Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New York

I am now recovered from my trip to New York City and ready to report. Here goes:

Husband, Eustacia, and I hit the pavement running Thursday late afternoon, and judging by the sore calves and blisters from crappy shoes, we didn't stop until we got home Monday evening.

Hotel. We stayed at the Waldorf=Astoria—posh, snooty, and more than over priced but fun just the same. The hotel name has a double hyphen to make it special, as if the price tag weren't enough. Two eggs any style with bacon or sausage—$20. In the main lobby there stands a two-ton clock from the Chicago world's fair of 1893. Around the base are engravings of various presidents, Benjamin Franklin, and Queen Victoria.

There have been some interesting characters living at the Waldorf over the years, like former President Hoover, General Macarthur, Bugsy Siegel, and Marilyn Monroe. Cole Porter lived there for years, eventually becoming a recluse because of health problems and depression. His piano is still on display in the lobby.

We have been to New York a few times before, so for this trip we decided to skip the usual visits like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Yankee Stadium. This time around, our purpose was to see Broadway and to eat, two things everyone loves. We did do one tourist thing—Madame Tussuad's. Here is me with Albert Einstein.

Broadway. Our first show was The Little Mermaid Disney style. It followed the animated film faithfully with a few extra songs. What impressed me most about this production was the way they handled the under-water scenes, and the way Prince Eric fell from the ship in the storm. It was so creative and convincing. You want to be transported by a live production, and this one succeeded.

The next day we saw a matinee of Young Frankenstein, the musical, and I laughed harder than I have laughed in months. The cast was perfect for their roles, and the set was amazing. The audience anticipated their favorite lines—Put...the...candle...back—and sometimes said them in advance of the character. The music only added to the story. Afterwards, I waited with Eustacia outside the stage door, and she got a few autographs and pictures with some of the actors.

Later that night we saw Mama Mia, mainly because most of us had seen the movie. Daughter No 1 had joined us by then and hadn't seen the film, but she was amused anyway. You really can't compare a film to a live performance so I tried not to. I will say, though, that the performers were true singers, whereas the actors in the movie sing as a sideline. We waited at the stage door after this show, too, and Eustacia filled her program with autographs and her camera with photos. All the performers were very friendly and eager to greet everyone.

As if this weren't enough, the next night we saw Spamalot. Not everyone is a fan of Monty Python, but we are, and we laughed until we cried. It was another great show with classic lines and silliness. Yay for silliness!

Food. We like Brazilian food, and since we can't find it in Ohio, we search it out in big cities. New York has a Little Brazil which is mainly three or four restaurants and a shop or two on 46th Street. We had dinner in two of those restaurants and were very happy. Eustacia can't get enough Guarana, a Brazilian soda, and she was happy to have her fill. We also had dinner at a Cuban place and at an Irish pub. I have a beer only once a year or so because I usually order wine, and I had my one beer at the pub. We also had hotdogs from a street vendor and lunch at a sidewalk cafe in SoHo.

All in all, it was a great experience. New York is so different from Small Town. There are elements I appreciate about both places, but for now Small Town is home, and I was happy to lay my head down on my familiar pillow, to spend just $3 on an entire carton of eggs, and to slow down after a few days of a much faster pace.


dive said...

The Waldorf Astoria? Yaay for you!
2 eggs w. sausage or bacon for $20? Yikes! That's almost as expensive as the restaurant car on my train (actually, around 60 percent of the price … I'm gonna have to check in at the Waldorf instead of commute)!

Cole Porter's piano! Cool!
And you look way smarter than Einstein.
I'd have expected them to stage the Little Mermaid in an aquarium rather than a theatre.
Hoorah for Young Frankenstein! "What knockers!"
And an Abba-fest? AND Spamalot? What a great time you had!
And yummy Brazilian food, too.
Sounds like you need to put your feet up and relax.

Rich said...

So what was Einstein like - did he have any good advice for you to bring back to your blogger buds?

My next trip to NYC I want to see "Rent".
I love to visit there but I'm always glad to get back to home and Boston seems rather quaint afterward.

lizard said...

Yay! Little Mermaid! Sebastian was a student of mine back in Athens... and clearly I'm way proud of him. Glad you guys had fun!

Alifan said...

Wow Robyn that sounds like a real good time was had by you all....very posh as well....nice to see you back though.....

Scout said...

Lizard, that is so cool! He was great, a real highlight in the show.

Shan said...

Thanks for the telling! I'm always glad to see pics of the blogger as well as the scenery! I'm sooooo jealous of the shows you got to see. Mama Mia IS so much better when done on stage with great singers (though I never am disappointed to see my fave guys in a film together either). The magic of theater is so fabulous though isn't it. I'd have majored in it if I thought it would have been a good life path for me. It was a bit on the wild side for a "follower" like I tended to be. I do love it so though.
You seem to lead quite the life Robyn! It all sounds so exciting. :D

Shan said...

Oh, and Young Frankenstein???? That must have been AWESOME! I hadn't heard it was on stage. teeheeheehee

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