I spoke with Dub before Christmas about taking a trip to New York with Enrique. New York isn't really Mr. Dub's thing, so he encouraged me to move ahead with the planning, and he volunteered to hold down the fort while we went. I waited with excitement for that little gift to be opened on Christmas morning, and then counted down the days until our date in the city.
The stars don't always align when you make big plans; Enrique came down with a nasty illness a few days before our scheduled January 13th trip. Sandwiched between fevers and coughing on one side, and looming work and school schedules on the other, we kept to the plan and forged onward. We decided to let our two-day trip melt into one, and left mid-morning on our four hour drive.
Enrique wanted to explore the Louis Armstrong House/Museum
before we hit Broadway, so our first stop was Corona; a neighborhood in Queens, and a tour we both really enjoyed.
I loved that Louis lived in a humble home (at a time when he could have afforded much greater luxury) where he was adored by all of his neighbors. I loved learning about his humble beginnings and listening to actual voice recordings of conversations he had in his home. He was a big proponent of laxatives, and spent unabashed hours in his bathrooms, which ends up being an entertaining part of the house tour. Do stop and visit if you're at all close.
Who doesn't love Mr. Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World?" That's how he felt about his little corner of Queens.
Enrique, still not feeling well, was all but worn out by the time our hour-long visit concluded, and was happy to climb back in the car to make the 32 minute drive across the Hudson to the Neil Simon theater, where we had tickets to a show that night.
Thanks to rush hour traffic in the big apple, we made it in just under two hours. Plenty of time to rest our feet.
We found parking, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and then walked a few blocks to Times Square, where we snapped the obligatory selfie on the red steps,
took in the lights and sights,
stopped for some m&m's
(I recommend the dark chocolate peanut variety)
and sprinted back to the theater to catch the show.
I learned of the musical in December when I started researching shows for our visit. The Last Ship caught my eye when I read that Sting, who wrote the music and lyrics for the production, would be joining the cast. The story line draws upon his memories of the shipbuilding community where he was born and raised in northern England. It really was a great show. I was surprised to learn that it was in its final weeks, and still feel a little sad that more people won't be able to experience it on Broadway.
We left the theater after the excellent performance, and had enough wind beneath our wings to line up outside the stage doors for some autographs and a Sting sighting.
We were delighted to get both.
Sadly my frozen fingers did not capture more than the back of his head as he left the barricaded area, but we had pleasant conversations with many of the actors, including my personal favorite, Father O'Brien (played by Fred Applegate).
Our time at the Neil Simon Theater was good.
And it lifted us both sufficiently to get us safely home
by just after two o'clock. In the AM hours.
(Don't you worry, New York... I'll be back.)