Staycationing or Vacationing in the City?

Or… how about a quick FREE  trip to Vegas without ever getting in a plane, in  a car, in  a bus or on  a horse – well maybe a horse if you’ve been ” carriaging”* around Central Park.

Simply take yourself over to Lincoln Center Plaza on Saturday, August 26th.   Grab a chair and sit back  under the stars to see Rigoletto with all its lechery, murder, sex, gambling, kidnapping, deflowering and  disguises, just like the real Casino town!  This  hit production  by the Met of Rigoletto places the action in a neon-bedecked Las Vegas in 1960.

Image result for photos met rigoletto
RIGOLETTO Vegas style

Yes, the Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival will be in full swing as of August 25th.  This is one of my favorite things to do in the City  as summer starts to murmur  with hints of fall.  I’ve had such great times watching these wonderful operas and enjoying the audience craziness before and after the screenings. And all free!!!!!

The Festival runs from August 25th thru September 4th.  All performances begin at 8 PM except for Sunday the 27th which begins at 7:45.

Here’s the schedule starting on the 25th

Beginning with the Ingmar Bergman film, The Magic Flute followed the next evening by  Rigoletto, and then in order, Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, L’Amour De Loin, Manon Lescaut, Roberto Devereux, Tristan Und Isolde (on two nights) Eugene Onegin, Nabucco, ending on the 4th  with the beautiful La Traviata.

Hope to see you there!  Come early – relax and watch the seats fill up which they do. As usual – I’m the one with the hat, popcorn and wine.

Love this City  and love the Metropolitan Opera especially when it’s free.

KAY’S NOTES: (From an earlier post on this event)

Important to know: Met website at http://www.metopera.com 2017 Summer HD Festival.
Good to know: The series goes on rain or shine except thunder storms. Suggest you bring extra jacket or sweater as it can get chilly. And perhaps a seat cushion.
Where to eat: All over the place. Many people, in fact, bring their own food, drinks and snacks. I, myself, am a popcorn and wine person.
Restaurant prices: In the area – varies from hotdog carts to OMG$$$$
Where is it:  At Lincoln Center Plaza known as the Josie Robertson Plaza in front of the Met Opera House on the Upper West Side between West 62nd and 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. Buses and subways close by. Plenty of parking. Met website has all kinds of info on directions.
Restrooms: Here’s the tricky part. If there is an event at the David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher) the restrooms are open in the Hall. But if not there are restrooms on the Concourse level below the Met Opera house. There is an elevator to Concourse level on the outside of the David Koch Theater or an escalator in front of the David Geffen Hall. Restrooms also at the David Rubenstein Atrium on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd right across the street.
Kid Friendly: Absolutely and stay for a little while or for the whole performance. Lots of kids will be there along with opera loving well behaved dogs!

Photos  and italic text from Metropolitan Opera website.

*Carriaging – a made up word -but you get my drift.

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


 

843 Acres of Delight…

or..if it’s not Central Park what else could it be…I ask.

Yes, friends, 843 acres running 2.5 miles long and a half mile wide is that glorious part of the City starting at  59th Street and ending at  110th with pure magic in between…Central Park!

Now  where to begin  on my walks through the Park?  A walk to the Boat Basin or to  Belvedere Castle or to  Strawberry Fields or to the Zoo or to the famed Carousel with the 57 hand carved horses?  What to do, what to do.

I made the decision (not quickly) for this first post on the park, to write about my most frequent walk, which is to enter on East 66th Street and wind my way over to the exit by  Tavern on the Green to Central Park West.     (I miss, by the way, that gaudy shiny Crystal Room at Tavern even if the food and service were not so great).

Now before I go any further, just wanted to say, you probably know much of what I’m writing, but if, like me, sometimes a different perspective brings about some kind of awakening to something new.  Even doing my research for my posts, I always have a discovery (e.g.The Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks  The Institute teaches park users and managers to care for urban parks everywhere. )  Didn’t know that.

So let’s get started

If you’re going to the park for any reason, take the time to just enjoy! Wear comfortable shoes, take water, snack, hat and maybe a sweater, throw an umbrella in just in case, a blanket and a book and crossword puzzle if you’re so inclined.   Much of the walkways and paths  are good but there are interesting  paths and trails that are unpaved and often muddy.

The East 66th Street Entrance

Here’s one of the frequent sites seen  everywhere in the park- people reading.  Those readers could be on benches or on the grass or even on the rocks. I’ve done it many times myself or should I say I’ve tried to do it, but it’s not easy to stay focused when there is always so much to see and hear. Must admit weekdays is an easier time of it because it’s  quieter, but even then, the birds chirp, people talk, interesting people talk,  tours come through, children laugh  and I’m very easily distracted .  No, I don’t use a headset.  One reason is “my hearing is definitely not what it used to be” plus I like the sounds and often a musician or group of musicians are playing.  Love that!

