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The weather has been all over the place since we got here. Temperatures as high as 80 degrees and down to the low 30’s. Rain predicted for Wednesday came and went… several times but missed us for the most part. Overall, I really can’t complain.
We were finally able to have lunch at Havana Central. We tried on Sunday but they didn’t open early enough to accommodate our show schedule. Just off of Times Square, they have a delicious array of authentic Cuban food and I was anxious for a return visit. Last time we were there I had some delicious pulled pork, yellow rice and black beans on the side.
Cuban sandwiches are one of my favorite meals and I make my own version of them frequently at home. Michael and I both decided to try them here and they were quite good. BUT– if you want the best of all Cuban sandwiches, you have to try Silver Ring in Florida. They have several locations but the original in Ybor City closed a few years ago due to the bad economy. Luckily, there is a location in Lakeland, Florida near my parents home and we go nearly every time we visit.
After lunch we headed over to the theater for the matinee performance of End of the Rainbow, which is set six months prior to Judy Garland’s death during her final comeback attempt at the Talk of the Town in London. The play with music, bounces back and forth between Garland’s hotel suite and her stage concerts. It is a moving account of some of Garland’s last days and Tracy Bennett is sure to be nominated, if not win, the Tony Award this year for her portrayal. What the film industry did to her, fueling a lifelong drug addiction is a travesty.
We were able to meet up with our friends (and soon to be married couple) Carrie and Joel for a light dinner after a short walk through Central Park. The timing worked out perfectly. They were on their way to midtown for ballroom dance class (in preparation for the wedding) and we were on our way up to Lincoln Center. I really wish we got to see them more often. Seeing Carrie twice on this trip was a special treat.
I was really looking forward to the stage production of War Horse. I saw the movie in December and cried like a baby through the whole thing. The stage version is an astonishing masterpiece. The brilliant ingenuity that went into the creation of the horse ‘puppets’ is a sight to behold. The two full grown horses require three operators, two inside and one to operate its head. The young Joey also required three human manipulators to enable Joey to run, move his ears, and make all the sounds you would expect to hear from a live horse.
The production (as well as the movie) is based on a novel which I waited to start reading until after seeing both adaptations. All three tell the story in a uniquely different fashion and all three are moving accounts of a tragic time during the first world war. Michael and I both thought it was one of the best shows we’ve seen.
After the show we headed back to Times Square and Michael suggested we eat at the infamous Tad’s for old times sake.
There’s a back story here: Back in the late 80’s when I first started going to New York by myself, Tad’s was one of my favorite places to eat. Not, by any means, for the the ambiance. For only $6.99 you could get a ribeye steak, baked potato, salad and drink…. if you didn’t mind sharing a dining room with the homeless of New York. There is no wait staff, you order your meal and carry it on a tray and find a seat.
When Michael and I started going to New York together in the mid-90’s, I told him we had to eat there. By that time, prices had gone up to around $10.99 for the same meal, which all things considered, is still a bargain in New York –and it’s actually quite good.
Let’s just say that Michael was a little horrified by the experience and it has become a running joke over the years. We hadn’t been back since, yet every trip Michael always says, “Are we eating at Tad’s?”
So, there we were, all these years later– back at Tad’s to relive the experience. I can’t say they’ve remodeled or even cleaned since we were there last… and the prices have skyrocketed to over $20 with your drink.
The homeless are gone now but the clientele, aside from a few unsuspecting tourists, is predominantly, how should I say… shady. The food was still good and we had a lot of fun laughing over the experience. (No, I don’t recommend this for your itinerary.)
To live life to its fullest, you have to experience the good with the bad, right?