New York Journals

I live in NYC

A travel journal to New York by diverk

Hairspray (The Show) Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: I am starting a little expose on my experiences in the city over the past 6 years.

I live in NYC

Overview

Quote:
My favorite pasttime throughout the years has been to watch the people who live here. However, for those of you who like to actually do things, read on...

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

I gave up taxis in August, my most financially-wise decision that I have made in NYC.

Travel Inn

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "The Travel Inn"

Quote:
www.newyorkhotel.com This average hotel in an unattractive part of Manhattan is located 4 blocks from the Jacob A. Javits Convention Center and a block from the Port Authority Bus Terminal and near the Lincoln Tunnel. From the Tunnel, make a left on 40th Street, a right on 10th Avenue and a left on 42nd Street to the FREE PARKING of the hotel. The good value, the free parking and the friendly staff are the best assets here. We stayed in a clean room with two double beds, a desk, TV center (with Internet and Atari games available for a fee) and amenities in the bathroom. The mattresses were fine for one person, but slanted when two used the same bed. If you have back problems, mak...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 3, 2002

Travel Inn
515 WEST 42ND STREET
New York, New York 10036
212-695-7171

Quote:
Best Things Nearby:The lake, the hikesBest Things About the Resort:The lake, the hikes, the rooms, the fireplaces, and the balcony.Resort Experience:I can't remember the last time I visited a website for a hotel, and then went to the actual hotel, and the hotel was nicer and more magical than it looked on the website. Until now. This full-service resort has activities every hour from 7am until the evening. These activities include yoga, QiGong, fitness walks, children's programs, art shows, blacksmith demonstrations, afternoon tea and cookies, videos, and dances. You can choose to go on them, or you can hike solo or paddle or fish or play golf on your own. We ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 21, 2004

Mohonk Mountain House
1000 Mountain Rest Road
New Paltz, New York 12561
(845) 255-1000

Barbetta

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I have to admit that I have been a supporter of restaurant row (46th St) since I moved to NY. When I was working at my firm in midtown, we would frequently take our summer associates to lunches on this street (because the restaurants here are kinda pricey but delicious). So, I was surprised when my friend asked me if I wanted to sup at Barbetta (because I had never yet been there). Even though we had a reservation, the host told us we had to wait 15/20 mins. I thought he was joking because there was absolutely no one dining in the restaurant. But, there were people in the garden. The garden is straight from a movie set. There's a fountain in the middle with four statues of little naked boys ar...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 6, 2003

Barbetta
321 West 46th St
New York, New York 10036
(212) 246-9171

Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Sammy's Roumanian Steak House"

Quote:
You walk into Sammy's and immediately you laugh at the beautiful tackiness of the place. We ate dinner in the "party" room, which has pictures of customers and shiny things all over the room. Unfortunately, the Bar Mitzvah sounding singer was sick, but it was ok b/c the tape was blasting old Yiddish songs. It didn't matter to anyone that I started singing (badly) at random times throughout the meal. Sammy's is famous for their frozen vodka drinks, which simply were made from some (a LOT of) Romanian vodka that was frozen and cranberry juice. The food was excellent and expensive and hung out in my tummy for three days. Two of us had the chopped liver, the veal sausages, one rib-eye steak, one "smal...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2003

Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse
157 Chrystie St
New York, New York 10002
+1 212 673 0330

Soy Luck Club

Restaurant

Quote:
The Soy Luck Club has been around for six months. The owners wanted to bring soy to our lives without having to make the place vegetarian. Lots of magazines. Fantastic food. Fantastic drinks. A tuna sandwich is about $7.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 8, 2003

Soy Luck Club
115 Greenwich Avenue
New York, New York 10014
(212) 229-9191

Suba

Restaurant | "Dinner in the Dark at Suba"

