Monday, May 27, 2013

NYC Adventures

3 days, 3 events, 3 seasons.

The first day was muggy but still at times cool. A bit like a late autumn day. Except when we had to go into the subway, which was like a smelly sauna. All we had to do was get on one train and walk roughly two blocks and then back again. Should have taken just 20 minutes. Took roughly an hour. (In our defense, the apartment that we were looking for was in a neighborhood that wasn't on a grid and it was in the only street in NYC that actually has TWO NAMES.) After I stowed my bag, the reason for our adventure, we made it back in time to head over to Jon Stewart. By this time it had gotten hot. Not that it mattered because within a short time we were seated in the front row of the studio and having our ears pierced by the warm up guy. They really want you to laugh loudly for the show so it translates on TV. Jon came out and answered a few questions, then they taped the show, and then we were free to go get some food! Which was a good thing since I forgot not only to eat breakfast but to pack anything for the trip down. I thought we would have had time to grab some food after I got into the city but our subway "adventure" ate up all that time. (Ha.) Before we went to get something to eat, however, we stopped in at a Planned Parenthood cocktail party, which turned out really to be a polite rally held in a bar where you give them a donation and then pay for drinks after a few speeches. We gave the donation, but opted to get drinks (and food) elsewhere. Lucy's. Where we ate nomilicious nachos and I had a frozen passion fruit margarita.
   Day two! It was just hot. And muggy. Luckily for me my only goals for that day was to get from the apartment I was staying in in Downtown to my hotel just north of Times Square and to get ready for the play, Once, that started at 8PM that night. I left at around 10, figuring I didn't want to lug my bag during rush hour traffic north. The only glitch was that for some reason, both sides of the subway at Houston Street had signs that claimed to be to the subway that led to the ferry. I went in one, couldn't find anything that indicated direction. So I climbed out, crossed the street, and headed back underground. Same lack of directionality. So I asked a local and was told I needed the train on the other side. So back out and back down the other side. I got on the train.... and was going in the wrong direction. I got off at Franklin Street, climbed out of the subway again and crossed the street to an EXIT ONLY subway stop. In it I found two locals and quizzed then on "how the hell did I get north". (Exact quote.) I was told I had to walk two blocks south to the Franklin stop and that train was the one I wanted to get to Times Square. They weren't wrong. 10 stops later I dragged my now pretty tired and sweaty self into the overcast daylight of NYC. I got to my hotel at around 11:30. I asked if my room was ready, but it wasn't yet. I wasn't too surprised about that. So I checked my bag, emailed Chris from the hotel bar, and waited in the sweet sweet air conditioning. Eventually it came time to head over to where he worked, which was just one block over and one block up, and lunch was had. After I left him back at his workplace I headed out to wander. I tried to find Rockefeller Plaza, because on the third day I was going to try and get tickets to Jimmy Fallon. My map was bad. It didn't have the street numbers printed on it so I only had a vague idea of where the plaza was so I spent a lot of time going up and down streets until I finally found it on 49th and 6th. Pictures were taken, sitting was done. Finally I headed back over to the hotel and my room was ready. So I showered. A lot. Then gussied up for the play and waited for @aboleyn. By the way, I gussied up good. She had a hard time making it to the hotel because of rush hour traffic and tourists blocking her path the entire way up. What probably should have been a 20 minute walk turned into nearly an hour. I sat in the bar with a Pink Martini (which was OK) while she struggled through a human jungle. I feel bad about that. Finally she arrived; we drank our drinks, and then headed over. The theater was only a few blocks down and half a block over. We got there, got our tickets, I cut in line because what the hell is the point of being at the box office just to walk outside down the street to walk back inside? Besides, they were numbered seats. It wasn't like it was a first come first serve to the best seats. Ours were... interesting. They were front row but to the extreme left (if you are facing the stage). How close they were to the actual stage is not depicted on the map on the theater website. On the site it looks like there is a bit of a gap between the seats and the stage. Not so. We were so close that my foot was touching the stage and by the time the play was over my knees were screaming because I couldn't straighten them out even a little.

