things to do in nyc

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder Review

BY TARA BURKE

As a I mentioned in a previous post, Cailin chose to go to “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” for her Valentine’s Day treat. She was interested in going because she is a fan of the comedic Broadway shows. She really loved “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, which is also a comedy and since we hadn’t seen a show in awhile, she was looking for a good laugh.

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The show revolves around Monty Navarro who finds out that he has familial ties to the rich and highly esteemed D’Ysquiths family. In turn, he goes on a murderous quest to become the first heir in line to be declared Earl of Highhurst. The plot in itself is entertaining and as always the voices were great, but for some reason “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” fell a little flat for us. It just wasn’t as funny or witty as we expected it to be. Jefferson Mays who plays all eight D’Ysquiths in the way of Monty Navarro’s rise to Earldom was highly praised for his performance. He definitely pulled the craziness, greediness, flamboyance and self-righteousness out of each of his varied characters, but a lot of the humor was based off of silly contorted faces compared to cleverly timed comedic relief. We both enjoy a screwball comedy once in a while, but we only found ourselves laughing a few times at this show. However, there were plenty of people howling away in laughter at the show, so to each his own! It wasn’t our favorite musical we’ve ever seen, but as a whole, we enjoyed the experience.

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Another thing I’ll have to fill you in on is Rush Tickets for AGLAM. The box office at the Walter Kerr Theatre opens at 10am on weekdays through Saturday and 12pm on Sundays. On Saturday we arrived at 10:30am and the rush tickets ($42 for side orchestra and box seats) were sold out. They were selling $65 tickets for the same seating area at this time, which they don’t advertise doing anywhere. So, if you miss rush that’s something to keep in mind. We opted to try again on Sunday and to be safe got there around 9:50am. There was only one person in front of us in line, but it was one of the coldest and windiest days of the year, so people would get in line and then give up after 30 minutes.

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We stuck it out and at 11:30am they let us wait inside, thank goodness. We ended up getting first row tickets (all rush tickets are a slightly obstructed view) on the left side of the theater. Due to the stage props at certain times we couldn’t see back center stage, but we had the advantage of being so close that we could hear individual cast member’s voices. That was pretty cool, because if you sit further away their voices blend into perfect melodies and harmonies, but we could actually identify who was the tenor and who was the bass in a lot of songs. It was also a testament to how great their voices actually are.

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Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting

BY TARA BURKE

Last Wednesday was the annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting in the city. Cailin and I had only watched the lighting on T.V., so we decided to stop by the area and check it out for ourselves after work. We had no idea if we were going to be able to see it since it attracts a large crowd of tourists and New Yorkers alike, but despite our doubts we headed straight to Rockefeller Center at 5pm. As we suspected it was crazy crowded and we couldn’t even get to the parts of the street where you have a view of the tree. Many of the streets were barricaded off and at one point my friend and I even got stuck on 50th St. as they wouldn’t let us exit onto 6th or 5th Ave! At that point we hadn’t met up with Cailin yet and we thought we may never do so since we were separated by the barricades on opposite blocks. Many of the blocks were being fenced off because of the protests happening about the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case.

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After awhile we were able to find each other and managed to find a good spot to see the tree by going through the Rockefeller Concourse. Overall it was fun to listen to all the performances (we couldn’t see them from where we were, but they have a lot of screens placed on the buildings to watch them) and see the Today Show anchors in action. I liked Seth MacFarlane’s & Sara Bareilles’ duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” best.

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Once the show was over they counted down to the tree lighting and you could really feel the holiday spirit when all 45,000 led lights and the Swarovski Crystal Star weighing 550 lbs. flicked on! As always the Christmas tree was beautiful and it was fun to be in the mix of all the NYC Christmas festivities.

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A visit to MOMA

BY TARA BURKE 

On a whim one Friday night we decided to visit MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art. Fridays between 4pm-8pm are their free admission nights and we were in the area so we decided to drop by. It was realllly crowded, so if it is your first time visiting MoMA we recommend paying regular admission to go during a less hectic time. We have gone to MoMA on several occasions, so we didn’t mind. Here’s a look at some of the pieces we saw, but if you’re into modern art, MoMA is definitely a place you should see for yourself!

