2:17 am, Monday, February 19th, 2007

I forgot to mention that, before I flew to New York, some guy side-swiped the F-350 my parents lent me (for moving from Fed Way). He really messed it up — damaged both doors on the driver’s side, took out the custom side-view mirror. At least he had insurance and was honorable enough to leave a note. When he visited the house later I asked him how it happened and he said he just wasn’t paying attention. The street is plenty wide and almost all the snow had melted by then, so I’m thinking he was actually drunk or something like that. But who knows? Sucks for him — the repairs will probably run several thousand dollars.

Anyway, back to my New York trip: Hairspray was awesome. Paul Vogt and Jere Burns were hilarious as Edna and Wilbur Turnblad. I really liked the songs with the exception of a couple Motown-style ones. The anti-segregation message was a little trite, but I don’t think it got in the way of the entertainment.

After the show, my mom and I had a late dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Prior to that day, I had always said the best meal I ever ate was a dish I had in Trier, Germany: Nudeltopf mit Schweine medallion. But now that prestigious spot has been usurped by what I dined on that evening: a 16 oz. Buffalo ribeye (medium rare; topped with sweet butter), spinach, garlic mashed potatoes, and a perfect crème brûlée with fresh berries for dessert. The steak itself was beautful — cooked just right and completely free of even the tiniest bit of gristle, silver skin, or excess fat. I’d never eaten bison before, but it definitely agreed with me.

On Sunday we met Scott (the handler), Terri, Anders (Scott’s assistant), and Shawna (Anders’ girlfriend) at Rockefeller Center and had brunch at its famous Rainbow Room on the 65th floor. The food was very good. The only things I tried and didn’t like were caviar and what I think were stuffed grape leaves. Scott’s a pretty thin guy but we were all amazed how much he could pack away — he definitely got his money’s worth at the buffet. I think he made five or six trips. (I, sadly, could only manage three. But I contend that I had greater plate density.) The best item served, IMHO, was the beef — about a half-inch in from the surface of the roast it had the color and texture of raw meat. The thin gravy provided with it highlighted the best flavor elements without obscuring anything. The tiramisu was also awfully good.

Sunday night we saw Spamalot at the Shubert Theater. This was, by far, my favorite musical of the trip. I was expecting a moderately straightforward recreation of the movie, but I was jubilantly surprised. The only criticism I can think of for the entire show is that King Arthur (Jonathan Hadary) seemed slightly lethargic in his movement and gestures. But he made up for it with comic pomposity and a hilariously fake smile. Prince Herbert/Not-Dead Fred/etc. (Tom Deckman) was fantastic. What a variety of songs… I can’t even describe how thrilled I was with the whole production. That night we had sushi at Haru, just a couple blocks down Time Square. It was pretty good (maybe not quite as good as I Love Sushi, but still tasty). I had mango mochi for dessert.

On Monday we went to the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Gardens to see Scott show mom’s Smooth Fox Terrier, Ira. He didn’t place, but Terri’s Siberian Husky won Best of Breed. Later on we visited with Scott in the exhibitor’s area — talk about crowded!

Westminster Dog Show in NY, Madison Square Gardens, Feb 2007    Westminster 2007: Scott showing Ira

After that, we walked to the Empire State Building and had lunch at the Heartland Brewery on the 1st floor. Then we took an elevator up to the observation deck on the 86th (!) floor and hung out and took pictures. Here are some of mine:

Empire State Building entrance    Empire State Building observation deck 1    Empire State Building - Statue of Liberty in upper right

Empire State Building observation deck 3

Let’s see… what else? I think Monday night was when we had dinner at Wollensky’s Grill. It was supposed to be pretty upper class like Ruth’s Chris, but the food wasn’t nearly as good. They really like to char the outside of their steaks. Plus there were these two really annoying Texans sitting behind us; the worst was an insipid woman half in the bag who talked much too loudly and laughed like a howler monkey on meth. By the end of the meal we were both pretty sure she was having an adulterous affair with her dining companion (who, apparently, was also her boss).

Wicked (the last show we saw) was actually a bit of a letdown. I’m sure it had the highest budget of the three, but it was too traditional a musical for my taste. That is, they made heavy use of dramatic lighting, more modern styles of dance, and discordant music (clashy, Phillip Glass-ish kind of stuff, you know?). But the story was pretty interesting. I think they underestimated the audience’s deduction in a couple places though. (It’s a little vexing when a story decides to show you what you’ve already figured out or assumed.) I liked the “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” numbers.

We also saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, but those trips are pretty self-explanatory. Here are a few of my pictures from that day:

Statue of Liberty    Ellis Island    Battery park in NYC

Roast beef sandwich at Le Painne    Central Park monument    Ornate Building near Central Park in NYC

2 Responses to “#753”

  1. Krunk:

    Unfortunately, the goodness of Ruth’s Chris steakhouse comes at very steep price. :)

    If you like good steak, I’d recommend The Metropolitan Grill in downtown Seattle, though it’ll cost an arm and a leg too. We usually get discount gift certificates at Costco before we go there: $80 for $100 GC.

    //krunk (^_^x)

  2. hjo3:

    Huh! I’ll have to try it the next time I’m on that side of the mountains. BTW, thanks for the help with that javascript — I finally got it working and tweaked to just how I like it (see the “Illustriae [+]” heading in the sidebar?). Very boss.