Tag Archives: Tony Awards

As we prepare to move out of NYC, some things I definitely won’t miss. The Parkland kids with a beautiful, touching performance at the Tonys. And Rafa Nadal dominates and a cute kid steals the show at the French Open

So this is a pretty big week for the Lewis family, and for my wife in particular: We are leaving the noisy and crowded confines of Manhattan for the hopefully quieter but equally great suburbs, moving to our new house this Friday on Long Island.

For my beloved wife, this transition is going to be most jarring, as she’s lived in the city for 20 years and suddenly has to leave her beloved borough. For me, New York City has been my home for longer than anywhere else as an adult; my nomadic, journalist life has seen me move many times, so living in Manhattan the past six years has truly felt like home.

There have been many wonderful things about living in the crowdest, most alive city in America, and I’ll get to some of those in my next post, on Wednesday.

But since I’m a firm believer, much like Don Corleone in “The Godfather” of hearing bad news first before good news (my reasoning is I like to end on a happy note rather than a sad one), I want to write today about all the things I won’t miss about living in NYC. Don’t worry, my fellow New Yorkers reading this will nod along knowingly, while those of you who don’t live here will say “See? This is why I could never live there.”

— The honking. The goddamn, loud, incessant, annoying honking from car horns on the streets of Manhattan is the single biggest thing I hate about living in the world’s greatest city. It is around you always, and everywhere. It happens when you’re walking and suddenly someone decides the traffic up ahead is all the fault of this idiot in front of them, and leans on the horn for 10-15 seconds.

It happens when people are mad, or frustrated, or just impatient (I swear I was once honked while driving and the light hadn’t even finished switching from red to green yet).

I just cannot stand how frequent and loud the car horn honking is. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

— My biggest fear of Manhattan may surprise you: But next to every restaurant or bar is a hole/opening for a ladder or steps that go down to the basement of the place, where deliveries of beer or food or whatever goes. Walking past that steep downward hole I’m always terrified I’m going to fall down the opening and kill myself. And once our son could walk it scared me even more. Won’t miss those.

— Subway delays, which are inevitable, but the ones that happen while you’re waiting and waiting for a train and you feel it’ll never, ever, ever come.

— The pomposity and arrogance of so many young people who work in finance. You hear them in restaurants or on the street, talking so smugly like they own the world and they’re barely 25. Just once I’d like to smack one of them and tell them “Shut up, you can’t even legally rent a car yet, you don’t know anything!”

— The lack of available tennis courts. OK this one is only relevant to some of my fellow New Yorkers, but I’ve never lived anywhere where it was so hard to find a place to play. Such little land for courts, and court fees are enormous, and you’ve often got to make reservations and you only can wear certain kinds of shoes… and it’s just such a hassle. Thrilled to be moving back to normalcy, where you can just walk out onto a neighborhood court and play any time you want.

–And lastly, I won’t miss the exorbitant costs of living here. You live in Manhattan long enough, paying $18 for a burger, or $13.50 for a turkey sandwich, almost seems normal.

Because that’s what everyone is charging. It’s horrendous how so many businesses and apartment-dwellers have been driven out of the city by the high price of living here. Slowly NYC is losing its soul because it’s losing people who aren’t in the 1 percent.

But also because there has to be a point, somewhere, where people say “Enough! I will not pay $5.50 for that tiny bottle of water!”

**Next up, sometimes goosebump and tear-inducing video clips need no introduction, or explanation. So allow me to present, from Sunday night’s Tony Awards, the drama club from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., singing the iconic song from “Rent,” “Seasons of Love.”

**Finally today, a few words about the just-concluded French Open, the second tennis Grand Slam of the year and an event once again dominated on the men’s side by an unknown guy from Spain named Rafael Nadal.

  1. The guy won his 11th French Open title Sunday (cue William Miller in “Almost Famous” shouting “ELEVEN!” from the backseat), and as usual there was very little drama in victory. Nadal is the best player on any one surface, maybe that ever lived, and it’s incredible the way he and Roger Federer continue to dominate men’s tennis.

Think about this: Nadal and Federer, between them, have won the last SIX major titles. They last did that in 2006. It’s now 2018! That’s insane. Nadal looks healthy and primed for a great run at Wimbledon, where he could meet the rested and healthy Roger Federer, of course.

Wimbledon starts in three weeks. I. Can’t. Wait.

