Monday, October 25, 2010

A veiled Dorilton

Some kind of renovation is under way at the Dorilton, the very French rock pile on the corner of 71st Street and Broadway. They've chosen to put up a sheer white covering and it has a certain loveliness of its own.

One heckuva big crane at Lincoln Center

There is a huge crane parked on 65th Street between 10th Avenue and Broadway. Apparently they are building a new theater on top of the Vivian Beaumont and the crane is used to lift the structural steel.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rock Around the Block Tours launches!

If you’ve got the feet, I’ve got the tour. I’m thrilled to announced the launch of Rock Around the Block Tours – three fun-filled walking tours that showcase New York in a fascinating new way.

Discover the untold stories of the rock heroes you love most, and the places where they made music history – from Elvis to Lady Gaga.

As a music biz veteran, I’m eager to use my hard-won experience to provide an entertaining and illuminating new perspective on New York.

Please check out our brand new web site at and forward this info to your family and friends.

And call or email to book your tour today.

Let the good times roll!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A walker in Hoboken

Hoboken is terrific fun - and its only a ferry ride or a Path train away. We chose the ferry and started our visit in North Hoboken - which the natives call Uptown. Interesting architecture all along Washington Street -
including this brightly painted apartment building.
But there were four highlights to the trip. First was lunch at La Isla, a famous, tiny Cuban restaurant, where we feasted on plantains double fried in garlic.
The painting is of La Lupe, the great Cuban singer. I'm sure she must've loved the food here.
Next up was a visit to the newly restored Union Synagogue. One of the staff was gracious enough to take us for a tour of this 1915 hall, modeled on the great synagogues of Frankfort and Berlin. With the aid of a grant from the state the congregants have done a magnificent job of turning back the clock.
Next highlight - Carlos Bakery - a fourth-generation establishment turning out elaborate custom cakes and mouthwatering traditional Italian desserts. We were bowled over by the Pignoli Tarts.
Finally, we visited the park next to the Hoboken Terminal, which is undergoing restoration. This is one of the few spots where you can see a panorama from the GW Bridge all the way to the Verrazano.
All in all, a delightful day just across the river. We'll be back.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oliver in his hat from Mexico

Note the rings.

Seen at B.E.S - a fashionable restaurant in Chelsea

This place at 22nd Street and 12th Avenue has at least three very special things going for it: the best hamburger I've ever had (it might have to do with all the truffle oil), many interesting art pieces, and a member of my gene pool tending the bar.
The building facade in the back lets you look into the kitchen.
Most of the art works in the bar, like this boozy chandelier, are for sale.
Jon Sarlin at your service.

Best new architecture in NYC

As part of the right-on re-do of Lincoln Center, they've added a high end restaurant with a slanty lawn on the roof. On a visit the other day it was being used by students from the nearby performing arts high school discussing silly ways to remember vocal exercises, Juilliard students hanging out and making out, a little girl doing somersaults, and a sunbathing super model. A few days later, a late-night post-ballet visit turned out to be even more magical, with the city all aglow around this strange little park.

12 foot tall clarinet in a Chelsea gallery

How do they clean manholes in NYC?

With one big mother of vacuum cleaner, that's how.

One of civilization's greatest advances - at least in the subway.

One big question comes to mind. How long will it take New Yorkers to stop leaning out over the platform to see if the train is near?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Don't show this to small children!

As I entered the subway at 49th and Broadway I noticed this fellow de-mousing - taking off and packing his Mickey Mouse costume.  I asked him how his day had gone and he gave me very un-Mickey like dirty stare.

Charlie Morrow's Toot 'n Blink

Down at the Battery the other evening musician/conceptual artist/ soundscapist Charlie Morrow and his cohorts conducted an "orchestra" of about a dozen boats, including a Port Imperial Ferry and a NYC fire boat, in a tribute to the birthday of John Cage. The event was modeled on a similar performance Charlie put together in Chicago in 1992, also for Cage's birthday - only there they had 150 boats tooting and blinking off the Navy Pier in Lake Michigan.
Each of the boats down at the Battery had a horn (Toot)and a light (Blink) and were given their cues on a common radio band. The performance was also broadcast on an FM station and computer-cast around the globe, which is only fitting, since Charlie spends a good part of his time nowadays in Helsinki, Finland, thinking up new ways to use 3-D sound to enhance all kinds of spaces. Conceptual art is not for sissies - for this performance in our busy harbor, Charlie had to obtain not only all the local permissions, but also a special Act of Congress.
For me, the highlights of the performance were a "waltz" between three of the boats - after a few tries, they actually began to swing a bit - and a magnificent display from the fire boat of the kind of long, arching sprays that would greet a new ocean liner. And, of course, that part of New York is always awe-inspiring after dark
After the show, as were walking through Battery Park, one of Charlie's fellow sound mavens had us stop for a minute in silence to listen to the crickets chirping like crazy. "Soon they'll be gone for the winter," he said, a little sadly.
Announcers "conducting" the toots and blinks while broadcasting the event on radio.
If you squint a bit, you can see about half the fleet.

Move over Tenement Museum - here comes American Girl

While visiting the American Girl store for the first time, the history buff in me was happily surprised to meet a doll named Rebecca among their "Historical Figures." Rebecca is a girl of about 12, living on the Lower East Side in 1914. To illustrate her world, they've built a charming diorama of a room in Rebecca's home - replete with egg cream, seltzer bottle and  bagel.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Music in the Times Square subway station

Ancient Professor Eduardo Alvarado has been performing his tinkly music in the subway as long as I can remember.
This time his audience includes both live passersby and the silent crowd in the mural behind him.

Flying Rhine Maidens at Lincoln Center

Part of a photo shoot about the Met's new Ring Cycle.