Day 1 of my 35th birthday adventure – New York City, baby!

Oh be still my beating heart. New York City. There’s nowhere quite like it, and I adore every hectic, crazy, smelly, dirty, beautiful, sparkly, exciting bit of it.

After my rather uncomfortable flight…thanks to Norwegian transferring me onto some shithouse lease plane operator called HiFly…I landed at JFK and headed to my hotel which was one of the Pod hotels (very good, incidentally….all the mod-cons, and a really buzzy bar/restaurant). Now, in my head I was like, I SHOULD go downtown and see more of it (because I only got to see Brooklyn and Chelsea last time) but Times Square was just calling me. What can I say…it’s the theatre homeland, it’s my calling, I HAD to go. So off I trundled and I’ll be honest, the level of hectic-ness was quite stressful. Having only ever been at Xmas before, I suspect the shiny fairy lights took the edge off the CRAZYNESS that is the traffic and slow-arse tourists who wouldn’t GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY. You can take the Londoner out of London and all that…

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ANYWAY, I went into some of my favourite shops and then decided I needed some respite and on the walk back to my hotel, I spied the glorious Bryant Park. One of my and mum’s favourite places when we went at Christmas. It was a dry and sunny day, and the park was in beautiful bloom. The last time I’d seen it, it was covered in Christmas trees and market stalls and an ice rink. This time, it was green and leafy and very chilled. I settled down outside with a vino (cost me an arm and a leg, OBVS) and just people-watched for a good hour or so.

It then dawned on me that, shit, I hadn’t eaten a thing since that fucking awful plane and this one tiny wine was going right to my head. So I grabbed some mac ‘n’ cheese and headed back to my hotel for a quick nap before the big event that night.

THAT’S RIGHT PEOPLE, I had booked a Broadway show. I mean, not a surprise, obviously. I booked it the minute my aunt had booked my flights, and quite frankly, I was on the cusp of wanging another $100 on a matinee showing of Anastasia when I was doing my wandering, but I held myself back. Which I kinda regret, to be honest. I was trying to be sensible but actually, how often am I in NYC? I should have done it!

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ANYWAY, the show I had booked for the evening was Frozen. Yep. Frozen. The chance to see the original Broadway cast of such an iconic musical was too tempting to miss. My ticket was $150 and my seat was right at the back of the Mezzanine. Fucking Broadway, SO much more expensive than the West End. Which is why I NEVER complain about the West End costing too much because it’s a total bargain in comparison.

But yeah, Frozen was brilliant. Fucking brilliant. I already knew that Caissie Levy (playing Elsa) would be awesome, just based on her reputation in the UK theatre community…but Patti Murin playing Anna was a revelation and…OLAF. Oh, Olaf….they managed Olaf so well. They use the same puppetry as Tamon from the stage production of The Lion King (and I’ve since found out that both shows have the same puppet designer)

I was on such a high (much like last time, probably from the large white wine I guzzled but at least this time it didn’t cost me $25…a mere $18 this time….FFS America….) but I couldn’t be arsed to stage door because I had an 8.30am flight out the next morning, so I trundled the 20 minutes back to my hotel, immersing myself in the buzz of NYC at 11.30pm at night. Always buzzing, always busy….always amazing.

So that was that. Time for bed, to prepare myself for my 5am airport taxi and get ready for the main portion of this adventure that had only just begun…..

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