Central Park - The People's Place

What is Central Park? The more I explore, read about, and share the Park with others the more I realize how much there is to know. I also realize that I will never know it all.

Image1At the moment, I am  planning a screening of Central Park - The People's Place for my fellow guides. This new documentary by Martin L. Birnbaum, park lover and sociologist who sees the Park as a place where people come together, is a great (holiday) gift for park lovers an park visitors who want to know more or take more than a bit of the Central Park home with them. The DVD is available from the website (link is above). All pictures are courtesy of the film's producers.

If you want to shop AND support Central Park any time visit the on-line shop of the Central Park Conservancy. Or, when you visit Central Park, do your shopping at the Dairy.

Image2  Image3


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 - Freshkills tour

IMG_0206What can I say. To stand anywhere (in this case on top of two former garbage dumps) on the ground in NYC and have 360 horizon views with no buildings in the way is a treat. Freshkills is evolving. I thought I was checking off a bucket list item when I snared an #OHNYwknd tour but now I want to return for a Freshkills Park Discovery Day next year. Come join me!

  IMG_0204 IMG_0205

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.

IMG_0181  IMG_0182  IMG_0183IMG_0184

Come From Away - see it - UPDATE 2/19/17

IMG_0170I've just returned from the 3rd Broadway preview. It has transferred well. BUY TICKETS NOW!

Six months after Sept 11th,  I received an email that told the story of the community in Newfoundland that took in  the passengers from the planes that couldn't land in the East Coast of the US when the air space was closed. I cried and cried as I read the story. It didn't permeate our media at all. Several years later I did see this Tom Brokaw Documentary. Then I heard nothing more about it until Labor Day Weekend when I was standing in the Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park line for Twelfth Night. 

The guy in front of me was a freelance drummer who worked some of the FringeNYC Festival shows that I hadn't seen. He said that his friend was the drummer in a new musical called Come From Away about this town in Canada that housed the passengers that couldn't return to the US when airspace was closed on Sept 11th. The show was playing at the Ford's Theater in Washington DC. He decided to go see it before Broadway and I thought...I'm going to do that too...and I did.

The show is beyond fabulous. It will be the next Broadway game changer when it arrives in February. The show is heading to Toronto and Gander before landing in NYC in February. NYC ticketing starts later this month. See details here. See the show. Bring tissues. Bring friends.

IMG_0169 IMG_0171

Sept 11, 2016

Jersey View frontNot much to say on this 15th Anniversary except I could never imagine what downtown looks like today on Sept 12, 2001. I'll be doing some volunteer work packing food this year.  Actually there's more to say.

I saw Sully yesterday and one of the best lines was something like New Yorkers could use some good news about a plane.

And speaking of good news...While standing in the Shakespeare in the Park line, I heard about a musical now playing in DC called Come From Away. It is about the major good news story that never broke in the US during the aftermath of Sept 11th. I first read about it in an email months later and the PBS documentary came many months after that.  The show deals with one of the communities outside of Gander that took in passengers when all planes were barred from landing in US airspace. I'm heading to DC later in the month to see friends, visit the Newseum, and see the show. I've never seen an out-of-town pre-Broadway run of a show. 

More 9/11 perspective from an older post.


The Keeper - New Museum - on until 9/28/2016

My last stop on Jury Duty day was pay what you wish night at the New Museum. I wasn't a great fan of the museum but I was in the neighborhood and wanted to see the exhibition. I will return this month with anyone who wishes to join me.

There was a vocal (not verbal) baby who was entranced by the Teddy Bears. (Reminded me of my niece who couldn't stop staring at Roman busts at the Met when she was still traveling in a back pack. My niece recently completed her PHD in Classics. I wonder how the bears will affect this baby's future life)

The exhibition could also be called The Fine Art of Hoarding. My pictures do not do this place justice. You must see for yourself (Start from the TOP floor and work down!).


IMG_0115 IMG_0113  IMG_0116  IMG_0117

Sept 8, 2016 Ming Cho Lee - MOCA

IMG_0112After jury duty, I headed to the Museum of the Chinese in America to see a special exhibit about set designer Ming Cho Lee.  I loved seeing sets for Delacorte Theater productions that were "before my time". When I was 16, my family had a subscription for the first season at the Public Theater so it was also fun to see the set for the premiere of Hair that season. (I am waiting for a revival of that season's Hamlet).

The highlight was meeting Mr Lee in person. I told him that his sets for other productions made me want to visit other regional theaters. I also realized why my special time in the theater (the magic time) starts when the lights go down and ends when I get the first glance of the set that will be my home away from home for the next couple of hours.

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the Public Theater. I hope Mr Lee and his sets are part of the festivities and I hope Mr Lee gets to see next year's pageant play whatever it is.  

(Can you arrange that Oskar Eustis ?)

IMG_0107  IMG_0111  IMG_0108  IMG_0110