Well, hello there, what have you all been up to?
Really!? No way, me too!
What are the odds that you’ve also been eating lots of breakfast bars, drinking coffee, and rewatching Schitt’s Creek? Wow.
Anyway, I also went on my Roomies New York City tour! Wanna hear about it? Why not? Sit back, relax, and Here. We. Go!
If you didn’t get a chance to read my review of Roomies and sneak peek into my Roomies tour, check it out here.
If you’re too lazy to do that, no judgement, here’s a little summary: in Roomies, Holland has quite a crush on this hottie Irish subway busker named Calvin. She takes her crush to new levels! Girl tries to help him land a gig in her musical director uncle’s Broadway show, aka the hottest ticket in town. But oh sh%t! There’s a problem. Turns out that Calvin can’t accept the gig since he’s unofficially living in the U.S. He overstayed his student visa so he is now living in the U.S. on the DL. However, Holland has a solution! She’ll marry him. She does her uncle a solid and Calvin is a major hottie. It’s a win-win!
This book got me excited about my tour because not only does the book have music and Broadway, but it also has actual New York City locations. I love it when that happens!
Another cool thing about this tour is how I felt during it. In the past, I’ve opened up about feeling a little lonely during my tours, wishing I had some sweet, Calvin-like guy with me.
However, for this tour, I felt complete contentment as I was striking out on my own. Having cool readers being so encouraging has helped. One person once commented that it’s probably better doing my own thing not worrying about anyone else and you know what? She’s right! I do like exploring NYC all on my own terms. There’s a lot of freedom in it.
Holland has a spot she goes to just so she has a reason to pass by Calvin while he’s doing his musician thing in the 50th Street subway station. She claims to need to stop there to pick up coffee for herself and her uncle but does she really need to go out of her way for this coffee? Ask any New Yorker and they would tell her that she could easily find some coffee in NYC in a more convenient location.
However, maybe the coffee really is that good? Let’s see!
Okay, the coffee is actually pretty good and that cookie was to die for! The barista was kind of cute too, so that was a bonus. I’ll definitely be back! Luckily it’s not too out of my way. I’d be going back for that cookie though, not the barista, I swear! Maybe if he was a singing barista?
I’ll excuse Holland on this one, it’s good coffee and she got to enjoy Calvin’s hot tunes. Who could blame her?
The interior was cool too.
After I enjoyed my time at Madman Espresso, I decided to look for Calvin at the 50th Street subway station.
Sadly the subway station was a little difficult to get to this weekend due to it being shut down in one direction due to maintenance. That’s a common occurrence on weekends in the city, but I knew it wouldn’t bode well for any subway musicians. Still, I persevered in getting to it.
I heard music as I walked through this big station, but didn’t find any musicians. I searched high and low. It was a little desolate in there, so not somewhere I wanted to stick around. Sadly, no cute Calvins around. However, I knew I wasn’t crazy. I heard something so I followed the sounds which lead me outside and into a street fair. If you visit NYC between April and November, you are bound to run into a street fair.
NYC Street Fair
The Lobster Rollin’ truck was pumping the music! No Calvin in there though.
I did stumble upon some crystals and thought about buying some rose quartz to bring some love into my life.
I thought better of it. After all, I bought some during my I Heart New York tour and did it bring me any love? The answer is…no! So I thought maybe not buying it would bring me love and the added bonus of saving my Benjamins. More cookie money!
The absolute best thing about a NYC street fair, in my opinion, is the abundance of dogs around. And the people who are at a street fair with their pooches are a happy bunch, I think. When I confessed to a couple of these pooch-loving street fair-loving people that I was a dog stalker, they happily enabled my ways and allowed me a pet and a picture. It was beautiful!
Here are Bentley and Louie. I can’t remember which is which, sorry.
Bentley or Louie was a little shy but Louie or Bentley came in for the gold. Such cuties! Their owners were so nice! Thank you nice dog-loving folk!
Holland and Calvin’s Neighborhood
The street fair was in their neighborhood, Hell’s Kitchen, but I wanted to head to an area that I thought for sure would be on their block. Also, I only had that one tiny, minuscule little cookie, so I needed to get some nourishment in my belly. I went to a place mentioned in Roomies that was surely a spot that Holland and Calvin frequented together.
While I was excited that they had a breakfast option with halloumi cheese, it wasn’t anything to phone home about. Decent enough, but I’d probably only go if I lived on the block, which is why I figure that Holland and Calvin must live right across the street in this building…
I know, nice building! When you figure that Holland’s uncles help pay her rent, it makes sense that she’d live in a nice building like this. Holland did remark about how lucky she was to have as nice an apartment as she did. So this is it Roomies fans! It has to be!
