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.


 

The Waldorf Shuttered, The Empire Room Gone, But Lena Horne? Here Forever!

Or…a night i’ll never forget!

Wonderful memories to me are  gifts that are always there to pull upon when life or times get a little complicated.   And this is one of my favorites.  I try to make kaysnycways timely  but I just  couldn’t find the right time to share this memory until now.  After reading that  the Waldorf Astoria  was going under a  total renovation and would be closed for a few years, I said to myself now is the time and  I finished the draft I had started.     Remembering this night always lifts  my spirits  and in these chaotic times wonderful memories are indeed wonderful!  

LENA’S RED HOT!

Image result for lena horne at the empire room waldorf

We were right at the edge of the dance floor at a  very small cocktail table for two…waiting.  It was the  last night of Lena Horne’s  run at the Empire Room.   We   were in our 20’s and it was our  first time  at such a fancy, elegant New York City supper club.  We were wide-eyed and we were star struck not just for the excitement  of seeing her, but also because we were surrounded by celebrities like Carol Burnett, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and  the McGuire Sisters.     When  she  came out and started to sing, all we did was look at each other with huge smiles! The evening was a surprise from my boyfriend (and future husband) and what an evening it was.  Her  rendition of “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” turned  a bouncy  melody  into a sensual romp!  As she went from one song to the next, everyone was spell-bound  and  the room would explode with applause, cheers and words of love after each.   She took it all in with her usual  aplomb as she waited till we became silent again before she moved on.  What a night!

 “FROM THIS MOMENT ON”

Image result for lena horne at the waldorf

The  amazing, beautiful, elegant  Lena Horne never leaves us. We  still hear her voice and see her thru her recordings, movies and TV taped appearances. .  She was a native New Yorker born in Brooklyn (1917-2010) )and used her  voice, her  strength and her intellect  to fight  “against racism in the entertainment industry throughout her career and against racial discrimination in this country throughout her life. “*

Take the time  to watch this documentary from PBS’s American Masters’ Series about Lena  Horne on her struggles and triumphs.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XBGs02Xne8

There  is a new  children’s picture  book about her life as a performer and activist  written by Carole Boston Weatherford, *”The Legendary Miss Lena Horne” published in February ( 2017).  I discovered something I didn’t know from this bio,  *Lena learned to  read before kindergarten and  books were her lifelong love.  The cover of the book illustrates the dress she wore when she sang “Stormy Weather”.

Next May there will be a tribute to her at Jazz at Lincoln Center in Michael Feinstein’s Jazz and Popular Song Series.

I don’t want to get too sentimental here, but it occurred  to me that we all, especially as we get older, have wonderful memories that help us get through our crazy lives. Those memories also seem to have a will of their own as they just suddenly decide to pop up, or a song plays and it triggers one, or you’re sitting there with a glass of wine, minding your own business, thinking of family and  friends and there it is that memory that always  makes you laugh out loud.   And all the time those other  wonderful memories just sit there in the back of our minds waiting their turn to be rekindled.  Like my memory of Lena Horne – always there and always fresh.

Love this City and love Lena Horne!       

KAY’S NOTES

Important to know: Google Lena Horne and read more about this amazing woman and what she accomplished.

 “The Legendary Miss Lena Horne” – by Carole Boston Weatherford a children’s picture book on the life of Miss Horne both educational and inspiring with beautiful illustrations by  Elizabeth Zunon.  https://cbweatherford.com

May 2–3, 2018  |  7:00pm & 9:00pm  |  The Appel Room Michael Feinstein continues the Jazz & Popular Song series with a tribute to an American national treasure: “The Enchanting Lena Horne”.  http://www.jazz.org/

Good to know:  “Lena Horne at the Waldorf” is available on CD or to download with many of the songs she sang that night.

“Surrey With The Fringe on top” by Rodgers and Hammerstein

“Stormy Weather” by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler

“From This Moment On” by Cole Porter

*Unfortunately I couldn’t find the source of this sentence I copied, so my apologies to the writer.