Quote:
Cosmoparty.com throws weekly Dinners in the Dark, where precisely at 8pm, a group of about 30 people were escorted in the pitch black to a gourmet four-course meal (we have to guess what we're eating), including glasses of white and red wine and champagne. The waiters wore night goggles and I couldn't see a thing. One of the points to this is that our taste sense is heightened as a result of our loss of sight. Everything sure did taste fantastic. And it was amusing because everyone seemed to be yelling because they couldn't see. But we also were surrounded by people we never met before. It was surreal to talk to and meet for the first time people who you can't see. The dinner cost $89. From what I hea...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 4, 2003

Suba
109 Ludlow Street
New York, New York 10002
(212) 982-5714

Quote:
If you're stuck in the Upper East Side, you should go to this restaurant. It was tasty, and the owner and I had a discussion about how Ethiopian wine and Manishevitz taste alike. We agreed, though, that Ethiopian wine is better because there are no sulfates (it's made from honey and blackberries), so no hangovers. The food was excellent and cheap. My friend and I ordered samosas, the mixed platter of lamb and beef, and the chicken. YUMMY!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 4, 2003

Ethiopian Restaurant
York and 83rd
New York, New York

O Mai

Restaurant

Quote:
Although none of the waiters were Vietnamese, they are really good looking and wear tight black tops. This Vietnamese restaurant (that opened around seven months ago) makes up for such lack of authenticity with excellent and creative dishes. In fact, the food here is much better than any food I tasted while I was in Vietnam. My friend and I decided to forego the main entrees and just eat appetizers because they looked so tasty. We had fresh seared tuna in wrapped rice leaves, egg rolls, sizzling steak in peanut sauce, and jumbo shrimp on a stick. When the table next to us became filled, I felt compelled to talk to them because they were right next to us. Regardless, the small space didn't bug me. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2003

O Mai
158 9th Avenue
New York, New York 10011
(212) 633-0550

Le Souk

Restaurant

Quote:
I was very excited about this place when I made plans to eat there with 4 of my friends -- Middle Eastern, belly dancing -- how could I miss? Well, first the host was a jerk. Although our reservation was early (8:30 is early for this place), and there were plenty of open tables, the host insisted that he had to seat us at the door. Because it was freezing we had to ask to the host 3x whether or not we could move; eventually we asked the waiter who let us move. Then, after 1 1/2 hours of eating, we were told we had to leave because that's their limit. Mind you, we had eaten appetizers, main course, and lots of drinks. So, we were upset about that. But, the finale was that after we paid, the waiter too...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 5, 2004

Le Souk
47 Avenue B
New York, New York
(212) 777-5454

Passerby

Attraction | "Passersby"

Quote:
Where, oh, where is this bar? I can't find it. Oh, that's because they try to make it hard for customers, ie. we pass right by it. Cute.

This bar was so cool that I couldn't believe it. I'm amazed it's right down the street from where I've been living over the past 6 years and I haven't stopped by before. It's a one-room small place with a DJ spinner. The crowd is very attractive and is dressed NY-urban cool, but they all seemed very nice and down to earth anyway.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 4, 2003

Passerby
436 West 15th St
New York, New York 10011
+1 212 206 7321

Smalls

Attraction

Quote:
Indeed, I want to cry. I'm leaving this entry in my journal with the hope that Smalls might come back, but it looks like it's gone out of business. I'm trying to figure out how such a NYC staple can fail.... Smalls is a great place to go if you don't really have plans on a weekday and you want to hear some live music. It's called Smalls because the jazz is played in a very small room. Consequently, on weekend nights there could be a really long line to get in (so, I don't recommend it for weekends). But, on weekdays, jazz is played from 10pm until 5 in the morning. There is no cover. It's BYOB, but Smalls serves basic drinks for free. Before the non-smoking laws, people would go there and ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2003

Smalls
Village
New York, New York

Rodeo Bar

Restaurant

Quote:
This place is so much fun. Not only do they have killer margaritas, but they also have killer bands for free. The place is a relaxed, large venue. You can sit and watch the band, you can groove in the back, or you can go to the bar area and just enjoy the music and drinks from afar.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 9, 2003

Rodeo Bar
375 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10016
(212) 683-6500