As I walked down the small slope and past the children’s playground, I saw  the usual  puppeteer with his egg pubaltoppet to the delight of the kids.   And just a little further up the hill is the popular Balto statue, the famed sled-dog who saved children’s lives in Alaska in 1925.

The Mall – the American Elms – Wow!

As I walked up the hill through the arch and up to one of my favorite places in the park   The Mall, of American Elms  It’s just so beautiful (by the way, how many times can I use “beautiful” in a blog…a lot when describing the park, but I’m going to try to use other adjectives, I promise. It’s gorgeous in the spring, summer, winter and  fall.

The Mall and Literary Walk

And here we are: the single walkers, the bikers resting on the bench, the couple holding hands, the stroller in the distance, all under those magnificent elms. (saving for another post the section of The Mall called Literary Walk with statues of prominent writers.

Ahead of me was Sheep Meadow
I stood under this magnificent tree to take the photo of Sheep Meadow
  •  FROM THE CENTRAL PARK WEBSITE: The fifteen-acre meadow holds true to this intention today as Central Park’s largest lawn without ball fields and as a designated quiet zone. No organized sports or gatherings are allowed on Sheep Meadow to preserve the space for quiet picnicking and relaxation.

It certainly is, trust me on this one

Sheep Meadow Is a wonderful place to stop, bring a blanket, a book, a snack, a hat and spend the morning or afternoon or day. (restrooms and cafe close by). With kids? Yes, bring balls.

And now I’m getting close to Central Park West, I stopped to rest on a bench and watch the action as people went by on bikes, some built for two, scooters, pedi-cabs, horse and carriages, piggy backers, strollers and the most popular…walking!

THANK YOU SAILORS FOR YOUR SERVICE!

As I write this Memorial Day weekend, it brought back to mind  my last post on Fleet Week.  I’m sitting looking around when  these handsome sailors (told you I loved men and women in uniform) came by and cheerfully let me take their photo!  What a great way to end this post on this Memorial Day! A thank you to  all who served and serve!

LOVE THIS CITY!  

KAY’S NOTES:

Important to know:  Go to the Parks website – everything  you ever wanted to know about  this magical 843 acres!   http://www.centralparknyc.org/

Disclaimer: I try for correct info on my posts, but no guarantees people.


 

HEY KIDS…FLEET WEEK IS BACK!

OR….. ALWAYS LOVED MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM!

Yes, it’s back, just as I promised.

 Fleet Week runs May 24th thru May 30th!   IT’S FREE PEOPLE!

Salute

Love this City!

KAY’S NOTES:

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE – FUN THINGS GOING ON ALL WEEK!  http://www.fleetweeknewyork.com/

Download the event schedule which has puzzles and such for kids.

Photo: Courtesy of Fleet Week

Disclaimer: I try for correct info on my posts, but no guarantees people.


 

An Inside Walk Worth Taking

 

NO UMBRELLAS NEEDED ON THIS WALK!

The Oculus at WTC
Inside The Oculus-Photo by me

I was with my Tribeca family and we walked from their apartment thru Brookfield Place down the escalators across the walk and onto Westfield which recently opened in the soaring space of The Oculus.

The Oculus!  The Transportation Hub at the World Trade Center designed by the internationally renowned architect  Santiago Calvatrava of Spain.

I thought it was stunningly beautiful!  How do you combine a subway station and a mall into a grand open shining space…call on a famous architect that’s what you do.  Amazing!

Best way to do this walk?  I always suggest to check out websites to see what’s happening not only at Westfield, but also at Brookfield Place. They are connected and  you’ll never have to go outside. Often special events are taking place that will just add to the fun.   This is not a quiet walk, but it sure is exciting, especially the first time you do it.   By the way, stopped at the new Eataly and enjoyed a lovely wine  and pizza with my family overlooking the World Trade Center and the new Liberty Park.

It’s a huge place so when you go be sure to plan your day, don’t rush,  people-watch, perhaps  walk over  to Brookfield Place and take in a view of the Hudson or do it all in reverse.  Along your way, you’ll find many places to stop for something to eat plus, of course, a glass of wine or an old-fashioned to  give  your feet a rest and decide where  your next steps will take you on this inside walk!

oculus 10

Enjoy!

Kay’s Notes:

Important to know: It can get a little crazy during commuting times – so keep in mind it is a transportation hub.

