MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Weekend In the City

Well, after a few bumps and Amtrak delays, I arrived in NYC and made the trek from Penn Station to Hell's Kitchen. Wheeling a weekend bag down 8th Ave is like playing a game of Frogger. You have to dodge people, both city folks and tourists, the gross old water puddles and work those sidewalk ramps... sometimes I just give-up and lift my bag over the larger obstacles. No squishes with this game, but I did have to do the "rush around" the sidewalk hoggers a few times. After a full day in an overstuffed train, I was ready for some entertainment... 

And boy, did my friend have a surprise for me! She scored us Kinky Boots tickets. FINALLY! All hail Cyndi Lauper because this show is FAB-U-LOUS! I can't say enough about the voice of Stark Sands - so clear, crisp and what diction! My old voice coach would be proud. It was like liquid butter - oh so good. And then there was Tony Award winner Billy Porter - that man can make you laugh and cry... the 2 of them on stage together singing brought down the house. And the show; it has an amazing message about acceptance. So for all the uninitiated - it is not just about shoes! But, shoes do have a starring role. (I want a pair of those boots!)

 Saturday my alma mater was playing Arkansas at 3pm. And my inner fan girl wanted to cheer for my school - Go RU, Chop those Hogs!(and chop them they did!) That afternoon, I had to settle for twitter game updates because we were off to see the Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie. It was an opportunity to stretch the play-side of my theatre heart and a chance to see Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto spar on stage. As expected, it was hard, harsh, real and all together sad. Tricked into thinking that it was "not too depressing" in the first act, we were double whammied with doozies in the second act - both performance wise and story wise. The whole situation played out in dysfunctional family drama predictability and the "male caller" deserved a good solid kick in the nuts. Yes, the performances were haunting... but like my theatre to end in happy kick-lines and resolved note chords. This cast a gloomy ting on the afternoon. Good thing my Scarlet Knights pulled out that win... go RU!

 We headed right to the TKTS booth for the evenings options and picked up 3rd row tickets to A Night with Janis Joplin. Not my era of music, but any music lover knows that she was a class A blues rocker. This biopic was headlined by Mary Bridget Davies and I am convinced that I just saw a future Tony nominee. This was literally the first show I have been to where an standing ovation broke out in the middle of the performance. This woman rocked the house. As someone that did not grow up with Janis music (just found her hits as I grew to explore my musical tastes), I learned a lot too. This show weaved a tale of Janis's youth and inspirations. Consider it a history of female blues singers. And watch out for the ending of the 1st act with Aretha and Janis (and a completely kick ass peacock patterned jacket) - it will blow your hair off.

 Not to be spared the rain, Saturday night downpoured. No, that might not even be the right word. The sky opened up and dumped all the water out over Union Square. It was that kind of rain that you can stand outside and wash your hair in. Driving, pounding, torrential rain. At least it was warm rain. Headed back to Hell's Kitchen from Union Square was comical... we had a taxi, really we did. I even said Hi to the guy. My friend spun to say goodbye to her friends and someone coopted our ride. Who is that rude? And don't go thinking it was a New Yorker, cuz it wasn’t... no qualms there and did even offer to share the ride with us. Freaking a... not wanting to start a fight (and heck, we were already wet), we each took a corner trying to hail a cab. An off-duty guy took pity on us and we thanked our lucky stars...

After 3 completely different shows in 2 days, we decided for forgo the matinees on Sunday. Instead, my brother at Seton Hall trained in and we all headed down to Pier 66 to eat at the Frying Pan. It was perfect weather on Sunday (a stark contrast to the swimming we did in Union Square Saturday night). Pier 66, off the Hudson River Parkway offered us river views, a cool breeze and lots of sun. Easy bar food, it was perfect fare for my brother, and a good relaxing afternoon.

From there, with my brother off again, we headed to Loehmanns in Chelsea. I have a Loehmanns near me in DC, but really, is there a comparison to our 1 floor location to the 6 floors of fashion goodness here. Every time I go, I score big and this time it was a DVF skirt... now all I need is brown tights, good boots and a solid light sweater... ha! Headed to Herald Square to seek inspiration at Macys, but forgot my coupons at home, so all the good finds I found were moot. At least I know that this skirts works with a crop jacket or sweater... like I said - SCORE!

 We headed to dinner at Havana Central - a great Cuban place for some food and music and then I was back on the train. A weekend gone. Plenty of city miles walked. Shows seen. Shopping fix squashed. A cool new frog necklace procured. My feet were killing me. But, as always, I had a fabulous time and felt energized by the buzz of my home city... So until I make it up again (which should be soon since Annie is closing soon - YIKES)...

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