12 Days In New York City

I love New York, but boy was I ready to come home after 12 days in it. Had the last 7 of those days not been so stressful it might be another story. But the fact was that I barely had enough money to get me through the 6 intended days, so the additional 7 weren’t overly enjoyable as I tried not to use much public transit or eat out or really do anything that involved spending any money…

But, despite all that, it was still a lovely and much needed holiday!

I arrived in the city on a Wednesday at which time I wandered to Vi’s and collapsed on her couch. On Thursday made my way to Brooklyn to go see the Botanic Gardens. I’d seen someone post about it somewhere, and thought it might be worth a visit. The weather was great, the colours gorgeous, and it turns out there’s not admission cost on Thursdays.

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That evening I headed to Times Square to meet up with Vi. We were hoping to the lottery for a show, but missed it for both The Last Ship and Hedwig. Instead we got omlettes and watched Netflix.

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On Friday I headed down to Union Square where I spent a couple hours getting lost in the racks at The Strand. Paul Giamatti was there. We stood in the ‘Banned Books’ section together. It was pretty cool.

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I then went and wandered around the West Village and people-watched in Washington Square Park. It was chilly, but sunny, so I was happy.

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That night I headed back to Times Square to meet Vi. We lost the lottery for Idina Menzel’s show If/Then, but were able to grab ‘Lottery Loser’ tickers for only $5 more. I guess the show isn’t doing so well… I thought it was okay. I’m glad I saw it, but really it’s only selling points are Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp.

Speaking off, we did stage door, of course! I’ve seen them both before, but it’s always fun!

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On Saturday I met up with Carly, Sara, and Annie for an excellent 4 hour lunch. We’d never all gotten together as a group, so it was a lot of fun. Eventually Carly had to head to work and Annie to a housewarming party, so Sara and I met up Vi and went to dinner.

Vi and I saw ‘On The Town’. I liked it well enough. It’s a classic, so, you know. The dance numbers seemed a little drawn out, but the music was great.

On Sunday Vi and I went on a roadtrip to Baltimore. She rented a car and got tickets to see Next To Normal, I tagged along. Oh, and I can now say I’ve been to Delaware. Woo!

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On Monday it down-poured so we went to the movies to see ‘The Theory of Everything’. I also dragged Vi from shop to shop in search of a single magazine, as, you know, I do that. The weather cleared up later in the day though, so I went for a nice stroll around mid-town.

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On Tuesday I headed out at some ridiculously early hour only to reach the far end of West-nowhere (aka the Megabus stop) and learn that there were no buses. No one seemed to know why. So, my enormous backpack, suitcase and I hiked it over to Penn Station to see about a train. I got a ticket, all looked well, until it’s announced that all Toronto bound rail service will be suspended in Syracuse. Again, no one could say why. So I got a refund and started frantically texting everyone I knew for a place to stay. Annie was kind enough to offer her couch right away, so I made my way 160 blocks or so uptown to Washington Heights.

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I eventually came to learn about the horrendous storms in Buffalo and every 12 hours or so would get an update that train and bus service remained suspended. That week is a bit of a blur with regards to what happened when, and in what order. Again, I stayed in a lot. I mean I managed to watch the whole first season of Gilmore Girls on Netflix, so…

I did go for several nice walks around Washington Heights and Fort Tryon. One day I took the subway down to the Upper West Side to go to Barnes and Noble, and then took a very long city bus journey back to the George Washington Bridge (if you catch a bus within 2 hours (maybe 3 hours?) of catching the train they don’t charge you again- HEY OH!). Washington Heights was pretty cool though, I’m glad I had some time to explore it.

10339759_935648637194_174245830662665114_nView of Hudson Heights and the Bronx from Fort Tryon Park

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And then of course Saturday was the insane Into The Woods evening. I’m still not over that one! Earlier that day though I met up with the wonderful Jennifer Eolin for tea and trading of horror life stories, and a couple hours later went for hot chocolate with another online friend. All that made for a very nice day. Adding in Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, and an early Into The Woods screening were just icing on the cake!

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I didn’t sleep Saturday night, and had to leave for my bus around 4:30am. Thankfully though when I arrived there was no one advising of a cancellation, and I even managed two seats to myself for the entire journey home.

It all kind of worked out. Sort of. Maybe.

