Tony and I had a terrific New Year's weekend in the city, though it didn't start out so great.
On Saturday morning, Tony felt dizzy and hot after eating only a spoonful of coconut milk yogurt. He had eaten from a container (not a single-serving cup) that had been in the fridge, opened, for a while but not so long that it was clearly old and spoiled. I'd eaten from it a couple days before with no ill effects.
Tony felt like he was experiencing an allergic/immune system reaction, as opposed to an autoimmune reaction, which he gets from gluten. He started to feel better after taking a Benadryl. And he kept feeling better as the day progressed, as he drank from a bottle of the Duane Reade/Walgreens version of Pedialyte, which he'd bought inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
We were staying for the night at The Lowell, the hotel where we spent two nights for our wedding and that went unnamed, though not purposefully so, in this blog post. We had stayed there, rather than at The Marlton Hotel, where the ceremony was held, because The Lowell is part of the Leading Hotels of the World marketing program, and Tony belongs to that program, and we'd spent enough nights in LHW hotels that our wedding stay was free. Woot!
Our NYE stay was decidedly not free, but our (upgraded) suite was simply amazing. And The Lowell had treated us like kings back in May even though they weren't getting a dime out of us, so we wanted to give them some return business.
Here are some photos of our room, which was on the 13th floor and was actually numbered that way *scoffs at the superstitiousness of other buildings in New York and then falls down The Lowell's elevator shaft*:
After we got settled in, I walked to the closest Whole Foods to pick up some things for lunch and bags of tortilla chips to serve at the party we were hosting that night. I'd packed two jars of salsa I'd gotten from Sandbrook Meadow Farm as part of our winter CSA share; at two credits apiece, they were a bargain. The salsa has a texture more akin to pasta sauce, but it's delicious and tastes very much fresh-from-the-farm.
After lunch, we took the F train to Times Square so we could catch our matinee of The Front Page. The police presence in the theater district was insane. I'm glad Tony had printed our tickets, so we had something to show the cops who were otherwise preventing people from simply walking down 44th Street east of 8th Avenue. Presumably because a terrorist might want to detonate a bomb outside a theater but surely would never do that in a mass of people created by cops at a busy intersection.
I wouldn't call TFP a bomb, but neither Tony nor I enjoyed it all that much. I agree a lot with Ben Brantley's review. John Goodman was surprisingly not all that good as the sheriff. And John Slattery didn't seem like a great fit for his lead role; he was merely OK.
That night at the party, I talked to Mark M. about the play. A friend had asked him to see it, and he'd told him no, because he'd found the original film and His Girl Friday, which was also based on TFP, to be too talky. And that's the best adjective for this play, which mostly consists of hours1 of banter, not enough of which was witty enough to hold my attention.
I also didn't find myself drawn into the play's crass world of journalist assholes as much as I'd expected, considering I studied to be a newspaper reporter and briefly was one. A reporter, not an asshole. Or so I think. 😄
On the walk back to the hotel from the subway, we purchased a couple bottles of wine to open for dinner and the party. Then Rich and Hal and Stacy came over and joined us for a meal from Lilli and Loo. H&S had taken in the final performance of Fiddler on the Roof that afternoon and loved it.
I got a laugh from this wording on L&L's delivery menu:
And I got a kick out of how the envelope for one of the notes from the hotel's staff was addressed:
Our other guests started to arrive around 9. We were expecting 15 in total. Tracey and David didn't come because David wasn't feeling well, and they'd actually left the restaurant where they were having dinner because of that. I found out on Monday that Jean was also sick, after lunch, that day, so my sister, my Dad, and I all had ailing spouses at some point on New Year's Eve.
I had fun catching up with a bunch of people I hadn't seen in a while, including Lou and Desirée and Bob. Here's a photo of me with D&B taken by Tony:
I took some photos of the fireworks in Central Park, which were visible from our room:
Here's a photo of, well, mostly the backs of people's heads—specifically, left to right, Jack, Lou, José, Mark H., Mark M., Hanif, and Eugene looking at the fireworks or chitchatting:
Jack took some photos that night, and I've asked him to share them with me when he can. I'll post an update if any of them are Hawleyblogworthy. 😆
I'm kicking myself for not having anyone take a picture of Tony and me at the party. *kicks self, so as to be literal* Here's a selfie we took on New Year's Day:
It was a nice treat to be able to go to bed without venturing out into the chaos of Manhattan on early New Year's morning. Most of our friends had no trouble getting home, but some, like Rich, had a bad experience. He'd left his car in Chelsea and got home to the Bronx at 2:30.
Here are some photos I took of the hotel's Christmas decorations. First, in the Pembroke Room, where we had breakfast:
The classiest woman ever was sitting behind Tony. "We could go to Capri in that time," he overheard her saying and wished he could have been the one saying it.
Here's the Christmas tree in the temporary lobby:
The tree wasn't in the hotel's main lobby because that's being renovated. The new hotel entrance is the entryway to what was The Lowell's now-closed steak restaurant The Post House. The new check-in desk had been a bar in TPH.
And here are some pretty things near the bank of elevators:
Our bus ride home was uneventful. We'd had leftovers from the previous night's dinner for lunch, and I went to town on the potato and tortilla chips, so I wasn't very hungry for dinner. I had a couple bowls of cereal, and Tony made himself eggs and potatoes.
That evening, we watched Daddy, a movie based on a critically acclaimed play of the same name. I don't get all of the positive reviews on IMDB. I wanted to like this film and assumed I would, but the obvious direction2 and unconvincing acting made us cringe. As did the preposterous twist that makes the relationship between the titular daddy and his boyfriend go sour.
1The play ran for almost three hours, with two intermissions.
2There's a shot of the cars on a funicular coming toward each other on opposite tracks when the movie's main romantic relationship is going well, and after the relationship has soured, there's a shot of—wait for it—the cars moving away from each other.
UPDATE on Jan. 7:
Jack sent me a nice bunch of photos on Wednesday night.
A bouquet of roses:
Hanif and Tony:
Lou and Desirée:
Mark H., with Rich in profile:
Me in profile, with fireworks:
And more fireworks: