Kansas Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - May 2, 2014

Egg-straordinary exhibit

"There are gigantic eggs on display at the center, and they're so cool!"

It was our last night in the Big Apple, and daughter Katie had wanted to absorb as much of New York City's atmosphere as she could before we returned to Kansas. Her exploring had taken her to Rockefeller Center.

As she made her pronouncement, she removed her cell phone from her purse. A short perusal of the pictures she had taken followed.

I had to admit they were indeed intriguing. And the twinkly lights wrapped around the surrounding trees set against the pink glow of a nearby building added to the charm. I knew immediately what I wanted to do on our last morning in the "Big Apple."

After a filling breakfast at the Astro Bistro across from our hotel, husband Art and I walked the few blocks to the Rockefeller Center. Katie said she'd join us later.

We walked past the Radio City Music Hall and the sign announcing a tour tempted me. But the images on Katie's phone kept me moving.

When we arrived, I was captivated immediately, and began snapping photos. The three-foot tall fiberglass eggs ranged from the simple to the ornate. A smooth dark-green egg was so shiny we could see our reflections in it. Several eggs were decorated as fruits or vegetables - a watermelon, an apple, an avocado. Others were covered with sequins, felt or jewels. There were egg versions of Waldo from the children's book "Where's Waldo?" There was a Statue of Liberty, a Smiley Face, a British flag, bus driver "Ralph Kramden" and many more.

Katie said her favorites were the "sparkly" ones and the "blackboard" egg she could write on. She scribbled "NYC #ksuchoirs" on it, giving her K-State choir group a plug that she hoped others would check out. Art liked the bush-and-daisy "bunny" sculpture gleefully overlooking the scene. I loved the eggs themselves, but I also liked the setting they were in. Many were displayed about the perimeter of the famous Rockefeller ice skating rink where the flags of the world's nations fluttered above us. And it didn't hurt that instead of the predicted rainy day, it was a glorious, sunny spring one with a bright blue sky overhead.

The occasion for all this egg-citement was The Big Egg Hunt, an event sponsored by jeweler Fabergé to raise money for two charitable causes. One is New York City's 27-year-old "Studio in a School" that is run by professional artists for youngsters where they can explore their artistic side. The second is to help save the endangered Asian elephant, principally through habitat protection.

An earlier egg hunt, also sponsored by Fabergé, was held in London in the spring of 2012 to raise money for Action for Children and the Asian elephants. Around 200 artists, celebrities and designers created and painted eggs that were scattered across selected locations around London. Londoners had 40 days beginning Feb. 21, 2012 to locate the various giant eggs. The event followed the Elephant Parade of 2010, also in London, where 260 decorated fiberglass elephants were exhibited throughout the city. Art and I were lucky enough to see many of those elephants on our May 2010 trip to London.

The New York version of the egg hunt commenced at the beginning of April when the 260 eggs were hidden about the city. People participated in the hunt by using a free smart phone application that allowed them to register the egg sculptures they found. Participants were eligible for three pricey Fabergé pieces of jewelry. After the hunt was over, the eggs were moved to Rockefeller Center so people from far away places like Kansas could conveniently wander among them. The eggs will later be auctioned to raise money.

And for these three Big Apple visitors, well it was eggs-actly what we needed to cap our four-day trip!

Photos of Rockefeller Plaza taken by Katie the night before we left.

Left: Gloria with a "Smiley Face" egg; center: the Easter Bunny watching over his eggs; right: Katie with the chalk-board egg. Note her addition of "NYC #ksuchoirs."

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