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Jeff Koons Exhibit

BY: TARA BURKE 

This past weekend Cailin, a few friends and I went to the Jeff Koons: A Retrospective exhibit at The Whitney. The exhibit runs through October 19th and we have wanted to go since it opened in June, so we decided to go before time ran out on us. Did September go by really fast or is it just me? We went on a pay-what-you-wish night (Fridays 6-9pm) and arrived around 7:30pm. There was a line so beware. I don’t think we would have made it in time if it weren’t for our lovely friend using her museum employee pass. As a result, we’d recommend getting there early if you plan on going on a Friday night.

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We did the museum in quite a backwards way, starting on the second floor then proceeding to the fourth floor, third floor, first floor and then back up to the fifth floor. It ended up being kind of a fun way to see his pieces. The second floor is filled with a lot of his work featuring everyday consumer items. This is a good starting point for seeing his work since it is one of his central themes in his pieces.

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That’s a pretty sci-fi looking toaster.

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Next we saw his series: Celebration, which houses iconic pieces like Balloon Dog. We had all only seen pictures of Jeff Koons’ famous work with aluminium, so it was really fun to see it in person. We realllly wanted to touch a lot of the pieces in the Popeye series since they look exactly like inflatable pool toys. I don’t think anyone at first glance would guess these works are made from metal.

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After taking a few shameless selfies in the mirror polished artwork we made our way through the rest of the museum. Overall, it was a great exhibition! If you’re in the area you still have a few more weeks to see it. You can even drag some non-artsy type friends with you since this exhibit is sure to entertain.

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High Line, Chelsea Market and Union Square

BY TARA BURKE

Cailin and I have moved just outside of NYC and we can’t wait to share all of our city experiences! On our first day of exploring we checked out the High Line, Chelsea Market and Union Square. The High Line is located on the West Side of Manhattan and is a public walkway that is built along an old freight rail line. It has plenty of unique benches, sitting areas and even lounge spots that are built right into the structure. Additionally, they have gardens and plants all along the 1.45 mile length of the High Line. It’s such a nice place to walk, picnic and if you need to get to either of its end points, (Gansevoort St. or West 34th St.) it conveniently provides a walk free of traffic stops.

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In fact, Cailin and I did just that. We started off on West 34th and walked the entire length of the High Line before we exited the walkway to head towards Chelsea Market. Since the city is like a personal sauna in the summer, getting inside the cool indoor area of Chelsea Market was just what we needed. We strolled around looking at the vendors and all the glorious food. We do most of our cooking at home so we didn’t eat there that day, but we made a mental note of all the places we thought looked delicious. We were especially eyeing all the lucky souls who were passing by us with full lobsters from The Lobster Place! After some people watching, we went into a few shops that featured artisan’s handcrafted jewelery, clothing and bags among many other things. Eventually, we finally had the courage to go back to the sweltering streets to head towards Union Square.

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Ok, so please appease my quick diversion. While Cailin and I were abroad in London we always watched this reality show called, “Made in Chelsea” with our friends. It’s a typical reality show following the lives of Chelsea’s “elite society.” Definitely, not the most riveting television ever, but it was our fun “I can’t think; I’m so tired and just want to laugh at rich people’s drama” show. We found out a few months ago that the “Made in Chelsea” cast was going to be filming a season in NYC this summer. From then on we joked about running into them or finding a way to get into the background of a shot. Well, while we were walking down the streets of New York City’s Chelsea, we both saw a person who looked uncannily like Spencer Matthews, one of the show’s main members. I then saw his man capris and looked a few people up to see bleach blonde hair and knew… It was definitely Spencer and his best friend Jamie! Cailin took a few papparazzi pics before they went into a building. Even though we always joked about running into them, we didn’t really think it would happen given the 8 million+ people living in NYC, so it was a cool surprise to see them.

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Thank you for your patience and back to Union Square. So we went to Union Square to browse the fresh market they have there. What we ended up finding was a completely fake market, set-up to film a scene for the tv show “White Collar.” We stood and watched the process for a little before heading to the real market that was pushed further down the square. We strolled around the area for a little bit and ran into a clump of fan-girling preteens. They kept running after this guy and we didn’t know what all the commotion was about, but we kind of wanted to find out. While we were pondering entering the swarm of girls, a fellow standby who was just as curious, asked if we knew who they were gawking over. After we said we had no idea he was off into the center of the mania. We didn’t think we would see him again, but he came back with the scope! Turns out, it was someone who is famous from Vine (Jerome Jarre to be exact when we looked it up later). His videos are pretty funny! After that, we were worn out so we got a few groceries at Trader Joe’s and headed for home, but it sure was an event packed first day of exploring.

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