Finding an Oasis in the Theater District

Yesterday was a much needed day for me. Why? Because I needed to be reminded that going to the theater can be much more than that. It can be a relaxing as well as entertaining. Here’s what happened.

I had scored a seat to see a taping of a conversation between the legendary Mike Nichols and Jack O’Brien at the Golden Theatre on W. 45th Street. The show is due to be presented sometime on HBO and let me tell you, it will be well worth watching. Mr. Nichols was so interesting to listen to as he spoke about how he got started on Broadway with his then partner Elaine May. He told about how they did a show for nearly a year at the Golden Theatre and while they did it, Camelot was running at the Majestic Theatre. He got to know the cast and particularly Richard Burton. That led to the discussion of how he directed “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe” the movie which surprisingly was his first stint as a director. He told wonderful stories about Elizabeth Taylor’s and Richard Burton’s work in the film. He also spoke in depth about “The Graduate.”

In order to get into this taping, I was supposed to be at that the Golden Theatre no later than 6:20. Now when you come in from New Jersey, especially on the bus, you have to be very careful about timing to make it in for that hour. In order to avoid the 4:00 – 6:00 long wait at the Lincoln Tunnel, I came in on a 3:00 bus and arrived around 3:50. What to do until 6:20? I decided to walk over to W. 46th & 5th to a store I wanted to check out. Sounds easy, right? Should have been. But I hadn’t banked on it being as hot or as crowded as it was.

I did get to the store eventually. I finished about 5:30 and normally I would have charged on back to the theater. But the heat had gotten me a little bit and I decided to relax and drink some water and cool off. I found this delightful little plaza that you can enter between W. 46th and W. 45th Streets in the block between 6th and 5th Avenues. It is next to large office building that is marked as 1166 Avenue of the Americas.

plaza 46 street

Maybe it was my imagination, but it seemed to be a bit cooler in this little area than on the streets. This plaza has a lot of nice seating and tables available and it is very clean and well kept. There is also a lovely little flower shop that opens right off of it across from the office building. It gave me the refuge I needed to proceed on.

Maybe I needed this experience to remind me that it’s not a bad thing to walk a few blocks out of the crowded theater district now and then to find new places. I did spot several new delis and restaurants on the W. 46th Street side that I would like to try. It may take a few extra minutes but it seems like it might be worth it.

As a result of this find yesterday, I added a new Category to this blog: Places to go to relax. I hope I will take the time to do more in this grouping.