By Priscilla Degollado
You can usually find the area crowded with visitors from all over the world, snapping pictures, enjoying the site, restaurants and shops, such as the Leggo store, the Nintendo store, and NBC Studio store. On certain days, you can find the area full of concert-goers, watching a big-name entertainer who is scheduled to perform that day.
You can also find the NBC Studios, where you may tour the studios. If you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse of “30 Rock” filming.
The Channel Gardens and the Ice Skating Rink, which is only open from October through April, are located right in the center of Rockefeller Center. You can also find the GE Building, also located in the center of Rockefeller Plaza and also known as 30 Rock, it is one of the first things noticed in Rockefeller Plaza. You can tour the building and also take a tour of the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, where you will have a 360-degree view of the city, 70 floors above Rockefeller Plaza. In front of the GE Building, right behind the Ice Skating Rink in the sunken plaza, is a bronze gilded statue of the Greek legend of the Titan Prometheus bringing fire to mankind. On a granite wall behind the statue, reads: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.”
A little bit of information about the show: The Today Show is filmed in NBC Studios in New York City. Its first broadcast aired on January 14, 1952. The show later spawned other shows similar to it, such as ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS’s The Early Show. The Today Show was the brainchild of Pat Weaver, Sigourney Weaver’s dad, who was president of NBC at the time. It was the first show of its kind when it started. The original host, Dave Garroway, was joined by news anchor Jim Flemming, panelist Jack Lescoulie, and “Women’s Editor” Estelle Parsons, whose job was later renamed Today Girl after she left the show. John Chancellor and Hugh Downs took over as anchors in 1961 and 1962. Barbara Walters joined the show in 1964 as the Today Girl and finally became a co-anchor in 1974. The show’s current host, Matt Lauer, has been on the show since 1997 and Ann Curry has been on the show since 1997, but became co-anchor in 2011, replacing Meredith Viera. Al Roker has been reporting the weather since 1996.
When the show first started, it ran for two hours Monday through Friday. In October 2000, the show expanded to three hours. It then expanded to four hours in September 2007. Only the first two hours are noted because competing shows, such as Good Morning America and The Early Show, run for two hours. The Today Show reaches nearly 5 million viewers, and it is internationally broadcast in Europe and the Middle East. The show is also broadcast in Australia.
I arrived with my classmates at The Today Show at about 6:30 a.m. on Friday, May 25. When we arrived, the area around The Today Show was full of visitors, military personnel in town for Fleet Week, and concert-goers waiting for the concert that was to take place in Rockefeller Center. The scheduled performer that day was international singer Pitbull, who is also now known as Mr. Worldwide.
My classmates and I brought along signs that we made the night before, sporting the pride of our hometown, the San Antonio Spurs. We were all excited to be there and anxious to see the show live, as well as hear and experience the concert. We were in a crowd full of people from all over the world, along with locals. We were situated sort of in the center of the crowd, and at one point we all turned around to see Al Roker starting the show off.
As we waited for the show and the concert to start, a conversation was heard between two of my classmates and a few girls from New Jersey. They were discussing how excited they were about the concert, where they were from, and the “Jersey Shore” show and cast. It was really noisy, and only bits and pieces of the conversation were heard, which was that one of the girls from New Jersey knew a few of the people from “Jersey Shore” and had been to the house where they film the show. One of the girls from New Jersey said that they had ridden to New York City on the train and took a cab to get to Rockefeller Plaza for the concert that morning. My classmates then asked if they knew or had seen anyone from the “Jersey Shore” cast. One girl replied that she knew two of the guys from the show and had been to the “Jersey Shore” house. The conversation continued until the show started. At another point in time, we turned forward to see Pitbull come out and start performing, which is when the crowd began to go wild. At several points in the show, we saw Al Roker, Ann Curry and Matt Lauer up on a cherry picker doing the show and introducing Pitbull several times that morning.
Pitbull did a great job getting the audience pumped up to scream, dance and sing along. Pitbull sang four of his major hits, which were “Back In Time” from the Men In Black 3 soundtrack, “International Love,” “Give Me Everything,” and “I Know You Want Me.” The crowd was big, and you could feel the excitement and the energy coming off of everyone there. It was a gloomy morning and a little bit of drizzle, but everyone was still happy and enjoyed the show. It was a great experience!