New York City 2007

July 30th, 2007 | Posted in General

I just arrived back from New York after a short but energetic trip to the big city. The Lovely Anna, myself and kids Victoria, Gabrielle and Tommy made the trek in part to see Laura Osnes, winner of the “Grease: You’re the One That I Want” reality TV show, perform as Sandy in the Broadway production. Laura, as I wrote last week, grew up four houses down the street from us and was a drama instructor for years with our kids during summer drama camps at the local high school.

Laura with Tommy, Gabrielle and Victoria

Trips to NYC are always fun but very expensive and very tiring. Driving home from the airport through the Minnesota suburbs on Sunday afternoon, there was almost no one to be seen… just quiet streets with green lawns and shade trees in our sleepy little neighborhood. What a contrast to the packed streets of New York. I like the energy there but after just a few days I’m ready to get home to the peace and tranquility.

While we were there we had a lot of fun. We met up with Orlando cartoonist/caricaturist Keelan Parham, his wife Barbie and daughter Brady (baby Kaley was back home with family). The Parhams are great friends and we always love seeing them. We also hooked up with NYC humorous illustrator Ed Steckley and his wife Heather, also old friends. Most of the weekend we hung out, window shopped, saw another show and ate at some great restaurants including the famous Jean Georges.

Getting “street meat” from a Times Square vendor

We also visited the MAD offices, and received the “50 cent tour” by MAD art director Sam Viviano. Personally I don’t think it was worth more than 37 cents, but this is Manhattan so everything is more expensive. Come to think of it, I gave Sam a dollar but he never gave me back any change… another Manhattan trick. Sam is great about taking time from his busy day to visit with freelancers who show up at the office, but I think he’s just trying to get out of working… anyway, here are some pictures:

Sam tried to duck us in the lobby but we showed up early…

The MAD office directory….

The MAD movie marquee, these “now playing”…

Collection of useless MAD toys and memorabilia

Keelan studies some original MAD illustrations

Barbie looks at more originals, including the first Norman Mingo
cover of the definitive Alfred from MAD #30

Brady and Tommy next to the Alfred “Up the Academy” statue

The MADropolitan Museum of Art gallery

The collection of “celebrity snaps” featuring celebs with copies of MAD

Gabrielle looks at two covers MAD decided not to use, one because the
Gulf War had just broken out and the other because of 9/11. The bottom
right cover was the one they used post 9/11 instead.

This artboard is there for MAD artists to draw on when visiting

The gang out on the town!

Good fun with great friends. Now it’s time to pay the piper, because with five of us in one hotel room I couldn’t get any work done. So, now it’s a few late nights and Monster Lo-Carb binges this week.


  1. Justin says:

    Awesome. I love visiting NY. The MAD offices looks like fun. Glad you all had a great time!!!

  2. Beast says:

    Looks like you guys had a great time.
    I forgot about “Up the Academy” Awful Movie. I heard Mad had their name pulled from the title after the release. I remember when it came out it was Mad Magazine Presents.

  3. Tom says:

    Yes, Gaines hated the movie so much he paid $30,000 to get MAD’s name removed from it when released on home video, but Warner’s added it back later. No word if Gaines got a refund… my guess is no.

    That statue of Alfred had a plate on the front with the original movie title: “MAD Magazine Presents Up the Academy”, except somebody from MAD scratched off the “P” in “Presents” so it reads thusly:

    MAD Magazine
    Up the Academy


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