Saturday, June 17th, 2006

First, We Take Manhattan

So I’m going to New York City in a couple weeks. It’ll be for an extra-long weekend over Canada Day – yes, I’m celebrating my country’s 139th birthday by leaving. But anyway, I’ll be in Noo Yawk on the 29th of June and heading home on July 3 and I’m looking for suggestions. Preferably related to things to do in New York City while I’m there but general life advice (“Your hygeine is poor”, “You’re paying too much for auto insurance”) won’t be disregarded.

It’s been, oh, 17 years or so since I’ve set foot in the Big Apple and probably even longer since I’ve spent any appreciable time there so let’s call this a first-time jaunt. Naturally, there will be standard-type sightseeing and museum hopping, but what else should be on the itinerary? Where to eat? Etc etc. I’m staying in lower west midtown at 7th and 31st. You may note that the concert calendar has the Central Park Summerstage show featuring Seu Jorge and Jose Gonzalez already marked down and the Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park featuring TV On The Radio, Matt Pond PA and Voxtrot is definitely on the radar (are there tickets or do we just show up?). But besides that, I’m open to suggestions.

I’m quite excited about this trip. I’ve been trying to get to NYC for 7 or 8 years now and it’s just never happened – kind of lame considering I live barely 10 hours away, but whatever. I’m don’t want to try and cram an unreasonable amount of stuff into the time available, it won’t be 17 years before I come back, but I do want to make the most of the time available. Unless it’s rainy or really hot, then I’ll probably just hide in a mall or something.

Aversion has questions, Neil Halstead of Mojave 3 has answers. And has live shows – seemingly far more than the last time I checked.

Synthesis posts their recent cover story on The Flaming Lips online. I am also hearing mumbles about the Lips, Toronto and September… but have nothing concrete to report yet. But have you seen the lineup for the Osheaga Festival in Montreal over the Labour Day weekend? Impressive. Not cheap, but impressive.

The Salt Lake Tribune tells the story of Neko Case. She also talks to Rocky Mountain News about her deep and abiding love for Bob Dylan.

Cat Power hints to The Times the reasons why her Spring tour was abruptly cancelled. But she’s feeling much better now.

Zoilus has linkage to cover art and a first MP3 from the new Mountain Goats record Get Lonely, out August 22. Meanwhile, My Mean Magpie and Marathonpacks marvel at the majesty of Mountain Goats live.

Loose Record interviews Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood.

Go here to watch Josh Ritter perform “Wolves” on Bill Maher’s show on, Amazon Fishbowl. Bill Maher? Amazon? Is this like Suzanne Somers’ thing on the Home Shopping Channel?

np – Centro-Matic / Fort Recovery

By : Frank Yang at 9:22 am
Category: Uncategorized
RSS Feed for this post26 Responses.
  1. Jarrett C. says:

    Last time I was in NYC, I saw a taping of both the Daily Show and The Colbert Report on the same night. It was way cool.

  2. Remi says:

    I don’t know if you eat meat, but if you do, going to <a href="http://www.parkermeridien.c…">Burger Joint</a>, which is in the super-fancy Parker Meridien Hotel, is quite an experience. Walking distance from MOCCA!

  3. kathryn says:

    There’s a ton of great shows while you’re in town. On the 29th the Fiery Furnaces, Man Man, and Standing Nudes are at Webster Hall while Jose Gonzalez, Juana Molina, Psapp play a sold out show at the Bowery Ballroom. On the 30th, Bishop Allen continue a residency at hipster magnet Pianos, and blogger favorites Birdmonster are at Sin-e with Tally Hall, The Gaskets, and The Talk, courtesy of Underrated Magazine and Crackers United (two NYC music blogs). On July 1st, there’s Matt Costa, Elvis Perkins, The Little Ones at the Bowery Ballroom. I think you’d really like Elvis Perkins. There’s also The Comas, Hopewell, The Head Set, Hymns at the Mercury Lounge, which is a great bill. More shows can be found on

