My pal theater boy somehow scores tickets to Bruce Springsteen on Broadway. Magic, sleight of hand and surprise are just a few of his many gifts. We arrive rumpled and in need of a recharge. It is not quite noon.
We head to il Pesce for grilled octopus, blackened sardines, and crusty bread with a lush pool of olive oil. With the help of a dry rosé, we bask in the wonder of our remarkable good fortune.
First up is Pontormo’s Visitation, on-loan to The Morgan Library from Carmignano, Italy. The intense gaze between Mary and Elizabeth is so alive here, more vibrant than in the dimly lit San Michele chapel. With perfect illumination, its colors glow — and so do we.
Drawing in Tintoretto’s Venice is a who’s-who of drawings by Pontormo, Tintoretto, Titian and Veronese … and a few astonishing sketches by a surprisingly young El Greco.
Okay, Halloween is over, but you will love Frankenstein at 200. “It’s Alive!” and at the Morgan Library through January.
Out In The Street
Oh my, it’s Rasheed and the Jazz Collective. Kids, dogs and pigeons stop for Rasheed’s trumpet, a jazzy warmup for Springsteen on a bustling afternoon in Greenwich Village.
Dancing In The Dark
The city that never sleeps always eats, especially in the theater district. We climb the soaring staircase at Blue Fin for an arty plate of of octopus, and a side of Tiger shrimp. With an icy Martini, the ocean fare calms but does not diminish our pre-show excitement.
Born in the USA
And then there’s Bruce. From his opening song, Growin’ Up, it’s pure storytelling. Thunder Road describes leaving his hometown of Freehold for Asbury Park, New Jersey. “The ocean breezes of the shore were calling to me. I lay back and watched the tree branches rush above me, and the stars scrolling in the night sky.” Beautiful.
The Wish paints an affectionate, unsentimental portrait of his mother, and not an eye is dry. He strays into politics and manages to give Trump a thumping without ever mentioning his name. Patti Scialfa joins him for a love-song or two. The mesmerizing performance continues for 2 1/2 hours, without intermission. Deeply personal and profound, The Boss delivers a masterpiece.
Blinded By The Light
We recharge at Murray’s Cheese with the Appleton grilled cheese, unctuous layers of smoked Gouda, Gruyère and apple butter. Try a classic NY bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese; maybe whitefish and tomato. Q: Is it breakfast or is it lunch? Who cares.
Out in the Street
It’s always a brand new day at the NY Public Library. The Anna Atkins Refracted exhibition features my west-coast friend Meghann Riepenhoff ‘s large-scale cyanotypes.
Riepenhoff describes her pieces as a “collaboration with the elements” — drizzle, downpour, bits of seaweed and sunlight. Well done, Meghann, the work is stunning!
Louis Kahn’s Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island is a dignified oasis celebrating freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
We return to the mainland via blowy and bouncy tram over the East River. Leave your fear of heights behind, or take the ferry — I wish I had.
E Street Shuffle
Our epic zigzag continues to Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn where Tony Migliaccio serves simple fare like Coniglio Ischitana (rabbit) and pasta from his home in the Bay of Naples. This sign-free, cash-only best-kept-secret is hiding in plain sight at 38 Henry Street 11201.
Darkness on the Edge of Town
We conclude our odyssey at Quad Cinema in the Village with an award-winning documentary on Buster Keaton, a warm rush of movie-love honoring a film legend.
We sip an old-fashioned nightcap at nearby Walker Hotel, another of the city’s best-kept secrets. The Society Lounge is twinkly and elegant, with posh ambiance of a bygone era.
You Never Can Tell
After this epic bite of Broadway and the Big Apple, I’ll rest up for the next adventure. Where to? You never can tell. •