Stranded in NYC

What does the universe do to the gal who was having a million panic attacks thinking about her upcoming trip and had actually decided not to go up until 5 minutes or so before she left? Why, strand her at her destination, of course!

If you’re unaware- I am currently stuck in New York City and am not sure when I’ll get home. I was meant to head out at the break of dawn Tuesday, but some nasty storms have swept through Buffalo. Seriously, it’s horrifying what’s happening: 70-some-odd inches of snow have fallen in the last 48 hours and several people have frozen to death in their cars after being buried. The NY state thruway will be closed until at least Friday, all cross-border bus and train services have been suspended, trucks aren’t being allowed to enter the US on the Peace Bridge. And the snow is still coming down!

There’s now thousands of people stranded in The City (and elsewhere), and I’m incredibly grateful to have friends who don’t mind a couch surfer. I know others aren’t as lucky, and I hope no one has found themselves in a dire situation. I might be tight on cash, but I’m safe, warm, and surrounded by good company.

And aside from the being stranded, I’m having a nice time. I’ve been to several shows, including Idina Menzel’s newest. I visited The Strand for the first time, and looked at banned books with Paul Giamatti. I people watched in Washington Square Park, visited the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, took a road trip with Vi to Baltimore, had a mini MTT reunion lunch with Carly, Sara, and Annie, wandered the West Village, Union Square, Washington Heights, and did Trivia Tuesday in Harlem with some students from Columbia.

I have photos, but I’ll save those for another day. Well, okay, here’s one:

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I ♥ NY

I really, really do.

I mentioned in my last blog that in early September I was given medical clearance to travel again. As you can guess, I found myself in New York a week or so after getting this wonderful news. It was Vi’s birthday, the bus tickets were cheap, and it was 2 for 1 ticket week on Broadway. The decision was practically made for me!

I took the bus from Buffalo, and is what you’d expect from a Megabus. Cheap, 2 hours late, but you get where you need to go and the wifi works about 60% of the time. I was content. I arrived around 10pm on Thursday evening, and wandered across town to Vi’s apartment where she was waiting with a plate of cookies. She knows me well!

On Friday morning Vi headed off to work and I had a semi-lazy morning before heading out. I met up with Mimi at Penn Station and we spent the afternoon wandering around town. We grabbed lunch at an uber-cute diner in midtown and then walked down to the West Village, my new favourite place after my last NY adventure. Not as many celeb sightings as in May, but we walked past Arthur Darvill and I awkwardly smiled, and it was awesome.

West Village:

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After that we headed for the High Line. The weather was gorgeous that day, so it was a bit crowded, but we still managed to walk the entirety of it.

Chilling on the High Line:

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We then headed back up to Times Square to meet up with Vi for dinner before heading to a show. We went to Juniors, because I’m a bit obsessed, and being Vi’s birthday weekend, cake was necessary.

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That night we saw The Glass Menagerie, and it was absolutely extraordinary. Not that I expected much less. I’d read the play and found it powerful, and this stage version was starring Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto, so… Yeah.

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I cried. A lot. It’s an incredibly emotional and quiet show, and we were sitting 2nd row centre which seemed to make it all the more intense. The set was minimalistic. They didn’t even include the photograph of the the father, a substantial set item in the written play. There was a small balcony, next to a living room containing only a few pieces of furniture and one piece of Laura’s glass collection. Next to that was a small dining room, with table and chairs. The set floor was three square pieces, merging at various angles, and the remainder of the stage was covered in water. This created a very neat and eerie effect.

There are four cast members, and if they don’t all win Tony’s for their performances I will burn Utica to the ground… Considering the praise that Cherry and Zach have been receiving, I have no doubt we’ll be seeing them win just about everything next year. I obviously knew ZQ was an amazing actor. It’s what made me such a big fan of his! But seeing him perform live was a whole new experience. You think he’s intense on screen? Yeah… nothing compared to live.

Though I’m pretty sure the biggest reason that I find myself so affected by this play is that I’m terrified that I might be Laura Wingfield. But that’s a whole other thing I probably shouldn’t get into in this post…

Anyway. It’s up there as being one of the most emotional experiences I’ve had in the theatre (top spot will probably always go to Porgy & Bess because that show basically ruined me!) and I’d love to get back and see the show again before it closes in the new year.