— Big props to Simona Halep, the women’s champion and world No.1, who finally won her first major. Good for her. And also big ups to 14-year-old American Coco Gauff, who won the French Open juniors title. I can’t remember if I wrote about her last year after seeing her at the U.S. Open juniors and reach the finals, but this kid is absolutely the future of women’s tennis. Already 5-9, powerful and able to move gracefully, she’s got all the tools to be a champion. Trust me, remember her name.

— Finally, this is about the most adorable thing ever: French player Nicolas Mahut won the men’s doubles title Sunday, and after the match his son Nathaniel ran on court to celebrate and dance with him. How cute is this?

The Orlando nightclub shooting and the Tony Awards: Love will always beat hate. The Penguins win the Cup, and Gordie Howe, remembered. And Billy Crystal beautifully eulogizes Muhammad Ali

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I woke up Sunday morning around 7:30, and within minutes I was filled with rage.

Rage at once again, a mass shooting on American soil, by a person using weapons only military should be allowed to possess. A man raging against the world, against gay people, against our values, and mowing down more than 100 people, killing 50.

Last time there was a mass shooting I wrote in this space that I was numb to it, and trying to remain hopeful. Two mass shootings ago I was angry and pissed off, and that’s where I was Sunday. I don’t care if the perpetrator of this heinous act did what he did at Pulse nightclub because he hates gay people, or because he sympathized with ISIS

And my rage barely subsided all day when I thought about the horrible tragedy, and how incredibly frightening it must have been to be in that club. And my rage reached new levels when I read “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims” statements from men like Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, who absolutely demonize and spew hatred at lesbian and gay people constantly, yet now more than four dozen of them are dead and suddenly they give a fuck.

So I was mad, and feeling helpless, and knowing that once again, absolutely nothing will change in America even after the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history.

Then at 8 p.m., the Tony Awards started. And host James Corden did a fabulous opening number talking about inclusion, and how diversity is a good thing, and for the next few hours a theater community that welcomes and becomes a safe refuge for so many gay, lesbian and transgender people was a cornucopia of joy, and good feelings.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the genius behind “Hamilton,”  gave a fantastic acceptance speech that ended like this:

“We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger,
we rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that
hope and love last longer.

And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love…
It cannot be killed or swept aside.”

And awards were handed out and heartfelt speeches made, and tributes to the Orlando victims were offered, and I smiled through much of it.

On such a tragic day, a day that usually leads to feeling such helplessness, it was wonderful to be reminded, by brilliant actors and actresses on the Beacon Theatre stage, that love ALWAYS wins over hate.

Every damn time.

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**Next up, there was a hell of a Stanley Cup finals hockey game played Sunday night, which I watched during Tonys commercials and then saw the whole third period.

The Sharks and Penguins played the whole game like their hair was on fire, and if only the choppy ice had cooperated (it’s June in San Jose, can’t really expect good ice) the score could easily have been 6-5. Pittsburgh is the new Stanley Cup champion, and man it

Couple quick thoughts on the Penguins’ Stanley Cup win:

— Sidney Crosby, hated by so many hockey fans (including me), is just a sensational player. His puckhandling, his vision, he’s been so good for so long that you take him for granted. But this guy almost had his career ended by concussions a few years ago, so to see him playing at this level again is something else.

— Mike Emrick. I mean, what more can you say about the best play-by-play announcer in any sport? He was just so much fun to listen to Sunday night.

— The Sharks have just about put to bed their reputation as playoff chokers, right? What a fantastic playoff run they had. Absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

— Gordie Howe, maybe the second-greatest hockey player ever (some blonde dude named Gretzky was better), died on Friday. So many great stories were told by the hockey writers who knew him; I loved this Michael Farber essay on Howe on SI.com, and Canadian hockey legend Roy MacGregor also had a great story and video here as well. In McDonald’s piece, we hear a wonderful anecdote about Howe once picking an opponent up off the ice by his nostrils. And oh yeah, Gordie was still playing pro hockey at age 51. Fifty-one!

Rest in Peace to a legendary player.

**Finally today, wanted to end on an uplifting note. Friday was Muhammad Ali’s funeral, and as you expect, so many luminaries were in attendance.

Billy Crystal gave one of the eulogies, and he was just pitch-perfect. His humor, emotion and words were outstanding. Watch this and again, appreciate how much love and goodness there is in the world.

Billy’s the best.