A few observations from 3 days in NYC

Jul 4th, 2009, 07:35 PM
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A few observations from 3 days in NYC

From July 1, 2, and 3, a few observations from our most recent visit to a great city:

Tahini - 3rd Ave at Astor Place, East Village - best felafel sandwich I've had.

Chelsea Market - Several interesting shops, very nice seafood market, oustanding bakery, would be an excellent place to go for lunch if we weren't stuffed on felafel & schwarma.

High Line Park - This is one of those situations where a particular planning idea won over other competing plans, and it would have been just a travesty if the outcome was any different. Outstanding! We loved the way the architecture of some of the buildings has been incorporated into the park. Can't wait until the whole thing is complete.

Aurora Restaurant, Soho, Broome St at W. Broadway. Great italian food, nice setting, reasonable prices.

Athena Cafe, 30th Ave, Astoria - Lovely open air setting, food just ok.

South Pacific Musical, Lincoln Center Theater - Outstanding venue, wonderful show. It didn't look to me like there was a bad seat in the house. I've read that David Pittsinger has not been as well reviewed as Paul Szot who won the Tony for this show, but his voice is worth the price admission, IMO. I thought that Laura Osnes, who played Nellie, kind of paled next to Mr. Pittsinger's booming voice. The other players my wife and I really loved in this show were Loretta Ables Sayre as Bloody Mary, and Danny Burstein as Billis. This three hours passed very quickly.

Yakotori Totto, 55th St. nr. 8th Ave - Grilled skewers of meat & vegetables, washed down with draft Sapporo beer. Not a bad way to go.

Grimaldi's Pizza, Brooklyn - Between Grimaldi's, Lombardi's and John's its hard to pick a best pizza, but when you add in a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, Grimaldi's is hard to beat.

Waiting for Godot, Studio 54 - First time I've seen this play, and the cast, Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin, John Goodman, and John Glover, are excellent. This is one of those plays that would be great to see multiple times with different casts, just to get different perspectives on the theme. Bill Irwin was so good.

Other general observations - We stayed at the Grand Hyatt, which is really convenient since there are so many subway connections available at Grand Central Terminal. Even though I still find Times Square to be an impressive sight at night, good lord it really is annoying walking through there, and there really is very little of interest other than the view. I overheard someone referring to 42nd Street as "the strip", which I thought was an apt misnomer. There were lots of European tourists; now I have a better idea of why some Europeans find large concentrations of American tourists to be annoying.
smetz is offline  
Jul 4th, 2009, 11:03 PM
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Waiting for Godot, Studio 54 - First time I've seen this play, and the cast, Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin, John Goodman, and John Glover, are excellent. This is one of those plays that would be great to see multiple times with different casts, just to get different perspectives on the theme. Bill Irwin was so good.

This was the first time Godot has appeared on Broadway in 50 years. There have been some off-Broadway performances, hwoever.
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Jul 5th, 2009, 01:29 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I'm about to visit my hometown for first time in several yrs, and your report made me even more anxious to be back. As you did, am staying nr Grand Central. Glad to hear you liked the location.
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Jul 5th, 2009, 05:21 AM
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"This was the first time Godot has appeared on Broadway in 50 years. There have been some off-Broadway performances, hwoever."

I remember reading that the first run on Broadway (1954, I think?) was pretty short. I guess I can see why, since it doesn't really have a plot. It's more of a thought provoking experience.
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Jul 5th, 2009, 05:47 AM
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This was the first time Godot has appeared on Broadway in 50 years. There have been some off-Broadway performances, hwoever."

I remember reading that the first run on Broadway (1954, I think?) was pretty short. I guess I can see why, since it doesn't really have a plot. It's more of a thought provoking experience.

The first performance in the United States was actually in Coconut Grove in Florida where Bert Lahr played the role of Estragon and was chosen because of his broad clown-like actions. He then played the same role on Broadway.
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Jul 5th, 2009, 06:25 AM
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Interesting that Bill Irwin, a famous clown, played Vladimir, the more cerebral part.
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Jul 5th, 2009, 07:02 AM
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Interesting that Bill Irwin, a famous clown, played Vladimir, the more cerebral part.

Beckett did not like the fact that Lahr played Estragon, since he thought it would detract from what he considered his main character-Vladimir.
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Jul 5th, 2009, 08:30 AM
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"As you did, am staying nr Grand Central. Glad to hear you liked the location."

We liked it quite a lot. Good subway access, and convenient to the theater district. If you like to walk, though, it's also good because you can walk to lower Manhattan pretty easily. The first day, we took the subway to the East Village, walked from there to Washington Square, then the western part of Chelsea, and back up to the hotel. Other times, because it was raining off and on, we really appreciated being able to get from Grand Central into the Hyatt without having to go outside.
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Jul 5th, 2009, 12:32 PM
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It is not exactly accurate to describe Bill Erwin as a "clown". Yes - he is a master mime but also a superb actor and his expressive use of his body is pure art and he makes masterful use of that skill in "Waiting for G."
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Jul 5th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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jroth - Oh, I certainly agree that he's known as many things, and has a wide range of abilities, but one of his well known personae is a clown - he even mentions it on his website.

http://www.bill-irwin.com/

But you're right about his physical expressiveness - I was thinking after seeing him in the play that he reminded me of Danny Kaye.
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