Saturday, September 8, 2012

Eye on the City, Part II

Finally, here is the long-promised follow-up to "Eye on the City, Part I."  While the majority of my blog posts center on a single topic or theme, some things about life in the City are simply too fleeting, odd, or just plain difficult to categorize to constitute an entire post.  But I hardly think the quirky little fragments deserve to be neglected.  So here they are, in no particular order, for your amusement.  Or so I hope.

1. New Yorkers love their movies.  The bigger the franchise, the better.  Hanne, Britta, and I stood in line down on 34th Street with all the other novel-turned-movie junkies to see The Hunger Games in IMAX.  And this is what the wait looked like.  Mind you, we saw the film well over a week after it had premiered.  I think it's safe to say New York had a hand in setting all those box office records. 

And let's not forget to mention the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, a New York City institution.  If you don't mind crowds, and have a blanket, snacks, and a few hours to spare, you can see a free screening of a classic film almost every Monday night of the summer.  Emily and I saw the last show of the summer, Raiders of the Lost Ark.  And this is the insane crowd that turned out.  The line to get in literally wrapped halfway around the park.  Look out, folks.  Serious Indy fans here.


2. New York sometimes gets a bad rap for being frigid, self-serving, and relentlessly frenetic.  But it's mornings like this one in early April that remind us how New Yorkers also invest significant time, money, and energy on broadcasting the kinder bits of life still happening on a daily basis.  If you missed it the first time around, be sure to see Mom and Chelsea on Good Morning America (their segment starts at the 2:37 marker). Make sure you've got your box of Kleenex.   

And as if being on GMA isn't cool enough, you might get stopped in the middle of the street by a total stranger who recognizes you from the program and wants to tell you how your family's story made her day!  Yes, New Yorkers will do this.  Everyone loves a little humanity. :)

3. New Yorkers are fast food pioneers.  This City gives new meaning to food-on-the-go because nine times out of ten, when the guy behind the bagel counter asks you, "To stay or to go?"--the markedly East Coast departure from the West Coast "For here or to go?"--you're gonna say "to go."  Capitalizing on that tendency are the City's ubiquitous food trucks.  

While in town for Good Morning America, Daddy passes one such truck.  Since he's on his way to meet me and wait in line for tickets to Anything Goes, he passes up the truck, along with his breakfast.  We get our tickets--and our Starbucks, thanks to Mom--and then Daddy goes missing.  Pretty soon he turns up, looking a bit glum. "I tried to find that truck, but I think he rolled away," he tells us dejectedly. Not two minutes later, we turn the corner, and there's the disappearing truck. "Aaagh! It's here!" he shouts.

We walk to the Schwarzman Building and sit on the library terrace.  Daddy's breakfast is just what he hoped it would be.  Nothing like a bacon and egg sandwich--and his girl, of course--to make that man's morning. :)

Next time Daddy's in town, we'll have to do a food-truck tour of Union Square.  He'd eat himself silly here:

4. Nothing brings out the best of this City like a good cause.  Charity walks and runs are HUGE here, and the AIDS Walk might lead the pack.   

The day of the Walk, the Apple Store opens its doors the help facilitate the smartest, most efficient check-in I've ever seen.  Walk downstairs, plug your info into one of the dozens of iPads being used for check-in, pick up your little bag of goodies (including a beautiful button!), and you're on your way.

After you check in, be sure to get a good view at opening ceremonies.  Because you never know which folks from the casts of Mad Men and Glee might show up.  And Carolee Carmello might sing.  And David Hyde Pierce might be sitting in there in the front row distracting you the entire time from all the other cool people taking turns at the podium.

And then you join this fabulously proud, passionate (albeit slow-moving) mob of hopeful New Yorkers:

And when, halfway through the walk, you come upon a wizard, you won't be surprised.  But you will snap a picture for posterity (and the blog).

5. Further attesting to New York's endearing weirdness are the many "holidays" celebrated here, including International Pillow Fight Day.  Before Chelsea and my parents got to the City, I made a special trip to the Brooklyn IKEA for $1 pillows.  Best investment.  And what a ridiculous way to have some fun on a spring morning in the Village!

That's all for now! Thanks again for reading! Love you all. xo

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