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How Far To Travel


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#16 nysusan

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 09:44 AM


Now, now. I lived for quite a while in the Hamptons. For us, Patchogue was the Big Apple.

I don't mean to demean Patchogue, bart, but it is not possible to get a decent latte there.


Perhaps not possible to get a decent latte but possible to get surprisingly good Italian food at the restaurant right next to the theater!

I love the RB so Iíve thought about trying to put together a trip to London to see them but havenít been able to pull that off yet. However I do travel quite frequently to see ballet, sometimes combining it with family visits and sometimes not.

I grew up with ballet in the late 60ís early 70ís when NY was the center of the ballet universe (or so it seemed) and Iím still not quite accustomed to the idea that great companies like the RB, Danish RB, Bolshoi & Kirov do North American tours and skip NY. So Iíve been traveling a lot recently to see them in Boston, DC, Chicago and LA. I also have family in South Florida and occasionally have been able to see the Miami City Ballet when I visit.

I guess LA has been the farthest Iíve traveled to see a performance and Patchogue the closest, however the trip to LA was definitely easier than the trip to Patchogue and probably cheaper than some of my trips to DC. The longest travel to performance ratio was last month when I traveled to and from Boston the same day to catch Pavlenko/Zelensky in a Kirov Swan Lake matinee. It was appx 8 hours of travel for a 3 hour performance and I spent the whole trip out thinking how insane I was for was doing it Ė especially since Iíd seen Pavlenko in Swan Lake the previous week (in Chicago, visiting my family). Then, when I got there I was privileged to see one of the most touching Swan Lakes Iíve ever witnessed, and immediately decided that it was well worth 8 hours of travel time. Iíd do it again in a heartbeat.

Right now Iím planning trips to DC for Obtraztsovaís Juliet and possibly for Osipovaís DQ and Krysanovaís Cinderella (if the Kennedy center ever posts the Bolshoiís casting so I can see if those dancers are even scheduled for the trip). So Iíd say that how far to travel and how many performances to see on a trip depend solely on your budget and taste for travel.


Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Iíve also had the pleasure of meeting fellow BT posters just about everywhere Iíve gone Ė a lovely bonus!

#17 carbro

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 09:47 AM

. . . [A]fter all, considering that birdwatchers will travel to a remote jungle at the end of the world just for the chance to maybe catch sight of a rare bird species, our chances are much higher to get to see what we expect!

And we suffer fewer insect bites! :mad:

#18 volcanohunter

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 02:22 PM

I'll admit to tailoring my travel plans to fit in the ballet. I was born in New York and have lots of family there, but I don't visit the city unless there's some worthwhile dance to see. (Apologies to my relations!) The same goes for overseas travel. If I see a particularly happy combination of ballet and opera productions in a given city, I plan my vacation to fit it in.

#19 Andre Yew

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 05:37 PM

I've travelled a bit just to see ballet, too. Last year included trips to DC to see the Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty (3 performances), Boston to see Boston Ballet's La fille mal garde (4 or 5 performances), Seattle to catch PNB's opening performances, and a business trip to San Francisco that let me see a mixed rep and Sylvia, as well as a trip for their Stern Grove performance. I also drive quite a bit to Los Angeles and Orange County to see touring groups that come through. That's about a 1.5- to 2-hour one-way drive.

--Andre

#20 GWTW

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 02:41 PM

A lot depends of course on people's personal circumstances. In the past I was able to tailor short trips to London and Paris around ballet - a matter both of geography and family. I'm sure I will pick up ballet travel again - in about twenty years or so. :)
That said, later this month my husband and I have the opportunity to spend a night together away from the children - the first time we will have done this in over three years (and the first time away from the younger one)!! There was absolutely no deliberation about where to go (we're in Philly) and what to do that evening. NYCB, here we come.

#21 4mrdncr

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 01:10 PM

Ok, my average seems to be 4 hours one way (8hrs for a round-trip). When I lived in about 25 miles northwest of Tokyo, I had to drive to the train station and then take 3 trains to get to the city. So sometimes it was fast, sometimes not, and sometimes Shinjuku was having riots and it got even more fun trying to find a taxi to drive us home.

In the States, besides the 4hr roundtrip drive to Boston to see BB, I've flown back and forth to LA to see ABT at the Music Center or OCPAC. (And Kings of Dance last February, followed by the 8hr roundtrip drive to see them in NYC the following weekend--long story there.) I had relatives in CA so could save on hotels, but not recently. I now do the 4+ hours each way into NYC to see NYCB or ABT. If it's an evening performance, and there are no more late bus/trains home, I then must splurge on a ridiculous priced hotel room or go cheap at the Y. Which brings up the question of funding--it usually costs me about a week's pay to see 1-2 performances in NYC between tickets/hotel/transportation costs.

The last time I was in London (mid '80's) I made sure to catch the RB in R&J, and have never forgotten it.

