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January 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

P.S. Yes, you can do New York in a day

You may recall that last week on this blog, I asked readers to tell us what they would do with a single day in New York. A number of excellent suggestions were offered — including a walk on the High Line, which I heartily endorse.

My friend and I took another route, which turned out to be full of New York magic and surprises. The day — with a myriad of remarkable detours — went something like this:

1. Coffee at the charming Cafe Angelique, on Bleecker Street near Broadway. With affable baristas and a come-hither array of pastries, Angelique would be right at home in Seattle.

De-Kooning_Untitled.JPG

2. An impressive, inspiring Willem de Kooning retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. This weighty show leaves you awed by the artist’s impulse to create, decade after decade. It runs only through Jan. 9, so lucky you if you’re heading east in the next few days. MoMA also has a Diego Rivera show up now — interesting, but slighter and so crowded it’s a bit hard to enjoy.

3. A stroll through Bryant Park, near the NY Public Library, which has turned itself into a winter playground for the holiday season, complete with pop-up shops and ice rink.

4. A LONG wait in line at TKTS for half-price tickets to a Broadway show. Much debate here between “Porgy and Bess”; “Lysistrata Jones”; “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and other shows. The winner? See below.

5. Dinner at Mario Batali’s Eataly, my new concept of heaven. Where all good-hearted garlic-lovers should go to die.

Theater_Lysistrata_Jones.JPG

6. An evening performance of “Lysistrata Jones,” a high-school-musical twist on Aristophanes’ tale of Lysistrata (remember: She’s the one who got all the women in town to withhold sex until the men stopped warring) at the Walter Kerr. A tremendously fun show, with a bubbly cast — but doomed, I’m sorry to say. I just read today in the New York Times that it is closing this week. Broadway: Like Greek tragedy, beautiful but brutal. Maybe the show has a future on the regional circuit? I hope so.

7. Finally, a stroll through Times Square on a crazy night — New Year’s Eve eve. I’ve been to Times Square many times, but never seen it this action-packed. And that’s saying a lot. The bicycling Santa Claus and giant, breakdancing M&M were just the beginning.

Now you’ll find me back at my post here in South Lake Union, saving up my frequent flyer miles for another whirlwind trip east …

(Photos: Willem de Kooning’s “Untitled XII,” courtesy of Experience Music Project. “Lysistrata Jones” cast, by AP Photo/The Hartman Group, Joan Marcus.)

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