Day Two: Dinner and a Musical

It's true that you can never get a cab when you need one. We stand around for about ten minutes before we decide to just hoof it to the theater.

It's one thing to see New York, it's quite another to smell it. Walking half a block you will smell car fumes, booze, piss, vomit, crap, perfume, food, cleaning fluid, and car fumes.

I have seen far too much Diet Coke on this coast. There must be something addictive in it. The only regular Coke can I've seen was a prop in the musical.

Suddenly, I realized the flashing ads I'd seen in the distance were Times Square. All of a sudden I am surrounded by advertisements the size of buildings. I think it's the only place in the world where ads are a tourist attraction.

There is little more terrifying than a fifty foot tall Justin Timberlake.

We pass a guy with a table full of t-shirts for three dollars each, which I would've stopped to peruse if we weren't on the go. I thought this was the cut-rate stolen-off-the-back-of-the-truck price for them, until I saw it was the standard at most tourist shops. A lot of New Yorkers seem to wear tourist t-shirts simply because they're affordable.

We see an SUV swerve up from behind a sedan and take its front bumper half-off. Amazingly, no shots were fired.

The musical, which had merchandise all over the place inside the theater, was called Spelling Bee. At first I feared, but I was quickly put at rest when it got into full swing. Many guffaws were had, and some tender, heart-swelling moments, but mostly guffaws. The pianist in the back was cute and there was a string of penis jokes, which is all a musical really needs in the end.

Gentlemen's Clubs in New York actually seem to live up to their names - they have suited valets out front.

After this, we go to feast. This would be the first actual meal I'd have all day. The place we picked was Plataforma, an all-you-can-eat Brazillian steakhouse.

The Brazillian steakhouse set-up is the perfect way for a restaurant to be run.

While you order drinks, you are given little coasters with a red side and a green side (I suppose people with red-green colorblindness can't be waiters there). When you have the red side turned up, you can go to the salad bar, which has everything from salad to marinated chicken to sushi. One can happily eat well and to their fill at the salad bar.

When the coaster is flipped to green, waiters brandishing knives and spits of every kind of dead animal proffer meat at you until the coaster is red again. After all of this, which can last for as long as you wish, there is a dessert cart full of fruits, tiramisu, cakes, flans, and coffee.

This is the first time I have been the one to eat the least in a restaurant. After one plate from the salad bar, a pork sausage, and many fried bananas, I went into cheerful atrial fibrillation and acute gastrointestinal distress (which I am still feeling). When I was in the bathroom I considered giving bulimia a try just so I could have another go at the salad bar.

Over dinner, I learn the details of Martin's vanishment: our hotel is on the same block as three others, and Martin walked into the wrong one. When he got to that hotel's room 1010, a maid opened the door for him, and he spent a couple hours in there before he realized the phone was deactivated.

David eventually got the car and trailer parked when he used his membership in the Secret Fraternity of Parking Valets and a forty dollar bribe.

We leave the place, staggering, and walked out upon Times Square at night. I know now what light pollution actually is. The sky may as well not exist in New York at night.

There was a lone sax player on the corner, in true urban fashion. In the cab on the way home (driven by a French Creole fellow), David pointed out just how sleepy the town was on a weekday night, and how much livelier it was on weekends. I looked out at the 7,000 people visible and vowed never to be in Times Square on a weekend night, for fear of being crushed to death.

We were greeted by the same congenial valet (who is the very image of a New Yorker) that had saved us from a $110 parking ticket and helped to try and find Martin.

We shared the elevator up with an English chick and a German fellow. I've heard more foreign languages spoken on the streets of New York than I have anywhere else. The first swearing I heard that wasn't my own was in German.

Tomorrow we head back to Amagansett with Catherine, and will do some swimming in the Atlantic.

There's two of everything in the hotel room - including two toiletpaper dispensers on the bathroom wall - except for the tiny little bottle of shampoo. The toilet flushes with a force that would take skin off if you were still sitting down.

Breakfast appears to be complimentary at the hotel. I'm not sure my stomach will have room for it after that Brazillian feast. If there's not a Brazillian steakhouse in Portland, someone needs to open one up.

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