Here’s a montage from it:

After the show we headed to the stagedoor to meet the cast. They were all incredibly lovely and warm. Celia Keenan-Bolger has to be one of the most adorable human beings, I swear!

Celia:

1186267_806918742934_495727607_nBrian J. Smith and Cherry Jones:

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Zach came out last and went through the crowd, signing, taking photos with everyone:

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I asked for a photo, and he was like “of course!”. When I asked the guy next to me to take it Zach grabbed my camera and said it needed to be a “selfie”, which he then took:

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It appears that I grabbed onto his arm and neck. That’s not weird, right? It was super windy that night, so of course a gust came in the moment he snapped the photo. AGRH!

I noticed after, and Mimi and Vi both told me I should go and get another one, and I was like “can you do that?” Heh. But I went to the end of the line and babbled something like: “Hi, sorry, the wind blew my hair and I have a fancy mustache, can I get another photo? Sorry!” To which he just went: “Umm, sure.” LOL

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I grabbed the second one on my phone, so the quality it terrible, but he’s got a judgmental eyebrow happening, so it all evens out to a win.

After that we ran Mimi back to Penn Station to catch her train, and Vi I wandered back to the apartment. It was most definitely a good day!

Oh! We were also sitting in front of David Schwimmer, so, that was cool!

On Saturday we lazed around for a bit before heading up to Times Square to grab cheap tickets to First Date, starring the amazingly adorkable Zachary Levi. I honestly didn’t think I could love him more, but, oh boy, was I wrong!

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Before the show we grabbed lunch at a pub on Restaurant Row. We were the only people there! We sat outside in what was said out front to be there “beautiful garden patio”. They definitely oversold it with that description! It was charming though, and the food and service were good.

Restaurant Row:

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The beautiful garden patio:

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The show was definitely a lot of fun to watch. The music was upbeat, the cast was great, and I was entertained for the entire performance. If you’re in NYC, be sure to check it out. Here’s a preview clip:

After the show we headed to stagedoor, which was quite the experience. The crowd was MASSIVE. The barricades took up the entire sidewalk, plus one lane of the road, and was completely filled with people by the time the actors came out. Zach came out with his iPod and speakers and started up a “Stagedoor Playlist”, which was awesome. He then came around and signed for every single person in the massive crowd, chattering away to everyone.

At one point a woman leaned over us to hand him a piece of paper. He asked what it was, and she told him it was her number. He opened it up, and this was the priceless reaction:

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He then pulled out his wallet and put it inside. He chatted with Vi for a bit after she told him she’d seen the show previously and how much she enjoyed it.

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After he finished signing they asked anyone who wanted a photo to stick around inside the barriers. They then created an exit in one corner where Zach stood and you could get a photo as you were leaving. It was a much more efficient system than you’d find at most shows! Though, to be fair, I’m not sure most actors who draw that kind of crowd do photos at the stagedoor. At least not in any shows that I’ve seen!

Our awkward photo (well, awkward me, adorable him):

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That evening we went to movies and saw Austenland. It was amazing:

On Sunday we went out for brunch, and then met up with Carly. We wandered a street fair that was happening up around Columbus Circle before grabbing lunch. The sweet girls they are then indulged me when I headed back to the Booth Theatre to grab a print from The Glass Menagerie. I hadn’t seen the boards until after the show on Friday when we were already at the stage door and got it in my head that I needed one, because that’s how my head works sometimes.

They get it:

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The show let out, but it took a good hour for the actors to emerge. It looked like there were a lot of guests backstage though, so it’s understandable. Vi and I had tickets to Newsies (Carly had to head off to work), which started at 6:30. At about 6:28 I’d gotten my board signed by Zach, Celia, and Brian, as well as another dorky photo with Zach (I got super OCD and needed 4 photos with him because, again, my brain) before having to bolt it a few blocks to the theatre. I didn’t get Cherry’s signature on it, which I was bummed about, but what can you do?

We ran into the Nederlander, sat down, and about a second later the house lights went out. Phew! Newsies was fun, and had great music and Ian McKellen was in attendance. It was good time!

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Again, we hit the stagedoor. The entire cast was really sweet and appeared to be coming down from their nerdgasms over meeting Ian McKellen backstage after the show.

