More on the Big Apple!


On the last Travel Explorations, I reviewed three Broadway shows that won Tony Awards in June.

I also saw “Book of Mormon” which received 8 Tony Awards in 2012. From the producers of South Park, this is an irreverent production with a host of offensive language. That being said, the musical is hilarious – very funny, clever and fast-paced. Theatre-goers need to be forewarned and make their own decision. It is not a performance I would offer to groups, because of the taste factor. Interestingly, the Mormon church has an ad in the program that says “I read the book” with a QR code that transfers to the Mormon Church site.

Book of Mormon was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and among the 8, it won were Best Musical and Best original score.

One pleasant change with regard to Broadway shows: during the week, many of them are now starting at 7 p.m. instead of 8.

Dining in the Big Apple is as outstanding as attending Broadway Shows!

Because we’re interested in Theodore Roosevelt in our region, I was, as TR would say, dee-lighted to discover a wonderful restaurant where the former President dined. When Roosevelt was Police Commissioner of New York City, he regularly dined at Keen’s Chophouse on West 36th Street.

The establishment is 125 years old, and has an elegant wood-paneled patina. Memorabilia on Roosevelt, Lincoln and others decorates the restaurant. A room for groups is designated the Bullmoose Room, and has a moose head over the fireplace .The restaurant is higher end with delicious steaks and other entrees, and great service.

A good pre-theatre restaurant in the theater district is Scarlatto’s, an Italian place where you can eat for under $30.

Another excellent restaurant in the theatre district is Maria’s Mont Blanc European Restaurant. It is family owned and quieter than most pre-theatre dining experiences.

You will want to do some sightseeing, of course. I recommend starting at the New York Historical Society, where you can see an excellent film about the city’s history. The museum has many antiques and artifacts from the city’s past, and excellent rotating exhibits.

You won’t want to miss the attractive, poignant and meaningful National September 11 Memorial. The 09/11 memorial opened on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. It consists of two pools set in the footprints of the original Twin Towers. Waterfalls cascade into the pools. The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze around the pools’ edge.

Just beyond the north pool, 1 World Trade Center is nearing completion. It is a beautiful building that almost looks like it has a crystal exterior. At 1,776 feet, it will be the tallest building in the United States.

I enjoyed a very unique experience when I was in New York City. A friend there is a member of a private garden. Each member helps maintain the garden . It is built on top of a large garage. One opens the gate with a key and walks up a number of steps to get to another world above the pavement. Beautiful flowers, fruit trees and even a small pool and fountain greet one. My friend brought a picnic and we enjoyed the shade, fragrant flowers and lovely setting as we sat at a wrought iron table. New York is full of surprises!

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