Thursday, January 05, 2006

If I can make it there...

For those relatively new to this blog, in addition to reckless writing advice and my sagacious opinions on anything, I also post travelogue from trips I’ve taken over the last few years. They were originally written just for those in my address book but now I share them with the world…hoping to provide mirth for you, dear reader, and attract a book publisher.

Where were you in October, 2004?


We had to be in Chicago on Oct. 9th (Parents weekend at Northwestern) and since I consider anything east of Denver the East Coast, Debby and I decided to go to New York for a week first, since it was right next door. Stayed at the LeParker-Meridien -- the preferred choice of Eurotrash. You couldn't tell the snooty concierges from the guests.

Best feature: the hotel elevators have monitors showing cartoons. Give the French Tom & Jerry and they'll go anywhere. “Zeee cat eez so mean, I adore heeem.”

Overheard on 6th Avenue: A Caucasian street vendor and a Middle Eastern street vendor. The M.E. vendor shouted to customers "Don't buy from him. He has a fake license." The C. vendor countered with "His money goes to the Taliban. They cut peoples' heads off." All this over $2 "I Love NY" t-shirtrs.

No such territorial squabbles for the guy selling Xeroxed "Becker" scripts for $15 on the corner of 6th and 54th. If there were customers to be had he would have them all.

Best panhandler in New York -- the guy who said to us "You can yell at me for a dollar."

Runner up: a big black man with a sign that said, “My parents were killed by Ninjas. Need money for Kung Fu lessons”.

Debby was on the 7th avenue express train where a guy was going from car to car peddling his novel. I wonder if commuters would be interested in humorous travelogues???

Walking around Manhattan I was forever aware that at any moment one of those Apprentice Sammy Glicks could jump out of a doorway and force me to buy lemonade or a high rise condo. New York is no longer safe.

On Saturday I stood in line at TKTS to get half price tickets for "12 Angry Men". The young couple behind me was from Oxford, Mississippi. They asked what the play was about. I told them it was a brilliant courtroom drama set in the jury room in the 50's. Mr. Mississippi then said, "Oh, so it's a gumshoe thing, right?" "Yes", I said, "That's exactly what it is. What are you guys hoping to see?" "Whatever the one is with Brooke Shields.”

Our play was at the American Airlines Theatre. I tried to see if they'd give me mileage when I bought the tickets. No deal.

Our seats were in the balcony. What we really saw was "12 Angry Ants".

One thing you notice when reading any Playbill -- Every single actor has among his TV credits "Law & Order".

Scott Ellis, who directed the play also directed our last “Frasier”. How come he got more laughs out of this?

New police drill in New York – “the swarm”. Everyday a different neighborhood or street corner is selected and fifty cop cars swarm in and officers take positions with guns drawn. I bet it’ll scare the shit out of the vendor selling illegal “Becker” scripts should they ever target 6th and 54th.

There's a lovely plaque honoring Eugene O'Neill in Times Square. It's on a Starbucks.

Stopped by the "NBC Experience Store". Asked what merchandise I could buy from "Father of the Pride"? Amazingly, nothing. I guess they were just sold out. I then asked if they had a "Fear Factor" snack bar? Nope. Just "Friends" crap and enough tickets to the "Jane Pauley Show" to wallpaper your den.

Donald Trump is speaking at the Learning Annex. I think the topic is "How to communicate with your departed pets". What everyone assumes is his hair is really his former dog, Rex.

Oh no! An American Girl Place has come to Rockefeller Center. I wonder if they have dolls that look like the Shangri-La's. (joke for baby boomers only)

In a counter move, the new Disney Store on 5th Avenue offers courses for little girls and their mothers to learn how to become Cinderella type princesses...for $80 ($75 if you register on line). This is not a joke. This is the end of feminism as we know it.

The Polish Parade was Sunday down Fifth Avenue. It started at 57th St. and 32nd St. and met in the middle. A lot of crashing accordions.

Saw "Reckless" starring the wondrous Mary-Louise Parker. For my money she's Meryl Streep with a funny mouth.

D.J.’s in local strip clubs pitch voter registration twice an hour. "Show these lovely ladies you appreciate them by getting a nude lap dance and signing up to vote."

A Brinks truck got into an accident in New Jersey and for hours people were picking coins off the highway. Trump had to leave after a few minutes to get to his Learning Annex class.

At Grand Central Station the restrooms are marked “Men Only” and “Women Only”. I hope Boy George can hold his water.

The weather was primarily gorgeous and Fall-like. On Wednesday the temperature dropped ten degrees and within eleven seconds I caught a cold… although I feel the two are unrelated. Official cause of cold: Jew having too good a time.

I LOVED “Avenue Q”. Hilarious, clever, and charming. At one point two of the puppets have sex on stage and the guy sitting next to me (a Bob Marley lookalike) shouts out “sodomite!” So of course everyone within earshot looks to me. I wanted to say to the guy, “What’s your problem? The puppets are okay with it. Where do you think the puppeteer puts his hand?”

The big trend on Broadway these days is to fill the shows with recognizable TV stars to attract the tourists. (a la Brooke Shields). It’s only a matter of time before Alf goes into “Avenue Q”.

(Tomorrow: the Chicago leg of the trip. I wish I were you and didn’t know how it ends.)


Anonymous said...

"I wonder if commuters would be interested in humorous travelogues???"

Hmmm... do you know of any?


MaryAn Batchellor said...

Alf, I would see. Brooke Shields, no.

Anonymous said...

Runner up: a big black man with a sign that said, “My parents were killed by Ninjas. Need money for Kung Fu lessons”.

I've seen pictures of that guy! Slightly different wording, though. Ninjas must have stolen his first cardboard sign.

Kristen said...

When I saw Avenue Q I just sat there... Mesmerized by puppets and wanting to live on that street. My favourite was the bears... "don't buy just one beer... buy a CASE!"