A Tale of Two Days in Manhattan.

Sunday, 9:30am

I’m settling at Radio City Music Hall for the dress rehearsal for the Tony Awards, aka a musical theater geek’s heaven. A wonderful friend has connections to people who work on the show’s production, and occasionally she gets tickets, and sometimes she asks me to go. This was the second time I’ve gone, and it was even better than the first.

The Tonys dress rehearsal is excellent not only for seeing snippets in person of all of the shows you want to see but can’t afford, but also for celebrity observations. They run through the entire show as it will air on television later that night, and this includes introducing and awarding (fake) Tonys to (rehearsal-only) winners. Not all of the celebrity presenters show up – it’s always fun to watch that night and know that someone doesn’t know which side of the stage to exit because they slept in that morning instead of coming to rehearsal – but for the ones who do, it’s fun to catch a glimpse of them in person.

Our seats this year were especially great for celebrity stalking, since we were on the side of the theater where they were ushered in and out. That means nearly every celebrity walked down the aisle to our right when they arrived and up the aisle to our left when they were done, and sometimes even hung around in our sight line to chat with friends or watch the show (i.e. the wonderful, talented, incredibly handsome Patrick Wilson, who, as my friend said, seemed to radiate his charisma and handsomeness as if a light were shining on him).

For my theater/celebrity obsessed friend and me, this was the best use of a Sunday morning we could possibly imagine. Hey, there’s Lucy Liu pausing to take a picture of the stage before she goes! (She’s so gorgeous, it’s amazing.) Hey, there’s Anna Gunn walking by us! (Sooooo skinny. #TeamSkylar) Jonathan Groff! (Why do you have to be gay, you’re so handsome and talented!) Matt Bomer! (Why do you have to be gay, you’re so handsome and talented, part two!) Zachary Quinto! (Part three, and you’re from Pittsburgh too!) Kate Mara! (Even skinnier than Anna Gunn.) Hugh Jackman! (Who looks damn good in a tuxedo, let me tell you.) Bradley Cooper!

Wait. What?

BRADLEY. COOPER. And he’s wearing a tight tee shirt.

I felt like Ross running into Isabella Rosselini. For years, Bradley was on my top five, and then I bumped him for Ben Affleck after the Argo awards circuit! There was a brief moment in time while we watched him leave (in a TIGHT TEE SHIRT) when I calculated just how quickly I could move in this damn boot and whether I could catch up with him in the lobby before yelling at him that he’s an alternate to my laminated list and hoping he takes pity on a cute girl with a fractured foot who just chased after him to tell him that she thought he’s the sixth sexiest person in the world.

I elected to stay in my seat. I think that was the smart decision.

9:30am, Monday

I’ve been at work for about 45 minutes and have almost cried at least twice.

It was pouring when I woke up this morning, which is challenging on a normal day. On a Monday where you’re wearing a boot, can’t walk very quickly, and stayed up way too late so you could watch Game of Thrones, it’s enough to make you want to quit the day before it even begins.

Our golf tournament is two weeks away, another is at the end of July, and we have another big project coming up in August. My summer, after this week, is essentially gone, and my Monday is already off to a terrible start.

2:00pm, Sunday

I have a few New York happy places:

  1. Bryant Park
  2. The roof of the Met
  3. The Conservatory Garden in Central Park
  4. Shake Shack

After the Tonys rehearsal, my friend and I head to Shake Shack for lunch, devouring – no exaggeration – more food than the family of four seated near us. Worth every single calorie.

2:00pm, Monday

I’m a half hour into my weekly two and a half hour client call, and by this point I’ve almost cried at least four more times. As wonderful as my Sunday was, my Monday is proving to be equally awful, and my mood has swung exactly 180 degrees from where it was 24 hours prior.

I feel like, these days, I’m either super high or super low. My moods have no in between. Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve ever had. Today felt like one of the worst.

3:00pm, Sunday

After leaving Shake Shack, I decide I want to stretch my legs a little. On a normal day, I don’t blink at walking three or four miles back home, but for the past two weeks the longest I’ve walked in one stretch has been 10 blocks. It’s a beautiful, sunny day, I don’t have anywhere to be, so we start slowly traversing the park, eventually walking past the Delacorte Theater.

Oh wait, I have five New York happy places: add the Delacorte to that list.

The Delacorte Theater hosts Shakespeare in the Park every summer, featuring performances by world class actors for absolutely free. When I saw Into the Woods there two years ago, I left my apartment at 4:00am to line up for tickets. Yesterday, as we were leisurely strolling back home through the park, we noticed that there was no “sold out” sign at the box office, and so we stopped by to ask about tickets and walked away with four of them, having not waited one second for them.

The day couldn’t get much better.

3:00pm, Monday

Hour two of the call. At this point, all I’m thinking is, “get through this. Get through the next three hours. Then go home, take off the shoe and boot that are both still wet from this morning, and drink all the wine.”

9:00pm, Sunday

It’s the perfect temperature, with a nice cool breeze blowing through the theater, as we watch Much Ado About Nothing, featuring Lily Rabe, an actress I’ve grown to truly love since first seeing her in The Merchant of Venice my first year in New York; Brian Stokes Mitchell, whose gorgeous bass I was just listening to earlier on the Ragtime soundtrack; and this guy (requisite GoT spoiler alert), who’d been the best part of my Sunday nights for the previous six weeks. I couldn’t think of a better way to close out the most wonderful New York day I could possibly imagine. I think to myself, this is why I live here, this is why I deal with all of the other shit – for the chance to change your plans at the drop of a hat when passing by the Delacorte Theater and spend the evening in an urban oasis the way Shakespeare’s peers would have hundreds of years ago. This is all the best New York has to offer.

9:00pm, Monday

Drinking wine, blogging, and cheering against New York’s hockey team. I had a terrible day, one during which I cursed New York and everything in it multiple times. I wish I wasn’t watching hockey alone. I wish I had someone here to cook me dinner and let me vent. I wish I made more money so I didn’t feel guilty about buying this bottle of wine on my way home. I pass in and out of thoughts of why do I live here?

But someday, I’ll find myself wandering through the park with a Shake Shack shake in hand, and I’ll remember why I put up with all of it.


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