Saturday after the parade, we made our way back to the hotel to change and then met my brother in Chelsea for dinner (at Ovest Pizzoteca...delicious!), right across the street from The McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More. My brother is the house manager for this award-winning production, and we were all really excited (and kind of nervous) to see it. Having a theater-enthusiast/expert for a brother, I feel like I've been privy and had access to a significant number of theater experiences. I will also admit that as far as extracurricular activities are concerned, theater is not my number one. That being said, Sleep No More was incredible. The reviews speak for themselves, as do the Obies and the recently announced Drama Desk award.
The set, known as the McKittrick Hotel, is a five-story wonderland meticulously crafted and full of details. It's up to the audience, or the guests of the hotel, how they want to explore...you can follow the set from room-to-room, follow a character, or in some cases (namely Em's), you are forced to follow a character. The show is kind of Kubrick-meets-Hitchcock-meets-Shakespeare, but also kind of not that at all, all wrapped up in a dark and mysterious 1930s-inspired package. I was overcome with the detail, with which the guests are encouraged to interact. Everything from letters to candies to taxidermied animals and bed pans in a sterile, vacant mental hospital to a dark and smoky** graveyard and a massive congregation hall filled with trees dressed in twinkling lights. It's something I'm confident I will need to see at least once or twice more.
After the show, we were positively exhausted and headed back to the hotel for bed.
The next morning we slept in a little and woke up to a chilly and drizzly day. After a quick nosh at Ess-A-Bagel, right behind our hotel, we wandered over to 52nd and Park Avenue to check out this enormous yellow bear we had seen on our various taxi rides. This piece is a temporary installation by Christie's and is called "Untitled (Lamp/Bear)". It was designed and constructed by NYC-based Swiss sculptor Urs Fischer and rides the line between sweet and creepy. At night, it looks fuzzy! By day...in this case, a dreary, drizzly day, it looks kind of foreboding. Read more about it here. We decided to take a few pictures in front of it, and our friends Christine and Katherine embraced the opportunity to act like weirdos. Adorable, awesome weirdos. The security guard monitoring the piece said, after we were finished, that he charges $5 a picture. We were likely $100 in the hole at that point.
We stopped in the Village on our way out of town for brunch with my brother at Bar-B-Que, a tasty Southern-inspired local place. They have cheddar grits. That's really all you need to know.
On our way out of the city, we stopped at Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, home of Buddy Valastro and Cake Boss (on TLC). There was a line out front and a guy handing out numbers to people, letting customers in in small groups. When we made it into the store, it was very reminiscent of Mike's Pastry in the North End (Boston), but significantly smaller. People were jammed in there like sardines, and the pace was frantic and overwhelming...yet familiar. Oh you Italians...you make us crazy for your pastries. Despite all of this, the cannoli and sfogliatelle are DELISH and they use baker's twine. So there's that.
Overall, a FANTASTIC trip! I survived, I had an amazing trip with Em and my sisters-from-another-mister Christine and Katherine (we've been friends for almost 27 years!), and a lovely time with my brother. Make sure you get up to New York and see Sleep No More, be sure to visit Eataly, and don't forget to stop by the big yellow bear.
** In true Meaghan + New York fashion, the water-based fog machines they use for the show triggered my asthma and I spent a solid 25 minutes running (and panting) around the building frantically looking for a way out. Nothing is cooler than telling one of the stewards that your brother is their boss and that he needs to meet you in the bar with your inhaler (which you checked at the beginning of the night). Oh, New York.