Tuesday, February 01, 2011


My MacWorld Moment: The Sara Mearns Swan Lake Ticket Pounce

We had promised each other that the minute New York City Ballet posted the cast listing for Swan Lake, one of us would pounce on tickets for any production involving Sara Mearns. But with the popularity of Black Swan (and no, Portman won't be dancing, though some have called to ask about her dance dates--guys, it's a *movie*), most shows were sold out. So it was that we waited, fingers crossed.

Last Friday I was at Mac World, waiting for my husband's presentation to begin, and trying to distract my garrulous one year old with a bottle of milk ("You must wean!" said the doctor. And I really will. Just not while traveling). First came the text on my iPhone: Tonya had received a press release and sent it to me. I needed to check my email, she said. So I did. One handed.

And there it was: an extra performance of Swan Lake. Still with one hand--and the presentation beginning behind me--I tried to log into the City Ballet site via iPhone to see which tickets I could find. The site hadn't been updated yet--the press release hadn't gone out to everyone--and February 11th still looked like a mixed program with nary a swan in site. But the press release was specific about the date and the fact that Sara Means would be the swan.

The City Ballet site was impossible to navigate on the iPhone, so I switched to the iPad. I got 3 tickets, and then the countdown began. In bright red lettering, the clock ticked backward--I had exactly 15 minutes to complete my purchase. First, I had to log in.

Log in? I had no idea what my password might be. I didn't want to switch over to my email and leave the internet page in case I got stuck trying to get the password--with the clock ticking down, I knew I could at least stall for more time if things went wrong with my email, but didn't want to switch screens. So I called up my email on my iPhone, retrieved the password and entered the information.

The clock continued to tick, but at *every single page* I was informed that the site was stalling due to unusually high activity. Well, duh. Wasn't every balletomane doing exactly what I was at the moment? I hit refresh repeatedly and somehow the tickets were mine. The presentation unfolded smoothly. The baby was quiet. I was grateful for the iPad and the iPhone and informed my team of our successful purchase and impending date with dance greatness.

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