Main details: girls weekend, with three of my lovelies from The Shire; rented a great apartment in Brooklyn (less expensive and way more space than a hotel).
The main reason to be there: Sydney's maman had a pre-sale opportunity for "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" tickets and we had scored 4-4th row orchestra seats to the matinee on Sunday, June 8. Starring Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig. BOOM.
Here was what occurred:
Stephanie had been in NYC for the week+ prior, so she took care of getting keys, etc. to our place (Thanks, chica!!!).
Sydney & Johanna drove from New Hampshire into Brooklyn.
I flew (using miles - booyah!) into LGA and cabbed it to the apartment.
We put on our cute duds and walked to Bar Tabac for dinner, which was one of Steph's favorite places. It was scrumptious and we ended up chatting with a movie producer who was wearing a Dan & Whit's ballcap, which was terribly random and kind of amazing. Three of the four of us had steak, including me. It was delicious and I tried a Sixpoint brewery beverage, which was also delightful.
After dinner, we walked about and decided we had room for ice cream, so stopped into Van Leeuwen's Artisan Ice Cream. It was tasty - I had a chocolate hazelnut and a strawberry scoops - but I still prefer Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.
After ice cream, we walked up to Atlantic Avenue, took a right at Barclay's Center (it is huge and rather odd looking), then back to the apartment. I was bushed and, despite having brought comfortable, broken in togs, managed to get whoppers of hot spot blisters on both of my heels. Like silver dollar sized. Owie.
Got up, chillaxed and came up with the brunch plan, which was The Vanderbilt, which was just up the street from us, and over 2 blocks. Lovely ambience, delightful food and gave us some lovely time to discuss the day.
After brunch, we walked up to the Brooklyn Flea, which Sydney said was like "walking into a Mumford & Sons video". I kinda can't disagree. My dogs were seriously barking now - had switched to another pair of broken in, comfortable togs, and now had hot spot blisters on the balls of my feet, to keep the silver dollar sized ones on my heels company apparently. So I sat in the shade and people watched.
Also kinda kid-watched; there were two families next to me with 3 kids between them: Lola, Holden & Chloe. One of the adult women stopped back for a second and Chloe, who was not her daughter, asked if she'd take her somewhere and off they went, hand in hand. Unfortunately, Chloe's dad and adult woman's husband didn't see this and freaked out when they realized Chole was no where to be found, so I described the adult woman and they were much less distressed. Adult woman and Chloe returned about 15 minutes later.
Anyhoo, while I was watching people, my Brooklyn-resident friend, and Official Third Nash Sister, Jessie, joined us. It was fun to introduce her to my 'Shire peeps and hang out. The 'Shire girls did some excellent shopping at the Flea, so they would pop back and share their treasures. When they were done, they were going to continue down to the DUMBO area and the Brooklyn Bridge Park / Piers area. Given my feet, Jessie offered to walk with me back to the apartment (stopping along the way for over-sized band-aids and ointment) to relax for a bit. We also stopped along the way to visit Milk Bar, an Australian owned and operated cafe, where I had an iced Americano, and Jess had some lunch.
We spent about 2 hours chillaxing and catching up at the apartment before she took off for her delightful evening of activities, and I took a short nap. The ladies came back and there was a flurry of getting ready, stepping out for some pedicures, etc. before we Ubered it over to Prospect Park for the Celebrate Brooklyn concert, featuring The Soul Rebels, et. al.
Stephanie used to work for BRIC and was kind enough to get us on the list for the Friends (aka VIP) tent, so we had a great table, table service with yummy food and beverage, and a fantastic view of the band. We arrived as the second band was half-way through their set, but got to see the whole set of The Soul Rebels and they.were.fantastic. Johanna had downloaded one of their many albums from iTunes, before we left the park.
|The Soul Rebels - you had me at sousaphone funk.|
|Stephanie and Johanna.|
|Sydney, my muse, and me. I love these ladies more than words.|
Got up and ready quickly, and hit the subway to get into Manhattan. We made our way to the Lower East Side, and added our name to the brunch list at Russ & Daughters, a Lower East Side institution which just recently (in April) opened a cafe to join its 100-year-old counter shop a few blocks away.
Seen on the way to Lower East Side:
Orchard Street views:
The menu with Yiddish idiom:
While we were waiting, we walked about 8 doors down to Orchard Corset, which Johanna deemed "The Ollivander's of Bras", and it really could not be a better description. Took less than 15 minutes to be fitted by "The Bra Whisperer", Peggy, and walk out with two wholesale brassieres.
