Back from New York, a very expensive city to visit if you’re an American, one giant Costco if you’re from England. The British Pound is currently worth two U.S. dollars so everyone from the U.K. is coming over to New York to do their Christmas shopping. It’s not unusual to see the Queen at Macy’s saying, “Excuse me, miss, does this bra come in black?”
New York has welcomed its stiff-upper-lipped guests by raising hotel rates to ridiculous levels. $200 rooms are now $650. American tourists are advised to book motels in Philadelphia and just bus in.
And still we found a deal at the Murray Hill Suites. Forget that major construction was going on all night right across the street, the TV was a Dumont, and it was the one hotel in all of New York with absolutely no internet access, at least it was in the city, right around the corner from a BBQ place where a guy in a giant chicken suit stood out in the street at all hours trying to lure customers. “Hey, your majesty, chicken and ribs combo with side of beans and slaw only $6.99!”
The hotel asked for a $50 hold on our credit card so if we trashed the room they could replace all the furniture.
Flew in from Burbank on plucky Jet Blue. Felt really secure flying knowing that Gummi Bears are banned on commercial flights and whipped cream is allowed only in minute quantities but It’s okay to bring four books of flammable matches. (This is true based on an American Airlines flight from Washington to Dallas this week.) Meanwhile, I had to remove my wallet. Yeah, like I’m going to hide explosives in my WGA card.
In a pathetic attempt to finally get my name mentioned on “Page Six” I called THE POST the minute I hit town to tell them I was on the same flight as Keith Carradine and Evan Handler. Unfortunately, there was too much Kid Rock and Conchita Leeflang news so I was thwarted yet again.
It’s Christmas time in the city. The giant tree is up in Rockefeller Center, the Salvation Army Santa on 5th and 48th is Asian, and people stand in long lines to see the big department store window displays while other people just walk by, gaze at the same thing, and laugh at the idiots in line.
But if you’ve never been to New York during Christmastime, treat yourself. It really is magical.
A dinner reservation in Manhattan means you only have to stand in a tiny bar area packed with people for a half hour instead of two. I love how many Upper Eastsiders won’t take the subway because it’s so crowded yet cheerfully will join 110 people wedged into a space the size of a phone booth for a chance to eat astronaut portions of overpriced food.
That was the scene at the Union Square Café Thursday night. It was too noisy for the hostess to call out names (“Ruler of the British Empire, party of three!”) so she just came and pried you out with a crowbar when your table was ready. To identify each party she made little descriptions alongside their names. “blond with blue scarf,”, “grey suit”, and for me – “Schmuck with mittens”.
While I was in the restaurant there was a shooting nearby. Last time I was in New York a deranged husband tried to off his wife by blowing up the family townhouse two blocks away. And the trip before, I missed a subway stabbing by a half hour. So what if I’m paying twice as much as any bloke named Nigel? I’M ALIVE!!!
A theatre organization in Manhattan has offered to hold a reading of my play. I met with them (thus writing off my trip) and much to my surprise they were serious! It’ll be on February 12th, a Monday night when theaters are dark so maybe I can enlist some cast members from Tom Stoppard’s THE COAST OF UTOPIA or SMUCKERS STARS ON ICE.
Every time a limo door opened I kept hoping to see Britney Spears spill out onto the street. We’ve all viewed her classy full frontal photos on the internet, but I wanted to see that C-section scar in person.
The late night disc jockey on New York’s hip hop station was shot thus increasing his street cred. Supposedly he was wearing a $20,000 gold and diamond necklace in Harlem. The defense will argue it wasn’t a homicide but a suicide attempt.
A musical of SHREK is coming to Broadway. Casting suggestions: Vin Diesel or Rosie O’Donnell.
There’s still a tarp over the building Corey Lidle’s plane tragically crashed into. Gummi Bears are too dangerous but it’s okay to fly private planes over the East River.
Friday the temperature plunged to 20 degrees. Everyone was walking around like it was no big deal. I was hailing cabs to cross a street. But these unbearable conditions (okay, chilly) gave me a fabulous idea. For you lovely ladies who have to attend elegant dressy occasions during harsh winter nights and want to look your best without getting frostbite – I’ve created the “down gown”. It’s warm, it’s comfortable, and if you’re a size one, it’s sleek. Check them out in the formalwear section of your nearest REI.
For twenty years the great Dan Ingram ruled the afternoon airwaves on 77WABC. Today that time slot is manned by Sean Hannity. It’s as if Peter Lugar’s steakhouse now served head cheese.
Fran Liebowitz still gets her name in the Society pages. Once a HILARIOUS writer, now jester to the elite, Fran’s greatest accomplishment over the last twenty five years is having slept in every guest bedroom in the Hamptons. Write another book, Fran. Don’t shut us out just because we can’t invite you to clambakes.
Gypsy cabs are such a rip-off even the Brits don’t take them.
It was very poignant being in New York on the anniversary of John Lennon’s death. John, in my life, I love you more.
New trend: Elevator Surfing. Kids ride on the roof of an elevator as it travels through the shaft. It’s almost as dangerous as eating at Taco Bell.
Good news theatergoers! Tony Danza goes into THE PRODUCERS beginning December 19th. No, not in Fargo, N.D. On Broadway.
Finally, after four glorious days, it was off to the always-under-construction JFK airport and our Jet Blue bird back to Burbank (where I really lucked out. There was a THAT GIRL marathon on TV Land). Meanwhile, at the British Airways terminal there was an international incident when “you-know-who” tried to board a flight with a full can of whipped cream. “Hey, I don’t care who the fuck you are, lady, I’ve got to go through your bags.”