New York Journals

Music Lover's New York

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to New York by mfs

Quote: New York is a great place to hear live music, as it attracts the best musicians from classical to punk. Here are some tips on local venues, how to get tickets, and what kind of music they feature, as well as a few restaurant suggestions.

Music Lover's New York

Overview

Quote:
A trip to the Metropolitan Opera is always special. NYC is home to some terrific small venues that attract great up-and-coming bands - we especially like Roseland Ballroom, the Bowery Ballroom, and Irving Plaza.Quick Tips: It can be difficult to get tickets for well-known artists in New York - shows seem to sell out in a matter of minutes sometimes. Many venues have websites - check them out well in advance of your visit to see exactly when tickets will go on sale - some even allow you to purchase online. Best Way To Get Around: I'll always advocate the subway as the primary means of getting around town - it's not as complicated as it first appears. Taxi drivers are famous for dri...Read More

Trattoria dell'Arte

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Trattoria del'Arte (Carnegie Hall & Lincoln Ctr)"

Quote:
Trattoria del'Arte is a bustling Italian restaurant, curiously decorated with enormous plaster body parts a la Michelangelo's "David," and featuring a antipasto bar that is to die for. They've been around for a while - my dad used to take us here when we were kids before going to Carnegie Hall (which is a block away) and we would giggle over having to sit under the large plaster breast or giant nose hanging on the wall. Now that I am grown up and relatively more mature, I can focus more on the delicious food. As I mentioned before, they have a sinful antipasto bar - you could make an entire meal out it if you wanted to. Their bread is so good it deserves mention. They make excelle...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

Trattoria dell'Arte
900 Seventh Ave
New York, New York 10019
+1 212 245 9800

L'Express

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Restaurant

Quote:
I love this 24-hour French bistro - and it's a great place to catch a meal before or after a show at Irving Plaza, which is just a few blocks away on Irving Place. The atmosphere is very French - it looks just like a typical Parisian bistro, complete with cozy little tables, walls of glass doors (which are wide open in good weather), and a large bar that features Alsatian Fischer beer. They are as busy at 3:00 a.m. as they are at dinner or lunch time. Their menu is small, but very good. I often go for the superb roasted half chicken served with their trademark frites. My husband likes their burger with bleu cheese, and he thinks their escargot are terrific. Duck, croque monsieur (grilled ham and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

L'Express
249 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003
212 254 5858

Blue Water Grill

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Restaurant | "The Blue Water Grill and Soul Nights"

Quote:
I love the Blue Water Grill for a couple of reasons -- the food is excellent, but the real draw for me is the music that can be heard in the downstairs jazz room. One band in particular, a jazz combo called Soul Nights, is absoltely amazing. We love them so much that they even played at our wedding - they really made our party hop! The cool, smooth jazz they churn out at Blue Water is so soothing and refreshing. We'd go anywhere to hear them play, but seeing them at the Blue Water Grill is a special treat because we get to hear great sounds while eating incredible food - the whole thing is very indulgent. A little on the food - I am partial to their roasted half chicken with garlic ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

Blue Water Grill
31 Union Square West
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 675 9500

Irving Plaza

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Irving Plaza is a terrific small venue that attracts an eclectic mix of (I hate to use this term) rock musicians, along with some bluesy bands and sometimes bands from your high school days (I saw Madness here last year - and they were great). The Verve, the Cure, Prodigy, Live Everclear, Our Lady Peace, V.A.S.T., Tori Amos, Sonic Youth, and countless other innovative artists have played Irving Plaza. Irving Plaza is a dark old theater, complete with a balcony and a small stage that often looks as if it won't be able to contain the musicians. There are no seats, and all tickets are general admission, so be sure to get there early if you actually want to see anything. The accoustics a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

Irving Plaza
17 Irving Plaza (at 15th St)
New York, New York 10003
(212) 777-6817

Carnegie Hall

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Carnegie Hall is a beautiful old hall with excellent acoustics and an impressive roster of performers. It's amazing that they wanted to tear it down not too long ago! Now over 100 years old, Carnegie Hall is an important venue for classical music, as well as other genres. I have seen several classical performances here, including a solo performances by opera great Jessye Norman. I even saw commedian Bill Cosby here (he was a riot). The sound is incredible - clear as a bell. Carnegie Hall specializes in musical performances and showcases visiting orchestras (such as the Boston Pops, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, etc..) solo singers (such as Cecelia Bartoli) and musicians (such as ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

Carnegie Hall
154 West 57th St
New York, New York 10019
+1 212 247 7800

Tower Records

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Tower Records - Lincoln Center"

Quote:
Tower Records' mammoth store at Lincoln Center is the only record/CD store I feel is worth going to these days - with the advent of internet music shopping, I no longer see the need to go into a store just to look at CD cases. But the Tower Records at Lincoln Center is different - they have an enormous collection, representing just about every type of music you can possibly think of. They boast the largest classical music selection in the world, and the classical department staff is extremely knowledgeable and eager to help you find what you are looking for (and even what you didn't know you were looking for!). They really know their music and seem to really take pride in sharing their expertise - ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

Tower Records
1961 Broadway
New York, New York 10023
(212) 799-2500

Blue Note

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Attraction | "Venue - The Blue Note"

