Thursday, January 24, 2008

NYC: Day 3

In a state of grogginess, I reached for the remote and turned on the TV. It was strange to see the people screaming and waving from Rockefeller Center on the Today show knowing that if we had gotten our lazy butts up, we could have been there too. My guilty feeling disappeared at the moment I heard the newscaster announce that it was 19 degrees in the city and that the temperature would continue to fall throughout the day. My first inclination was to crawl back in bed and see if tomorrow was any warmer. If I had had my dogs to cuddle with, there would have been no discussion about this. Since they were at home, I got up.

I began putting on the layers - running tights under my jeans, several layers of shirts, a sweater, handknit wool socks and my cowboy boots. Then my "marshmallow" coat, gloves, hat, and my polar fleece scarf that I got on clearance at Old Navy for 99 cents the day before we left. I know, I should have had a handknit scarf, but we all know that there is no way, even if I were willing to use Red Heart yarn (and I'm not) that I could make one for 99 cents. This almost a dollar scarf may be the most important buy of my life. Rather pathetic, huh.

As we emerged from the warmth of the hotel into the frigid morning air, I waited for that moment when the wind hit me and all I could say was "damn , it's cold." Much to my surprise, I was plenty warm. Granted, we only had to walk about twenty steps to the train station, but the fact that we did not freeze in that little time was encouraging.

We really did not have a game plan for today. Should we see another show? Shop? Visit Central Park? Once we were off the train and began walking through the city, it became clear quickly that walking the streets just to sight see was a very cold and undesirable option. We voted unanimously to see an afternoon matinee. We already had tickets for the evening performance of Avenue Q.

We headed to TKTS. By the time we got there, cold was not strong enough to describe the temperature. Mike and Liz went to stand in line. Gerald, Erin and I had been assigned to make the Starbucks run. We all got hot drinks in the biggest cups possible - not because we were that thirsty, but because holding the steaming hot cups was the only way to keep our hands warm. The line for tickets was longer today than it had been yesterday and it was much colder. At the point Erin was about to be mistaken for an ice sculpture, Mike and Liz came with tickets to Rent, a show that we were all happy to see. We could not get tickets together but this didn't matter as long as the theater was heated.

An interesting aside: In Texas, where we have no idea what cold really is, the public buildings are always freezing during the winter months. In New York, where one assumes that the locals can tolerate cooler temperatures better than we southerners, the public buildings are incredibly warm. It is unbearable to wear a coat inside, especially if you have on four shirts, three pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, and a partridge in a pear tree. Somewhere along the way, I missed learning about the laws of thermostat regulation.

We had a nice lunch at a real restaurant and then headed to theater for a 2 pm show. This was an awesome performance. Rent is a powerful show that requires the emotional, as well as the physical energy levels of the actors to be at 110% for the entire show. The cast did not disappoint. The fact that we all knew all of the words to every song allowed us to dbe rawn in so quickly. It is hard to believe that Rent has been on Broadway for 14 years and that it will be closing in June.

As we were leaving the theater, Erin's fairy tale trip to the city got even better. She met the actor who played Mark.

And Tom Collins.
All of the actors that we met were so talented and friendly as well. Though I'm sure they were tired and wanted to be someplace warm before they had to return for their evening call, they took time to chat and take pictures with members of the audience.

We had a few hours before Avenue Q. We did a little souvenir shopping and again found warmth in a Starbucks cup. Then we were off to the show.

This was the moment I had been waiting for. I had hoped to see this show when we were in the city over the summer, but during the only slot we had to see an extra show, Avenue Q was dark. This is another show to which we all know all the words, even the dirty ones! I sat mesmerized from the first note of the overture to the last note of the finale. What an amazing piece of art. The actors were taxed nearly to their acting limits and the audiences was forced to really think. During this show I realized that I no longer can look at a show purely as entertainment. I see everything now through the eyes of a techie. This is not all bad; it just makes for a different experience.

Again we headed to Ellen's Diner. Erin and Gerald were still looking for eligible guys.

High on all of the day's experiences, at nearly 11 we headed back to the hotel. Though our flights were not leaving until the late afternoon on Moday, we had to have out bags packed first thing in the morning so that we could check out of our rooms. It was hard to believe that the fun was coming to end so soon.