Well the amazing musical Beautiful really summed up our whole experience in NYC. We have had a sensational time, completely action packed and in many ways quite exhausting. I write this on my flight to Phoenix Arizona – a 5-hour plus flight from Newark New Jersey, and I think this is the longest I have sat in one spot since we left. Each morning in NYC I have woken and literally hobbled to the bathroom, my feet totally stressed out and tight. It was great doing a yoga class at the famed Jivamukti Yoga Centre near Union Square yesterday, to stretch and move my muscles in other ways. I had, prior to the class stood in line for 2 hours to get a ticket to the hottest how in town, Beautiful. It is one of the only shows on Broadway not to offer any discounts, and their rush tickets, all 8 for each performance, are standing room only. Luckily I was rewarded, many others in the line were not! Following yoga I spent the afternoon shopping and walking around, skipping lunch, and ended up totally exhausted before the show. I did however manage to pick up some bargains at a Neiman Marcus Rack store - a bit of power-shopping at its best. A quick bite and a couple of chardonnays at a bar across the road from the theatre and I was ready to go. Standing room was all allocated and the view was pretty good, back row of the mezzanine. My neighbours were young actors, living in NYC hoping to make it. They had seen Jessie Mueller, who plays Carole King in On a Clear Day, and they said although it was a flop, she was it’s only saving grace. I knew I was in for a treat, it was the only show I was dying to see, and she didn’t win the Tony for best actress for nothing.
The show began with Jessie (Carole King) on stage alone singing So Far Away, and wow, she was magnificent. And it just kept getting better and better. The whole production, the cast, everything was amazing, it was quite an emotional experience. I very much love King and Goffin tunes, and the show is really a reminder of how many iconic, fabulous numbers they penned. I was so happy to be standing, at least I could bop and dance. I really can’t pick a favourite, though loved, loved, loved, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Chains, Take Good Care of My Baby, One Fine Day, Natural Woman and Up on the Roof. All day long I’ve been humming Pleasant Valley Sunday, the show was really special, all the songs were stunning. And Jessie Mueller – what a STAR – I am so glad I saw the original with her – un-F’ing-believable! If anyone is going to NYC go and see it – pay the $170 if you have to, but do yourself a favour! It I think has been the highlight of the trip for me in many ways – I cannot rave enough. Oh and the set and cozzies, to die for too!
The show certainly capped off a fantastic week in NYC. We have done the sights, eaten amazing food, some very cheap – from holes in the wall (Johnie’s and Los Tacos, and an amazing dining experience at Junoon, a Michelin starred Indian restaurant – all very upmarket and divine. We’ve been to the PGA golf, Rob went to the US Open and to see the Mets, and we’ve loved living in a neighbourhood – Harlem, so much better than a hotel downtown. Our hosts, Janet and Tom were lovely, we got a tour of their renovated Brownstone (we had the basement) and Janet, who is a food, wine and travel writer, left us a divine (and very expensive) bottle of bubbles, which is one of the best I’ve ever had. The local bakeries were wonderful – the best red velvet cupcake (sorry Magnolia you ain’t in the league) was from Make My Cake, and the most delicious danishes from Lee Lees in Harlem both in our neighbourhood, and the best muffin and cake from Levain . So far the trip has been tremendous – so many highlights, all of the things on our list have worked out – and those that didn’t (mainly shopping things) will be met in other cities still to come.
So next stop Phoenix Arizona, and specifically Scottsdale – lots of golf courses for Rob, and nice shopping and pool time for moi. And I might just get my aching calves massaged, though by the time this flight is out, I’ll be ready to go again!