Tour Bus Diaries: To That Tall Skyline I Come

By Adam Savage

Adam finally arrives in New York, where he grew up. It's a homecoming of sorts, as he catches up with friends and family before the show.

New York!!! Hometown glee. Alarm wakes me up, and I am still moving! Grab my phone and check map, somehow it knows that I'm in the Lincoln Tunnel. I only got to sleep a couple of hours before; too excited.

Beware: This is a long post.

A half-hour later and I'm on Amsterdam and 74th, half a block from the back door of the Beacon Theatre, and it feels like home and I don't even care that it's pissing rain. Or that the rain delayed us by a bit. It's NEW YORK!

I get out to survey the surroundings. The intrepid Local One is loading us in. (I can tell we have a few fans among them, though I still need to wear my badge to get in. It doesn't matter that my face is on the poster and the marquis, they need to see that badge--I love that.) Here's the load-in in progress:

The Beacon is legendary and gorgeous. Here's a view from the stage looking out.

The Beacon is also legendary for its lack of wing space. We will be relocating parts and pieces of the show on the fly to adjust to the cramped quarters. Luckily we performed here last year, so we have a good idea already about how to do it.

After ogling the lovely hall it was time to quickly get together with my oldest friend before interviews. I grew up here and I don't get to NYC nearly often enough, so it's always like a homecoming. Later tonight I see my moms!

First interview is at Sports Illustrated. Here is their studio in Midtown from where I was sitting.

Apparently they're getting a better one soon. Everyone there was great. Seriously, it's like making a show in someone's apartment. Not that that's a bad thing.

Here's Jamie and I being interviewed.

Waiting out front I took a few photos with fans and took this shot. (Sorry, Norm, I know you like the landscapes better!)

Now it's off to record StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson(!) I want to preface his name with a proper encomium: inimitable, legendary, anything, but I'm presented with a problem -- I'm so given to hyperbole that I've used up all the cool adjectives I know in the last few posts, and I hate repeating words. It's bad form, you know. How about we just call him THE Neil deGrasse Tyson. You know the badass of which I speak.

You know how I like knolling, right? Well, you might NOT know that it's named after the mid-century genius designer Knoll. And on our way uptown we passed an entire store of his designs! The mothership!

No time to stop, though. The traffic is awful and we are running a bit late. Tick tock, tick tock.

Even sitting in traffic here feels good. I love this city. Can you tell I'm in a good mood?

And with good reason. Once we get to Neil's office it's EXACTLY what I expected. With telescopes in the corners and everything!

The StarTalk segment with Neil was not long enough for all we had to go over. We talked for more than an hour and could have gone on far longer. Neil's office is a comforting jumble of planets, paintings of space and the odd toy or two. Plus a king's ransom in honorary degrees.

As I was taking the pic everyone in the room was squeezing farther and farther into the corner, trying to keep out of my photo. Of course, I took this as a challenge and managed to get a couple people in the photo.

Ha! In your FACE, courteous peeps! (Maybe I should have a better attitude.)

After we took a bunch of photos, we were finished, and so I chose to walk back to the bus. Breathing it all in.


Gorgeous. An hour of chilling and then it was time for a visit from my MOM! Yes, my mom and my sister Kris came to the bus for a visit. They're coming to the show tonight.

I'm sorry I can't stop taking pictures of the streets.

Here's my mom and sister at dinner.

And here's my dressing room at the Beacon. My head swims with the idea of the insane 20th-century talent that has come through this room: everyone from Louis C.K. to the Rolling Stones. I can't even begin to fathom. I know that's a weird pair to put together, but you should see what it's like in my HEAD.

The show? Sublime. Not us, although I was super happy with the performance, but the hometown crowd was amazing. The whole thing couldn't have gone better. They were always willing to play along:

I'm not sure exactly how to title this ...

Our video guy Sonny overseeing all of our digital assets during the show.

Mark Siddall (friend and leech fanatic) took this great shot of me hanging from the ceiling.

Then there was a meet and greet with 70 fans:

(The kid front and center was so psyched it was hilarious. Really great crowd of children.)

The background for the meet and greet was the load-out, which I think is pretty cool.

After all that we repaired nearby (about 20 of my friends and family) to chat and have cocktails before our bus shuffled off to you-know-where.

Mr. Hodgman, my friend Opus and I managed to take a truly terrible photo. Truly.

It would take effort to best that.

One last shot of NYC taken moments before we left.

What a day!

While on tour for the Behind the Myths stage show, Adam is blogging about his adventures and exploration of each city he visits. Here are his previous entries: