Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hot town, summer in the city

It’s travelogue time again. Here’s last week’s New York portion of my east coast summer:

Summer travel is now officially an ordeal. Security checks at major airports are not only nightmares but I feel even less safe. If only, instead of that jerk hiding a knife in his shoe in Paris it was a woman who concealed a knife in her bra. Then we men could keep our shoes on and all women would have to take off their bras.

I’m in Manhattan twelve hours a brownstone blows up fifteen blocks from me. A disgruntled husband, a doctor from Translyvania, who was so angry having to give up the building to his wife in a divorce settlement that he blew it up. Hours before he left his ex a message that read “You will go from gold digger to rubbish digger…I always told you: ‘I will leave the house if I’m dead.’” New York’s finest is still looking for other suspects.

Headline in the NY DAILY NEWS: DR. DOOM!!!

Next day’s headline in the NY POST: “HONEY, I BLEW UP THE HOME!”

*******

Snatches of cellphone conversations overheard while walking the streets on the Upper East Side:

MAN: “I dunno, then give him Novacaine.”

SOMEWHAT DISTRAUGHT 30 YEAR OLD WOMAN: He peed on me! (I hope that was her dog or baby)

LITTLE MIDDLE AGED LADY: “Well, it’s not my concrete.”

WOMAN: “You don’t fuck the landlord. EVERYONE knows that!”

******

If you run out of mayonnaise I found the place to go – Gentiles Fine Food on Madison at 79th.

The theatre scene includes SLEEPING BEAUTY, TARZAN, and LION KING. I’m holding out for THE MIGHTY DUCKS: THE MUSICAL.

Stopped in at the Museum of Modern Art. This was new behavior: people taking cellphone snapshots of the paintings…and then moving on to another gallery…without stopping to even LOOK at the paintings. I guess the way to really appreciate Monet’s mural length Water Lilies is on a four inch screen.

I couldn’t walk a block without encountering scaffolding. And yet I never saw a single worker.

On Wednesday the weather was hot, muggy, stifling, and stagnant. People were going down into the subway for relief.

Pedestrians do not have the right of way. If you’re in the crosswalk when the light turns green you are pavement pizza.

The new Apple store across from what-once-was the Plaza Hotel is a marvel to behold. From the street all you see is an enormous stunning glass cube encasing the white Apple logo. The actual store (open 24 hours because when you have a craving for a new ipod you have to have it right NOW) is below ground and has become quite the singles pick-up scene. You can meet somebody, excuse yourself for a second, and quickly check him out on MySpace.

Saw SPRING AWAKENING, a powerful, very erotic, and disturbing look at puberty and sexuality. It goes without saying it was a musical. It’s set in 1890 Germany so naturally everyone ends up either dead or miserable.

In utter contrast, the next day I saw HAIRSPRAY, which dealt with the issue of winning a TV dance contest. One of our stars from the 60’s PROJECT, Andrew Rannells, was one of the leads. He was neat-o keen-o as was pop icon, Darlene Love. They’ve now had so many cast changes that they’re one move away from Mike Ditka playing the Harvey Firestein role.

New Broadway policy: ticket holders stand in a long line while their purses and bags are checked. In the case of MAMA MIA they’re not worried terrorists will plant a bomb. Their concern is that discriminating theatre goers will.

Upper West Side: Hookers -- $40.
Upper East Side: Tuna tartare appetizers -- $40.

At least that’s what it cost at Nellos on Madison Avenue. At that outrageous price they should throw in the hooker…and a ticket to HAIRSPRAY.

When you need a cab in Manhattan there are either a thousand of them available or none. Mostly none.

Best bargain and some of the best Italian food in NY: Ralph’s at 56th and 9th. As my friend Howard, who tipped me to it, said: “50’s atmosphere, 60’s portions, 70’s prices”. Molto bene and ring-a-ding-ding!

More NY POST: In a recent edition Christie Brinkley’s affair with a teenager was the top headline. The Israeli War got second billing.

Player endorsements is one thing, but during a recent Mets telecast on Channel 11, David Wright of the Amazins’, in uniform, was pitch man for a miracle worker revival show, the kind where people throw down their crutches and walk. If this guy is so good how come Pedro Martinez is still on the Disabled List?

