Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in NYC: SPIDERMAN!!!

This show gets a post all its own.



I was REALLY skeptical about this show. First off I don't know the first thing about Spiderman; I don't like comic books. Above all I don't like U2 and I think Bono is plotting to take over the world.

Why did I go?

Two reasons really.

The first is that I met Reeve Carney (aka Peter Parker) last spring at South by Southwest, and he's a really, really nice guy. He is in a band called Carney with his brother Zane. Well the band is the house band for the show and Zane, the guitarist, and Aidan, the bassist, are onstage for the entire show.

The second reason is, of course, all the press about the show. Most of that press was negative, little things like actors and stuntmen falling 20-30 feet, no big deal.

When we realized we were snowed in we just started booking tickets to shows: Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage, the Fantasticks, My Big Gay Italian Wedding; all were good, none matched this one.

Before the show began one of the technical directors came onstage and explained that they are still in preview phase. For those not familiar with Broadway shows, the preview is generally done away from Broadway, in other cities. Because of the complexity of special effects there is no way they could have done it anywhere else. He also explained that safety was of foremost importance, for the actors and for the audience. The Department of Labor or something issued a statement and a warning saying something about not trying to jump onto Spidey or one of his enemies and take a ride. That was pretty funny.

The opening scene had a huge platform risen with Mary Jane hanging from it and Spiderman climbing towards her. I was in awe for the next three hours. The show was very much done as a comic book with words like Pow! Wham! and such popping up everywhere. The scenery was very sketched, as a comic book. As opposed to the rest of the Broadway shows I have seen lately where all the set pieces are "knifed" and come on the stage electronically there were a lot of stagehands bringing stuff on. The flying was AMAZING. They flew and fought over the audience. The music was good (sorry, I don't like U2, that's the best you're getting :)). It very much fit (Carney, of course sounded amazing). T.V. Carpio from Across the Universe was Arachne. There were a lot of people from Across the Universe in this show (since Julie Taymor directed that film and also directed this show it made a lot of sense).

Reeve Carney was amazing, very different than when he is singing with Carney, but amazing nonetheless.

Overall the show was AMAZING. If you are in NYC go see it. If you can come up with any reason to go to NYC go see it. If you like Spiderman make an excuse to go to NYC to see it. If you like Carney make an excuse to go to NYC and see it. (If you've never heard of Carney go buy their album!!!)

I'll post more about the blizzard and my observations of it later. Now to pack!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in NYC: Snowed In

Well we got the call around 3:00 this morning that our flight was cancelled. After a few hours on hold with American Airlines (I do not joke) we got it rescheduled for Wednesday evening. We got the hotel stay extended for two more nights and now we're trying to get the car that was supposed to take us to the airport changed. Besides that all is well, just two more bonus days in NYC! Granted with A LOT of snow.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in NYC: Bronchitis

I mentioned earlier in the posts that I had started to get sick, well it came to a head on Christmas. I was SO sick yesterday! I coughed and coughed and my throat was killing me. Overall no bueno. I hurt so much last night that as we were walking to dinner I almost cried. This morning I got mad because I so hate being sick on vacation. Overall there has really only been one really bad day of being sick, which was yesterday, but we did get to see the Rockettes, however that was the extent of the day (besides scones and hot chocolate at Au Bon), oh and the cute boy at the corner grocery store. :)

I learned about creating my own humidifier last night: shutting the door to the bathroom and turning the water on at 130 degrees. I did this before bed and twice in the middle of the night. Finally I was able to actually sleep. This may just be the last trip I make in the winter; my body just can't handle it!

Christmas in NYC: Blizzard 2010

I was under the impression that when it snowed in NYC it was so hot and busy that the snow would melt when it hit the ground. For so many years I was almost sad for the people that lived in the city because they never got snow. Well you know what?

I was WRONG!!!!!!


According to weather.com the estimated snowfall is at 12.8 inches right now. Good grief! I don't particularly care for snow, especially after the Christmas that did not happen last year.

