For my birthday present a few months back, Cindi combined my loves for both karaoke singing and classical music and came up with an inspired gift: tickets to a special sing-a-long performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (“Choral”), last Sunday at the All Saints Episcopal Church on the Upper East Side, performed by the Park Avenue Symphony and your fellow attendees in the pews. It was quite an exhilarating experience (especially as I hadn’t read sheet music in years and I didn’t really know German).

It’s shaping up to be a musical week as we are going to check out Cesare Evoria at Carnegie Hall tomorrow evening. I know nothing about this Cape Verdean singer except that she is supposed to be phenomenal.

I should also mention one of the highlights of my day today: walking down 8th Avenue to the bus stop with my iPod on “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin – it was like a David Lean rock musical playing in my head, and the perfect song to navigate one’s way through a throng of tourists (just pretend one is in a Himalayan bazaar and suddenly this summertime chore becomes exotic) .

Other iPod highlights today: Sleater-Kinney’s “Modern Girl” while at work (reminding me of happy moments waiting for the subway back in my previous neighborhood of Borough Hall, Brooklyn), and riding the bus home listening to the first 20 minutes of a Ramones concert recorded in 1977

currently playing: “Mainline Florida” by Eric Clapton