June 5, 2017 Pianos and Taste of Times Square

IMG_0786The Sing for Hope pianos opening event takes place downtown at noon. Join A Guide Named Sue for a subway/walking tour to the event. Details here. Many Broadway shows have designed pianos this year and cast members will be performing.

Later in the day, you can work up an appetite for Taste of Times Square on this Central Park Walking Tour

Two great NYC events for New Yorkers and visitors. Come on along. The more the merrier. One tour or both!




Mummies (not Mother's) Day 2017

While both places will be too crowded on Mother's Day, This is the season of the Mummy in NYC. The Egyptian Galleries in the Met now have a scientific Mummy counterpart at Natural History (and spoiler alert, this exhibit includes Mummies from Peru - who knew and no pictures for good reason). And, the Mother female IMAX humpback whales are pretty amazing!

Membership has its privileges at Natural History. It's really nice to order your tickets for special exhibits and films and pick them up from the machine when you arrive.

IMG_0721While at the Met, when you've finished with the mummies make sure you visit the Rooftop and any other exhibit that interests you. (Photo has received over 2500 on Twitter. Amazing for me.). The Met has a suggested admission fee. If you don't pay the full fee, I encourage you to spend the difference by shopping, eating, or drinking during your visit.

Don't forget to visit Central Park in between.  These are great places to go after waiting for Shakespeare in the Park preview tickets.

National Tourism Week FREE Tour May 12, 2017

In honor of  National Tourism Week, NYC Guides Association member A Guide Named Sue invites visitors on a "tourist guide's daze off" FREE tour from Grand Central Terminal  to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.

Scanned Image 100980000The tour will meet  in Grand Central  at 12:30. After  a brief introduction to Grand Central, we'll visit the Transit Museum Annex to see the latest exhibit  and buy MetroCards if needed.

We'll travel by subway to Queens and make a brief visit to the Fisher Landau Art Center. Then we will bus and/or walk to the museum on 35th Avenue. 

The tour will end sometime between 3 and 3:30. Sue has a ticket for the 4PM performance of Peter and the Star Catcher at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts . You can  buy tickets here if you wish.

Sue will provide an overview of after tour possibilities and directions. The Moving Image Museum is open FREE after 4PM. There are great places to eat and drink in the neighborhood including the Astor Room. You can visit the Murals at Welling Court  and the sculptures at Socrates Sculpture Park . If you cut out early, you can visit the Noguchi Museum  before 5PM. You can take a bus to Roosevelt Island and return to Manhattan on the Tramway .

The tour is FREE. Participants will pay for their own transportation and any pre or post tour expenses.

To RSVP for this tour, please email [email protected]  for the meeting place.

If you wish to do a similar but custom tour on another day, here is my AnyGuide tour.

March 2017 - Early Custom Tour

When A Guide Named Sue received a request for a 6 AM custom tour the next morning through AnyGuide that included Central Station and Madison Square Garden, she responded with several questions, checked on a few things, came up with a proposal and the next morning we left my guests' hotel in the West 30's at 6 AM. The tour was a bit (less than an hour) longer than expected because of unexpected events that enhanced the tour.

IMG_0642 2The Starbucks barista may have been a bit rude to the guest who asked for restroom directions without ordering (her friend ordered for both of them). However, the early morning security guard at the Empire State Building let us in to have a look around the lobby when we were peeking through the window.

Yes we passed the Drama Bookshop, the Times Building, Madison Square Garden, and Macy's. We saw many  sleeping arrangements for the homeless and those who end up scammed by an apartment rental.

We saw Madison Square and the (where's that building that looks like a ship) Flatiron building and met the police in the Union Square train station near the Sept 11 memorial and said hello to Tom Otterness sculptures at Eighth Ave and 14th Street. Not knowing when the restrooms would be open on the Highline, we stopped to use the facilities at a beautiful hotel on 16th Street. Chelsea Market stores were not yet open but the guard allowed us to walk through the space en route to The Highline.