We got up today and it was snowing, so we headed to the Olympic Diner around the corner (snow is much prettier when you are watching it from the inside). The plan for the day WAS to maybe go to Serendipity, Macy's and Grand Central Station. Quickly the reality came that this was not probable. I suggested we just go to shows all day. I wanted to see Spiderman and my mom wanted to see the Fantasticks. I tried to order tickets on my phone, but that didn't work, so we trucked it back to the hotel to get on the computer. I couldn't get both tickets and the Spiderman tickets were over $150 each (I guess for liability insurance? if you don't get that google Spiderman the Musical and read :)). I found half priced tickets to the Fantasticks at 7:30, but was bound and determined to find another show because I didn't come to NYC to sit in a hotel and it was too cold outside to do anything else! I searched every show I could think of and we finally pulled out the Playbill from Promises, Promises and just stated searching shows.

We ended up at Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage staring Eve Plumb from The Brady Bunch. Before the show this is what the snow looked like:

So we go to the show. It was in the basement of a hotel. We thought we were going to be the only people in the audience, but it ended up us and five others! We were on the front row. It was a cute show! The theater was really cute too, because it was small and intimate.

After the show this is what we saw:

We shopped and headed to the Fantasticks. It was another small theater and we had front row seats again (I am good!). It was an, interesting, show, to say the least. I didn't know much, well anything, about it and it certainly wasn't what I expected, however the narrator was HOT, so it was all good!

When we got done with that show this is what we saw:

We had pizza again because our favorite pizza shop was right across the street and we were only a block and a half from our hotel. On the way back we saw what I think was a first for a lot of New Yorkers, a snowman in Times Square.

Good grief! We are scheduled to fly out at 6:50 Monday evening. We'll see if that happens...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas in NYC: Day 2

The day started with a lot of sleeping. We were tired from yesterday! When we did roll out of bed we were hungry and headed to our favorite pizza place on Broadway:

Famous Famiglia Pizzaria at Broadway and 50th

After lunch we wandered down towards Rockefeller Center. I'm not going to post all the pictures from this, so check my facebook for all the pics! I will give you two though: The Christmas Ornaments at Rockefeller and a pretty one of St. Patrick's!

Highlights of 50th and Fifth Avenue: we went in a cute little shop with blown glass and these cool wooden boxes and puzzles: Mom broke an ornament. I love Fifth Avenue. It makes me happy.

While around Rockefeller there were tons of these:

Vacuum-sealed children! I know it is to keep them warm, but it looks really funny.
Then we went to the best place ever:

There was a purchase made. I'll share that later though. Tiffany is so pretty, especially at Christmas. Amazingly everything is decorated in robin's egg blue!

We left there and went to Chanel and Burbury, so I could drool. Then onto the Plaza, where we did not tea (wow, that was expensive!) We then headed back to the hotel to change clothes for Christmas Eve service.

We attended service at John Street Methodist Church at 44 John Street a few blocks from Ground Zero.

It was traditional, which I thought was my preference. Okay I missed CrossTimbers! John Street was awesome, but it was not my church. So Chris Dodson, if you are reading this I guess I have been transformed to a "contemporary church" person. Oh well, there are worse things in the world!

After church we ate at Roxy's a few doors down. It was a nice diner. We stopped back by Ground Zero. It is amazing the difference between that and the site of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. I don't know if this is good or bad, but it just seemed like another place they were doing construction. My thought is that it is a good thing because it shows that the terrorists didn't win and life goes on. Of course I think that we need to remember all the firefighters, police and others that perished in 9-11, but I think there is a lot of hope the way it is.

We got back on the subway and headed back uptown to see the snowflakes at Saks Fifth Avenue. I videoed it, but the file is huge so it won't let me post it here, plus it sideways. I wasn't sure if it would have sound or not, so I did half on it and half on my phone, but the camera worked better. We're going to go back tomorrow, so I can get a good video of it.

That is all for today. More to come tomorrow!

Christmas in NYC: Sean Hayes' Flub

I totally forgot to post this last night!

So during Upstairs the third song of Promises, Promises Sean Hayes totally forgot his lines! I mean dead air for several seconds. The best part was during the next scene with Kristin Chenoweth he was going on about his hobbies and said "forgetting lyrics." She DIED! I mean she was laughing so hard she had to turn around from the audience and compose herself. It was awesome!

