'Marilyn in the Big Apple: Day 1 - Street dog, New York Times and 'nicely choreographed' Dovetail (VIDEO)Marilyn Hagerty spent her first day in New York City Tuesday savoring the city’s street food and its elite cuisine, fitting in a tour of the New York Times where she was greeted in some quarters like a celebrity.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Marilyn Hagerty spent her first day in New York City Tuesday savoring the city’s street food and its elite cuisine, fitting in a tour of the New York Times where she was greeted in some quarters like a celebrity.
The longtime Herald columnist and restaurant reviewer lit up the Web last week with her matter-of-fact review of Grand Forks’ first Olive Garden restaurant. The Internet greeted the review with jeers initially, followed by a tidal wave of “awwwwws,” much of it on Twitter.
This week, Marilyn’s touring NYC to review the city’s food, including Times Square’s Olive Garden.
Here’s how Tuesday unfolded, as told by Ryan Babb, a Forum Communications multimedia producer who’s serving double duty as Marilyn’s personal assistant this week.
Babb, known as Lostincentralia on Twitter, documented every move made by the Herald columnist:
• 10:42 a.m. — NYC’s Village Voice reports Marilyn coming to to review Le Bernardin and Olive Garden. She got a reservation by way of a fan, Anthony Bourdain, a friend of the chef-owner.
• 12:31 p.m. — Marilyn lands in NYC. She avoided the dreaded middle seat on the flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul.
• 2:09 p.m. — She arrives at her hotel in Midtown Manhattan. It’s about 60 degrees.
• 2:57 p.m. — Marilyn visits the New York Times and enjoys a hot dog from a cart in front of the Times building. NYT reports on the event in its story “For a professional Midwest palate, a first taste of a dirty-water dog.” The writer seems to get a kick out of her chat with the hard-selling hot dog vendor. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/for-a-professional-midwest-palate-a-first-taste-of-a-dirty-water-dog/
• 3:34 p.m. — Marilyn sits in on a news huddle at NYT, where staff figure out what to put on Page 1. She says it’s always been her dream to work for NYT.
• 4:22 p.m. — Carolynryan, NYT metro editor, tweets: “Wow. Just shook hand of Marilyn Hagerty, 85, Olive Garden reviewer from N.D. Couldnt be lovelier. She's reviewing nyc hotdog.”
• 5:39 p.m. — Marilyn is at Dovetail in the Upper West Side. NYT gave it 3 of 4 stars in a 2008 review. Babb takes pictures of many many tiny servings of appetizers framed by very very large plates.
There’s a mid-course consommé. To cleanse the palate.
• 7:42 p.m. — The meal seems to be careening pleasantly out of control. Babb tweets: “Things are coming out now that we didn’t even order.”
• 8:05 p.m. — Babb marks Marilyn’s reaction: “Ooooo. This is wonderful.”
• 8:14 p.m. — Marilyn declares she is full, but not uncomfortably full; the proportions were perfect. But dessert is next.
• 9:09 p.m. — The meal is over and Babb reports that Marilyn is “very impressed with service tonight. Nicely choreographed. Great meal at Dovetail NYC.” So ends the evening.
• 9:21 p.m. — Ashwin, Twitter user from NYC, tweets: “Beginning to think #MarilynHagerty is the most elaborate prank since lonelygirl15.” That’s a reaction to a Youtube video series supposedly by a teenager targeted by a cult. Turns out it was faked; she’s an actress.
No, dear Ashwin, there is a Marilyn. She’s been reviewing chain restaurants, and others, unironically since 1976.