Saturday, December 06, 2008

Day 2: Physics and Jazz

Thursday evening, we had tickets to a public talk by theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin at 92YTribeca. 92YTribeca has a cafe and a display of comic art on the walls.

Levin's talk was based around the question: "Is the Universe Infinite?", but she touched on a lot of basics of cosmology, including the Big Bang, expansion of the universe, and higher dimensions. She did a great job explaining the science in basic terms, but I honestly still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that there is nothing - no space, nothing - outside our universe (not to mention 10-dimensional space). Her last slide showing a mushrooming of different universes off of a big blob of space-time was both weird and wonderful.

After the lecture, we decided to get some dinner, so we headed to Greenwich Village near a place with live music Gene had read about. We ended up eating in a cafe/diner-type place, which was tasty, but not particularly exciting. The bar turned out to be too crowded to sit down in, so we decided to move on. We had seen a sign near our hotel for a place with live mid-week jazz, with no cover or minimum drink purchase, so we headed there. The jazz trio was OK, and the cocktails were $16, so we sipped ours slowly while listening to the music.

After the set was over, we decided to head over to Time-Warner Center at Columbus Circle. In the atrium there is a pretty holiday display, with lighted "stars" that change color in time to the music playing over the PA system.

Our goal was Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, which, despite it's horribly corporate sounding name, is a nice club associated with Jazz at Lincoln Center. After hours the Stein Brothers Quintet play for a minimal cover charge. They were excellent, and it was a nice way to end the night.

Thus ended Day 2 of our trip to NYC.

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