3 (music plus poetry) reasons to love Manhattan

Attend concerts for 15 bucks at The Manhattan School of Music on Sundays:


Amazing musicianship.

The Institute of Musical Art, which became the Juilliard School, once occupied this building on the upper (upper) West side. When Juilliard moved to Lincoln Center in Midtown, The Neighborhood Music School, which was located on the East side, moved into the building and became The Manhattan School of Music.

It’s a wonderful building. Three buildings altogether, actually. Above a stairwell in the oldest part of the building, the evening light filtered through a circle of stained glass with the name and logo of the Institute of Musical Art.

The concert was held in the John C. Borden Auditorium.


Also on the upper West side, Smoke Jazz and Dinner Club, has all the atmosphere of a smoky jazz club without the cigarettes (hooray).

Our dinner table
Your dinner table awaits you

The show was fantastic, absolutely. Tribute to Pepper Adams (http://www.motema.com/artist/pepper-adams-joy-road). The experience doesn’t come cheap: over a hundred, but worth it. The acoustics very good, proximity amazing. Ballads and sung poetry directed to you.

Alexis Cole
Alexis Cole


Days 12 - 15 007 bassis action
George Mraz on bass

Days 12 - 15 006 Alexis action

Ms. Cole collaborated with poet (and performance poet), Barry Wallenstein (http://www.nyqbooks.org/author/barrywallenstein), to translate e.e. cumming’s [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] into jazz lyrics. Unbelievably beautiful. Do check out this wonderful poem:


28 (food) reasons to love Manhattan

Trip dates: 9/15 – 10/13/12

Pushkin Brasserie (near Museum of Modern Art),


Add to Pushkin Brasserie ambiance this and a spiked cappuccino and you’ll recover from exhausting museum going:


Share these from Crumbs Bake Shop:

4_cu_blackbottom_cheesecake (1)
Blackbottom cheesecake cupcake

(upper west side, 97th/Columbus.)

Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) to die for

“Wine-dark in a shallow lemon sea, pelted with capers, the curl of octopus ($16) looked messy and primeval, as if just plucked from the deep. It is the dish that a Greek restaurant lives or dies by, simple yet exacting. Tenderness should be victory enough. But the octopus at Boukiés had gone a step beyond, the flesh undoing itself, achieving a texture, at its core, close to nectar.” Ligaya Mishan, New York Times 9/21/12

Looked scary, tasted heavenly:

Day 6 GV Boukies 2
Boukies (pronounced Boo KAY is) in Greenwich Village

For less money and a different though not lesser pleasure, a hot pretzel in Central Park:   Day4 Hot Pretzel

Do you love cheese? There’s a name for that.

Day 6 GV Turophilia
Cheese shop in Greenwich Village

Day 6 GV Cheese store

A choice of Schmears (upper west side, Broadway):Day 7 Shmear 2 Day 7 Shmear 3 Day 7 Shmear 4

Oyster bar in Grand Central Station:

Day 18 116 QQ

Spinach and kasha knishes from Yonah Shimmel’s Knishery on East Houston Street (lower east side):

Day 19 002 AA Day 19 005

Pastrami and corned beef sandwiches at Katz’s Deli (near Yonah’s, lower east side):

Day 19 009

Tiny cupcake:

Day 19 013 H
Sugary Sweet Sunshine Bakery

Cappuccino in Tribeca:

Day 19 024

Comfort food at The Eatery after a show (The Phantom of the Opera).

Days 16 012 sesame seed crackers
Sesame seed crackers and champagne
Days 16 018 sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Days 16 019 grilled camembert
Grilled camembert
Days 16 021 meat loaf ravioli mac and jack
Meat loaf, ravioli and “Mac and Jack” (macaroni and cheese with grilled onions on top)

Days 16 026

Elevation of a bagel:Days 16 Lisas bagel

Peruvian cuisine on the upper west side at Flor De Mayo (Broadway around 98th):

Days 20 21 085 A
Beef stew in a cilantro sauce with potatoes
Days 20 21 088 A
Roasted chicken and plaintains
Flor de Mayo
Aji Gallina Chicken with eggs on a bed of lettuce

Simple repast at The Boathouse (Central Park):Days 20 21 050 A Days 20 21 052 A Days 20 21 053 A