Christine, hereafter referred to as She Who Absconded With Our Son's Heart (SWAWOSH, center, in red blouse) is a vibrant, cute-as-all-get-out singer with a voice that could power Newark. While ActorBoy was working, she served as our shepherd on our trek into The City Itself. She attended the same theatre school as ActorBoy (that's where they met and Fell In Love) and has an intimate and greatly-appreciated knowledge of every public rest room on the island.
We took a subway train from Queens to the heart of Manhattan. To start things off with the right amount of confusion, we had to go UPstairs to get on the subway. In Astoria-Queens, the subway isn't a subway at all, but an elevated train weaving through the buildings at the 2.5 floor level. I expected King Kong to appear and start playing with us at any moment. As you can see by the photo, ActorBoy and KayJay were overjoyed to be seeing each other for the first time in 13 months. This picture is also documentation of the cleanest and loneliest train we saw during the whole adventure.
When we met up with ActorBoy at his Russian Tea House doorman job, we were treated to a private excursion into the by-appointment-only second floor dining hall. Beautiful doesn't begin to describe it. Gawdy...yeah, I think gawdy might be a good start. What you are seeing to the left is a heeyooj glass bear juggling large golden balls. The flashes of orange in its midsection are fish. That's right, folks, this thing is an aquarium of the strangest order.
Our walk into Central Park brought my heart into my throat. We visited Bethesda Fountain, where parts of the movie version of Godspell were filmed. We walked on the same steps where the cast first sang "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord." We stood under the outstretched wings of the statue where John the Baptist called them all to repentance. And this is all special to me, of course, because being part of a stage production of that show, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is how Beloved and I met. None of this, however, is why my heart was in my throat. That happened when a rather large man with a rather large knife asked to see my wallet and all of its contents became his private property, according to nine-tenths of the law.
Yes, we did see some sights and behave like tourists: >We saw the Empire State Building from the sidewalk. (Do you know how much they want to charge for an elevator ride?!!?) >The Museum of Natural History's "suggested donation" for 5 of us to enter was over $70. (I suggested they be happy with 1/3 of that.) >Having won the nightly lottery, KayJay and I were allowed the privilege of spending $26.25 each for seats on the front row for Wicked, helping the orchestra turn the pages of their scores. >Perhaps the most unexpected guilty pleasure was Urban S'mores at Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man. I can understand chocolate by the pound or chocolate by the barrel, even...but "by the bald man?" What's that about?
With all of the walking that a vacation in NYC entails, we also needed to spend some time resting. Sometimes that was sitting by a fountain across from the Plaza Hotel (see picture), but we also spent most of Saturday just hanging out at the apartment playing Monkeyball Banana Blitz on Wii, and laughing our heads off (that's gotta hurt) with a round of Catchphrase...
Me: This is England; otherwise known as --
Me: Oh, I'm gonna sing me a song among the hay bales and have me a good old time.
Me: Okay, this isn't a whore up, but a --
And the moral of the story, boys and girls, is that you can travel and tourist it out the wazoo, but being with family beats it all--hands down.