Spamalot & My Tourist Moment

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Rainy wind roars at me
My umbrella will not yield
Bother someone else.

I went to see Spamalot last night with a friend. I went to meet her at Grand Central, so we could walk together to the Shubert Theatre. When I entered the terminal I had a "tourist moment".

Normally, when walking around New York, I have learned the quintessential art of looking like I belong. Step 1, is having my "angry face" look - which, if you have seen this look, is a typical "don't bother me, i'm local" (What About Bob?) look. Step 2, is never looking up at the buildings or your surroundings. Step 3 is walking much faster than everyone else, and being annoyed when someone blocks your path.

All those rules went out the window when I entered Grand Central. I turned into tourist newbie for about a solid 10 seconds when I started to gawk at everything. I was transfixed at its beauty, with its spartan main hall of marble, soaring arches of steel and glass and a ceiling vault displaying painted constellations of the zodiac.

I could feel the seething anger from the people around me, as I started to block their paths, and I quickly regained my composure and scurried to a corner to discreetly take quick peeks at the surroundings. If you are an avid people watcher, like me, Grand Central is loads of fun to watch everyone walk by and wonder what "their story" is - I saw the crazy types, the forlorn lover types, the throwback 80's types, the beautiful people, the tourists, the euros, the office secretaries and paranoid homeless guy (who could be just undercover cop guy, who knows?).

Also, being from Philly, I couldn't help but look at Grand Central and feel like I was in Penn Station. Plus the paralellisms in the city are apparent - Grand Central, is, well, grand. Penn Station is such a shell of a terminal to Grand Central, much like Center City is a dreary half-brother when compared to New York. Don't be a hater, let's call a spade a spade.

After picking up my friend, we went to the Shubert on 44th and watched "Spamalot", the broadway musical from Monty Python's The Holy Grail. I, personally, was expecting more play and less musical, so after the first half I was a bit disappointed in the whole thing. The second act was very witty and by the end of the play I was impressed and delighted with the performance. They take the best elements of the movie (The Rabbit scenes, Black Knight, Knights Who Say Nee!, The Wizard named "Tim", The prince(?) who just wants to sing...) and create skits and dance numbers to intertwine the story. For someone like me, who easily has watched the movie like a Rocky Picture Show fanatic, I found it very creative with what they did with the interpretation of the movie into a musical.

Tomorrow I go under the knife to have the bolt from my leg removed. For those just joining this conversation, go back and read my trails and tribulations of how not to warm up for softball. I'll be out of the office Thursday and Friday and returning to work Monday. Not really looking forward to this, but its like getting a cavity filled, I just have to do it. I really have no interest in having a metal bolt in my leg for the rest of my life, and want to put the whole thing behind me once and for all.

Also planning a birthday party for myself. Yes, pathetic, but this is what I have done for the last, oh, 13 years - invite people out to get drunk with me. Planning to hit BowlMor for bowling and then Merc Bar for drinks afterwards in a few weeks. I'm sure details and pictures will follow, along with a possible police report & star sighting.


There is no "Penn Station" in Philly, it's 30th Street Station. And 30th Street Station is smaller and isn't as done up as Grand Central, but it's a beautiful building. The architecture is fantastic.

As for Philly's downtown being a dreary half-brother to NYC, you have some nerve. Philadelphia is smaller, for sure, but Center City is beautiful. As someone who's never spent much time down there, I hardly think you are in a position to make sweeping generalizations like this one.

Yea, Philly is smaller, but it's clean, it has lots of shops, eateries, bars, boutiques etc. The air quality feels a lot better down there too, whether that's just because they're constantly digging up the roads downtown on Wall Street or because the air down here really sucks, I don't know, but it certainly seems like Philly's air quality is better. There are also less cars on the road in Philly, making it a "driver-friendly" city (compared to NYC anyway) and the fact that it IS smaller than NYC allows the average person who lives and works in Center City to be able to walk anywhere (home, work & bars).

Philly is far from the dreary half-brother, it's just the little brother that never grows up.

I hope that your surgery went well and that you are recovering nicely :).

I always eat at that little restaraunt in Grand Central and people watch. The place has pretty good food and a great wine menu. I don't remember the name of it right now though. You should check it out.

Philly is driver friendly? Hardly. No one is insured and they all drive like idiots. I love Philly and have spent 95% of my life there, but it in no way can compare the how fabulous and exciting NYC is.

There is talk of changing the name from 30th Street Station to Ben Franklin Station now.

Philly downtown is great. Old City has many hip and cool places to go out. I worked in center city for 3 years -plus had a few apartments in the area- I would pick Philly over living in NYC-friendly neighborhoods and not full of people that moved there from all over the country and world- we all(for the most part) were raised in the same tri-state area.

Grand Central is nice-- I commuted thru there at least 2-3x's a week for a year and a half--rush hour is the WORST!!! But during off hours it is very nice.

Good luck with the surgery.

Hope the surgery went well. I see you are posting on hobokenchat, so I assuming you are doing okay....

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on January 18, 2006 12:47 AM.

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