After the fireworks, the barbecues, the mojitos, the beer, the hotdogs and the  s’mores – how about some free Shakespeare?  No lines, no tickets and always free!  The Drilling Company has been doing these outdoor productions since 1995 in a parking lot and the last few years also at Bryant Park.   For more information about  this great group and specific days and times of these productions and the rest that run through the summer, go to their website. The information below is from their site.



“The Drilling Company performs free outdoor Shakespeare in the Parking Lot behind The Clemente (Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center), located at 114 Norfolk Street (east side of Norfolk Street between Delancey and Rivington Streets), just three blocks from the municipal parking lot where the plucky New York cultural attraction started in 1995.”

JULY 7 TO 24

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a tale of love and enchantment that is simultaneously set in the woodland and in the realm of Fairyland, under the light of the moon. Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, ever fond of holding a mirror up to its own neighborhood, is adapting the story into a fable of the Lower East Side in the first production of its 2016 season. Kathy Curtiss directs.”


In Midtown – behind NY Public Library – between 40th and 42nd Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

July 21 to 23

“As You Like It” with music by Natalie Smith
“The magical comedy is set in the classical Victorian era and everything becomes Steampunk when the scene shifts to the Forest of Arden. This production premiered in our parking lot last season. The New York Times wrote, “it’s easy to find magic here” and praised the leading performances as “wonderful by any standard.”

Kay’s Notes*  “All the world’s a stage” says Will

This will be my first time going to one of their productions.  My first inclination is to go to Bryant Park as it is much easier for me to get to, but inwardly I’m  being pulled and tugged  to go to the parking lot – where these performances began and sit among the cars!   I just figured it out, I can do both.  Love this City!


Shakespeare cartoon drawing – courtesy of the Drilling Company

*Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes and my posts  but no guarantees people.



 August 13 at 5pm

 Outdoors on  the Plaza – Free!the-public-domain

Here  is my first post on this  exciting event — more to come as I go thru the  rehearsals!  Take a look at the website.   I walk around singing and humming more than usual these days, as I ready my scratchy vocal chords for the performance and my debut at Lincoln Center!

From the website:

What is the public domain?

In the spirit of the Mostly Mozart Festival’s conception, the world premiere of the public domain by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang will be a performance that not only welcomes the public as a free and open event, but will also be performed by the public. A piece inspired by the theme of the collective knowledge shared amongst us all, the composition will be performed on Saturday, August 13, by 1,000 volunteer vocalists from throughout New York City, conducted by Simon Halsey, Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

the public domain – Lincoln Center

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Center




hamilton 15

Ok – let’s start at the beginning.  I was told from a lovely, generous couple to hold Friday, June 24th open.  Fine, I said, looking at my blank calendar,  I had nothing going on of any importance.  So I updated my smartphone and saved the date.

And, then on Wednesday, I got the call.  “Surprise, you are going to see Hamilton on Friday night”…I gasped, gulped and think I uttered “Thank you.” I’m  not quite sure, I think I was in shock.  What I do know was that I was beside myself with excitement. Then Friday night came and there we were. The lovely, generous couple was my daughter and son-in-law and my daughter  invited me because she knew how much I wanted to see this historical groundbreaking musical.

The theatre district was packed especially around the Richard Rodgers Theatre where Hamilton is playing.  We were in the ticket holders’ line waiting to have our bags searched and our tickets scanned along with the rest of the  very lucky ticket holders.   Then loud cheers and applause erupted next to us.

No, not because a celebrity arrived, it  was the cancellation line.  You  know that line, where people  stand and wait  for the very  slim chance that there will be cancellations and  they’ll get a ticket?   The news spread quickly down the line  that one of their own was “in”!  The woman next in the line told us  that the lucky recipient had been waiting  and working the line  for every performance since Monday or Tuesday and it was Friday. Now you could sense the excitement of   others in the line as  they saw it was possible – possible that they too will have a chance to get that prized  Hamilton ticket and  at regular prices no less.

I’ve been to the theater my entire life and i don’t remember ever being with such a  happy, accommodating, smiling, excited crowd.  I went to our really really great seats and my daughter stopped to get us water,  wine and  M&Ms.(our dinner).  I must say, I do like it that most  theaters allow you to bring their  wine in expensive little souvenir cups into the theatre itself.  I love sitting in my seat, relaxing, reading the Playbill and sipping on that glass of mediocre wine waiting for the lights to dim.    By the way, the theatre has invented a new drink named after the show, “Hamiltini”….  clever.

