Yet another NYC trip: who really knows what part: Day after thanksgiving

One wonderful day. Wonderful things can happen in a wonderful way. And I know things now, many valuable things that I hadn’t known before

We took the bus and the 7 to Hudson Yards in preparation to see Here We Are at The Shed.

With about an hour to kill, we stopped for breakfast from a food cart, Le Paradise. Scrambled eggs with veggies and black beans were more than decent and quite warming on a blustery day.

‘Here We Are’ is Sondheim’s last work, and it was in workshop when Sondheim took his final bow. There is a lot of misinformation on how far along this work was but it was a collaboration between Sondheim and playwright David Ives. I had to assiduously ignore reviews and arricles about it and I am glad I did.

This is a deeply challenging piece, much like Assassins and reflectes Sondheim’s increasingly dark world view. It also reflected musical themes from his earliest work, Saturday Night, as well as Follies, Assasins and more. And it was simply fabulous.

Director Joe Mantello is a genius. Jin Ha was superb. I only recently discovered his work in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Denis O’Hare was beyond amazing. We have loved his work since seeing him as Guiteau in Assasins. Micaela Diamond was stunning as Fritz. So was François Battiste as the Colonel and David Hyde Pierce. I have heard so much about Bobby Cannavale’s acting and it was superb. I could go on but there is food coming. What a cast!!!

This is Sondheim. The music was incredible. Very few traditional songs, more conversational pieces reminicent of Follies and Assasins. And some of the most compelling and lush music he ever wrote! I think he knew this was his last effort and he delivered musical perfection. The piece spoke to me politically as well.

I was in tears from the moment we lined up to go into the theater and a total wreck by the end. I am choking back sobs as I write this.

Sondheim literally saved my life after my open heart surgery as I worked out to the Merrily soundtrack! And I needed to work out because 14 days after a 5x CABG, we had tickets to the Sondheim Celebration. In fact, the first thing I said after the breathing tube was taken out was to my surgeon: 'will I be able to go to the Sondheim Celebration at the Ken Cen? My surgeon ok’d it but predicted the walk from the car to our seats would drain me and I’d sleep thru them. I proved him wrong.

And years later, when we stalked. I mean met Sondheim at intermission at NYCO’s Sweeney, I got to tell him that story. He clapped and said it was the best review he ever got. So I would not be here today, nor be who I am today without Sondheim’s genius. You know, the road you didn’t take hardly comes to mind, does it?

Food. Where is the food. Wait… ah wait. What’s the rush? Keep your thoughts nice and lush.

This is Broadway Cares, when actors and volunteers stand after the show with red buckets to collect donations. We walked past two guys with buckets before I realized that one of them was Denis O’Hare. I turned back and got to fanboy for a minute. I was wearing a Merrily beanie and a Sweeney hoodie. He commented “You’re decked out, but where is your ‘Here We Are’ swag?” We laughed as we told him we had two sweatshirts and two cocktail glasses in the backpack! He praised his wigs and bitched about his shoes! Those shoes were 6" platforms explaining my thinking Denis O’Hare sure is taller than I thought! But he clearly liked our harrassment. What a treat!

Next, I asked Kay to come walk with me. We strolled the High Line to Chelsea Market. It amazed us at how different it felt a month later than our first visit, with plants and trees having lost most of their leaves. We loved the art along the way and there was a vibraharpist playing. Yes, I know… food?

Oh yeah. Food.

We went to the Lobster Place for an ‘s’-ton of raw shellfish.

Really good canned cocktail.

As good a platter of oysters as I have ever slurped. 2 each of 12 types from north Carolina to Nova Scotia and PEI. Plus 2 each little necks and cherrystones. All perfectly shucked. I mean they stood out for how well they were shucked. I complemented our shucker, Mike.

Excellent uni and incredible scallop with yuzu.

Our viewat the bar.

They have just instituted a loyalty reward system and we earned a $15 credit so we had 6 more oysters, 3 each of our favorites. Heavenly!

Now for most people, that would be enough. But we arent most people!

Yeah, we went that way to Los Mariscos.

We had my first, and quite possibly last, Paloma. And a spicy shrimp taco which was a gooey mess! Which is good thing for a taco to be.

4 clams ‘estillo baja’ which turned out to be 2 cherrystones and 2 mahoganies. Also a cockteles campechano.

Then it was the A train to the port authority, NJ Transit to our street and this view.

To cap off this day, we got our proof of life pics from Uncle Ron.
I could eat you up, I really could!

And now to bed to rest up for another @DaveCook adventure tomorrow!

And followers of my multipart adventures thought I got terse by my short Thanksgiving post!! I learned 'ya! Bonus points to anyone who spots all the Sondheim lyrics in the post. More if you can ID the musicals.


Great post!


Thanks so much! It was theraputic to writt. Glad you enjoyed!

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This was a great read on a cold Saturday morning, thank you for posting.
I love walking the hi-line anytime of year.
I caught some of the lyrics but I’m sure not all.
if my mom were still with us, she would have known all of them.

Thanks. This was the most autobiographical post I’ve written.

The first time we walked the highline was south to north a month ago. It is a must do in our futeur trips.