Sunday, April 01, 2007

When last we left our hero...

Well I just realized I never got around to posting about my time in NYC this year after first recounting my lengthy tale of the escape from said island city. The time was actually more fun than in previous years. It seemed less hectic and more relaxed. It was really pretty great until the snowfall hit.

I saw Spamalot for the second time on Broadway. Everyone else was going and so as not to be a stick in the mud, I went too. I think I actually liked it better this time as I knew what to expect.

This trip, rather than doing some of the touristy things like the Statue of Liberty, we hit three NY comic shops instead. That was actually a lot of fun. Our good buddy Rik (of Transformers fame) was kind enough to drive us around much of the weekend, but that did not completely spare me a few harrowing cab rides. I actually rode in the front seat on one occasion! It was more like a thrill ride than a cab ride. If you've never been in the front seat of a moving New York City cab, you must try it at least once before you die. I was sure we were going to kill at least one pedestrian that night.

We also hit FAO and Toys R Us on Times Square. The photo here is of me outside the TRU. We ate at the Carnegie deli - a place introduced to me by friend Chris back in '94. We visited a REALLY odd bar with friend John Waterhouse so he could eat dinner since Brian and I had already eaten that night. It was run by Hawaian Tropic and feaured waitresses in bikinis. Now hold on...this SOUNDS better than the reality. The tone of the place was oddly asexual and VERY above board. It had a sort of retro 60's Tiki vibe and looked as though Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. should have a corner booth. The girls were fairly pretty, but it was less lurid than any Hooter's restaurant and so I was able leave feeling fairly guilt free! Score one for the man away from home!

Of course we saw the Hasbro showroom and spent much time in the Javits Center for Toy Fair. That all goes without saying.

We had dinner at the larger version of Jekyll and Hyde which is more of a restuarant and less of a bar. The skit-like entertainment was going full bore and turned out to be quite annoying for a group of 15 who really wanted to visit and chat in a cosy setting. The dinner that night was more like Six Flags Meets Haunted Disco. 'Nuff said.

The most interesting event of the visit was the promotional event for the upcoming TRANSFORMERS movie. The director, Michael Bay was there and particpated in a panel with other notables from Hasbro and Amblin Entertainment. After the panel chat, we were treated to a 20+ minute preview of the film. The footage was devastating. The images rolled off the screen with a ferocity that left me feeling shellshocked. The viewing experience left me tired but eager to see more. I think they have a hit on their hands that will cross over from fandom and engage the general public as well.

It was that night that the snow began and with it our lengthy journey home...


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