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29 January 2007

a date in the big apple (a post a long time coming)

in october, jules and i had some time off and decided to meet up in NYC. we figured it'd be like a mini-vacation, take in some broadway (my first), and she'd introduce me to some of the places she and her roommate frequented when her roommate lived there. it was a good time. as usual, there wasn't enough time to do everything we wanted to and what little time we did have flew by. this is going to be mainly a picture post and as you know, you can click on the pix to pop them up in a new window in their original size). just to show you a few things i thought were really neat, and this is definitely from the touristy point of view. i'm sure there are loads of other/better things to see in NYC. maybe next time. anyways, here is a picture from our room of broadway and 49th, i believe. we were RIGHT there. it was so awesome.

look at THAT handsome lad. i just wanna know who he is and what is he doing with my girlfriend? i kill me (a la ALF). no, but seriously, jules and i made out way just a few hops outside our hotel door to see us a real, honest-to-gosh broadway stage show with them there thespians and the like. if you don't know the story of "wicked", it is a really good book written by greg maguire about the lives of glinda, the good witch and the wicked witch of the west BEFORE dorothy came. you learn about their childhoods, college, etc. good book that was made into a broadway musical. elphaba (the wicked witch) was played amazingly by anna gasteyer from SNL fame. she can REALLY sing. the wizard was played by david garrison. if you don't know that name, you might know him better as the ORIGINAL dorky husband-next-door (steve rhoades) on "married... with children". this show really blew me away. the choreography, set, and music.
there were some really good effects too.

here you see the stage and curtain for the show. i'm not sure if we were allowed to take pictures. i mean, it said no photography, but i think that meant more DURING the show, AND i made sure the flash was off when i took this picture. that's a map of OZ on the curtain. we had a really good time then went to a good restaurant i don't remember that jules knows and i'm sure remembers the name. i'd LOVE to go back and see all the big shows... phantom, les miserables, cats, rent... i was so thrown by how great a broadway show could be. the only thing i did learn is that buying PREMIUM tickets can be a major ripoff, and i need to do more research before buying again. i went to or something like that, found some nice tickets but a bit expensive, so i checked with ticketmaster and they didn't have anything good. i went back and picked up the kinda expensive tickets. about 15 minutes later, i got a call from them saying the tickets weren't available, he could give me a better-than-internet deal on better seats since the ones i wanted weren't available. i'm an easy sell, and i really wanted to take jules to a broadway show (and we both loved the book), so i took it. long story short, when we sat at our lovely seats, i finally looked down at the tickets i'd purchased. the total (face) value for both tickets was $220, now wait for it... i paid $780. i guess you live and learn. it was a really good time, but i'm not sure it was worth all that. this picture is damaged incurred while jules and i were wrestling. occasionally, we go on wrestling jags, and on more than one occasion, she's damaged me. this is evidence. i think this was after the musical, but i can't be sure.

it's been so long that the chronology of it all escapes me. so i'll just ramble and throw pix in occasionally. i believe the next day we wandered around the city just taking in sites here and there. we went to see Bodies: The Exhibition. it was really an amazing experience. it's an art/medical exhibit where the bodies are dehydrated with some sort of alcohol (if i recall correctly), and then infused with a rubber polymer that reaches even to the cellular level, thus the organs, vessels, muscles, etc. all become rubberized. then they take the bodies apart, put them in various positions of activity, dissect some of the internals to get a real feel for where everything is and how it works. it was really amazing. i was impressed by the blood section where they show all the tiny veins and vesicles and whatnot that surround the brain, heart, and lungs. if you have the chance to see it (i think it tours), i highly suggest it. there is another very similar exhibit that i haven't seen but i'm guessing would be just as impressive.

here is a picture from our hotel room at the window washers across the street. now it is a pano and they are difficult to see (click on the image for the full size). at the top of the picture, you see the apparatus that is suspending them above the ever-voracious streets of manhattan. now about 20 stories lower (the 2nd, um... outcropping from the bottom of the building), you see some open windows and the cleaners. these guys are just nuts. yeah, i know, i'm afraid of heights but still. how do you get a job like that? so people aspire to be super-high-rise window washers? is it a family tradition like being a cop? is there hazard pay? enough hypotheticals, i just thought that was a cool picture of some crazy people

i wanted to see ground zero while i was there. i went to training for TheGeneral in upstate new york just three weeks after 9/11. i was infatuated with getting all the video clips for 9/11 after it happened. i remember sitting at the kitchen table estimating how high the debris would rise if it collapsed roughly into a pyramid shaped pile. i'm a nerd but i was amazed at how much debris there would be. i'm sad to say that this is all there is to see of ground zero. what was once two towering icons of world commerce is now a mere ramp to a rather insignificant construction site due to fund-raising malfeasance and artistic/familial in-fighting over memorial design. BTVJGJHo, over at B-Town Boyz, posted many moons ago (i can't find it) a clip by keith olbermann from fox news MSNBC (thanks TheJRod) about the terrorists winning. it wasn't that they were winning the battles or whatnot, but the fact that in 5½ years, all we have to show our "strength" and "resilience" is a hole in the ground with a ramp to it. that's enough politicking, just an aside more than anything. i was disappointed more hadn't been done there yet, that's all.

here is a pic of jules and i doing the tourist thing. i believe she has (in her room) a picture of her and her roommate in almost the exact same pose. anyways, we went to see the statue of liberty, but finding a ride was strange. there were plenty of tours with lines snaking back and forth probably miles long at the end. we decided against that as, either we heard or jules knew that the staten island ferry runs regularly for free and it gets closer to the statue than any of the tours. SCORE! so that's exactly what we did, took the ferry across to the newly renovated staten island side station, hung out there til the next ferry came and went back.

well, i guess that is enough rambling and enough pictures. i've been meaning to write this post since october (wow, that seems so long ago), and actually had it partially written since mid-january when i lost half the post and gave up. now it is here for you all to see. i kinda had some motivation. wanted to do it before jules got here, and she's coming to visit tomorrow. can't wait. i'll try to update about the vacations more regularly as i go on them.

btw, BTBZ... any plans for super bowl. NYE plans was like pulling teeth. more than likely jules and i will not be working, i'm probably going to try to come up for the game, if not the weekend. if someone is doing something, i can chip in since i don't have a place to host. get back to me if there are even whisps of ghosts of rumors so we can keep on someone to have a shindig. later.

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Anonymous j-rod said...

not to nitpick, but... Keith Olberman is on MSNBC, not Fox News. He hates Fox News, actually -- Bill O'Reilly is his arch-nemesis. If TV anchors can have arch-nemesissesses (arch-nemesissies?) anyway.
BTW, we're moving back to the land of Cleve at the end of this week.

8:26 PM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger B-Town V.J.G. J Ho said...

Bush admin. slow on cleanup?? look at New Orleans!!! They care more about securing the oil overseas than America. They only proved it every day.

9:57 PM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger Rich | Championable said...

Well, I can now say that we were less than 10 blocks apart. I work near Grand Central. Cool.

8:34 PM, January 31, 2007  

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