Morning and afternoon were free, so we went to one of our favorite eateries, Hauppauge (pronounced hop-hog) Palace Diner. Long Island is chock full of good diners – the kind with a huge menu, bottomless coffee cups, efficient service, breakfast all day, and dessert choices that no bakery would be ashamed of. Grandson David’s former college roommate, Justin, met us there. It was great to see him again. The young men went their way, and I sneaked in a quick nap.
We stopped by the harbor when we saw the tide was low. I used to love listening to the Singing Stones, a row of rocks across the stream. When the tide is out, the water makes a lovely sound rushing through the rocks. It was great to hear it again.
We picked up friend Ruth and went to Manhattan for the concert by the choir of Kings College, Cambridge. John had it timed perfectly. We reached 5th Avenue about five minutes before it would be legal to park on the street. John and David read all the signs carefully before buying time from the meter. We could see St. Thomas and the people standing on the steps, waiting for the doors to open for the concert. We stayed in the warm car until that queue of people disappeared. This had to have been the best parking spot in the city for that concert.
The previous day we were near the front of the church for Evensong, which was a free worship service. This time our assigned seats were about six pews from the back. John estimated there were 1,500 people there. It was gratifying to see the church full of people who shared our interest in religious choral music.
People absorb a lot of sound, but the acoustics were so good that we could hear the music quite well. We followed the printed words for a more meaningful experience. When John asked what pieces I liked best, I had to think about it. Although the program ended with Vaughn Williams, I wasn’t sure how much I liked it. He is one of my favorite composers, but the words were odd. The text was lifted from Pilgrim’s Progress. I’ll just say the music made up for the words.
The other piece I particularly enjoyed was by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, a great nephew of the Methodist co-founder Charles Wesley. I didn’t think I had heard any of his works before, but I discovered he wrote “Lead Me Lord”, which we have sung many times.
John said the first half of the program was meant for him. That included Monteverdi, Tallis, Palestrina, Byrd, Bach, Lotti, Humffrey, and Purcell. David loved everything and couldn’t pick a favorite.
As I was waking up the day after the concert, John went out for bags of bagels. These were not for our breakfast. They will be our first meal of the day for many Sundays to come. We can get bagels in our local supermarket, but Ingles has a limited variety. Our favorites include whole wheat, onion, egg, and egg everything.
I took the last two photos as we left town. A basket that usually has plants spilling out of it in summer had Easter eggs and flowers for the season. That was tasteful, but the second was downright garish. I don’t know why I like outside Easter decorations. Maybe it’s because we never had them and don’t plan to start now. Hanging eggs from trees is silly enough to appeal to me, as long the result is reasonably artistic. I’m curious. Do you like egg trees and Easter decorations?