I didn't post this weekend because my husband and I went down to the City on Thursday to be in the audience for the Daily Show. Very cool, but I was a little behind... and had a busy weekend.
We drove down to the train station in New Haven, because it's $100 each way for the ride from there to Hartford. Scandalous! And you have to change trains, on top of that. We might have done it if it was just one train. The parking in New Haven is terrible. Next time we'll drive another 10 min and use the Stanford Station - Nice little station, parking right up against the building, no problem.
We got into Grand Central, and what a great job they did when they refinished the station! Everything is cleaned and repainted. There are breathtaking friezes everywhere, and the ceiling of the main mall is all done in the constellations. No trash anywhere. nice. We got into the city around 11am.
There are two problems with New York:
1. Transportation - the bus system is really cumbersome. It seems to be only for the natives. In order to get from Grand Central to the Daily Show studios, you have to go west about 10 or 15 blocks, and then north about 10 or 15 blocks. The lady at the help desk explained that we would have to take 2 buses, a dollar apiece, each way. That's eight bucks. The bus won't take money - you hafta buy a pass. Two people can share one pass, but they come in denominations of ten and twenty dollars, period. This Connecticut Yankee won't waste two bucks.
2. Bathrooms - or the lack thereof. Noone wants to let you use their bathrooms, and there are no public ones except in Grand Central, and in the bus station down the street. That's about it. Restaurants' bathrooms are only open to customers. I was ok, but...
So, we set out walking, ... and walking ... and walking. We figured we'd find a nice place to eat lunch on the way - after all, this was the city
, and there are restaurants everywhere, right? Well, everywhere around the Station, anyway. We walked... and the neighborhood kept getting very slowly nastier, and the buildings smaller, and the restaurants turned into little hole in the wall affairs (with no bathrooms - LOL).
Finally, we found the Daily Show studio. 'Cool,' I thought, 'we'll find somewhere around here to get lunch'. We went around the block, and finally settled in to the only sit-down restaurant in the area,(5010 Club) and the food was scrumptious! We told the waitress we were going to be there for awhile, and we just wanted to take our time. Seafood Fra Diavolo - Yummy!
We finished lunch around 2:30, and decided to spend an hour at the pub across the street from the studio. Not so nice, but whiskey is whiskey, I guess. I like it with no ice. It's a little like drinking fire.
So, around 3:30, we went across the street and got in line. By that time, there were about 30 people there before us. The doors open around 5. I brought my book. I must say, they have the whole thing down pat - they come out at 4:30, and give out the tickets, (they overbook, so if you live in town, you can get on the end of the line on the day you are scheduled, and they will give you VIP tickets for another day - no waiting in line, front row seats...) We were front and center, with only one row between us and the stage area. For a new studio, I was surprised at how scruffy it was, but you don't see that thru the camera. The backdrops look much more substantial on camera, too. Everything was smaller and closer together than it seems on tv. The whole studio could have fit into the restaurant where we ate lunch, and there were 200 people in there. The seats were not scrunched together either.
It was neat to see them use the cameras and other gear that I learned to use in the TV course I took at Pasadena City College. The cameras were pretty much the same, except they had teleprompters on them. That was cool to see: it's a horizontal computer screen that has the words in mirror image, with a two way mirror above, so you're shooting thru the mirror, which is tilted and aimed at the subject.
First the guy comes out that I call the cheerleader. He's there to get us all whipped up. He did a good job, got us yelling, then stopped and talked to someone in the audience, just to make us feel at home. Then more yelling, and jokes (we both were hoarse by the end of the show).
Then Jon Stewart came out, and did a pre-show warmup. The man is just such a cool dude
The plan was, after the show, we were going to get a cab back to the station, and hop on a train. Well, the cabs in NYC do not stop for you if you're on the street at night in a bad neighborhood. Damn! More walking...
(click the pics for large size ones)