New York Part 1

Every time I travel, I forget one thing.  Just that every time, it’s a different one thing.  This time I forgot to pack some snacks for the plane – not the end of the world, obviously.  This is the first time in at least 10 years that I’ve done the HK/NY run economy class; I no longer have enough miles to do an upgrade.  Cathay will let you reserve an exit row seat for US$100 each way and that was worth it for the extra leg room.  On the other hand, Cathay’s economy class food just seems to get worse and worse and the two meals I was served were both barely edible.   I only slept a few hours during the 15 hour flight – the “newer” economy class seats are amazingly uncomfortable.  Fortunately, even economy seats have electric power outlets, so I had no worries about using my iPad for the entire trip – watching 3 movies, episodes of 2 TV series, playing some games, reading the new William Gibson book, listening to music.

Every visit, my first meal is always a pastrami sandwich at a kosher deli in Riverdale; the closest one to where my mother lives.  This is a real old school kind of place. It looks exactly like the delis I grew up with and, fortunately, tastes just like them too.  The grilled kosher hotdog (I’m guessing Hebrew National) has a real snap to its casing, the way one should, and the pastrami sandwich was at least two inches thick, maybe three, and the pastrami was melt in your mouth tender.  Add on cole slaw, a kosher pickle and Dr. Brown’s soda … now THIS is one thing I miss in Hong Kong.

Our waiter at the restaurant was Israeli.  And when he found out that I live in Hong Kong, for the rest of the night he only spoke to me in Mandarin.  He’s never been to China but he used to work in a restaurant in Times Square and picked up bits and pieces of as many languages as he good from customers.  He had a lot of questions about life in Hong Kong and all was going well until he asked if rent prices were reasonable there.  I couldn’t lie to him on that, could I?

Kind of tempting to go see the Facebook movie while I’m here but I doubt I’ll have time.  Also tempting, here’s 1% the line-up of shows in NY this weekend:

Night of Too Many Stars – annual comedy benefit show, this year with Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Ricky Gervais, Larry David, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.  So tempting!

Laurie Anderson’s doing a week of shows at the BAM.

Other concerts/club dates: Belle & Sebastian and Teenage Fanclub, Jimmy Webb, Stanley Clarke Band, Joshua Redman Trio, Steve Morse, Tired Pony, Dave Mason, Chick Corea (with Brian Blade and Christian McBride), Alejandro Escovedo, Van Dyke Parks (holy shit), XX … I would go SO broke if I was living here again.

Next weekend –  a screening of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers accompanied by alive 300-piece orchestra and chorus.  And Patti LaBelle is now starring in the Broadway musical Fela! (based on the life and music of seminal African rocker Fela Kuti).

Also currently on Broadway – Addams Family (with Nathan Lane), American Idiot (Green Day musical, the lead singer will be joining the cast for a week later this month), Patrick Stewart in David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre … the list goes on.

But since I’m only here for 4 days, the amount of choice is so overwhelming that, combined with jet lag, may lead to me just chilling in the Bronx for the entire time.

Photos may come after I get back home.  I forgot that last year I was unable to get my pocket wireless router working with my mom’s Motorola cable modem so I’m only online via her PC.