Friday 09 Dec 2016

Easter Sunday in NYC
Matt Seinberg

There is no city in the world like New York City or the borough of Manhattan, as some call it. It never closes and there is always something to do. If you feel like a slice of pizza or Chinese food, you can find a place to deliver any time of the day or night. The excitement is always there.

There are times when I wished I lived in “the city,” as opposed to Long Island. Marcy, my wife, and I always make plans to go into the city on Easter Sunday. It’s a day we are both off work and can do something with the kids. Last year we went to see “Mary Poppins,” on Broadway, and had dinner at Patsy’s Pizzeria, on 23rd Street, with my cousin, Jamie, and her husband, Cliff.

This year, we got tickets to see “Million Dollar Quartet,” which is the story of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins all getting together for one incredible night at Sun Records in Memphis, TN with founder Sam Phillips. I knew Marcy and I would enjoy the show. I wasn’t sure how Michelle and Melissa would enjoy it. I knew they would enjoy walking around the city and visiting Times Square, where there are some incredible stores.

Before we hit Times Square, we stopped at Bryant Park to eat lunch and relax. Of course, the girls had to use a bathroom and the Bryant Park Grill is right there; in we went. Of course, I get out before them and start taking some pictures of the flowers and surrounding buildings. The other thing I notice is the bevy of beautiful women walking around. You would have to be blind and deaf not to notice them. Good-looking scenery always puts a smile on my face and this time is no exception.

We made it a point to visit The Hershey Store, please, no vacation jokes, where the girls got some candy bars for the show. Right across the street is the M&M store. Talk about candy overload! I collect refrigerator magnets and the M&M store had a kewl one, with the different colors and the city skyline. I had to have it. Marcy just shakes her head at me and asks why I waste money.

Have any of you ever heard of or seen the Naked Cowboy in Times Square? He’s an unusual busker, not honestly naked, but darn close. He wears only white briefs, a cowboy hat and a guitar. He’s been on TV many times. He makes a very good living by having people give him money for his guitar playing. It’s a great gig if you can get it.

The show, “Million Dollar Quartet,” started at 3 pm. When we get to the theatre, I find out it runs only 90 minutes. Whoops! I told my friends Greg and Brian to meet us at 6 pm. Thank goodness I had cell service in the balcony. I could call Greg and tell him about the slight change of plans. They are now going to meet us at 4:30 and walk with us to Patsy’s.

I’m not going to recap the show, except to say it was wonderful. For any fan of rock and roll, this is a must-see show! The music and choreography is first rate, as are the actors. The highlight for us was seeing Eddie Clendening, the actor who plays Elvis at one of the exits, and having the girls take a picture with him. You should have seen all the women swooning over him!

We get outside and there’s Greg waiting for us. The weather has turned a little chilly, and we have a 20-block walk to Patsy’s. It’s nice to see Greg, and we get to talk and catch up on life during the walk. It turns out that Brian is going to meet us at the restaurant.

I’m sure someone is asking, why go to that restaurant? The only reason is the food is amazing. The brick oven pizza is the best, as are the pastas. We went there last year, with Jamie and Cliff, and feel in love with it.

The kids are hungry and, of course, the adults can eat. We order two large pies, one cheese and one with pepperoni and sausage. They were so good that if I could never eat pizza again, I’d be happy that they were the last ones.

Then the two pasta dishes come out. The first is penne ala vodka, with bacon; the second is rigatoni Bolognese. We dig in, and once again, this is heaven on a plate. There are plenty of leftovers, and we insist that Greg and Brian take them home. They paid for dinner, because on my 50th birthday, my present was to be a dinner in NYC. Here we are three years later, so happy birthday to me!

The funny thing is Marcy reminded me of that present and tried to find the birthday card, with that inside, but it was long gone. I felt funny reminding Greg of that, but when you’ve known someone for as long as I’ve known Greg, that feeling goes away. Thanks for buying dinner and being great friends!

I often wonder what life would have been like 30 years ago is I took the chance to live in NYC. Where would I live, what job would I have had, and would I have gotten married and had kids? That’s a story for another day.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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