Sunday was packed with plans. We managed to have another great day despite the sweltering, sticky heat of the morning and the heavy down-pouring of rain in the evening.
We started by taking a train to Soho. Ben deduced that New York runs on Mountain time - nothing opened until 11 or noon and then it all stays open until 2 or 4 am. Perfect if we don't adjust our watches from Denver time!
Luckily Chobani's cafe opens early enough to call it breakfast (let's ignore the doughnut I snagged from a street cart). Amanda tipped me off to this place and I'm so glad she did. I could eat his yogurt every morning: plain unsweetened chobani, orange, pistachios, dark chocolate, honey, and mint. Delish! Ben ordered a "bagel and cream cheese" using air quotes to mimic the menu. It turned out to be a really good and crunchy simit bread crusted with sesame seeds and shaped into a ring.
I really tried not to eat a Laduree macaron. I just wanted to gawk at the pretties. Ben insisted. He didn't have to tell me twice. I got apricot. He got . . . I forget. It was the two toned pink and orange one. We agreed that they were amazing and the best macarons ever tried - but still maybe overpriced at $2.80 each.
I tried on frames at the Warby Parker store and we bought Sam a T-shirt at a Japanese(?) kids store where Jack was too big for their size 8-9 year old. We camped out in Starbucks with tall icy herbal teas while we waited for Purl Soho to open at noon. If I didn't have such a great local shop in Fancy Tiger I would have spent hours there and a lot more money. After much deliberation I settled on a subtle color choice in their lovely store-brand yarn, Line Weight. I already started a project with it and I'm loving how this yarn knits. (Crap! Their website has different colors and some are on sale. I'm salivating to buy more.)
At this point we hoped to take the train to an Ethiopian restaurant, but I was worried about making it to our show in time. We opted to ride straight back to Times Square and find food there. We ate at John's Pizzeria next door to our theater. It was mediocre, as most food in Times Square is. But it was easy and filling. Ben pointed out that the building used to be a church and I found a post about it on a blog I read call Scouting NY. He's a scout for film locations and talks a lot about the history and hidden corners of the city. You can read about the pizzeria here. Also of note, our waiter was VERY interested to hear we were from Denver. He wanted to know if it was true, that you can just buy pot at a corner store. Yes, we assured him. It's really true.
We walked all of 20 paces to our matinee next door: Something Rotten!
Loved it! Ben said he could tell he wasn't getting all the inside theater jokes, but laughed a lot anyway. It was a bawdy, raucous show with fast pace, lots of jokes and puns, and great performers. We had all the original cast in our performance.
We came out of the theater into buckets of rain. We had a single umbrella to share so we hugged tight and ran underground. This was the part of the trip I was worried about. After the musical we had to make our way to Brooklyn, hopefully get dinner, and be at the concert before 8pm. Happily it turned out not to be a problem at all.
When we arrived at Bedford we found shelter and a cell phone signal to do a quick dinner search. A couple blocks away was The Meatball Shop "We make balls." (Side note: there is more than one meatball shop in Brooklyn when you search for it online. Because of course. I had to check the menu to be sure I found the same one.)
Framed by meat grinders with a window seat to watch the dripping passerby's and the bronze horse head seller, we enjoyed a delicious and hearty meal.
When the rain let up we called for the check and meandered to the Music Hall for the big finale to our trip: They Might Be Giants!
Some background first. Ben is a long time fan, at least since high school. I knew some of their songs but didn't really appreciate them until Ben sent me mix CDs when we were dating long distance way way back in 1999. The music still takes me back to those early days in our relationship.
There was a concert in Boulder our first year of marriage. I couldn't attend because I was still under 21.
There was a concert when I was 23. I had a business meeting in Miami and the boss wouldn't let me book a flight home in time to see it. Then there was a hurricane, so we took an earlier flight home, that was delayed of course. Driving back from the airport at midnight I called Ben and he was at the concert with friends, about to come home too. I was so mad I missed it by hours.
They came to Denver in my late 20s. I had a new baby and a crazy demanding job schedule and didn't go.
Last Christmas I bought Ben a fan club membership for TMBG. It came with lots of goodies: t-shirt, first release signed albums, dial-a-song access, and two tickets to a concert of your choice with no expiration. We looked up their tour schedule - dang it. They skipped over Denver for Salt Lake City. But wait! Maybe we should see them . . . . . .. in Brooklyn! That would be so cool to see them on their home turf, with no kids to come home too, and we could do all this other cool stuff in New York. So really, this concert was the motivation and reason for taking the whole trip.
Waiting in the rain. And waiting. And waiting. Doors were supposed to open at 7pm. We didn't get in until 7:45. Later the Johns apologized and said there was a problem with flooding that they had to clear and ensure safety. I guess that's a good reason ;-)
What a show! I forgot to mention that Ben and I had sworn off concerts. So much standing, so loud, terrible manners from the audiences, late hours, spilled beer and stinky pot, etc etc. TMBG run a tight show. They are polite and professional, starting only 15 minutes late even with the flooding. Their fans are courteous, enthusiastic, and mostly reasonable folk. There was no opening act to suffer through. The venue was small, maybe 200 people or less. I was worried that I wouldn't hear any favorite songs. This evening was planned as a show focusing on The Else. It's a fine album, but you always want to hear classics when you see a show and I worried they wouldn't play any. How wrong I was. It was like they read my mind and played a personal playlist: Don't let's start, Birdhouse in your soul, Particle Man, Robot Parade (!), Istanbul, She's a jumping bean, Number three, and to cap it all off they played New York City when I was IN NEW YORK CITY!! Fangirl in me exploded.
I took these clips to share with Jack. He's still learning that music comes from people. I wanted to show him the people who are "There are some giants."
"We kissed on the subway in the middle of the night
I held your hand, you held mine, it was the best night of my life"