Sunday, October 14, 2007

Miscellaneous: Bites of the Big Apple

You expected posts? I’m on vacation, people.

Actually, I’m on a spiritual quest, one encapsulated by a question from the hardboiled fiction list Rara Avis: whatever happened to rye?

The answer divined from some of Manhattan’s finer bars confirms what I already knew. Rye is making a comeback. It’s used in any number of cocktails, many of which are named after neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Red Hook, Greenpoint, Bensonhurst, Bushwick, Park Slope. Apparently, this is something of a tradition for New York bartenders, as all rye cocktails are seen as descendants of a drink called the Brooklyn. It contains rye, dry vermouth, Maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon. That last ingredient is the tough one to get ahold of, but it’s worth the effort. Even if you have to stash it behind the rocker panels.

In other news, we seized the opportunity to see Romance & Cigarettes. The musical written and directed by actor John Turturro was orphaned by its studio, so Turturro is distributing it himself. It’s a truly odd duck of a film featuring a stupendous cast and some singular moments, like Christopher Walken’s take on ‘Delilah.’ The limited initial run has been a success, so who knows? Maybe it will be coming to a theater near you.

And then there’s the real reason for the trip. Xanadu on Broadway. Sure, I have people to visit here, business to transact. But there’s also a stage version of the movie on the Great White Way.

I’ve seen the film countless times. I think of it as the cocaine simulator. You want to know what riding the white horse does? It makes you think that Xanadu is a good idea.

The show’s a hoot, even if you’re not way too familiar with the source material. And it’s allowed me to fulfill another lifelong dream. I have now seen a cast member from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (and Tony Roberts as Warren LaSalle) sing and dance live. I love New York.