Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog # 26: Rap Quotes, Mary Lou's Lost Cat, Prohibition Music, Midtown Escape, Leonard Cohen +

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2013 12:24pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog in which I run down such things as Leonard Cohen taking Manhattan and other concerts and events around the five boroughs in the week ahead, including a free Saturday afternoon performance in Flushing, Queens by The Toomai String Quartet. I also report on Macy's exquisite South Asian themed floral garden (photos left, above, and below), which offers the perfect meditative escape for those who need a breather in busy midtown Manhattan. Also offered is a look at a hip-hop fanatic's cool homage to New York City-themed raps, plus the (futile?) search by ever-hopeful homeless New Yorker Mary Lou for her lost cat Simon.

What is most striking about the ongoing The Painted Garden: Macy's Flower Show, which effectively captures the landscapes of southeast Asia with lush displays of tropical flora and is on exhibit in a long wide tent set up in Herald Square (6th Ave & 34th Street) outside its flagship store, is how peaceful and meditative it is...provided you arrive early in the day (it opens at 10am) before the crowds arrive and get inside this greenhouse filled with gorgeous lush floral displays with Southeast Asian motifs, soothing water fountains, and a hypnotic soundtrack of traditional Indian flute music playing on the overhead speakers. Even though you are in hectic midtown Manhattan, you can forget that while inside this lovely space. I stopped by the other day when the wait to get in was only a few minutes and the cost: free. Note however that the flower show runs everyday from 10am to 9pm through Sunday, April 7th in Broadway Plaza, Herald Square outside Macy's.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #17: Up in Harlem @ Apollo & Lenox Lounge, GZA, Dessa, & The Relatives, Concerts & Events

Posted by Billyjam, January 16, 2013 02:50pm | Post a Comment

In this installment of the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog I take a visit up to Harlem where the Apollo Theater (left) is holding strong. Unfortunately, another African American cultural landmark, the nearby legendary Lenox Lounge jazz club, recently faced eviction. In addition to a run down of some of the concerts and events (including NY Restaurant Week and free national monument admission day next week) in the week ahead, I also report on last weekend's WFMU benefit concert with The Relatives and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at the Bell House, and the GZA headlined show at Stage 48.
 
"This is where it all started. Before American Idol. Before Star Search and before all of these other great shows that are on, it was the Apollo Theater that really was the springboard to jump everything off," Vanessa Rogers, producer of Amateur Night at the Apollo, told me when I stopped by the Apollo Theater in the heart of Harlem. For close to eight decades (two of them televised on "Showtime at the Apollo") the legendary Harlem theater has been fueling dreams and jump-starting a seemingly never ending line of careers that have been kick-started at the Apollo. Since Superstorm Sandy hit, the Amateur night got put on hold. It will resume in early March with national regional auditions to get to Harlem taking place in the interim. Over the decades countless greats came to shine courtesy of the Apollo.  Billie Holiday, James Brown, Sarah Vaughan, Michael Jackson, Stephanie Mills, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, The Isley Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys,and Dave Chappelle are all among those who came to the historic uptown Manhattan venue on 125th Street as unknown 'amateurs' but left as future American superstars.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #16: Andy Kaufman, WFMU Benefit, GlobalFEST, No Pants Subway Ride, Beatles @ Carnegie Hall

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2013 10:32am | Post a Comment

Now at the end of month four in our weekly reports from New York City, this is the New York State Of Mind Amoeblog #16 with updates on such events in the week ahead as the GlobalFEST 2013, the unique new Andy Kaufman exhibit/show On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman, the Improv Everywhere's annual No Pants Subway Ride NYC, the Beatles 1964 Tribute at Carnegie Hall, and the post-Hurricane Sandy Recovery WFMU Mini Record Fair and Benefit Concert.

Of all events in New York in the week ahead, the most important one is this Sunday's anticipated WFMU Mini-Record Fair and benefit concert with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Arrington Di Dionyso of Old Time Relijun, Dot Wiggin Band (The Shaggs affiliated act), and The Relatives happening at The Bell House in Brooklyn. The big one day make up event (due to Sandy) is split into two parts: the record fair is from 11am to 5pm and the concert is from 7:30pm to 11pm. 11am is the recommended time to arrive at the record fair because it is expected to be mad packed since the original fair was cancelled and also by the fact that it is being held in the smaller space than where it normally takes place. At the very latest, get there by 3pm when doors close and no more admissions to the record fair will be allowed due to space constraints.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #14: NYE in NYC, Earwax Records' Fabio Interview, Horse Drawn Carriages, Historic Williamsburg Bridge

Posted by Billyjam, December 26, 2012 11:41am | Post a Comment

It wasn't a white Christmas in New York City this year, but it was a good one for most folks with people demonstrating compassion for those less fortunate, including their fellow New Yorkers who survived Sandy - the superstorm that ravaged a good deal of the area less than two months earlier leaving some homeless and others still trying to get their damaged homes/lives back on track. Meanwhile, New York City's Times Square Alliance is gearing up for the big New Year's Eve celebrations on Monday.
 
In this fourteenth installment of the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog I will do a run down of the pros and cons of ringing in 2013 at the "crossroads of the world." I will do a run down of other events (concerts etc.) happening in the week ahead, a look at horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, a look back at the historic Williamsburg Bridge, plus an Amoeblog video interview with record store owner/friend of Amoeba and longtime WFMU DJ Fabio who talks about his two-decade-old record store Earwax Records and the dramatically changed neighborhood of Williamsburg that surrounds his store, plus other things relevant to New York City.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #13: Ice Skating, Cheap Eats, Concerts, Butero, Warhol, Klee, Guggenheim For A Dime + more

Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2012 03:59pm | Post a Comment
       
A hot dog for only a dollar? Don't make me holler! Yes, despite its reputation for being an extremely expensive city New York City can be surprisingly cheap to grab quick eats while on the go round the bustling streets of Manhattan, like this dollar hot dog stand - one of ten that line the block of 34th Street alongside Macy's between Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog series! In this post, I'll run down some other hella cheap eats in NYC, plus give an overview of the many cool ice skating rinks, museums, art on exhibit, shows, and concerts to come in the week ahead.

As well as the inexpensive hot dog stands that are dotted around the city, there are endless halal food stands where you can get a filling feed for a steal. For example, there is one right outside the Trader Joe's on 14th Street near Union Square where you can get a tasty gyro sandwich (chicken, lamb, or veggie) plus soda or water for just $4, or a plate of meat and veggies with rice plus drink for $5. More healthy, cheap eating can be had by going inside Trader Joe's for an apple, banana, and small bottle of water for about a dollar (just like in Cali). There are also lots of sidewalk food stands around Manhattan that sell hot pretzels or hot roasted nuts. Typically, a bag of roasted nuts goes for $1.25 to $2 a bag. Then there are oodles of hella cheap pizza joints all around the midtown and downtown areas of Manhattan, such as the 2 Bros Pizza chain, where you can get a slice for only a dollar or two slices plus a soda for $2.75. Sure, it is not the thickest, greatest pizza nor is it the healthiest food, but if you are hungry and on a budget then this is a great quick fix to satisfy your tummy.   

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