Tuesday, February 11, 2014

One Adventure Ends, Another Begins

We got home just after midnight Monday morning after our plane was delayed an hour.  That's given us a day to reflect on what the highlights of our trip were.  I phoned Elizabeth at her new place in Stratford to get her top five.
They are, in no particular order:
1.  Lunch at Veselka's (this is the matzo soup)
2.  Waiting for Godot
3.  The New York Public Library
4.  The Bean in Chicago
5.  Dolce in Toronto
Bob's are
1.  The Tenement Museum
2.  The musical "Once"
3.  "Book of Mormon"
4.  Katz's Deli
5.  Caplansky's Deli in Toronto
Mine are
1.  Tea and Sympathy
2.  The snow in Central Park
3.  Waiting for Godot  (I still shiver thinking of Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Billy Crudup all on stage at once - truly a memorable theater experience for me.)
4.  The 3 Diners, Drive-ins & Dives plus the Lexington Luncheonette
5.  The interesting people we talked to including the girl who had both her hair and eyebrows dyed aqua
But enough of that as we are on to our next adventure.  Yesterday exchange student Felipe from Brazil moved in with us and we look forward to having him with us for the next three or four months.  We hope to show him lots of things he hasn't seen yet (Winnipeg, here we come!) and generally have fun and laughter with him.  Welcome to our house, Felipe!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

There's a Fine, Fine Line

We debated going out to Niagara Falls today but decided to stay in Toronto instead.  That allowed us to go to two Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and to see the puppet musical "Avenue Q."  The first diner was Caplansky's Deli which had marvelous food, cool wait staff and a very friendly manager.  When the manager found out we were from Saskatchewan, he told us that he had two staff from Saskatchewan and that Saskatchewanians are "hard working and calm."  Nothing wrong with that stereotype!

Both Guy and John have visited this deli.

Bob had barbeque brisket with poutine.  The poutine was made with smoked meat gravy.
I had a breakfast which included a latke with apple sauce.  Elizabeth and I have decided that any restaurant which serves fruit, serves way too much cantaloupe and way too little other fruit.  Caplansky's was no different.
Bob and I went to "Avenue Q" in a theater which had about 100 seats.  We were in row E and it was the last row in the theater.  We liked the show and loved the price.  We paid about as much for the tickets as we pay for internet surcharges on Broadway shows.
We met Elizabeth for supper at Hey Meatball, another place which has been on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  They keep Guy's signature in the basement by the washrooms.
The title of today's entry is the title of one of the "Avenue Q" songs, but it applies to this photo in Hey Meatball! 
Enough said!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Picture Poor Day

Today was our moving on day so it was basically get up and wait for the shuttle to the airport ... wait at the airport for our flight ... get to Toronto and wait for our rental car ... get to the hotel and wait for the Olympic opening ceremonies.
But I have had time to reflect on why we return to New York again and again.  First of all, for the shows!  The craft of the actors is part of it, but it's so much the total creativity of costume design, set design, sound, lights, music, direction, stage management.  It's all magic!  We want to see all the ones we've seen before again and again to notice all the things we can't catch just being audience once.  And then there are new shows all the time.  I can't express our love for the theater, I can only feel it.
Secondly, it's the people and the crazy conversations you get into with them,  Yes, yes, this can happen anywhere, but throw in the setting of millions of people and New York accent and it ups the ante.  A charming young man who was also a customer at Levain's Bakery spent a good ten minutes making recommendations for me and - trust me- the bakery doesn't have many items.  Then the girl behind us joined the conversation which veered from what to buy to all kinds of things.
Lyn, Sue, here's another example.  Last night we went to the little bar in the hotel.  You both know how quiet it is. Not last night!  There were four people lined up at the bar making quite a ruckus with the bartender.  Soon they had us join in on the rather noisy conversation.  They were the bartender's family over from India and it was their last night with her.  Before long we were debating health care systems in India, Canada, and the US, being proud of the eradication of polio in India, and so much more.
 Strangers, I love them!
You never know what you'll see that will make you smile.
Lyn and Colin, this last one is for you.  When shall we meet there again ... or should we pick Hawaii next time?
Now we have a couple of days in Toronto where we might see some live shows or go to some movies or flake out in front of the Olympics.  Lots of choices for a few more good days.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Divided We Fall

Yup, divided we fall ... fall on the hotel beds from exhaustion from all we each did on our own today.  We lost each other and had our own adventures.  Elizabeth and Bob will have to become bloggers so you know what they did or else you can find out from them in the old-fashioned way ... by conversation!
I headed to the Upper East Side first of all and there I had fun looking in shop windows.
The locksmith -

the shoe repairman -
the tailor/laundryman -

the real estate agent-
the caviar salesman-
the olive/pickle man -

And then I found the Lexington Candy Shop Luncheonette which has been there since 1925 and has not been updated since 1948.  It has been in such diverse movies as "The Nanny Diaries" and "Three Days of the Condor" as well as a "Law and Order SVU" episode.

I had an enormous cup of coffee and cinnamon toast for $4.95.  I haven't had cinnamon toast since my mom made it for me when I was a kid and this tasted exactly like hers.  Ah, memories.
I was on subways a lot today and some of the stations have the longest escalators.
Who wouldn't want to be the NY policeman who gets subway duty and gets to zoom around on this.
Kids are off to school no matter where they live.

Some Upper Eastsiders were really regretting not using their vehicles for the last couple of days.
Then I headed over to the Upper West Side where I was surprised to see this outdoor bakery booth.
This is part of the subway wall at the Lincoln Center stop.
One destination on the Upper West Side was Levain's Bakery; I love the size of the bag they gave me for two cookies.
My favorite, favorite museum in Manhattan is the tiny American Folk Art Museum and I visit it every time we are here.  This time their exhibit is "Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art."  Here are some photos from it:

This dress is completely made of laser cut vinyl.

This next dress is incredible but the spiky things are actually an art installation behind it.
Judi, I can totally picture you in this next one!

The spikes are part of this one:
And here's what inspired the creation.

There weren't many quilts hanging, but this one was impressive as it is created with cuttings from kimonos.
The applique is exquisite.
Next I headed to the Hell's Kitchen (Clinton) area in midtown and stopped at the Amish Market where I looked but didn't buy at their bakery counter.
What I did buy was a passionfruit from New Zealand and a blood orange grown in the US.
I don't think Mayor Button reads my blog but she would get a chuckle out of everyone blowing or shoveling their snow onto the city streets.  It's expected.  Isn't it illegal in Weyburn?? 
The difference is that their snow will melt in the next few days and ours is there until April ... sad thought, that one.
Next I was off to Greenwich Village to meet Elizabeth at Tea and Sympathy.


As I worked my way through my scones with jam and clotted cream, I was horrified to find that I was eating off Will and Kate.  Is that acceptable in a British tea shop?
Today the sky was a beautiful blue but the temperature stayed around freezing.  That makes New Yorkers tog themselves in down jackets, scarves, and warm hats of every description.  Most look ready to rob banks with all parts of them hidden except their eyes.  How do they cope with hat hair on their jobs?
Tonight Bob and Elizabeth went to "The Book of Mormon" but since I've seen it twice I opted for "The Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder."  It was a hilarious farce.

Tomorrow we leave here for a couple more adventure-filled days in Toronto.