Monday, November 24, 2008

Cupcakes & Conan!

Thurs Nov 20 - Fri Nov 21
Day 1:
We hopped on the train to Penn with our fabulous discounted amtrak tickets and made it with time to spare; though it didn't feel like it at first. I had reserved tickets to Conan O'Brien over the phone but did not know how early we were allowed to go pick them up and kept calling from the train but no one at NBC picked up. So we made our way to Rockefeller Center to run around sweating due to wearing too many layers in prep for the cold while carrying our backpacks. Finally, after running around and up and down stairs, we found someone who said we had to come back after 3 to pick up the tickets...but we HAD to be there before 4:15, tight timing. So we ran back out and searched for a subway; which we could never find when we really wanted to, so we voted and took a cab to the hotel.
We stayed at the Marrakech Hotel. It was a great little hotel and I got a great deal. The subway is right around the corner and Starbucks is right downstairs...but there was no elevator and we were on the 5th floor. The first time up was fine but that night, after walking through the city, we were not leaving the room again if it meant having to climb back up the stairs.
We checked in, removed some of our eskimo-like layers and headed back to 30 Rock to pick up our Conan tickets. Then we had to wait...and wait...and wait. We were not allowed to stand around so we wandered through the center. They were filming a movie outside, so we were told when we had to cross the road and walk around the set to get there. Then they were filming 30 Rock outside and who walks in to be within an arm's length of us but Mister Alec Baldwin himself, in all his glory. (Celebrity Sighting 1) We check out the cool optical boutique, find some funky new glasses we want to order someday, wander, get some water, look at the card shop, go to the bathroom as the page ordered and finally we head back to the waiting area to go up some stairs and wait some more. We had a good number but no one really knew what the system meant. We were 6 out of a large group of people all lined up in numerical order in a roped section of a hallway. 1-5 were in another roped section and then across from us was the alphabetical line. Finally they come make the announcements; turn off your cell phones, turn off your cameras, no food or drink in the studio. Then they took the alphabetical group in first. More waiting. Finally, they bring us back downstairs to go through the metal detector and have our bags searched and we get to go upstairs to the 7th floor on a pre-set elevator to the studio. We end up seated in the 4th or 5th row of the main section of the seats, not counting the lower section closest to his desk. We were centered nicely to get a great view. They showed a best of montage on the TVs from previous Conan shows and then one of the regulars who often plays characters came out to warm up the crowd. Next, the Max Weinberg 7 came out and played up a storm. Then Conan came out to greet the crowd before the show. He danced with a guy from the audience, hugged him, made him hug another audience member and then made him hug Max.
On with the show! The studio is much smaller in person, even looking from the TVs to the actual studio it was hard to fathom the size difference. Conan's monologue was fun and then we got to see "Obama Family, Adopt A Late Night Dog!" with the Evil Puppy
(which is funny because I had mentioned while waiting in line that I missed the Evil Puppy),
the really tall dachshund and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. We also got to see Pierre Bernard do a pull up. The guests were Rosie O'Donnell, Becki Newton and musical guest Brian Wilson.
You can see the show here: Conan O'Brien, Thurs Nov 20
After the show it was time to eat so we headed over to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for some fabulous steak and potatoes. Once we were stuffed, we headed back to the hotel. We were able to find the subway this time, and made it back quickly though the hike up the stairs was not as easy this time around.
Day 2:
Breakfast at the Broadway Restaurant. It was ok, nothing amazing but not bad, it's a diner.
Next, off to Penn Station to check our bags and head to the West Village. We went to A Salt & Battery, Pylones, The Pleasure Chest as seen on Sex & The City (the place was mobbed), the Roasting Plant and Mxyplyzyk.
Then we were off to Union Square to scope out the artists and food stands. I found Tickle Hill Wine which I have searched for since the I Love Ny Food Fest in 2004. We went to the Union Square Lush and looked like coke-heads, or maybe I should say Lush-heads, from sniffing so many bath bars and fizzies. We also witnessed an altercation on the street, between a teenage girl who seemed to be under some sort of influence, a group of other teens and a cop. We tried to find Burgers & Cupcakes which apparently had moved and not changed their website. We took the subway with Julia Stiles (Celebrity Sighting 2). I tried to quietly point her out but trying to tell Aleeta who she was seemed to get her attention and we scared her away LOL Sorry Julia, we mean you no harm. We opted for a backup place for eats and went to Cafeteria which was fabulous! Though the waiter syruped me, well he accidentally poured syrup on my tweed coat, he was adorable and eventually Aleeta told him so...
Hot gay waiter: Would you ladies like to see the dessert menu?
Aleeta: Only if you are on it
Besides the hot gay waiter incident, I had fried chicken & waffles for the first time and even tried a truffle fry.
Finally, we were running out of time and had yet to get any cupcakes which was part 2 of our mission. We ventured over to Chelsea Market which worked out perfectly. We got cupcakes & brownies and I got a piece of cake for the road. Cupcakes (I also got some sugar cookies) at Eleni's, Brownies from Fat Witch Bakery, tea for the ladies at T Salon, and a piece of cake for me from Amy's Bread. Followed by a mad dash to the subway, agony going up and down stairs for hopefully the last time and picking up our checked bags, only to be so tired that we accidentally read the arrivals schedule and wondered why it looked like our train to Albany had changed times and numbers LOL
All in all a great trip to the city. Hopefully we will get to try out more cupcakes sometime soon. Pin It StumbleUpon

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