Hob-Nobbin’ in NYC

Just couldn’t get enough of New York City—Lynn and I are off for another day of adventure in the Big Apple.  This time, we are going to A Christmas Carol reading, shopping, and to a Christmas tree decorating party.

So once again, we went to the train station, and did the same routine as our first trip.  At least it wasn’t snowing, but since it’s the weekend, there are more people traveling for last minute Christmas shopping.  Once we arrived to NYC we needed to buy Metro cards to board the subway, but there was a monstrous thick line of people all waiting for a machine to open up.  Seconds before our ride left we were able to get our tickets, and hopped on the subway to Brooklyn–the red line.

It seems like magic to be following Lynn around, getting on and off trains and subways and buses and suddenly run up a flight of stairs to find you’re right in front of your destination. How does she do this?

Anyway we were rushing to get to the Reading in Brooklyn, a radio version of A Christmas Carol. Lynn was helping the company with admissions, and I guess I was helping Lynn help.  I’d never been to a reading, and was having a hard time understanding why people went to them.  Oddly I did become caught up in it.  The thing is, there are no bad seats. Since no one is actually standing up and acting, there isn’t anything to miss.  So, truthfully you can close your eyes, listen, and be transported into the story.  Especially when it’s read well, like this one was.

It goes without saying, Lynn is connected in the theater world.  When the show was over, we were invited to the after party a couple blocks away.  What fun, hanging with the cast and crew and sponging new experiences and ideas and hearing about their careers and successes.  But unfortunately this party wasn’t part of the days plan, so we made our stay short.

What was on our list was to try to get uptown and search for the only liquor store around that carried the amazing Dimitri wine we had at the Greek restaurant.  Just to be able to say we went to “Gotham”, was a kick in itself, but that trek would be another couple subways up and back, resulting in over an hour of time—about how long we were at the after party. Visions of Batman in Gotham would have to wait for another visit. 

We jumped on the subway instead to Astor place in Manhattan.  There we entered an open air market on Broadway and 4th and shopped for Christmas gifts.  Stepping into that market is like being in Cozumel, with row after row of “STUFF” for sale.  So OF COURSE I had to get a belly dance belt and not one but TWO of those animal hats that have the attached mittens that hang down from the ears. 

I know.  Don’t ask.  Anyway,

Then we got on the subway and went to 42nd street, walked several blocks to the next party where David was waiting for us.  The party was hosted by Lynn and David’s theater friends, Jane and Kevin. The only criteria to this party was you had to hang at least 3 ornaments. What a great “fix” for me.  The next best thing to having a tree.

Now here’s a story.  Jane and Kevin were high school sweethearts, who married years later (they are perhaps late 50s?).  I believe they still are classified as newlyweds. Jane still teaches and cannot leave NYC, and Kevin remains tied to Indiana.  They maintain their separate residences, and take turns spending time together at each, with a little solo time in between.  So far, it works.  Jane, an Italian cooking guru, served up an amazing scratch cooked lasagna dinner. Kevin was a perfect host, and made sure everyone was well taken care of at all times.

I met so many interesting people at this gathering! Kevin’s niece, from Minnesota, and her boyfriend from Amsterdam.  There was Debra Jo Rupp, the “mom” from “That 70’s show” who will be the leading lady in a new play about Doctor Ruth at the Hartford Stage in Connecticut.  Arthur, a hilarious and genuine soul, a professional voice coach for opera singers including actress/singer Audra McDonald.   I met not one but two single women who chose to adopt small children from Central America.  And then, there was Brian, with that CRAZY good Eggnog.  Everyone took me in as part of the group. They were all so curious and welcoming.

Meeting and talking with a plethora of professionals and theater people that all live a completely different lifestyle than I, was like being in a foreign country for the evening. How diverse our culture is. How amazing that not all people need to have a car for every family member and drive 2 blocks for a burger and a bag of chips.  In contrast, how amazing that not all people comprehend or could survive the concrete jungle and commute, rushing around on foot or via public transportation.

The downside to commuting into NYC is there truly is a “pumpkin hour”.  Our magic hour was coming up, and we had to leave the party in order to make the last train at midnight.  No more hob-nobbin’ in Manhattan.  Hugs and good byes and collecting up all of our goodies from the day, Lynn, David and I rushed out the door and dashed to the station to catch our long ride back to Cranford.

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