New York Without Hamilton is What Exactly?

I’m going to New York in a couple of months. I might as well be going to Nebraska, because – swallow whatever’s in your mouth and sit down because I don’t want you to choke and hurt yourself from the shock – I’m not going to see Hamilton.

Why bother? you ask. Is there anything else going on the entire 23-square mile island of Manhattan? Will they even let me off the plane at JFK without a ticket in my hand and will I be put on a terrorist watch list if I try to leave the city without a Playbill signed by at least three cast members?

Why is she even here?          No clue. Better frisk her and check for gunpowder residue.

The first part of my visit will be during my husband’s business meetings, so I’ll be on my own during the day. I will probably go to Chelsea Market shops, where I hear there is a vendor who sells lockets containing the dustpan sweepings from the stage at the Richard Rogers Theater, collected after each Hamilton performance.  And I’ll definitely go to Greenwich Village and hit my favorite indie bookstore, where they sell the few remaining books that aren’t about Hamilton in a newly built annex, constructed from hardback copies of Hamilton: The Revolution, the book about Hamilton. Which I am not seeing.

I will be within spitting distance of the theater but that’s as close as I’ll get. Because I am not seeing Hamilton. I’ll go to dinner with friends, but that’s not Hamilton. I’ll spend an afternoon in the Garment District and buy some fabric from a few of the stores at which I’ve watched my sisters shop before I joined them as a sewing sister, but that’s not Hamilton either.

I will see a Broadway show, but– calm down, people —  it won’t be Hamilton. It’s likely to be Pre-Hamilton Cats or Not Hamilton Sunset Boulevard or UnHamiltony Kinky Boots.  I and the other non-Hamilton-watchers will sit quietly, applaud politely and exchange sad glances with the casts of these other pitiful shows. Then we’ll go to Sardis and cry in our martinis and try not to stand out.

We know so many people in New York! We’ll see one of our favorite young couples, Jasmine and Chris, who live in Lin Manuel Miranda’s parents’ friends’ neighborhood and within a quarter mile of the butcher where his dad buys chops. We might go there and buy some bacon or a deli sandwich, or just hang out and watch for semi-Hispanic looking guys with ponytails and tan lines around a former goatee. And Jasmine  knows someone who knows someone who is playing the role of Angelica Schuyler in the San Francisco Hamilton show. So we can talk about that.

I always fit in some early Christmas shopping when I’m in New York. Where else would I be able to get my daughter an amber ring encasing a single whisker from Javier Munoz’s barber shop for a good price, 2,150 percent cheaper than a Hamilton ticket. And for my sons: “Go Ham or Go Home” refrigerator magnets and “It’s Hamiltime!” coffee mugs.

We are going to have so much fun in New York! We’re going to do so many things, it would be easier to list the things we won’t be doing.  The Statue of Liberty. We won’t be going to the Statue of Liberty. It’s closed for a private cast party. And Hamilton. We won’t be seeing Hamilton. Did I mention that?

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick

Diane is a writer, blogger, humorist and author of the books "Great-Grandma Is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture Is Near" and "Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves." She lives in San Francisco.