this booth where you pay for raffle tickets. Inside 500 of the tickets (out of about 12,000 or so chances), there were winners. These winners earned its holder a pair of tickets to a Broadway or Off Broadway show. I got to the city earlier than the others were arriving, so I swung by.

I ended up laying out $140 in total at that booth, but I won 5 pairs of tickets! That’s right…. 10 tickets for $140… only $14 a ticket! I won tickets to The Addams Family, Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Blue Man Group, and Mary Poppins. What excites me is that I have not seen 4 of these shows and the one I have seen (Phantom) I can take my mom to. It is her favorite musical.

Other highlights of the day includes meeting Roger Rees (currently playing Gomez Addams in The Addams Family and Justin “Squigs” Robertson, an amazing cartoonist who does a lot of work for Broadway.com. Of course, seeing Cabot, Mel, and Jeff was awesome but, after a long and exciting day, I clocked out before the event ended so I could get home and get some sleep.

Wonderful day. Travis out.

Today was a very special day for me. I got to see real Muppets up close and personal. I also got to meet Cheryl Henson, Jim Henson’s daughter; Bonnie Erickson, creator of Miss Piggy; and Fran Brill, the first female puppeteer hired by Jim for Sesame Street. Where, you may ask? Down in Astoria, Queens, at the Musem of the Moving Image. The exhibit? Jim Henson’s Fantastic World.

Before we got into the Henson exhibit, the lovely Megan, my date for the day, and I explored the rest of the museum. Can we say “WOW”? Let’s see, original sets and costumes, almost ALL of the original releases of the Star Wars action figure line, vintage arcade games that you could play (I realized how much I suck at most of them), workstations where you can make your own stop action film or sound edit a movie scene, and a replica of an 1970s living room which looked so modern it was a little nauseating.

Then there was the Henson exhibit. 14 original Muppets, ranging from Jim’s early commercial work with Sir Linit and Wilkins & Wotkins to early Muppets like Rowlf and Mahna Mahna to a couple of Fraggles. The exhibit also had concept drawings, video montages, and other interesting tidbits that shows how much of a genius Jim really was. After this beautiful exhibit, we had a couple of hours before the event that we had tickets for started, so we went and grabbed a bite to eat at Five Napkin Burger.

OMG. Amazing food. I had their Brunch Burger, which included a fried egg, taylor ham, and gruyere cheese. It was so thick, I had to eat it with a steak knife. Think I’m joking, check the pictures.

After the fabulous meal, we headed back to the museum for the Jim Henson: Family & Friends event. The event was a round table discussion where people who worked closely with Jim, including the three individuals that I mentioned before. They showed clips and talked about special points of interest for them in the span of Jim’s work, whether they worked on that segment, publicized the segment, or felt the segment was special for any number of reasons. I saw some amazing clips that I will never forget. Also, the two of us sitting front row and being that close to some legends in the industry was an honor.

Beautiful day with beautiful company and an amazing exhibit. It was a stellar day. The exhibit is running until the beginning of 2012. If you can make it down to Astoria to see it, I strongly suggest it. I know I want to go back… maybe you would like to join me? Let me know.

Peace.

Today was my annual trip down to Seaside Heights with my beautiful friend Shannon. I never see her much anymore, but when we do see one another, we have a lot of fun. What was great was that a pod of about 75 dolphins greeted us when we arrived on the beach. After swimming and sunbathing for a while, we changed and then walked on the Boardwalk. We got some yummy salt water taffy, then went to go get some Boardwalk fries. It was while we were waiting for our fries that we felt the earthquake that hit the east coast. It wasn’t big, but we sure did feel it. I saw a giant lemon shaking. It was a little freaky. From there we played some quarter games at Lucky Leo’s before heading home.

Hoping that this yearly tradition can continue for years to come. Travis out.

I entitled today’s adventure “Expect the Unexpected” because today did not go at all like it was planned. Actually, it was kind of a crappy day, but it was an adventure never the less. It started out with me picking up JJ, Jeff, and Heather. It looked like it would be a rainy day, but the plan was simple: drop JJ and Jeff off at their apartment along with some of their stuff. From there, Heather and I would go see Death Takes a Holiday (an Off Broadway musical), then grab a bite to eat with the boys and head on home. Heather was coming back for sure, but JJ and Jeff might stay down there. Sounded simple, right?

