Saturday, April 19, 2008

Day Three!

I guess I was a little ambitious about being able to live blog daily from New York! I got through two days, and then fizzled! I guess it didn’t help that we came in after midnight three nights in a row. Here I hope to remember all the highlights of each day.

Wednesday, Day 3, was a great day. It was so wonderful to see Drew at the train station! It was one of those rare moments when he looked glad to see us (just kidding!). Since it was lunchtime, we headed over to John's Pizza. John’s is another coal oven pizza that is supposed to be one of New York’s best. It was absolutely delicious…but I still hold to Lombardi’s as my favorite (see my first blog on NYC). We then dropped off Drew’s luggage at the hotel, and proceeded to do some shopping. Drew especially enjoyed the The Apple Store and the surprise Rich had for him. Drew had been dreaming of getting the new iPod Touch…and Rich had a business proposition for him. Rich would get Drew the iPod if he put in a whole new lawn in our backyard (this involves removal of old grass, rototill and soil prep, and laying sod on about 450 sq. feet of space.) Well, apparently this was a “no-brainer” for Drew and he jumped right on it. Thus the deal was sealed and Drew walked away with a very cool new toy. I'd say it was a win-win for both my boys. Incidentally, the Apple Store is so cool - there is a glass box at street level that you go into, and you can either take a staircase or glass elevator down to the store below street level.
Top: Cool Apple Store! Bottom: Drew's happy now, but he's going to have to earn his iPod touch with hard labor!

That evening we had dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant called Becco. It is a bustling, rather small restaurant owned by Lidia Bastianich, in the Theater district. It is very convenient, when you are going to a show, to eat nearby your theater so you can walk. (Not only does it save time, but transportation cost.) Though the restaurant was crowded and extremely busy, we were surprised (and downright fascinated) by the impeccable service. The food was amazing. They have a wonderful little special called Sinfonia di Pasta (symphony of pasta) that includes salad or an antipasti and as much of the three homemade house pastas that evening that you want. That evening there was a gnocchi, an orriechette, and a spaghetti and they were all superb. The waiters come around with these amazing large platters of the pasta and offer it to you constantly. Emma and I both ordered this – she got the Caesar salad and I got the antipasti, which was pretty much my favorite food of the trip. Arranged artistically on a plate were marinated grilled vegetables, fresh mozzarella, and some kind of tender fish in a pool of really good olive oil. Yummy. Also, on the table were fantastic breads and assorted Italian olives – I was in pure culinary bliss! Rich had his beloved Oso Buco with risotto, and Drew got a grilled veal chop over garlic mashed potatoes that was also mighty fine. A very special meal.

After dinner we headed over to the Gershwin theater for Wicked. We have seen it in L.A., but with Emma being such a fan, we really thought it would be fun to see it in NY. I have to say, the L.A. show is way better. Megan Hilty and Eden Espinoza are amazing as Glinda and Elphaba, and while the girls in NY were good, it just wasn’t the same. Also, the Gershwin theater in NY is very plain and lacks character; there is just something special about going to the Pantages theater in Hollywood. It is so grand and beautiful and being there just feels so festive. The audience in NY was a little sleepy as well – everyone cheers and laughs so much in L.A. When Elphaba makes her first appearance, everyone in L.A. applauds, but in New York we found ourselves to be the only ones clapping and stopped quickly! But, it was very fun to see it in New York! Emma and I were saying that it would have been really fun to have seen the original cast, with Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, but that was years ago. They are the ones on the soundtrack, and they are amazing. After the show, we went to the Stage Door where Emma got to meet some of the stars, and get autographs on her playbill. There was a Standby that evening for Elphaba, Lisa Brescia, and I think she was at least my age!
Top: Emma & I ready for Wicked in green! Bottom: Emma with the cute Lisa Brescia (Elphaba) at the Stage Door.

So that concludes Day 3. We all headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep for another big day Thursday.

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