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August 12, 2013

…met a Rockette

I’m back in the city and in full tourist mode. Today I headed up to Radio City Music Hall in Midtown for a backstage tour – something I’ve been unable to do until now because of its mid-day, weekday hours. The venue was the largest movie theatre in the world when it opened in 1932; it seats more than 6,000 people …

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August 3, 2013

…danced in Prospect Park

Tonight I took advantage of one of New York’s brilliant free summer activities – a huge concert in Prospect Park. To start, Ryan and I joined some others for a picnic on the grass outside the main music area. It was close enough to snack, drink and chat while listening to the concert – at that point Dan Deacon – …

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July 23, 2013

…went to a jazz club

Tonight Ryan and I headed to Smalls, a tiny basement jazz club in the West Village. Shamefully, this is the first jazz club I’ve been to since moving to the city. The place was intimate – low lighting, rows of chairs pushed right up to the stage and a charming, shabby bar that made it hard …

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July 17, 2013

…watched a free concert in Bryant Park

So far I think I’ve made the most of the city’s best-known parks, from Central to Prospect and Tompkins Square. But one I’ve entirely overlooked is Bryant Park. The reason for this could be because it’s in Midtown. I hate Midtown. The sidewalks are swarming and the heat right now means the whole place reeks of …

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June 24, 2013

…danced on a xylophone

A couple of weeks ago when I headed to Battery Park for Memorial Day, I spied a human-sized xylophone on the ground – nine massive bronze steps to jump on and make music. Today I headed back, envisioning a ‘Big’ keyboard scene for myself. Of course it wasn’t that simple. But as I hopped across …

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June 22, 2013

…visited Madison, New Jersey

Everyone in New York seems to have a talent for something. Even more unfairly is how my friend Maddy has talents for two things. For months now, I’ve heard her sing beautifully – and today I went to see her act. I jumped on a train from Penn Station with Lindsay and an hour and 15 …

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June 18, 2013

…cried with laughter at the Blue Man Group

I’ve been feeling a little anxious these past couple of days, so today I had a screw it! moment, whipped out my credit card and took myself to see the Blue Man Group in an effort to get out of the rut. I can’t remember quite why I opted for the show. My limited knowledge of the BMG …

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June 13, 2013

…partied with Macaulay Culkin

Last night, Jeff, Ryan and I went to Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village where Macaulay Culkin – child-star-turned-heroin-addict-turned-artist – was DJing. The place was decorated like a birthday party: streamers, balloons, inflatable birthday cakes. The idea was seemingly plucked from the air; Culkin’s (free!) event is monthly and each time it’s themed differently. Last …

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June 11, 2013

…played a piano in the street

The rain managed to stay away for most of the day, so this afternoon I took advantage and headed to Prince Street and West Broadway to serenade Rachel – on a piano in the street. Eighty-eight pianos (referring to the number of keys) have been dropped in public places across the city by Sing For Hope …

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June 6, 2013

…heard the Philharmonic Orchestra

Last night was pretty noisy. Tonight, still reeling from the who-knows-how-many beers, I decided to take it down a notch. And I took myself to see the Philharmonic Orchestra. After scoring some cheaper-than-I-expected tickets on Goldstar ($27), I dashed through the rain to Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center. My seat was on the orchestra level …

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June 5, 2013

…rocked out at an air guitar competition (and met the U.S. champion)

At the zombie parade on Sunday, I bumped into my friend Darla, who suggested I go to something even more bizarre this week: An air guitar competition. Yes. This actually exists. So tonight Jeff and I headed to St. Vitus, a dingy, divey metal bar on the northern tip of Greenpoint, to meet Darla for …

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June 5, 2013

…was in a music video (part 2)

A bonus blog today… Remember when I was in a music video? Well, it’s finally out! The lovely Lindsay Ellyn has released the video of ‘Somebody Love Those Girls’ and it’s gorgeous. The song, which is about women desperate to be loved, is heart-wrenching but beautiful – and watching the video brought back memories of a great …