I miss WCBS-FM. JERSEY BOYS wins the Tony for Best Musical yet not one New York radio station will play the Four Seasons.

On to the Goodspeed Theatre, hoping what they say isn’t true – that there’s a broken heart for every street lamp in Chester, Connecticut.

6 comments:

Jon said...

•Upper West Side: Hookers -- $40.
Upper East Side: Tuna tartare appetizers -- $40.

•At least that’s what it cost at Nellos on Madison Avenue. At that outrageous price they should throw in the hooker…and a ticket to HAIRSPRAY.

And as we all know, there are no expensive restaurants in that backwater burg you come from.

Remind me someday to tell you about the night the East Haddam police stopped me for threatening pedestrianism. I trust you'll have a car up there.

Mary Stella said...

David Wright of the Amazins’, in uniform, was pitch man for a miracle worker revival show, the kind where people throw down their crutches and walk. If this guy is so good how come Pedro Martinez is still on the Disabled List?

That line made me spew tea. Ha!

VP19 said...

More NY POST: In a recent edition Christie Brinkley’s affair with a teenager was the top headline. The Israeli War got second billing.

I think you meant Christie Brinkley's husband's (soon-to-be-ex) affair with a teen. I suppose Christie, had she so desired, could have retaliated in a "Stacy's Mom" manner...

Player endorsements is one thing, but during a recent Mets telecast on Channel 11, David Wright of the Amazins’, in uniform, was pitch man for a miracle worker revival show, the kind where people throw down their crutches and walk. If this guy is so good how come Pedro Martinez is still on the Disabled List?

Well. that's one endorsement Ryan Zimmerman (who, like Wright, is from the Tidewater area of Virginia) will remember not to make.

The Curmudgeon said...

Security checks at major airports are not only nightmares but I feel even less safe. If only, instead of that jerk hiding a knife in his shoe in Paris it was a woman who concealed a knife in her bra. Then we men could keep our shoes on and all women would have to take off their bras.

The first time I had to take my shoes off for an airport security check was after a long, hot summer day; I had on a suit because I’d been in court all morning. I was literally running from the Orange Line to the Midway Airport security line, or at least something as close to running as an old, fat never-in-shape guy like myself could do. I tried to tell the nice people in uniform that me taking off my shoes, under these circumstances, constituted a far greater risk to the health and safety of those present than if I simply left them on.

This was not well received, however, by the nice people in uniform. I was directed to a cubicle; I thought I heard the distinctive snap of rubber gloves.

Then I took off my shoes.

No apology was forthcoming, of course – but I was returned, rather hurriedly perhaps, to the standard handling line.

Pedestrians do not have the right of way. If you’re in the crosswalk when the light turns green you are pavement pizza.

In Chicago you have to look the cabs right between the headlights; if you do, you’ll never get hit. But if you show any fear, all bets are off.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing people taking off their shoes to pass through security. I always keep mine on and no questions asked? Of course people look at me like I'm Richard Reid, but surprisingly it hasn't been enforced. Granted most of my trips are through McCarran where most are lucky to have a shirt on their back let alone shoes…

Bill Nesbitt

Jess said...

I'm extremely impressed by your view on NY!!! You see, it's not quite pleasant!!! I had the impression that you tried to see only negative!!! I wouldn't say that NY is such a "dirty" city!!! but I dare confess that it's not the right place for summer holidays!!! As for me I like very much travelling! Travelling is really very exciting either on foot or by any kind of transport!!! I’ve opened for me the positive features of “serious” travelling (I mean on big distances), when my husband and I visited Cyprus, its culture and sightseeing!!! I cannot explain my emotions and feeling by words!!! Besides the unforgettable beauty, which surrounds you, the soft see and the luxury, bewitching you, we were lucky with the hotel (you should understand how important the hotel during your journey is!)!!! Limassol Four Seasons is extremely luxurious with wonderful rooms, service, food and drinks and includes all the life delights!!! When you’re looking through the windows of the hotel and see this unbelievable game of the colors of the see and this unforgettable beauty, you understand what you are living for!!! That's the right place for inspiring good energy!!!