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New York, New York

New York, New York

A beautiful day here, broke my usual restrictions and walked all over. We attended a packed St. Patrick’s Cathedral, across from The Palace, for high mass. Then some shopping (you can see the Louis Vuitton stegosaurus below) uptown and down in SOHO.

Then we went to The Public Theater to see The Designated Mourner, a play written by and starring Wallace Shawn, the veteran character actor. The first act was 1.5. hours, and the second an hour. The staff kept warning people: If you leave during the first act, you won’t be readmitted until intermission; if you’re not back from intermission within 15 minutes, you won’t be readmitted at all. We should have left for the rest rooms. Early.

Despite good reviews in some New York newspapers and a wonderful intimate theater with a set by our Providence colleague, Tony Award-winning Eugene Lee, it is a bizarre, morose, sometimes unfathomable work which people seemed to try desperately to warm up to. There was a “talk back” after the performance with Mr. Shawn, but that was the last conversation in the world I wanted to have.

Instead, we headed for the sure anodyne for boredom, the blues, and acne: Katz’s. We split corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, two plates of sour pickles, a helping of potato salad, and a litre of Dr. Brown’s cherry soda. That’s living.

Katz’s at dinner is crazy (picture Christopher Walken: It’s CRAZY, CRAZY). The self-serve line was the length of the store. For table service one of the typical hip guys in Katz’s tee-shirt and jeans got us a table. Our waitress actually said, “Were you seated by the maitre d’?” Say, what??

We went through the typical, mystical, incomprehensible ticket return policy, paid our bill, and headed back uptown. No food for thought, but plenty of food for the body.

© Alan Weiss 2013

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Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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