Urinetown

Attraction

Quote:
First, go to the TKTS booth and get the half-off tickets. Unless it was for the original Producers, Hairspray, or Mamma Mia, you should never pay full price for the tickets. Also, I have yet to encounter a line at the downtown TKTS booth (in contrast to that long line in Times Square, where it always seems to rain). Second, I might give something away, so if you haven't seen the show, perhaps you shouldn't read this review. Now, about Urinetown. In order to prove its point, Urinetown needed to find something that we couldn't live without (water and peeing), and then decided to make a musical out of it. The show is about a bad businessman who makes the poor people pay to pee. This of course makes t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 7, 2003

Urinetown
Broadway
New York, New York

Aida - The musical

Attraction | "AIDA"

Quote:
I love Elton John. I think he's prolific. But, I wish he would stop writing musicals. The music in AIDA was just like that in Lion King, only worse (same sappy music with some African music thrown in).

The plot was irrelevant since it was a musical. The best part of the show was the fashion show that was thrown in for no particular purpose except for that it's an Elton John show and we wanted to see some sparkly and big costumes (which was very true). See it if you can't get tickets to see one of the other shows, but there are better ones on Broadway.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 7, 2003

Aida - The musical
Palace Theatre (Broadway)
New York, New York

d.b.a.

Attraction

Quote:
Although it's become trendy over the years, d.b.a. has a terrific garden/back yard. They also have one of the largest beer selections in the city.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 4, 2003

d.b.a.
41 First Ave
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 475 5097

Movies Review

Attraction | "Movies"

Quote:
I just rented an absurd, hilarious, bizarre, and very un-PC movie and I felt compelled to review it. Because watching movies will always be a favorite American pasttime (especially for the 30 somethings), I became inspired to devote this section to my favorite movie theaters and video rental places in the city. Also, if I randomly watch a movie, like I did tonight, I'll review it here as well. 1. The movie that inspired me is called Pumpkin. In this movie, Carolyn McDuffy (played by the always fantastic Christina Ricci) is a perfect blonde rich sorority girl with a perfect boyfriend. Until, that is, she falls in love with a "special" boy who she was volunteered through her sorority's charity to h...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2003

Movies Review

New York, New York

Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Show)

Attraction | "Thoroughly Modern Millie"

Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Show) Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Thoroughly Modern Millie should be renamed Surprisingly Amusing Millie. This show is quirky and downright funny, the songs are catchy, and the acting and singing are superb. Sutton Foster won the 2002 Tony for playing Millie, and this time the Tony was justified. Ms. Foster was adorable and her singing rang. In addition to Millie, the supporting cast was also terrific.Leslie Uggams (of, among other things, Roots fame) sang with a terrific deep reverberating voice. Her white mink coat and sequinned dresses were so fabulous that my friend and I had to suppress all urges to run on stage and tear them off of her. I was a little worried, however, with the introduction of Mrs. Meers (pl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 31, 2003

Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Show)
Marquis Theatre / 211 W 45th St.
New York, New York 10036
(212) 382-0100

Hairspray (The Show)

Attraction | "Hairspray"

Hairspray (The Show) Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Although Marissa Jaret Winoker and her shrill voice is no Ricky Lake, the show was packed and thoroughly amusing. We got our tickets precisely at 7:59, when the "no show" orchestra tickets go on sale for cash at the box office. We sat in the 4th row. I was thrilled that the show showed homage to Divine and used a guy to play Edna Turnblad. Harvey Fierstein embodied Edna and pretty much stole the show. Just a note --if you want to go to the show and not pay the $100 fee, you can see fine using the $20 standing room only tickets (you might have to wait a while to get those tickets). I started to get a little bored until Mary Bond Davis as Motormouth Maybelle starting singing "I know where I've been"...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2003

Hairspray (The Show)
Neil Simon Theatre / 250 West 52nd Street
New York, New York 10036