Photos courtesy of flickriver.com

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


 

 

 

Sept 22 at 10:41 am… it became official!

 I T ‘S  A U T U M N!

SOON CENTRAL PARK WILL LOOK LIKE THIS

NOT TODAY …..BUT SOON!

Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting?
Autumn in New York, it spells the thrill of first nighting
Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds in canyons of steel
They’re making me feel, I’m home.

“Autumn in New York” is a jazz standard composed by Vernon Duke in 1934 for the Broadway musical Thumbs Up! which opened on December 27, 1934, performed by J. Harold Murray. Many versions of the song have been recorded over the years by numerous musicians and singers.(wikipedia.com)

KAY’ NOTES:    Love this City! Especially in the fall, enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Timeout NY//Chris Ford

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

Bars, books, french fries and such!

Or….Places I like and why!

On occasion, I like to go to a nearby establishment in the late afternoon for a light libation, a little bar conversation, and, perhaps,  with a book or crossword puzzle.

A friendly comfortable place that likes us “older folks”, walking distance from my apartment  and not crazy expensive and serves a good wine, or bourbon old fashioned and french fries.   You would think that would be easy to find in this  City, and it is, but it does take a little time  and effort.

I know, you get the walking, likes seniors, reasonable, but what’s with the french fries?   A tradition, I’m big on traditions.  This all started with my younger trouble-making sisters.  One of them said,  “Let’s stop for a drink.”  Found ourselves a place and sat down at the bar.   We just wanted a little something to pick on. Looked over the appetizers, but nothing.  Looked at the rest of the menu ,and there it was… French Fries.   Those luscious fattening little  things have  become the  go-to bar snack for me and most of my family and friends.

What’s a girl to do?

One afternoon I was walking back from my local small bookstore with my new book in hand.   It wasn’t really what I wanted to do, but I did it anyway, spend the money that is.  I love browsing  independent book stores like Shakespeare & Co.  on Lexington Ave.  I could have borrowed it from the library, but I have a thing about having my own copy.     Although, I do borrow on occasion.  Coulda, woulda, shoulda, so I bought it.   Senior moment…can’t remember the name of the book.

It had just started to rain, when I stopped that day at Donohue’s, also on Lexington (opened in 1950),   Imagedown the street from my apt.  I sat at the bar and ordered an old fashioned and, of course, fries. A couple came in and sat next to me.  I smiled and then went back to cursing Will Shortz. (you know, the editor of the NY Times crossword) as I worked on that day’s puzzle.  “Excuse me,” I heard and turned to look at the two next to me.  She asked, “Do you know the best way to get to  the Metropolitan Opera?”  It was so hard not to say, “Practice, practice,practice.” But, no, I didn’t.  Their question  started a conversation about The Met opera and The Met museum.  Then some goodbyes and off they went to Lincoln Center and “Aida”. There you have it… a nice place, good drink, bar conversation, fries  and home. That’s what I’m talking about!

Finnegan's Wake - New York, NY, United States

And over on First  Avenue, a  dear friend introduced me t0 Finnegans Wake Pub, it’s  been there since 1972.  Besides the ubiquitous french fries, they make a delicious chicken pot pie. Chicken pot pie seems to be standard pub fare, some are ok, but theirs is really, really yummy.   The conversations between my friend and I  and the tables around us or at the bar are always fun at this cozy neighborhood place. Drinks are good and the price is right!

 “Wait for it”

Then on  Second and 70th  is Beach  Cafe.  (since 1968) a little bar/restaurant, where you can get a great bourbon old fashioned. It has really been through tough times for a while now  with the noise and scaffolding and walls up for the Second Avenue subway.  But another comfortable easy place to stop with friendly folk from the area.  Just ignore the Photo Dec 23, 4 08 39 PM.jpgconstruction around.    “Hamilton” was the bar conversation one afternoon, when I heard the woman next to me say to the fellow next to her,  incredulously “You’ve seen Hamilton how many times?”  He laughed and said, “Six.”   “How did you manage that?”, she asked. Now all our eyes were  focused on this lucky guy. He gave an answer that wasn’t a surprise.”I have a friend who has a friend who knows somebody.”  We laughed.  I had to go, but I heard this comment as I left, smiling. “I didn’t think you had any friends.”