At the end of the show when we were talking to Kristen Beth she said that in the run of the show, over a year, he had NEVER done that. I just love live theater! She said even the Orchestra Voices forgot to sing they were so shocked that it happened.

It was great. I enjoyed it. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in NYC: Day 1

The day started VERY early. I went to bed last night around 1:00 am this morning. About 10 minutes after that (which the prep for going to bed included completely changing suitcases at the last minute) my mom comes in and has decided that her hanging bag is not going to work and, in true Newton fashion, is going to Walmart to get a new suitcase. Needless to say I did not go.

My alarm went off promptly at 4:30 am...I hit snooze until just after 5:00. We headed to the airport around 5:30 for our 7:30 flight. After driving in circles in the parking garage we finally found a parking place and inside Will Rogers World Airport I figured out how to "check in" on facebook. I may be abusing that privilege now. :)

We get checked in and get boarding passes and make it to Security. Oh the good ol' TSA. I was nice as can be and very friendly and made it through with flying colors. My mom, on the other hand, was stuck in "the pit." She had a wrist brace with a metal insert and got stuck. So I hung out and met a nice man from Long Island and chatted until she got back.

Onto the plane. Our flight left at 7:30, or that's what it said on the ticket. We were in the air promptly at 7:20. At least we were early. The flight from OKC to DFW was only about 30 minutes, so not too much time to have anything happen. When we touched down in Dallas and were getting off the plane I saw the guy in front of me was reading a book:

I am as liberal and progressive as the next person, but I would be lying if I said that this didn't kind of sort of freak me out, just a little bit. No idea what the book is actually about, but I just saw the cover and read it and well, if ti was me, I wouldn't have read it on a US flight, but, again, that's just me.

In Dallas it became rapidly clear that my little cough from yesterday is developing into bronchitis. Yay! I swear I just want to take a vacation one time when I don't get sick! We get on the plane in Dallas, with plenty of time (and no Security to go through) and there is a lovely family behind us. By lovely I mean they had two small children, both screaming, and one kicking the back of my seat. I was going to type up a few blogs on the three hour flight, however I have a large laptop and when the lovey dovey couple in front of me decided they needed to lean the seats back and cuddle I realized quickly that typing was not in my future.

I decided to read. My flight book of choice is:

A nice memoir of a delusional girl who thought she was going to marry a prince. She has moved to England for grad school at this point in the book and I'm pretty sure she's nuts. I made it through two chapters and couldn't keep my eyes open, so I tried to nap. Napping when you are in an upright position with a small child kicking your seat and screaming is kind of a challenge; however, it was a challenge I rose to. I put on a nice playlist of my favorite NYC soundtracks (Serendipity and One Fine Day) and crashed.

The end of the flight was rocky, to say the least, worst I've ever been on. We didn't check bags, so we didn't have to deal with baggage claim. We went to find our car, which should have been waiting on us. Yeah...no. We walked all over Laguardia to no avail. Finally a nice driver without passengers took pity on us (by this point it is snowing and I am inhaling cold air, which is not good on my pre-bronchitis lungs), and took us to Manhattan.

When we crossed over to Manhattan I saw this sign, it made me laugh:

Notice the top: No honking: $350 fine (pretty sure there are A LOT of cab drivers owing
enough money for me to live in NYC for the rest of my life).

All of a sudden we crossed Lexington Avenue. I know you hear people say they love New York, but I REALLY love New York. I mean, really. I could really make some nice (and very rich) Park Avenue man very, very, very happy.

We turned and were on Fifth Avenue and then I saw mecca:

The heavens opened up and the angels sang: 727 Fifth Avenue: Tiffany and Company. Call me crazy, but I love Tiffany's, though it is my second favorite place in the world (second only to Strawberry Fields, which will come up in the next few days).

We saw all the standard sights down Fifth: St. Patrick's, Saks Fifth Avenue, NBC Studios, the giant Christmas balls and skating rink and tree at Rockefeller Center. Oh how I love this place.

We are staying at the Mayfair Hotel on 49th, where my mom and I have stayed every time we've come to New York.

