Posts Tagged ‘Times Square’

16 Sweet Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in New York City

Haven’t figured out what to do yet for Valentitne’s Day? Here are 16 intriguing ideas.

Make a Reservation

Rice & Gold, Dale Talde’s new restaurant in the Hotel 50 Bowery is offering a special Asian Fusion Valentine’s day pairing dinner. Mixing up Asian flavors with sweet treats, wine and specially curated cocktails, the dinner showcases the intriguing food combinations that fans have loved since chef’s first restaurant in Park Slope.   https://www.riceandgoldnyc.com/

Another Asian favorite has created a special off-menu Valentine’s Day evening. Mixian noodles, Little Tong Noodle Shop’s Yunnanese specialty, combine with choices like ghost chicken and beef tartare, all guaranteed to add significant spice to your palate and your evening.  For a sweet balance, the evening will finish with a special dessert and a glass of sake.  Three seatings only on Valentine’s Day.  https://www.littletong.com/

My vote for “bringing sexy back,” Zuma is offering three omakase options for Valentine’s Day, showing off their top-notch sushi and Japanese izakaya dishes. Diners will begin with a glass of Champagne and finish with a romantic surprise dessert.  If you’re one of the couples to book the restaurant’s three private rooms overlooking the main dining room, a private chef will create a very personalized experience with wine and sake pairings. Extend your night in one of the ultra-romantic booths in the lounge and listen to tunes spun by a live DJ.  https://www.zumarestaurant.com/zuma-landing/new-york/en/welcome

Passing through Grand Central Terminal? Agern, the Scandinavian import with noma heritage will give you reason to miss your train with a special red-toned menu for two (think: radishes, beef heart tartare, beets, blank currants and more).  http://agernrestaurant.com/

The iconic New York restaurant Gotham Bar and Grill will pair jazz by the Gabrielle Gorman Quartet with a special dinner on Valentine’s Day. As part of the romantic evening, the restaurant will offer two varieties of their signature house-made bonbons: a Taittinger Rose Bonbon made with Taittinger Champagne and the Chocolate Lovers’ Box, a selection of bonbons and housemade chocolate bars appropriately named “intense, ““passion,” and “wild” for Valentine’s Day. www.gothambarandgrill.com.

A retro favorite for the 21st century, The Empire Diner beckons with a special menu from Executive Chef Justin Nuebeck. The highlight of the Valentine’s Day evening is a 12-layer chocolate Sweetheart Cake complete with icing message (call ahead to have yours personalized). http://www.empire-diner.com/

Dessert also stars at newcomer DaDong with a special five-course menu with the restaurant’s acclaimed Peking duck, geoduck clams, and squid ink soup. Dessert is a chocolate heart dessert branded with “DaDong Loves You.” http://www.dadongny.com/

The Wayfarer, around the corner from Carnegie Hall, hits all the right romantic notes on Valentine’s Day with a special menu that includes foie gras, caviar, lobster, rack of lamb, and truffles.  For a sweet finish, three desserts with red highlights are offered: red velvet cake truffles, passionfruit Pavlova with red berry sorbet, and hazelnut chocolate mousse with strawberry coulis. http://www.thewayfarernyc.com/

Food and More

Nicoletta invites couples to a “Pizza Class for Lovers.” You’ll start with some Prosecco to get the inspiration following, followed by snacks, the class itself and then a pizza dinner with beer and wine. How fun is that!  http://nicolettapizza.com/new_york/

Want a broader selection of shareable cooking experiences for Valentine’s Day? The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) invites you to a Valentine’s Day Dinner Date where you can choose to learn to make an aphrodisiacal meal of grilled oysters, rack of lamb, molten chocolate cake and special swoon-worthy cocktails. https://recreational.ice.edu/Courses/Detail/16078

Perhaps you’re more in the mood for dinner and a “love” movie?  Check out the Nitehawk Cinema for their Love Series during the month of February. You’ll dine and cuddle at the same time. https://nitehawkcinema.com/williamsburg/film-series/love/

And Now for Something Completely Different

Opt to join the frenzy surrounding the second movie installment of the sexiest book series in recent years, “Fifty Shades Freed.” The Gregory Hotel is offering a “Fifty Shades of Gregory” package for Valentine’s evening for a staycation or escape with Champagne, streaming service via Google Chrome to watch the previous Fifty Shades of Grey, a signature Gregory Do Not Disturb tie to take home, Gregory candle by Apotheke to help set the mood, and a passion-inspiring handcuffs bracelet. “Mr. Gregory will see you now.” https://www.thegregoryhotelnewyork.com