Perhaps the most extravagent thing I've done recently (November), is to endure the 8+hr roundtrip in a single day for an 11-minute performance in NYC. I am SO very grateful for that experience and will NEVER forget the kindness of those who made it so.

As I have been going alone to most performances over the last years because few friends/relatives are willing to endure any trips longer than 2hrs to go see a performance, I would greatly enjoy the creation of a travel group of fellow balletomanes to travel with in future. Group rates sure beat single rates at most locations!

FYI: I've written two articles about us "Cultural Tourists" and submitted them to various publications--but haven't heard back yet.

#22 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 03:35 PM

Ah and now we come to a subject only slightly less dear to my heart than ballet. Cheap hotel rooms.

4mrdncr (and others) alas, NYC is not a great Priceline city, but London is. You can usually get a nice room in Kensington at a faceless but comfortable chain hotel with decent amenities for 50% off - or about $85/night + taxes and fees. It is an excellent option. Paris is a semi-OK Priceline city (avg would be $120/night), NYC fluctuates wildly with December and Christmas (and Nutcracker) season being one of the most expensive. You might get something for less, but it's looking like $140/night and up.

Philadelphia has been really cheap in the past; Boston is not.

Final word of advice, Priceline bidding takes skill. Don't attempt it without reading up on it (there's a primer at my blog. Be prepared for it to take some time and effort - in return you could save $100/night in London)

#23 SanderO

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 03:47 PM

When I read about how some people travel so far back and forth or are forced to stay in an expensive hotel in NYC for example I wonder if it is not possible for some of local to the performances to offer some lodging to a fellow balletomane and perhaps see the performance together?

I realize that this is like taking a perfect stranger into your home, but if there is some effort to develop some sort of relationship it might be a way to make a new friend or two... and make the experience so much the richer.

We live close to NYC.. just 25 minutes on the train so this may be a bit far, but it might make it possible for some to go to the ballet in nyc. It's a concept.

#24 Klavier

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 04:00 PM


A trip to Patchogue defintely counts. Counts double as it's the boonies.

Now, now. I lived for quite a while in the Hamptons. For us, Patchogue was the Big Apple.


Seconded, Bart. Patchogue is only 20 minutes east of my home, and I do not consider it quite the boonies.

I have occasionally travelled to Boston and back for a performance, 10 hours round trip, but I rarely travel long distances solely for performances. Coincidentally, I'm planning to do just that this Friday, and will report back about the experience unless I decide to skip it after all.

I'm glad NYSusan enjoyed the Italian restaurant next to the Patchogue Theater, but if you head 3 miles south on Ocean Avenue, you'll find the Louis XVI, a restaurant I'd rank with virtually any temple de haute cuisine in Manhattan: http://www.louisxvi.org/

I've only eaten there once, but if Nilas Martins returns to Patchogue some day and any one from this forum wants to join me for dinner before or after, I'd go back there in a heartbeat. Boonies my rear end! :blushing:

#25 carbro

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 07:23 PM

Ah and now we come to a subject only slightly less dear to my heart than ballet. Cheap hotel rooms.

A friend visiting New York a couple of years ago was able to find a room for under forty dollars a night! :blushing: Truly.

Well, it was in Jersey City (I think), but the PATH train to New York was right there, and the trip to midtown was 20 minutes. My guess is that it was a businessperson's hotel, very near to a number of industrial parks and fairly empty over the weekend. I don't remember which internet service she used to nab this bonanza, but I can find out.

#26 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 08:39 PM

Priceline - the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City. If you followed the Priceline forums (yup, they're out there) it was often done. I don't think it still goes for that rate, alas.

#27 GWTW

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 06:53 AM

Leigh, I managed to get the Hudson Hotel for $123 (for the 22nd, the Friday before Xmas) on Priceline. I haven't been there yet, but it looks like the amenities are all there but the rooms are postage stamp sized.
This was my first time using Priceline and I probably wouldn't have doen it without your endorsement.

#28 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 07:59 AM

You're a five minute walk from me there - and the same from Lincoln Center. I haven't been in the place since it was the Henry Hudson Hotel (an SRO with tiny rooms back then too). I hate to say it, but for that time of year, that is a really good deal. You done good!

#29 richard53dog

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 08:58 AM

Priceline - the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City. If you followed the Priceline forums (yup, they're out there) it was often done. I don't think it still goes for that rate, alas.

Ha, I was driving around Jersey City last night, soooort of lost. But I went by the Hyatt Regency and thought
"this looks pretty nice". And the PATH into Manhattan ; and as Cabro notes , it's a fast pretty quick. I use the PATH a lot these days to get into Manhattan from NJ.

#30 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 09:45 AM

Further notes for people trying to come to NYC - I'm seeing decent (for NYC) deals at travelzoo.com - usually involving discounts on better properties (range $150-200/night) rather than budget accommodation. If nothing else, it gives you a baseline to try and beat via Priceline (my rule of thumb there - I'd have to save at least 25% - more like 40% and up preerably - to give up choice in accommodations)


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