NYC VSG

We’ve got an hour before a Long Island Railroad train delivers us to a Sayville taxi that’ll drop us at a Fire Island Pines ferry and I’m gonna borrow some of that hour to recap an incredible two days.

The Very Special Guest from my last post was Kelly who flew all the way from our hometown to New York to celebrate my birth.

Bevan, Sid and I met her at the hotel on Saturday, dumped our bags in the room and crossed the street to see Jeff Daniels in To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m by no means a theater critic and therefore won’t even attempt the adjectives necessary to do the show justice, but I will emoji: 👌🏼🎉👍🏾🥇🙌🏻

The next morning we brunched in the West Village, shopped near Union Square and caught the final performance of The Prom, the latter being one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in a theater and one of the happiest experiences I can remember period. Given the production’s fate, emotions were high and the packed house was game to give it a worthy farewell, us included. B, Kel, Sid and I hooped, hollered and happy-sobbed through the whole thing.

I had expressed during this year’s Tony Awards telecast that I’d been harboring a crush on Brooks Ashmanskas, the male lead in The Prom (a role for which he received a Tony nom), and B told one of our friends about it and as life works out sometimes that friend happens to be friends with Brooks so we ended up sitting in Brooks’ house seats for the show which is kind of the insane-est.

After The Prom we grabbed a quick bite at 5 Napkin Burger in Hell’s Kitchen and Bevan and Sid went back to the room to nap while Kelly and I went on a sunset walk along The High Line.

Margs at Mickey Spillane’s and beers at the hotel bar followed.

Finally, we snagged Sid for some midnight mischief around town.

This morning we all shared a quick breakfast then off Kel went. It was tough not to break down when she climbed into her Lyft, but I felt damn blessed/charmed/golden and all the other words in all the other languages that mean ‘lucky’ to have had her there at all.

H Takes Manhattan

My sister caught my five-year-old nephew stuffing legos and a blanket into his backpack this afternoon, the teepee from his playroom rolled up on the floor next to him, and the following conversation ensued.

Kelly: What are you doing?

Harrison: Packing.

Kelly: I can see that. Where are you going?

Harrison: New York.

Kelly: How come?

Harrison: To see the beautiful lights.

Kelly: And what’s the teepee for?

Harrison: I don’t want to pay for a hotel.

Something tells me that kid will do just fine in the Big Apple.

Last Night in New York

The New York City skyline was overtaking the sun as I made my way across the Manhattan Bridge to Nancy’s place in Clinton Hill for dinner last night.

Full of wine and stories, the evening was wonderful. At one point after the polenta had been been consumed and we were digging into the wrapped chocolates Electra had placed in the center of the table, Nancy seemed to remember that she’d once made a living illustrating children’s books.

“Just to pay the rent,” she told us.

I asked to see some of her work and, ever the gracious hostess, she obliged.

We paged through the pictures she’d drawn fifty-something years ago as she explained what inspired some of her sketches and admitted to us how she hadn’t liked some of the books very much and how poorly the “gigs” all paid anyway. Her drawings were brilliant, of course, because she’s brilliant, an artist who’s dedicated a life to creating things that stir people up inside.

On our way back to the hotel I looked up one of her books—Did You Carry The Flag Today, Charley?—and bought it so I could tear out and frame a picture I’d seen earlier, because it reminds me of myself on a lot of days.

Singing! Dancing! Paper!

There exists in existence a live, unauthorized musical parody of The Office and last night B, Sid and I trekked uptown to The Jerry Orbach Theater to watch it and as of this moment I’m still unclear about what caused me more enjoyment, the show itself or the look of pure glee on Sid’s face during it.

Also, did I mention that B and Sid joined me in New York yesterday?

Oh.

Well, they did.