Wednesday, December 28, 2005

That's Entertainment!

I'm not going to toss in yet another potted post today, since that would be cheating.

I spent most of the day out with the family, first seeing the Golden Dragon Acrobats at the wonderfully cozy New Victory Theater on 42nd Street in NYC. It's a dedicated theater for kids and family shows, and I've been a member for two seasons now (and have seen a bunch of good shows pretty cheaply). This was one of the best events; Golden Dragon is a relatively large troupe (about two dozen young contortionists and acrobats with different specialties), and the New Vic is quite compact (less than 500 seats total, I think), which means everyone has a good view. The show was a bit less than two hours long, with lots of really impressive moments. If you've seen acrobats (especially Chinese), you know the sort of thing: juggling umbrellas, chair towers, pole climbing, plate spinning, and so on -- lots of really physically impressive activities, some of which look really dangerous.

So that one I recommend. After that, we went to do something that I don't recommend.

We went to dinner at the massively busy tourist-trap restaurant Mars 2112, on Broadway at 51st street. The wife thought last week (when the transit strike was going on) that we could try to go there after the show, since the city would probably be a bit quiet, and the boys would enjoy it. Well, the strike is over, so #1 was very untrue (though Thing 1 and Thing 2 did like the restaurant a lot). The decor of the restaurant is fairly well done, and breaks up what could be a huge, cavernous dining room; and the theming of the whole restaurant is solid, as well. But the wait is punishing -- forty-five minutes or so just to get in the door, another half-hour or more in lines just inside, then a ten-minute "ride to Mars" drops you off in another waiting area, where you cool your heels for at least another half-hour. We got in line at about quarter after four, and didn't sit down at a table until 6:25. They need to at least make the extent of the wait clear to their customers.

As I said, physically the place is interesting, but it's an overpriced generic-American feedery (prices are about the level of -- though the food is not nearly as good as, nor are there as many decent choices as -- an Olive Garden or Red Lobster). The menu has a bunch of bland chicken dishes that come very quickly, presumably because nothing is cooked to order. I wasn't expecting wonderful food, but I was hoping for competent chain-restaurant stuff, and I didn't get even that. The food quality is about sit-down-restaurant-in-a-theme-park level, which is ridiculous for midtown Manhattan. I won't be going back.

1 comment:

Rose Fox said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry you ended up trapped there. Even Jeckyll & Hyde isn't that bad!

For some reason Mars 2112 came up in conversation with friends a few weeks back. (I went there once right after they opened, with a very similar experience to yours minus the excruciating wait.) I mentioned that they had freeze-dried ice cream in the gift shop and wondered whether Kids These Days would have any idea of the significance thereof. It was rather melancholy.

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