As for Hamilton,  no matter what you’ve read or what you’ve heard, it is all of that and more!  We were fortunate to see it before the departure of Lin-Manuel Miranda and the others. However, I have no doubt that the casting will continue to be outstanding especially with Javier Munoz taking over the role of Hamilton as he’s been doing at every Sunday matinée.

I have to give a “shout out” to my eight year old granddaughter.  Her parents have seen the show and downloaded the music to their phones. My  granddaughter loves the music and sings the songs to me all the time.   I could mouth “Alexander Hamilton” and “My Shot” along with the best of them!

kay hamilton



Doing my research I found many sites on how to get tickets and stories on the cancellation and in-person lottery lines.   I’ve listed some below but also – suggest you google “Hamilton” and read about the experiences and methods people are using to get tixs.

Important to know:   You may know this, but if not,  there are tickets that won’t cause you to mortgage your  house, your  apartment, or sell those lovely jewels or that Picasso! But it takes a little work on your part.

  • Enter the Hamilton Lottery on line for $10  tickets  for that day’s performance.   https://lottery.broadwaydirect.com/show/hamilton/
  • Wednesday matinée lottery in person line -outside  the Theatre.  Entries start at noon for a drawing a half hour later.
  • Stand in the cancellation line: Regular priced tickets.  There are rules. Can’t hold places, no tents, no chairs, can buy up to 2 tickets, tickets sold beginning 30 minutes before performance at regular price. If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket you have to go right to the box office and then inside the theatre.www.playbill.com/article/hamilton-updates-cancellationline-policy
  • Or my very fortunate   way – have someone give you a gift of tickets!

*Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes and my posts  but no guarantees people.


It’s official – it’s summer!


The City will be bouncing all summer long with hundreds of fabulous events.  Here are some of the major  sites  I use to find out what’s happening.  I will  keep updating this post as new things pop up and they will. To  get us started and so we can mark  our calendars –check them out. Hundreds of free- easy to get to – events!

Lincoln Center                  www.lincolncenter.org 

Central Park.                     http://centralpark.org

Hudson River Park           http://www.hudsonriverpark.org

River to River Festival     lmcc.net/news/river-river-2016- June 16-26.

New  York City Go            http://www.nycgo.com

Free Shakespeare           http://www.shakespeareintheparkinglot.com

And, don’t forget the beaches – we are surrounded by water!

Rockaway Beach

Kay’s Notes: 

Important to know:     There really is so much to see and do and so little time.   I make a list and  mark my calendar (on my phone and the one on my wall) otherwise, I wake up and realize that I missed the event the day or night before that  I really wanted to go to.

picnic in park

Good to know:  Picnics and blankets in the parks are so much fun.   Bring books, newspapers, balls, and get ice cream and gelato from one of the food trucks. Now sitting on a blanket is great – but getting up from a blanket can be a challenge and…the process of getting up is not a pretty sight, if you know what I mean.    So you might want to bring a folding  chair.

Restrooms: – Will take a little work …each site will have restroom locations on their sites so you might want to take note of them before you go there.

*Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes– but no guarantees people.     Photo of Central Park courtesy of NYC




Eavesdropping…an art form

I leaned over to my friend and said, “If I hadn’t gone to see the Picasso sculptures at MOMA  and didn’t stop for a glass of wine at the Bar Room   and didn’t sit beside Paula and didn’t eavesdrop, we wouldn’t be here tonight!”

We were sitting back in our chairs, sipping a glass of chardonnay, waiting to hear Paula Whyman read from her first published book, “You May See A Stranger” at Book Culture  on the  upper west side.  You remember Paula from my very first post,  Picasso and Paula ?

blog book culture
Paula ready to read from her new book, “You May See A Stranger.”

I feel so connected with this book, I keep thinking I was there at the beginning.   Well, not the real beginning, Paula said during her interview that it took her five years to write the book and I only met her in April.   But I was there for the finish, I’ll take credit for that.  And the award for  “Best Eavesdropping Finish Line” goes to….. Kay of kaysnycways! Applause, applause!  And, where does Paula get some of her ideas.. …wait for it….  “Eavesdropping”  she told the interviewer.


