Monday, April 26, 2010

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting...and SNL

I have this ever-growing New York Bucket List, a rapidly accumulating catalog of things I want to do in the city before I leave. Which I have NO PLANS to at the moment, but if you don't plan to hit up This Restaurant or That Show, you'll forget. And you certainly have to itemize your priorities here, with so many culturally diverse and interesting things to do.

One of the items on my NYBL was to attend a taping of Saturday Night Live. Tickets are DIFFICULT to come by; you can send one email to the lottery system in August, which I and several friends have done, only to never hear anything more. But! You can wake up with the birds on a Saturday morning of a taping to wait in the stand-by line outside of 30 Rock.

I've had my share of late nights in the city, a few evenings when the hour necessitated a cab ride back to my apartment, but I didn't hail a taxi so I had to walk the distance. Which is definitely frightening depending on the time and the location, but so far, no severed limbs, compromised virtue, or gang initiation has occurred. Well, yes, maybe, but not because of my cheap refusal to take cabs.

But walking the streets at 4:30am? Along 2nd Avenue? Particularly when a gentleman, someone my father would refer to as an 'unsavory character,' stopped to eye me as I walked a couple of blocks away from his locale? I was certainly ill at ease, even on the surprisingly populated subway to midtown. Cars are sparse, the only people out are usually the staggering drunks who look like they are coming right for you, only to upchuck the booze at your feet (a great fear of mine), so I rushed to get to Rockefeller Center to meet up with my friends.

But I turned onto 5th Avenue from 50th and heard a familiar tune piping through what seemed to be the window display at Saks: Frank Sinatra was crooning a comfortable melody.

"I want to wake up in the city
that doesn't sleep
and find I'm king of the hill,
top of the heap."
And just like that, I felt okay. My stomach unknotted, and I wasn't worried about getting shivved on Madison anymore. The line for tickets was in sight, and although we didn't think we had a good chance (word to those considering doing the same: the people at the front of the line had been there since 7 the evening before, sleeping on the hard sidewalk, curled up in fleece blankets. Obviously tourists- they're oblivious to how dirty the streets are), this was going to be a good day after all.

And it was: we got tickets to the dress rehearsal! And how appropriate that this was one of the skits?