Monday, December 01, 2008

I had better start spreading the news

The Brooklyn Bridge
Originally uploaded by Miss Gab.

For many people in the US, the great turkey coma that is the Thanksgiving Holiday is probably still wearing off. I was jolted out of mine by a flight cancellation, a new flight delay, and then lost luggage. But more of that later.

Miss K and I had long ago agreed to spend this year's turkey fest together at her place in NYC. I flew in at midnight on the Wednesday, and got back in the wee hours last night. So in the Von Trapp Family style of story-telling, let's start at the very beginning for I suspect that it is, indeed, a very good place to start.

Day One - Gobble, Gobble

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an institution in NYC and is pretty amazing because the sky is dotted with (seriously) impressive balloon figures. In some cases, I saw about 20 people tethered to the balloons - or maybe the balloons were tethered to them, I didn't really notice. Suffice it to say that the balloons were big. Click on the Brooklyn Bridge photo above to see my album, if you need further proof.

By contrast, what is not impressive about the Parade is the D-list celebrities that flank the floats or (in some cases) tramp all over them. K watches a lot of reality TV and I read a lot of trashy gossip mags and between us, we couldn't work out who some of these 'celebrities' were. Except Rick Astley of course- yep, we were all over that one!

At one point, a float went past that featured a couple of skinny hipster boys and I innocently queried (to no-one in particular) whether these were the infamous Jonas Brothers. That faux pas got me a walloping death glare from the pre-teen girl in front of us. If looks could kill! Of course I was only kidding! I know very well who the Jonas Brothers are (no big deal if I can't name them), but frankly I care very little about them, though I kept that to myself. The pre-teen girl in front of me would probably have punched my head in, had she not been forceably restrained by her friends!

Leaving the Parade, we walked up the street to The Australian, a cute little pub that (joy of joys) serves Coopers beer. Not only that, it had two empty barstools just waiting for us when we came in. Well, perhaps they weren't just for us, but they might as well have been for how happy they made us!

Having stuffed in a three-course Thanksgiving pub lunch, and the obligatory bottle of Jacob's Creek red wine, we shuffled back to K's place for a "quick lie down". Hours later, with pillow creases on our faces and impressive mops of bed hair, we hurriedly dressed for a Thanksgiving dinner with two of K's friends.

I don't know how people survive two Thanksgiving meals in one day - I know it just about killed me. As soon as someone invents cute elastic-waisted pants, I'm getting multiple pairs for occasions such as these. I felt like I could have used them. I'm still not 100% sure how I managed to ingest two helpings of turkey, vegetables, stuffing, wines AND dessert all in the space of a few hours. Some mysteries are better left unsolved, I guess.

Day Two - no more Gobble, Gobble (for which we are truly thankful)

The good thing about overindulging on Thanksgiving is that you have the next day to sleep it off (and eat leftovers, but fortunately this did not apply to us). After a late sleep-in, we decided that we needed to get out and walk. We didn't care where, we just needed fresh air and some exercise.

We wandered for hours, through K's neighbourhood and into the East Village before stopping for another Aussie staple lunch item, a good old meat pie & (another) Coopers Beer. Tuck Shop is a great spot for a quick fix of Aussie essentials. Just look for the Vegemite window display; you'll know you're in the right place.

After the refreshments, we kept walking, all the way down to Chinatown and around to the East River waterfront, under the Brooklyn Bridge and around to the South Street Seaport (Pier 17) - which I discovered is very similar to Navy Pier here in Chicago. But still we walked, through the City to the subway, alighting at Union Square, for a brain-frazzling tour through DSW (shoe mecca) before declaring never ever to do that again, and heading for home.

But we were not done yet. Friday night's dinner was at the stunning Eleven Madison Park restaurant. There is no way I could fault any aspect of the menu or service that we experienced - everything was just first-class; I loved it. K made some perfect wine selections that just complemented the meals we chose. Well worth the money, let me assure you.

But we were STILL not done. Into a cab we flew, and made it to a midnight screening of "Rocky Horror Picture Show". Can you believe that we are both such huge fans of this show and we had yet to see a midnight screening? It was a pity that we had to sit up the back, for we were within earshot of some of the most foul-mouthed, homophobic representatives of NY's youth community. We knew the movie would feature heckling, but we figured it would be the clever, all-in-good-fun, and SCRIPTED shout-outs that fans obsess about the world over. Not so. These guys were crude, crass, and terribly inappropriate. They really did spoil our enjoyment of the experience and I was glad K didn't deck them, though I would have backed her if she'd started somethin' all up in their business.

Day Three - Still upright...somehow

The next morning, we slept late but got up in time to eat a light lunch at Rice, around the corner from K's house and then it was onto the subway to get to Studio 54 in time. But as this was the daytime, we went to Studio 54 in its current state - a hugely popular Broadway theater space. Nubile Bianca Jaggers on horseback have been replaced by wrinkly octogenarians enjoying live musicals, but the experience is still something to be had.

"My Pal Joey" was a fantastic production, not least because it stars STOCKARD CHANNING (yes Jems, RIZZO RIZZO RIZZO). I thought she was just wonderful, but then who didn't?!

After the performance, we caught the subway to Grand Central Station and K took me to an amazing little bar that is not well-known, so I'm not even going to name it here. Let me just tell you that if you know it's there, you are a lucky ducky. Wood panelling, ornate ceilings, low-slung couches and an open fireplace create the most decadent environment in which to sip cocktails while you wait for a train. Presumably.

But our schedule waited for no-one and pretty soon we were off again for our next adventure. We stopped by Ricky's to stock up on tacky costume items to prep for The Awesome 80s Prom. I giggled just writing that.

Set in 1989, participating in the senior prom and interacting with the stereotypical cast members was a lot of fun - and lots of laughs too. When the real MC Hammer came out to sing "You Can't Touch This", I was sold. Whatever he had, the man's still got it. Here's a sample of his work, in case you're trying to pretend you have no idea what I'm talking about.

Yeah, you know you love it. Stop, Hammer Time.

Day Four - All good things must end

We had packed so much in to the Thanksgiving Holiday, you could hardly blame us for sleeping late on Sunday morning. We emerged to play Wii Fit (I was terrible), and eat pizza (I am very adept at that).

I made it to La Guardia with plenty of time to spare, only to discover that my flight was cancelled due to bad weather. I was the last person to be assigned to another flight out on Sunday night, but even THAT was delayed, and so I ended up waiting around in the airport for just over 5 hours. On reaching O'Hare, I had to go on a wild goosechase for my luggage, but managed to track it down riding a far-off carousel, all on its own and completely mis-labelled. I didn't even want to work out the "What, Where, and How?" of that one. I was just grateful that at 1am this morning, I was safe and well at home again. Be it ever so humble, and all that Kansas sentiment.

Phew, that was a bumper posting - even for a blabbermouth like me. But now you're all caught up and you can see why I am very thankful for a truly wonderful weekend. Just let's stick to one turkey meal a day next time, shall we?!


glamah16 said...

Rick Astley hasnt aged a bit! Studio 54 is a Theater showing matinees now. How times have changed. But come to think of it all the stars of that era are eitherdead or settled into late middle age.

Ozmanic said...

Yayy to the K-meister for looking after you so well. Ferris Bueller wannabee's ........ awesome .... youse guys rock.