Well, it was pouring. This rain closed off roads making it almost impossible to get to Brooklyn. We got to Brooklyn, dropped off the boys, and headed off into the city. Well, apparently there was a pride parade of some sort on 6th Avenue, which closed down most of the Downtown area. We ended up over a hour late to the show, arriving soaked and irritated. I was able to get a voucher for a replacement show in the future, but now we had hours to kill before we met the boys for dinner.

Bumming around with Heather was fun and all, but I would have rather just headed home. However, we made the most of it, checking out Toys R Us and the Disney Store. We eventually made it to dinner and, after picking up some other friends from the city, the lot of us headed home. Took forever, and it rained a whole lot.

Aggravating, yes. Annoying, a bit. But, like I said, it was a adventure. And I got some pics. Check it.

Travis out.

UPDATE: Well, one Friday I called to make arrangements for the tickets to Death Takes a Holiday that night (like I was instructed), I was informed that the show closed the Sunday before. Ugh. $130 down the tubes I emailed them about the frustration but as of today, nothing. SUCKS!

Well, today was a treat. Before making our way over to try and score lottery tickets to HAIR on Broadway, Lara and I decided to catch Harry Potter the Exhibition, located at the Discovery Times Center in Times Square. This exhibit, featuring props from the first 6 movies, is only going to be around until Labor Day, so this might have been my last chance to get down there to see it. Lara, being a Harry Potter fanatic like myself, was happy to tag along.

This exhibit was amazing. My favorite props were the gigantic Jack-in-the-Box and Harry’s Grim Tea Cup from Prisoner of Azkaban and Hermione’s dress and earrings from the yule ball scene in Goblet of Fire. The Jack-in-the-Box was larger than life, just like in the movie. The detail that they put into something that only appeared in a few second of the movies is astounding. As for the dress, Emma Watson was so beautiful in it. However, the dress and earrings were amazingly beautiful on their own in person. I wonder how Emma would have looked in person with them on. The thought is very nice. ;)

After the exhibit, we bummed around the Times Square area (including a hunt for a dress at Forever 21 that didn’t have favorable results) before heading over to the St. James Theatre and HAIR. A entry on that to come.
Peace.

Tonight I took my co-worker Karen to Taylor Swift’s concert in Newark at the Prudential Center. I have seen her before, but that does not mean I was not excited. We had floor seats and this was a show that I didn’t see before. Highlights include:

~ Having aisle seating so I got to touch Taylor. Yes, touch her. No, I was not arrested for doing so. Be jealous.

~ Taking amazing photos with my new Kodak camera. No joke, she was looking right at my camera in some of the shots. (Thank you orange annoying light :D)

~ The look on the security guard’s face when I threw an unopened bag of candy in the garbage. They did not want me to bring it into the show, but to hell with him if I was going to let him have that candy. Into the garbage it went.

~ Being able to spend some time with Karyn, who is about to go down to Florida for college. She’s good people.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening watching an amazing and talented young woman.

Travis out.

Today was a special day. I got to spend one of my adventures with my brother and parents. These days, we rarely get a chance to sit down to dinner together, let alone spend the day together. However, on this beautiful Sunday, we made our way upstate to Cooperstown, NY and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

We have been there before, but it was years ago and I barely remember any of it. Plus, they expanded the place a few times since we last went, bringing in new exhibits and a beautiful new Hall of Fame presentation area. My favorite area was the area dedicated to Babe Ruth. Also of interest were the Woman of Baseball exhibit and a collection of Yankees photos.

After that, we had a picnic lunch at a lakeside park, visited Doubleday Field, and make the trek home. On the way home, we swung by Frost Valley, where my great-grandfather, Elmer Robert Denman, worked for a very wealthy family as a grounds supervisor. The Forstmann Estate, which has a castle on the premises, is now home of the Frost Valley YMCA. It was nice hearing the stories my dad had about visiting the area in his youth and the stories my great-grandfather told him about working for the wealthy Julius Forstmann.

Check out the pictures of a very fun day with my lovely family.

Peace.

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