I know a couple who  took eavesdropping  to a whole other level by developing the art form into a game of mischief.  Their  targeted audience were strangers sitting near them in a crowded restaurant. They would start in low tones and then perhaps display a bit of anger or a little laugh, a naughty word, here or there, purposely allowing  their eavesdroppers to catch something, look at each other  and stop talking.  The strangers would then discreetly listen to this couple tell their mostly lurid  fictional tales. And these  gamers had no shame – they began at cocktails and didn’t finish till dessert.  They’d get up and leave and as soon as they were outside become  hysterical  and  congratulate themselves on what they considered  spectacular acting, knowing full well  that the tables surrounding them were left wondering …”Did we really hear what I think we heard?”

I heard Paula use a word  at her reading  that I didn’t  remember, “plotting”. It came about when someone asked the author what advice would she give to young writers, she answered, “Read.”   One of her main reasons, she said, was  that reading helps in plot development, “plotting”.     Now I was an English major and should have recognized the word, but please keep in mind, senior moments are always popping up at the most inopportune  times.   I wrote the word  down in my blog notebook, so I wouldn’t have another senior moment trying to remember what word I didn’t remember.

blog you may see a stranger

Now in summary and to  paraphrase my Picasso and Paula post, “always stop for a glass of something and  always eavesdrop” cause you never know where the art of eavesdropping  will take you and it  may surprise you when you get there.



Important to know:        Paula’s site : http://www.paulawhyman.com  Book Culture http://www.bookculture.com a small chain of independent book stores on the upper west side

Good to know: Museum of National History is across the street and Central Park a block away.

Where to eat:  Lots – including Shake Shack down a few blocks and Isabella’s  at 77th and Columbus on the corner.   http://www.isabellas.com where we ate.  You can eat inside or out, we shared our meal, and with tip  and rose’ came  to about $45 each.  Nice casual restaurant.

Kid Friendly:   Very – both at the bookstore and restaurants

Restrooms: Yes

*Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes– but no guarantees people.









Jazzmen and Gelato





A clarinet, a trumpet, a trombone, a piano and drums—At the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts – Lincoln Center and it’s FREE!

And it’s great… standing room only!  Age of the audience?  My peers, that’s for sure, although the trombonist said, “I see some young people here – they must be in their 50’s!”

We were dancing  in our seats, bopping our  heads, tapping our feet, clapping our hands,  loving the  music we all knew, a major part of our memories, at least I know it was for me. Plus, the Jazzmen seemed to be having just as much fun playing for us as we did listening and watching them.

Opening number was Avalon followed by— Am I BlueTangerine, Rose of Washington Square,  Ida, some Fats Waller, James P Johnson, and Edgar Sampson’s music.  (see Kay’s notes on these famous pianists and composers ). Can I say anything more – if you know this music, you know exactly what I mean.

The Jazzmen  are all accomplished musicians, Ed Bonoff, drums; James Lincoln Collier, trombone; Lee Lorenz, cornet, Ernie Lumer clarinet; Peter Sokolow, piano; Skip Muller, bass.  They are not only great musicians but are composers, arrangers, orchestrators, and writers among their other talents.  Lee Lorenz, cornet, also draws cartoons for The New Yorker.

Why I love this music.  My  dad (handsome guy on the right leaning on the piano) sang with this trio in Rome, New York in the 30’s.dad trio Watty,  as he was called,  besides being a singer, played the violin and tried (tried is the operative word here)  to play the sax.    He also was an avid collector of vinyl records from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and  taught all of us ( his 6 children) a great love of music especially of our American  standards.  He would often call us into the living room to guess what song and who was singing.  No prizes, but if we got it right, a grin, as he would  put his pipe back in his mouth.   So, when this group of accomplished musicians began to play their Dixieland jazz, to the song, Avalon,  I started to get teary eyed and then just couldn’t stop smiling throughout the whole set.   Wow!

Don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I often use song titles as subheadings on my posts, just can’t help it!   They fit. Like….

I love a piano, I love a piano, I love to hear somebody play…. 

