When I first woke up on the third day of our trip to NYC, I couldn’t believe that later that night I would see Tom Hanks in The Lucky Guy. I felt like a Lucky Gal! Some of my favorite movies are Big and all of the Toy Stories. There seems to be a sort of humbleness that shines through in Mr. Hanks’ performances. I was happy that still held true after I saw him in the show. But the day was young, and there were a lot of things we wanted to do before being in the same room (even if it was a theatre) with Tom Hanks.
Since rain was in the forecast, we planned to visit some museums right after a leisurely breakfast. We grabbed our umbrellas and walked to Sarabeth’s, a bakery and restaurant, across the street and up a block on Amsterdam. We sat in a booth in the back, and I ordered the garden omelet. Susan ordered the lemon ricotta pancakes. We both sipped our very delicious coffees with cream until our food came. We decided our food was delightful and would keep us full for a long while.
Little sprinkles began to fall as we walked back to our hotel. We packed up some necessities, left the hotel and walked over to the American Museum of Natural History where the movie Night at the Museum was based. Many other people thought it was a good day to visit the museum too. The lines seemed long, yet moved fast. We picked up our New York City Passes, which Susan ordered ahead of time on-line. The pass that we chose was a booklet that contained six admission tickets to various attractions and was valid for nine consecutive days. It cost a little over $100, which we thought was well worth it. One of the advantages of having the pass is that you don’t have to wait in line to purchase your tickets.
Journey to the Stars was at the planetarium. The film was narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, and there were many well-behaved school groups in attendance. I learned about those little balls of light and imagined them being born. I was glad to learn that scientists believe that the sun will last many more millions of years. Whew!
After that we walked around and saw a lot of stuffed animals, creepy crawlers and such.
After seeing the dinosaurs and being glad that we were never alive the same time they were, we decided to go across Central Park and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now that the raindrops were really falling, we hailed a cab that took us over to Fifth Avenue. We walked about half a block as the drops made noises on our umbrellas, and I suddenly felt like a New Yorker!
Since we had our passes, we went right in. Susan studied the map and tried to figure out how to navigate to her favorite paintings. When we were admiring the Rodin statues, we came across a beautiful painting of Joan of Arc, by Jules Bastien-Lepage (French, 1848-1884). Susan and I admired the artwork for many, many minutes. We were fascinated by how Joan of Arc seemed so lifelike. It was if she could pop off the canvas. Her eyes seemed to tell a story. Seeing the painting reminded me of the stories I heard as a child and how I admired her bravery. You can see a photograph of the painting if you click here.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures at the Met until we got to the stained glass artwork and the angels:
We also saw the painting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware and the Egyptian Temple. When we came to the gift shop, we realized that there was a coupon in our New York City Pass booklet. We tried to decide if we wanted to buy anything and realized that it was almost 5:00. I felt a little stressed and worried if we would make it to the show on time.
I was sad to leave the museum because I enjoyed it so much. The traffic was heavy, big raindrops still fell, and we knew that at that time of day we wouldn’t be able to catch a cab. We looked over at the commuters filing on the bus across the street and decided to ask some questions. The people were so friendly and told us that the bus would drop us off right by our hotel. We were thrilled that we learned another way to travel about NYC. We used the same $30 pass that we used on the subway.
It was nice to have the doormen greet us. Our hotel room looked so tidy, but we didn’t have time to stay. We headed out the doors again, but this time we walked in the other direction to the subway. When we got to our stop, and went up the steps, the crowds were much heavier in Times Square. We passed by many shops. We picked up our tickets at will call, and Susan led me over to Sardi’s. We went to the upper floor, sat at the bar and ordered watermelon cosmopolitans and crackers and cheese. People were standing in line in front of the Broadhurst Theatre. A gentleman at the corner of the bar said, “I can’t believe the line. I always wait up here until just before the show starts, and then go into the theatre.” It sounded like a great idea to me as I munched on crackers and sipped my cosmo. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be sitting at Sardi’s doing just what I was doing at that moment. A picture of Lucille Ball smiled at me from across the room.
The man told us about his grandson who was in a play at the adjoining theatre and how his family members took turns being the actor’s biggest fan and making sure he got home safely. We chatted for quite some time and noticed that the line was getting shorter. We got up to leave around the same time.
I thought theater goers would dress up, but I didn’t feel uncomfortable wearing my jeans since the majority of the audience did too. Some dressed like one would expect going to a Broadway show. We read our playbill and waited for the show to start. The play was written by Nora Ephron who also wrote When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, just to name a couple of things she did during her very successful career.
Tom Hanks played a newspaper columnist, Mike McAlary. McAlary’s career blossoms when he becomes the reporter who the criminals tell their stories to about the police. It was difficult for me to watch Mr. Hanks puff on cigarettes and say the F-word because I always think of him as Woody or Josh. It was a different role, and he played the part well. I admire how he likes to be different characters. The audience saw his humbleness shine through when he graciously bowed at the end. It seemed like he truly appreciated the audience being there.
We went to Juniors Restaurant after being in the same room with Tom Hanks. I had a ham sandwich which looked like it could feed my entire family. I didn’t think I was very hungry, but I ate it all! We talked about what a great job the cast did, and how much we enjoyed the performance.
When we walked through Times Square on the way to the subway, it was 10 times more crowded than the most crowded Minnesota State Fair that I ever attended. I couldn’t believe that it was around 11:00 at night because the lights were brighter than a lot of Minnesota days! I could have worn my sunglasses and been fine. The subways were less crowded than the streets, and I felt comforted by the music of the man playing the steel drum. He did an awesome job every time I saw him that week!
We made it back to our hotel, and planned the next day. Even though I felt like a very lucky gal to have seen The Lucky Guy, little did I know that it would not turn out to be my favorite show of the trip.
To be continued…