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I'm fairly certain I walked more than 4 miles today.

This is going to be a brief update on my New York trip. I shall start with: I am in New York.

Since last we met, I exchanged the swamplands of Florida with the unnatural concrete jungle that is New York. It is dingy and dirty and dreary in the winter, but it's not entirely bad. In fact, I am enjoying myself immensely.

Last night, Candace and I went to see "Spring Awakening" which has a very engaging story and extremely pop-y music. Overall, I very much liked it (a musical about sex? Count me in), though I did see many flaws and it was melodramatic. The best part? We got "standing room" tickets on the floor for $25. Sure, we had to stand for 2:15, but they were $25 and the people in the row we were standing behind had paid $112 for theirs.

Today, I tried to get in the TKTS line for "Avenue Q," but the line was wretchedly long and according to the signs, there were no "Avenue Q" (or anything good) tickets available. [Later when I went by, I noticed a second sign that seemed to contradict that information and I deeply regretted not standing in line.] But being impulsive and in desperate need to see a show I've listened to countless times, I went to the theater box office, sucked it up, and bought a ticket for the "cheap seats," putting me back $66. Ouch.

Having just under 5 hours to kill before the matinee, I walked myself to the MoMA and stood in a rather huge line to get in. It was absolutely amazing, though, and most certainly worth the $12 student admission price. The Georges Seurat Sketches exhibit was just lovely and there were some breathtaking works by late 19th/early 20th century artists that I know and love so well, including Monet, Cezanne, Matisse, Van Gogh, and Picasso. I'm not going to lie, "Starry Night" simply took my breath away. There are certain things you just have to see in person to appreciate the absolute radiance and that canvas...I kid you not, I almost cried. Being in a museum at all reminded me of just how much I love art. I used to say that going to the Art Institute was like visiting old friends, but I find now that it's not exclusive to those canvases that I know so well, but extends to the artist with whom I am so familiar. Whether in Chicago, New York, Paris, or Barcelona, a Picasso still makes me feel warm and lovely inside. I also need to add that Matisse's "Red Studio" really needs to be seen in person. I've seen it multiple times in classes and have never been impressed, but when I stood in front of it...dear god it all made sense. The same can be said for any Jackson Pollock (which I am always quick to point out to the critics of his work...the MoMA has a few wonderful pieces by him, as well).

Enough about art...back to my day. I had decided to make time for lunch while at the museum, so I rushed more than I would have liked but hit up the cafe on the 2nd floor (on the way out). I am very glad that I did, because although my rigatoni with sausage, Diet Coke, and side of focaccia bread set me back $20, it was totally worth it. That pasta was amazing, as was the sausage and the sauce. Even the bread was worth the $1.50 I was charged and if that meal were offered at a nicer establishment, such as a Cheesecake Factory, I wouldn't bat my eyes at paying $13 for the dish. I wished someone was there to share in my joy of that fabulous pasta.

After lunch, I browsed the books (oh art books. If you weren't so expensive and heavy, I'm sure I wouldn't have bought one of you today), and head back out to trek another 1+ mile back to the Golden Theater. I arrived mere minutes before the opened the doors to the theatre (which is good, because it was cold outside today and I didn't fancy standing around, cold and alone, for too long). The upside to my mezzanine purchase was that I did get a mini-upgrade. The ticket I bought was technically for the "rear mezzanine," but they had some open space and I was sat a couple rows up (and in front of an aisle gap) in what is generally designated the "front mezzanine" and cost $122. So it wasn't a huge difference in seating, but it was a huge difference in price, so I will gladly boast about that.

Oh, and the show rocked hard core. I realized after the opening number that as I know every word to every song, there weren't going to be huge surprises and I hoped that there was at least something new or that the show didn't lull between musical numbers. I was not disappointed and indeed there were many things that kept me entertained and even more that I hadn't anticipated and enjoyed immensely. It would have been nice to get some half-price orchestra tickets, but I'm happy with what I got and definitely happy I got to see the show.

The show ended about two hours ago and I made my way home on the subway, all by myself. I had the vague feeling of being back in Europe (and not for the first time today). Traveling alone on a subway was part of my daily life in France and Spain and visiting museums alone was the epitome of my European experience. Not to mention that with the US dollar being so ridiculously crappy, tourism is at a peak. When eating lunch at the MoMA today, I was sitting between two separate groups of people speaking French (a language I've heard more frequently that any other)...and I've heard far more English accents that I have, even at Disney. I'm pretty sure I was behind some Russians earlier today too, though that may not have been tourism. It's really cool, though, and I'm all about the traveling, unlike some people I've overheard, who get pissed off at all the "foreigners". Douchbags.

Oh, and that's my final note: I like New York. I love the museums, I love the Broadway shows, the subway is decent by public transit standards. I don't like the New Yorkers I've come across. Most are rude, pushy, obnoxious, and have terrible attitudes. I was practically accosted yesterday by a woman who struck up a conversation with Candace and me when were were in line for the TKTS booth. (She started talking politics and when evading every question she launched at me didn't work, I finally caved and said I supported Barack Obama, and found that she was a staunch Giuliani Republican. I supposed I could have guessed that, but I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, she was a wealthy liberal...I mean, she was in line to get tickets to a Broadway show. But alas, she droned on for several minutes about her Republican agenda and I was not sad to see her part ways after the longest 20 minutes of my life.)


So yes. Mostly of the good so far. I don't know what tomorrow has in store, but Friday will give me another day on my own, so Laura will be coming in and we'll probably hit up the Guggenheim and other such nonsense. Also, tentative plans to see Jason on Saturday night, though that may be uber brief. Opa.

----

Oy, I totally forgot the first part part of my week.

Sunday was a very chill "acclimate myself to New York" day and Candace and I didn't do much besides some window shopping around the Upper East Side area, including trips to Steve Madden, Barnes & Noble, and her local grocery store. Later that night, though, Jason and his friend Stephanie came over for a night of playing Dred Pirate and drinking rum.

Monday (New Years Eve), we ran some errands (which ended up being more work that we anticipated), but then rewarded ourselves with Chipotle for lunch and a screening of Sweeney Todd (which featured squirting blood for all the deaths, different, I believe, from what we saw at Showplace). After, we did some shopping and a lot of walking. We did end up walking passed Times Square (7 hours before midnight), but ended up staying at home on Candace's couch and watched the ball drop on her TV. The next morning, though, we met up with Amanda for brunch at a tea shop, so that was awesome.

I think that was it. Tuesday (New Years), was the "Spring Awakening" day, so you can figure out the rest of the timeline from there.

And now, Candace is about to arrive home and we'll most likely have a nice, peaceful evening in.

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