You are going to see a lot of pictures this month-we traveled to Toronto and New York City on a 6-day vacation. But first, the most important news: Gretchen is working as a recruiter for DeVry University. DeVry has had a national presence for years, and is now expanding westward (in Chicago and Denver it is a household name). There is a beautiful new campus in the Federal Way area of Seattle-with at least one more planned. Gretchen's job, grossly over-simplifying it, is to talk with high school guidance/career counselors and with prospect and their parents. DeVry is not a trade school or junior college, but it is a four-year accredited university. But they emphasis from day one is on technology: Click here for more info on DeVry.
DeVry Institutes provide career-oriented, technology-based education to high school graduates and working adults. The 21 DeVry campuses in the United States and Canada compose one of the largest private higher-education systems in North America. DeVry Institutes offer curricula in accounting, business, computers, electronics, information technology, technical management and telecommunications management. General education, technology and business are integrated into each program.
Employees and spouses get free tuition-I may take a few computer courses!
OK, now to our vacation! First we went to Toronto to visit a production studio were the Nero Wolfe TV series was being shot for the A & E Channel. I have been a long time fan of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories (about 72 stories written between 1930 and 1972, featuring a fat [1/7 a ton!] detective who never leaves his brownstone in Manhattan, grows 10,000 orchids, and uses his assistant, Archie Goodwin, to do the leg work). I learned of a private tour being given, and we decided to go. Yes, Gretchen, also looked forward to this (there were 8 books televised on A & E last year that she watched..and enjoyed).
We flew on Saturday and the set tour was on Monday. So Sunday we went to Niagara Falls-I had been once years ago-Gretchen had never been. This turned out to be quite an adventure as our planned transportation had to be improvised at the very last moment. But I will skip that story. I think that pictures pretty much say it all.
We returned Sunday night for a banquet with 20 others who were going to tour the set the next day (one couple came from London!!) and with several of the actors, including Timothy Hutton, who co-produces, co-directs, and co-stars as Archie Goodwin. For those of you who have witnessed the usual way books are destroyed to convert to TV/movies, we were impressed with the care that Hutton and crew did to preserve the integrity of the books- incredible detail was taken. I had posted many, many pictures to this link-these pictures were posted primarily for those who attended-and for other Nero Wolfe fans who have become aware of the site. Browse if you wish- but there are very few pictures of us- a couple with Gretchen--and one or two in me in Wolfe's office.
Then we left Tuesday morning for New York City. There we explored Central Park on Tuesday afternoon while waiting to obtain 1/2 price tickets to Sweet Smell of Success, starring John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun). Broadway musicals are always fun, and well done--this was not an exception. While waiting for the 8 pm show start, we stumbled across another television shooting, Sex and the City. They were filming the star, Sarah Jessica Parker, hailing a taxi. This 10-second shot took over 1 1/2 hours to shoot!!
Wednesday morning we visited Ground Zero- it was pouring rain so crowds were small. Then onto a walk to the SOHO district, where Gretchen found 2 thrift shops to investigate. At 3pm we were at the Ed Sullivan Theatre to pick up our tickets to The David Letterman Show. We were screened for our "fun factor", and passed with flying colors, since we were seated in the second row!. I was a little disappointed in the show- Letterman, and his guests, are naturally talking to the cameras, not to the audience. It was like we were there only to provide a sound track for the show (we were asked to laugh very hard at everything). But it was fun to have the experience! Yes, they do keep the theater very cold- and we were wet from our walk in the rain--not a good combination. We are not sure why they keep it so cold- we were told on the Wolfe set that since everything is video-taped, and not filmed, that normal lighting was all that was needed.
Thursday morning a quick excursion to the fictional spot on 35th where Nero Wolfe's house stood-- then to the Grand Central Station, the Modern Museum of Art, and back to our hotel where a car was waiting to take us to Kennedy Airport. We had a great time, lots of adventures, and my cell phone did not ring even once!!
When we were gone, in mid-March, it snowed!
Strange weather. Also, Kimber's softball season with Ballard High School started-she will be playing at the Varsity level this season, after being called up late last season from the JV squad. I am the web-keeper for the team.
(35 pictures): Niagara Falls, Wolfe Pack