Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple – Part Three

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Today we woke up and did the unheard-of : we forewent breakfast. We were in a hurry to make it to TKTS (in the hopes of getting tickets to Second Stage Theatre’s Eurydice – we’re dumb), but found time to stop in at Macy’s and oogle the wooden escalator (i also bought two pairs of footless tights – this was the main clothing purchase of the trip. i know you are impressed with my self-control). We arrived at TKTS after a stop at the bank and got tickets to see Chorus Line. Zach had performed in Chorus Line, but had never seen it.

It was now about 10:45am and we were hungry. Off to Hell’s Kitchen we trekked and stopped at Mama’s Empanada’s (53rd and 8th i think). WOW is all i can say. The meat empanadas were fantastic, but it was the dessert empanadas that really through me for a loop. I ordered fig and cheese and i thought my eyes were going to roll out the back of my head. For $8 we were stuffed and satisfied. Well, sort of satisfied. We still had time to kill so we wandered around Hell’s Kitchen and eventually ended up in Cold Stone – an ice cream place that does, in fact, manage to compete with Ben and Jerry’s. My parents had recommended stopping in and it was worth it.

After much debating and continued searching for an electronic organizer that Zach was on a mission to find for a friend/family member, we ended up sitting on a set of steps on the street where Mme. Tussaud’s is (41st?) and crowd watching. The number of tourists who walk into the urban environment fully-equipped with fanny-packs, sunvisors and a huge camera strapped across their shoulders astounds me. I am not obsessed with not being “a mark,” but honestly, why don’t you just put a neon sign over your head that screams “MUG ME! I’M FROM A SMALL TOWN AND AM UNACCUSTOMED TO LARGE GROUPS AND THE URBAN LANDSCAPE!”. Lordie.

Chorus Line is far from my favourite musical. I am happy we went because i had never seen it and the music was very enjoyable – i have been fixated on getting a boob job ever since hearing the Tits and Ass number – but there was really no plot. Zach was very apologetic about this development, but i don’t honestly see how it can be construed as his fault that i like my stage performances to be primarily plot-driven. It was a good performance.

After Chorus Line we ate some of Eric’s nuts, purchased from a street vendor, while subwaying over to the Strand where i discovered Heaven on Earth. We had to walk through Washington Square Park again (to our enjoyment) where we encountered a troupe of actors promoting an off-broadway production of Dario Fo’s An Accidental Death of an Anarchist which i had read and loved in CEGEP. We decided we would go after dinner.

18 miles of books was no joke at the Strand. I even got Loeb editions of some of the Latin works i have been itchin to look at. I bought a t-shirt, but not the Spiegelmann limited edition because ZAch thought there was something wrong with using the Maus figure on store merchandise. He brow-beat me. I am a yuppy.

We walked over to Frank’s, which was recommended by Let’s Go, but stopped at a Belgian Fries place where the sauces were just fantastic. This was all in the East Village which i think both of us agreed was our favourite borough in NY. We talked with a couple from New Jersey (and their doggie) while munching on fries. They were big fans of Montreal and we gave them some suggestions as to where to eat on their next trip – SCHWARTZ’S?!

Frank’s was a big let-down. We ordered the gnocchi (and split a plate) because the guidebook said it was their speciality. Now, the bread and olive oil provided for free was scrumptious. The tables were too close together. The waiter was difficult to get a hold of. The gnocchi was horrible. I have made better gnocchi and i will never make gnocchi again it turned out so badly. We were a little disappointed, but the fries had been fantastic and we had a play to get to so there was no point in getting upset or down.

The play was fantastic. I REALLY liked it. I think Zach was more ambivalent, but who made him an expert on theatre? LOL. It was stage-managed by a French-Canadian. The male actors were quite pretty to look at (Zach agreed on this point), and, i thought, played the Commedia dell’Arte written by Fo with a good degree of honesty.

Back to the hotel we were heading in order to change before heading to what we thought would be HEAVEN, a guy club playing with a Dante-esque motif. We wandered into a bookseller in front of NYU first though and, wow, i needed a truck to get all those books home.

Heaven was not no longer in business. We went in anyways, danced for three hours, drank some beers, made fun of some queers, and walked back.

Our third night in the city that never sleeps we were in bed by 3:30am.

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