“If you’re gonna dance, you gotta  pay the band”  

 One of my favorite places, in the City,  is the classic  New York bar, Bemelmens  at the Carlyle Hotel (1947) on Madison Avenue, little further away from the others, but worth the walk.   I love  the atmosphere and the wonderful bonus of listening to the  jazz pianist playing those great  standards. There was a wonderful bartender there, that retired a few years ago, he made, according to a friend,  the best Cosmopolitan ever!   Drinks are still great and  their little trio of bar snacks, which they keep refilling, will make one forget about french fries.   Just  be ready for the “ouch factor” when  it’s time to pay the bill.  It’s become, for me, a special occasion place.  As an aside, it is one of the best places for eavesdropping… and  do I have stories to tell?   Woo Hoo!  ‘nother post,’nother time.Bemelmans Bar | The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

“In my own little corner” 

 Just so you know, I’m not promoting any of these places. I’ve had  interesting times at each and wanted to tell you about them, because as vast as NYC  is,  it is filled with  neighborhoods and communities and these places happen to be in mine.  However, my most favorite place is in my own apartment, in my comfortable chair, my feet up,  with  a good book, some jazz playing in the background,  and a nice glass of something. French fries can wait.

 Enjoy!

 Love this City.

Senior moment  recovery :  The book was  the last of the Ferrante Neopolitan Novels, The Story of the Lost Child. Now I remember why I  couldn’t borrow  it from the library, I have the other three, can’t break up a set.

KAY’S NOTES

Important to know:  The locations of the places in this post are  all on the Upper East Side and within a few blocks of each other with the one exception of Bemelmans which is a little further away – but not that far.

Donohue’s, Lexington Avenue between 64th and 65th

Shakespeare & Co, Lexington between 68th and 69th

The Beach Cafe, Second Ave and 70th

Finnegans Wake Pub, First Ave and 72nd (no apostrophe-according to their site)

Bemelmans Bar, Madison Ave and 76th (no apostrophe here, either)

Photos: Courtesy of their websites

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


Grab your coat and get your hat….leave your worries on the door step

 And go..it’s tomorrow

AMADEUS on the Plaza 

under the stars at 7:45 in the evening and Free!

 

  That gorgeous Oscar winning movie kicks off the HD Festival.

CHECK  MY PREVIOUS  POST (July 26th)  ON  THE HD FESTIVAL THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ AGAIN – OR NOT – AND JUST WING IT AND HAVE A GREAT TIME…. I’LL BE THERE – MAYBE I’LL SEE YOU…. I, OF COURSE, AM THE ONE WITH THE WINE AND POPCORN!

And on Saturday night – Le Nozze di Figaro and Sunday Il Trovatore

A great line up of operas streaming on the Plaza from the 26th thru September 5th  will  include: Le Nozze di Figaro, il Trovatore, Otello, La Fille du Regiment, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Cenerentola (Cinderella)  Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci (2 different operas) The Merry Widow, Turandot, and last  Les Pecheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers).  Go to  The Met website  more info on each opera.http://www.metopera.org/user-information/summer-hd-festival/

Have fun – Enjoy!   Love this City!

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


IT WAS HOT, BUT OH SO COOL!

Temperatures about 100 – with humidity to match, but we were all there raising our voices to…. the public domain!    It was spectacular  and I consider myself so very fortunate to have been part of this once in a lifetime event– all sweating together and having a glorious  time!

The "public domain" chorus gathers at Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center on Saturday in New York, NY.

