Carole and Evangeline Take New York

Here's my hot take on our whirlwind trip to NYC to watch SNL...

Next time, bring serious walking shoes. Like, walking shoes for the concrete jungle. The first day we walked over 13 miles, all on concrete. On the second day, we walked almost 10. My right knee is killing me, my shins, my calves, and I got some crazy bruise, sore spot on the top of my left foot from those damn boots. I wore my prescribed inserts, and the shoes are generally super comfortable for walking around. Still, I was kicking myself for not forgoing fashion and just wearing my hiking boots or Nike's.

But baby, we got dem steps in, yo!!

Booty work!

Friday, the crowds were tolerable; Saturday was apocalyptic. It was like Disney on Crack, Meth, and Hay-Ron (that's southern for Heroin) and SO F-ing cold!! 30 - 34 degrees. That was the HIGH!

On Friday, Evangeline's friend Miles, who lives in NYC, met up with us for a few hours. He took us by Trump Tower so I could Flip Trump off. That was definitely a highlight. We were walking, and this group of people was standing there taking pictures in front of it. Hence, we had to wait, others were watching people take pictures when it was my turn, and I posed with the double bird fingers up, the crowd separated like the parting of the red sea, and all these people are just staring at me, some ladies are like "that's more like it!" and others start clapping and cheering. It was great.

After that history-making photo op, we had drinks at the Plaza Hotel Champagne Bar, where I paid $25 for a lousy Martini, then Evangeline took me to a sex museum. Yes, you read that right, a sex museum. Needless to say, it wasn't my thing.

I took a picture with a Banksy on a wall in the Upper Westside, we rode the subway everywhere, ate street pizza, bumped into five million people while walking, took pictures with the Naked Cowboy, rode the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, visited the 911 memorials, went to Wall Street and got a pic of the Fearless Girl. I had a full-on melt down in a Corner Deli, complete with crying when Evangeline and I got separated due to a misunderstanding and a GPS that kept freezing up. Then, when my knee was screaming, my feet barking, and we were both freezing, hungry, and exhausted, I received a Venmo notification that Courtney and Miranda sent us $100 for dinner! It was only 2pm, but we headed straight for Little Spain and Jose Andre's restaurant in Hudson Yards. I love him because of what he did, feeding the people of Puerto Rico after the hurricane, and I know him through Anthony Bourdain's show, he was one of Bourdain's best friends, so I love him because I loved Anthony :-) The food was deliciosa! The wine was magic in my mouth, and I had white asparagus for the first time since returning from Spain. Everything about the dining experience was perfect.

911 Memorial Park

I've always thought New Orleans must be like a little New York. Now that I've gotten a nibble of the big apple, I know how very different they are. Not better or worse, just different, so here are random observations, comparisons to New Orleans, which I know is like setting a lime next to a watermelon, but I can't help it.

We noticed a lack of music. All these blocks of entertainment, shops, bars, restaurants, nightlife, and no music. We are used to New Orleans, where music comes waving out of every place you pass. It was bizarre to be in the most commercialized area in the world, entertainment everywhere, the home of Broadway, of M-TV (not like they have anything to do with music anymore), and hear no music. also when you're walking around the French Quarter everyone is Up or wanting to be Up. They are excited, usually drunk or looking to get drunk, looking to party, have fun. So the vibe is one of "let's have a good time." The music everywhere adds to and feeds that vibe. I definitely missed that. Maybe it would be too much noise?

This leads me to car horns. I sincerely appreciate that people in NYC get on their car horns. If you blow your horn in the south, you feel bad, or others feel bad for you, or try to make you feel bad. We all want to honk; most of us just don't. In NYC, every driver is always in the "move your ass!" head-space and will not hesitate to use their horn to give you the What For.

Which leads me to the realness. In NYC, people are direct and honest, not rude, just "it is what it is." I love that; I SO appreciate that and wish we had more of that here. In the south, we have so much cotton candy fluff in our interactions, not in NYC.

I want NYC realness and New Orleans music :-)

Peacock Lounge, SNL studios

Let's talk about SNL,

When we got to 30 Rock, I saw Ego Nwodin strolling in just talking on her cell. Then later, Alex Moffat and Beck Bennett came rushing by, running into the elevator. Then, Al Sharpton walked out! Totally random, right?

Watching the dress rehearsal of SNL was like watching the best show ever. We were really high up, away from the stages, but the entire studio is small so being far away was still within eye contact of the person on stage. Michael Che came out first, did some funny stuff, interacted with the audience, and told us all what to expect. The dress rehearsal is longer than the broadcast because they decide which skits and jokes to cut from the live show. I was a huge Mad Men fan, so I couldn't believe it when John Ham walked out for the opener. 

I was amazed by Harry Styles. He was so funny, relaxed, and a natural, and he sounded terrific. 

It was incredible watching them set up and between scenes. This one lady's job was to grab Harry as soon as they said cut and run him off to change. If you watched the episode, you saw that he was in pretty much every skit and wore wigs in almost all of them. She had to get him back to hair and make-up, get him changed, get wig off, new wig on, all in a matter of minutes, and she did it. She was like my age or so, and she would grab his hand and run like a Beeline. It was nuts. I want her job! The entire operation runs like a well-oiled machine which I would think since it's been on since the '70s.

I still can't believe I won tickets to SNL, and I went.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen.

Thank you to Evangeline for going with me, walking all those miles, and navigating the NYC Subway system for us. You're a great travel partner.

Now, where to next?


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