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January 31st, 2005 · No Comments · Dining, Nightlife, NYC, Theater

When a friend from Germany visits us in New York for the first time, it means two things: lots of going out and lots of beer drinking.

Nothing is more American than stand-up comedy, so we went to the Comedy Cellar. The very limited and almost exclusively Middle Eastern menu is excused by the excellent talent. I prepped our visitor of his comedy right to remain silent when the inevitable “Anyone from out of the country here tonight” question is asked. Especially since we were sitting right at the edge of the stage. No need for an endless tirade of Germany jokes. Sadly, the only comedian who’s name I remember is Colin Quinn, who was one of the weaker acts (and he wasn’t horrible.) My own laughter only stopped briefly as I extracted a very long hair from my hamburger. That will teach me for trying to have a non-Middle-Eastern dinner. At least the hummus appetizer was there to fill up on.

A show was in order as well, and we opted for an old standby: Blue Man Group. I’ve seen the New York show at least four times now, but I never mind going. I was also a little curious since they’ve been advertising new material as well. I was sad to see that one great bit, the “White Rabbit sing-along” has been dropped, probably because it was too similar in theme to the “multiple signboard” bit. In its place was an extended “how to be a rock star” bit which let them cover familiar songs briefly. The “dead fish critique” bit was almost chopped down to just a short segue with only signs and no blue men. But all in all, they’ve tried to tie the different bits together with a few recurring themes and gags, and the show has a better flow. I’d say about 20% of it was new, and 10% was improved, so it was familiar yet novel.

For New Yorkers looking for something that involves sightseeing while drinking and sitting on your ass in a comfortable seat, may I recommend The View? This rotating lounge on the 47th floor of the Marriott Marquis in midtown never fails to delight our guests. The only drawbacks are the drinks are expensive and you need to go early and on a weekday to avoid a line. We went at Monday at a little before 6pm (doors open at 5:30pm) and the place was quite empty.

We didn’t make it to Temple Bar for January, but we did hit a new lounge with our guest: Apple Restaurant & Bombar. We went early on a Sunday, before Blue Man, so the place was very quiet. That just meant we got our pick from the many comfortable couches in the large, high-ceilinged lounge. The Asian themed appetizers were quite nice, and the drink menu had several appealing cocktails. I would certainly go back.

We’ll get to Temple Bar in February. Honest. For now, I need to detox for a week or so.

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