Red Light Lounge

Attraction

Quote:
Unfortunately, because there's been a hike in rents in Chelsea, this bar, which had been a staple of mine for the 7 years I was living in Chelsea has gone out of business... But here's my review anyway... I take all of my first dates here, and it hasn't let me down yet. There are comfortable couches all over and they play cool music. The crowd has drastically changed over the past several years with the redevelopment of Chelsea, but I can almost guarantee you'll get a kiss if you take your date here.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 4, 2003

Red Light Lounge
800 Ninth Avenue
New York, New York 10011

Avenue Q at the Golden Theatre

Attraction | "Avenue Q"

Quote:
Naked muppets having sex, foul language, porn, a little bit of Bush-bashing and a little bit of racism, a closeted investment banker, and Gary Coleman are all hilariously intertwined in this Tony-winning, consistently funny musical set on Avenue Q somewhere around NYC. This is not for kids. I also have to add that the understudy for the male lead (Barrett Foa performed rather than John Tartaglia) was adorable and terrific. This is the first show that I've seen on Broadway where I wouldn't have known that the lead was absent.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Avenue Q at the Golden Theatre
Golden Theatre
New York, New York

Glass Menagerie (The Show)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Glass Menagerie"

Quote:
Before I go into the play, I should mention www.playbill.com. I've been a member of this free website for years; throughout these years, however, this website has remained a little-known gem. Rather than wait in the line in Times Square or downtown, you can easily click on this website and get many of the same seats for around 30% off. You can even buy these tickets the day of the show. Nowadays anyway, many of these shows are only 30% off in the Times Square line. I bought these tickets for my family the day before the show. Now on to the show. Thank goodness I could daydream about Christian Slater in his Heather days during the whole play, because if he wasn't in it, I don't think I could ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 30, 2005

Glass Menagerie (The Show)
Ethel Barrymore Theatre / 243 W. 47th St
New York, New York 10036

Shopping!

Attraction | "Really Cheap Sparkly Jewelry Shops"

Quote:
You have a choice: you can load up on sparkly earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, ponytail holders, and little boxes at the many shops on 6th Avenue between 28th and 38th streets, or you can for the same price go to Saks or one of the speciality shops in the West Village or Soho and buy one item. My two favorite shops are Jindeli Jewelry, 864 6th Avenue, and Signature Time Inc. at 1014 6th Ave.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 30, 2005

Shopping!
various locations
New York, New York

Sweet Charity

Attraction

Quote:
Sweet Charity was overall cute and decent. It was well worth the free ticket, and it would be worth it if you got the ticket half-off. Not too sure about full price. Christina Applegate was charming, cute, had tons of energy, and seemed really excited to be performing on Broadway. However, Charity isn't a cute character; yes, she's a character filled with hope, but she's also white trash. From Ms. Applegate's decade on Married with Children, you'd think she'd be excellent at playing a woman who sells her body. Nonetheless, she played it cute and clean and had perfectly dyed and coiffed hair (unlike her photo in Playbill, where she sports the roots look, and if kept, would have made her more bel...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 21, 2005

Sweet Charity
Hirschfeld Theatre
New York, New York

Quote:
Jackie Mason, with his one-man show, is such a pig. But he's a pig that gets people laughing. What's incredible about him is that he's 73 years old and doesn't seem like he's slowing down at all. However, his audience, likewise, is pretty elderly. While there are plenty of recommendations (the main one being to stop using antiquated stereotypes that no longer have any truth to them at all) I could make to Mr. Mason to get a younger audience ("younger" meaning people in their 30s/40s), there's no point, because the audience found Jackie Mason to be absolutely hilarious. Comedian Mason brings his seventh one-person show to Broadway, commenting on, among other topics, same-sex marriage, s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 23, 2005

Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed
Helen Hayes Theater
New York, New York

Lincoln Center Theater

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Light in the Piazza"