It is really cute. We got to our room. For those of you that have been to my house you know that I have a little room off my bedroom. Our room here is smaller than that. Oh well, just sleeping.

After all that excitement we were hungry. The guys at the front of the hotel suggested an Italian restaurant three doors down: D A Marino's. OH MY GOSH. Number one I fell in love with a man from Milan that I could barely understand. I think me going to Italy would probably be a bad plan. :) For dinner we had a cocoa fettuccine with shrimp in a vodka cream sauce. Seriously, I would have bathed in this stuff. It was SO good.

We then made a trip to Duane Read, the local (and plentiful) drug store for medicine to keep me from dying. Then off to the Broadway Theater for Promises, Promises.

To say the show was wonderful would be an understatement. It was phenomenal! Not only did this show star Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenoweth and Molly Shannon, it also had my friend Allison's beautiful sister Kristen Beth Williams in it! We got to go backstage to meet Miss Kristen, after fighting through the mean people who didn't want to let us through. It was quite nice to walk up to the bouncer and say we were on "the list" and be led into the back of the theater. Stupid mean people. Got to hang out on stage with Sean Hayes, you know, no big deal, just a normal Thursday night. Kristen showed us the track system that electronically places all the set pieces on the stage. So cool! A little bit different than my days in theater when we shoved everything on with out muscles.

Overall day one was a good one, besides a few little rough spots. I'm not sure exactly what we are going to do tomorrow. I know Christmas Eve service is on the agenda, probably at John Street Church, the oldest United Methodist Church in America. There will also be the viewing of the awesome snowflakes on Saks (one of my favorite things...there will be video of that!).

Now off to bed! In my postage stamp room. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm Baaaaack

Okay this is going to be a long story short post and there will be more to come.

Thirty in Thirty:
Well I had all the good intentions in the world, except that I did not take into account the end of the semester and projects, papers and presentations. I'll get back to that. Not to mention it is pretty hard to come up with 30 people that I am actually willing to write about on here. :) I'll keep working on it though! I am about to go on vacation, which means something like 6 hours on a plane, so I will do A LOT of typing.

Here is a little preview of what's to come:

Leigh Anne Tuohy:
Many tears shed

OU vs. Texas Tech:
Happy Birthday Megan!

Why don't I hate you?

Baby Steps Thanksgiving and Christmas:
cooking class and fun gifts

Different, but awesome.

And I didn't burn the house down!

Mini High School Reunion:
An arrest, old friends and Maybe Baby Daddy?

Um...interesting, but fun!

A Very Special Birthday:
My favorite five year old

Finals Week:
All nighters? Who'da thought?

Supper Club:
Totally amazing and fun.

Drunken Counseling:
I finally got it!

Downtown in December:
No broken bones!

Secret Santa:

Tyler's Birthday:

CT Youth:
A fun, yet interesting, group of kiddos

Printer/Scanner Rollout and Fresh Paint for the Office:
ARG!!!! No more thirteen hour days for me!

December 21:
How has it been five years?

Grad School, Semester Two: Wrap Up
We'll see how my grades go and what I learned from this semester

Grad School, Semester Three: What's to Come
Schedule, how expensive books are, etc.

The Non Profit:
AAAAHHHHH!!!! It's about to be real!

Thirteen days of pure bliss away from the office with a trip to NYC, one to Ardmore, New Year's Eve, maybe some cleaning and for sure some sleeping

Monday, December 6, 2010


This weekend I realized just how full my life is; and I don't mean in the busy way (though it certainly is that!). I mean full in the rich, fulfilling, wonderful way. I love my life right now! I have surrounded myself with amazing friends that are more like family. They encourage and support me. I got to spend the weekend with some newer friends, some old friends, some young and some old. There is nothing more heart warming than being around people that you genuinely enjoy. I am blessed to be Aunt Wennie to some amazing kiddos. I am surrounded by an amazing church family. I help with the best youth group (yeah I think you guys rock even if I give you a hard time!). I am blessed to know exactly what I am meant to do with my life and am so excited to start. I see nothing but amazing possibilities in the future, but I am also enjoying everything that is going on right now (though I am ready for this semester to be over!). Overall I am just excited to be where I am. :)