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April 28th, 2007

NYC Vacation—Day 4

We got up and at 'em at around 10:30 or 11 today. Joe ran to the deli around the corner and got us coffee and a bagel to split, just to jump-start us, as we'd planned to have breakfast when we got to South Street Seaport. The best laid plans...



As soon as we got to the subway station, Joe pointed out the bills posted everywhere about the 1 train being out of service this weekend from the Chambers stop south, which of course, is exactly where we needed to go. Some signs had sketchy details about catching a shuttle bus at the Chambers station, and some signs were just confusing as hell, to tourists at least:

We got off at Chambers and took the complimentary shuttle bus to South Street. I don't know if they just hired a bunch of buses—and therefore drivers—for this weekend shuttle business, but it did not comfort me that, when shortly after the bus pulled away with a subway train full of people, the driver opened up a map.

Shortly after that, Joe had to turn his head away when the girl standing in front of me said, "What's a blog?" My t-shirt:

asdf

never ceases to elicit comments, especially in big cities.



Fortunately, we knew where we were going, and so after hopping off the bus, we walked quickly to South Street Seaport, and more specifically, to the TKTS booth there.

We were looking for tickets to a show tonight, but after all the drama of getting there, we didn't see anything on the boards that really struck us.

To that end, we decided to be "dark for the theater tonight," especially since we already had tickets for a matinée today, and we will have seen four plays by the time it was all said and done.

I had the bright idea of taking a cab up to 14th & 7th to pick up the subway instead of dealing with that bus shuttle back to the Chambers stop—since time was now becoming an issue—to make it up to Times Square for our 2:00 show.

It took way longer than I thought it would to get there, the traffic sucked, and there were "street fairs" going on causing the taxi to take a contorted route. So he said. That's why I hate taking taxis. Fortunately for him, we did see a street closed down with food booths all about with some killer smelling food being cooked.



We got off the train at 42nd Street and briskly walked the seven blocks up to the Ambassador Theater on 49th, where we were seeing Chicago, arriving at 7 minutes until 2:00. Not to worry, as the line to get in to the theater was still down to the corner of the block.

As we joined the end of the line at a street corner, there was this group of about five or six girls wearing matching t-shirts, with one of them holding a pen and pad. Another of them approached me and said, "We're on a scavenger hunt. Would you mind taking a picture with me?"

I never asked them what item I was, but I imagine it was something as generic as "get a picture with a stranger with a unique t-shirt on," but not as specific as, "get a picture with a stranger with a t-shirt on that says, 'No one cares about your blog.'" Of course, it may have been, "get a picture with a tourist in Times Square." Or any other one of a gazillion possibilities.

When we finally presented our ticket to be scanned, the ticket agent said, "No one cares about your blog."

When I walked by the young, cute usher who was at the top of the aisle before ours, he cocked his head sideways, put on a real sad face, and said, "You don't care about my blog?" His bottom lip was turned up a little, and he looked genuinely hurt. Another out-of-work actor, no doubt. But, cute, cute, cute.



This theater was small. The seats were way close together—both Joe and the guy beside him had to sort of turn their legs sideways as their knees were too jammed up against the seat in front of them otherwise.

There were only two bathrooms, both on the third floor, and during intermission there was a line along the entire floor for the men's room, and the women's line extended across the entire floor and down the stairs onto the second floor.

I went outside, walked across the street to a Sbarro's and used their restroom.

I really enjoyed this play, which I'd never seen on Broadway—or otherwise for that matter. I have seen the movie, and I think I liked the play better. More succinct.

I didn't really pay attention to the "adult" themes/nature of this work when I saw the movie, but was conscious of it this time, I suspect because there was a family to my left, with a, maybe, 10 or 11 year old son with them.



On the way back downtown, we got off at 34th Street, and walked around Macy's for a while.

We walked around the store, and at one point this mother and little boy were walking towards us when all of a sudden the kid makes that noise, and out sprays what was (maybe an hour earlier) either a chocolate milkshake or some chocolate ice cream, all over the floor in a three-foot radius around himself.

We moved on to the men's section, where Joe ended up trying on and buying two shirts. I meandered around, and people-watched while he shopped.

I was looking at the Godiva chocolate bar case near one of the registers when the clerk working that register said, "May I help you with something?"

"Oh I'm just dreaming," I said, and then, "Dreaming of being thin and eating this candy bar anyway."

She laughed, "It's important to dream."

"Yeah, this is a big, big dream," I said and she laughed some more.



Back at the hotel, Joe fetched us some refreshments in the form of a couple of adult beverages from the bar off the lobby, and I blogged for an hour or so.

At about 7:30, we headed back to the subway, took it down to Canal Street, and set out looking for Chinatown and Little Italy. We came to Little Italy first, and that's where we ended up having dinner.

We were reading the words on the menu posted on the sidewalk outside of Buona Notte on Mulberry St. when the maitre d' said, "I got 200 people inside; actions speak louder than words. I got a seat in the back for you right now."

We went in, and followed him all the way to the back where there was, in fact, not a seat where he intended to put us, which was outside on a little patio where a band was playing. Instead he sat us just inside that area, which was actually better, as it was starting to sprinkle a little, and the band came in shortly after we sat down.

I had Linguine with Clams in a White Sauce, and Joe had their Lasagna. Our meal came with some great Italian (of course!) bread, and we ordered their Fried Mozzarella Sticks for an appetizer, which turned out to not be sticks at all, but rather "patties"—two sets of Mozzarella patties with what looked like ricotta cheese stuffed between them. It was all good.



Back at the subway, which was not without drama finding, we took the 2 train up to Christopher Street, and returned to Marie's Crisis, where it was once again jammed packed with patrons singing their lungs out.

They eventually got to a show we knew, and we belted out the songs from The Sound of Music. It doesn't get any gayer than that.

Joe met this Lesbian couple there, named Kelley and Tammy. They were from Connecticut, the one introduced the other as, "This is my wife," and then told us that they had just had a baby and that this was their first night out since she'd been born."

"Oh, where is she tonight, then?" I asked.

The one, not missing a single beat said, "She's in the car." She was kidding. Her sister was baby sitting.

Turns out that the brother of one of them, who is gay, is the father of the child—that is, his sperm was "united" with the partner of his sister, which technically, I guess, makes him both the father and the uncle. In the context of today's world and the likes of Danielynn, this is no more or less of a denigration to the institution of marriage.



When we were up to our eyeballs in highballs and show tunes, we walked up Christopher Street to check out a bar called Boots & Saddle, which was billed as a "Western bar." Not a Country & Western bar, mind you; just a Western bar.

No country music was playing in this bar, the video monitors were playing some kind of advertising, and after about 20 minutes a hugely muscular (that is, if you can call that thing a muscle) guy came out and started dancing on what looked like a card table, but obviously wasn't, since those massive, gyrating thighs and calves didn't go crashing through it.



After about a half hour or forty-five minutes there, we caught the subway back to Chelsea, and then walked around way too long and way too far looking for the Eagle. Trouble was, we were looking for it at the address of an old bar called The Eagle's Nest, which no longer exists, and is/was not the Eagle anyway from what we can gather.

We asked in a couple of straight bars/restaurants if anyone knew where the Eagle was and none of them did. We got back to Rawhide, a gay bar, asked for directions, and found out it was at 28th & 11 Avenue, instead of at 21st & 11th where that old bar had been.

We grabbed a cab, and finally got there between 1:00 and 1:30. It was butts to nuts in the place—quite the change from Wednesday night.

We left there at 4:00, and we took a taxi back to the hotel. Thus ended our last night out in The Big Apple.

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