Last April—I can't believe it's almost a year already—I went to Connecticut to visit my friend, Debi. I was there for three weeks and the first weekend, we went to New York City.
Friday, April 10, 2015
On a brisk spring morning, we took the train from New Haven to New York. The excitement was pure and real. I had never been to New York before and the anticipation was intense.
When we arrived in New York, we took the subway to downtown Manhattan to Chelsea (where our hotel was located and dropped off our luggage). We began our weekend get-away eating lunch at Debi's favorite deli, going clothes shopping, making pit-stops at coffee shops and just taking in the amazing views of the city.
Joanne and Debi at New York City coffee shop. We chose to stop here, because we loved their logo.
That night we went to Spice, a Thai restaurant, and afterwards, we went to the Cutting Room, a very cool music venue, restaurant and bar located between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue in mid-town Manhattan.
Cutting Room, 44 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016
Debi ordering wine at the bar
After we finished ordering our beverages, we took a tour of the Cutting Room. It had all these secret nooks and crannies with many wonderful secrets to discover.
Upstairs, to my great surprise, they had a large red couch and behind it was a full wall mural of one of Henry Diltz's Morrison Hotel photographs of Jim and the boys drinking beers at the Hard Rock Cafe on Skid Row in Los Angeles. I could not stop staring at Jim in my glee. Debi suggested that I sit on the couch to have my photo taken. I was so excited to have my picture taken with Jim Morrison!
Me "sitting at the bar" with Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger and John Densmore.
Close-up of Jim Morrison
The Cutting Room had a tribute band playing—I think it was Santana—so we snuck in. They were so bad, we decided to leave after a couple of songs and found ourselves walking down a long hallway. Low and behold, we walked next to the "Green Room," so we decided to enter. It was fun hanging out there. Again, there was a big red couch, a refrigerator filled with water and pop—just a normal hangout, I suppose, for performers, but to us it was forbidden territory. I kept thinking someone was going to walk in on us. We watched the crappy Santana wannabe band play on the television monitor and had a good time laughing at how bad they were. We made ourselves comfortable.
Debi lounging on the couch in the Green Room.
Saturday, April 11, 2014
The next morning, we awoke to a very cold and windy New York City morning. After having our coffee, we ventured outside and went sightseeing, meandering our way to the Gershwin Theatre in midtown-Manhattan to see Wicked on Broadway. I remember taking in the sights and wishing so much I was a New Yorker. I also realized I hadn't seen much of New York as the city is huge and we were like two ants on top of ant hill. LOL.
Talking to my mom at Lexington Avenue and East 42nd Street. Debi said I looked like a New Yorker.
Wicked was amazing!! What a great display of true friendship between the Wicked Witch and Glinda. It was pre-Dorothy and Toto. I bought some funky Wicked tights for Debi and me to wear after the play as it was freezing outside.
Debi patiently waiting for the play to start.
After the play, we went to Times Square. It was really difficult making my way around all the people, because I had my suitcase with me (we were headed back to New Haven that evening, so I had been lugging it with me all day, which was a major drag.) I kept worrying about rolling the wheels over people's feet, or worse, tripping someone. Time Square is definitely not the place to go if you're claustrophobic.
Hanging with the people. It was exhilarating!
Waiting for the street light to change, across the street from Subway. Why couldn't it have been a cool place? LOL
It was not yet dusk, so I didn't get to see the neon, but I loved being in Time Square. I'm sure I wasn't the only tourist in the crowd.
Before taking the train back to New Haven, we decided to eat. Since I was on the hunt for Jim Morrison memorabilia, I suggested we go to the Hard Rock Cafe.
After we were seated, I asked the waiter if they had any Jim Morrison memorabilia. He said he didn't think so. I was somewhat surprised as I had never been to a Hard Rock Cafe without Doors memorabilia.
Then, like a mircle, straight ahead of me, was a beam with memorabilia right next to our table.
NOTE: Photos are dark as the beam was not well-lit.
My favorite photograph of Jim Morrison and one of his boyhood sketches.
An autographed copy of Jim Morrison's self-published book, The New Creatures, and an open page of his book, The American Prayer.
Photograph of The Doors at the Fillmore East
Back at Grand Central Station on our way back to New Haven. Sad to leave New York City, but it was a great get-away.
Friday, April 18, 2015
The Kate is a spectacular theatre not too far from where Debi lives. She had never been there before, so it was exciting for both of us.
When we entered the building, we were surrounded by gigantic, Old Hollywood photographs of Kate Hephurn and the celebrities of the day. It was beautiful and a lot of fun just looking at the pictures. It felt like a museum.
When we found our seats in the main hall, we were seated next to a gregarious couple who were huge fans of The Doors. The husband told us he was a Doors expert. I asked him a question (to test his knowledge) and he answered it incorrectly. In jest, I quickly became the Doors expert and he asked me questions throughout the evening. We couldn't have had funner people sitting next to us.
The Doors "Expert" and his wife. Nice people from Connecticut.
Debi gave me a peace sign—my favorite symbol.
Waiting for the band to start playing. The theatre was packed when the show began.
Two friends enjoying each others company. We started off as business colleagues and now were BFFs too. Very cool!
When The Soft Parade came out on stage, they looked nothing like their counterparts, except for maybe the slightest resemblance. Although their singing was okay, I wouldn't exactly call them "the most authentic Tribute Band to The Doors and Jim Morrison," as they proclaim on their website. As my expectations were way too high, I was rather disappointed, but it was no fault of theirs. Everyone around me—mostly people in their 40s and up—were dancing and hooping it up like we were at a "real" Doors concert. Probably if I hadn't have spent the past seven years listening to Doors music, I would have thought they were amazing too.
I took a video of The Soft Parade singing "Soul Kitchen." Please ignore my unsteady hand, as I took the video on the sly and on my iPhone.