Come From Away 2

Nick, who oversaw the restoration of the WP Murals at SI Borough Hall used to say that humans like stories. Even though we know how the story ends we read, view, or listen to the stories again and again to see how the stories are told.

This post tells of my first encounters with the Sept 11 Come From Away Back Story.

To me, Come From Away, is a remarkable musical sound byte that condenses the stories of over 6000 people who landed in 38 planes in the town of Gander NL  when the US closed the air space on Sept 11th. The story is told with a cast of 12 who play over 70 characters who represent the locals and the "Come From Awayers" in 100 minutes. At the end, you have a sense of what it felt like to arrive on the planes or live in Gander.

In preparation for my forthcoming trip to "the middle of nowhere" Gander NL, I read these two books:



Channel of Peace is a first person account from one of the real characters represented in the show. Kevin tells his own story and how the experience affected his life. This is an especially good read for teens and young adults who were young or not alive on the day. It made me realize how difficult it was to create Come From Away. But, Kevin's story is the tear drop on the tip of the iceberg.

The Day the World Came to Town was written by a journalist at the end of 2002. There are many more stories and they are written in greater depth. I won't spoil them for you. It is a great read that perhaps covers a big chunk of the tip of the iceberg.

Soon I will be "in the place where it happened".  I am looking forward to taking the Beyond Words tour and maybe figuring out how to see a real iceberg on my free day.

2018-NYBG Train Show

A Guide Named Sue took a tourist guide's daze off to visit the train show at the NY Botanical Gardens. It will continue until Jan 15th. Truly excellent. All the buildings are made of plant matter. You should go sometime! (I bought my ticket a while ago and today was my first day out after being house bound with a bad cold for the holidays). Glad I went but I'm staying home tomorrow. Pictures speak louder than words.




NY Botanical Gardens.                                       







Grand Central Terminal.


















JFK TWA.       






Belvedere Castle.    






Gracie Mansion.

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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Tribeca Film Festival 2017- reviews


The matinee pass this year was disappointing. There are very few real films before 5. The festival is branching out to TV and virtual reality. I ended up using one of my tickets for something that was free on Friday and I had to buy a senior ticket to see my friend's son's documentary which only shows in the evening.

Here's what I'm seeing - all at Cinepolis on 23rd:

4/24  3:30        Frank Serpico - might need a bit of editing but it is fabulous. Serpico gets to tell his own story the way he wishes. See it!

4/25  2:45        Wasted - sponsored by the Ford Foundation. This is a foodie movie about how to deal with the incredible amount of wasted food in our world. See it!

         5:00         I AM Evidence - Mariska Hargitay was at the talk back. There are over 200,000 unopened rape kits in the US.

4/26   3:45        Newton - this movie should be seen by anyone who has worked the polls on election day.

          6:45        Reagan Show - the tapes don't lie. This documentary should be seen by anyone yearning for                the Reagan years.

4/27   3:00         Permission - great NYC shots. Gay sex. Straight sex. Thoughtful look at love vs convenience.

          6:15         There's Johnny - preview of a streaming series about back stage at the Johnny Carson show. Sort of a color comedic version of Mad Men. Didn't know one of the cast members is the son of friends of mine. Still have no idea how/when to access the rest of the show.

4/28    2:45        The Dinner - intense, well-acted, poorly edited, depressing movie starring favorite of mine Richard Gere. Judging by commercials, it has already been released in theaters. Was sorry that I wasted a matinee pass film to see it on free Friday. It wasn't worth it.

 Same time next year maybe!

Trash Museum 2

IMG_0668We could not touch anything. Nelson was free so I asked him to show me what looked like a piece of Mexican pottery I owned with a sex change. Speaking of change, Nelson didn't know what the hole in the top was for.

IMG_0683When I returned home, I found my version still sitting heavily and happily on top of my book cabinet near an ancient picture of my Guides Association tour guide friends. I've had the pottery (not the picture) for about 50 years I think.

Maybe I should write to the museum to see about a tour for guides. Hopefully, someday this stuff will be housed in a NYC Museum of Sanitation. More stuff here:

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.

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