Wednesday, January 19, 2011


It snowed overnight Monday. Tuesday morning we woke to slushy slick streets with freezing rain falling continuously. Luckily we packed lots of warm clothing, good warm waterproof boots and umbrellas. I wish I had packed my rain gear too!

After breakfast we walked over to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to try for rush tickets to The Addams Family. By 10:30 we had our tickets so we set off on an adventure in the yukky mucky weather. We decided it would be a good day to have a look around so we got on one of the New York sightseeing buses - the kind that have an open top in the summer. In the winter they install plexiglass covers so you can still look up at the tall buildings, but you have some shelter and warmth. We took the downtown tour and saw Macy's, the garment district, the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, SoHo, the Lower Eastside and East Village, the Financial District, Rockefeller Center, Battery Park and the Staten Island Ferry.
We mostly stayed on the bus and marveled at the different buildings and businesses and homes and people outside. The tour guides gave us a mix of interesting history and weird trivia. We passed a Bhuddist temple with a bookstore below offering something - we're not quite sure what really. It was good to do this because it gave us an idea of what to come back for on another day when it's not raining ice cubes.
We got off the bus near the World Trade Centre site, and saw ground zero and the re-construction. It's very moving to see how huge the area of destruction really is, and how ordinary shops and buildings cling tightly around the edge. We sat in a coffee shop and wondered what it must have been like for people stopping here that morning. We imagined running up the the street outside, away from the blast. The day before we had spoken to a man in the TKTS lineup whose cousin, a NY firefighter, had died during the rescue effort. It's still immediate and very real here.
We also visited Century 21, a multi-storey discount fashion department store. If you've been to Winners in Canada, imagine 25 X Winners and you'll get the idea. We found a few things to buy, but became overwhelmed by the volume and variety. There are designer items for 1/4 the regular price and also nicer retail lines at super deep discounts. People were dragging rolling baskets around, heaped with coats and dresses and handbags and other things. If I lived here, I think I'd go there a lot.
By the time we got back to the hotel, we were cold and damp, so we warmed up with hot chocolates from the hotel coffee counter, and changed for the evening. We had some sushi for supper. 9th Avenue seems to be a very good place for small, affordable non-franchise restaurants. We were surprised to see no yam roll. I wonder if it's just that restaurant, or if yam roll is not something that people eat here?
After supper we saw The Addams Family. It was hilarious as a musical, with the same grim/cheery humour of the New Yorker cartoons and the TV show that followed them. Just before curtain time we were advised to turn off our cell phones and refrain from taking photos or recordings. We were also told that use of firearms, axes, guillotines, nooses and thumbscrews was not permitted during the performances but strongly encouraged during the intermission. Nathan Lane played Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth played Morticia. The songs were just splendid and dark and intelligent and funny. There was some puppetry and a bit of flying and just generally dark and dangerous and funny fun. I laughed all the way through it.
This morning we decided to go slow. We're going to try to do back-to-back shows today, so we'll go out soon to try for the lottery for matinee Wicked tickets then see if there are any rush tickets for Avenue Q for the evening show. This week is going by quickly!
question: do you ever take thumbscrews to the theatre?
mompoet - oops, forgot to pack mine


Catherine said...

Love reading about your adventures in The Big Apple! I love the city, and love seeing it through others' eyes. The next best thing to being there! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

A quiet Saturday morning giving me time to get all caught up on Mompoet ... love reading and seeing the trip. Looking forward to visiting in person! Cathy