Quote:
Bravo!! While the plot and music were disjointed in the first half, the second half brought it with a homerun! The music and voices were beautiful and operatic and partially sung in Italian; as soon as the album comes out, I'm buying. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping the ending would be like a fairy tale. The last song was so hauntingly emotional that it guaranteed Victoria Clark the Tony in my eyes. I loved Matthew Morrison as the handsome Fabrizio. Morrison was charming, and his singing got better and better. Although he's still young and needs some training to stay in key, one day he will be a superstar. I have to admit, though, that I am compelled to read the novel (Elizabeth Spencer), ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 30, 2005

Lincoln Center Theater
150 W. 65th St.
New York, New York 10023
(212) 362-7600

DrumStruck

Attraction

Quote:
This show was loud, interactive, thrilling, educational yet pure fun. Unfortunately, the show was only half full, so I would recommend getting tickets in the 1/2-off line in Times Square right before the show, of if you're a student, getting the $26 student ticket 2 hours before the show. In front of each seat sits a 2-foot bongo drum. If you're like me, you'd get to the show a little before the show, because that way you'll have extra banging time. In any event, the 11 South and West African percussionists will make you feel like you have rhythm. That feeling is contagious, as everyone was laughing and banging. Magically, though, we sounded good. Really good. Warren Lieberman created ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 6, 2005

DrumStruck
Dodger Stages
New York, New York 10019
(212) 239-6200

Day Trips from the City

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Because it's the summer and we all have an urge to get out of here at least sometimes, I'm compiling a list of fun things to do, kinda of as I do them this summer. Some of them will be accessible by public transportation, but many will probably require a car (friends, help!). If you want to search on your own, in NJ, go to . 1) Yesterday, I bummed a ride from one of my friends and we went to Stokes State Forest. In order to get there, you take Rt 80 to Rt 206. The park is 4 miles north of Branchville, and its mailing address is 1 Coursen Rd, Branchville, NJ 07826, 973-948-3820. It's about an hour from the GW bridge. ...Read More

Karaoke in NYC

Story/Tip

Quote:
Ok, IgoUgo, I can't believe you don't have a karaoke category in the nightlife category yet. Karaoke TOOK OFF in NYC about four years ago and it's still rockin' my free world! There's quite a variety of karaoke places here, depending on what you're into and what kind of voice you have. There even was a karaoke laundrymat near me (unfortunately it turned into an internet laundrymat). Well, last week, I celebrated a big birthday of a friend of mine, with all of his Broadway buddies (unfortunately, this crowd turned OFF the machine when my tone deaf self tried to sing . . . ) at the famous Congee Village Restaurant & Bar, which is on 100 Allen Street (at Rivington), tel 212 941 1818. For $500, ...Read More
Quote:
1. Shiseido offers divine free facials with massage and free make-overs at its Soho store, which is on 155 Spring Street. Just call and make an appointment. 2. The NYC Parks are free: Ft Trion Park, Central Park, Washington Square Park, the top of Central Park, Battery Park and Park Slope. 3. Kayaking on the Hudson in the Summer. However, try not to get wet, the, er, Hudson isn't exactly clean. 4. Bryant Park and the Hudson Waterfront movies in the Summer. For movie schedules in Bryant Park: http://www.bryantpark.org/calendar/film-festival.php For concerts in Bryant Park for Good Morning America: http://www.bryantpark.org/calendar/gma-concerts.php For movies on the Hudson ...Read More

Bagels

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Of course, NYC is known for it's terrific bagels. Below is a list of my favorite bagel places in the city: 1) David's Bagels on 19th and 1st. Although there are David's bagels throughout the city, this one makes my mouth drool as soon as I enter it. 2) Absolute Bagels. 2788 Broadway (btw. 107th St. & 108th St.), 932-2052. In addition to the best whitefish salad in the city, this store has a great story. The owner came from Chang Mai, Thailand as a young boy. He went to work for Ess-a-bagel on 21st and 1st (which similarly has excellent bagels). After many years working for Ess-a-bagel, he decided to open his own store (around 10 years ago). He asked the Jewish owners of Ess-a-ba...Read More

About the Writer

diverk

diverk
New York, New York