Thursday, September 20, 2007

Funny Apples Part II

I guess I see why Fredrick was a one-hit wonder...*LOL*.

If you didn't read about Day 1 in New York, check it out.

Now that you're caught up, let's get to Day 2 in the Big Apple. This was the day Rock and I would first navigate our way through New York's Transit system. I'm not going to lie. I was a bit intimidated by the NY subway system. I've heard years back that people could be downright rude down there and push you out of the way. From the New Yorker, the stations nearest to us was 34th and Penn Station (lines A C E) and another block was 34th & Penn/7th Avenue (lines 1 2 3).

Rock and I had tickets that night to see Wicked at Gershwin Theatre. So we thought our first trip on the train should be to figure out the best way to get to Gershwin. We had a handy guide with the entire transit line and concluded that the best route was to take line C or E to 50 street. From there it would be a quick little walk to the theatre.

We went down to the station and went to the ticket kiosk. Looking through the options, we decided to purchase the all day pass for $7. Each. We each had to get our own pass because the all day pass could only be used by one person. I guess that's done to avoid one person giving multiple folks free rides.

Fortunately the system wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be. Actually it's really neat how interconnected a lot of the different lines (goes from A through Z, and 1 through 9...*LOL*) were. As long as you knew if you needed to go Uptown or Downtown, you were set. Rock and I quickly figured out that we would need to go Uptown to get to our stop.

Oddly enough, I remember having that Obama Girl vs. Guiliani song in my head. I think it was the fact that the video was shot in New York bought it to mind. I kept expecting Obama Girl to pop out any minute. Actually I was a bit surprised not to run into any type of celebrity. It would've been wild if Miss Holiday (miss ya still girl) or any of the NYC bloggers crossed paths with me unawares. A certain blogger from Montreal I found out was in the area and we did try to make plans to meet on Day 2. But all attempts that day failed.

But Hemingway...we got off on 50th street and familiarized ourselves with another part of New York...Broadway. We eventually found the Gershwin theatre and kept the location in mind when it would be time later on that evening to see Wicked.

Our next stop today was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Just like museums past, there was just too much going on there. You know I couldn't remember every exhibit. Nonetheless Rock and I had a good time traversing the many floors of the museum and checking out the artwork. One of the cool things the MoMA had was the free audio listening devices. For a number of art pieces, you would look for an associated number, type it up on the audio, and a blurb on what you're looking at would play for your listening pleasure.

The one art piece that seemed to draw both Rock and my attention was this large abstract art piece that was in the center of the room (unfortunately I don't have a picture of it) that in essence were like two pyramids both connected by their tips. The larger of the two pyramids was on the bottom and reminded Rock of the Great Pyramids. The other upside down pyramid seemed reminiscent of the Washington Monument (except it was cut off about half way). That piece happened to have an audio associated it and we both were stoked when the observations we made were confirmed by the speaker.

We later stopped at the MoMa gift shop, where I purchased a few postcards that I plan on putting together in a frame. Rock did some souvenir shopping for folks in his life.

Our next stop was a trip to Harlem. Since Bill Clinton moved his headquarters to Harlem, I've heard that Harlem has gone through a lot of changes. As we exited the subway station for Harlem, I couldn't help but notice the differences between mid-Manhattan and Harlem. One thing they both had in common were all the street vendors were out selling their wares.

It was mid-day and time for a late lunch. Rock wanted us to lunch at Sylvia's, Harlem's Queen of Soul Food. Actually the last time I recalled having a semblance of soul food was when I went to Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles in LA (and that was a while ago). I definitely looked forward to the lunch. We had to ask a couple locals for confirmation on Sylvia's location but once we got there, it was all good.

Rock was excited too because it wound up we were sitting not far from Sylvia herself. She was sitting with members of her family I'm assuming enjoying some food. Sylvia was quite the pioneer when she started her restaurant over 45 years back and it was cool seeing she was enjoying the fruits of her labor. Sylvia came over and chatted with both of us and gave some general life advice.

It wasn't long before we received the food ordered. Rock had ribs, mac n cheese, and spinach. I ordered fried chicken and waffles (don't laugh...*LOL*) with a side of sweet potatoes. We also ordered a pitcher of lemonade. Everything tasted great and needless to say we were both full.

Before heading back, Rock and I decided to walk along some of Harlem's neighborhoods. A lot of the homes reminded me of the apartment buildings seen in the TV series Women of Brewster Place. A lot of the buildings on this particular block seemed vacant but were being rebuilt. Rock decided to take a closer look at what we thought was a vacant building. As I looked from a safe distance, I saw from the open window that a ceiling fan was running in the back and I saw someone stirring about. A young guy came towards the door and I wasn't sure what he was doing but it looked like he was making gang signs. I freaked out but Rock was all calm saying that he was just admiring the brownstone building. The guy didn't say a word, which freaked me out even more. I motioned for Rock to back away and Rock eventually stepped back but didn't show any of the fear that I did.

After that incident, we continued walking down the rest of the block and made our way back to the subway. It was a good thing we were heading back to our hotel because the soul food I had eaten earlier was doing a number on my stomach and I needed relief. *LOL*.

We later got ready for another subway trip to Broadway to catch Wicked. Since we had been in the area earlier that day, we knew where we needed to go. Despite knowing that, we wound up taking a wrong train. Luckily we were able to divert our way around the system and even wound up getting off closer to Gershwin itself. It was totally cool.

Wicked was off the chain. I was amazed how they were able to take what was defined as an evil character from the Wizard of Oz and make her human. Plus they were able to subtly incorporate various pieces of the original movie into their play. For example, we learn how the cowardly lion and tin man came about. I think what resonated for me was how the other characters teased Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) because her skin was green. The obvious connection to racism resonated inside me and I actually teared up (but no tears fell this time...*LOL*) when it seemed Elphaba was going to die from the hands of Dorothy.

I'm definitely glad that Rock and I had the opportunity to see the play. We both were humming parts of the song Defying Gravity as we made our way back to the hotel for the night. We also had an AWW moment when we said that us meeting each other "Changed us for good".

So just before getting back to the hotel room, we stopped at a food vendor to get some chicken kabobs (we hadn't eaten and didn't feel hungry since our lunch at Sylvia's) and we then stopped at a liquor store to get some rum to go with our cokes. We rewatched the conclusion to Team America and shortly afterwards went to bed.

So ends Day 2. More to come.

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Blogger D.LavarJames said...

New York Really sounds like a lot of fun, I been in the DC area for 5 years now and still have not gone, =(

But I wanted to take a friend for his 30th Birthday in January to see The Color Purple, but not sure yet.

Maybe one day I'll make it!

8:35 AM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger yet another black guy said...

yay for fun couples!

1:51 AM, September 25, 2007  

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