I  am in total awe when I hear an accomplished pianist playing anything. But jazz is something else… when I go to hear jazz, I always try to get a seat where I can see the keyboard.   I love to  watch the pianist’s  hands moving like liquid* across the “ivories”. And, Peter’s fingers’ moved magically as he sang along.  (I took piano  lessons most of my life, still can’t really  play ). * I also can’t take credit for the word “liquid” in this context, I was telling my brother about this post and he said the pianist’s fingers move like liquid- so right, thanks Bro!

All of this is free – and it was standing room only, as I said.  The Jazzmen  perform every Tuesday  at noon. They’ll be ending for a summer break on June 28th, but they’ll be back later this year.   It is a treat and a joy to be able to see and hear these great musicians.  Hope you get a chance to go. !http://www.lincolncenter.org/show/gotham-jazzmen

gelato the pink spoon lincoln center

Blue Skies – smilin’ at me – nothin’ but blue skies – do I see!

And, when I left – no wine or old fashioned, but a lovely pistachio gelato on the plaza. Named this selfie …”Pink Spoon”.


lincoln center performing arts signage


Important to know:  New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is at Lincoln  Center – snuggled between the Met Opera House and Mitzi Newhouse Theater. The Jazzmen play at  the Bruno Walter Auditorium, there is an  entrance on Amsterdam Avenue or you can go through the front entrance of  the Library.

Good to know: Check out the exhibits while you’re there.  Currently, there is an exhibit of the costumes from Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute along with a Shakespearean exhibit and  Mostly Mozart memorabilia.

Really good to know:  Read more about these important jazzmen

James P. Johnson, 1894-1955, pianist, composer, pioneer of stride piano.

Edgar Sampson, 1907-1973,saxaphonist, violinist, composer and arranger

Fats Waller,1904-1943,jazz pianist, organist, composer and singer

Where to eat:   In the Library on the 2nd floor is a small cafe, Amy’s Bread and, of course, many places in the area of Lincoln Center

Kid Friendly: –Much  older kids, who like Dixieland  and lots of grey-haired people.

Restrooms – On 2nd floor

*Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes– but no guarantees people.



Kay’s Picks – NYC Pride March Sunday June 26- Event Passed


 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)

The March  takes place in NYC on Sunday, June 26, 2016 at noon.


  • It begins at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ends at Christopher and Greenwich Streets in the West Village. See the route map here.
  • This year’s theme is Equality Needs You. Last year’s March was a joyous occasion coming mere days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, but now, there’s a serious note as we realize how far we still have to go.
  • Because of the Orlando shootings, there will be added security this year, with hundreds of security guards throughout the March. Nothing has been cancelled.

For more info on the March and other events go to: http://nycpride.org

Write up and photo – courtesy of TimeOut NY and NYCPride.org




Kay’s Free Picks – Night at the Museums Downtown Event Passed – was June 21

TUESDAY JUNE 21  4 TO 8 pm




From the Night at the Museums’  website.

“The museums and historic landmarks of Lower Manhattan are an American treasure. Explore one of the most diverse and concentrated groups of museums in the world – 15 sites – all within comfortable walking distance of each other. 

Special this year  are  free musical celebrations on the  21st, the longest day of the year, with over 1,200 concerts on streets, sidewalks, and parks across the five boroughs.

 Museums  include: African Burial Ground National Monument, The Anne Frank Center USA, Federal Hall National Memorial, Fraunces Tavern® Museum, Museum of American Finance, Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, National Archives at New York City, National Museum of the American Indian—Smithsonian Institution, National September 11 Memorial Museum, 9/11 Tribute Center, Poets House, The Skyscraper Museum, South Street Seaport Museum and Wall Street Walks.”

Note: some museums require advance reservations – still free – but necessary .

Hope to see you there!


Kay’s Notes:  Just go to their website – everything you ever wanted to know about Night at the Museums is there!


Make Music New York today – Event Passed Was on June 21 2016



2016 (Designer: Adam McCauley)MAKE MUSIC NEW YORK

is a live and free musical celebration today,  the longest day of the year, with over 1,200 concerts on streets, sidewalks, and parks across the five boroughs!   And it’s a beautiful day here in NYC.


 Go to their website –  enter what neighborhood you want and even the kind of music  and the listings come up.  Closest to me is the Carl Schultz Park with the following:  Times may change.
 Kay’s Notes:  Poster courtesy of Make Music New York 2016
*Disclaimer – I try for correct info – but no guarantees people