Now that their ban from the city has expired, public access stars and geriatric ne’er-do-wells George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon (charmed, I’m sure) are legally permitted to set foot in the historic Lyceum Theatre. That’s right: The boys have made it to Broadway.
In honor of this perverse development, it’s time the rest of us eliminated Times Square from our itineraries (it’s for rubes anyway) and got wise to the real, gritty and often unsavory Big Apple that birthed the theater district’s newest darlings. Here are a few places to get you started.
George and Gil may not be quite good enough to shoot hoops at Greenwich Village’s historic West 4th Street Courts, but if there’s an empty basketball court in a forgotten neighborhood, there’s a 70% chance George and Gil will be there. (Fun fact: They can’t ticket you for loitering there if you’re wearing rec specs.) Put money on a game of two-on-two with them if you want. Just keep in mind that neither man has repaid a debt since 1972.
If there are two things George and Gil enjoy, it’s culture and a well-chlorinated pool. At the center of that Venn diagram is, of course, the YMCA — one of the few places where the pair’s complete lack of social graces is seen as relatively normal in comparison to the other eccentrics who hang out there.
THE HISTORIC UPPER WEST SIDE
Don’t waste your time in one of those trendy restaurants downtown. For the real New York experience, head straight up to 75th Street. It’s where you’ll find both the fancy townhouses of the nouveau riche and the crumbling apartment building that the “Oh, Hello” boys have called home for years. Try to spot Alan Alda on Columbus Avenue, or simply loiter behind a bagel place waiting for them to throw out the old sesames.
Schmucks like Frommer should consider themselves on notice. George and Gil’s New York has arrived, and there’s no going back. So the next time you visit, pass on M&M’s World and head straight for the porn theaters and dirty diners. Viva la tuna, baby!