We then slowly meandered through the city back to Vi’s apartment. The weather the entire trip was beautiful, and that night was no exception.

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Early Monday morning I headed out to catch my bus home. And it was, surprisingly, on time! I even had the 2 seats to myself and slept a good chunk of the ride, which was perfect.

It was so nice to travel and feel good. I hadn’t realized just how awful I’d been feeling for the past year (possibly longer, according to doctors) until I suddenly wasn’t feeling like that anymore. It made the trip even more enjoyable!

I then followed the trip with working something like 60 hours over 8 straight days and am now fevered and disgusting and pneumonia ridden again. But, that seems par for the course at this point, doesn’t it? 😉

New York City: A Reason To Be Happy

I was in New York City this week for about 45 hours. It was probably the least interesting trip I’ve ever taken in the sense that I did almost nothing. But, you know? It was a much needed couple days away.

[Note: I inadvertently started rambling on and on about my neuroticism and love for New York, so please feel free to just skip ahead to my thoughts on “Reasons To Be Happy”.]

New York is one of my favourite places. I love big cities, which I know often confuses people, as I also have debilitating anxiety when there’s too much sensory stimuli. When I make this comment I suppose people think immediately of Times Square, making the confusion understandable. But, no. I’m happy to say I didn’t even venture north of 34th Street this trip. Unless I’m going to a Broadway show I really have no reason to visit the “crossroads of the world.” Though I did briefly consider it when Alyssa messaged me to say that the Bluth’s Frozen Banana Stand was set up there on Thursday…

But as tempting as that was, I decided against it. My love of big cities decreases slightly when I’m overwhelmed in a massive crowd of loud tourists moving every-which-way. I’m oddly okay in a well-moving crowd, however. Walking with the flow of traffic in SoHo, or navigating the underground during rush hour in London are relatively non-panic-inducing for me most of the time. If I know where I’m going, and everyone around me knows where they’re going, it generally goes quite smoothly. I’ve noticed that rush hour and non-tourist crowds are simply calmer, and consist of mainly people on their own (almost entirely single travelers in rush hour) and couples (more so in neighbourhoods), making the  crowds move quickly, calmly, and often pretty quietly.

Big cities are always a catch-22 for me. When I’m out I can’t not take notice of every little detail around me- I look at the face of every person I walk by, I listen to every word in earshot, I read every sign in sight, I glance in every window I pass, and so on. My mind fills with everything around me, and I absolutely love it. I can think back and remember even minute details, almost like I’m looking at a photograph of a moment. Cities are filled with so many incredible details in so little space, and taking that all in is really exciting for me.

I love being aware of everything around me (most of the time), and can’t imagine my brain not working this way. I can read something once and know it by heart, I never lose my car keys, and can give kick ass directions to places I’ve only been once. It’s great until the point that it’s just too much and becomes sensory overload, which for me results in panic attacks. And in the past couple years my panic attacks far too often result in emergency room visits due to blood loss, heart palpitations, or whatever else decided to manifest in a particular episode.

But I’ve found that outside of massive tourist zones my sensory input level in big cities is pretty much perfect. Sitting alone on a park bench or by the window in a coffee shop in Manhattan you’re pretty much invisible to the bustling world around you, which leaves you free to take it all in.

Anyway…

I arrived in the city by bus around 5:30 in the morning on Thursday. In London I came to learn than wandering the city between about 5 and 7am was a perfect time, and it turns out the same is true for New York. The sun is up, the air is cool, and the city is starting to come alive.

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I walked around for a few hours, taking breaks in Washington Square Park, Madison Square Park, and Union Square to people watch, snack, read, and search out free wifi. I then spent a few hours in the Union Square area after discovering some awesome book shops, a Forbidden Planet (aka heaven), and a cinema (though I was so exhausted that I actually fell asleep in the film for about an hour and a half… Oops.) Oh, I also walked past Peter Hermann, who it turns out is even more gorgeous in real life than on TV. Well done, Mariska.

usEarly Morning | Union Square

After that I headed to the restaurant where Carly works to get some lunch. I ended up just hanging out until the end of her shift, after which we headed to the West Village. I didn’t realize it then, but I’d not seen much of the West Village, which is disappointing, because it turns out it’s pretty awesome. It’s quiet, with lots of green space, trendy restaurants with patios, a place where you can go and play board games for $1 an hour (we totally did this, btw), shops, and tons of interesting folks about. We wandered for a bit, played an Office themed game of Scrabble, grabbed some dinner, and then headed to the Lucille Lortel Theatre to see the first preview performance of the play Reasons To Be Happy.

