Saturday, March 12, 2005

New York City on Saturday... What Fun

HANGOVER! Boy did I have a "big squash", as the Brazilians at Ocean Edge used to say, on Saturday morning. We didn't wake up until 10:30 and we had to check out by 12. We scurried about and made it by 12:05. The maid had already rapped on the door by 12:02.

We first headed off to Tiffany & Co as I needed some refills for my pen and I wanted Button to experience T&C "a la source". That place was PACKED!! I have never seen such retail madness. All controlled, of course, but it was pandemonium. I wonder if it is like that every weekend and what must it be like at Christmas? Out the door we went and hit the park to see if any of the Gates were still there. They were and it was really neat. The saffron sheets billowing through the trees was very interesting. I would've like to have seen them at dusk. I'll bet the colors are spectacular!

We hadn't really eaten so we went off to find the Carnegie Deli for a little Pastrami or some loxschmear. We found the Carnegie, but there was a line out the door to get in. We then thought that we'd try the Stage Door, but it was the same there. So we went up the street to Lindy's and were treated to just a 3 minute wait for a table. We both had Pastrami and shared a plate of onion rings. YUM!! Hand cut pastrami, spicy mustard, cole slaw, Dr. Brown's Cream Soda... is this heaven or what?

We sort of toodled around the city for another hour and then back to the hotel to pick up our luggage for the trip home. We were taking the 4:03 Acela to PVD and had decided to upgrade to 1st class. The service on the train was terrific and they even gave us a meal (Beef Not-to tender-loin, roasted red potatoes, green beans, Caesar Salad and Creme Brulee). Free drinks and hot towels rounded out the trip. We got into PVD around 7 and were home in just over an hour. It was really a whirlwind, but it still gave us a whole day off on Sunday to recuperate.

Frenchy gives the entire weekend three snaps up!

Il Barbiere at the Metropolitan Opera

Off we went to the Met to meet David and Amy. They got to the Met just as the guy with the cape started banging on his xylophone to tell everyone to take their seats. I kind of wanted to show Button around... to see the exhibits of costumes and sets that they have there, but A&D had the tickets so we had to wait for them to arrive. We had great seats, albeit in the family circle, but they were in the first row of the balcony so we had unobstructed views. The production was beautiful and the Figaro was making his Met debut. He gave it everything he had. We had drinks at the entre'act and finished with Act 2. It really was a terrific time.

After the show we went to Compass which was very near Lincoln Center. It is kind of a nouvelle American steak and chop place. They had delicious things on the menu.. very steak house-ish but served with that nouvelle cuisine look. I had Cream of Roasted Cauliflower soup (delicious) and Grilled Lamb Chops with a roasted tower of tomato, eggplant, and goat cheese, and Bearnaise Sauce (on the side... of course. It is NYC after all). An order of fingerling potatoes and creamed spinach was brought for the table. I remember that David had the lamb as well, Button had a tenderloin steak and I can't remember what Amy had, but I do remember that it was all delicious. We headed back to the hotel after that. It was about 1:30 when we got back to The Blakely.

Staying in NYC 3-4-05

After the hometown adventure, Button and I headed to NYC to see The Barber of Seville at the Met with David and Amy Marash. They are a wonderful couple from NYC who are in the TV news business. David for ABC and Amy is a freelance. Martha Stewart had just been released from prison so Amy had been working around the clock. David covers news like Baghdad and tsunami stuff so he wasn't on the Stewart story.

We left for the city from Providence. We had decided to take the Amtrak regional from Providence as it got to the city 20 minutes after the Acela express which cost substantially more (yes, I am cheap about some things). The regional was 1 hour 15 minutes late arriving in PVD! It was so inconvenient. Button complained to Amtrak customer service and they upgraded us to the Acela for free. The girl at the ticket counter said "the regional is on it's way and should get there the same time as the Acela", but we were having none of that. If it was 1.25 hours late arriving from Boston (.75 hours from PVD), we figured it would be a bad idea to take that one. The regional left PVD before the Acela and we passed it in Mystic. I think we made the right decision. When we got on the Acela there was only 1 "table seating group" that had a notice on it "for 3 or more persons". The 4 women at the table next to us said that one of them would be our "beard" if the conductor gave us any lip about being just two at the table. It turns out that they are from the Cape and work in the real estate business. In fact, I had spoken with one of them previously regarding a deal. They also work with my friends Suzanne, Ali, and Wendy at Realty Executives in Barnstable. What a small world. They really were a good time. They were nearby when we wanted to talk and minded their business when we were watching a movie. We watched Moonstruck as it is such a great movie to watch anyway, but especially if you haven't been to the Met before.

We got to the city around 3:30 and checked into our hotel, The Blakely on 55th between 6th & 7th. This was arranged by Brett and Antoinette as a "comp". What a nice surprise. The hotel is a little "boutique" job and quite nice. I had to go out to get some cash and some supplies at the drug store so I hung up our tuxedos in the bathroom and turned the shower on so that they could steam a little. I told Button to keep an eye on the water level in the tub and turn off the water if it go too full.

When I got back to the room a 30 minutes later, Button was on the sofa watching Law & Order. I sat down and had the coffee I brought back from him and me from Starbucks. I wondered aloud how our tuxedos were doing in the bath and he got this shocked look on his face, then ran into the bathroom. The bathroom had an inch of water on the floor! "I forgot" was his declaration. I told him that he was now responsible for the cleanup and the explanations to housekeeping, the front desk, or anyone else who may happen to comment on it... that I was washing my hands of it. He did, to his credit, take care of it and thank God, there was no permanent damage. The floor was marble tiled and apparently sealed very well.

We rested and snacked on sandwiches from Au Bon Pain before we left for the Met.

"It's Been A Long Time"

I know it has been a while since last I wrote, but boy has it been hectic. I will try to catch you up on what has been happening at the House Party.

Last week Button and I went to his hometown for an overnight stay. He was going to a "Past & Present" firefighter's dinner/drinking party at a local spot. I guess that they had "cocktails", dinner, and then a slide presentation of scenes from various fires and rescues that they had worked on. He said that he had a great time and that the stories sure brought back a lot of memories. He really did enjoy it. He said that they were going to plan one of these every year from now on. I suspect that they could have a nice boozy get-together at a local spot every year and one of these "Past and Present" things every two years or something like that. Might be a better idea so it stays fresh. Just my humble opinion. Frankly I couldn't care less if he wants to go every month as he enjoyed it so much. Congrats to the hometown fire department for the great event.

Meanwhile I was supposed to have dinner with my Mother-in-law, Deb. We were going to go to dinner at a place just across the street from where the firefighter's dinner was. I could just imagine the raucousness coming from that party into our restaurant. Unfortunately Mom had developed the flu that has been decimating businesses around here for the last month and was really not feeling well. I ended up staying at the "hotel" that we were staying at. What a place! Don't get me wrong... it was clean and handy to the center of town, but it probably hasn't changed since the mid seventies. I had dinner at the restaurant at the hotel called "Pikes Peak"... a barbecue place that was decorated with dynamite boxes. In this day and age, it was hopelessly tasteless. My bbq, however, was delicious. I had pulled pork on potato skins (no editorializing please), and a salad. It really was quite good. Besides, after 3 Dewars on the rocks surrounded by all of that dynamite, the boxes would've tasted great with bbq sauce on them. Button got back around 11 and had a bit of a glow about him so we talked about the party he went to and went to sleep. Dull story, I know, but just wanted to catch you up.