Hole in the Clouds
Jul 8, 2011
Every few minutes at Victor Cafe in South Philly, one or another of the servers rings the little bell seen here on a tabletop and bursts into song.
They all have operatic training, so usually they sing opera, which is what the crowd came for–and they do draw a crowd. But as the evening progresses, the repertoire loosens up a little; they belt out showtunes as well as arias, and they even take requests. Here, at the end of the night, a tenor working as a waiter closes down the place with that old pop standard, Ave Maria.
May 9, 2012
The National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing is an ellipsoidal dome of glass and titanium completely surrounded by an artifical lake; the only entrance to the three theaters inside the dome is via a tunnel underneath the lake.
The architect is Paul Andreu, a Frenchman who spent most of his career designing airports, including those at Dubai, Cairo, Shanghai, Jakarta, Manila, and both airports in Paris. He's been busy lately working on structures for the Olympics in Kazakhstan.
National Center for the Performing Arts
(Image credit: Trey Ratliffe, via stuckincustoms.com)
Dec 22, 2012
For their very first date, Linda and Wayne went out to dinner at Victor Cafe in South Philly, where the waiters are all trained opera singers who serve up Puccini along with the pasta. Now that Wayne and Linda have been together for a while, they decided to come back to Victor's for an evening out with Linda's two daughters, Gina and Erin.
The way this restaurant works is that every few minutes, somebody rings a bell and stands up to sing. When Linda rang the bell and Wayne stood up, we were all pretty sure of how the scenario would play out: Wayne had probably had a few drinks, and now he was about to start singing, and those two young girls were going to sit there wishing they could fall through the floorboards.
Instead, Wayne lifted a glass and spoke a toast, telling the world how wonderful Linda was and how important to his life she and her daughters had become. And then he was down on one knee, asking Linda to be his wife.
"Of course," she said.
And the bartender was the one who broke out in song: "Some Enchanted Evening."