Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ROBBLOG # 242


Me on the Red Steps overtop TKTS Times Sq.
More New York Adventures

Don’t get the idea that New York City has a better degree of weather than we do right here in Orillia or any part of Ontario for that matter.

One day it was quite miserable when we woke up. Thirty-one floors above 34th Street, the rain splish-sploshed against the window. It was quite windy. The sky was misty and cloudy. I could see people below scurrying along holding tight to umbrellas of every colour but there was no sign of the Hudson River or “New Joisey” through the fog.

I poured a cup of water into the coffee maker that the girls at the front desk had so nicely arranged for me during check-in. There’s a bit of a story there.
Are you surprised?
After we had booked our stay, I was reading the New Yorker Hotel website a little more closely and discovered- to my dismay, that not all rooms had a coffee maker.
What??
An iron, ironing board, wide screen TV, ice bucket and phone- but not every room had the luxury of a simple coffee pot. How in the hell was I going to start my morning with a smile devoid of caffeine?
I began to worry.
When I told Tom I could tell he was apprehensive too. He didn’t even want to think about a “no caffeine in the morning” scenario in a hotel room in New York City. So, when we checked in at the desk, I told my sad story to a pair of New Yorker staff. It went something like this-

“Look ladies I don’t think you would want to see me come down here in the morning in my fuzzy pink slippers, chenille housecoat- curlers in my hair, cutting through the lobby of the New Yorker- unshaven and in a miserable mood, crossing 8th Avenue to procure a McDonald’s coffee would you?- Well, would you? So please, may I have a coffee maker in my room?”

The gals called housekeeping and assured me I would have a coffee maker, cups and stir sticks in our room within 10 minutes.
What a relief!
I thanked them broadly and we all had a great New York laugh. Not that laughing in New York is any different than laughter anywhere else. You just had to be there, I guess!

Times Square at Night!
 Back to our rain-soaked, miserable morning.
After a cup of Java, we showered, shaved and headed out for another day, wearing winter sweaters under our jackets, scarves wrapped around our necks and gloves in our pockets. After breakfast at the Tick Tock Diner, we stepped outside into the rain, umbrellas firmly in hand! You haven’t lived until you’ve spent a day walking around New York in rain, drizzle, wind, sleet, hail and snow. We had it all that day. I thought walking around St. John’s Newfoundland in the rain was ridiculous, this put the icing on the cake!
Around noon, we took refuge in Macy’s- The World’s Largest Store, on 34th Street. Miracle on 34th Street- the movie, is all about Macy’s and Gimbal's too, however like Simpson’s and Eaton’s, Gimbel’s no longer exists. At Macy’s, I wanted to see the entrance where the US Thanksgiving Day Parade passed. It was on Herald Square just off 34th Street. The street area was much smaller than it looks on Television. We walked through the main doors to find a nice man in a black suit, offering a clear plastic bag for our umbrella.
We didn’t even have to pay a nickel for it!
Now that was service!
As it turned out, many stores as well as the Hotel did the same thing for customers that day.

Inside Macy’s there were shoppers and salespeople everywhere. All in uniform. The salespersons I mean. It was like going into our own Eaton’s or Simpson’s Department Stores back in the 1960’s. Maybe the Queen Street Bay Store retains some of the earthy feel that Simpson’s once did. I haven’t been in in years. At Macy’s, cash registers were to be found in each department- none of this lining up at checkouts. We headed to an escalator after asking a delightful man at an Information kiosk where we would find the electronics department. Believe it or not, the escalators were made of wood! They clicked and clacked as we stepped on. Remember when Eaton’s in Downtown Toronto had the same thing? How wonderful! It just gave such a nice feel to the store. It was like stepping back in time. You’d need a few days to see all of Macy’s by the way.

Larger than Life photo outside Theatre

Later that day we decided to see another Broadway show. This time- The Addams Family. A “live” musical with the same familiar characters from the television show. I know what you’re saying- Lurch and the Addams' family members singing?
Yes!
You should have heard the pipes on Lurch, portrayed by Zachary James. He’s about 10 feet tall too!
Nathan Lane had been Gomez up until three weeks before but Roger Rees had just taken over. Bebe Neuwirth was Morticia with Brad Oscar (The Producers/Young Frankenstein) as Uncle Fester. Jackie Hoffman was Grandma. Both Jackie and Bebe were original cast members.

Once again- like with La Cage, we were lucky enough to get seats right down front, on the aisle this time, only eight rows from the stage.

The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre was beautiful with several chandeliers and gold trim as part of the decor. The show was amazing. It was very amusing, although I didn’t come out humming the songs. There were tunes like “Full Disclosure” and “Just Around the Corner”- or ‘coroner’ as Morticia joked. They were fun and well-executed.
Tee Hee! A bit of Addams Family Humour there.

The sets were large and moved quietly and effortlessly across the stage. Lighting was extremely well done! Well, it was Broadway after all.

The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre home of the Addams Family

After the show we spoke with Brad Oscar who was standing at the rear of the theatre- still in his Uncle Fester makeup. We said how much we enjoyed the show and the fact we had seen him previously in the Producers- which we saw the last time we were in New York. We had also hoped to see Mr. Oscar in Young Frankenstein when it played at the Princess of Wales in Toronto last year, however, an understudy had stepped in the day we saw the show.

“Oh yes,”- he mused, “I had to take a few performances off because I had a previous engagement. Don’t take it personally!”- Brad said, “I didn’t stay away because I knew you were coming!”

We laughed.

“I loved being in Toronto!”- he added.

We made a donation to “Broadway Cares” by plopping a few bucks into the bucket he was holding. He thanked us and offered us a Playbill programme which had been signed by everyone in the cast!
That was a nice gesture!

Coming up- buying cheap watches, visiting Greenwich Village, Christopher Street, Central Park and another show! This time a “real” Broadway Opening Night!

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