25th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at Madison Square Gardens, New York … too much fun!

I missed blogging last week because life was more of a whirlwind than normal. I left Loreto on Tuesday, Oct 26 at 4 am and drove to San Jose del Cabo for an 11 am flight. From La Paz I decided to take the San Jose road as there is a lot of construction on the Pacific highway towards Todo Santos. I saved myself an hour and my little Mercedes finally felt like a Baja Car as it took the curvy mountain roads at 120 km/ph, with the tunes blaring and the windows down blowing fresh 84 degree temperate air to start an exciting week.

I arrived at Cabo airport at 9:30 am and left the car at the terminal parking lot as there are really no other options. The car was very safe when I returned, and the cost is 320 pesos for the first day; and 150 pesos for each day thereafter; and more expensive by the hour for partial days. To park for 4.5 days, it was 890 pesos, which is expensive but worth the benefit of just having the car within steps of the terminal and safe.

I took the flight to Dallas Fort Worth and was greeted by my friends and Loreto Bay neighbors, Joe and Miki Mckenzie. I had never been to Texas and we have often talked about my visiting over many glasses of wine in Loreto. Dallas is an attractive city, very clean and modern, with lots of green spaces. I was amazed how friendly everyone was, from the minute I landed at Immigration and Customs, to meeting Joe and Miki’s friends at CRUSH the local wine bar near the exclusive Highland Park neighborhood. It is a place that would be fun to go back and wander through the many stores and enjoy the never ending restaurants.

The next morning I left for New York City for one of those very special weekends. My friend Ann had been the highest bidder at a Charity for Children Auction on VIP Box Seat tickets for the 25th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame performance at Madison Square Gardens on Oct. 29. She generously invited “the girls” and we had the most spectacular time. I flew into Newark Airport where you can take a private car to Manhattan for $75 or the subway for $15. Tanya flew from Halifax, and Lorraine came in from Toronto. Ann flew from Victoria and it was a truly international weekend.

I booked the New Yorker Hotel which is only a block away from the Gardens and about 8 blocks from Times Square. It is located in the Fashion District with lots of shops, restaurants, and always people on the street at all hours of the day and night. It is very reasonable by New York standards, only $350 a night for a standard queen room. The room is not large enough to swing a cat, but it is similar to all other quality hotels in size and amenities.

The main event of course was the concert and the only way it has been described is “legacy”. The first of two massive Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary shows had monumental moments that just keep coming on the stage starting with Tom Hanks opening the show, which last six hours – yes that’s right 6 hours! It was amazing to be in the private VIP box with catered food, endless drinks, and our own bathroom! Show highlights were:

Jerry Lee Lewis reminds the crowd of rock & roll’s ’50s roots by settling in at a white baby grand for “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”

Crosby, Stills and Nash add another layer of perfect harmony when James Taylor joins in on “Love the One You’re With.” The capper: one of many awe-inspiring guitar solos by Stephen Stills.

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s voices mingle on “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The pair throw their arms around each other at the conclusion of “The Boxer.” Will the U.S. see this reunion again? Garfunkel admits their recent shows together “were a lovely falling back together again” but they have “no such plans,” after their set.

Stevie Wonder turns a technical difficulty into a hilarious quip: “Aw, shit … stuff happens, you know what I’m saying?” and changes his set before it even gets going to kick off with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” He later pays homage to Michael Jackson with a stunning “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Not enough yet? Smokey Robinson emerges for a loose, warm rendition of “Tracks of My Tears.”

Moments later, John Legend arrives onstage to pay homage to Marvin Gaye with “Mercy, Mercy Me.”

B.B King is up next, earning Stevie’s praise as “the king of blues for every city in the world” with “The Thrill is Gone.”

Sting strides onstage popping the bassline to “Higher Ground,” and the song morphs into “Roxanne” and back again.

Two words: Jeff Beck. The guitar legend joins Wonder for “Superstition” and breaks into an otherworldly solo on the break, flinging his bare right hand at the strings and tapping away.

Springsteen hits the stage with his famous plea, “Is there anybody alive out there?” He gives even himself a jolt with guest Sam Moore, who he praises as “one of the all time great bandleaders.”

Springsteen welcomes John Fogerty for “Fortunate Son” and a pair of sweet covers for E Street: Fogerty’s own “Proud Mary” and Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman.”

The E Street Band make their own Wall of Sound as Darlene Love joins Bruce and the gang for “A Fine, Fine Boy” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.” “We’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now,” Springsteen exclaims.

Tom Morello wah-s out a bone-crunching solo on a mind-blowing cover of “London Calling” with the E Street Band that nearly outdoes his earlier heroics on “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”

Springsteen delivers a brief and hilarious speech about how New Jersey and Long Island were once a connected landmass as a way of introducing the night’s final very special guest: Billy Joel. E Street keeps cranking through “You May Be Right,” “Only the Good Die Young” and Joel’s hometown anthem “New York State of Mind.”

Bruce Springsteen brings the house down with “Born to Run” and reluctantly leaves after wringing the last possible “higher” out of “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.” “That’s rock & roll!” he exclaims.

There was just too much to remember and it was a perfect evening among friends! Thanks Again Ann!!

HBO will broadcast four hours of highlights from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concerts on 29 November at 8 pm ET (US).

We also took in Broadway and the newest play that the town is buzzing about is MEMPHIS. We were able to secure great mezzanine seats for this show that had only opened Oct 19, 2009. This is a real song and dance musical. The lead vocalists were amazing and the music was very good. There is lots of R&B and the choreography is terrific. I highly recommend it as entertaining and many “in the know” say it will be nominated for a Tony next year. High energy, great story and terrific talent!

I could have stayed another week, but New York is expensive and I needed to save things to do for my next visit. It is easier to get from Cabo to New York and less expensive than to fly Loreto to Victoria. Although I visit my family often in Victoria, it’s nice to have a playground that is culturally, geographically and socially very different from Loreto for a change of pace occasionally.

News in Loreto is that Dorado Properties Real Estate is now 100% owned by me, and with five full time sales associates, we are the largest independent broker north of La Paz. We are opening our downtown office in the Loreto Plaza next to Hotel Posada del las Flores and near Mita Gourmet Restaurant. Our Grand Opening will be Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 from 11 am to 7 pm. Drop by and say hello to our team and see our inventory of reduced prices for properties in this area. I will be there from 4 pm to 7 pm and look forward to being back in business downtown!

See you in Loreto!
Miss Nellie

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