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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New York City: Parental Edition

My parents came to visit during the coldest few days I believe I've ever seen since I've lived in
New York. This made the weekend a little more challenging than any of us had hoped. In the end,
 we all turned out to be troopers. 

On their second full day in New York, I took my lunch break at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I had sent the Parental Units to my favorite soup, salad, sandwich shop, Grey Dog, for lunch
with strict directions to meet me at my office after. Neither of them had ever been to the MET and I
felt it was a perfect cold day to do so.  The Egyptian wing was a must. It really is magnificent. 








Our main reason for visiting was the Matisse and George Bellows exhibits which I had visited 
a couple of weeks ago. As I mentioned before, the Matisse exhibit was wonderful but, Bellows 
blew us away again. 

We got a little lost from one exhibit to the next but it all worked out in our favor...




That evening, just as the snow started to fall, we headed to dinner and the feature presentation
for the evening, Sleep No More. From what I had heard from the few people who had been,
 and the New York Times article we had read, I was prepared for Macbeth in a haunted house
 filled with nakedness, death and dance.

I would like to preface my next sentence with it was a very cool and interesting experience.
One like I've never experienced before. With that said, it was also the most bizarre, confusing
 and almost annoying experience I've ever had. 

From the first moment you enter, you're captured by the cold, dark halls, lit only by faux candle
light. You are treated as a guest of the hotel, asked to check your coats and bags, and finally
once you've checked into the hotel, you follow a long dark maze which leads you around corners,
 up stairs and eventually into a crystal chandelier lit cabaret lounge complete with red velvet
walls and ceilings. Sounds pretty cool right? Not to mention the absinthe shots and champagne
cocktails served by beautiful women in costume. 

As you wait for the number on your playing card to be called, you sit quietly and gossip with
your peers while Maximilian, your host for the evening entertains the room. Finally, it is your turn
and you are asked to step to the corner of the room where you are handed a white mask... one
that covers even your mouth so no facial expressions at all can be seen. 


Twenty of you are crushed into this dark 10' x 5' room where another host takes over to explain 
the rules which are as simple as 'No Talking' and 'The Mask Stays On at All Times.' Immediately
 after a slam on the metal door, a secret elevator opens and you're all piled in, no talking. The 
elevator starts to move, and comes to a sudden halt where a few people are casually pushed out
onto the mysterious floor. 

Eventually, it is your turn, and you are motioned to exit onto this dark scary looking hallway with 
no way to know if you or or friends have been separated (obviously if you know what they're 
wearing then you're good to go), or which directly to go. You realize now that you are on your 
own in an abandoned warehouse made into a Macbeth haunted house. 

And that my friends, is all I am going to tell. The rest is up to you to make your own experience. 
When we eventually found our way back into the lounge, we were so exhausted from stress, fear 
and nerves, we were ready to go home. They asked if we would like to buy at $20 program 
explaining the hotel and cast. I will admit, we were all a little furious at this point. For $100 a ticket, 
we felt that program would have been the one tool that would have made this experience worth it for
 all of us if we were given it upon entry. 

Still to this day, I have no idea what the hell I saw, what the hell went on, or what the hell 
happened. There was no story line, just random actors silent acting, there were crowds of people
 following each actor so closely, you couldn't see them half the time. It became more of a headache
 and frustrating than anything. I wish I could have come out of there with at least an idea of what 
I was supposed to see. 

It really was a cool experience and the set designing was spectacular. But, when those 
"black masked" people are there to help you, you ask for their help, they yell at you for talking, 
and then they won't actually help you, you get pretty annoyed, frustrated and really just want to get 
the hell out of there. 

On the way home, the snow stopped, we caught a cab instantaneously and headed to my 
favorite little bakery, the Little Cupcake Bakeshop, on Prince and Mott for my all time 
favorite Oreo Cheesecake!

The next day, after an amazing brunch at Comodo with Kristen and Mike, Please see future 
post SoHo: Comodo, we headed to our next theatrical event of the weekend, Cat on a 
Hot Tin Roof featuring Scarlett Johansson. 


This performance, not to mention the fourth row center seats, was spectacular. It was such a high 
to see her, right there in front of our eyes, perform this intense roll. The entire first act pretty 
much was Scarlett alone, amazing, on stage, right in front of our eyes. The whole cast was 
fantastic. This truly was an amazing experience. 

The next morning, in traditional Skib fashion, we woke up bright and early and headed to our all 
time favorite bagel spot, Murray's, for some bagels and shmear. Out of all the times I've visited, 
besides from the time Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone walked by me, was my favorite. My 
bagel was literally handed to me out of the cooker, soft, warm and a trued bagel. Do you know
 that real bagel taste? Because, bagels actually have a taste, not just bread. This one had it 
completely. We left very satisfied. Murray's has never disappointed. 


It was still freezing and windy out however, the sun shone high and bright in the sky which 
saved us. We ended up walking west through Greenwich Village and down Hudson 
street to TriBeCa.


At one point, we needed to warm up and stopped into a little coffee shop, Kaffe 1668, in TriBeCa 
to warm up. The interior was beautiful. Simple, quiet, clean and just the right touch of rustic. 
We could have stayed all day. 




After our toes and fingers warmed up, we finally made it to our last sight of the day, the 9/11
Memorial. We knew it was probably not the best time of the year to visit, winter, but we
also figured it wouldn't be as crowded. In fact, there was no crowd, or line, we walked right in.


Even with the cold weather and the trees with no leaves, it was still very touching and moving.
 It is so hard for me to even fathom what happened and seeing this site, the only time I had
ever been here, as a Memorial rather than the World Trade Towers.

I had never been to New York, except when I was very little, with the World Trade Towers
still standing tall. To me, this is always what New York has been. Standing next to those
beautiful memorial fountains, with thousands innocent names carved into the metal surround,
was very surreal. It reminded me of my Senior year, sitting in my Home Economics class
with the TV strapped to the top of the metal cart, mouth open, chin dropped, watching this
attack on our Country.


We headed back to my cozy little apartment, five blocks away from the memorial to 
warm up and decide what to do next. 



My parents last couple of hours in New York included a walk in the Lower East Side, a 
delicious lunch at The Meatball Shop, and some country music straight out of Nashville at my 
favorite music venue, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1. One of the musicians playing is from 
Oklahoma, went to OSU and is friends with my dear friend Nick Gibson. What a small world. 
I know I say this all the time but, New York, I love you! 

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