Friday, May 31, 2013

Shakespeare in the Park: Central Park (west) and 81st Street - FREE

Many of you may say that while watching a show in Central Park might be fun, that Shakespeare is not for you.  Shakespearean plays are generally long (~3 hrs) and the language is hard for today's audiences to enjoy without some effort.  If that describes you, you're in luck this summer.

Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater (the west side of Central Park by 81st Street) is presenting modernized, re-interpreted versions of Shakespeare in 2013.  I generally don't like re-makes, but the version of The Comedy of Errors (May 28 - June 30) that I saw last night was really good!

The story of two sets of identical twins separated as infants who are later brought together after many comical mis-identifications is fun, light-hearted, and warm.  You may recognize some of the cast like Jonathan Hadary (Egeon-merchant of Syracuse--of NY), Skipp Sudduth (The Duke), Hamish Linklater (Antipholus, both master twins), and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Dromio, both servant twins; also in Modern Family). (see photo at right for image of last 2)

 Tickets are free, but you have to wait in long lines in advance (Shakespeare in the Park Info) unless you are lucky enough to score tickets through one of the sponsors (mine were through a friend who works at Bank of America--the lead sponsor for almost 10 years) or the like.

Anyway, if you have the time and even a little interest, I highly recommend this summer's productions (the other one is Love's Labor's Lost (July 23 - Aug 18)).  They are modern (aka easier to relate to) and shorter (90 minutes rather than 3 hrs).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dog Friendly NYC

Biscuit Leads a Doggy Conga, with El Bandito Bringing Up the Rear at a Dog Park
Well, it's been a long long long time since I last posted on this blog.  I took a break and did some consulting work; got a new dog, El Bandito (an adorable Havanese); and generally tried some new things not directly related to exploring NYC.

I wanted, however, to share with folks thinking about visiting NYC with their dog(s), that NYC is VERY dog-friendly.  Unlike most cities where dogs are not generally welcome, NYC allows dogs to enjoy the City with you when you go shopping (not only big department stores but small boutiques too), when you go out to eat (if there is outdoor seating they are usually allowed if you ask nicely beforehand), and even in your hotel (The W, The Beekman, Doubletree Suites, The Four Seasons, and so many more!).

Recently with the weather finally turning nicer (although the last couple of days we were hit with the humidity normally reserved for mid-summer), I've visited some local dog parks.  This is a great link that has maps and rules about them all over the five boroughs: NYC Dog Parks

I often go to the Peter Detmold Dog Park between 49th and 51st just west of the FDR. But for cool breezes, the East Side Pavillion (see right) with entrance ramps from 66th and 60th off the FDR is hard to beat.

A few words of warning:  Not all dog owners are watchful of their dogs.  When I go to dog parks, I ALWAYS scope out the dogs and their human companions.  If any of them look aggressive or oblivious, I move on--better safe than sorry (I've heard too many horror stories of dog attacks).  Also, if you have a small dog, take extra care when crossing streets, as some drivers take corners or turns tightly and quickly and could hit a dog that runs ahead or lags behind you.

Enjoy the City with your furry companions!