Living in a movie scene

I wish I could tell you my second day in New York was different to the first, but it was just more of the same – walking around, drinking coffee, and going into shops on the east side of the island.  I bloody loved it.  

I started off in Korea Town at the amazing Tony Moly store.   I spent ages in there, and must have picked up every single item in the shop but I could not decide what to get.  I ended up with bunny lip gloss, panda mascara, and many sheet masks, and I’d even spent enough for freebies.  This was possibly my favourite shop on my entire trip.

I was very tempted to get the hair mayo – who wouldn’t be?

I carried on south down Park Avenue, stopping in at Sephora and Bath and Body Works for my cousin.  It was much colder today, and the wind was back to it’s usual wicked self so I was very grateful for my coat – I can’t believe I was considering not bringing it with me.  I eventually reached Union Square and spent ages in Barnes and Noble, swiftly followed by Nordstrom Rack.I’d been ducking into loads of bookshops trying to find Leah Remini’s book on Scientology, and had been getting dirty looks from shop assistants when I asked if they had it presumably because they thought it was pro-Scientology, so thank goodness for Barnes and Noble – they had loads of copies (it’s such a great book by the way, and finally got a UK release shortly after I got back).

Nordstrom Rack is very similar to TK Maxx, and I found so many pairs of Kate Spade shoes that I have absolutely no need for.  It also has Wi-Fi so I could check my bearings – WOO!

Even further south I ventured, and found myself in the tiny Milk Bar East Village.  I had accidentally sent a co-worker to the Las Vegas store before it had opened, so wanted to make it up to her by getting some cereal milk.  I also got myself a Chocolate Chocolate Cookie which was so salty, but so good.  Should have got more.On into Soho.  I aimed for the Egg Shop restaurant as I really fancied some eggs, but the wait was too long once I got there (I also chickened out on the solo dining front too – I was too intimidated).  No eggs for me today, but I was just around the corner from the BirchBox New York store so of course paid a visit.  This shop was SO NICE.  If I hadn’t have entirely filled my suitcase already, I would have spent a serious amount of money.  Such a beautiful, beautiful place.  You can build your own BirchBox with a bunch of different miniatures, but they also stocked a lot of full size products as well.  
It was now 1pm and I was feeling sleepy and hungry so walked back to my hotel.  I walked through Washington Square Park and came across an anti-Trump rally.  I sat watching for a while, picking up a couple of badges and reading all the placards.   Back to the hotel with yet another Lenwich – what can I tell you, I’m obsessed with the Chicken Chedder – I watched a bit of TV and Hangout-ed Husband.

After my batteries had been recharged, I headed back out and up to the HBO shop which should be renamed the Game of Thrones shop.  They had about four items in the entire shop which weren’t GoT, but I did get Husband a Silicon Valley t-shirt.  I had a quick wander around Rockefeller Center, picking up an EMS t-shirt for my little brother from the Fire Zone.

Friday night in Midtown was so busy, and so different to my peaceful walks around Greenwich Vilage and Soho. I considered going to Macy’s but despite being 8pm, it looked crazy busy.  I was also sad that the Shake Shack had a queue out the door, but that is the downside of staying in this area.  I did managed to get a few more shops in before retiring for the evening.  28,000 steps for the whole day, not too shabby.

Let’s go to The Max

Theatre 80Picture my misspent youth – wasting the day watching Saved by the Bell, California Dreams, and Clarissa Explains It All on repeat.  So a Saved by the Bell musical was bound to be one of my favourite things ever.  Our first full day in New York ended with us sitting in the cute Off-Broadway Theatre 80 with a lot of high spirited Young People (and some nerds like me too) waiting for the cast of Bayside the Musical to come onstage.

Adam Lash warmed the crowd up (and was very adorable) but to be fair, most of the audience didn’t need warming up and burst into unrepentant laughter as soon as the curtain went back and the cast started singing Back to Bayside.  This song is crazy catchy and helps set the scene for anyone who has never seen an episode of SBTB – but then, why would you be here if you hadn’t seen at least one episode.

We then were taken on a whistle stop tour around some of SBTB most ridiculous plots – Becky the duck, Malibu Sands, Screech’s Secret Sauce, Slater’s pleated jeans.  By the end of the show, everyone was begging for Jessie’s caffeine addiction, and her demented descent into madness was played to perfection by April Kidwell.

Sam Harvey and Katie Mebane had Zach and Kelly down to a T, Sam playing up the arrogance and Katie playing up the ditzy.  I loved how Kelly’s number of brother’s increased as the show went on – I think the final count was 16.  Kelly and Zach’s vociferous chair dancing actually broke the furniture about midway through the show which brought the house down.

John Duff’s Slater had a homoerotic edge I’d forgotten from the original show, although the subtext quickly became text.  Added to that, he has an amazing voice, probably the best in the show.  His mullet was a little disturbing, but I’m pretty sure it was fake.  Take away the mullet and singlet and he’s actually quite dreamy.

I could not imagine another actor who can play Screech as well as Dustin Diamond, but Justin Cimino proved me wrong. The way he walked around, the faces he pulled – I could have believed this was Dustin, if it wasn’t for the fact that the performance we saw featured Dustin Diamond (playing a hilariously grumpy version of himself).  Screech spent the musical deciding between Lisa, played by Shamira Clark, and Tori Spelling – she wasn’t ever referred to as Violet – played by Amanda Nicholas who was great as Tori and Miss Bliss.  Lisa’s discovery that she’s actually black and her transformation into Oprah X was amazing!

Finally, possibly my favourite actor in the musical, Seth Blum who played a bunch of characters including Mr Belding, Mr Carosi, and bizarrely, Tori, the Sex Kitten from Hell.  He almost made the cast lose it when he accidentally sat on a Twinkie and forgot what he was supposed to be singing.

