I spent a ton of time trying to figure out where to start telling the story of our time in NYC, and ultimately it came down to beginning with the day that stands out the most in my memory.
Yes Humble Readers, that's right... I met Mario Batali!
I wish I could say that I was cool about it and was able to chat with him, but no... your friendly neighbourhood hobbit was star struck! Let me tell you the story...
It was Friday, the day we had decided was going to be my Beloved's very merry Un-Birthday, seeing as we had missed celebrating his actual birthday (it was right in the middle of his dad passing away and the memorial and all). On the itinerary for the day was an "On Location" New York TV & Movie tour and the Yankees game in the evening. We got on the bus right by the Ed Sullivan Theater (where we had seen the David Letterman show a few days earlier), and were treated to a ton of information about the area around Times Square and movies that had been filmed there. We slowly made our way south, heading toward Washington Square Park to check out some "When Harry Met Sally" and "I Am Legend" sites.
When the bus stopped and we all got off, we discovered that we were right outside Otto, where my Beloved and I had eaten lunch a few days before. (The food was fabulous... but I'm planning an NYC food post for later in the week... stay tuned!) We walked around the corner and spent a few minutes taking pics of the Washington Arch where Sally dropped off Harry, and the doorway that Will Smith came and went out of over and over.
At that point our guide mentioned that she had noticed that Mario had been sitting at the bar in his restaurant and if any of us wanted to meet him, he is usually very open to meeting fans. My Beloved and I, together with one other lady from the tour practically ran back to Otto.
We walked in, and at first I couldn't see him because he was sitting at the far end of the bar near the door to the kitchen. Immediately my shy-ness took over and I very hesitantly led the way (btw, when was I voted fearless leader?) over to him.
I didn't want to interrupt the conversation he was having with the man next to him so I waited a moment before speaking (read: was too star-struck to open my mouth). He looked over at me and smiled and said, "Well, you can't just stand there and not say hello." I must have stammered something intelligible about taking a picture with him. He graciously let my Beloved capture the shot above, and allowed me to take a picture for the other lady who had come with us.
At some point I managed to regain my powers of speech, and mentioned that we had just eaten there the other day and that the food was amazing. Especially the olive oil gelato (OMG!!!! All other ice cream will pale in comparison for the rest of my life). He laughed and mentioned that the secret is the salt sprinkled on top.
We thanked him profusely for his time, and then dashed back out to the bus. I couldn't stop grinning! I felt like a complete goober, but it was great!
The day continued with the rest of the tour, a wander down 5th Avenue (and some time spent in FAO Schwartz), and ultimately the Yankees game in the evening.
The game was great! Our seats were waaaaaaaaaaay up in the nosebleed section (fourth deck up, right on the first base line), and the breeze was so cold we ended up spending a small fortune on Yankees sweatshirts. We also spent a ridiculous amount of money on food (but man those sausages and fries tasted sooo good!). The Yankees won, and my Beloved thoroughly enjoyed himself (which was the point of going to the game)! It was a long subway ride back to the hotel, but it was a fabulous day!
Now don't forget to head over to Mel's place and check out what the rest of the class is showing.