Mr. Linardo, this is the Tonight Show. As I’m sure you’ve heard Jimmy Fallon and his wife welcomed a beautiful new baby into their lives Wednesday. Unfortunately The Tonight Show will not be taping on Friday. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please feel free to call if you have any questions.
Thus started the unraveling of our anniversary weekend.
Well I’ll tell you one thing, they know how to do customer relations at the Tonight Show. Be advised, we weren’t guests on the show, just two faces in the crowd. We managed to get two tickets to the Friday show and that call came Thursday. I was sad but stunned at their level of effort and commitment to their fans. Seeing Fallon was arguably the main reason we were heading to NY and yet they almost made us feel good about not getting to see the show.
The problem was we were flying in Thursday, the same day they called to say the show was cancelled. So the main thing we wanted to do was now out. Ok. We get it Jimmy. We have kids. Anyone who does knows there is not much sleeping in the first few weeks or months even. Having to perform for a national audience might be a bit much. So yeah we get it. But we ain’t happy about it.
Still, Christmas time in NY is pretty cool. We could see the huge tree at 30 Rock, go ice skating, shopping, see the city…
Then the rains came.
A forecast of tame weather turned to rain Friday and all day Saturday. Well balls. There goes walking around the city. The dark cloud of gloom was taking up residence over my wife. A point she emphasized with an interpretive “dark cloud” dance complete with narration. Anyone in the street that day would have seen it as she threw down in my office, right in front of the giant window that affords my oversight of The Sac.
The feel was maybe we should punt and try some other time. No point in going to NY and not liking it. We could enjoy the dark cloud right here in Knoxville, for free I might add. A mere 2hrs from our flight time, we punted.
The airline put our tickets on hold, the hotel cut us some slack, just canceling our reservation without charge. So no harm, no foul. Still, there was this feeling. Should we have just gone anyway?
Then the protesters came, and came, and came.
By 9pm, the time we would be walking out of La Guardia Airport to ride to mid-town Manhattan, protesters had blocked the BQE, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Lincoln Tunnel and a group was moving toward Rockefeller Plaza. We probably would have made it to the hotel, about 2 blocks from Rock Plaza, but not much else, unless we wanted to be part of the protest. Which we did not.
By midnight police had put up a blockade on the Brooklyn Bridge and started arresting people downtown and those laying on the road blocking the Lincoln Tunnel. Any chance this all clears up by Saturday – not hardly.
Thanks to Jimmy and his new baby we escaped all that nonsense. So 11th anniversary in Knoxville. All in all I gotta believe this is better than sitting in the hotel watching peaceful protests clog the streets and block traffic.