    As for sightseeing, what are you into? In addition to the usual Times Square, Empire State Building (buy tickets online beforehand), Central Park (Shakespeare in the Park perhaps?), and Statue of Liberty stuff (take the Staten Island ferry to go past it for free), Natural History Museum/The Met/MoMA/Guggenheim, I recommend seeing the New York Public Library, Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center (observatory deck), hanging out in Bryant Park, eating at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and seeing Brooklyn Heights, taking a walk through Grand Central, bumming around the West Village, East Village, and Lower East Side (great photographic opportunities), and taking the subway. Visit the Met, but don’t pay more than a dollar (it’s pay what you will but the signs don’t indicate that). Grab some pizza, cupcakes, cream puffs, and bagels while you’re here, too, and mark some time for restaurants. I’m sorry you’re staying so close to Madison Square Garden but it shouldn’t keep you visiting places like Shopsin’s, Una Pizza Napoletana, Jane, Prune, Balthazar/Pastis, New Green Bo, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Grand Sichuan, Union Square Cafe, City Bakery, Crif Dogs, Village Yokocho, WD-50 maybe? And, I’m a member of MOMA and can get you in for free, too, if you like. Email me if you want to chat more (especially about where to eat!), and we should get together while you’re here.

  4. kathryn says:

    burger joint at the Parker Meridian is really fun. There’s also another place called burger joint which is unrelated; make sure you go to the right one. And there’s only one mall in Manhattan, it’s the Manhattan mall, and it’s dumpy! Don’t go there. If you must go to a mall to cool off go to the Shops at Columbus Circle.

    And if you’re on the West Side, you’ll be close to the Upright Citizens Bridgade Theatre. See if you can’t catch Crash Test or ASSSSCAT:

  5. graig says:

    Take in Avenue Q on Broadway.. you can find decent seats for around $40… It’s Sesame Street for a more… mature audience.

  6. thomaus says:

    The Mountain Goats download is off the free sampler that also includes these artists: Ghislain Poirier, Tapes ‘n Tapes, Destroyer, Chin Up Chin Up, The Futureheads, Mission of Burma, Jens Lekman, Yo La Tengo, Matmos, Danielson, The National, Matthew Dear, Chicago Underground Duo, Spoon, Ted Leo / Pharmacists, Devendra Banhart, Nels Cline, Art Brut, The Walkmen, Cage and 8 Bold Souls.

    They are all on the 2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler at eMusic.

    I expect the line-up at the 2007 Chromewaves Music Festival to be even better.

  7. Carrie says:

    I second the recommendation to take the Staten Island ferry…best free view of the city you’ll ever get. And walking the Brooklyn Bridge is also a good idea if you have time.

    Oh! And you really can’t miss out on Coney Island. Seriously…if nothing else, go there. I can’t remember which train takes you out there (B,F?), but it’s an experience and a half.

  8. Elvis McBeatle says:

    Your hygiene is poor.

    No, just kidding. Although I saw you at the Television show and you had a touch of dander, son.

  9. kathryn says:

    To get to Coney Island, take the D, Q N or F train to Stillwell Avenue (last stop). It will take about 45 minutes from Midtown, longer if you have to transfer.

    And for point to point subway directions, turn to

  10. Moiche says:

    Check for the full listing of shows while you are in. You should have no problem going to three shows a night every night if you are so inclined. I may have an extra ticket for BSS at Mccarren Pool Park on July 6th, don’t know yet. You can shoot me an email if you want.

  11. Moiche says:

    Woops my bad, BSS is at Prospect Park. Getting my wires crossed with the Sonic Youth/YYY show in August :) All other comments remain true.

  12. Steve says:

    Seriously, skip burger joint. It’s good, but nothing great. But if you want a burger, head to Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Great burger, great shakes, and you can sit outside in the beautiful NYC summertime air. A tip? Don’t go at peak lunchtime. You’ll wait an hour.

    If the weather’s bad, go to Corner Bistro in the West Village instead.

  13. Frank says:

    whew, thanks for all the suggestions. I’m writing this all down – for serious. I am not especially keen on catching any club shows while I’m in town. I consulted ohmyrockness and there’s nothing I have to see and really, I see so goddamn many shows here at home… I’m on vacation. The park shows are on the list because a) they’re free and b) they’re in a park. I like parks.

    Kathryn – I will email you.

    and dammit thomaus, I swore you to secrecy on that! Now I have to call Axl and tell him the whole thing is off. I hate it when he cries.

