Readers of this blog know that I file travelogues whenever I return home from trips. I even compiled the funniest of them in a book, WHERE THE HELL AM I? TRIPS I HAVE SURVIVED, which you could (and should) order here. But these travelogues have now become a Levine family tradition. I haven't been anywhere in awhile, but my lovely daughter Annie spent last weekend in New York. And she files this report:
In a stunning victory for nonrefundable plane tickets, my mother and I recently took a weekend trip to New York. In fairness to us, we were attending the wedding of a family member and visiting my grandmother. Still, it does seem risky to visit a city that just changed its motto from “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” to “If you can make it here, please bring canned goods.”
Landing at JFK, you never would have known the city had changed. The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and there wasn’t one damn cab in sight. Luckily, a FEMA boat passed by and I was able to barter passage.
A quick note to Times Square: When Queens looks like the set of NBC’s Revolution, it’s probably not fair to keep pumping so much electricity into your McDonald’s that you can see the arches from space.
My mother and I got tickets to see “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” the reusical of George and Ira Gershwin songs starring Kelli O’Hara and Matthew Broderick. Kelli O’Hara (the Susan Lucci of the Tony Awards) is fantastic. Matthew Broderick really can do it all. His delivery is spot on. His singing is great fun. His dancing… Did I mention his delivery?
We had dinner with my aunt and eleven year-old cousin, Michelle. A popular menu item at Dallas BBQ? “The Bulldog,” a carafe of pina colada with an overturned Corona bottle inside. I stuck with Diet Coke, but Michelle said hers was delicious.
A friend of mine was doing sound design for an off-Broadway production of Grand Hotel, a show that follows a variety of guests at an upscale hotel in pre-World War 2 Berlin. The show was… Well, let’s just say it was the first time in my life I was dying for Hitler to arrive and put an end to things. One of the stars of the show was a dead ringer for Taylor Hicks. I think the actual Taylor Hicks was his understudy.
A highlight of the trip, as always, was visiting my grandmother in Brooklyn. I figured while we were there, we might as well do a little sight seeing, so mom pointed out Neil Sedaka’s sister’s house. I referred to it as “The House that Oh Carol Built.” And then realized -- I was hundred years old.
We arrived at the wedding on Sunday with our luggage in hand. It was fine during the ceremony, but the duffel bag did prove problematic on the dance floor.
It was a wonderful ceremony and I wish the happy couple all the luck in the world. We were going to tie cans to the back of the car, but we didn’t want them to get mugged for cream corn on the way to their honeymoon.
All in all, the trip was a great success. It was wonderful to see some old friends, catch up with family, and pretend to use the first class passenger bathroom five or six times just to catch a glimpse of Aziz.
I can’t wait to go back. See you next apocalypse, New York!
Thanks, Annie! Stop being funnier than your father.