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I thought Reasons To Be Happy was excellent. It’s a play by Neil LaBute, and is a sequel to the his previous work Reasons To Be Pretty. A familiarity with Pretty may be helpful when watching Happy, but isn’t essential, I don’t think. The show follows its four characters (played by Jenna Fischer, Leslie Bibb, Josh Hamilton, and Fred Weller) through a complicated relationship crisis.

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Each scene alternates between a basic set that takes the form of numerous locations using only two benches, coloured lighting, and a small collection of props; and a second, much more detailed set which slides forward and backward, that is the break room of two of the characters workplace. The scenes are broken up with a darkened stage and loud boom of rock music, including several Nirvana songs.

Hamilton, who plays the lead character Greg, appears in every scene of the two hour show and does an incredible job. I liked Greg, even though at several points during the show I didn’t want to. The sincerity of the character makes you feel bad for him, rather than angry at him, when he’s unable to make decisions on the messy situation he’s put himself in.

Bibb, playing the role of Carly, was delightful to watch. Carly goes through the ringer in this show, and Bibb transitions through her characters emotional journey seamlessly. I wanted Carly to come out on top, and I think in her own way she did.

Weller played Kent, the ex-husband of Carly and best friend of Greg. I honestly don’t know what I thought of this character. At first I was annoyed by him, and then I started to like him, and then I felt bad for him. Weller seemed a little over animated, which didn’t quite fit with the sombre feeling of the rest of the show.

Jenna Fischer played Steph and rocked it. Though I suppose my adoring her makes this declaration a bit bias… ; )

Seriously though, I love seeing Jenna in roles that are completely different from anything we’ve seen her in before, and Steph definitely fits that bill. She’s abrasive, swears like a sailor, and initially has very unclear motives that make you unsure of how to take her. I wasn’t sure if I even liked Steph until the second half of the show, when a very touching moment happens between her and Greg  that made me trust what she was saying.

Steph is also pretty angry, which is something we don’t get to see Jenna play often. Though a few scenes from films like A Little Help and The Giant Mechanical Man come to mind, her characters have never been quite as consistently aggressive as Steph. She yells, she hits, and she swears throughout the entire show. And, naturally, Jenna is able to show about a million and a half emotions on her face while simply standing to the side watching other characters, which happens in the final scene.

Of course what I saw was the first night of previews, meaning there’s likely to be a pile of changes between now and opening night on June 11th. It’d be really interesting to go back and see the show after that to compare, but I don’t think I’ll be lucky enough to find a $5 bus ticket (no, seriously, I paid $5 for my return ticket!) again, which is basically my budget!

After the show Carly and I went and hung out by the stage door with a few other folks. The cast came out and were all really sweet and chatted with everyone for a bit. Jenna said that after the show ended she was flustered and didn’t even hug her costars, just ran straight for a brownie, which made everyone laugh. She chatted, signed Playbills, took photos, thanked everyone for coming, and then had to run off to the cast party. We took a couple photos, but they’re terrible, so I won’t be posting them anywhere! lol

autSigned Playbill

After that we headed back to Carly’s place to watch the series finale of The Office, which was, you know, emotionally magnificent. When it ended we both sat there and cried. I’m really happy I was able to watch the finale with a fellow fan. I knew of Carly from another fandom years before I even started watching The Office, and I’m pretty sure she’s the first person I ever spoke to online in The Office community. So, it was really, really nice to be able to share that with her.

Friday was a late start, as we didn’t finish watching the finale until around 3am. We headed in to the city around lunchtime, had a bit of an adventure learning how Canadians cash cheques in US banks, and then said goodbye when she headed off to work.

I then started to wander and discovered the new Star Trek movie playing in Imax, which pretty much put a SOLD sign on my afternoon.

On a whim I had a look on the MCC site and found I could get a super cheap single ticket (thank you under 30 discounts!) to that night’s performance of RTBH, and since my bus wasn’t leaving until midnight and I figured I won’t be getting back to see it again, I thought “why not” and grabbed it. So, I headed back to the West Village.