Quote:
The Blue Note is a jazz and blues institution in New York. If you love music, you owe it to yourself to check it out. It's everything a jazz club is supposed to be - cramped and dark, with cosy little tables and a small stage busting with musicians. I saw Phyllis Hyman here many years ago - the tables are so close to the stage that she was taking French fries off some guy's plate in between songs. Such luminaries as the late Tito Puente, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Al DiMeola, Dave Brubeck, Maynard Ferguson, Herbie Mann, and Celia Cruz play at the Blue Note, among just about any other jazz and/or blues musician you can think of. Tickets cost anywhere from $30...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

Blue Note
131 West 3rd St
New York, New York 10012
+1 212 475 8592

Roseland Ballroom

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Venue - Roseland Ballroom"

Quote:
The recently renovated Roseland Ballroom has played host to a spectrum of musician and bands, including David Bowie, No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day and Beck. As with many other "ballroom" venues, there are no assigned seats, and all tickets are general admission. Try to get there early to secure a good vantage point for yourself if you really want to see anything. Roseland is a little larger than some of the other venues in its class, but the accoustics are good and there are plenty of places to get a good view. There is a mezzanine and cash bar at most concerts. The box office at Roseland is only open the day of the show. To purc...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

Roseland Ballroom
239 West 52nd Street
New York, New York 10019
(212) 247-0200

Tonic

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Venue - Tonic"

Quote:
Tonic is a quirky little shoebox of a club that specializes in what they term as "avant-garde, creative & experimental jazz/rock/electronic music." It's a tiny place, with tall bistro tables lining one wall and A long bar lining the other. Sometimes there are folding chairs. The best thing about Tonic is that it is so intimate - you are right there with the musicians. The stage isn't elevated, so you are literally face-to-face with the band (unless you get there late, then you are standing way in the back and can't see a thing). We saw Michael Gira, former frontman for the Swans, here several times, and his shows rank among my all-time favorite concerts. One night, there were a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

Tonic
107 Norfolk St
New York, New York 10002
+1 212 358 7501

Bowery Ballroom

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Attraction | "Venue - The Bowery Ballroom"

Quote:
Nestled into what some people feel is a questionable neighborhood, the Bowery Ballroom is a great place to see live music. Featuring mostly "alternative" bands, the Bowery Ballroom is an old theater complete with wrap-around balcony and a small stage (much like Irving Plaza). The venue holds about 500-600 people, and there are no seats - all tickets are general admission. There are three good-sized bars - one on each level (there is also a basement lounge). If you are tall, you shouldn't have any trouble seeing the stage in this intimate venue; however, if you are short like me, be sure to get there a little early so you can secure a place upstairs along the balcony railing - it may be your only h...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St
New York, New York 10002
+1 212 533 2111

CBGB's

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Venue - CBGB/OMFUG"

Quote:
CBGB is suffering from a classic case of nostalgia. Sure, it used to be cutting edge, New York's home for punk music, launching pad of the Ramones and the Talking Heads among others - a gritty shrine to alternative music. The Damned, Fishbone, D-Generation, The Jam, Blondie, Elvis Costello, the Plasmatics - they all played here in the 70s and early 80s, and it used to be a lot of fun. But now the club has become almost "Hard Rock Cafe-ized" in its own wierd way. Sure, they still get some decent bands every once in a while, but now they have a CBGB online store and a website with a chatroom where old fans can reminisce! But in spite of all the marketing and cashing in on their illustrious past, th...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on March 7, 2001

CBGB's
315 Bowery
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 982 4052; +1

The Metropolitan Opera

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Location: Lincoln Center Between 62 and 65 Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. The Metropolitan Opera is one of the premiere opera houses in the world, and for very good reason. It not only attracts the biggest opera stars and conductors, but also engages incredible set designers and costumers. Attending an opera at the MET is a full-bodied experience - with all the pomp and richness one associates with opera. Most importantly, the calibur of singers is phenomenal. I have seen Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Leo Nucci, Mirella Freni, Frederica von Stade, Jessye Norman, and countless other incredible singers perform at the MET, each time a very memorable and moving experience. ...Read More

The New York City Opera

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Located at Lincoln Center, between 62 and 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. The New York City Opera is an excellent place for those not familiar with opera to get their feet wet. Founded by New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia as "the people's opera," the City Opera is not as expensive or intimidating as the Metropolitan Opera next door, but still provides high-quality operatic performaces in a great theater with excellent accoustics. The City Opera is very user-friendly and has provided "Supertitles" over the stage for years to help opera-goers understand what is going on. NYCO also offers interesting lectures and pre-performance workshops that help you understand ...Read More
Quote:
On the Great Hall balcony of the Metropolitan Museum, museum patrons can enjoy a drink and listen to a jazz ensemble or classical quartet every Friday and Saturday evening from 5-8. It is such a nice experience - the Great Hall is gorgeous, and it's a perfect way to unwind after a day at the museum or shopping uptown. Plus, the MET always chooses excellent musicians - it's a real treat! It beats Happy Hour at a noisy, crowded bar any day. You must pay museum admission to enter the building - suggested admission for adults is $10 these days. Members get in free of charge. The museum is open till 9 on Fridays and Saturdays. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue at ...Read More