I couldn’t have said it better….. taken from Today’s August 15th New York Times review by critic Anthony Tommasini…..“By the time the singers had taken their places round the fountain, an audience of roughly 2000 had arrived, despite the sweltering humidity.  True to its title, “the public domain” was an inspiring outdoor musical event; it also proved an intricate, rich musical composition.”

As a very personal note – I received a text from my sister who said, “Dad, would have loved this.”   She was so right, our father absolutely loved music of all kinds – and this event would have caused him much joy, as it did me.

I love this City!

Kay’s Notes:

Important to know: google  http://mostlymozart.org/thepublicdomain you will find  a video from Lincoln Center on the making of “the public domain”and the performance.

Maybe ….. Interesting to know: When you go to the site, it opens with photos of some of us…. I’m on the top row – number 3 – behind the word “domain”….taken at the last rehearsal at the John Jay College gymnasium.

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


 

999 Singers And Me This Saturday at 5 – the public domain!

 

 

 

From the website

“One of the defining qualities of the Mostly Mozart Festival is the warm, enthusiastic bond that exists between performers and audiences. This year, which marks 50 years of the festival, we celebrate this beautiful relationship with the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang’s ambitious choral work the public domain. Presented outdoors on Lincoln Center’s iconic campus, the work honors the collective knowledge that connects us all, bringing together 1,000 volunteer vocalists for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Conducted by Simon Halsey, Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, with local conductors leading rehearsals across New York City, the public domain is a groundbreaking work of unprecedented scale”

Kay’s Notes:  There will be a video on line 48 hours following the performance.  Remember – it’s free.  I’ll be wearing my hat!


“Too many notes”..said the Emperor

Mark your calendar — “Amadeus” kicks off the Summer HD Festival at The Met Plaza on Friday August 26th at 7:45  — get there early — bring food, a jacket, maybe a small umbrella — check the weather —  and watch the action before the movie even starts!   See you there!

I T ‘ S    F R E E !

Kay’s Notes:

See my post of July 26th for full info on the Festival   “Get ready – the Outdoor Free Summer HD Series starts in August”

Photo of Cover of DVD 

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


Get Ready – The Outdoor Free Summer HD Series at the Met starts in August!

Mark your calendars – plan your visit – and simply have a great time!  The Festival runs from August 26th thru September 5th.

Enjoy this free series outside under the stars and the moon (hopefully)!

AMADEUS, the 1985 Oscar winner of Best Picture  kicks off the 10 day event on Friday August 26th.  What a treat!

A great line up of operas streaming on the Plaza will  include: Le Nozze di Figaro, il Trovatore, Otello, La Fille du Regiment, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Cenerentola (Cinderella)  Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci (2 different operas) The Merry Widow, Turandot, and last  Les Pecheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers).  The Met website includes more info on each opera.

If you could only go to one – I would  suggest Turandot with that beautiful aria Nessun Dorma (Nobody shall sleep)- plus it hits all the bells and whistles of a grand opera – sets,costumes, the cast  are over the top.    Yep , that’s the one – if you haven’t seen it or even if you have– you know about operas – once is never enough!  You can hear and see Pavarotti on Facebook singing Nessun Dorma as only he could!

Go to one, some, or all – it’s a wonderful New York experience – and if you have friends coming into the City for the US open – which starts on the 29th,   tell them about this Festival – could be a lovely way to turn  a day of  tennis in the sun   into a night of music under the stars!

KAY’S NOTES –   Below are Kay’s Notes from my post back in May on  the Festival.   In fact, if you have nothing else to do while sitting on the beach enjoying a lovely rosé- you could take another look at it. “Yes, The Met Opera…Free” under music category.

FROM MY MAY POST

Important to know. . Check Met website at http://www.metopera.com 2016 Summer HD Festival. It runs from August 26th  thru Labor Day Sept 5th. starting time is around 7-8 o’clock.
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.

Photo from Metropolitan Opera website

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

 

ME AND 999 OTHERS TO SING “THE PUBLIC DOMAIN” AT LINCOLN CENTER

 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