Well, the trip to NYC was a great success! My cultural learnings of America make benefit glorious nation of Canuckistan! The minivan on the way down was cramped and eventually stinky from the seven of us, but surprisingly, we were never bored, even though we missed several turns, and the GPS led us on a wild route that took 16 hours.
Our hotel, the Gershwin on E27th Street near Madison Avenue, was pretty funky. It’s a very artsy place, with wacky decor. Unfortunately, the only place it was bright enough to take a proper pic was in the bathroom. Less unfortunately, the bathroom was funky. The hotel was located right beside the Museum of Sex. It was labeled with all kinds of different fetishes. Check out the top-right fetish.
Our improv set was on Saturday at 3:30pm, which was actually a very good set. The UCB Theater was pretty full at that point, as people awaited the more well-known groups that started around 5pm. I don’t have any pics of video of us performing this year. I do, however have a pic of Julie preparing for the show.
It wasn’t a bad set. The offer was “cauliflower.” We had a bit of a brief and boring opening. Our scene work was decent. Our ending tied together all of our threads nicely. I’d give us a B+. After our set, we watched some pretty great sets from Mister Diplomat of the DSI, and the best musical improv I’ve ever seen, by I Eat Pandas. I was blown away by the professional singing voices and funny-as-hell improvised lyrics of these two talented women. They got an enthusiastic standing ovation at the end of their set.
That night, I went with Deb and Meghan to check out some stand up comedy. Deb won a night of free drinks for chugging a beer on stage with the host of the show. Meghan and I got on stage for a “Porn or Not Porn” competition, in which you’re supposed to guess whether a title of a show is for a porn movie or a show on the W Network. We tied in the “Porn or Not Porn” competition, so we had to go to a tie-breaking round of “New Kid or Kennedy or Both.” Since we tied at that as well, we were both awarded free drinks for the night.
The cab ride home was entertaining. We got a ride from a Russian cabbie who claimed to be a genius. His proof was that you could give him any date and he would tell you the day of the week instantly. Apparently I was born on a Friday.
The next day, I met Deb in the morning at B&H. It’s like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, except instead of candy, they have cameras and electronics. I was bedazzled by the snaking conveyor belts in the ceiling carrying high tech gear around the store in green baskets. I bought a new camera bag. My old Roots one has served me well, but the straps are starting to break, and I don’t want to be wearing it in the middle of China when it finally decides to give up the ghost. My criteria for a camera bag are that it must carry the camera with battery grip, 70-200mm lens attached, and about 3 or 4 additional lenses. I also want it to carry my laptop, and be eligible for carry-on an on an airplane. Being able to see a massive selection of camera bags and try them out was really helpful. I finally settled on a backpack from Tenba. It rocks. I love that it unzips on the side to give me access to my lenses without having to open the main compartment.
After that, Deb and I bought Metro day passes and rode subways and buses all day, exploring the city.
Sunday night, we went for some amazing but expensive sushi. Afterwards, the boys headed to Times Square for touristy fun. We stared at bright lights and talked about stupid stuff.
I skipped the UCB party at the end of the night because I was exhausted from walking all day, and my knee was starting to punish me.
We left at 8am the next day. The hazy morning light was beautiful.
The trip home didn’t take nearly as long, due to us taking all the right turns. It was a 11-hour trip. I got back to my place by 7pm, unpacked, put a load of laundry in, and then hit the road for Toronto for Harold Night. That night, we wore our travel-stinky clothes, and performed a set inspired by our long confinement in the van. That was a lot of fun, setting up the van on stage, and using van conversations as source material for a montage of scenes.
After the show, I returned home, packed for Montreal and crashed. I was out the door at 5:30 the next morning for Montreal. I had to take a cab to the train station, catch a train to Toronto, a bus to the Toronto Island Airport, and a plane to Montreal. I helped the airport shuttle bus driver in Montreal close the engine compartment on her bus, so she gave me a free ride into the city.
So that’s it. Here I am in Montreal again! Back to Hamilton on Saturday.