It was really interesting to see that there were already some changes in the show between the first and second night:

  • Weller toned down Kent quite a bit, which I thought really improved my view on the character.
  • Some of the music between scenes changed.
  • Jenna’s costume in one of the scenes was different, though I’m not sure if something like that would have been an actual change, or if there were simply multiple costume options for that particular scene.
  • They seemed to remove a number of props that caused spillage on the first night. For instance, Jenna stepped on a prop that on the first night caused a tiny explosion and required someone to go and wipe up the stage between scenes. However, on the second night there didn’t seem to be any mess, which of course makes sense to opt for! This happened again in another scene where 2 take away cups and a bag are thrown away and Josh Hamilton fishes the bag out. There must have actually been liquid in the cups on the first night because the bag was sopping wet on the first night. However, on the second night the bag was completely dry.
  • The name of a shop referenced changed from the first to the second night. On the first night is was “Costco”, while the second night was something I’d never heard of beginning with an “A”.

ccCurtain Call Friday Night | Faceless Cast

After the show ended I quickly scurried off to find some food and my bus stop. The bus was meant to come at midnight, and showed up around 2:30am. There’s nothing like sitting on the pavement in the middle of NYC in the middle of the night! But I guess you get what you pay for on a $5 return ticket ; ) Honestly though, it was annoying, but nothing more. The bus broke down on the way to us, which happens, so not much anyone can do. They sent a replacement as soon as they could. There were a bus load of us there waiting together and chatting, so the time passed quickly enough.

But, we made it back in good time and I had a very nice long nap before going out to celebrate the fabulous Miss Amy’s birthday Saturday night.

All-in-all it was a very nice little trip!

Oh, almost forgot… NYC Celebrity Sightings: Peter Hermann, John Lutz and Sue Galloway (Lutz and Sue from 30 Rock), BJ Novak, Sam Rockwell, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rich Sommer.

NYC Rounds 1 and 2

As some of you know I’ve found myself in New York City twice in the last 6 weeks. The first trip was for my birthday and New Years, and the second, a few weeks later, so my best friend Tara could cross meeting Alan Rickman off her bucket list.

I’ve been meaning to write this entry for weeks now, but just hadn’t gotten around to it! But I’m now leaving for London in 3 days, and figured I ought to get it down now before I move on to the next big trip! Plus, I’m procrastinating from studying for the 5 exams I write before leaving for London…

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to go to New York City at Christmas time and see the tree in Rockefeller Centre, but the timing/prices have never worked out. This year I decided to just go for it. And thankfully Vi was in town as well! So a nice little 25th birthday/New Years trip was planned.

Of course, my first stop had to be 30 Rock. And that beautiful tree did not disappoint!

(As always, click pictures to enlarge)

While there we also saw two shows: The closing performance of Bonnie and Clyde, and Daniel Radcliffe’s last performance of How To Success In Business Without Really Trying. I didn’t love Bonnie and Clyde, but absolutely adored How To Succeed. And seeing Dan Radcliffe wasn’t too shabby either!

We also went to see The Artist at the Paris Theatre, which was great. The film was wonderful, and I ran in to Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Twice!

It was so nice to see the city completely decked out for the holidays! There were snowflakes, candy canes, and red and green decorations everywhere!

The second trip, just a few weeks later, was a jam packed weekend. Tara and I left around 4am on Friday morning and were in the city by 10. We checked in our hotel and dumped our bags before heading out in the pouring rain. We wandered around the stores in Times Square, grabbed lunch, and took an afternoon nap (I mentioned we left at 4am, right?)

That evening we grabbed some snacks and headed to the theatre to see Alan Rickman’s play Seminar. The show itself wasn’t my cup of tea, but it was fun seeing him live! After the show we waited by the stage door so Tara could meet him. He was quiet, and didn’t take pictures with anyone, but that’s okay. He signed our playbills, smiled at Tara when I said we came down from Canada just to see him for her birthday, and we took sly pictures with one another in the same shot with him. Heh. It worked!

On Saturday, our one full day, we wandering the city. I heard about The High Line from a friend, and decided to check it out. It was so neat! It’s a park that extends numerous blocks down the lower west side of Manhattan, about a story above ground level. It swerves around buildings, and even through them at some points. It was very cool!

