Sunday, November 18, 2012

When Annie met Sandy

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?

Dinner the next night was Dallas BBQ in Times Square. The kind of “restaurant” where tourists are packed in and treated like cattle. It didn’t help that they literally had us waiting for our table in a pen. Not exactly the imagery you want before sitting down to dine on spare ribs. I kept picturing Charlton Heston showing up to read us the specials. “It’s people! The soup of the day is people!”

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.

I was worried about being able to fly out of the city, but luckily everything went off without a hitch. I even got to see Aziz Ansari on my flight! I was dying to tell him how great he is, but he still seemed shaken by the TSA cavity search. I had to settle for watching an episode of Parks and Recreation on the in-flight entertainment. But, hey, at least I can claim he talked to me on the plane.

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.  


Unknown said...

She's not funnier than her father, but just as funny! :)

Unknown said...

Dallas BBQ is *horrific* -- the much better option in midtown is Virgil's BBQ on Broadway and 44th.

Johnny Walker said...

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.”

Hahaha! Annie, you are genuinely hilarious. That was brilliant.

SharoneRosen said...

Damn... the girl is funny

Mike Botula said...

Definitely a chip off the old block. For an ex New Yorker like me, this was a real treat.

RCP said...

Another comedy bull's eye - this was a treat.

Birdie said...

Annie/Sandy - did anyone else when they first read the subject line think this was going to be a review of "Annie?"

Rick Steevezz said...

You two should write a play...we'll call it, "Funny Girl"! (Barbra might be looking for a comeback vehicle.) Might have been better if I knew who Aziz is but judging from the Xtra wide eyes in the photo, he's just been goosed!

Ken Houghton said...

Dallas BBQ outside of Times Square is edible, something that Virgil's cannot say.

The only edible barbecue in the TS area is on 45th Street. And if you really want barbecue worth the name, try Brother's on Varick (the #1 stops right by it; Houston stop, iirc).

YEKIMI said...

Friday ?: Do The Network Brass take into account what actors might say on social websites in canceling a show? Case in point: Post below this one, deals with "Partners" being canceled; watched it a couple of times and while OK, didn't really make me laugh all that much. Shortly before it was canceled David Krumholz posted on his Twitter account "Anybody who doesn't watch my show can 'eat a dick'" [post has since been deleted] and also "listen, you bastards, my show is funny". If I was a network exec and flip-flopping between keeping it & canceling it, those tweets might have pushed me over the edge into canceling it. As far as a occasional viewer of the program, those tweets basically made me think "well screw you, I'll never watch that program again!" I can understand his frustration and fear of being without a job [heck, every DJ ever canned has the same fear as I can attest to] but he's talented enough to get another gig. But insulting your audience isn't going to help things!

Breadbaker said...

She may not have noticed Taylor Hicks clearing her table at Dallas BBQ, however.