And yes, Dustin Diamond!  He was very self-deprecating and managed to fit in perfectly with the plot.  He even did a signing and photos at the end and he came across really well.

It was so so good and I desperately want to see it again. I really need this show to come over to the UK.  For now, I’ll have to settle with listening to the soundtrack on a daily basis.  Although I should remember to turn it down in the car when Miss Bliss starts singing “those f**kers can burn in hell”.

Some of my favourite moments

  • “I need to study for the SATs!” “Jessie, it’s the first day of school”.
  • Mr Carosi – “I love my daughter!!!!”
  • “I am The Max, I make them their snacks, I owe a lot of income tax”
  • Jessie’s realisation at the end of the play that she’s not going to Stanford because “girl’s can’t go to college!”
  • “Write Kelly a letter, Zachary”.  “I’m pretty sure she can’t read”.

I will never again be able to hear “Where is My Mind” by The Pixies without segueing into “It’s a dream sequence, it’s got nothing to do with the plot”.

New York: Day two – Accidental half marathon

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Pan by Sean Landers on the High Line

Probably one of the most amazing moments happened as we slowly woke up on the Friday morning.  Pulling back the curtains and just seeing New York right there in front of us was stunning and we were so glad we booked this hotel.

I turned on the TV almost immediately so we could watch as much Good Day New York as possible.  Watching Greg Kelly live was definitely something I had been looking forward to (if you watch The Soup, you know why).  It is just one of the worst/best TV news shows I have ever seen, and it was such a shame that we were here over the weekend as it meant we missed out on two days of Greg’s nonsense!

Greg Kelly

Greg Kelly, the nutcase.

We very quickly learnt this morning that Americans know nothing about their own weather.  Shortly before we arrived in NYC, they were talking about snow showers and temperatures of -9.  This turned out to be completely wrong.  We watched the weather on GDNY and they were promising cold temperatures again but clear skies, so we both went out with our coats to walk the High Line.  Never again would we listen to their reports.

First up – find some breakfast.  We were still quite full from McGees last night so only wanted something light, and thought we’d find somewhere on Sixth Avenue.  We peered in coffee shops for a few blocks but they were all rammed with people and very little seating – their cafes are all so small!  We eventually found a Starbucks which didn’t have much of a queue, and decided to get a morning bun and some coffee to take away, finding a seating area a couple of blocks down.

We cut across Manhattan to get to the start of the High Line, down at 10th Avenue and 30th Street (probably about 2 miles).  I was quite hot by this point, so had resorted to dragging my coat behind me but pretty much as soon as we stepped foot on the incredibly busy High Line, it started to rain.  Rain which had not been predicated.  Stupid weather.  We continued our walk from 30th down to Gansevoort Street, underneath The Standard (we didn’t see any nudies).  I did really enjoy the walk, but the rain ruined any photo opportunities, and the fact that all the plants were dead didn’t help either.  Everything was grey.  Boo 😦

We had a bit of a wander through Greenwich Village, stumbled across a film set which had taken a break in the rain – we think it was Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll so not that exciting – and then we found Co Bigelow.  The last time we were in Las Vegas, we stayed at the Cosmopolitan which had amazing Co Bigelow toiletries.  Since then, I’ve desperately wanted to stock up on my favourite conditioner, so now was my opportunity.  Of all the places in New York, the one I was most excited about was a drug store.  WOO!

Co Bigelow

Happy with my purchases, we made our way back up Sixth Avenue, stopping at Old Navy so I could buy a couple of t-shirts and a lightweight hoodie as my coat was already irritating me.  We realised we’d gone passed the Kiehl’s flagship store  (Husband is a fan) so we turned back to visit and spend a ridiculous amount on skincare.  We found another Starbucks and had a very quick lunch before setting off again back up Sixth.

It was a long old walk, through the Flatiron district and Madison Square Park – we thought about having a Shack Shake but the queue was insane – passed the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library and the Rockefeller Center.  You’ll notice I’m saying we went passed all of these things, but it had already been an incredibly long day in the rain so we didn’t stop.  Except when we got to Uniqlo on 5th Avenue, but this was only a brief stop as Husband hadn’t prepared himself for a spree.

We got back to the hotel where I has a lovely bath, then passed out for several hours.  Husband researched where we’d be going for dinner, then gently woke me up in time to do my hair and make up for our Off Broadway adventure.

My legs had stopped working after our earlier traipse around the city, so we jumped on the R train for the 20 minute subway ride to the East Village.  We found Paprika which was a gorgeous little Italian, where I filled up on mozzarella salad, and Husband had some kind of meaty, cheesy fettuccine, with a tiramisu to finish.  I really liked our waiter – he was so cheery – and it was a really great meal.

We then went over to Theatre 80 for the Friday night production of Bayside the Musical.  Yes, an unofficial Saved By the Bell Musical.  I’ve given the musical it’s own post so won’t go into it now, but we were initially quite confused as it appeared we had to queue in the bar next door.  Husband thought he’d prepare himself by getting a drink, where the interesting bar woman gave him a menu purely of absinthe.  And then wandered off.  Not wanting to get that drunk, we asked if he could have just a JD and coke.  The answer was yes, thank goodness, and the bar woman proceed to pour a metric ton of whisky into his coke.  She then didn’t know how much it was – it was very bewildering for everyone involved.

We didn’t have to wait too long for the production to start and it was amazing (as my next post will explain!).  After the play, we went straight back to the subway forgetting that the Big Gay Ice Cream shop was the next street over and got the R train back up to our hotel, then collapsed into bed ready to start the next day in New York.

It doesn’t actually sound like a lot, but my pedometer says we did over 13 miles in total.  No wonder my legs nearly fell off.