karnerblue: Monterey sea lion (Default)
[personal profile] karnerblue
Yesterday was SO AWESOME. Best birthday ever? Maybe, or at least best birthday that didn't involve people throwing me a party. :)

We started out the day stupid-early with a train down to NYC, then walked over to Rockefeller Center, which I'd never really had the opportunity to check out much. We had lunch/breakfast at 'Wichcraft, where I'd actually won a contest on Facebook, so they gave me four free sandwiches, which we split (and which were all pretty tasty -- I'll probably do a review post on FB, to pay them back for the free food). We followed that with a little dessert -- we walked by the Jacques Torres chocolate store and had to stop in for a few chocolates. We split four: chocolate-praline (yum!), ancho-chipotle (actually not hot, just complex), chai (strong ginger!) and "menage a trois" (tasted cherry-ish). Then, we went and did the Top of the Rock tour. It's too bad that it was a cloudy, misty sort of day, but the view was still pretty cool (much better than the Empire State Building's, I'm told, and no lines, either).

After seeing the sites from above, we went outside and took a few pictures of 30 Rock, and then, we turned around and spotted the Lego store, and we just couldn't resist going in. They had stands where you could make your own little Lego people, but they were crowded with little kids, so we didn't make any. But what I thought was cool is that they also had a wall of loose bricks to buy by the cup, so if you wanted, say, a ton of those little 1-brick-wide red roof pieces, or maybe just one window, or two little goblets, and a bunch of skinny white bricks, or whatever, you could get that and make your own mix.

Then, it was time for dessert-a-palooza, 'cause I couldn't resist trying to take advantage of all of the nearby and famed deliciousness, especially when it's my birthday (come on, nobody diets on their birthday). Our first stop was Bouchon, Thomas Keller's bakery, where I bought lots of really-bad-for-me goodies: some bouchons (like the world's richest brownies), some macarons and some TKOs (homemade Oreos, and wow, those were good). I had to save most of that for the train ride later, though, 'cause I had something else in mind for now: birthday cake. Birthday cupcake, actually, from Magnolia Bakery, which is most famous, I think, from either the "Lazy Sunday" video or "Sex and the City." I got a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and I have to say, that was one REALLY good cupcake. I guess they do deserve all of their fame.

After that, we took a slow walk over to Broadway and down into Times Square, where I took lots of pictures like a tourist (but hey, I was) and stopped at the Hershey store (eh, not that impressed) before going to Discovery Times Square for "Harry Potter: The Exhibition." It was really cool to see so many props and costumes from the movies up close; the level of detail on this stuff was pretty incredible. Also, it was weird to see the outfits from the faceoff with Quirrell: Harry was so tiny compared to the grown-up he faced! And here's a fun fact: Despite the fact that everybody thinks Snape's robes are black, despite the fact that that's how they look on film, despite the fact that everybody cosplays him in black... they're purple, more of a dark, dusky violet. I never would've thought that, but I saw them up-close, and it's true.

I had to stop after the exhibition at the Cake Boss Cafe to pick up yet more goodies for later (these are for my parents, though, if they survived the trip alright), and then, we ambled over to Marseille for dinner. I had moules frites: the frites were delicious (haven't had those in a while, anyway, 'cause I've been trying to cut down), but the mussels, well, they were good, but I got mussel'ed out after a while and couldn't finish them. We ordered chocolate pot de crème for dessert, which was more like ganache with a little fresh whipped cream on top, and they brought it with a lit candle stuck in it and a quick "happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you," which was neat. :)

And then, then came the main event: My first Broadway show. That was one of my before-I-die goals, and I'm so glad the stars aligned this way, that my first show on Broadway was also my favorite musical, and that it had Daniel Radcliffe in it, too, who I like.

"How to Succeed" was PHENOMENAL. I can't say enough about how good the show was. The sets, the choreography (acrobatic and sometimes hilarious, like when Finch said "I love her, I love her!" and jumped on a couch a la Tom Cruise :) ), the lighting, the orchestra, all of that was really well-done. But more importantly, well, first of all, John Laroquette was REALLY good. He brought just the right mix of CEO with stupid little kid to the role, and I can totally see why he got a Tony nomination (hope he wins tonight!). And the women who played Rosemary (her first starring role, and I couldn't tell at all) and Smitty and Miss Jones were very talented, as was the gifted and athletic rest of the cast, including a Hedy that was played more drunk-seeming than airheaded (but still convincingly dumb).

But the highlight, of course, was Daniel Radcliffe, and let me tell you, he knocked my socks off. Sure, we know he can act; he's proved his ability to inhabit the character of Harry Potter with a range of emotions, for sure. But beyond that, he can SING! Like really sing, beautifully and projecting to the rafters! And he can DANCE! He really wowed the house with his athleticism, his ability to totally nail the complex choreography, with leapfrogs and Fosse-esque moves that really impressed. He's one talented guy, that's for sure, and I really have no idea why he didn't get a Tony nomination himself.

I only wish that they'd put out a DVD of this show, 'cause it left me wanting to watch it about eight hundred more times, it was that good. But alas, all good things must come to an end, though I did get a T-shirt and a pin for my sweater, and I will be buying the soundtrack soon. Still, it was a most amazingly awesome way to cap off a really incredible birthday. :)


karnerblue: Monterey sea lion (Default)

July 2012

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