I had some free time yesterday morning while the wife was in a conference session, so I decided to hit the streets for a bit. We were staying between Rockefeller Center and Central Park, so I headed up to the park and then back down 5th Avenue.

Before we got up to town, I asked the wife if she wanted to go see The Gates in Central Park, as they were being taken down last Monday. She shared my view: The Gates = Gay (not “gay” as in homosexually-oriented. “Gay” as in stupid). So we didn”t. And I”d expected them to be gone by Thursday morning, so I was surprised to still see them in the south end of the park.

And I was wrong about The Gates. They”re not gay. They”re Super Gay. Seriously. It looks like the silt fencing you have to put around construction sites. Traffic-cone orange posts and matching sheets hanging down. Hideous. The mayor was on TV last night saying how many millions of dollars were generated for New York by The Gates, so good for them. Thank God for stupid tourists.

I then walked down 5th Avenue to Rockefeller Center, and as I was cutting across to 6th, I saw this big crowd of people standing outside the Today Show back door. So I gawked. From the makeup of the crowd, I started to think we were waiting to see JLo. And I was right. Several limos sat on the street, and the crowd kept growing.

Now, please understand that I have no interest in JLo. But this was a spectacle. And just as I went to see Jimmy Swaggart”s “I have sinned against you, my Lord …” sermon in person and once drove up to the Atlanta federal prison (as a teenager – now I live just a few miles away) to watch the Cuban riot drama, I figured hanging around for 15 minutes to catch a glimpse of JLo was a worthy investment in spectacle.

But we were tricked. Instead of JLo, NBC sent out a group of young Puerto Rican girls, who got in the big limo and left. I imagine JLo was snuck out a different back way. It should be noted, however, that it apparently takes three big roller suitcases, four huge Rubbermaid bins and two coolers worth of stuff to make JLo presentable for television.

That was a spectacle in itself.

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