My guests hadn't heard about the Highline until I suggested it. At 7:30ish after a recent snowstorm the Highline was beautiful and empty. We managed to end at Grand Central terminal and my guests returned to their less mobile family. I went on to volunteer at a Senior Center (did I mention that Shake Shack had no line early in the morning and they have very good breakfast sandwiches)!

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CANstruction TCS NYC Marathon EXPO Opening Day Nov 3, 2016

Sue 84  Last year, we had Halloween, the NYC Marathon and the World Series on the same weekend. This year, it is CANstruction and the Marathon EXPO. I have written lots about both the Marathon and CANstruction on this blog. This year, I have posted some Lower Manhattan tours to CANstruction on AnyGuide starting on November 4th.

On November 3rd, A Guide Named Sue is doing a Tourist Guide's Daze off journey from Grand Central to CANstruction via the new Hudson Yards 7 train stop, the Marathon EXPO, the Highline, Chelsea Market, the new location of the Gansevoort market and my favorite Tom Otterness Subway stop.

If I have the time and energy, I will head to Brooklyn to see friends and attend the Guides Association meeting.


If you would like to tag along for some or most of this, contact me and I will tell you where to meet me in Grand Central around 10AM.


OHNY 2016 (2) - My plan

12513806_10153959060562236_1464101873933207599_oYou can find me volunteering at the Open House New York Info Hub at Union Square Greenmarket from 10 AM-1PM. After that, I will check on the line at Jefferson Market Library and might go to Westbeth before heading Uptown. I need to be at the Museum of Art and Origin by 5. There might be time to stop in to see my 101.5 year old friend Marie. Afterward, I'll check the line at Hamilton Grange. I've never seen it at night.

Sunday, I am off to the tour of Freshkills Park  in Staten Island. Before leaving the Island, I want to eat brunch at Lakruwana, a Sri Lankan restaurant on Bay Street. Then I'll check on the progress of the Lighthouse Museum. I haven't been there in over a year. (OR I'll rush off of SI immediately and try to get to The Little Red Lighthouse! Oh the possibilities.)


IMG_1294I'll end this year's Open House New York by heading way Uptown to the United Palace to see Mary Poppins introduced by Lin-Manuel Miranda. I can't wait! (You can see the interior of the United Palace as part of OHNY for free on Saturday but it's no fun without a movie). (I have yet to see Hamilton but the book HAMILTON the REVOLUTION is a wonderful read).

NOTE: If you are new to OHNY, be sane. Pick sites that are near each other and have a GREAT time. There are way too many great sites. See what interests you! There's always next year.

Open House New York 2016 (1)

At first, when I saw my OHNY volunteer assignment, I was a bit disappointed. I have volunteered every year since the beginning of OHNY and they gave me a shift at my favorite greenmarket: Union Square. I thought, oh I can shop after my shift and go home before continuing. Then I read my assignment. I will be working the Info Hub and helping people find their OHNY. Can't think of a better way to start the weekend and use my experience volunteering and participating in every OHNY since the start. Come say HI between 10 and 1 on Saturday (I will shop Friday).

IMG_2499Some of my prior year assignments are on the Open for all list. Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is a must see. It was fun to see people who lived in the neighborhood discover the place for the first time. Welling Court Mural Project was/is my favorite surprising place (photo is one of this year's murals). City Hall was my volunteer slot the first year. It was combined with the Tweed Courthouse (sure wish that would be Open again). We broke up and moved 1200 people through both places in 3 or 4 hours.

My prior year volunteer sites that require(d) reservations are Central Park tour with Bob Gelber (bus woman's holiday), the Masonic Hall, Modulator, Red Hook walking tour (which was actually cancelled that year so I spent my time directing people to other sites and exploring Red Hook).

