Hello, Dolly? You Bette!

We started the day with breakfast at a different branch of Juniors. I started the day without cinnamon on my coffee. Winning! And when I ordered French toast, our waiter handily educated me about what Canadian Bacon is in the US. Ham. So I dodged a ham-shaped bullet there I guess, and enjoyed my French toast with normal (well, normal-American) bacon. Delish!

After breakfast we jumped on the hop-on-hop-off bus to travel way downtown.  Except with the traffic it was just crazy-slow, just we hopped off the bus, and hopped on the subway to get there a heck of a lot faster.  Even with delays on the subway I’d say we easily saved a good 30-45 minutes.  Just like Sydney, the platforms were stupidly hot but the trains were nice and cool inside.

Longest train ever??

We visited the September 11 memorial / museum.  On out last visit five years ago the memorial was complete but the museum wasn’t.  There’s not really too much that can be said about the whole thing that hasn’t said before, over and over and over.  It was one of rare places in New York where you could a find a lot of people, but all being very quiet, and sombre.  It didn’t really feel right to take photos – indeed, they were a number of sections where it was not permitted.

Next on the agenda was the nearby Century 21 store … a great big clothes shop full of crazy bargains, and absolutely nothing that would have any chance of fitting either of us :-/ … except for shoes.  So we ended up three pairs of shoes richer from the experience, all  at crazy-cheap prices.  So at least my feet still fit into something! 🙂

We jumped on the Subway (or to pretend that I sound like I know what I’m talking about, we caught the W train uptown to 49th and 7th) to visit another clothing shop with a good reputation, where Perry picked up some stuff.

We wandered in and out of other shops, had a bit of a meander, and had a late lunch of frozen yoghourt, because, you know, why not. Holidays!

Dinner was at ‘Smiths’ – which had a menu exactly the same as ‘Roxy’s’, where we had dinner last night.  I wonder just how much of that goes on – maybe there are like three or four restaurants in the whole city and that’s it 🙂 Whatever, dinner was still delicious – good old fashioned meat loaf.  I was going to race through it like a Bat Out Of Hell … but I Won’t Do That.

And then it was time for the show.  Something I’ve been stupidly excited about for months – talk about antici……..(wait for it)…….pation!  No, not Rocky Horror, but rather, Hello Dolly.  Starring Better Midler.  In New York City. On Broadway.  So, basically, died-and-gone-to-heaven stuff for anyone that likes the occasional musical.   And thanks to Perry waiting up until the very second tickets went on sale after the return of Bette Midler was announced, we had perfect seats.  A few rows back from the front, and dead-centre.  Could not have asked for a better spot. As for the show itself, of course I could just sit here gushing about it for the next thousand words or so, but will try to contain myself.  It’s a bit different to the movie version – but I think a lot of design is loosely based on that 1969 production.  New York of the 1870’s had at times a distinct of 1960’s flavour.  Not that I’m complaining, it was all fantastic.  Great sets, beautiful costumes – and I still can’t figured out how they got a near-as-dammit life size steam train and carriage into the theatre – that was a real surprise.

Bette Midler of course was just brilliant – still all singing and dancing, and by the looks of it having an absolute ball.  I guess when you have a theatre full of 1500-odd people all giving you a standing ovation and it’s still only part way through the show, you’d definitely be feeling the love.  She was great – and looked like she took plenty of time to kinda slip out of Dolly Gallagher Levi’s character and just be Better Midler – throwing food to the orchestra, throwing salt all over co-stat David Hyde Pierce, generally having a whale of a time – as were we.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much joy contained in a room – now I know what it means when they say “the crowd were eating out of her hand”, so to speak.  The entire rest of the cast were also great – excellent dancing, singing, you name it.  It was all really really well done, and unsurprisingly, we loved it.  Definitely a highlight of the whole trip.  Never mind why the tickets cost (no seriously I’m trying not to think about it), it was worth every penny.  I guess it’s something we’ll never see the likes of again, definitely a moment to remember.

The view from our seats. Just perfect.

Certainly something to help distract us from tomorrow – our last full day in New York, our last proper day of this whole entire trip..eek!