Since I'm waiting for my (other) main man JSM to take the stage right now, I figured I'd give you all a recap of my fabulous surprise date on Friday night. I met Mr. Wonderful in Times Square, as he said we'd be staying in Midtown for the entire evening. I have to admit, I was a little surprised at that point. You see, Times Square is really a fun sight to see... once or twice. I recommend that anyone visiting should spend time oogling all the lights, signs, crazy stores, etc. *However*, once you actually live in Manhattan, Times Square is probably one of the most nightmarish places you can possibly find on this island. It's arguably five times as crowded as any other area of the city, and the general chaos makes it really difficult to get where you're going if you need to pass through there. Mr. W and I avoid that area at all costs (he's really not a huge fan since he has to walk through there each day for his commute to work), so you can imagine how curious I was that we'd spend an entire Friday night down there. Voluntarily.
One thing Mr. W and I always joke about is the fact that there is a *huuuuge* Olive Garden right in the middle of Times Square. It has all these garish Vegas-style lights, and just sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm of the mindset that if you're actually traveling to New York City, one of the culinary epicenters of the entire world, that one should under NO circumstances be eating at a place like Olive Garden. Need somewhere to head on a Thursday night in your own city, when you don't feel like cooking? Fine. But seriously, there are plenty of amazing little hole-in-the-wall bistros and such that will cost you the same amount of money out here; NYC has far too many interesting food experiences to be had that don't include all-you-can-eat salad and breadsticks. Please don't get me wrong here and think me a total food snob, Dear Readers- my very favorite restaurant happens to be this guy right here:
That being said, guess where Mr. W and I both suggested - simultaneously - that we spend our precious date time dining? You guessed it...
(image courtesy of flickr)
I have to say that it was a great experience. Not for the food or the service, per se, but for the fun memory we made that night. I had a few glasses of their finest
box wine house wine, and Mr. W knocked back a few frosty Coca-Colas (he had to study after the date was over). We were seated at a great table, which overlooked the Hersheys Store and Morgan Stanley (we tried our hardest to keep our eye off the electronic stock ticker that wraps Morgan, so we wouldn't end up losing our appetite). The only thing I ever eat at the OG is their mushroom ravioli (did I mention I'm a vegetarian?), and Mr. W rocked the Fettuccine Alfredo. Surprisingly delish.
After filling our bellies (and being treated like tourists by the waiter because, again, why would people who actually *live* in Manhattan be there on a Friday night?), we headed off to the "surprise". Mr. W led me by the hand to "go catch the train up to Columbus Circle for our date, and I happily wandered through the streets with him. Clever Mr. W knows that I always forget where the correct uptown local train station is located in that area... All of a sudden, I look up, and Mr. W has turned and gone inside a building. I'm totally confused. "This isn't Columbus Circle?" is all I'm thinking.
I'm pulled in, handed some paper, and ushered to my seat. What was in my hands, do you ask?
We were going to a Broadway play! Despite living in Manhattan for over a year, we'd never taken the time out to go see a show. It wasn't just any play either, but a play that hasn't even had Opening Night yet! It's currently in previews, which I thought was just so much fun. Imagine getting to see a big Hollywood film before it's been released in theatres yet? Pretty neat. Here's the synopsis of the plot, courtesy of the New York Times:
"This black comedy is set in 1939 Warsaw, as Joseph and Maria Tura are about to open yet another smash with their theatrical troupe. As the German invasion gets underway, the theatre is closed by the censors, forcing the troupe to face desperate times. But when a handsome young bomber pilot enlists their help to catch a spy, what is a group of actors to do?"
I know it sounds heavy, but it was really quite funny! It even had an actor I actually recognized in it, David Rasche. You may know him as Robert Gardener from All My Children, but I recognized him as "Mr. McNerney", Brittany Murphy's grouchy, pretentious father in the movie Just Married. Very fun.
I especially loved the ladies' hair, makeup, and wardrobe, which had a great retro feel. I'm such a sucker for all things retro, so it was a total dream to see their gorgeously set finger waves and ruby red lipstick! I also thought it fitting that the theater in which it played was originally called The Biltmore, which is the name of our reception venue. Talk about kismet!
We topped off the evening by sharing a bag of Garrett's popcorn on the train home,(the bag was a mix of caramel corn and cheddar, which actualyl tasted quite nice together!), and then off to bed for me and off to study for Mr. W. It was a sweet, thoughtful, magical evening with my best friend. Couldn't ask for more.