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New York - Day 7
After a week in New York, I was finally used to the accents, used to the madness of the yellow taxis and size of the coffees. So what else could we do to make ourselves at home in the Big Apple? Go on TV - of course!
Our hotel was 5 minutes from the studio/theatre where the David Letterman Late Show is filmed. So, after a quick Google, we found that if you go to the theatre at 10am, you had a chance of sign up for tickets BUT there is an extensive waiting list, so we were not too hopeful. Much like the lottery you’ve got to be in it to win it so we went along anyway.
The production staff were lively, chatty and incredibly enthusiastic about.... well everything! Firstly they loved our accents (we got that a lot during the trip!) then they sadly they found out we live in Essex and they started shouting “Shut Up” and “Well Jel” across the studio, they were so impressed I’ve been to the infamous Sugar Hut in Brentwood and I think we made some new friends despite our tedious link to Towie (The Only Wayis Essex - UK TV show). We were told to call the team in an hour’s time to see whether we had been successful.
To kill time we went to have a look around Columbus Circle and just had to have a look in the renowned FAO Schwartz. If you’ve not heard of FAO, have you seen the Tom Hanks film Big? It’s where Hanks’ character plays the giant piano with his feet! I didn’t have a go because knowing my luck I would slip straight on my arse and break it, and since it’s worth $250,000 I was not game enough to even try!
Also in FAO they have the actual Zoltar fortune teller machine from Big so excitedly both had to have a go on that! I got a romantic one and Mike, a success fortune which you can all read below.
In FAO Schwartz they have a huge sweet pick and mix section, a build your own Muppets Puppet workshop, massive Lego displays and a whole floor dedicated to babies and toddlers, it’s a New York landmark that the world has enjoyed since 1856.
Next we visited Bloomingdales; featured in F.R.I.E.N.D.S and the movie Splash, it is another of the cities crowd drawers. We had a look inside but I hadn’t realised just how high end the stores would be! I was worried leaving a finger print on a $600 handbag would result in a forced sale! The stores and all their products were beautiful but I wasn’t going to buy anything until..... We found another Magnolia Bakery and HAD to have another red devil and chocolate butter cream cupcake - yum!!
|Better than any designer handbag!|
We finally spoke to the staff at the Late Show and low and behold we won tickets! We were told to dress smartly, avoid bright clothing and to be there by 2:30pm (Yes, the late show is actually filmed at tea time!).
We arrived at the studio to see a huge queue going around the block, luckily one of the ushers saw us and took us in to the waiting area for special accesses, away from the crowds. After a pep talk where we taught how to laugh, were warned not to “whoop!” and told to have lots of fun, we finally went into the very cold studio.
|We won the chat show lottery!|
We had a great view, we were not allowed to take photos but as you can guess I was very excited!
After a warm up guy did a few jokes and being introduced to the Late Show House band (who were amazing!) David Letterman came on and did a little warm up chat with members of the audience; David is a complete pro after 39 years on American TV!
Finally the show started and the first guest was actor Billy Crystal, he was hilarious! Promoting his book “Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?” and after a long comedic and film career the whole time he was talking all I could think of was his character Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc!
The next guest was Sheryl Crow who is tiny, and despite being 51 years old looked younger, slimmer and generally better than my 29 year old self! She sang her latest single completely live and I’m now a fan, she was superb!
After the show we got talking to an usher who asked whether we had booked our trip around the show, and when we told him that we had only rocked up this morning, he swore and couldn’t believe it - we felt rather smug!
As we’d finished recording The Late Show and it was only 5:30pm, we decided to head over to the Rockefella Centre in time for Sunset.
|Mike and the mighty Rock!|
The Rockefella Centre is in the heart of Midtown, opening in 1930 after being built by 40,000 New Yorkers during the great depression. 850ft from the streets you can go to the “Top of the Rock” for a 360º view of the city.
|Empire State Building and the 9/11 Tribute Beams|
A tip for fellow disabled people is DON’T go to the rock at sunset in a wheelchair! You will have to fight or argue with people to see the view. It was packed! I had all but given up and just told Mike to go fill his boots and take loads of pictures. Luckily a security guard saw me trapped in the middle of the crowd and started moving people round so that I could have a few minutes overlooking Central Park and the spectacularly lit up Empire State Building. After about three minutes I could hear people huffing, puffing and comments like “it’s unfair she get’s priority” so I graciously retreated indoors where we managed some great photos from the large and very clean windows so “ner” you grumpy tourists!