Are you ready for some Opera?!?! This past week I had tickets to see the New York Met take on The Barber of Seville in a primetime Monday night showcase. Thanks in no small part to Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, I’ve always been fond of the Rossini comedy and was beaming with excitement as we entered Lincoln Center, a.k.a. “The House That Lincoln Built.” Of course The Metropolitan Opera is symbolic of all that is elite and elegant in New York, but it got me thinking – how does the tale of the tape stack up with Joe Six-pack’s trip to the Stadium in the Bronx?
Balcony seats for the Metropolitan Opera cost: $62 a pop. Main Reserved Seats for Yankee Stadium cost: a mere $45. So a slight edge goes to the Yanks here, though there isn’t a bad seat in the house at Lincoln Center and should Jeter ever assume the role of Figaro, your date would have no problem checking out his ass from the nosebleeds.
The plush velvet of the Met certainly beats out the hard blue plastic of the Bronx. Not to mention the fact that Lincoln Center is an all-weather venue.
Two hot dogs, two beers and a bag of Cracker Jacks in the Bronx would run you about $23. Two ham and brie sandwiches, an Evian, an Orangina and a Toblerone at the Met; you’re looking at $26. Price-wise we’re fairly even, but you’ll notice the two beverages at the Met were non-alcoholic, plus we had to stand in line and get the items ourselves rather than wait for the “Toblerone Guy” to come shouting through our section.
There is only one men’s room and one ladies’ room per level at the Met. As you might imagine, the line for the ladies’ was nothing short of ridiculous, while the men’s room also moved along at a relatively sluggish rate. Apparently these Met fans like to wash their hands…
This is where the comparison is most surprising. Sure, you get the “occasional” loudmouth in the Bronx, but you don’t expect any belligerence in the Met, right? WRONG! In a nutshell, Met fans are a rowdy bunch. For example, I was hip-checked twice by some septuagenarian woman as I stood eating my ham and brie, then as I got sugar for my tea I was nudged and scowled at by a man who I swear was Alan Dershowitz.
Getting in the elevator, a little old lady who was no less than 107 threw me a shoulder and essentially stood on me for the entire ride to the top (this woman had it in for me, as she bumped me again during the intermission). Meanwhile, the two little old ladies behind us sounded like a couple of cats mid-coitus as they howled “Bravo!” and rattled their canes about the balcony.
Then a large man to our left passed out snoring – obviously from too much Orangina.
We’re basically comparing big apples to Seville oranges here, so there really is no conclusion. What’s indisputably true about either is that in the end you are rewarded with world-class entertainment. And if you didn’t have to take a little nudge here and there, it wouldn’t be New York, would it?
Christopher M. Halleron, freelance writer/bitter bartender, writes a biweekly humor column for The Hudson Current and websites in the New York Metro area. He spends a lot of his time either in front of or behind the bar in Hoboken, New Jersey where his tolerance for liquor grows stronger as his tolerance for society is eroded on a daily basis. Feel free to drop him a line at email@example.com.