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Monday, February 9, 2009

Getting Flushed Back through the Sewer Pipe They Call the Holland Tunnel

I’ve started celebrating my birthday early this year. You pretty much have to when it falls on a Tuesday (what a yucky day). So my husband and I hit up our old stomping grounds on the isle of Manhattan. Now, we haven’t lived there in a few years, but I’ve gotta say it’s nice to go back. Especially when it’s freakishly 50 degrees in February—usually I get blizzards on my b-day.

So after my whirlwind 36-hour visit, I’ve got a few highlights to share on the awesomeness that is the Big Apple.



First, Will Ferrell’s “You're Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush” is possibly better than Phantom. At least, it’s much funnier. My cheeks still hurt from laughing. It’s 90 minutes of Ferrell doing his George W. Bush impersonation as a one-man Broadway show. Best part was when he asked the audience to shout out their occupations, and he gives them nicknames similar to W.

One female audience member (I’m not making this up) was a “Strip Search Monitor at Rikers.” This is a huge, scary NY prison for those who don’t know. Ferrell’s nickname for her: “Jelly Finger.” Another audience member was an “advocate to end poverty in third world countries.” Her nickname: “Useless Occupation.” Classic.

Second, everyone reading this right now, stop what you’re doing and go shopping in SoHo. Do not pass ‘Go,’ do not collect $200 (though you might want the cash). February sales are insane—some stores are giving an additional 70% off all sale merchandise. My husband bought designer button down shirts for $18 at Ben Sherman, a British-based boutique. At those prices, you’re required to buy one of everything.

Third, I gotta give a shout out to our friend Ryan Donn who suggested we have dinner at Mercat Restaurant. It’s this amazing tapas place in the Lower East Side. Each course we got was insanely better than the last—particularly the hanger steak and cod fish.

However, the waiters could use a tutorial in what they’re serving. When I asked why I couldn’t decipher the language on the menu (it wasn’t Spanish), he said it was “Catalan.” I said, “Oh, Barcelona!” And he said, “No, not Barcelona. It’s from Northern Spain.” Um, dude, you’re way wrong. Northern Spain speaks Basque, not Catalan. (I studied in Madrid. Aren’t I smarty pants?) Plus the restaurant’s website, actually says it “serves cuisine inspired by the markets of Barcelona.” Not that I was anal enough to check or anything.

And finally, as always it costs more to park in New York City than it actually does to stay there. Thank God we booked our room off Hotwire because we needed that savings. Seriously, for that kind of money, our car should be returned washed, detailed and dipped in gold. It’s only fair.

POP CULTURE RANT: Grey’s/Private Practice Crossover

A cliffhanger crossover? Really? I don’t know, but I expected more from this “crossover event.” Gee, Addison’s brother who no one cares about has parasites in his brain (coincidently, my own brother-in-law was once misdiagnosed with this very infliction). Does anyone care if this character lives or dies? They really needed to stretch it into four hours? Come on. Maybe I’m just tainted. The Buffy-Angel crossovers set the bar too high.

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