The other 6 volunteer assignments were: Tear Drop Park, an architect's home and renovated carriage house in the village, the library of the NY Horticultural Society, House of the Redeemer, the lectures in the lobby of the Chrysler building, and the private garden between the I M Pei buildings between 1st and 2nd Ave in the 30's. All interesting places and spaces. You can find my plans for the weekend here.

Alzheimers CaringKindNYC walk SI

IMG_0180A Guide Named Sue did this cause related fitness walk in Staten Island this morning.  It was a mellow walk. We were all walking in memory or in honor of someone. We raised money for Alzheimers Care in NYC. You can still donate at my personal page. I actually did a 3 mile walk because the bus driver dropped us off a the boardwalk and not the walk start. Great day for it.

South Beach, in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge was new territory for me. I'd run across the bridge three times during the marathons of 84,86, and 91 and I biked the bridge one year during the 5 boro volunteer's ride. 

Will write a Beyond the Blue Line Staten Island tour soon. The S51 bus from the ferry is a great way to start. A mile boardwalk walk followed by a bus ride to explore Fort Wadsworth, start of the NYC Marathon comes next. The Park looks very different without 50,000 runners. Other possible stops before returning to Manhattan: The Alice Austen House, The Sri Lanken restaurant, The Lighthouse Museum, The Sept 11th memorial. These are a few of the many reasons to explore Staten Island.

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NYC Fringe Festival 2016 - 20th Anniversary

Fringe Ambassador Sue is at it again. My role is different. Change happens. So this year let's focus on how to pick a few plays to see as inexpensively as possible. Basic price for a Fringe ticket is still 18 dollars (plus a convenience charge if you order by credit card). Cash can only be used at Fringe Lounges. Seniors (65 plus) can buy 13 dollar seats at Fringe Lounges or at performance venues 15 minutes before performances. Children under 12 can buy 13 dollar tickets for Fringe Junior shows at performances, Fringe Lounges or On line. Passes and group tickets (for same performance) provide additional discounts.  Details here.

Discounts. The first way is to take the Find Your Fringe Quiz. This will give you a subset of plays that you might like and a 10 percent discount on passes. Last year each Ambassador was assigned meet ups based on Quiz results lists. None of my selections were on my top ten list but you know, they all turned out to interesting if not great shows. The second discount comes if you go to a show's post show meet up. A Fringe Ambassador like me can give you a discount to the next show of your choice if you surrender the coupon from your program. If your performance does not have a meet up , just score your show at Show Score  for a discount for your next show.

How do you figure out what to see? This year, the descriptions are better than ever. If you need hard copy in advance, pick up the Aug 10th Time Out New York. The Quiz gives you an interesting subset of shows. Show Score has come up with their own categories. You can use the Slice O Matic on the show listings in a variety of ways.  My favorite way is to start with a date and time range that I have available and see what shows are performing during that time. For a busy New Yorker, this is a great way to focus on what is possible.

More posts to come (including where to find me) .... in the comments section...

June 2016 is...(part 1)

IMG_1124busy says A Guide Named Sue! On the Shakespeare front, Something Rotten  has some new stars.  Taming of the Shrew in Central Park is gender bending to say the least. Get on line EARLY and enjoy the experience. Contact me for an early morning Central Park tour..

Sunday June 5th is the Israel Day Parade. I used to get stuck in traffic on detoured HO HO  buses. Now I march in it.

Monday June 6th is Taste of Times Square. You can buy tickets here. If you want some exercise before eating, come along for a special late afternoon tour to the festival.

Saturday June 11th is the celebration of new mural art at Welling Court. Would happily do an early morning custom tour as long as it ends before I start heading to Queens around 11.

If you wish to join me on the 11th at 11, let me know in advance. This will be a meet up or FAM visit. You can see where we might go here.

Sunday June 12th 11 AM is the Mount Morris Open House Tours. I already have my book reserved. This is a great day in Harlem for those who want to skip the Puerto Rican Day parade. OOOPS Mt Morris was canceled 6/2.

June 14th is Museum Mile. Join me for a tour to the top here.  More to come.....

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