After that we walked to Washington Square Park and then down to SoHo for some shopping and lunch.

After that we headed back to Times Square for a bit of a rest and then headed up to Central Park. We had such a gorgeous day. It wasn’t too cold, the sun was shinning. Perfect day!

That evening we went to see Porgy & Bess. Oh. My Gosh. It was without a doubt one of the best shows I have ever seen. I was familiar with it beforehand, but seeing it live was a whole new experience. I started crying about halfway through the second act and couldn’t stop. I was a hot mess by the end! Seriously, such a moving and incredible show. After we stage doored and met everyone. I was still a bit of a hot mess 😉

On Sunday we needed to be at the airport by around 2, so we headed out in the morning. We got breakfast and saw Grand Central and the New York City Public Library. Gorgeous architecture!

So, that’s been 2012 thus far! All that’s worth mentioning. Most of the time is spent on school work, or Twitter. Jenna Fischer just joined Twitter, so it’s been a pretty even split as of late 😉

Anyway, as I said, off to London in a few days. And I am so excited! I may blog mid-trip. We’ll see!

Happy Saturday,

Spencer

New York City, 2011

This may not be a first trip to New York, but it’s a first blog about it!

I had a great time this past weekend. I left horribly early Friday morning, but was sitting in a coffee shop in Manhattan by 10:30am. All was right with the world.

I soon after met up with Vi and tagged along as she ran some errands. One of said errands was in Limelight, which I’d never been to before. It’s an old church that’s been turned into a shopping centre. Very strange, but very cool. We also went to a Japanese restaurant for lunch.

That evening we headed to Times Square, grabbed dinner with a couple of Vi’s friends, and then went to see American Idiot. The show was excellent, as always, and after we were given a backstage tour by one of the cast members. Very surreal.

On the stage:

With Christina (Cast member/Tour guide!):

After the show we decided to do what any one who has been running around all day and has not slept the night before does: We caught a midnight movie. The King’s Speech. It was fantastic.

On Saturday we had a bit of a lazy morning and then headed out for lunch. At 2pm we saw a play at a tiny off Broadway theatre, called Three Sister’s. It was starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. The show was quite long, and a bit confusing, but we enjoyed it.

Classic Stage Company:

After the show we headed back to Times Square and got dinner. That night we boarded a subway and went to Long Island City. The is probably the sketchiest part of New York I’ve ever seen! Lots of barbed wire fences, chained up doors, and boarded up windows. Also, all of the cross streets we passed had the same name. Seriously, weird.

Why were we wandering around Long Island City? We were going to see the awesome and uber talented funny lady, Jennifer Eolin perform in the Long Island City Theatre Festival. It was so nice to meet Jennifer, and she was great in the show!

With Jennifer after the show:

After the show we headed back to Vi’s place and I tried my very first bacon brownie. It… Did not go well. Heh. At least now I know, such things are not for me. I love bacon, and I love brownies, but I’ll continue to keep them separate.

On Sunday we got up early and headed to Penn Station to pick up Sara, who had come in from Long Island for the day. After (finally!) finding her, Vi headed back to the apartment to get her forgotten wallet, and Sara and I headed to Brooklyn for lunch with her friends Jessica and Courtney. That afternoon we headed back in to the city, found Vi at the St. James, and then got dinner.

Sara in Brooklyn:

Back in the city:

That evening we went to the Rockwood Music Hall where we saw one good band (NICKCASEY), one fantastic band (Jones Street Station), and lastly, the ever awesome John Gallagher Jr.

Myself, Vi, and Sara and Rockwood:

Jones Street Station:

Johnny:

Sara headed out to catch her train back to Long Island around 1am. Or, so we thought… Poor thing missed the train and was trapped at Penn Station all night. As my phone doesn’t work without wifi, and Vi’s phone died, we didn’t learn this until the following morning. So sorry, Sara!

On Monday morning I slept in a bit, got ready, and then headed off the airport around noon. I would up on an express train, once again, and was at the airport quite early. I’d rather be early than late, of course! I was just surprised to have gotten express trains both ways!

Anyway, there was some drama at the airport. Delays, cancellation of delays, more delays, gate changes. We left late, but got in to Buffalo early. Oh, JetBlue.