Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Can You Tell Me How to Get, How to Get to Avenue Q...

I'm feeling so very cosmopolitan these days. Sure, it's cosmopolitan-y-ness without the designer handbags and the latest cocktail, but I can swing with that. I mean, who needs Balenciaga or Vanilla Sky when you've got Mimi Maternity and Vitamin Water?

Anyway, the reason for my sophisticated glow, despite my nascent pregnancy waddle, is that Hubby and I spent the day in New York on Saturday. It's not like I was hobnobbing with Rockefellers or anything like that, but when you're in New York, there's a palpable sense of potential swirling in the air. And being immersed in all of that potential and possibility leaves you feeling like you're a little more "in the know" about life, the universe and everything. Okay, so it's not all that eye-opening, but we learned how much it costs to park in NYC, and that's something, right?

Hubby and I try to worm our way into the Big Apple once or twice per year. Our excursions would not entertain the Boy in any conceivable way (theater? museums? walking around?). So we dropped him off at his Aunt and Uncle's pastoral abode in northern Maryland (I'm serious about the pastoral business -- they have chickens), and E-Z-passed our way up the Eastern seaboard and into Manhattan.

Since we parked the car around lunchtime, we hoofed it over to Famous Famiglia Pizzeria to grab a few New York slices. After that, we caught Avenue Q at the Golden Theater using tickets Hubby had given me for my birthday. We kinda knew that we wanted to hit the theater while I could still see my feet, and I picked Avenue Q because it's a, um, mature spin on Sesame Street (one glimpse at the song list will tell you that the show is really, really not meant for kiddos.). SinceI've been watching buckets of Big Bird for the past year and a half, I figured it'd be fun to see the darker side of puppeteering. And by darker, I mean sexed up, existential, and grubby. You know, like me.

We pretty much laughed our heads off. Hubby grasped more of the jokes than I because Sesame Street was an integral part of his childhood, whereas I can only remember watching Captain Kangaroo and the Great Space Coaster. In retrospect, this is probably due to my being left in the care of older siblings who were way more interested in other daytime TV fare, like General Hospital and Phil Donahue. But I don't think anyone's going to pen a musical based on those shows anytime soon, so I'll make due with a riff on Sesame Street.

Sidebar: Know what was refreshing? There weren't any kids in the audience. I don't generally find the absence of children refreshing, but I get a little twitchy when an adult brings a kid to a show that is not kid-friendly. So it was nice to see that some people know how to follow the rules and shield their kids from adult material. I know, I know, the show was advertised as a mature audiences kinda show, so parents would be nutty and/or abusive to bring their issue. But that didn't seem to stop parents from bringing some little 'uns (and in some cases, tiny 'uns) to local screenings The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Panic Room, or Miami Vice, among others. Maybe the ticket prices have something to do with it...

When the intermission bell clanged, I hustled to the ladies' room. There was no bladder urgency, but I'm of the opinion that at 27 weeks, I should try and prevent urgency whenever possible. I was about twelfth in line, which meant that I'd be back to my seat in plenty of time. So I was casually staring into space when an usher approached me and said, "Ma'am, are you having a baby?" My first thoughts were, "Uh, not right now," and "Cripes, did he call me Ma'am? He's older than me!" Instead, though, I just said, "Yes." And Usher Man instructed me to follow him to the front of the line. I demurred, saying that I was fine, but he pulled me ahead anyway. I expected to get a bunch of eye daggers -- women can be pretty touchy about cutting the line for the bathrooms -- but the ladies were accomodating and stepped aside.

And people say New Yorkers are rude. Then again, these could have been mostly tourists like me. Eh, either way, I was grateful. There are some perks to a rounded tummy, I guess. So ladies, if anyone with the power to get you to the front of a bathroom line asks you if you're in the family way, say YES.

After the show we meandered around Times Square, nearly going into seizures from all of the neon and blinking lights. But it was kind of a hot day and I could feel my ankles threatening to swell, so we picked up the car and headed home. My favorite part of the picking-up-the-car experience were the potted plants in front of the garage. Apparently, a new layer of paint had just been swiped onto the pots. But I guess I'm just assuming that the pots, and not the trees, had been painted because the "Wet Paint" sign was taped to the mini-trees inside the pots.

Sidebar 2: There really ARE Starbucks on almost every corner of Manhattan. At first, I thought maybe we were circling the same block dozens of times because I'd always figured the preponderance of Starbucks in NYC was an urban legend. Nope, it's no legend. A Starbucks store locater search reveals that there are 127 of them within a 2 mile radius of the Golden Theater. Is that what they call market saturation?

After a pretty non-eventful drive back down the NJ Turnpike and I-95, we were home again, home again, jiggity jog, around 10:00 p.m. That is not a very swingin' time to get home and leap into bed, but I'm willing to make some concessions.

And really, the cosmo thing continues, because we're going to see another show tomorrow night. That's right, Washingtonians -- Hubby, the Boy and I are going to see the Wiggles LIVE in concert. Jealous?

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