I ♥ NY

I really, really do.

I mentioned in my last blog that in early September I was given medical clearance to travel again. As you can guess, I found myself in New York a week or so after getting this wonderful news. It was Vi’s birthday, the bus tickets were cheap, and it was 2 for 1 ticket week on Broadway. The decision was practically made for me!

I took the bus from Buffalo, and is what you’d expect from a Megabus. Cheap, 2 hours late, but you get where you need to go and the wifi works about 60% of the time. I was content. I arrived around 10pm on Thursday evening, and wandered across town to Vi’s apartment where she was waiting with a plate of cookies. She knows me well!

On Friday morning Vi headed off to work and I had a semi-lazy morning before heading out. I met up with Mimi at Penn Station and we spent the afternoon wandering around town. We grabbed lunch at an uber-cute diner in midtown and then walked down to the West Village, my new favourite place after my last NY adventure. Not as many celeb sightings as in May, but we walked past Arthur Darvill and I awkwardly smiled, and it was awesome.

West Village:

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After that we headed for the High Line. The weather was gorgeous that day, so it was a bit crowded, but we still managed to walk the entirety of it.

Chilling on the High Line:

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We then headed back up to Times Square to meet up with Vi for dinner before heading to a show. We went to Juniors, because I’m a bit obsessed, and being Vi’s birthday weekend, cake was necessary.

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That night we saw The Glass Menagerie, and it was absolutely extraordinary. Not that I expected much less. I’d read the play and found it powerful, and this stage version was starring Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto, so… Yeah.

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I cried. A lot. It’s an incredibly emotional and quiet show, and we were sitting 2nd row centre which seemed to make it all the more intense. The set was minimalistic. They didn’t even include the photograph of the the father, a substantial set item in the written play. There was a small balcony, next to a living room containing only a few pieces of furniture and one piece of Laura’s glass collection. Next to that was a small dining room, with table and chairs. The set floor was three square pieces, merging at various angles, and the remainder of the stage was covered in water. This created a very neat and eerie effect.

There are four cast members, and if they don’t all win Tony’s for their performances I will burn Utica to the ground… Considering the praise that Cherry and Zach have been receiving, I have no doubt we’ll be seeing them win just about everything next year. I obviously knew ZQ was an amazing actor. It’s what made me such a big fan of his! But seeing him perform live was a whole new experience. You think he’s intense on screen? Yeah… nothing compared to live.

Though I’m pretty sure the biggest reason that I find myself so affected by this play is that I’m terrified that I might be Laura Wingfield. But that’s a whole other thing I probably shouldn’t get into in this post…

Anyway. It’s up there as being one of the most emotional experiences I’ve had in the theatre (top spot will probably always go to Porgy & Bess because that show basically ruined me!) and I’d love to get back and see the show again before it closes in the new year.

Here’s a montage from it:

After the show we headed to the stagedoor to meet the cast. They were all incredibly lovely and warm. Celia Keenan-Bolger has to be one of the most adorable human beings, I swear!

Celia:

1186267_806918742934_495727607_nBrian J. Smith and Cherry Jones:

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Zach came out last and went through the crowd, signing, taking photos with everyone:

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I asked for a photo, and he was like “of course!”. When I asked the guy next to me to take it Zach grabbed my camera and said it needed to be a “selfie”, which he then took:

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It appears that I grabbed onto his arm and neck. That’s not weird, right? It was super windy that night, so of course a gust came in the moment he snapped the photo. AGRH!

I noticed after, and Mimi and Vi both told me I should go and get another one, and I was like “can you do that?” Heh. But I went to the end of the line and babbled something like: “Hi, sorry, the wind blew my hair and I have a fancy mustache, can I get another photo? Sorry!” To which he just went: “Umm, sure.” LOL

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I grabbed the second one on my phone, so the quality it terrible, but he’s got a judgmental eyebrow happening, so it all evens out to a win.

After that we ran Mimi back to Penn Station to catch her train, and Vi I wandered back to the apartment. It was most definitely a good day!

Oh! We were also sitting in front of David Schwimmer, so, that was cool!

On Saturday we lazed around for a bit before heading up to Times Square to grab cheap tickets to First Date, starring the amazingly adorkable Zachary Levi. I honestly didn’t think I could love him more, but, oh boy, was I wrong!

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Before the show we grabbed lunch at a pub on Restaurant Row. We were the only people there! We sat outside in what was said out front to be there “beautiful garden patio”. They definitely oversold it with that description! It was charming though, and the food and service were good.

Restaurant Row:

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The beautiful garden patio:

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The show was definitely a lot of fun to watch. The music was upbeat, the cast was great, and I was entertained for the entire performance. If you’re in NYC, be sure to check it out. Here’s a preview clip:

After the show we headed to stagedoor, which was quite the experience. The crowd was MASSIVE. The barricades took up the entire sidewalk, plus one lane of the road, and was completely filled with people by the time the actors came out. Zach came out with his iPod and speakers and started up a “Stagedoor Playlist”, which was awesome. He then came around and signed for every single person in the massive crowd, chattering away to everyone.

At one point a woman leaned over us to hand him a piece of paper. He asked what it was, and she told him it was her number. He opened it up, and this was the priceless reaction:

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He then pulled out his wallet and put it inside. He chatted with Vi for a bit after she told him she’d seen the show previously and how much she enjoyed it.

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After he finished signing they asked anyone who wanted a photo to stick around inside the barriers. They then created an exit in one corner where Zach stood and you could get a photo as you were leaving. It was a much more efficient system than you’d find at most shows! Though, to be fair, I’m not sure most actors who draw that kind of crowd do photos at the stagedoor. At least not in any shows that I’ve seen!

Our awkward photo (well, awkward me, adorable him):

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That evening we went to movies and saw Austenland. It was amazing:

On Sunday we went out for brunch, and then met up with Carly. We wandered a street fair that was happening up around Columbus Circle before grabbing lunch. The sweet girls they are then indulged me when I headed back to the Booth Theatre to grab a print from The Glass Menagerie. I hadn’t seen the boards until after the show on Friday when we were already at the stage door and got it in my head that I needed one, because that’s how my head works sometimes.

They get it:

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The show let out, but it took a good hour for the actors to emerge. It looked like there were a lot of guests backstage though, so it’s understandable. Vi and I had tickets to Newsies (Carly had to head off to work), which started at 6:30. At about 6:28 I’d gotten my board signed by Zach, Celia, and Brian, as well as another dorky photo with Zach (I got super OCD and needed 4 photos with him because, again, my brain) before having to bolt it a few blocks to the theatre. I didn’t get Cherry’s signature on it, which I was bummed about, but what can you do?

We ran into the Nederlander, sat down, and about a second later the house lights went out. Phew! Newsies was fun, and had great music and Ian McKellen was in attendance. It was good time!

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Again, we hit the stagedoor. The entire cast was really sweet and appeared to be coming down from their nerdgasms over meeting Ian McKellen backstage after the show.

We then slowly meandered through the city back to Vi’s apartment. The weather the entire trip was beautiful, and that night was no exception.

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Early Monday morning I headed out to catch my bus home. And it was, surprisingly, on time! I even had the 2 seats to myself and slept a good chunk of the ride, which was perfect.

It was so nice to travel and feel good. I hadn’t realized just how awful I’d been feeling for the past year (possibly longer, according to doctors) until I suddenly wasn’t feeling like that anymore. It made the trip even more enjoyable!

I then followed the trip with working something like 60 hours over 8 straight days and am now fevered and disgusting and pneumonia ridden again. But, that seems par for the course at this point, doesn’t it? ;)

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