NYC: Day 2 Post Danube

Started the day at the Old St. Patrick’s Church in lower Manhattan. This church’s history starts with Irish immigrants, then Italian, and Chinese. Built over 200 years ago this church was the precursor to the massive St. Patrick’s of 5th Avenue.

The church cemetery was once the burial site of the venerated Pierre Toussant, a candidate for sainthood. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s former orphanage is adjacent to the church. Other highlights include Martin Scorsese as a former altar boy, the Godfather being filmed at the church, and Alec Baldwin’s wedding in 2012. But, the main reason for the tour was to view the church catacombs.

These are the only New York City catacombs open to the public. There are also catacombs in Greenwood Cemetery, however closed to the public.

While a bit eerie this was interesting to see. During this time the crypts were sealed as embalming was not done. And, if one can prove title to the church crypts they could potentially be entombed here. Any takers??

On to the show…

Walking back to the hotel Lincoln Center loomed large. While a Monday night in New York tends to be quiet Lincoln Center was alive with the Paul Taylor dancers performing. Securing a ticket I quickly took my seat.

Paul Taylor was one of the great progressive, modern dance choreographers of the 20th century. He founded his dance company in 1954 and created over 150 works. He left us in 2018, however his legacy and vision lives on.

The four dances conducted on this evening were an innovative and interesting frolic in the modern dance style. Pictures are not allowed but the memory of the evening lingers on.

And with that closure to my New York City adventure. See you tomorrow and keep dancing.

Happy Halloween from New York City

Look what I had the good fortune of seeing at the Wednesday matinee.

Great music and dancing with the play told from Otis’ perspective. He began the group and was the surviving member of the original cast which began in the 70’s. New folk are still dancing and singing the songs! If you get the chance take in the play as it’s entertainment value is 5 stars.

Currently am at JFK and boarding soon for the flight to Germany to embark on the Rhine River Cruise. Will keep you posted. Maybe I can do a daily blog as the WP AP seems to be user friendly. 😊. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

NYC Arrival

Since I had lost 2 precious NYC hours I flew off the bus and located a Chinese restaurant. In Chinatown restaurants are always serving food whatever hour so I quickly found a spot. In this area of Chinatown, near the Manhattan Bridge, I found good food for less money than restaurants farther up Canal Street.

From there I located a massage place as after 11 hours on a bus I became a pretzel. Chinatown massages are wonderful and cost $45 to $50 an hour, plus tip makes it $60 to $65, a true bargain. With massages therapists techniques vary but I’ve never had a bad massage. I have even had one gal actually walk on my back, and I thought this was only in the movies.

After lunch and massage it was time for the afternoon performance of Linda Vista, a new play about a recently divorced male in his 50’s. The play was in previews which means they are working out the kinks and I doubt these kinks will ever be worked out. It was a bomb but you never know so have to give it a try. When the actors went fully nude and were sc—ing like rabbits I knew it was time to call it a day and get out of there.

Leaving the theater I found a perfect day so I walked. This and people watching are two of my favorite things to do while visiting New York. Ending up at Macy’s I decided to check out the shoe department as Amazon had failed in my 3 attempts to find a shoe that fit. Alas, Macy’s was no better but to watch the women go crazy over designer summer shoes for $25. was a hoot.

The 99 cent pizza store was my next stop. Coming prepared with Reynolds Wrap I purchased 5 slices and stashed them in my bag for home. In my eyes this is the best pizza in NYC and there are locations throughout Manhattan. Give them a try.

Back to Chinatown for garlic eggplant with pork at a small restaurant. Friendly and quick service is always a given in Chinatown. Next stop the Chinese bakery for almond cookies, sweet rolls, and other delicacies for home consumption.

And in adjoining Little Italy was the St. Gennaro Festival. This is an eleven day feast in honor of the Patron Saint of Naples, however with all the food you’d think he was the Patron Saint of Pizza.

Church of St. Gennaro

Saint Gennaro was an Italian Bishop who was persecuted for his faith. Though he experienced terrible tortures they had no effect Even when he was thrown in a fire he came out unscathed. When lions were to mall him they stopped in their tracks and would not do him harm. His life was finally ended when he was beheaded.

Money is placed by the statute in the hopes that requests will be granted. Statutes of the Saint along with Saint Anthony are carried through the streets in honor of the feast day.

Keep the September dates open and visit. Be prepared for crowds and much fun and food.

NYC 2019: Puffs and Harlem Jazz

Great show for Harry Potter enthusiasts

On Sunday I started with the world of Harry Potter in a spin off play known as Puffs. While I am not well versed in Hogwart, the audience enthusiasm was penetrating. Some even attended in robes. Bewitching.

Since Sunday night is Broadway black out night I searched for something to do. As usual Expedia found an activity, The Harlem Jazz Tour. Taking a cab north I met the guide and 2 other tourists visiting from China at a Harlem brownstone.

