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Four Favorite Things to do in New York City

Eat, Shop, Meander and See a Show (not necessarily in that order)

I was born in New York City. How lucky is that? Now, I live next door in New Jersey, but living so close to New York I take full advantage of everything the city has to offer. Frequent train rides into Manhattan still excite me as much as they ever did. True, every time the train gets to that point where the skyline used to be outlined by the Twin Towers, I still pause to remember and still get sad, but I love New York and go as often as I can.

It's a rare trip in that doesn't find me eating either lunch or dinner at my favorite Dim Sum Palace: Ruby Foo's. Once even featured in the "Sex and the City" series, Ruby's is kitschy, gaudy, and a bit raucous, with food that is oh so delicious! Get a million little plates and share. Usually, you need reservations, but if you didn't make any, there is usually room at the sushi bar and they'll squeeze you in.

Another fun place right across the street is Bubba Gump's made famous by the movie Forrest Gump.
Both restaurants are on Broadway around 59th Street.

There have been a million or so words penned about shopping in NYC. The only place I never fail to shop when I'm there is Sephora. My virgin encounter with Sephorawas in Paris on the Champs. I had never heard of it and wandered in unprepared to be in make-up and perfume heaven. The lovely (male and female) attendants were sleek in their black outfits and I have never failed to get that same rush I had that first day any time I visit Sephora. Lipstick, eye shadows, nail polish, endless colors, and scents and it's simply the best. This is not just for women. They have outrageous men's products, too.

Even if you decide at the last minute to see a Broadway show (which is sometimes better because you can get a great deal) stop at the TKTS on Broadway and pick up last minute seats. I'm seeing the West Side Story revival soon and I'm so excited. "Cool, cool, crazy cool....Got a rocket in my pocket..." Ach! Can't wait!
South Pacific is another old favorite that's back. So tragic! But still so timely. "You've got to be taught to hate and fear..." and who could ever forget "I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair..."

But when all is said and sung, meandering through the city streets, taking in the sights and people-watching is by far, the best. And it's free.
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Posted by teethetrav 12:56 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Times Square: The Pedestrian Walkway?

Are they kidding?

This is a well-intentioned, but badly executed plan. A pedestrian walk-way in the middle of Manhattan is a noble idea. Cutting down on traffic, greenhouse gases, noise, pollution...no one would argue that these are honorable pursuits.

I visited New York last week, immediately after the new pedestrian Times Square was launched. Who's kidding who?

Anyone who has ever visited a European city where there are true pedestrian plazas (Rome, Barcelona, and Siena are cities that come quickly to mind) will laugh out loud at this pretense.

First of all. let's be clear. There is still traffic through Times Square. Less of it, to be sure, but it's there. The entire picture is absurd and somewhat hard to describe without sounding as though I'm making it up. One thick lane down the middle of the street is closed to traffic. There is a narrow lane of traffic going north and going south on either side of the "pedestrian walk-way." Here is the truly bizarre part. Lounge chairs and cafe chairs have been set up in this middle lane and there are people, dozens of people, lounging. Traffic to the right of them, traffic to the left of them; there they are lounging. Some are reading books. It's dark. It's loud. It's dirty. It's the middle of Manhattan and there they are. You should go. This is something like the Grand Canyon, the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China that has to been seen to be fully appreciated. Hurry up. It's a "pilot project" for the next few months. I, for one, doubt it will last.

Posted by teethetrav 11:48 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Bryant Park After Work NYC

New Singer-Songwriter Series

Crowded, crazy, surprising, invigorating and well, it's Manhattan in Springtime and anything is possible! Bryant Park is festive and alive with people sitting in French cafe chairs, reading, talking, people-watching, or just taking in the views. On Wednesdays during May and June you can join the party from 6 to 7:30 at the free series called Bryant Park After Work. These free concerts feature new singers and songwriters. On a recent Wednesday, I joined the fun and listened to Benyaro followed by Anne Heaton. It was a warm and lovely Spring evening and there was quite a crowd enjoying the music and each other.
Check out more about Bryant Park which is right across the street from the New York Public Library and my favorite two lion statues named Patience and Fortitude.

Posted by teethetrav 07:35 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Glass Blowing and Dale Chihuly

Genius from Seattle

0822061401.jpgDale Chihuly is a genius and my favorite living artist. He designs the most extraordinary sculptures, objects, and chandeliers out of glass in colors that look like the inside of a kaleidoscope.

I discovered him on a PBS special several years ago. He had gone to Venice to work with the Venetian glass blowers. At the end of the experience, he hung pieces over the canal and finally, sent colored glass bubbles floating along the Grand Canal while trying not to get caught by the local water police. I was hooked.
I saw his work for the first time in the middle of the casino at Atlantis in the Bahamas. I stopped dead in my tracks and knew it was a Chihuly, but needed confirmation. While everyone around me was searching for the perfect slot machine, I went searching for a concierge to confirm my suspicion. When I found one, I asked him if the gigantic orange glass marvel was, in fact, a Chihuly. He smiled knowingly and nodded yes. Now, I was REALLY hooked.
How this one-eyed genius shapes hot liquid into the shapes he creates is simply mystical. The colors he imbues into the creations are unique, dazzling, and ever-changing as they catch the light.
Whenever I travel to a new city, I do my research to see if he has work displayed there. I saw some wonderful pieces in New Orleans. I’ve been to several of his shows in New York City, including the in situ creation at the Bronx Botanical Gardens (there is one currently in Phoenix, Arizona). Here, he created pieces that fit the landscape. They floated in the pond; they sprouted up from the earth. They danced like birds and flowers in the garden. Gorgeous. Genius.
His home and studio are in Seattle. His studio is closed to the public, but there are installations nearby. Needless to say, that is on my travel destination list of places I still need to visit. Learn more about Chihuly and glass blowing at www.chihuly.com.
His influence can be seen throughout the Seattle area especially at the Museum of Glass where his Bridge of Glass is supposed to be a marvel to witness. Go to: www.museumofglass.org to see more.

Posted by teethetrav 18:33 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

More Greetings from Asbury Park New Jersey

Great Things to do at the Jersey Shore

The Paramount Theater-home of so many Bruce Springsteen concerts...Madam Marie (telling fortunes better than me)...Tillie...The Wonder Bar...the Boardwalk...memories of Asbury Park....

Posted by teethetrav 18:28 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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