19 April 2008

Wednesday Afternoon on the Island Of Manhattan

The main purpose of this trip to New York was to see a production of my favourite musical "Sunday In The Park With George". The award-winning London production was moved lock, stock and barrel to New York for a limited run. With no guarantee that it would come to LA, I knew I had to go to New York so I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale. Of course, since then, the run has been extended twice, but I am still glad that I made my plans when I did.

I asked several people to see who might like to go with me, but it ended up being just me which proved to my advantage later but I was somewhat disappointed to have no one to share my wonderful theatre experience with.

I took the red-eye from LA on Tuesday night, arriving from JFK at my midtown hotel, The Tudor Hotel At The United Nations, at 7:30am. I had booked on Priceline and was quite impressed with the result.

You can read my review on www.tripadvisor.com. I am Grandduchess there as well as here.

I had a few errands to run after check-in - pick up some things from the store, go to the bank (I had gotten paid while in the air), get some breakfast and a cup of coffee.

The Tudor is in a great location for someone who is comfortable enough in New York to walk, take the subway, or ride the bus. If you have a phobia of such things, it may not be the hotel for you. There are crosstown busses stopping directly in front, Grand Central with its many train and subway offerings is just a few short blocks. There are many shops, eateries, and services within easy walking distance.

My first stop was the nearest Starbucks. Not always my first coffee choice in New York, but as I was running on empty sleep-wise, I needed the nearest caffeine fix and Starbucks was on the corner opposite the hotel.

After Starbucks, the bank was my next destination. I knew there were WAMUs in the neighborhood, but couldn't remember exactly where. In my sleep-deprived state, I actually walked right past one, until I ended up at the WAMU Loan Center at Grand Central. The kind receptionist gave me directions to the branch I had passed.

My banking finished, I began to feel rather peckish. I went to the store and picked up the items I needed for the hotel room, but couldn't decide what I wanted for breakfast. I decided to head back to the hotel.

I arrived at the hotel, left everything in my room and prepared to spend the day on the town. Heading downstairs, I realized that I had missed breakfast in the hotel and would definitely have to forage. But this being New York, a bagel shop was just the other side of that first Starbucks, so I headed there for a bagel and a shmear which I think is a pretty good New York breakfast.

After breakfast, I made my way to Grand Central where I caught the 7 train to Times Square and then the C train uptown to the theatre. I arrived pretty early, but I wanted to see where the theatre was before having lunch.

I decided to head to my favourite little lunch place - Europe Cafe which is at 57th & 7th (I could have taken the subway directly there if I hadn't wanted to check out the theatre first). I had a lovely lunch and walked back in time for the lobby doors to open.

I waited in line with other hardy theatre-goers for the house doors to open and admit us.

I really enjoyed hearing the stories of the two couples in front of me in line who had seen every play that had had every big star imaginable (Liz Taylor, Mary Martin, etc.). I am sure they were amused by my story of having flown in from the coast to see this play.

As the lights went down, I knew I was going to be in for a wonderful experience. I was not disappointed...

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