After a short tour of the neighborhood our first stop was the Paris Blues Jazz Club, 2021 7th Avenue. Here we listened to a jazz trio with velvet voices who serenaded us with jazz classics. This club is celebrating its golden anniversary and I can see why. Remember to bring cash for tips as I was ill prepared for this.

Onward to our second club which was particularly interesting as it was housed in the basement of an American Legion Hall. Adult beverages and soul food were served. This basement was standing room only and had a neighborhood vibe, however, folks from all areas of the City were in attendance and taking the mike.

Music was sublime, patrons friendly and the food tasty. You never knew who was stepping out from the audience to display their musical talents and talented they certainly were.

Since we spent most of our time at the second venue we never made it to the third jazz club, however, we passed by, and I have included a picture. This venue had musicians which changed hourly. Another interesting spot and worth the visit to check it out.

With the nights weather at perfection I felt inspired to do one of my favorite New York City tourist attractions, the Statute of Liberty. The subway transfer was easy and quickly I was at the terminal. As the ferry backed out I caught a shot of the lights of Manhattan.

And here she is in all her glory. What an amazing gift from our French friends.

NYC Summer 2019: What the Constitution Means to Me, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Drunken Shakespeare

New York City was filled with cool breezes and much sun on this late spring day. Watching from my perch in a neighborhood restaurant I feasted on salmon observing folks dressed in shorts and t-shirts taking in the glorious day as they strolled.

Post lunch I explored Times Square and Rockefeller Center. New sculptures now adorn Rockefeller Center with trees and Adirondack chairs gracing the pools on the Fifth Avenue compound.

Running late I jaunted to the Helen Hayes Theater for the 2 p.m. performance of What the Constitution Means To Me.

Interesting shot don’t you think??

This play is based is on the screenwriter’s true story where 15 year old Heidi Schreck, toured the country in a contest sponsored by American Legion members. In this contest she debated and expressed her knowledge of the constitution. The prize money paid her full college tuition at a state school.

In the play Heidi recaps incidents in the lives of herself and others in relation to the constitution. While this may sound somber it was anything but with her exquisite presentation filled with gaiety and knowledge of subject. The play closes end of August however this play would make for an easy road production and something needed to open the minds of America.

At the end of the production Heidi debates with a young New York City female teen and capturing this perspective was intriguing. The standing ovation was well deserved.

Post play I stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and glimpsed the tail end of a wedding. First time to see a wedding at St. Pat’s, and what an event it was with ladies in glittery dresses, and men black tie. Good luck and many blessings are wished for the couple.

To the left of St. Patrick’s is a beautiful peace garden donated by author Mary Higgins Clark and a few others of New York City notoriety. Sadly, this was under construction, however, by next visit the upgrade will be completed. Across the street from the garden and next to the Jimmy Choo Shoe Store, is the Aristotle Onassis Center. It is a quiet spot where one can sit inside and there is a loo if needed.

After returning to St. Patrick’s for mass and with faith restored I made my way to my next venue, Drunken Shakespeare. This was a different type of performance with millennials in adoration of the production. A bit weary I forfeited the play for a leisurely walk to my hotel taking in the sites, sounds and smells of the City. While no freebie website regarding the City mentions this, it is the ultimate experience.

Chat more tomorrow..

Hillary and Fiddler NYC Summer 2019: Day 1

Arrived promptly and scurried off to my first play, Hillary and Clinton. This play takes place during the 2008 New Hampshire primary at a time when Hillary had lost two primaries. It was a difficult time where choices had to be made. At this time Bill had been sent home, however, Hillary knew she needed him to help her make some difficult decisions.

The play, now closed, garnished Lori Metcalf with a Tony nomination for her performance, and while serious, it also was quite funny, and, at some points hilarious. Arriving early in my Hillary t-shirt, (something I can only wear in NYC), I bonded with my fellow patrons. At the shows end our group was numb as we critiqued Lori’s amazing performance of a woman in the spotlight, yet, living in the shadows of a man who she must divorce if she wants the job. Sad, but true according to polls at the time.

And then she tried once again and won. If only for the Electoral College.

After the play I decided to go to Chinatown as I had several hours to kill. Besides the delicious foods, interesting vendors and fascinating ambiance I made time for a back and foot massage. First time for the foot massage but it surely won’t be the last.

In the evening I attended Fiddler on the Roof which was done in Yiddish with subtitles. I had last seen this play 40 years ago with Zero Mostel. Joel Grey of Cabaret fame directed and now at 80 he still has the touch as did the cast. While my neck did ache a bit by the end of the performance from constant turns to read subtitles, the emotion, acting, and singing in the performance was superb.

What a wonderful ending to an amazingly busy day!