Today was a beautiful day, with weather in the low 70s and a clear blue sky, both here at home and up in New York City, where Nighthawk and I spent the day. We’d purchased tickets on a bus trip through our day job to go see Les Miserables.
I’ve always had a bit of an odd relationship with Les Mis. Most of my friends were on a field trip (of one sort or another) that saw the musical in high school, so I’ve been surrounded by the music for a long long time. My best friend and her boyfriend both saw it and loved it, and I had such a good time sitting around at her house listening to it that I went out and bought the full four-disk CD set in college — for a musical I’d never actually seen.
So today was the first time I’ve had visual images to go with the music I’ve been listening to for a decade.
But that wasn’t the only first…. today was, in fact, the first time I’ve been to New York City. Oh, I’d been through it — I’ve visited family on Long Island, and going through NYC is the fastest way to get to Connecticut — but I’d never been in Manhattan before. I’d never stood in Times Square (which, by the way, had so many screens that I thought I’d stepped into a sunnier version of Max Headroom) or been on Broadway or 42nd Street, or any of that before.
In summary, it turns out that if you’ve been on the boardwalk of any major beach on the east coast, you’ve seen most of the stores that also have locations in the theater district, only at the beach the buildings tend to be less than five stories and there are usually fewer people even in the busy season than in New York, and well, I now understand why Elton John sings that unless they see the sky, but they can’t and that is why they know not if it’s dark outside or light.
Oh, but they do have restaurants of every type, shape, and flavor crammed into every space available, so if it doesn’t have a theater, and it doesn’t have a store, it’s got a restaurant, and if it doesn’t have all of that it’s either a road or a table where they’re selling dubiously-sourced trinkets.
So with all these restaurants to choose from, where did we eat lunch? The Hard Rock Cafe New York — because to top it all off, somehow I’d never actually been to a Hard Rock before. I had the tee-shirt (thanks to my brother’s trip to England and France in HS) and heard all about the overpriced food, but hadn’t actually tried it.
It was good. I don’t think I need to eat a ten-ounce burger on a regular basis, but I certainly had no complaints about the food, or the service.
As for Les Mis, I was totally enraptured by the musical, and the fact that I knew all the words and knew what was going to happen didn’t lessen the effect at all. I didn’t go to see Les Mis in New York to catch up to my friends – they were all side effects to seeing an awesome show, and if none of them had happened we would have still had a wonderful time.
Still. I find it kind of amusing that it took me 12 years to catch up.