The Shakespeare at The William brings Burlesque performer Rosie Cheeks to Manhattan in a dinner-show evening. The evening’s special tasting menu provides equally seductive moves with lobster, lamb, truffles and chocolate on the menu. https://www.theshakespearenyc.com/

Serious culture lovers should quickly book the after-hours Valentine Tours at MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art.  With two scheduled small group tours, you’ll begin your evening exploration of the museum with a candlelit wine reception and hors d’oeuvres or dessert, depending on the time slot selected. Hurry, these will book quickly. The museum will stay open just for you on this special evening. https://www.moma.org/calendar/events/4086

Theatrically, Sweeney Todd www.sweeneytoodnyc.comis where you want to be for Valentine’s Day. Special for the holiday, “Angels Above, Devils Below” cake will be served in the pie shop along with sparkling rose to toast your sweetie.  Don’t’ worry, you can still order a meat pie as well. www.sweeneytoodnyc.com.

Show your love to the world by renewing your vows in Times Square.  On the iconic red steps by the TKTS Booth at 47th Street, the open ceremony invites all lovers to come together on Valentine’s Day at 6pm.  The celebration of love is free to all. www.TimesSqu

Introducing Broadway Roulette: A New and Affordable Way to Enjoy Theater

Here’s a new way to score Broadway tickets at an affordable price with no hidden service fees and absolutely no hassle. Broadway Roulette is changing the game so that everyone can see some of the best shows in town. Broadway Roulette was created to help broaden the theater audience by making theater more accessible and certainly more affordable. With prices for the newest shows soaring into the $200-$300 range for the hottest tickets, and popular shows often sold out before you can snag a seat, Broadway Roulette is a game you really can’t lose.

The process is simple: pick your desired show date ranging from the next day to three months in advance, cross off up to four shows you’ve already seen or are not interested in seeing, select between musicals or plays, and let the roulette wheel work its magic to send you to a performance based on your preferences. The price is fixed at a maximum of $59 with a minimal $6 service charge per ticket. And it keeps getting better the more you spin the wheel: any shows that you see through Broadway Roulette are automatically excluded from future rounds so you can pick four other shows to eliminate from your selection.

Like the show listings in Playbill, variety is the name of the game and Broadway Roulette delivers with an ever-changing list of shows. You do need to be a bit of a risk-taker. By leaving the show selection to Broadway Roulette, you may not score your number one pick, but you’re guaranteed a great night of theater without standing in a Broadway rush line only to find that your show is sold out.

Finding out what you’ve “won” is simple, too.  On the day of the show, you receive an email and a text with the details of the play or musical, the theater address, and the performance time. You then pick up your tickets at the Will Call window at the theater – no need to search for someone standing outside the theater to hand you an envelope.  But, better still, there’s no need to enter a lottery every day, hunt around to find a possible discount, stand in line for half-price tickets, or rush to the box office to pay full price to see a Broadway show.

Broadway Roulette? I call this The Price Is Right.  Weekday show tickets are a mere $49; weekend prices increase to $59. Fees and handling are $6/ticket. http://www.broadwayroulette.com

Broadway Buzz! “Stars in the Alley” Showcases More Than 30 Shows June 3 in Free Concert in Times Square

Broadway lovers, you don’t want to miss this. From 12:30pm to 2:30pm on June 2, in Shubert Alley on West 45th Street between Broadway and Eighth avenues in New York City, you can enjoy performances and star appearances from more than 30 Broadway shows, accompanied by a live 12-piece orchestra. Free! With the Tony Awards coming up on June 12, this is a great chance to view performances from 2016 Tony Award®- nominated musicals and decide which ones to buy tickets for now. Produced by the Broadway League, this is an annual event that is always packed so arrive early for best seating and viewing.

Hosts for Stars in the Alley are Sean Hayes from An Act of God and Mo Rocca of CBS Sunday Morning.  Also featured emcees are Sierra Boggess and Alex Brightman, the two leads in School of Rock the Musical.

