About a month ago, I embarked on two cross-country train trips from Chicago to San Francisco and Los Angeles to Chicago, spanning two weeks and covering over 4,700 miles. When counting a relatively-brief hop down the California coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I clocked nearly 5,200 miles on the rails. It was an excellent trip, full of scenic landscapes, lots of cool people, good food, fun times in three major cities, and the Piano Man.
Before going on the trip, my longest trek on a train had been 11 hours from Williamsburg, VA, to my home in Connecticut, so I really dived into it. Turns out it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life thus far, and I highly recommend it. Here are six things you should know if this is something you're looking to do:
1. Sleep Comes at a Premium
The trip was a absolutely fantastic, and I wouldn't give it up for anything, but I now realize that a train is not the ideal setting if you're looking to get a full night's worth of sleep. I was able to sleep night to morning, but only in two-hour increments. The motion of the trains caused much squeaking and rattling, but that's actually something I got used to. Though I prefer a quiet setting, noise doesn't usually bother me if it's constant. My San Francisco hotel room was near several bars and I was fine. If noise is a bother, I'd recommend bringing earplugs, though I didn't use them myself.
What I think may have actually caused the constant interruption is the motion's effect on the need to use the bathroom. The movement must have tricked my body into thinking, "It's time to go, guy." I didn't have this problem off the train.
Yankees vs Astros
The New York Yankees limped into the postseason, losing seven of their final ten games, with the team’s top players, including Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brian McCann failing to get hits and score runs towards the end of the season. But there was a glimmer of hope that The Pinstripers could pull off a victory over the Houston Astros in the AL wild card game in the Bronx last night. Yes, Astros starter Dallas Keuchel may have shutout the Yankees in two regular season starts this season, but last night the AL Cy Young Award contender was making his first-ever playoff appearance, which was sure to give him the jitters, not to mention he was pitching on three days’ rest for the first time in his career. But the small glimmer of hope Yankees’ fans held onto was quickly extinguished as Keuchel pitched six scoreless frames, giving up 3 hits and striking out seven. Houston’s bullpen then came into the game and pitched a combined three hitless innings.
The inaugural iHeartRadio Jingle Ball is coming to a city near you this December, and now the radio heavyweight has announced the lineups for each of the tour dates. The exact roster will change for each date, although there are some frequent names, such as Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and DNCE.
See the lineups below, then buy tickets for an upcoming Jingle Ball concert here.
December 1 — Dallas, TX
- One Direction
- Calvin Harris
- Demi Lovato
- 5 Seconds of Summer
- Ellie Goulding
- Shawn Mendes
- Tove Lo
- Charlie Puth
December 3 — San Francisco, CA
- Selena Gomez
- Calvin Harris
- Demi Lovato
- Nick Jonas
- Tove Lo
- Shawn Mendes
- R. City
- Conrad Sewell
- Alessia Cara
Not for the faint of heart, we invite you to visit these 6 haunted venues to see a show… and maybe more. From stagehands to headliners, encounters with the paranormal have become part of the mise en scène at some of these spaces. Brave enough to see for yourself?
Palais Garnier - The Paris Opera
8 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France
Though now mainly used for ballet, the Palais Garnier is the very same opera house that served as the inspiration for the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux and the subsequent hit musical, The Phantom of the Opera. The opulent and gilded Second-Empire Beaux-Arts building, constructed between 1861 and 1875 is rumored to house more than just a world-renowned stage (and the Bibliothèque-Museé de l'Opéra de Paris – the Paris Opera Library Museum). The famous chandelier fall during the stage production of The Phantom of the Opera is rooted in fact – one of the extravagant crystal chandeliers in the auditorium did fall in 1896, killing an unlucky construction worker. More importantly, however, legend has it that in the early 20th century, during one of the many renovations of the building, a hidden apartment was unearthed, with some versions of the tale include the discovery of a male corpse. This rumor led to the hit novel and hit play; however, the specter that is most often reported in the Palais Garnier is that of an older woman who reportedly committed suicide and haunts the streets outside the Opera House, searching for her jilted lover – perhaps seeking revenge?
What's Playing: Jean-Philippe Rameau's comedic opera Platée is playing through October 8, while ballet enthusiasts have a slew of performances to choose from, including "20 Dancers for the 20th Century" from choreographer Boris Charmatz, and "Robbins/Millepied/Blanachine" brought to life by choreographer Benjamin Millepied as he pays tribute to masters of dance George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins both through October 11. Subsequently, the Palais Garnier will see a new production from renowned choreographer Anne Teresa De Keermaeker from October 21 through November 8.
The Palais Garnier exterior day. Image c/o Wikimedia Commons