  14. Casey P. says:

    I second the recommendation for ASSSSCAT at the UCB Theatre. Funny stuff! Late show is free but you’ll end up waiting in line. You can reserve a spot for the early show if you’re willing to pay.

    And this may sound corny, but I enjoyed taking the bus tour. If you get a good tour guide, you can learn lots about the city. Yeah, it’s touristy, but fun if you’re into history at all…

    I’d also pick up a copy of Time Out NY right away. It should give you lots of ideas, even if you’re skipping the club shows. Have fun!

  15. Moxie says:

    Hey Rockstar,
    Give Jose a hard french for me.

  16. Neal says:

    For a good burger in an interesting, kinda out of the way area I would go to Good World. A swedish restaurant in chinatown that makes their burgers with an english muffin! Great stuff and usually good music playing on the stereo….but can get a bit hipster at night.


  17. jenblossom says:

    Hi Frank – a while back, I posted the little walk-and-nosh tour of Chinatown and the Lower East Side that my husband and I like to do on the blog, Chocolate and Zucchini, which Clotiled included under the heading "Walk-and-eat in Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown" on her NYC Reader’s Guide – click "walks/areas" and scroll down a bit:


    I’m going to second the recommendation to hit Shake Shack over Burger Joint – both are good, but I’m addicted to the Shackburger, and their concretes are out of this world.

    I’ll also add another vote for the Staten Island Ferry, particularly if you have good weather – the views are spectacular.

    Please feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions!

  18. J_ says:

    I don’t think this has been answered, yet: Free Summerstage and Prospect Park shows (as opposed to benefit shows like BSS) don’t have tickets; first come, first serve. If you like dancier stuff you’ll want to hit Balkan Beat Box/Antibalas in Central Park the afternoon before Seu Jorge.

    Don’t overbook yourself. Leave some time to mosey.

  19. sean says:

    My lil’ lady and I are heading to NYC for the same 4 days. weird. Canjet from Pearson?

    We did the New Pornos, Stars, Sadies show at Prospect Park last year. It was free & we just showed up – no tix necessary. As long as you’re there when the show is expected to start, you should get grade A seating.

    And I think it will be a perfect settting for TV on the Radio.

  20. Frank says:

    Sean – yeah from Pearson but taking American, not Canjet. I used Expedia to book the trip because, well, I didn’t really know what else to do. Probably could/should have saved some money if I tried harder but what can you do.

    As I continue to plan out the trip, I am running into the overbooking thing. I will have to be a little ruthless in cutting things out, I guess, and just save stuff for later trips.

  21. danieljosef says:

    JUNE 29 – Land of Talk, Tokyo Police Club, & TBA @ Syrup Room (all ages)

    Just noticed this show listed on BrooklynVegan’s blog.

  22. lindsey k says:

    best grilled cheeses in the world – around the block from arlene’s grocery – i’m bad with directions, especially since i’ve only been there during cmj craziness. but i’m serious – best grilled cheese ever!

  23. Andrew says:

    I know you’ve got plenty of suggestions here, but come on down to McCarren Park in Brooklyn (on Bedford Ave.) on Saturday, July 1st and cheer on Toronto Kickball as we take on Brooklyn, Providence, Washington, Atlanta and, er, Hoboken…we could use the local support!

  24. Andrew says:

    Oh, and check out our fundraiser tonight with The Guest Bedroom, The Ghost Is Dancing, DJ SOJU, prizes and a kickball player auction at Sneaky Dee’s. Okay, I’m done plugging!

  25. kathryn says:

    <i> best grilled cheeses in the world – around the block from arlene’s grocery – i’m bad with directions, especially since i’ve only been there during cmj craziness. but i’m serious – best grilled cheese ever!
    It was…but Grilled Cheese NYC closed down last year. Sadness for all.

  26. Jeff says:

    Hey Frank, nice seeing you last night. Wow what an amazing show!
    Here’s that food blog that I like for NYC resto reviews:
    I went to Paprika and Gavroche on her good recommendation. Both were reasonable and really tasty. Also like Rue des Crepes in Chelsea for brunch (French toast/creme brulee crepes! Mmmm).