Sometimes…it just hits home!

Or who, or what, besides a  baseball player, can score a  home run?

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“All the news that’s fit to print”…did it for me!

I’m an avid fan of the NY Times for a lot of reasons and one is because every once in a while the paper has a good news article or op-ed or editorial that just hits me  with an “aha” moment.  Recently, it  published an op-ed column,“Retire to Manhattan, Live Long“.  Aha, aha, aha! For me, that was more than a base hit that was an over the wall, with the bases loaded, home run! It’s  going to be my new bumper sticker, “Retire in Manhattan, Live Long”, if I had a car that is, which I don’t, so instead I’ll print it out and hang it on the wall  in my apartment.

Reading the column made me stand up… literally!  And say, “Thank you, Willard!”  One of my friends, who doesn’t live here,  recently said to me,  he didn’t think the City had a sense of community. “It sure does,” I said. I  told him about my neighborhood, but Willard Spiegelman, who wrote the 0p-ed, said it the best.

“Conventional wisdom holds that New Yorkers, like Parisians, are snooty, too busy to be approachable. Walking with speed and determination, they cannot be stopped. I have never found the stereotypes accurate. Manhattan is a series of small villages. It replicates itself every five blocks or so. The shoemaker, neighborhood market, barber shop, dry cleaners, liquor store all become part of one’s daily drill. You make friends in the shops.”

Now, as you know, if you read my blog even  once in a while, I’m crazy about this city and everything it offers.  For many years, I’ve wanted to live here and always knew it would be a great place to retire.  This article just adds to why. (even though as Spiegelman says..”If one can afford it (a big if).”  True, but there are so many freebies almost everyday and experiences  that only cost the wear and tear on one’s feet (and knees), that simply enriches one’s life, I believe, at least for me.

As autumn arrives and baseball fans  battle, you might want to read Spiegelman’s column in-between cheering for your favorite team.   As I said, at the beginning, sometimes…something… just hits home!

“Chance encounters brighten the day. They’re like little love affairs without consequences. They keep you alert. This is what any senior citizen needs. To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, when a man is tired of Manhattan, he is tired of life.”

Love this City and Spiegelman for writing the column…bases loaded, out of the park, home run!

KAY’S NOTES: 

Important to know and good to know:

This  good news op-ed was written by Willard Spiegelman who has a new book, “Senior Moments: Looking back, Looking ahead”, the column, and the above quotes are excerpts from that book. He currently lives in Dallas, but according to his column moving to NYC full-time next year.

(Spiegelman’s column site below – apologies – unable to make it smaller font – no matter what I did without losing the link)

 Condensed reviews and comments on Professor Spiegelman and “Senior Moments”.
 Dr. Willard Spiegelman is  a Distinguished Professor of English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.  He is a regular contributor to the “Leisure & Arts” page of The Wall Street Journal, and since 1984 he has been the editor-in chief of The Southwest Review, the country’s fourth-oldest, continuously published literary quarterly. (SMU)
 On the book:
“Drawing on more than six decades’ worth of lessons from his storied career as a writer and professor, Willard Spiegelman reflects with candid humor and sophistication on growing old.” Senior Moments” is a series of discrete essays that, when taken together, constitute the life of a man who, despite Western cultural notions of aging as something to be denied, overcome, and resisted, has continued to relish the simplest of pleasures: reading, looking at art, talking, and indulging in occasional fits of nostalgia while also welcoming what inevitably lies ahead.” (Amazon)
Samuel Johnson:
Spiegelman’s paraphrase from Samuel Johnson:  The original quote from Samuel Johnson in 1777  “…. when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life…” The ever witty Samuel Johnson was an essayist, biographer and cultural critic who was a prominent figure in 18th century England (Biography.com)Related image
Babe Ruth Photo – courtesy of Wikipedia
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.  


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.


 

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!


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.


 

“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.


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.


 

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.