Hobbes and I hit up New York last weekend. It was quick. It was packed. It was good.
Friday morning we were both still on the west coast, not knowing where we were going to drop our bags on Saturday morning. We’ve done Craigslist vacation swaps and crashing on friends’ couches, so this time we tried out airbnb.com. We booked a place on Amsterdam in the upper 80s.
It was simple. It was charming. It had an elevated toilet whose tippy stool caused me to burn my arm on an exposed hot water pipe as I grabbed for balance. It had white stars painted over the holes throughout the wall. And it had a bathtub in the kitchen. And no shower. Crazy New Yorkers!
Can’t complain about our <$75 quintessential NY tenement living experience, though. Highly recommend airbnb.
Broadway All Day
When we go to New York, Hobbes and I have two things on our minds: shows and food. I couldn’t care less about visiting the Statue of Liberty. Unpatriotic? Maybe. But I’m pretty sure Lady L doesn’t care.
We saw four shows in two days, which is absolutely no small feat. Seeing four shows in two days means you see a matinee, you see an evening, you see a matinee, you see an evening. In between those matinees and evenings, there is lining up and strategic planning for which 40-something to head to first. We only bought two student rush tickets (Yeah, I went to college to exploit my ID as an alum.) at the actual box offices. For the other two shows, we employed the good offerings of TKTS and good ol’ ticket lotteries.
Saturday Matinee – Rock of Ages
AMAZING. Such an enjoyable show! Like Spamalot or Avenue Q, could definitely serve as the musical for people who don’t like musicals. Just imagine a dive bar plastered in hair band rock paraphernalia and a fun, spunky script full of 80S COVERS. So much fun. You want to sing along. You want to smack the ass of the guy selling beer in the theater as he passes by in the aisle. Okay maybe you don’t. But still, absolutely loved it.
“Oh, Sherrie” is still ringing in my ears. Catch it when it comes your way. (And they give you fake lighter souvenirs. So. Fitting.)
Not “delectable.” The sign lies. The synopsis of Finian’s Rainbow intrigued me because it revolved around race in a bigoted South, and you know me and my cultural discourse. Unfortunately, it was written for a different time but ended up being a gross regressive parody of itself. A racist White mayor turns Black and everyone’s all about integration. But when the White mayor is Black he sings gospel style, a really awkward condition in juxtaposition with the attempted mockery of the “yes, massah” houseboy he once employed. It just doesn’t get there. I find it very odd that they revived this show when it so doesn’t fit our age.
Got to see Cheyenne Jackson perform live, though, and that is when I realized how similar he and Billiam’s eyebrows are. HOT. Hope to see him perform more on 30 Rock!
Oh, and this mute ballerina chick gets the power of speech when a leprechaun falls in love with her. Save your money.
Sunday Matinee – The Fantasticks
This was cute. An off-Broadway dealie that we watched in a small theater. The bard was actually the Gallahad from when we caught Spamalot thirteen months before. The actress was adorable and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her do extremely well in New York. Since it was an off-Broadway production, it definitely had that slight sparse, community theater feel, so I’m glad we just paid a discounted rate. At the same time, though, it was worth every penny. A very sweet production.
Sunday Evening – Next to Normal
For this show, Hobbes and I each won the discounted ticket lottery. The crowd was happy that I didn’t need mine after Hobbes’ name was called. And that is just one of the many ways in which we are winners. Onto the show…
DOODE. That shit was heavy. Unlike Finian’s Rainbow, I want people to see Next to Normal, so I’ll try my hardest not to give any spoilers. Although I knew the show was essentially about a modern day dysfunctional family (Dysfunctional families are my second favorite brand of drama, right after cultural discourse.), I definitely didn’t expect that ending, to see the female protagonist choose to ***. It was dense, but so well done. In some ways, I found it to be heavier than Spring Awakening. Like a well-crafted drama, it still had its lighter moments. I’d imagine that if Wes Anderson was more into black and metal, he’d take The Royal Tenenbaums and come up with something like this.
I liked how the characters had layers and how they developed. The music was powerful but not overdone. While it’d be depressing to hear those lyrics and be reminded of those scenes, I probably will buy the soundtrack. It was all just so fucking good.
The great bites of the weekend were Sunday brunch at Max Brenner’s and Sunday nightcap at Momofuku. Interestingly enough, the only clothing purchase I made while in New York was a Max Brenner apron. But the real big-time treat was my Illegal Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes. 60% dark chocolate truffle cream, pure milk chocolate shavings, and caramelized bananas.
Multiple sources insisted we try Momofuku’s pork buns, which were indeed delicious, but to be completely honest, they just gave me a mad craving for Peking duck a la almost anywhere in Milpitas.
On the flight home I got a couple of free GOGO passes for in-flight wireless. The discount code applies to new users of GOGO, so hey, if you’re flying on a GOGO flight on or before December 31st, register and enter “UATRYGOGO” as your promo code. Et voila. You may continue Bejeweled Blitz without missing a beat.