All photos by Meryl Pearlstein, “Stars in the Alley” 2015

Some of the stars performing are Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Alfie Boe, John Gallagher Jr., Heather Headley, James Monroe Iglehart, Rory O’Malley, Billy Porter, Max von Essen, with Tony nominees Reed Birney, Danny Burstein, Carmen Cusack, Saycon Sengbloh, Michael Shannon, Jennifer Simard

I’ve seen just about all of these musicals and it’s a great opportunity to hear them again. I encourage you to buy tickets now before the Tony Awards so you don’t get closed out from the ones you want to see most. The participating musicals are: Aladdin, An American in Paris, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Bright Star, Chicago, The Color Purple, Disaster!, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Fun Home, Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots, Les Misérables, Matilda The Musical, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, Paramour, The Phantom of the Opera, She Loves Me, Something Rotten!, Tuck Everlasting, Waitress, and Wicked

There will also be appearances from An Act of God, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Eclipsed, The Father, Fully Committed, Hamilton, The Humans, Long Day’s Journey into Night, School of Rock The Musical, and Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Stars in the Alley information can be found at Broadway.org. The event is produced by The Broadway League. United Airlines is the title sponsor of Stars in the Alley®.

Watch the Tony Awards from Duffy Square along with Live Broadway Performances, June 7

Last week’s “Stars in the Alley”,  United Airlines’ and the Broadway League’s presentation of Broadway song and dance, left me thirsting for more.  It’s a great time to get your tickets to a Broadway drama or musical. With the Tony Awards for outstanding theatrical achievement this Sunday, you’ll want to snag seats on your preferred dates before the shows book up.

The Tony Awards turn into a free, social viewing party this Sunday in Times Square, rain or shine.  Head over to Times Square to see the award show live, on the big screen.  Although it might not be as glamorous as dressing in black tie to hob nob with the stars of the Great White Way or hosts Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming at Radio City Music Hall, it’s still a fun evening for theater lovers and more exciting than “sitting all alone in your room” watching TV.  You can bring a picnic with you, grab a folding chair or a seat on the risers behind TKTS, and cheer for your favorites.  Viewing will be on the Clear Channel Spectacolor screens at Duffy Square and the Broadway Plaza between 46th and 48th streets, in the heart of Times Square.  The program begins at 4pm, ending at 11pm. The simulcast of the CBS Tony Awards will be broadcast starting at 8pm.

Festivities will also include live performances from Broadway stars Justin Guarini and Deborah Cox, singing “I’ve Got Rhythm” and “On Broadway,’” Deborah Cox singing “Easy as Life” from Aida, and Jeanna de Waal singing “History of Wrong Guys” from Tony-award winner Kinky Boots.

Here are some of my favorites that are contenders for a variety of Tony Awards:

Something Rotten! – This musical’s a laughfest from start to finish, as the poets of the Renaissance put together what could be the most hilarious musical ever.  A lot of “insider” references to musicals make this the perfect show for theater junkies. I’d be shocked if the male lead and featured actors, Brian d’Arcy James and Christian Borle, don’t get some sort of acknowledgement.

The Audience – No one plays the Queen like Helen Mirren. She’s charming, grand, self-deprecating, and even funny.  Her meetings with her prime ministers are a primer in British history.

Hand to God – An evil puppet, creatively nasty dialogue, and an inventive plot make this one of the season’s top go-tos among non-musicals. Can they give a Tony to Tyrone (Steven Boyer)?

Fun Home – The cast is top-notch in the offbeat musical about family interactions. Although the show moved to Broadway from its downtown home, the Circle in the Square is still an intimate venue for the action.

An American in Paris – Go for the music, the dance, the beautiful sets and the lushness of the Broadway version of the beloved Gene Kelly movie.

The full list of Tony nominees can be found at http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/nominees/

The Best Classic and Unusual Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City

I’ve been scouring the web and the NYC media to find the best NYE celebrations in NYC.  Here is my first list of the day, all thanks to the wonderful app MyCityWay.  http://www.mycityway.com/

I’ll be posting some more restaurant-specific ones shortly.

More on The Best Classic and Unusual Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City

Harry Potter Exhibit Arrives at the Discovery Times Square Expo — through September 5

Harry Potter fans are gearing up for their last hurrah this summer – the release of the final movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on July 15 – but New York City has another Potter treat to enjoy right now. Through September 25, Muggles and Potter wannabes can enjoy The Harry Potter Exhibition at the Discovery Times Square Expo, the  final stop of its North American tour.

The exhibit showcases an extraordinary number of items from the Potter movies, using detailed Potter movie settings — the Gryffindor Common Room, Hogwarts classrooms, Hagrid’s Hut and the Great Hall —  to categorize hundreds of props, costumes and set pieces.

More on Harry Potter Exhibit Arrives at the Discovery Times Square Expo — through September 5

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