|Midsummer Night Swing stage|
If you cannot see it in New York, you probably cannot see it anywhere.
Taking advantage of all that New York has to offer can be daunting at times. As silly as it sounds, the constant stimulation and options for activities can be overwhelming. In the past year or so, I have finally figured out how to handle it. There is no way to get to everything if I plan on working and sleeping. As a full-time New Yorker, I try to use the city to the best of my time, money and ability. What I don’t see or experience, will probably come again at some point, and I will just enjoy it then. Otherwise, I will beat myself up each time I miss a great ballet, Broadway play, film festival, or some other cultural activity. And that’s not a fun way to enjoy what New York has to offer. While living here, I think it is a good rule, to pick one cultural activity per month. Many times, that is what is both practical and affordable.
|Mike and I at Midsummer Night Swing|
Last night however, we were able to enjoy the final night of Midsummer Night Swing. We missed it last year, so I was determined to get there one night this summer. This is a two week music and dance extravaganza outdoors at Lincoln Center, and thousands of New Yorkers attend each year. And the best part is: it’s FREE.
If you want to have access to the dance floor and take a lesson, you must buy a ticket. But anyone can go and just enjoy the music, and it is a pretty cheap date for Manhattan. A free dance floor has been added in back of the main floor that connects to the stage. So many more people were dancing last night. Of course, New Yorkers will dance anywhere there is music –– on the sidewalks and in the streets, occasionally in the subways too.
It was a hot, sultry night with a temperature of about 85. There was the smell of sweat in the air, and no pretense whatsoever. There were two themes of the evening: music and dance. Not much else mattered. It was nearly impossible to stand still and not sway, tap feet, or snap fingers. Count Basie would have been proud.
|They’ve got rhythm|
|Dance contest finalists|
What I love most about this event is the different age groups who attend, the number of people dancing, and of course the fact that no one cares if you have rhythm or not. Those who can dance, who can sorta dance, who have never danced, and even those who should not ever dance enjoy Midsummer Night Swing. Much of the music is “Swing” or “Big Band”, and the grand finale is a dance contest.
What can be better than walking around under the stars, sipping wine, listening to a full orchestra, and watching hundreds of people with no inhibitions move in rhythm to the music of greats like Tommy Dorsey?
The backdrop of Lincoln Center only adds to the magic.
|Beautiful Lincoln Center with the stage in the background|