Brush Up Your Shakespeare 2016

You'd think Shakespeare was a New Yorker by the way we are celebrating the 400th Anniversary of his death this year!  The Royal Shakespeare Company recently visited BAM and the Globe Shakespeare company and the National Ballet of Canada are coming to the Lincoln Center festival to perform Shakespeare.

It is not too late to see the Shakespeare Binge performance 1599 at Irondale. It is superb.

NYC-ARTS has a list of Shakespeare related events around town past and future.

My favorite...Shakespeare in (the) Central Park starts previews of  The Taming of the Shrew  on May 24th . As always, A Guide Named Sue is offering early public Central Park walks  that end at the Shakespeare in the Park line for the first two previews of each show via AnyGuide. If I see the show the first night, I will still lead the 2nd day tour.

The Drilling Company will be doing Shakespeare "in the Parking Lot" and at Bryant Park this summer as well.

New York Classical Theatre has another great season of FREE Shakespeare in the great NYC outdoors.

A Guide Named Sue will happily arrange custom private tours  that end at any Shakespeare performance or event this season.

Brush Up Your Shakespeare  by Cole Porter for the musical Kiss Me Kate based on The Taming of the Shrew by (see above).

1599 - Irondale May 2016 - Binge Shakespeare

A Guide Named Sue crossed the East River (on the C train to Lafayette Avenue) to get in shape for the ongoing Shakespeare season in NYC by seeing 1599 at Irondale in Brooklyn. Imagine binge watching 4 Shakespeare plays live up close and personal (the 4th wall is broken on several occasions). The cast moves. The audience moves. But, by Hamlet, cast crew and audience are one under the set lighting. It is quite an experience. A young girl in the audience was mesmerized by it. It was her first meeting with the Bard.

IMG_2423This mega production was inspired by a book called A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599. The book, by James S. Shapiro, explores Shakespeare's life and the history happening around him during the year in which the 4 plays were written. I will read it some day. (Pic is one tiny piece of the production space before the event.

Tickets for this absorbing Shakespeare experience are easier to obtain than tickets for Shakespeare in the Park. (See 1599 link above). The Naturally Delicious dinner box is tasty and worth the investment if you buy your tickets enough time in advance. If you decide to go at the last minute bring food and buy wine or soda at the theater. You will not have enough time to leave and return during the break.

Irondale is a hidden theater gem in Brooklyn. For those of you who never leave the Island of Manhattan, the C train journey is easy. One warning: the production definition of 4 hours is really NOT 5 hours. Take a nap in the afternoon if you are not a night owl.  You might also want to review the plots of plays beforehand.  ENJOY the show.

Tribeca Film Festival last day April 24, 2016 - United Palace

IMG_0713No tickets for the last day? NO problem. See the classic film Singing' in the Rain for FREE in Manhattan's only classic movie palace - the United Palace of Culture aka Loew's 175th Street.

If you are in the film industry and still moaning about the loss of the (replacement) Ziegfeld Theater, come here, support this cultural center and start scheduling film premieres here!

Take the A train to the Cloisters for a morning jaunt and then head to the United Palace via the M4 bus. Get off at 175th Street. Eat in the neighborhood.  Enjoy!!


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Beyond the Blue Line March 20, 2016

One of the greatest routes in NYC is the 26.2 mile NYC Marathon. It spends a bit of time in all 5 boroughs. 50,000 people run the course yearly.  I finished the Marathon slowly 3 times and I volunteered on race day and at the Expo for many years. What struck me at the EXPO were questions like...is it safe to go to Brooklyn or Queens NOT on marathon day? This was years ago and it was safe then and safe now. What's more is...there are places to go and things to see on or just beyond the course that runners and spectators never get to see so....

Sue 84This year A Guide Named Sue is creating tours that cover slices of the Marathon course. The first two will take place on Sunday March 20th.  The first goes from Apple to the Cooper Hewitt.  The second goes from Glaser's Bakery on first Avenue to the Studio Museum of Harlem (just slightly off course).  

Come along. The tours will take place if anyone signs up in advance. (You must sign up by Friday). If there is no advance sign up Sue will not be at the start.

Hope you all got to see The Great Race Exhibit at The Museum of the City of New York.

