On the last night of the Concerts in the Park series by the New York Philharmonic, my friends and I made our way to the Great Lawn in Central Park and camped out for a spot awaiting the concert to start.  Despite the looming rain clouds, the park was still incredibly packed, which goes to show that New Yorks will always support the arts!  Or, that they realy like cool, free concerts.

My third year attending one of these concerts, I finally learned that it gets way crowded, so we were sure to get there early and laid down our 8 blankets to stake our area.  Even more impressive was that we brought our own picnic to enjoy with a nice variety of fruits, French baguettes, a Mediterranean basket of delicious spreads,  baklava, and pita bread.  We’re so classy!  But of course, I left the two wedges of brie cheese and one pound of salami and sopressata slices in my fridge… D’oh!

Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer and sponsored by Target and MetLife, the July 17th concert was conducted by Alan Gilbert, starting off with a collection of Old American Songs by Copland. The baritone singer, Nathan Gunn, had an incredibly powerful, yet soothing, voice.  We realized midway through the second song that the program had the lyrics written out, and thus we decided to make it an interactive, sing-along concert.

There was a brief intermission and then the concert continued on with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. However, in the middle of the piece, it started to drizzle!  It was very light at first, but we still feared the worst.  The rain slowly got increasingly heavier, and eventually they stopped the concert and canceled the fireworks.  Boo!  My friends said that the fireworks from Tuesday’s first concert in Central Park were beautiful, so we’ll leave it to our own imaginations.   They also played in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, so if anyone went to see them, sound off in the comments section below!

Despite the torrential downpour that followed when we were herded out of the park, this was a great way to spend a lovely summer evening with good friends.  Schedule it in your summer calendar for next year!