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May 22, 2013

…booed at the Apollo Theater

It’s been a manic week at work, so tonight’s activity gave me the chance to blow off some steam. There were lots of new things involved: A trip to Harlem, a visit to the famed Apollo Theater and most importantly my first experience of openly – and very overtly – booing (and meaning it). I headed …

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May 9, 2013

…rode a mechanical bull

I’ve drunk far too many frozen Margaritas to make sense at this point. Or maybe it’s concussion – because tonight I rode a mechanical bull. With a group of work friends, I headed to Johnny Utah’s – a grimy Midtown spot famous for its bull – and eventually convinced two of the others, James and …

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May 8, 2013

…went to the New York City Ballet

Due to the rain earlier today, my event for tonight was cancelled. But in a sign of how great New York is at accommodating boredom, within moments I’d booked a ticket to the ballet at the Lincoln Center – for a sweet $22. However, I inadvertently bought a ticket for the black tie gala night …

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May 7, 2013

…bopped to electronic music at Terminal 5

All I knew of James Blake before tonight was his hit Limit to Your Love. And that Elektra has a considerable crush on him. So like the loyal wing woman, I joined her at Terminal 5 to see him perform and for a shimmy or two. I’d never been to an electronic show before, and …

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April 9, 2013

…watched Gnawa music

After yesterday’s African food, I decided to complete the experience by bopping to some African music. But this was at an unexpected spot: Union Pool in Williamsburg, a place usually teeming with obnoxious facial hair, tattoos and tacos. But tonight, Nass Gnawa were welcomed to the stage. The vibrant, fez-topped five put on a performance of Gnawa music, 900-year-old …

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April 3, 2013

…went to an album release show

Tonight I went to Bowery Electric for the release show of Dylan’s second album, ‘Lessons in Hunger’. And what a cracking show it was. Ever since he recorded the EP in Minnesota in October, I’ve watched him slog through lists of logistics. But tonight, nearly two years after he started working on the first songs, he showed why it was all worth …

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March 30, 2013

…petted a horse in Grand Central Station

Today I headed to Grand Central Station to pet a horse. There’s an explanation: Performance artist Nick Cave is holding a seven-day exhibit showcasing his 30 straw-like horses at the station, and twice daily they put on a performance. Grand Central is great for random things like this – if you remember, I went to a …

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March 7, 2013

…took a Zumba class

I’ve always thought of Zumba as a bit of a fad and not much more – definitely not something I’d ever try. But over the last couple of weeks as I’ve been writing about Zumba (in not a very flattering light, unfortunately), I realised it was something new I could give a go. And after a single session, …

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March 5, 2013

…went to a listening party

Hear hear, who knows what a listening party is? Well, tonight I found out. You sit in a bar, drink far too many cocktails and celebrate new music. In this case – Dylan’s. Okay, okay, so this ‘new thing’ feels like I’m cheating a little bit. But I’d never been to a listening party before. Dylan (under the guise of Swampboots) is …

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February 23, 2013

…was in a music video

Being in New York means you get to meet great people like Lindsay Ellyn, a singer-songwriter who’s just released her first EP. Today Lindsay was filming the final scenes for a music video for Somebody Love Those Girls (my favourite on the EP) so I went along to help out. The song is about women …

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February 17, 2013

…watched the Chinese New Year Parade

Events celebrating Chinese New Year have been held across New York for a week now (including my dim sum making last Sunday), but today they reached a dramatic, colourful conclusion with the parade. The event was very nearly right on my doorstep. Furry dragons, sequined snakes and lantern-adorned floats left Chinatown, bobbed along Mott Street (parallel to …

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February 11, 2013

…went cycling at a disco

Because sitting at my desk for 11 hours a day isn’t enough, I decided to sit for an extra hour tonight. But this is was the most intense sitting of my life: SoulCycle. SoulCycle is a bizarre concept, but perfect for New York. It involves around 70 cycling machines in a very warm room, some very loud music …

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