Caitlin Rickard: Welcome to the (concrete) jungle

The concrete jungle. The city of dreams. The empire city. The big apple. The city that never sleeps. New York City.
Aug 13, 2013
Caitlin Rickard is a staff writer with The Democrat. Email her at crickard@lebanondemocrat.com or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.

The concrete jungle. The city of dreams. The empire city. The big apple. The city that never sleeps. New York City.

I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a dreamer and perhaps that’s why New York City is a place that fascinates me to no end.

The fame, the lights, the people, the hustle and bustle, the list of the reasons why this city appeals to me is endless.

I guess for someone who grew up sheltered in a smaller southern town, the thought of a place where literally things never shut down is fascinating, especially someone like me.

I’ve been to New York City a grand total of one time (in my head I’ve been thousands). Albeit that one time was the greatest trip I’ve ever taken in my life and suffice it to say it put the exclamation point at the end of an already growing obsession.

My friend’s dad is a big-time producer/director for Saturday Night Live and what do you know I’m a huge fan. And, bonus points: the season finale this year was the day after my birthday. Too good to be true, right?

Then we find out who’s hosting… wait for it… Ben Affleck.

So, of course, all I asked for my birthday (and college graduation) was a plane ticket to NYC and some spending money. The SNL tickets were free and we would even get to go to the after-party where all of the celebrities hang out after the show.

The Friday night of my birthday, a rehearsal day for the SNL cast, we got to go to the studio at 30 Rock and actually see the cast and crew build and run through the show with no one else in the audience. Did I mention I got to stand-in on stage for a skit with Jason Sudeikis?

On Saturday before the show my friend even surprised me with tickets to see Kinky Boots on Broadway, and it was phenomenal. More bonus points: Kinky Boots received the Tony Award for Best Musical the very next month.

The show, as usual, was hilarious, but the real fun was yet to come. The secret SNL after-party that’s held after every show on Saturdays was right downstairs in Rockefeller Center.

The Killers performed an amazing show outdoors in the rain, and we got to meet Bono and his band U2, along with Affleck’s wife, Jennifer Garner, old cast members like Kristen Wiig and A-list celebrities like Olivia Wilde and Emma Stone, just to name a few.

Don’t let me forget that Amy Poehler and the cast of Parks and Recreation were there, too. But I’ll stop bragging now.

Alas, the trip was a raging success, and I didn’t even get to mention the parts about us eating at fabulous restaurants, seeing the sights and shopping.

New York City is an amazing place, so for now I’ll have to keep dreaming about it until I get to return. I guess that’s why they call it the city of dreams.

Caitlin Rickard is a staff writer with The Democrat. Email her at crickard@lebanondemocrat.com or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.

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