Today’s blog post comes in three acts (yes, I’ve been listening to some This American Life podcasts). These are all stories from our trip to New York City yesterday. Act One begins in a coffee shop.
Act One: Mud and Reconciliation
After Sarah and I got off the train, we headed over to the Lower East Side to meet Jina Moore at Mud Coffee House. Mud is a great little coffee shop and they also run the Mud Truck, which people in NYC like to photograph. Jina is one of Sarah’s best friends from college, was in our wedding and is a journalist. Jina is leaving for Rwanda in a few days and will be living there for about 5 months. She’s going there to do research with the hopes of writing a book on reconciliation. Jina’s been writing for Harper’s Magazine the past few months, and has just starting blogging here. We had a great time at Mud with Jina, and she’s going to be blogging a lot during her time in Rwanda. So, if you’re interested in Rwanda and reconciliation, I’d definitely keep her blog in mind. After hanging out with Jina, we stayed at Mud for awhile, doing some reading, before grabbing a cab and heading to dinner.
Photo courtesy of New York Times
Act Two: Downtown Chic, Hip and Fun
Act Two takes place at Buddakan, one of Stephen Starr‘s newest restaurants. I ran across this restaurant while looking for places in the city. Buddakan is located in Chelsea, and is supposed to be one of the hippest/trendiest restaurants right now; it was the location for one of the VMA after parties a few years ago and Paris Hilton was there, so…anyway, we got there and had a table in the main hall of the restaurant. As you can see from the above photo (and these photos), the setting is pretty amazing. And perhaps that’s what you’re paying for. The food was good, although I definitely let myself get talked into ordering too much. It’s one of those restaurants where you order a lot of dishes, and they are all served in the middle (like tapas). But, we got too much food. We each had a glass of red wine, and our food consisted of the following: Cantonese Spring Rolls, Edamame Dumplings, Vegetable Rice, Charred Asparagus, Charred Filet of Beef and Cantonese Steamed Sole. It was definitely an experience, not something that we’ll probably do again anytime soon. We’ve eaten at a few really good restaurants in NYC, but never one that produced a $150.89 bill at the end of the evening. We walked out of the restaurant, headed to the subway, and tried not to think of how many families in Africa that money could have fed…
Act Three: Wicked – finally!
I tried to win Wicked tickets in the lottery once my first year of seminary, and Sarah and I have tried three times, and we’ve never won. After that much bad luck, we decided to go ahead and fork over the money and just buy tickets. Our seats were in the top mezzanine – pretty much in the center. The seats were great, and Wicked was absolutely amazing! I love the plot line, and just the idea of hearing the “other side” of the classic Wizard of Oz story. The cast was amazing; we had the understudy for Elphaba the Wicked Witch, Lisa Brescia, and her voice was just out of this world. The rest of the cast was fabulous as well and the set was really great too! I’ve been listening to “Defying Gravity” on repeat for the past hour or so – I’m looking forward to becoming more and more familiar with the music.
If you’ve been debating about seeing it, I recommend it very highly – it’s phenomenal. Sarah and I are very glad that we got to see it, and even more fun to see it on Broadway. After the show, we ran outside, caught a cab and made the earlier train back to Princeton. We got home around 12.30am, a long, fun, full day.
The Evening in Summary
- Train Tickets to City: $45.00
- Mud Coffee: $10
- Buddakan Dinner: $150.89
- Wicked Tickets: $172.10
- Taxis: $20
- Seeing Sarah use the men’s bathroom at the Gershwin Theatre because the women’s line was too long: Priceless.