My favorite city on the face of this earth is New York City. I decided that this weekend.
Why not Houston, where I grew up? Houston is a swamp. It has it’s nice parts but I’d never move back. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my childhood, I loved growing up there and wouldn’t change a thing. But Houston is not my favorite city.
Why not DC, where I live now? I drive into the District every day. And every day I look at the monuments, the Federal buildings and all the history behind it and it never fails to amaze me that I live here, in the heart of everything. But DC has no identity. People rarely come from DC. They, like me, move here.
So what convinced me that I’m a New Yorker at heart?
Billy Joel. Fucking fantastic. Back in 1989, Beth and I were at the same Billy Joel concert. Of course, we didn’t know each other at the time. This time, we decided to go together. Sure, the tickets were pricey but it was the best damn singalong I’ve ever gone to. Billy – at 65 – put on an incredible show that saw him singing all his hits while covering Elton John, Simon & Garfunkel, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. And Madison Square Garden was an awesome venue.
If/Then. Yes, we made Mia jealous by seeing Idina Menzel on Broadway. The show was fantastic though it tried too hard at times. The cast was brilliant and I’m pretty sure that 90% of the audience – yes, including me – ended up with more than a few tears in their eyes by the end. And most of that was due to Idina Menzel’s performance. I’ve seen a lot of shows and a lot of concerts, but I have never before seen a vocal performance so incredible. I’m not succumbing to the hype. Idina Menzel gave the best performance I have ever seen.
Adam Levine. Yeah, we almost literally ran into Adam Levine on 8th Avenue in front of Bryant Park (my favorite place in the city). He looked exactly what you’d expect him to look like and sounded (because he was talking loudly into a cell phone) exactly what you’d expect him to sound like.
Marshall Karp. We had a chance to catch up with our friend – and best-selling author – Marshall Karp. The lunch on a roof-top in Bryant Park (still my favorite place in the city) can only be described as epic. It lasted approximately three hours and we covered every conceivable topic. It might have been the best lunch of my life…for the company, not the food (although the food was really good).
Restaurants. We hit one of our favorite restaurants (Becco), a new favorite that fell out of favor (Buddokan) and a restaurant that produced the best meals we’ve ever had in the city (Morimoto). Between that and the beer, it’s amazing that I only gained three pounds.
Legs. We walked all around the city. Because of my legs, it was touch-and-go here and there but I’m pretty sure we did at least six or seven miles a day. Because that’s what we do in NYC. We explored parts of Central Park we’d never seen, walked from Times Square to Chelsea and back, and perused the fancy stores on Fifth Avenue. Sure, I had to find a bench sometimes but who cares?
My wife. It’s my wife’s errrrrhhhth birthday and our fifteenth anniversary. This was our way of celebrating. I didn’t really need to be reminded of this but I was, well, reminded of the fact that this hot chick is the love of my life. We had fun. We talked. We laughed. And she wore more than one outfit that made me say damn repeatedly. I felt slightly guilty for being a bearded, chubby schlub.
So, yeah. I’m in a New York State Of Mind. Pretty much always.