We still had a decent wait time so Sydney & Johanna walked over to Doughnut Plant, and got coffees and an assortment of yummy doughnuts, which we noshed on in the middle of Orchard Street (it being closed to everything but foot traffic on Sundays), until our table was ready.
If you like fine Jewish cuisine, Russ & Daughters should be visited. They have a dizzying assortment of delights, including caviar, whitefish, lox, etc. and make their own bagels and bialys to boot. Three of the four of us went with the Classic Board, with mine featuring an everything bagel, no onion and extra capers. The schmear was whipped, the bagel lightly toasted, the lox smoked to utter perfection, and I had almost more capers than I could cram onto the bagel. It. Was. HEAVEN.
Just for fun, Martha Stewart showed up with a large party for brunch and as we were getting our check, and Laurie Anderson, came in with some of her girlfriends as well. (I am pleased to report, Ms. Anderson was smiling and laughing, and appeared to be quite happy, which in turn, makes me quite happy. RIP Lou). No photos because I'm just not that kinda girl. Sorry.
We walked up the street to the Tenement Museum, just to check out their super cool gift shop. My only purchases for fun were an "Irish Always Welcome" magnet and a historical postcard about the health properties of ale, for Spouse.
From there, we took the subway to Bryant Park and chillaxed for a little bit, before heading over to Broadway's oldest theater, the Belasco, to see Hedwig.
Bryant Park - dappled sunlight and bocce.
Again, not a huge musical person but I was practically vibrating as we waited for the show to begin. It was 110-minutes of non-stop (no intermission) action, dancing, singing, acrobatics, costumes, wigs and general amazement.
My thoughts in no particular order:
1. Neil Patrick Harris must burn at least 2,000 calories per show. No wonder he's so skeletal of late!
2. Microphone cord management was incredible. That man was all.over.the.stage, both horizontally and vertically and never got tripped up, etc.
3. The band known as The Angry Inch was spectacular. The Playbill revealed all are actual rock musicians, from such bands as Morning Wood.
4. NPH's gold platform boots were reinforced with a metal hinge between the heel and bottom of boot. Not surprising but WOW.
5. Wigs, wigs, wigs and more wigs.
6. Sing along.
7. Audience involvement. We were sitting stage left, but <hint> if you go, shoot for stage right on the aisle or center section on left aisle.........Just sayin'.
8. Neil Patrick Harris IS the intersection of bomb and diggity. I don't think there is anything he cannot do. Possibly only quantum physics, and I would not put it past him.
The fact that he went onto win his very first Tony award, that same night, added an extra layer of awesome. This video is his performance at the award ceremony, where "Sugar Daddy" is introduced by RuPaul. Worth five minutes of your time.
After the show, we took the subway to TriBeCa, walked past the Ghostbusters Headquarters (technically, NYCFD's 8 Hook and Ladder), and joined Stephanie's BFF, Charles, for whiskey and nosh at The Brandy Library. We had a delightful time there, probably due in no small part to the fact that for most of our time there, we were the only guests there. I had a delightful Irish whiskey, Jameson's Green Spot.
From there we Ubered to Carroll Gardens with Charles in tow, as well. Had a beverage at The Kittery, then went in search of liquids to have at the BYOB, pizza joint known as Lucali's.
I am no pizza aficionado, but I unequivocally state that Lucali's has the.best.wood-fired.pizza.in.the.world.
Don't even start with me until you've gone there and tried it. Seriously. Charles told us this while we were still at The Brandy Library and he had 3 ladies look at him like, "Sure. Whatever you say."
I swore I was only going to have one slice and we wouldn't need the 3 pies Charles insisted we would get.
I ate four pieces - no DEVOURED four pieces and we only took away one slice of the three pies.
After we ate, we wandered about to get to Floyd's so we could play indoor bocce, but the court was already spoken for. I Ubered it back, everyone else walked.
We were out of the apartment from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.
We walked up to Milk Bar for breakfast, which was good. I met a guy who had to be a distant cousin of Simone, our Australian friend from our Ireland trip. (Seriously, he had your eyes - color, shape - and your smile, but reddish hair. Natalie would plotz!).
Went back to apartment, loaded up Johanna's Fit, they hit the road, I took Uber back to LGA. <End scene>.
<Le sigh>. Epic.
Thanks, ladies for such a great weekend.
Jess, so glad we had a few hours to catch up in person!!!
Here's how you do it: always have a local with you, to plan and navigate. That's what I do, every time I go to NYC and it makes the trip so much better than I would do on my own.