Guides Association Apple Awards March 7, 2016 Thalia Theater

A Guide Named Sue missed this event last year because I was just returning from a CAARI volunteers trip to Israel and my apartment was being renovated. Every attendee I heard from said the ceremony was great. This year I am going as audience. I went to the Thalia/Symphony Space box office to buy my ticket but you can buy tickets online here.  

Here's the information about the ceremony. You can read more about the Guides Association here.

Buy a ticket and come to the pre ceremony reception. It will be a great way to meet many off duty Tourist Guides like me.  

You can book a custom tour or an upcoming public tour with me at AnyGuide dot com slash SusanK.

Oct 30, 2015 NYC Marathon EXPO and..

The tour to the Marathon EXPO started as advertised from midtown. Since my only guest Dee was  a private client who has been touring with me all week, this became a private custom tour. It was Dee's third NYC trip since the end of May. 

IMG_2184We briefly checked out opening day at Bryant Park. It is looking great this year. Then, it was downtown to the Union Square Greenmarket for a look around. L train to my favorite Tom Otterness Subway stop at 14th and 8th. Dee needed sun glasses so we popped into an old bank building that has become a #CVS .  Thank you CVS for sparing the ceiling!

Then, off to Gansevoort Market, the new competition for Chelsea Market. Pizza slices from Luzzo's Pizza - yum!  The highline was delightful as usual - especially the young silver birch trees.

The EXPO was not crazy crowded perhaps because many had headed to the opening ceremonies in Central Park. Sadly, as usual, the only people promoting Tourism in NYC were the national parks department. It was a delight to return to midtown via the new #7 stop at Hudson Yards. A quick switch to the C brought us to the Dakota under scaffolding and the Strawberry fields entrance to Central Park.

IMG_2186  IMG_2189The parade of nations looked great from North of the Finish line but we were thirsty so we headed to Mineral Springs which luckily was open. We had hot drinks and waited for the fireworks. Now, they weren't going to be at the finish line so we thought maybe the Sheeps Meadow. Suddenly we heard them - behind us. We walked to the side of the building and were treated to a magnificent half hour of fireworks up close and personal. The marathoners watched on a big screen. If you come next year...see the real thing.

The evening was not over. We headed downtown for dinner at the Ear Inn and saw a fun show called Imbible about the history of Alcohol at the Soho Playhouse. The price of the show includes 3 drinks. Great end of a long day.

Open House New York 2015 Oct 16 - 18

Open House New York has been a favorite NYC event of mine since its beginning. Beginning in 2003, I have volunteered 4 hours of my time at NYC sites that were either new to me or that I saw in a new light during the weekend. In no particular order, except the first and the last year here they are. 

City Hall/Tweed Courthouse (glad to see City Hall was open for tours this year - the lines were very long that first year)

Tear Drop Park

House of the Redeemer

Chrysler Building (great lecturer - I did the OHNY donation pitch

Modulightor Paul Rudolph Home

Several places, tours, and spaces in Red Hook

An architects private home and studio in Sheridan Square

The Horticultural Society

Kips Bay Houses and private gardens

A Central Park Tour given by a tour guide friend

The Masonic Temple

Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation

IMG_2153And this year, I will be at the Welling Court Mural project from 10-2PM on Saturday. Afterwards, will try to visit other spaces in Long Island City and Queens on the way home. You were welcome to join me . Visit tomorrow. This is my favorite outdoor site hiding in plain site! Here are a few pics.  IMG_2142 IMG_2144 IMG_2154




9/29/2015 - Daze off visit to Princeton and Grounds for Sculpture and...

Even licensed NYC tourist guide members of the Guides Association of NYC like A Guide Named Sue need to get out of state once in a while. Thanks to member Bob Gelber, we went to Princeton New Jersey in the morning and Grounds for Sculpture in the afternoon. We were on our own in both places.

In Princeton, I had a scrumptious muffin and great coffee at Chez Alice and headed to the Art Museum on the grounds of Princeton University. My mission was to see the Perlman exhibit and a great exhibit it was. On the way back to the bus I stopped to listen to the organist practicing in the Episcopal chapel. I visit Princeton often because my brother's family lives there and my niece graduated from the University but....