Websites:  About The Oculus,  Westfield  and Brookfield Place

http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/transportation-hub.html

https://www.westfield.com/westfieldworldtradecenter

https://brookfieldplaceny.com/

Cost:  Seeing the buildings- free. shopping, eating and drinking? As the old song goes sung by Frank Sinatra and Ruth Etting (back in the day)  “It all depends on you”!

Where to eat:  A huge selection of places- as of this post – not all opened but will be very soon.

Restrooms: Plenty

Kid Friendly:  Without a doubt

 

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


 

Summer Streets Starts Today FREE! …Kay’s Free Pick

 

PARK AVENUE CLOSED TO TRAFFIC  FOR SUMMER STREETS

ONLY ON SATURDAYS – THREE DATES – TODAY AUGUST 6TH, AUGUST 13TH AND THE 20TH FROM 7 AM TO 1 PM!
Summer Streets 2016

Summer time and the walking is easy!

It’s fun to do.  Lots of activities like  music, a water slide, games, Zipline  and lots and lots of people.  But, only walkers, bikers, roller bladers, scooters, strollers, skater boarders, etc., are allowed.    And, because I live on the UES, a stop at St Bart’s outside restaurant for a Mimosa is definitely in order to stay cool and watch the fun! Event is free – the Mimosa ??? Nope!

Citi Summer Streets Returns to NYC: Saturday’s 8/6, 8/13 & 8/20

From Summer Streets 2016 website -NYC Department of Transportation. Check it out – website below

“Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets. On three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of NYC’s streets are opened for people to play, run, walk and bike. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation. In 2015, nearly 300,000 people took advantage of the open streets.

Summer Streets is modeled on other events from around the world including Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia and the Paris Plage in France and has since inspired other such events around the world such as CicloRecreo Via and London’s Regent Street Summer Streets.

Held between 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, Summer Streets extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets, with easy access from all points in New York City, allowing participants to plan a trip as long or short as they wish. All activities at Summer Streets are free of charge, and designed for people of all ages and ability levels to share the streets respectfully.

Summer Streets is a project of the New York City Department of Transportation.”

Kay’s Notes: This post is a little late for today’s events – but in plenty of time for the 13th and the 20th. 

Important to know:  It’s a great walk – see the City along Park Avenue from a different perspective.   Police are very helpful because cars still want to go cross town – and there are volunteers  with signs that say “stop” or “go” or something like that.    Definitely check out the website to see where along the route the activities take place.

Restrooms – Hotels along the way – couldn’t find if they are having any of those portable conveniences.  But  plenty of Starbucks and other restaurants a block east or west of Park.

Remember it starts at 7 AM and ends at 1 PM.

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


 

What to do with a teenager visiting the City for the first time since she was three, I ask!

HERE’S WHAT!

Uniqlo and Bloomies, Zara, H & M

A pop up store in SOHO  we went to all of them

We gave a wave to Liberty then ate at Battery Park

Met up with her cousin for  fries at PJ Clark

She walks in Soho with her cousin!

Heading to see “Wicked” on a very stormy night

Traffic traffic everywhere,  did gives us a fright

But rest assured we made it with extra minutes  too

We settled in our seats and both gave out a.. whew!

Made it  home by twelve … like Cindy at the ball

Into bed and ready  for that early morning call

MOMA was exciting with the artist  “It’s all true”

 The temperature was rising,  loved this cool venue

The Guggenheim!   A treasure, thanks to Mr. Wright

Then Lincoln Center and its  Plaza  glowed for us one  night

Along  the shady Central Park, we strolled Fifth Avenue

We saw  Met’s Manus x Machina, so  beautiful to view

A get together with a friend she hadn’t seen in years

Oh those  hugs and kisses and oh those many  tears

But as the famous saying goes, “All good things must  end!”

She left for home, but this I know – she’ll be back again!

IMG_3320

Thanks to my beautiful niece (soon to be 17) for showing me a wonderful time in 4 short days!

 

Kay’s Notes:

Important to know:  Go with the flow- my niece knew what she wanted to do. I just hit the highlights in my little poem…  We spent more time at The Met to see on the roof the replica of the house from Psycho – and The Temple of Dendur.   All the museums were packed because it was that notorious “heat dome’ weekend. We saved for a cooler time to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and do the Empire State Bldg among other sites.

I found out when she was leaving that the next time she’s here – she wants to go to several parks – and sketch.   Sounds good to me…. blankets, some food, love it!

Good to know:  Manus x Machina at the Met.  It’s part of the Costume Institute at the Museum and the clothing is beautiful – well worth going to  before it closes  September 5.

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