Well, we're back from the big New York trip -- actually, we arrived at the Atlanta airport on Monday, but our arrival back in Birmingham was delayed somewhat by my car's serpentine belt getting converted into Nabisco shredded wheat somewhere between Atlanta and the Georgia-Alabama line. Think about that -- we go three whole days in New York without so much as a paper cut, but the closest we come to a near-death experience the entire weekend occurs in Douglasville, Georgia. Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes, no? Anyway, a couple days late and a few hundred bucks less encumbered, my car finally made it home earlier today. Huzzah!
But the actual trip was great, thanks mainly to my parents, who went all-out and booked us a couple rooms at this place:
To say that this was the nicest hotel room I've ever stayed in would be an understatement; it might've been the nicest room room I've ever stayed in (not that the competition for that is especially fierce, me being just a simple Alabama hick and all). It was a veritable oasis after a long, sweaty drive in from LaGuardia on Friday afternoon, which included a 30-minute stop-'n'-wait on the Queensboro Bridge while Pope Benedict's motorcade left the United Nations. We could clearly see the UN from our spot on the bridge and actually saw the motorcade head off down FDR Drive. I took a picture of it with my cell phone, but you really can't see any of it, so instead here's what we ran across just a few blocks later -- the Naked Cowboy playing guitar in an intersection.
Actually, you can't really see him all that well either. Trust me, he's there in the middle.
That day I would have the pleasure of a) trying haggis for the first time at a Scottish pub near the theatre district and b) seeing "Curtains," the Broadway comedy/musical/murder mystery starring David Hyde Pierce. I liked "Curtains" quite a bit better. Haggis actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it wasn't anything I'm going to be climbing over people to try again; if that's what's considered a delicacy in Scotland, Ewan MacGregor's "It's shite being Scottish" rant from "Trainspotting" makes a lot more sense.
The next day we went down to Chinatown and loaded up on fake designer handbags (well, the rest of my family loaded up on fake designer handbags; I've got a Donna Karan clutch purse at home I'm quite happy with, thanks). And we saw our second show, "November," a political comedy written by David Mamet that I had high hopes for but was ultimately pretty disappointed by (pops compared it to a so-so "Saturday Night Live" sketch drawn out over two and a half hours). The most interesting thing we did, though, was right after the show, when we went down the street to the 11:30 p.m. Mass at St. Malachy's Church, which has become known as the "Actor's Chapel" because it's supposedly where all the Broadway actors and stagehands go after their shows so that they don't have to go Sunday morning right before all the matinees.
Times Square at night, again taken with the cell phone.
Sunday I headed on down to the Village and talked football (and a bunch of other stuff) over lunch with a regular reader of the blog, an Ohio State grad who, ironically enough, first ventured over to Hey Jenny Slater from a link at MGoBlog. (I'm sure Brian will be shocked to discover that she neither yelled "Fuck Michigan" nor pooped in a styrofoam cooler at any point during the afternoon.) Then my sister and I made our pilgrimage to FAO Schwarz, where I took a picture of Lego Chewbacca.
I don't know who the kid is.
And then the next day we flew home and my car exploded, the end.
One of the fun things about the trip (besides being set up in a swank-ass hotel with plasma TVs in the rooms -- did I mention the TVs?) was the fact that now that I've been to New York a bunch of times and have knocked out all the touristy stuff like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty and whatnot, I can go up there and just hang out and barhop and people-watch for a few days. And you'll be happy to know that I more or less hit all five items on my shopping list of things to do in the Big Apple.
The only thing I guess I kind of missed out on was seeing Pope Benedict XVI in person. But I did get to buy a copy of the New York Post whose cover featured a photo of the Pope with his arms outstretched, juxtaposed with the headline "COME TO PAPA."
Stay classy, New York.