I'm not sure how many of you TOV'ers out there are located in the NYC area, but I can tell you as someone that has lived in NYC for the past 3 years that unless you are going to a Broadway show or Port Authority you don't go to Time Square. Not to say that if you're visiting that you shouldn't go, it's just that there is so much else to see in NYC. Even just a few blocks in any direction will get you some real sights and maybe a bit of history on the side.
You could go see a show, but not just any show. You could go see "The Ride" and get entertained in an off Broadway-style show and get a little history lesson at the same time. The Ride is something that I wouldn't have thought to make into a show ever and even when I explain it to my friends and family, they have a hard time grasping the idea. I'll try it with you guys and you can let me know if you get it.
So, The Ride is a show that takes place on a bus in the heart of New York City - Mid Town and Times Square. What makes the show unique is that you're actually on a bus riding around the city and not in a theater pretending to be on a bus. The entire bus has been gutted and renovated with 3 rows of stadium style seating all facing out a huge set of windows on the driver side. The windows go from about knee height of the bottom row, up the side and over the heads of the people sitting in the back. There are 2 "hosts" that ride with you, actors outside of the bus on the sidewalk, and The Ride itself. I'll get to the tech side of how all this works in a bit. The hosts that are researching what makes NYC "NYC" is pretty easy to grasp. They tell you the history of the sights and intro the "people" of the city. The actors outside the bus all have something to do with the area they are found in and can communicate not only with the "hosts" but also the people enjoying the show. And then there's The Ride or I should say the bus itself. The bus is a character in the show like Kit or HAL 9000 and not only gives you historical info, but also carries on a rapport with the hosts.
So how does all this work? Well according to what I learned, each bus is outfitted with 2 spec'd out Apple G5 towers. By spec'd out, I mean the one you dream about getting when customizing your computer, seeing how expensive you can make it, and it ends up over $10k. And they put 2 on each bus to run in tandem. The idea is that if one were to crash, the other would pick up the slack and the audience would never know. The actors are all using a custom Sennheisser microphone/receiver setup. Sennheisser actually custom made the microphone setup for The Ride so that the frequencies being used wouldn't go into theaters in the area. The bus is laden with lights inside and out that change color to any situation and used as post lights on the outside. I wasn't shown how well they work as spots because the show I saw was during the middle of the day.
At the end of the tech extravaganza that makes The Ride work, there are people that give a lot to make this show happen 7 days a week, despite what the rest of the populace thinks. Like that guy giving us the finger towards the beginning of the show. To which one of the "researchers" replied "Oh yeah buddy? Well, we're not the one sitting on a garbage can". And that's why I can recommend actually going to Times Square to enjoy "The Ride".