Let’s go for a stroll around the neighborhood…
After my lovely stroll, I decided to go search various subway stations where I thought for sure I’d see some good subway buskers.
The kid on the top left really could play those buckets! Seriously amazing! The keyboard player sounded great too and he had his cute little son accompanying him by “playing” a water bottle. The little boy kept squeezing it and throwing it around. It was funny. I definitely think it added to dad’s keyboard playing. I’m also a fan of trumpet playing in the subway right next to the trains. The contrasting sounds of the trumpet, trains coming in, general subway noises and chatter sets a perfect NYC scene.
*Full disclosure: I didn’t see these two on my tour day but felt like I needed more subway musicians for you all.
Despite this, it is because of my blog and my Roomies tour that I stopped to listen to these amazing performers. I’m so glad I did! So thankful that this blog is making me appreciate what’s around me.
It also goes to show you that you can’t necessarily search out subway buskers, they have to come to you. And when they do, you should stop and take it in. I can’t write it better than a quote from Iian himself that I found on his Facebook page, Eyeglasses- String Music: “The world moves fast 😰 music slows it down so you can live in the moment 🎶🎻it takes a lot to stop a busy New Yorker on the streets😂”
Iain is a medical student by day and subway musician by night. You guys, I feel like Holland, I’m obsessed with him now! I want to learn his subway busking schedule and watch him some more. I’ve been re-watching the couple videos I have of him and finding new ones online. He’s SOOOO good!!! He’s got this cool vibe and presence about him that draws you in. I’m a fan! Can you tell!?
I will be sharing videos from ALL of these fabulous subway buskers! I may even share videos of me searching lonely subway stations for them. Ha!
Find me on Instagram @literary_dates to see all these musicians in action! They’ll appear on my Stories, maybe my feed too, and I’ll create a Story highlight titled “Buskers.”
After my time searching for subway buskers, it was time to head to good ol’ Times Square to purchase my ticket to see a Broadway show.
I got out of the train in the heart of Times Square and decided that it would be a good time to take my bookstagram photo with a Times Square backdrop. Remember?
That made me an easy target! Cookie Monster rushed up to me imploring, “Let’s take a selfie!” And I’m thinking, “Well, I do need a picture for the blog. Selfie it is!”
As we pose, out of nowhere, Winnie the Pooh, a couple of Elmos, and I don’t know who else, but all of a sudden I was surrounded! It might be a five-year-old’s dream scenario but not for me! My heart was pounding. Can’t you just see the fear in my eyes just with Cookie Monster? So when they all bombard me, I did what any smart New Yorker would do in this scenario…I ran for dear life and didn’t look back! I did not need that memento and had no desire to fork over my subway busker money to them, which they would have surely requested had I posed with them. No, thank you Pooh Bear!
Times Square is filled with eye candy all around from the digital billboards, characters accosting you, street performers, tons of people, and even Transformers randomly in front of a lit up Old Navy.
I try to walk full speed ahead in this chaotic mess. I can’t give you my tips for navigating the crowds because I might not go the safest route. Totally DM me for my secret, don’t try this at all tips.
For those of you who don’t know about the tkts booth, it’s where you can purchase same day, discounted tickets for Broadway, Off-Broadway, dance, and music performances. Tickets purchased here are anywhere from 20% to 50% off. It’s been operating for over 40 years and my family and I have relied on it probably since I was a kid. Keep in mind that the ticket you’re purchasing could be a discount on possibly say a third-row seat? So when Broadway tickets go for 200+ dollars, your 50% off ticket could run you $100.00. I got 6th row tickets when I went, but I also asked for the best possible tickets. I like being up close! However, Broadway theatres aren’t very big, so really anywhere you sit, you’ll have a good view.
Another thing to keep in mind with the tkts booth is that the line can be very long especially if you get there right when it opens. It’s probably smartest to get there early so you have the best ticket options, but if you’re like me, and don’t like lines, don’t worry. It is possible to stroll up there on a Saturday night at 5 pm, not have long to wait and score 6th-row tickets to a solid show. I did! I was there in October so not prime tourist season, so do keep that in mind. However, my parents and I scored last-minute tickets to Beautiful and Dear Evan Hansen in September.
Also, if you have a condition preventing you from waiting on that line, the people who work at tkts are often understanding people. When my parents have been there when the line is long, my mom, unbeknownst to my father, who has leukemia, (you’d never know from looking at him), informed the staff of his condition and they allowed them to skip the line. Who says New Yorkers are rude?
Another thing to keep in mind is that the official tkts staff are in red shirts and they are there to help you out with any questions. Be wary of anyone not in a red, “Got a question?” shirt because they may try to sell you a bogus ticket. I’d stay away.
