It's starting, you guys. Every year, Asics does a great ad campaign in the weeks leading up to the New York Marathon, and banners and posters have been popping up all over the city. Every time I see one, I get a little choked up. Totally normal to get emotional over an ad on the side of a bus, right?
Am I going to weep through this entire marathon? It's a distinct possibility.
When my parents come to visit, it always means delicious food and Broadway shows. (And hugs. Lots of hugs.) They rolled into town this past weekend after an East Coast extravaganza of visiting Allison in North Carolina followed by a cruise to New England and Canada. My aunt Nancy met up with us as well and even though they were here less than three full days, we packed it in.
On Saturday, after wandering midtown for a while, we caught a matinee showing of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The show was delightful, and (mostly) independent of my love for Harry Potter, I have to say that Daniel Radcliffe does a fantastic job. His voice is decent, but I was most impressed with his dancing and his general commitment--you could tell he was just going for it the whole time and having fun. And he and John Larroquette were fantastic together. Of course, the whole time I was wishing that Becca and Krissy could have been there. (And of course, my mom texted Becca during intermission to tell her how cute Daniel Radcliffe was. Ha ha THANKS MOM.) If you haven't seen the performance of "Brotherhood of Man" from the Tony Awards, it's worth a watch:
After the show we had a fancy-pants dinner at L'Ecole, the restaurant for the French Culinary Institute (though I did, in actual fact, wear normal pants). And for good measure, we rounded out the night by seeing Ides of March. (I had referred it as "The Ryan Gosling Movie" in conversation with my dad and he pretended to be confused--"Oh, you mean the George Clooney movie?") It was really good. And I probably would have thought so even if it wasn't full of eye candy! Maybe.
On Sunday after church we had a delicious outdoor lunch at the Harlem Tavern down the street from my apartment, followed by an unsuccessful attempt to catch even a glimpse of the 9/11 memorial downtown. Then we headed back up to midtown for our extremely appropriate Sunday evening activity: The Book of Mormon musical. Currently, the only way to get tickets is to pay triple the face value or to attempt the ticket lottery with hundreds of other hopefuls (something my friend Jenny has tried 16 times, to no avail). Thankfully, my dad had the foresight to get our tickets months ago, before Tony mania set in.
I have to admit that my feelings about this show had gone from outrage to morbid curiosity to cautious interest, and when my dad asked if I would want to see it, I wasn't sure. Based on early reviews, though (including a couple from friends), I was intrigued enough to go and I'm glad I did. Fair warning: this show is not for everyone. It has strong language and some very offensive and shocking things in it (there was a Parental Advisory warning, so I guess it's good I went with my parents?). It is also clever and hilarious and quite touching at times. I will say, though, that what did offend me didn't do so because I'm Mormon, but because it was offensive in general. I realize that's a lot of rationalization, so to each his own. Obviously it's not exactly an credible source for information about the Church (it is satire, after all), but I didn't feel it was malicious toward my religion in any way. In fact, I found the Church-related humor to be pretty hilarious and they really nailed some of the missionary jokes in particular. The music itself is fantastic. Aside from a couple songs I could do without, I've listened to the soundtrack a few times this week alone. I dare you to listen to this song and not have it stuck in your head for the next week. It's the opening number and it's great--I swear the missionary actors looked exactly like some of the dudes I knew at BYU.
On Monday we had brunch at Sarabeth's and went to the Tenement Museum down on the Lower East Side. I'd never been there, but it's pretty great--you choose from a few different tours about different immigrants/families and spend an hour going through the preserved tenement housing and listening to their stories. I've been to Ellis Island, so it was sort of a cool follow-up to see how the immigrants lived after making it to New York and some of the conditions they were subjected to.
After our tour, we had time for a quick stop at the Doughnut Plant and a walk through Chinatown and Little Italy before it was time to say goodbye. It's pretty exhausting to be a tourist, but worth it when you've got good company, conversation, food, and entertainment to keep you going.
Also, do I win for most parentheses used in a blog post ever?