The play itself was transcendent. And now I have the soundtrack on my iTouch. I hope the show tours and it comes to one of two local theaters that occasionally host Broadway plays.

After the play ended we went outside and spotted some barriers that had been put up by the stage door and so we hung out for a while and got the entire cast to sign our playbills. Abby even got her picture taken with Arthur Darvil. I opted not to. Because we waited for autographs, Abby had to go right to the train station to get home. I sat in the hotel lobby and used their wifi to upload photos. Then finally headed up to bed to get up early the next morning.

The third day was a return to early winter. Not really, at first. I headed out to the Plaza at around 7:30 and it wasn't that bad. It was still muggy but not hot so I was comfortable in my short sleeved sweater. I brought my umbrella just in case but didn't need it as I stood in line for Jimmy Fallon tickets.  It was later in the day that it got into the low fifties with wind and rain and I got so desperate that I ended up buying a sweatshirt from a gift shop with NYC blazoned across the back. Before that happened though I got my ticket, was told to come back at 3 and I headed back to my hotel.

I was going to call another friend so we could meet up for lunch but I fell asleep instead. By the time I called her there wasn't enough time for her and her husband to come into the city and get me and get me back in time for the 3PM deadline. Instead I ended up wandering around, but not too far because I didn't want to not get to Rockefeller in time. Naturally, that made me early. I was there at 2:15 and I gave up thinking I could do something else and decided to wait in the NBC cafe until 3. At 3 we found out that our ticket numbers were going to be checked off but we had to come back at 4:15. For fucks sake. Half of my day has already been tied up to whether or not I was going to get in to the show taping and yet now I had to wait another hour and fifteen minutes? So I explored the concourse under the plaza some and bought a ticket to the Top of the Rock. Because of the train I had it to myself for a while. That was pretty cool. And apparently standing in the middle of the elevator on its way up is a feat. I was in the elevator alone so... where else would I stand?  After that and not getting into the show I decided to head over to the public library. I walked around, took some pictures, but was mostly freaked out by all the tourists. It was barely being used as a library. It seemed... wrong. So I left quickly. I wanted to go to MoMA, but by that time there really wasn't enough time to give it a good look so I just headed back to the hotel so I could get my bag and head over to Penn Station. I did hang out for a bit in the hotel bar and take advantage of their wifi for a bit before heading out.

Radio City Music Hall. Like it says on the sign.

Statues outisde Rockefeller Plaza.

Fountain. On 49th and 7th.. ish.

Seating nook I saw on way to The Plaza.

Light in side the Library.

The walk down was... not fun. I was cold and tired and the sweatshirt that I bought wasn't that warm actually and EVERYONE WAS IN MY WAY OMG THEIRE JUST ADS! Look, I get that people want to take photos and stuff. I did. But look behind you to see if someone is there before just stopping, m'kay?

I made it to the station with about a half hour to spare, but now I know that there is a waiting room that has wifi and seats. All the other times I had been there and I never knew that it was there because there really is nowhere to sit anywhere else in the entire station except for two restaurants. But there are plenty of open spaces. Why no benches? That always baffled me.

Our train was boarding early because it was full, but as per my usual custom when coming back from the city, I bought a business class seat because I don't feel like fighting for a place on my way home.

Our car unloaded first and I grabbed the first taxi home only to be confronted by two slightly miffed cats and a messy house.

Happy Memorial's Day!


NYPinTA said...

I have no idea why I can't get the photos to line up the way I want. Whatever.

LL said...

I knew there was a reason I stayed out of the city... ;)

Glad you had some fun though...

NYPinTA said...

Not enough bats?

NYPinTA said...

I think I would like to go down one day just to walk around with no scheduled event that I had to make it to. Might do that this autumn. I can catch and early train on Sunday and a late train back.

LL said...

Truth be told... it's not the lack of bats, but rather the decided quantity of humans...

But it was fun to visit...