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What we were doing while Russ was minding the store…

Display at a Marc Jacobs store in the West Village, NYC; Chocolo-rific Times Square. I walked into the Hershey store and almost fell over from the sickeningly sweet smell.

Hi folks. Just a few pix from our brief trip to NY. [We’re going back to visit friends and family next month, but this trip was just to celebrate our anniversary together.] I lived in the Big Apple for many years, but it’s still fun to do touristy stuff, so here’s a recap of some of our stops…

Checked in at the Hotel Bedford, a great, low-key place on 40th and Lex, near the beautiful Grand Central Station. We walked around Times Square at night. It was kind of rainy and drizzly; we came home pretty soaked.

The next day we went back to Times Square to catch War of the Worlds on the big screen. A very big screen. The Loews 2nd Street is the largest non-IMAX theatre theatre I’ve ever seen. We went to the first morning show, so it wasn’t crowded. One thing we also noted is that the THX/Dolby theatres these days are f*cking loud. I must be getting old, or the general public must be getting more hard of hearing from blasting iPods (we lost count – does everyone in NYC have an iPod?). Have mercy, Kate, an audiologist, thinks many New Yorkers must suffer from high-frequency loss.

I know, you’re wondering. was I thinking about completely whacked, allegedly straight Scientologist Tom Cruise while watching the flick? Actually, I guess it’s a testament to Steven Spielberg and ILM’s kick-*ss special effects and sound that we were entertained in spite of the moron’s antics with Katie Holmes, or his going ape-sh*t in the Matt Lauer interview, trashed psychiatry as bogus science (does he want his career to implode?). The latter story, in fact, was in all the gossip rags on newsstands we saw. I am a big fan of the 1953 version of the film, so it was nice to see Spielberg pay homage to several sequences in the earlier film, and he featured a too-brief cameo by its stars, Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, at the end of this version.

We then walked a bit uptown to went to stand in line at TKTS on 47th Street to see if we could get discount seats for Wicked, but it is sold out through September. We went ahead to get tix that evening for Altar Boyz, which was a riot. Folks, this was about as gay as you can get — a send-up of a Christian boy band — five small-town boys — Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham, lolol.

Check out video of the Boyz here.

The place was packed with screaming teens and screaming queens! I tell you, they had the moves down pat and the lyrics were hysterical. Every song is a freaking hit, I’m telling you; and . If you go to the AB web site, you can hear some clips, such as “Girl You Make Me Wanna Wait” and “Jesus Called Me On My Cell Phone.”

Debt clock pic taken around 4:30 PM on Thursday, June 30. Bryant Park, r., was overcast so I ripped this pic from the web site.

We passed the debt clock on our way to Bryant Park. Watch as Chimpy flushes our money down the toilet. Depressing. There was an outdoor concert in the park, which is behind the main NY Public Library; we sat, had some iced tea and enjoyed things as the weather cooled down.

We also went on a horse-drawn carriage tour of Central Park. It was wonderful, albeit quite humid.

The Carousel, and a view of the former Plaza Hotel (I remember it most fondly when Cary Grant steps out to hail a cab from this side of the building in North by Northwest (1959).

While we were riding in the carriage in the park, we passed kids playing, the carousel, folks on rollerblades, bikes and what not, and then we saw this freakshow on the hill…

Dancing with himself…

This guy was dancing to his own tune, hopping, leaping, shadow-boxing, break dancing, spinning around and around getting his groove on. It was so weird. It was just crazy watching him do his little exhibitionist thing; so NY.

“Media personality” Pauly Shore, taking some head shots (and looking for a comeback).

Once the carriage brought us back to the entrance at 59th and Fifth, we got off and started west on Central Park South, passing the other carriages. We had our only celebrity sighting of the trip here, and it was a grade Z one. “Comedian” and former MTV “host” Pauly Shore (who has a new reality show, Minding the Store, coming up soon) was getting some pictures taken in a carriage. We took a couple of pix; it looks like he was having some promo photos taken. No one was really paying much attention to him. I think there were a couple of flunkies/relatives there with him.

A few times on our trip we ate at Juniors, a must-stop for folks that love a good burger and cheesecake; it’s also heaven if you like real deli sandwiches. There’s the full-blown restaurant in Brooklyn, and a bistro version in Grand Central’s lower-level concourse.

What else…oh, we went to the NYC Transit Museum Annex in Grand Central, which had a great exhibit, On Location: New York Transportation in Film. I highly recommend the full-blown museum, which is in downtown Brooklyn.

Another great trip was to the Museum of Sex, which was really interesting. The current exhibit is “Stags, Smokers & Blue Movies: The Origins of American Pornographic Film.” It’s a great look at some of what could be considered “classic” stag films, some dating back to 1915(!). If the Religious Right is under the impression that all the ills of society started with women’s lib and the gay rights movement, they need to head their pious rear-ends over to 233 Fifth Avenue (@ 27th Street) and check out the “depravity” of their great-grandparents, hahaha. It might give Dobson, Falwell and litt
le Gary Bauer a stroke (or something more sinful).

The Museum of Sex.

We also spent a good part of the trip down in the West Village, but we didn’t manage to take pix (aside from the Marc Jacobs marriage equality sign) while there.

In any case, as always, it’s great to be home. Kate and I had a great time, and look forward to celebrating our next anniversary back in Vancouver where we were married. Back to politics in short order…

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding