Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Spent a long weekend in New York City. Was there to attend a family Bat Mitzvah, see some shows, and sweat. Took Virgin American going. It was my first time on that airline. Never been in a cabin with soft purple club lighting before. Or seen emergency instructions delivered as a hip hop video. (Yo! Evacuate bitches and children first.) I was expecting a bouncer and velvet rope in front of the lavatories. We took off late. There was a mechanical problem. I think the fog machine was on the fritz. But the Flight Ho’s were very nice. They went down the aisle offering headphones and iced out jewelry.
First thing I learned upon landing was that Joan Rivers had passed away. She was a giant, a trailblazer – the Jackie Robinson of women comediennes. I especially felt the loss being in her town. My first thought though – and I imagine Joan herself would not say “too soon” – was that for next year’s Emmys they should air the In Memoriam segment during the red carpet show.
If they gave away free iPhones, the line wouldn’t be as long as the one at JFK trying to get a taxi. Had to be a thousand people. Even if the nearest Uber cab is in Philadelphia book it.
Stayed at the Shelburne in the Murray Hill district. It wants the public to think of them as chic and are as successful in that goal as Buick is.
First night my wife and I went to see BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL. Jesse Mueller won a Tony for playing Carole King. Sure wish we had seen her. We got the understudy. Rebecca LaChance. But she was actually quite good. Hey, it’s not like she had to duplicate Barbra Streisand’s voice. Of course you wonder – how exceptional is a Tony-winning performance when the understudy can pull it off? By the way, you can only get a refund if the star’s name is above the title, although you can still get your money back if the night you attend the title is BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROL O’CONNER MUSICAL.
The U.S. Open tennis tournament was going on at Flushing. I didn’t attend but to show my allegiance to this great country of ours I did take a photo of the naked girl in red, white, and blue body paint.
There is scaffolding around St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Either they’re refurbishing or converting it into a shrine for Derek Jeter.
Don’t sleep in the Subway. Bed bugs have been reported on four major lines. And NY subways are usually so sterile.
Had lunch with comedy writing royalty – Bob Ellison. Afterwards we took a stroll. 55th Street was blocked for some film production. Bob said, “They’re shooting GAME OF THRONES.”
But New York’s Finest was on the case. “Squeegee Man” was arrested for the 226th time. Citizens are breathing much easier now that the serial windshield washer is off the streets.
Of course the big commotion was at 61st Street outside Joan Rivers’ building. Every TV news van, satellite dish, searchlight, and camera was out there along with a thousand paparazzi. What were they hoping to see? I can almost hear Joan calling down from the heavens, “Where were you bastards when I was alive?”
Saw IF/THEN, which should be called IF/ONLY (I had seen anything else). Navajo Code Breakers couldn’t decipher this convoluted story. The only reason to go is to see Idina Menzel belt every song so loud that one night she’s going to projectile vomit her liver right into the balcony.
It was Fashion Week in New York although you’d never know it from walking the streets. The Carole King schlump look is still very much in.
For all its craziness, New York always wins me over because WPIX, Channel 11 still airs the original 39 episodes of THE HONEYMOONERS. Saturdays at 11. Ralph, Norton, Alice – baby you’re still the greatest. And Trixie.
The Kramden’s one bedroom apartment in Bensonhurst with just a table, two chairs, and 1943 ice box today is renting for $3,000 a month.
On Sunday everyone in New York was not just in mourning, they were inconsolable as they said goodbye to one of their own. The Derek Jeter retirement ceremony was held at Yankee Stadium. Oh, and there was the Joan Rivers memorial too.
Returned home via American Airlines so we had not one but two mechanical problems that delayed us. The second one after an hour on line on the tarmac. Fortunately our flight wasn’t cancelled. That should be their new slogan: “American Airlines: You’re lucky we fly at all.”
My guess is mechanical problem number two was the windows in the cockpit were smeared. Where is "Squeegee Man" when you need him???
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM