True Power

I hesitated before purchasing a $50 ticket to Gabrielle Bernstein’s YogaJournal Conference talk last Friday night, but I’m glad I did buy the ticket eventually. I needed it. I’d been having a heavy week and all of the yoga classes in the world weren’t helping, so this was just the thing recenter myself. I’m glad I forked over $50 + fees to Ms. Bernstein for two hours of meditations and good times.

She said this was a sort-of new talk for her so she was nervous but as always, she was uplifting and her presence was powerful. (Hence the talk’s name, “True Power.”) A few very intense guided meditations to some incredible music later and I think it was safe to say that everyone in that room (750 of us, apparently) were feeling a lot better. She even insisted on us turning to our neighbor and telling them, with no sugar coating, what was on our minds at that moment. It took a lot of courage but hey, we were probably never going to see that person again, so why not?

I picked up a deck of “Miracles Now” cards before the talk started, too. My dude, the patient person he is, even obliged in picking out a card with me each morning on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings. He’s not really into the spiritual, granola-y stuff, but he’s humoring me. I’ll get him to start meditating someday. 

Anytime I think I’ve had my fill of Gabby’s talks, I’m always wrong and I’m always glad I went. If you haven’t seen her before, go. If you’re, like, sort-of curious, go. If you want to start out slowly, read Spirit Junkie (not her first book, but the first one I read). You (probably) won’t be sorry.

Just Another Saturday

This weekend was pretty great. Involved a lot of yoga, a lot of walking, and some good friends. 

I went to my usual 9:15am grueling vinyasa class on Saturday morning, ran a few errands after, and confirmed with my two good guy friends that we were grabbing coffee downtown and walking up to Central Park because it was just that nice out. They both agreed and we wound up at Yaffa Cafe in Alphabet City; a place we’d been together almost exactly a year prior (except there was lots of wine involved that day). Michael brought his DSLR and was snapping shots in a paparazzi-esque way the entire day. This shot happened at brunch:


We brunched out and then made a pit stop at Butterlane from cupcakes and coffee (that’s what everyone does after brunch, right?) and walked over to Academy Records on 12th so they could record shop (as I do not own a turntable). We eventually made the extremely smart decision to go to the DSW in Union Square (nope, it would never, ever be packed!) so the guys could shop for shoes. I hate shopping but somehow I was the only one to walk away with shoes (gold/brown strappy sandals).

Shopping worked up appetites again so we walked over to Doughnut Plant on 23rd and his mind (and tastebuds) was blown.

We continued walking, going into various music and shoe stores as we passed them. We also saw graffiti which I was instructed to pose in front of since I was wearing a pink leather coat.

Somehow we were convinced to duck inside Macy’s and check out their men’s shoes. God, I hate that store. It really is the seventh circle of hell. We were treated to espresso at Culture Espresso after though. It totally made up for the venture into hell.

We finished our coffee and ended the afternoon in Bryant Park (also lovely). Eventually the blues happened (see the photo below) and it was time to go home. Walking from Alphabet City to midtown West can really make a person exhausted. 

But I couldn’t have had more fun doing it.

Hey, Broadway snobs: Your time to prove you can walk the walk is here. Serino Coyne emailed me the other with details about this first-ever-of-it’s-kind night and it sounds pretty cool. I know I am a black hole of theatre trivia when I’m around say, non-theatre types, but when around a bunch of other theater nerds? Who knows what could happen.

As the above flyer says, it’s on February 25th at 8pm at Croton Reservoir Tavern, just south of Times Square on 40th Street. Space is limited so if you plan on going, please RSVP! See you there!

All the way up Broadway

On my way back from the West Village, before going to a friend’s apartment, I decided to walk my way up Broadway and photograph the theatres because it was a such a nice day.  I missed a couple but maybe I’ll go back and add them soon.  Let’s start at 208 West 41st Street.

