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Thursday, June 27, 2024

merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

ready for another jam-packed NYC day recap?

i finally got to check off a super old bucket list item, probably inspired by one of many danielle steel books that i used to love:

the russian tea room opened back in the 1920s by the russian imperial ballet, so that the ballet dancers had somewhere to go and hang out together. it turned into a hotspot for artists and musicians and attracted russian dignitaries when they were in town and was a hotspot for those who were going to carnegie hall since it was just down the street.  

the interior is dark and kinda mysterious and very ornate.

it was just as fabulous as danielle steel said it was, and while the hub and the bean didn’t really share my fascination we enjoyed a lovely lunch together.



the boeuf a la stroganoff was rich, delicious and definitely elevated from the version i make at home…in the instant pot.  heh.

the RTR burger looked really good too, wagyu and brie and onions grilled with balsamic and served with herbed fries.

and then we finished it all off with the czar’s gold and caviar parfait.  nougat, toasted almonds, chocolate and topped with edible gold.  ooooo, so fancy.

the bean and i headed off towards columbus circle next, to the museum of arts and design to check out the “taylor swift: storyteller” exhibit.  this was mainly for me, to be clear, because while the bean usually joins me for my shenanigans they’re not really a swiftie.  still, it was fun to go and see a bunch of taylor’s ensembles and accessories.

the taylor exhibit didn’t take us very long to get through, and so we decided to wander through the other floors to see what else there was.  and really, all this did was to confirm that i am uncultured swine who really doesn’t have a whole lot of appreciation for art and design.  oh well.

not surprisingly, we ended our visit in the gift shop.  i managed to stop myself from picking up any of the taylor merch, though.  aren’t you proud of me?

just across the street we found yet another holiday market, with stalls offering all kinds of fun stuff from snacks to shoes to handbags.  of course, the only thing we bought was food - a freshly made belgian waffle that was perfect for sharing after our taylor swift excursion.

when we were in times square earlier in the week, we’d seen billboards for all of the different broadway shows that were currently playing.  one in particular - steven sondheim’s “merrily we roll along” - had caught the bean’s attention, and not because of the actual show itself but for two of the leads: jonathan groff (who they recognized from “hamilton” and “frozen”) and daniel radcliffe.

the hub hopped onto his phone right away and snagged three of the last seats available at the hudson theatre for the last night of our trip.  they were off to the side, but from previous experience we knew that most broadway theaters are small enough that almost every seat in the house will offer a perfectly good view.

knowing that we had no room left in any of the suitcases (even after buying an extra to pack all of our souvenirs in!), i gave the merchandise stand no more than a quick glance on the way to our seats.

and here was the view from our seats!

i even got to enjoy an adult beverage as we waited for the show to start.

while i sipped on my drink, the hub was googling for tips on how to get to the stage door quickly after the show in hopes of meeting the actors.  

so like i mentioned before, we really had no idea what the show we were about to watch was about.  i took a quick glance through the playbill just to make sure it wasn’t something wildly inappropriate (although with the bean well into their teenage years and probably more knowledgeable about a lot of stuff than i am, it’s really not an issue anymore), and then a few minutes later the theater lights went out and it was showtime.

anyway, we really enjoyed the show.  it was entertaining from beginning to end, and while i knew that jonathan groff would be fantastic as always, i had no idea that daniel radcliffe was such a great singer.  i know it’s not his first broadway show by far, but i’d never seen him in that type of performance mode.  and as soon as the lights came on, the hub took charge and led us to the back of the theater where there was already a good number of people lined up.  but he found an opening that led us directly in front of the stage door, and ushered me and the bean in front of him so we’d get the best possible view.

it took awhile for the door to open, but it was worth the wait.  daniel came out, masked up to stay healthy, super friendly and cheerful and also full of gratitude to the fans who were waiting to meet him.  since we were up front we got our chance fairly early, but he stopped to say hello/chat/take selfies with every single person who was there.  

confession:  i’m not a harry potter fan.  like, at all.  i couldn’t get into the books, didn’t have much interest in the movies, none of it.  doesn’t matter.  i will forever be a daniel radcliffe fan after this experience, and i was so happy to see that he won the tony award for this role.

i’d say we squeezed as much awesomeness into our last full day in the city as possible, wouldn’t you?

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