Day nine

We performed in a cathedral today. St. John the Divine’s is the largest cathedral in the world, 232 feet tall and 601 feet long. The ceiling loomed overhead, with a dome made to be sung under, and sing we did. The echo that the size and construction of the building created gave a new element to our music, much in the way that the peal of a bell doesn’t sound over and over from being struck once, but rings out.

From there, we went on to visit the UN. The scans as we entered were as rigorous as at the airport – only there were no liquids allowed inside at all, so bye-bye water bottle. We were just waiting for our tour to begin when a quiet siren began to wail. It was such an unobtrusive sound that we were puzzled by it, rather than . . . alarmed (hurr hurr), but a security guard came along and began to usher people outside. There we waited betwixt glaring sun and unrelenting pavement until the threat had been dealt with. We weren’t told why we were evacuated, but we saw the ambassadors being evacuated as well, into a different area. It may have been a drill. I noticed a police car and fire engine wail past us at speed, but unless they were headed to the back and/or secret entrance, they were still travelling too fast to be aiming for us. Emergency vehicles are a more common sight in New York than they are in Newcastle.

We were eventually allowed back into the centre, but we had to go through the security check again, which was a much longer line with all the evacuees trying to get back in than it had been during normal flow times.

The choir split into two groups to tour around met back at the entrance at the end, where we discovered the art exhibit there currently includes some Australian art! The rest of the art was good, but it’s nice to get a taste of home.

The weather was another taste of home we had. Our next stop for the day was at Herald Square: a performance in as much shade as we could get, because it was so hot and humid. Despite the sticky temperature, we persevered!

We ended up having an afternoon off – time to rest or look around, and to recover from the heat! Annie and I walked from our hotel to Central Park in an attempt to find the horse-drawn carriages that have been there the last few days as we drove past, but found that it was too hot for the horses, so they weren’t there. After some deliberation and calculation of bus pick-up timetables, we took a cab to the boys’ hotel, arriving just in time to catch the bus to a delicious dinner at Café du Soliel.


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