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Where's the fleet?

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Today's NY Times has an article about fleet week in New York headlined "Beyond Bars and Strip Clubs, City Beckons Sailors on Shore Leave." It tells about sailors at off-Broadway shows, baseball games, and a museum of cartoon art. It has them apppreciating the architecture and in search of frozen cappuccinos rather than boilermakers. What it doesn't mention is either New York City Ballet or American Ballet Theatre, both of which were in residence at Lincoln Center all weekend. We know tickets are expensive, but the sailors didn't pay for those tickets to Yankee Stadium, they were given them. Back in the presumably less-enlightened old days, I used to see quite a few naval personnel at the ballet when the fleet was in. On Friday night at NYCB and Monday night at ABT, I didn't see one sailor. Did anyone else?

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Dont know about the States, but here in Sweden you would never see a guy in uniform at the theater.

They might be in the army, navy, air force etc. but go out in civvies.

What struck me, though, is that at the Maryinski I saw literally masses of young guys in uniform. It really intrigued me. Maybe they came to watch a sister, brother, girlfriend, what have you, or maybe they got a very hefty rebate on tickets, which in those days when I went there, were rather cheap anyway. Culture for the masses - not such a bad notion is it after all? That at any rate was a good thing with Communism, the only good thing I suspect.

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Pamela, this is Fleet Week in New York, when several ships dock simultaneously in New York, and sailors are seen all over the city. It begins in the days before our Memorial Day weekend and ends a day or two after.

In the past, New York City ballet has sometimes managed to have a Union Jack or a Fancy Free on the bill during that period, and tickets are made available to the sailors. But there's no reason why the absence of a naval theme should necessarily make ballet irrelevant. I don't know if the companies even thought to invite the crews.

I haven't seen sailors at Lincoln Center, but I did spot a trio at the newsstand at Central Park's Merchant's Gate. They were buying candy. I thought of the gum wrapper competition from Fancy Free. Wow, Robbins had a sharp eye!

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