Before we boarded the Staten Island Ferry we met for a late lunch or early dinner at FunAyama, a favorite spot of mine, introduced to me by Caren. Funayama is a sushi place like no other. Before even going, I liked the place because it has the word "fun" in its name. Sarah and I orderd the Sushi specials, Caren got the eel and we all shared a plate of edimame. If you are entertaining a friend, that you want to impress take that friend to Funayama. Last night, our portions were obscenely enormous but they always are, no matter the Sushi chef, no matter the day of the week or the time of day. It's on Greenwich Avenue between W. 10th and Charles Street.
I'm ready start delivering food walking tours of New York. If I organized something like that - a day of eating at different restaurants over 6 or 7 hours in different parts of town - would you pay me and what would you pay?
After a leisurely meal, we gathered our things and headed out on our musical mystery tour.
1. The Staten Island Ferry is free - I haven't been on the Staten Island Ferry in years and couldn't ask for better weather. In the early evening, the sky was still blue and the views were tremendous. Behind us, was a gorgeous view of downtown. If you head over to "Sarah's site, she posted a shot. On our left was Brooklyn and I think Governor's Island but I'm not entirely sure. I'll do some research and get back to you. A view of the Statue of Liberty passed us on our right. We laughed and joked around as Sarah hummed the theme song to "Working Girl" and fantasized about Harrison Ford being her lover. The ride was short but then again it was a free.
This is another cheap thing you can do in New York, to entertain a friend or to entertain yourself. Staten Island is pretty interesting itself. We did only go as far as the Stadium but I've been there before. I've heard many New Yorkers refer to it as the armpit of New York but it isn't really. Link to Forgotten New York for some cool Staten Island places to visit.
2. Staten Island Yankee Stadium is a good venue for a show.
Mostly because it's not too big and all around you see nothing but sky. Audience members are treated to a view of Manhattan. It's very clean. It's right on the water.
(By the time I'm done writing this post, I'll be living in Staten Island)
3. The concert was a blast. Most of the audience members were 10 years old or under. What a happy place - not an ounce of cynisism to be found (outside of my body) which was quite refreshing for this New Yorker. Four acts were up before Aaron. Two solo acts, a thirteen year old boy and 14 or 15 year old blong girl, and two girl groups. All very pop, all very innocent all very Disney, actually.
Aaron Carter was introduced by Hulk Hogan and his daughter - I think her name was Generic Blond - who Aaron Carter is seeing. Hulk Hogan - gosh he still looks hot. His body - yeowza! - he's been working out 24/7 since he fell out of the lime light.
I feel bad for him because I'm sure he thought he would be retired by now, but no, Disney had to trounce him out on stage to introduce the 16 year old with the failed career who was performing to 3 - 10 year olds at some venue in Staten Island which wasn't even one-third full
When Aaron came out every little girl (and at least three big [adult] ones) in that place lost their minds (again, see Sarah's blog)
I can't say I found the music terribly good, but Aaron Carter worked his ass off entertaining the 5ifth grade and under crowd. The three of us were standing on our chairs for most of his performance. When he came out and started singing, I turned to Sarah and Caren and said, "Who is that girl?" It wasn't a girl. It was Aaron Carter. Honestly, this kid looks like he could use some time at a spa in New Mexico to regain his strength. By the end of the show, he was spent. I'll bet he loses 10 pounds every time he puts on a show. He can't weigh more than 120 pounds.
Afterwards, as the crowd was breaking up, we spotted Lou Perlman, the one time despotic manager of the Backstreet Boys, N 'Sync, O Town and I'm guessing the two girl groups that warmed up the crowd. Their names were Huggy Poo and Play. (I'm not too sure about the name Huggy Pop but it was something like that). Sarah got a great picture of Mr. Perlman who was meeting and greeting the talent and their stage moms after the show. He was kind enough to stand still for her for the time it took take the photo.
I guess the only thing I found disturbing was the sexiness of the choreography danced by the two girl groups. The audience was really young, I mean really, really young. It was like attending a Rafi concert. All around us were 4th and 5th graders having the times of their lives. I think their too young to see overtly sexy dancing.
Last night was probably the first time I've really relaxed all week, truly relaxed.
All in all, I had a great time and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
I recommend this experience to every cynical, pissed off, sick of life in New York City, New Yorker. Children have a way of making everything seem okay.