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Friday, August 23, 2013

Empire State 2013

In August, Ms. Garrett And I attended the Empire State dance championships.
Our journey started in Amtrak's Union Station in Washington DC.
New York is always more fun, when arriving by train.
Upon arrival we caught a cab from New York City's Penn station. 

 It was during this cab ride, that I learned the true meaning of "a New York city minute". Just moments into our cab ride, our driver was involved in a minor accident. Apparently, the driver hit a motorcycle at a low-speed. The driver of the motorcycle did not appear to be seriously injured but horns started to beep and people started to shout. It was in that moment, that our cab driver decided to flee the scene of the accident. We were unwillingly held as captive passengers in the back seat, as ourcab driver burned rubber going 0  to 60 Down a narrow side street, we hit a bump really hard, and the hatch of thecab  flew wide open! 
All of our luggage went flying into the street behind us. All the commotion happened  so quickly. I don't think Ms. Garrett was able to realize  all that had happened. However, she did quickly realize that all her luggage was lost, three blocks behind our speeding taxi cab. The driver did finally stop the cab, he slammed on the brakes and ran out to retrieve the luggage. Unfortunately, in his rush to jump out of the cab, He left the keys in the ignition with the cab running. He also left the cab in neutral so we were slowly rolling in a taxicab without a driver. It wasn't exactly you're fast and furious scene from an action movie , but for me and Ms. Garrett,  it certainly felt like it.

I posted about this event on social media, and soon after I received a lot of negative feedback for my failure to call the police and report this incident. I do apologize for my lapse in better judgment.  The shock of the situation after our long train ride in, caused a lack of better judgment.

After that long journey, what a thrill it was to arrive at the Conrad Hotel.

This year the Empire State dance championships moved to its new location in the Conrad Hotel, New York. Barron Hilton, son of Conrad Hilton, founded Conrad Hotels, taking the name from that of his father.

The Conrad Hotel in New York has a modern Art theme. I can honestly say that modern art in general, does not appeal to me. I found the hotel to be both beautiful and interesting , but nothing about the location was functional or convenient. It would not be my first choice for a stay at a five-star hotel, but the hotel did contain beautiful,  dizzying sites and LOOPY artwork.

I use the word "loopy" both literally and figuratively. In fact the hotel's main focal point is a towering painting titled by the name " Loopy Doopy" .

Loopy Doopy Is a giant 13 story piece of artwork by artist Sol LeWitt. The  Conrad Hotel is filled from wall-to-wall with artwork and this piece is by far the biggest, rising 13 stories above the atrium level. The concierge at the hotel told me that it took over 100 gallons of paint to create this massive piece of artwork, and that the artist died in 2007.

If one looks closely there are also smaller pieces of art all over the hotel.

The rooms themselves were beautiful.
Perhaps a bit too modern for me , I couldn't figure out how to use a telephone the light switches or the shower. My hotel room had no bathtub and no scupper to collect the water ,which went all over the floor. It was difficult to keep my dance shoes dry, because before the bathroom always remained wet. 
During our first night in New York Ms. Garrett and I decided to go out for dinner  at Delmonicos  steakhouse. 
The restaurant has been in operation since 1830. Although it has moved many times, the current location has been in operation since 1929.
Ms. Garret And I had a lovely dinner at Delmonico's . We then returned early to the hotel to rest up for a full day of dancing to follow.
The following day, Wehad an early start at 7 AM , for a fun filled day of dancing at  Empire.

The ballroom was beautifully decorated but  it was very small, in fact I think it was the smallest floor  I had never seen at an event. 
Ms. Garrett danced very well. She danced  over 86 individual dances. in two different styles: both American smooth and rhythm.

We also had a nice time chatting with Charlene Proctor. I think that Ms. Garrett enjoyed watching her the most, As Charlene made her debut with her new partner.
The floor could appear larger from   side view point. It was a very elegant ballroom with a rainbow colored chandeliers. Dancers complained that they could not find a water station in the ballroom

Although we had no opportunity to meet the organizers, any of them, We really did enjoy our time at this event. 

Before the evening session,we had a nice time viewing the vendor area. The event hosted a nice little cocktail hour and dinner session, along with time to mingle in   the lobby

Ms. Garret and I Concluded our adventure to New York with a visit to the Russian tea room the following day. We had a wonderful lunch there followed by a unique private tour.
Miss Garrett had arranged for a private tour of the upstairs ballroom at the Russian tea room. We had a wonderful time.

We followed up our visit to the Russian tea room with a visit to the Empire State building.

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