This was my first and NOT my last visit to Grounds for Sculpture. What fun! Nature about as natural as Central Park. Same deal. Recreated famous art in sculpture and greenery. My pictures do NOT do the place justice. I enjoyed lunch with fellow tourist guides and one of the local peacocks.



IMG_2105Founder Seward Johnson has done so much public sculpture in NYC. You will find the backstory of the Double Check sculpture in Lower Manhattan on site. I wish I could go to a Seward Johnson singalong with my FB friends from Forgotten Musicals.


IMG_2102I was first introduced to Red Grooms while doing a pre Google Search Software project in Tennessee. It was Tennessee Folk Art month. I went to an exhibition and discovered Red Grooms' #6 IRT local with straphangers and graffiti. It made me feel right at home. It was nice to see this sculpture of his on the grounds.

We only had the bus until 4:30. At 4:32 we disembarked where we started near the Tick Tock diner. The day was young. I strolled up Ninth Avenue to meet my brother and sister-in-law at Rosa Mexicano's. They were given last minute tickets to Il Trovatore at The Met. I joined them for a short rib quesadilla appetizer and some yummy house made guacamole and then I had to run to...

The Art Students League where I saw this extraordinary free panel discussion about The Hirschfeld Century book and exhibit at the NY Historical Society. I finally bought my copy of The Hirschfeld Century from a representative of The Drama Bookshop and had the book signed by my friends David Leopold and Louise Kerz Hirschfeld Cullman.

You can join adventures with A Guide Named Sue here.


Beyond the NYC Fringe 2015 progress - Reviews

Single Occupancy: the musical - nice Phil Collins like sound and lyrics. Bass player has been spotted by Fringe Ambassador Sue playing with a group at the line for Cymbaline at Shakespeare in the Park. After show meet up at Paulaner - fun German bar South of the Whole Foods at Bowery and Houston.

Father Kennedy: smart and fun. Colors restaurant was started by employees of Windows on the World. The restaurant is employee owned and gluten free. Hope to eat there some day when I am in he neighborhood of the Public Theater.

Elaine Stritch - still here: Great for those of us who did not know her work well. Perhaps Greater for those who did. Brunch at Gemma my now go to place near the Bowery and after theater dessert at Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Spectrum Theater used to be a synagogue.

Sitting Regal: Talented performer. Interesting NYC and World life. Probably a bit too long. Rouge - very friendly bar on Rivington.  Brunch before at Dirty French. Food excellent. Waitstaff caring. Service a bit loopy but I think it was a one off event.

St Francis: Star and writer teaches at the 92nd St Y. Most well written and staged. Great cast. 

The American Play? Don't know. It was sold out. I didn't see it but cast and friends had a great time at the meet up at the Grisly Pear.

Princess Cut: If you've made it this far. THIS is the play that NEEDS to be seen. Maybe not as entertaining as the others. It's about Sex Trafficking. Perhaps not as intense as Nirbhaya which I also saw at the Lynn Redgrave theater but IMPORTANT nonetheless. Afterwards over 50 audience, cast, and crew attended a talkback at Think Coffee with FBI and NYPD reps and two others who worked with survivors. Never made it to the meet up. This discussion went on long after the show ended.

Find Fringe Ambassador Sue for tickets. More about the Fringe Festival here!


More Summer Streets 2015

IMG_2012August 15th will be the last day. I am revising my itinerary slightly from what I originally posted here. Last Saturday, I wanted to stop for brunch at old favorite Spring Street Natural but it didn't open until 10 AM. Then, I saw Mile End Deli which I wanted to try but it did not open until 11. (If you do Summer Streets later in the morning I would recommend either of these). Anyway, I ultimately discovered and fell in love with Gemma at the Bowery Hotel and I intend to return on Saturday before starting an afternoon Fringe Festival Crawl (details on this later in the week).

August 15th - 8 AM (I'll be there earlier). We will leave Grand Central on the North Side, walk around the terminal on my favorite road that is closed to pedestrians the rest of the year and continue Downtown to Houston Street. Then, we'll veer off IMG_1985course and head up the Bowery to Gemma. I can be found en route in my Fringe Ambassador T shirt and will have my square so if you know what Fringe Shows you want to see and have a credit card, I can sell them to to you. Will leave for Fringe Crawl shortly after noon.

Pictures are from first two Saturdays.

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