Today begins our last few days, but the weather continues to be nice but the air is hazy. We get across town and in line for the Circle Line tour, yep the 3 hour round-the-island see it all. Too bad it is hazy for part of this, but still a good way to see the city.
Ellis Island is known to all, right? Now a museum, but we just didn’t get to visit:
Wall Street is shiny (is it all the money?):
We passed by Roosevelt Island one more time and got a better pic of the notorious hospital ruin:
We passed the building scarred by the plane crash. How is it a poorly trained pilot finds himself meandering between these skyscrapers?
This is one amazing way to get a feel for the whole island. Even the North End has lots happening: Yankee Stadium, the Subway Garages, Tryon Park, the Bronx.
We followed the boat ride by riding straight up the street to Rockefeller Center and went on up to the Top-o-the Rock. We got to see all the points we had just cruised by from a new perspective. Some great camera shots:
The view of Central park is spectacular.
Once at the bottom, we found the Ice Skating has begun for the season:
We were close enough, we got to try the â€œShake Shackâ€ in Madison Park. Weâ€™d first seen the lines of customers waiting to order the burgers and frozen custard there since Rita showed us the place a week ago. Well, the burger WAS delicious. The sides (fries and shake) were not. So, on to new things. It was still a gorgeous place to have some good fast food
Monday night? Whew! New York gets even with us.
At about 2130 hours, we headed out to the Chelsea district where Shawn Ryan was to appear in his cabaret show and we would be joining Shanee, Therese Genneco and group. We arrived a bit early (arenâ€™t WE getting good on the subway connections!) so cruised the street a bit.
We saw a bar called â€œRawhideâ€. HECK! In the west, this would most certainly be a cowboy (well, I mean a â€œwanna be a cowboyâ€ bar) so it appeared a place to relax comfortably for one drink. We were stopped at the door by a brutish looking muscled and bearded man who went into a rage when Rodger simply tried to make a joke about us being requested for ID.
Well, we went in anyway. No, it wasnâ€™t a â€œwanna be a cowboyâ€ bar. It was a muscleman leather (ok, a â€œI wanna be a muscleman leather boyâ€ bar with attitude. Nonetheless, by the time we left, a proper Englishman was giving Rodger instructions how to let go of how weâ€™d been greeted at the door, the shirtless muscled bartender DID explain that in THIS place, the doorman IS brutish because strange weird characters show up here all the time. (Hmmmmâ€¦. Leather and muscle attracts who?) We both tired of this place before they were done talking and moved on.
On to Helens Cabaret where we walked into a piano bar front room with 5 people in it and a horrible singer moaning by the piano player. We asked the maitre deâ€™ about seating for the show and were told he wouldnâ€™t be appearing until Wednesday night. So we left. Hm. The night is lost?
Since we were only a mile from the Chelsea Piers where Rodger believed â€œThe Eagleâ€ (every city has one including Portland) a leather kind-o-place where manly and â€œI wanna be manlyâ€ men go to explore the parts of their psyche thatâ€™s usually locked up tight while they are working in the office. So we took a cab ride to 12th Avenue and 28th street that was the wildest ride Mark has ever taken in a cab. We missed other cars by inches and went from lane to lane with gas pedal pressed to the floor! I couldnâ€™t WAIT to get outta that car.
That was the second time that day we had a wild ride. Earlier we were on a bus with the driver jumping from lane to lane, going as fast as a bus can go. Whew! NYC CAN be exciting even if youâ€™re just sitting. Who needs to go to Disneyland if you live here?
Anyways. We get out of that cab in a dark industrial district with nothing but dark warehouses, maintenance garages, a â€œfewâ€ loft apartments, and dark alleys around. Wellâ€¦.I was a bit nervous when we rounded a corner to see blocks of cars, taxis, limousines all turning up 28th and stopping mid-block. Piles of people were gathering here, all kinds of folk, mostly black, dressed to the nines hoping to get into a record release party for P-Diddy. Lines of people everywhere. We walked around a while, Mark asked a very gay looking skinny lad if HE knew where the Eagle was (nope), and then Rodger finally asked the only kinda kewl looking liimo driver who was Caucasian if HE knew about the bar.
With a wink and a smile he pointed only about 200 feet away and said it was there but probably unmarked. We strolled that direction and saw the door. The only sign on this door was made from those cheap glued on letters (some were missing) in font about size 8. It said: â€œea_leâ€. The entry was a walkup three floors. There were 4 people there but it WAS an interesting layout with a roof garden close to one of the rooftop water tanks, so it had its charm. Porno was being played inside, there was a back winding stairwell, so one could see that on a crowded dark lonely night, one could probably easily explore your daddy/boy fetish. Yea, that’s it: You were sitting home and just finished watching Taxi Driver with DeNiro (or something like that, right?) and needed to explore your disciplinary emotions.
We DID ask the bartender about the lack of customers and he, in NYC fashion, said â€œWell, come back about 2:00 in the morning and weâ€™ll be busy.â€ For about the thousandth time, Mark was reminded of Liza Minelli singing, â€œNew York New York—- the City that never sleeps.â€ So we left there, snaked back through the record release crowd (where the cars were STILL lined up trying to get into this party)
By the way, next morning we read of a rapper named â€œFabolousâ€ being shot the night before. Are WE bringing back luck to NYC? We walk by this party, and someone gets shot before the nights over. Earlier on our trip, we explore the upper East Side and the next day, a plane flew into a building there. Whew! Weâ€™re powerful, eh?
So. Here we were, our last night without theater commitments, it was 11:15, and we were wide awake. We debated going into the Village but feared the Monday night crowds would be slim (well, at least until 2:00 in the morning) so we settled on going back to the theater district and once again going into â€œDonâ€™t Tell mamaâ€. How COULD we be so foolish?
So, we get to â€œDonâ€™t Tell Mamaâ€ and not so many people there either, but of course, before the nightâ€™s over, weâ€™ve had TOO much fun and pile into bed at Ritaâ€™s cozy lovely apartment about 2:15. Sleep, oh sleep.
The next morning, there was an agreement reached easily: We are NOT going back to that piano bar. We have every evening committed to theater from here on out, and won’t allow Mama’s to get in the way. This was an agreement that held!