For more information on the tkts booth locations and hours, check out their website here.
After scoring my ticket, it was time to kill some time and fill my belly again! We will get to the show soon, I promise!
Roomies provided me with a few different restaurant options, but I ultimately chose…
Holland and Calvin were on their way to this restaurant after one of his shows when they were faced with a mob of teen girls clamoring to get to him. That’s the moment they realized his star had risen. They barely made it to the restaurant.
I didn’t have that kind of trouble as I made my way to 47th and 8th Avenue. It was right before Halloween so the restaurant was filled with festive decorations and the staff got in on the action too all dressed up.
I had two of those yummy cocktails. It’s called Paradise Found and it had Vida Mezcal, passionfruit, pineapple, agave, and lime. Yum yum! The Mac & Cheese was tasty too!
I have to thank Twitter because while I sat at this bar, I was feeling the need for company. When I reached out via tweeting, you all did not disappoint with telling me what you were up to. You really came through for this single gal out on the town! Thank you!!
I won’t lie, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t wrangle someone to snap a pic of me in my cute outfit, so desperate times call for the always faithful bathroom selfie:
Okay, enough anticipation…I know you all are dying to know what Broadway show I went to, right? The anticipation is higher than when we were wondering when Holland and Calvin would finally get together in Roomies, am I right?! Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Anyway…
Yup! I saw a play not a musical. I know I know Roomies probably should have inspired me to see a musical, however, I recently saw two musicals and as a former theatre actress, I LOVE plays. When I read what this one was about, I really, really wanted to see it and I’m SO glad I did!
Understandably, many theatre-goers choose musicals, but I am here to let you know to give plays a chance! They can be awesome too. They often star celebrities too, which I have mixed feelings about. I love seeing the celebs but also feel bad for the many talented actors out there who won’t get the parts because the celebrities sell the tickets. I am guilty of buying these tickets. How many celebs have I seen in Broadway shows? Let’s see…Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Hugh Jackman, Christina Applegate, Jennifer Garner…and I’m probably forgetting some. I’m very guilty! Shame!
Betrayal stars Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox, and Zawe Ashton.
To my romance-loving audience, let me apologize in advance for this little detour…maybe the title has clued you in that it might not be the happiest of stories?
It’s going to be okay. I promise. Please stay with me.
Betrayal, by playwright Harold Pinter, encompasses a seven-year time frame and plays out in reverse. It starts off at the end of a marriage and ends with the first spark of an affair.
It explores the relationships of the three involved, the married couple, Robert(Hiddleston) and Emma (Ashton) and Robert’s best friend, Jerry (Cox). We are taken through scenes exploring the affair between Emma and Jerry, we see the disintegration of Emma and Robert’s marriage, and the evolution of Robert and Jerry’s friendship. It sounds heavy but there is humor throughout but also honest reality. The style of this production is raw and emotional. All three actors are always on stage even when they are not part of the dialogue or action. I think this decision makes sense when thinking about the dynamics of an affair. As much as the betrayer tries to ignore the other person in the equation, it’s not possible. They will always be lurking in the crevices of the subconscious.
The lighting, the music, the way the stage moves, it was so captivating. I read somewhere comparing it to poetry which is so true, it was like poetry on stage. The actors were all fantastic! Such a beautiful play. It closes December 8th so if you’re in NYC, hurry up and go see it! I met a guy who flew in from California that morning and was flying out the next day. All just to see this show. It’s that good.
Not Quite Backstage
Did you all know that you can meet the actors at the end of the show when they exit through the stage door? I hear Tom Hiddleston is in Avengers so I thought some of you may be fans? Charlie Cox is in something too, Daredevil? Well, I waited in the crowd for you all. I don’t know who Loki is! Yeah, I’ve seen it but I still don’t know. It took about an hour for Loki, I mean Tom Hiddleston, to finally come out. Someone thank me!
The very cool Tom Hiddleston posed in a way so that all of us in the crowd could take a selfie with him.
My selfie aim was a bit off.
I don’t know where I was aiming either. I’ll have to make my way to the stage door to try this again.
That’s all folks!
Wait! A lovely subway busking moment capped off my night.
Thank you all for coming along with me on my Roomies New York City Tour. Thank you Christina Lauren for inspiring an awesome literary date in the city.
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @literary_dates for more from my Roomies New York City tour.
If you like what you see, Pin it!
Guess what?! My next New York City literary date is happening soon! My next tour will be inspired by Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by another writing duo, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. This will be a Christmasy tour of the city and may feature a special guest!😉
Spoiler! I LOVE the book! Read it!😍