The David Nederlander Theatre / 208 West 41st Street

American Airlines Theatre / 227 West 42nd Street

New Amsterdam Theatre / 214 West 42nd Street

Foxwoods Theatre / 213 West 42nd Street

Stephen Sondheim Theatre / 124 West 43rd Street

Helen Hayes Theatre / 240 West 44th Street

St. James Theatre / 246 West 44th Street

Broadhurst Theatre / 235 West 44th Street

Sam S. Shubert Theatre / 225 West 44th Street 

Booth Theatre / 222 West 45th Street

Music Box Theatre / 239 West 45th Street

Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre / 236 West 45th Street

Imperial Theatre / 249 West 45th Street

Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre / 242 West 45th Street

The John Golden Theatre / 252 West 45th Street

The Al Hirschfeld Theatre / 302 West 45th Street

Lyceum Theatre / 149 West 45th Street

Richard Rodgers Theatre / 226 West 46th Street

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre / 205 West 46th Street

Marquis Theatre / 1535 Broadway

Palace Theatre / 1564 Broadway

Ethel Barrymore Theatre / 243 West 47th Street

Brooks Atkinson Theatre / 256 West 47th Street

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre / 261 West 47th Street

Longacre Theatre / 220 West 48th Street

The Walter Kerr Theatre / 219 West 48th Street

Cort Theatre / 138 West 48th Street

Eugene O’Neill Theatre / 230 West 49th Street

Ambassador Theatre / 219 West 49th Street

Circle in the Square Theatre / 235 West 50th Street / Gershwin Theatre / 222 West 51st Street

Winter Garden Theatre / 1634 Broadway

Neil Simon Theatre / 250 West 52nd Street

August Wilson Theatre / 245 West 52nd Street

Broadway Theatre / 1681 Broadway

Favorite Midtown Bars

As you can tell, I spend a lot of time in Midtown West.  Although it’s not the “cool” part of the city and it’s incredibly touristy, it’s where I often venture out for pre- or post-show libations with friends.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

Latitude Bar & Grille: I have a history of coming here for parties and fundraisers.  I love the roof deck as well.  The lower levels can be fun too, but they often get alarmingly crowded and on the roof there’s breathing room.  It’s especially beautiful to be up there at sunset.  At night you can almost see the lights of Times Square from Eighth Avenue.  The prices are incredibly reasonable for midtown too.   8th Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets

Glasshouse Tavern:  I stumbled upon this gem of a bar while killing time before a performance of Spring Awakening in 2007 and returned a few times in 2010, a couple of months ago with my friend Brian before he caught a performance of Next to Normal.  I think it’s really moderately priced ($8-$10 for a glass of wine) and laid back.  You can sit at the bar and not be crowded or be rushed out.  I’ve yet to try the food, but I’ve heard it’s quite good.  49th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue.  

Celtic Pub:  I started frequenting this bar in 2005 with my friend Matt back when it was just Playwrights Tavern, and as of late, I find myself frequenting this spot again (still with Matt).  Known as an after-show hang out for stage hands and the like, this is your standard Irish pub with cheap drinks (averaging around $8/drink or so) and mediocre and tasty (but cheap) bar food.  Sports are always on the LCDs and it’s often packed at the bar and the tables, but if you wait around for ten minutes or so, you’ll be able to snag a seat and you won’t be banished to their upstairs seating area.  8th Avenue between 45th and 46th Streets.

Bar 41:  Located in the back of the ground floor of Hotel 41, this is a spot that is always crowded after work.  However, my fondest memories are pulled from the weekend of September 7th-8th, 2008 – closing weekend of the ground-breaking musical, Rent.  My best friend John decided on the 7th that we were, in fact, going to get a room at Hotel 41 and party it up and party it up we did.  The bartender after the show on the 7th was amazingly kind and let us sit at the bar as long as we wanted while we noshed and boozed.  I’ve been back to this bar a dozen times since and it never disappoints – though it has been crowded.  They have happy hour prices from 4-7pm and drinks range from $7-$13.  West 41st Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. 

Blockheads: I had to include this bar because many great college memories were had here. Tortilla chips are served to each table and margaritas are $3 and over-flowing with tequila (albeit cheap tequila, but that’s all you can really expect when you’re in college!).  Located in the middle of World Wide Plaza on a beautiful night with an exceptional breeze, this is the perfect summer spot.  I probably love it more in the fall though, when it’s a bit cooler.  The food isn’t bad either.  8th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets.

Sardis:  After discovering how shockingly cheap a glass of Sauvignon Blanc was ($9) at Sardis and how classy I felt sipping wine up there, the upstairs bar at Sardis became an instant favorite of mine.  The bartenders are also incredibly sweet, and did I mention the bar food?  Not the food you can order from the menu (although Sardis is a famous restaurant, I’ve never much been impressed by the food there), but the complimentary food that’s placed on the bar for their Happy Hour clientele.  They put out cheese and crackers, nuts, and pretzels, this plus my $9 wine… well, you can’t beat that.  And you never know who you might run into here before or after a show!