Sorry for another long blog absence, folks, but I’ve been in New York on holiday for most of the past week and I just couldn’t find the time for a long blog! I have been tweeting quite regularly — if you haven’t started to follow me yet on Twitter, my account name there is @darrenshan
Bas and I flew to NY last Friday. After a delicious burger and hot dog in the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, we met my friends Jennifer and Emily (the latter lives in Taiwan, but happened to be in NY at the same time as us!) and went to see “Promises, Promises” on Broadway. It starred Kristin Chenoweth, one of our favourite actresses, and was based on the great movie “The Apartment”, so we had high hopes that it would be something special — but those hopes were swiftly dashed!! It was miscast, and the songs just didn’t work with the story — they didn’t move the plot forward. It was so bad that we left during the interval!! From there we went to a pub just off Times Square where my aunt Majella is a manageress. We had a couple of drinks with her, as well as with a cousin of mind called Dawn who, like Emily, just happened to be in town (she lives in Australia!!), then hit the sack and slept like logs.
On Saturday we went for a long walk in Central Park — it’s such a beautiful place!! I’m always freshly struck by how awesome it is every time I visit New York!! We had a yummy brunch in the Boat House there, walked some more, then met up with Jennifer again and went to see “A Little Night Music” on Broadway. We had seen the same production in London last year, and it was just as fab here, with the added attractions of Catherine Zeta Jones and the evergreen Angela Lansbury. It’s a fabulous play, and this is a first-rate version — the 3 hours zipped by like a refreshing summer breeze. Later we had dinner with my editor, Cindy, and ex-publicist Elizabeth Eulberg (who recently published her first book for teenage girls — go check it out!). After that we went to a piano bar called Marie’s Crisis, where we sang lots of show tunes, and then to a nearby karaoke bar, where we sang lots of rock tunes!!! Fun times!!!!!
We slept in late on Sunday, then went for another long walk in Central Park. We got sandwiches from the Carnegie Deli on the way, and they were the biggest sandwiches either one of us had ever seen!! They were so big it was ridiculous — we couldn’t figure out how the hell we were supposed to eat them!!!! We met up with Jennifer again after that and went to see “Glee! Live” It was the cast of “Glee” (minus the adult actors) singing many of the songs from the show, and it was a lot of fun — cheesy, but catchy! We bid Jennifer adieu at the end of the raucous singalong, then Bas and I went to see “Million Dollar Quartet”, which was basically just a lot of 1950s rock ‘n’ roll songs belted out by an enthusiastic cast — but despite its flimsy plot, it worked as a greatest hits vehicle.
On Monday we went to SoHo and wandered around Chinatown and Little Italy. We had lunch in Cafe Habana, where they do the best corn on the cob in all the world!! We did some shopping — I bought some sandals and slippers from the Ugg store, so I’m all set for both summer and winter conditions now!! After a rest we went for pizza to John’s on West 44th, then we went to see “Shrek Forever After” at the cinema — it was a big improvement over the previous entry and we both came away smiling.
Today we hit the museums. We started with the Guggenheim, which we both found very disappointing — it’s a fabulous building, but most of the pieces on display didn’t do much for either of us — mostly modern photographs which left us scratching our heads. They did have one room full of fabulous Impressionist paintings, which fired us up, but overall I think it’s an overpriced museum that offers poor value for money. We went to the Met next, and you could never accuse THAT place of offering poor value for money!!! It’s a treasure trove, a delight to explore. You can never see the whole of it in one visit, but we covered a nice section this time, taking in the modern and Impressionist art, as well as a quick trip through the African and Indonesian areas, and the lovely roof garden with its spectacular views over Central Park. We had planned to visit Roosevelt Island or Staten Island later, but were too exhausted, so we just came back and rested for an hour. After dinner at Bubba Gump’s, we went to see “American Idiot”, based on the Greenday album. Bas loved it, but it left me cold. The music was great, the set was impressive, the cast sung their hearts out, and the choreography was top-notch — but the story didn’t grab me. I thought they would at least try to flesh out the think story from the album a bit, but they didn’t really, preferring to let the songs flow almost uninterrupted. I didn’t mind the lack of a plot when I saw “Million Dollar Quartet” but it bugged me here and I never truly connected with the show. Bas left on a high, I left on a low. C’est la vie!!!
We’re squeezing in one more show on Wednesday – “A Behanding in Spokane” – and then we’re catching the plane home. Hopefully I’ll be able to blog more regularly from this point on, now that things have returned to normal…