Ruthie Foster played at Madison Square Park. I tried really hard via facebook to get a date, but unfortunately it didn't happen. Around 3 it was looking like rain and I considered not going thinking it would be called off. When I left the apartment, it had rained at some point between 5:20 and 6:45, but wasn't raining right then, so I put on my new science sandals, grabbed my camera and an umbrella and made my way back to the park outside the building where I've been working.
I was very pleasantly surprised that the park wasn't entirely mobbed. Usually when you go to a free thing in NYC, 3 million other people want to go too. This was wonderful because the park itself was relatively open - even bench seating was available from the North side. The stage was set up near the Shake Shack (I'll review this place later when I've actually eaten there!), and all the tables and chairs were filled with people eating and drinking, and then extra seating in front of the stage was for blankets for people to bring picnics - just like Prescott Park in Portsmouth! People walked though and stopped to listen and moved along, and I actually got a chair behind the sound guy. This wasn't a great seat for watching, but in the middle of fans so very enjoyable!
After the beer I got (a Shakemiester brewed especially for the Shake Shake by the Brooklyn Brewery) I sat, watched, clapped, and did a very good job of not singing the choral parts from Rock My Soul's versions of "Joy" and "Death Came a Knockin'" arranged by Cheryl Lynn Stromski for the group. I'm proud of me for being relatively quiet :)
I decided I had to buy a cd, and of the 8 options, the person at the stand recommended "Runaway Soul" as the most gospel like of the bunch. I just listened to the whole thing and highly recommend it to my gospel loving friends :)
I started on my way out with my CD while the band was riffing on "Death Came a Knockin'" and watched the folks in the middle of the park ballroom dancing! I tried to upload this but blogger nixed that. You can see the last photo (with the girl wearing a see through crinoline skirt as a shirt) that there are people dancing in back.
I mentioned on fb that this was the most fun I've had on my own in NYC, and I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the MSP music series as this was only the first show.
If you come to the swamp, otherwise known as NYC in the summer, put this on your list :)
PS - Pandora has a Ruthie Foster station for your enjoyment :)
21 hours ago