Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. Just WOW!

 Just finished watching the CBS Special with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga from Radio City in New York. At 95 and Alzheimer Disease becoming an issue, his manager son, and others, decided it was time to wind things down, as far as on stage performances. 

This made for TV concert was taped back in August, and the audience, who gave him an endless amount of standing ovations (I lost count) was a real Who's Who of celebrities and VIP's; including Bill Clinton. It was wonderful to see all ages in the audience looking on with admiration and appreciation as Tony and Lady Gaga worked their way through a highly enjoyable playlist of jazz classics. At the end, she slowly walked him off stage as he waved to the adoring crowd.

Watching it made me a bit weepy eyed as Tony Bennett was one of my late Mom's favorites. It's impossible for me to hear him sing "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" without thinking about her. I was in a Walgreens walking on a Saturday in the city and I dipped in to see all the activity. This particular store on Powell Street is loaded with souvenirs, and I walked back to the middle part of the store to check out all the variety of things, when all of a sudden, Tony Bennett, right on cue, came blaring out of the overhead speaker singing "I Left My Heart..." and I thought, "This one's for you, Mom." (Actually, it kind of startled me a bit. "Mom, is that you speaking to me from beyond?"). The timing was uncanny.

It goes without saying, this man at 95, is such an inspiration to so many. His voice still so powerful and authentic. And that he remembers all the lyrics is beyond amazing. CBS Sunday Morning did a really great piece on him and his wife Susan. You can find it on You Tube. (Isn't everything on You Tube?).

A charming performer. Class act. Talented painter. And oh, by the way, he sings real well too. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Cable cars and more (plus a handy tip)

 If you're visiting San Francisco, Powell and Market Streets is a good location to drop by. It's a beehive of activity. Our rapid transit service (BART) is centrally located here. 

Here you have a  very popular cable car turnaround, some places to grab a quick bite, a major shopping mall (with public restrooms= hard to find in SF), hotels, and lots of  tourist activity. Often you'll see a street musician playing here or a highly energized, toe-tapping dancer entertaining the crowds waiting to hop on a cable car. It's a great place to people watch. There's usually a sidewalk hot dog vendor here. Don't know what it is, but hot dogs, to me, always taste better eaten outdoors. "I'll have a kraut dog to go! Thank you very much sir!"

The lines at Powell and Market at the cable car turnaround can be very l-o-n-g. Tourists come to San Francisco and their vacation is not complete unless they ride on a cable car. Here's a tip: If you walk up Powell a bit, you'll see some cable car street signs up the line where you can hop on. The operators of the cable car usually leave a little space for a few pickups along the way. It'll save you a very long wait in line back at Powell and Market streets. Not guaranteed, but worth the try. And if you're traveling with a group of five or ten, there's not going to be enough room to hop on. This is for one to two folks max.

A little bit further up Powell is Union Square. Almost always there's something going on at the plaza. In winter, an ice skating rink! For folks who live in the snowy areas, an ice skating rink is no big deal. But here in the Bay Area, it's a fun experience for many, especially around Christmas time.

The city has installed some very contemporary benches along part of the Powell sidewalk where you can take a break and watch the cable cars come and go.

On a visit to have breakfast and walk through Chinatown on a Saturday, I spotted this new piece of artwork on Powell.