By Staff Writer
My children will tell you that I’m the queen of trite and clichéd remarks, so I’ll try not to disappoint. "You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.” So was my thought Friday afternoon as my husband and I exited the Lincoln Tunnel into Manhattan. While I could feel his angst when I told him our plans, I was excited. He is a country boy. Cherishing our rural lifestyle in the Poconos doesn’t preclude me from occasionally missing stomping around Manhattan, where I frequented on "skipped school” days while in high school.
Having stayed away these past two years, I couldn’t wait to meet my brother and his girlfriend for dinner at Ruth’s Chris, after which we would head to Radio City Music Hall for Josh Groban’s Great Big Radio City Show. New York did not disappoint. As we strolled to the eatery, the smells of street foods filled the air, and the hustle and bustle of folks going to and fro energized me. As my partner lagged, I became, once again, a native New Yorker, able to navigate a crowd easily.
Sitting for dinner, I was amazed. There was no lack of staff, as we hear lately. Instead, there were dozens of well-dressed servers, attentive and friendly. This mid-town eatery, a short block from Radio City, provided excellent cuisine in a comfortable yet elegant atmosphere. From appetizers to desserts, the food was delicious, brought to the table by professional and friendly staff. Josh Groban’s performance was delightful, inspirational, fun-filled, and heartwarming.
He regaled the audience with humorous anecdotes about two years of isolation before launching into one of the most relaxing, relevant, and enjoyable shows. His interaction with the guests showed an artist with great self-confidence yet unabashed humility. You have to like him. He doesn’t give you a choice. His warmth was evident as he introduced several guest celebrities, promoting their talents and sharing their stories. It was refreshing to see and glimpse other skills, such as Hollywood Anderson, a former American Idol contestant with several albums and successes, Denee Benton, the star of HBO’s The Gilded Age, and Josh’s co-star in the Broadway show Natasha. Henrik Lundqvist, former NY Ranger’s goalie, accompanied Josh on guitar as he sang U2’s One to a packed house of mesmerized listeners. It was thrilling to hear She from the Notting Hill soundtrack, a favorite among romantics. The undeniable uplifting talent and the inspirational music and lyrics, along with the extraordinary orchestral talent, made this a performance not to be missed.
For me, there was no better way to re-emerge into the exciting world of the "city that never sleeps. "
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