New York, Day 5 (Day 244/365)

When we got downstairs, we found the Honeas getting coffee, so we parted with them then. They’re going home today. They had enjoyed Curtains, so that gave us a little hope heading into the afternoon.

Off we went to Chinatown in the cold, cold rain. After getting turned around, one never can tell which direction one is facing after emerging from the subway, particularly on a cloudy day, we began strolling up the street and checking out the trashy stores. I bought a rain hat and a surprise present for Kathy Bizarth. (No clues here, just in case anyone who would care is reading this.)

We came across one of many Pearl art stores, where I was able to replace some tubes of gouache that have dried up on me back home. They had a complete line of Moleskine notebooks, so I succumbed to the charms of a small storyboard version. As we begin getting heavy duty with William Blake’s Inn, it will be handy to record some staging ideas.

We made the turn into Little Italy and came across Ferrara, the fabulous pastry shop we had visited a couple of years ago when we chaperoned that ill-fated chorus trip. (“Ew, we don’t know what all that stuff is…”) We paused for coffee and sugar. At that point, we made our contact with Lynne Jebens, Ginny’s college roommate and an agent here in NYC. She was going to find us a nice Italian restaurant for dinner, so that sort of made our search for lunch in Little Italy redundant.

I suggested perhaps finding Le Streghe, the fabulous restaurant we ate at four years ago, but it was decided that we would go ahead to the next main goal of the day, getting Ginny’s eyebrows done at Sephora. It had been decided that the Sephora on Times Square was too crowded, so we would use the Herald Square one. Off we went on the subway to Herald Square, but it turns out that the eyebrow studio, who knew there was such a thing?, is only at the Times Square location.

And so we walked, in the cold, cold rain, up Broadway to Times Square. Great walk, if my feet weren’t soaking. When we got to Times Square, which I officially hate and avoid now, I left Ginny and Carol Lee at Sephora and went to Garvey’s the bar at the hotel, where I ordered multiple life-restoring gin & tonics and some lunch. I figured that I would lower my defenses before heading into Curtains, so that if it were even halfway funny I would laugh hysterically. Of course, if I had had multiple life-restoring gin & tonics before last night, I would have been shouting my notes at the stage.

Soon I was joined by the ladies, who had given up on the eyebrow job. We quickly got them drinks and burgers, and they finished in time for us to walk the half a block to the theatre.

Curtains was a delightful throwback, a gag-filled, tuneful, old-fashioned Broadway musical. Not a thing wrong with it, and it even had a fairly interesting mystery plot. Debra Monk is divine as the tough old producer; David Hyde Pierce is wonderful as the stage-struck detective. It was relaxing to be in the presence of competence and craft, unlike last night.

After the show, we went back to the hotel to dry out and rest. I called AirTran to double-check our reservations. Here’s a reservation code, I said. Call it up and tell me what you see. Well, she saw that we had reservations for the 3:06 flight (good) but wait, there was a notation that we were sending our old paper tickets back to the travel agent (bad). Never heard of that, I said. Oh, she said. You need to have your agent call us.

Forty minutes later, whoever my agent was this time at BB&T finally talked AirTran through their issues and assured me that they had made a note in the file that said explicitly that they would exchange our old paper tickets for new ones. I will call again in the morning to make sure.

Then we walked over a block to 44 SW, an Italian restaurant over on 9th Avenue. Lots of good restaurants over there. I had never ventured over to 9th, which is stupid. We will remember this for next time as a place to explore at dinner time.

The food was good, and Lynne is as always great. She looks good, she’s holding it together, and we had a great time catching up. At one point, she and the ladies began an earnest discussion about menopause, so I left and went to the bar.

Since Lynne lives in Jersey, she couldn’t stay too late, so we got back to the room at a human hour. It would be nice to get a decent night’s sleep on our last night here.