Monday, August 8, 2011

The Great Mobile Manhattan Slumber Party (Part 2)

NYC (August 4th and 5th)

On the morning of Thursday, August 4th—the utterly bizarre happened.

It started like any other day.  I woke up on a friend’s couch, packed my bags, carried my suitcase down the stairs, opened the door— and...
there it was:

Inexplicably parked. Right there. Waiting. In the middle of Chelsea on 25th street, right outside my friend’s apartment.


I can still hardly rationalize it.  

I knocked on the door. The startled driver hit a button. The doors glided open with a spacecraft-worthy whish.

“Why? I don’t understand. Why are you here?” I demanded.

Through broken English, he apologized profusely — “I use the restroom. I stop to use the restroom.”

I tried to explain, “It’s okay. I just had to know. Thank you.”

Moments later, I sat with my suitcase in a McDonalds, dazed, sipping the worse decision of the day: a McCafe mocha frappe (AKA:  glorified chocolate milkshake loaded with caffeine).

Within 20 minutes, I was on an elevator, keys shaking in my hand (left for me with the doorman) on the way to the 10th floor of my friend’s apartment on the Upper West Side—where I would stay the last two nights of the NYC leg of my journey.

“Everybody has a dog here. Notice that?” a young man on his way up to the penthouse joked. “Do you have a dog?”

“Not yet,” I answered with conviction.

Less than an hour from the megabus encounter—still hyped on McCafe Mocha Frappe, I was at the Imagine tile in Central Park.  “Maybe this will help.” My friend, Will, opened his leather murse—revealing a bottle of  stoli citron vodka. 

The Imagine Tile: John Lennon's memorial near Strawberry fields. The entrance is at 72nd street and Central Park West.

The man to the left claims responsibility for the daily floral arrangments. He's been there nearly every time I've visited it since 2006.)

For the next few hours, Will and I tossed coins in every fountain we passed as we made our way across Central Park—

Three shots of Bethesda:

<><><><><><><>  <><><><><><><> 
My friend, actor, Will Manning

   We stopped to listen to the occasional string quartet:

In a blur, between Bethesda Fountain and...

 Central Park's Sailboat pond, we passed:


a harpist

a Shakespearean production

and hobo.

View from the shrubbery.

We finally landed at The Met, where (as a former employee of Deutsche Bank), Will apparently has lifetime access.

 We roamed the museum like a labyrinth, taking turns letting our whim pick our next exhibit: “Right or left.” Past wrathful deities in the Asian Wing:

Wrathful dieties.
Grant Wood:

The creepy insect statue-people of the Oceanic wing:

Modern art:

 and skylights:

 to the roof, where Will was hungry enough to consume Manhattan:

pac-man style
Regardless of my plans, inevitably at nearly every city I've ended up in an art museum.

A few hours later, in a different daze, Will handed me over to my friend Brett, by day, a History grad student at Hunter, by night-- a theater critic.

Before we caught our show that evening, as Brett and I ate Five Guy peanuts  

beneath Tecumseh Sherman--

William Tecumseh Sherman
Brett pointed out that Five Guy's unlimited-complimentery-all-you-can-eat peanuts are probably from Georgia, and that Tecumseh Sherman burned most of Georgia to the ground through his scorched-earth tactic in the Civil War.

We shrugged and headed to 59E59.

My last two nights in NYC, sandwiched between Five Guys and a falafel joint, I caught shows by two of my playwright friends.

Playwright Anna Moench's "The Pillow Book" at 59E59.

And "Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Blood," an annual show-case of Brooklyn College's MFA playwrights work.

After my last meal in NYC: Tabbouleh in a twelve ounce cup at Mamouns (my favorite East Village falafel stop)...

 I kissed my friends Kacey and Erin goodbye, and returned to the Upper West Side to prepare for my return megabus journey Westward.

Map of the great mobile Manhattan slumber party:

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