Mamma Mia! Makes its Midtown Farewell

Having been performing in Midtown for nearly a decade-and-a-half – making it the eighth longest-running show in the history of Broadway – Mamma Mia! is taking its last bow. According to producer of the show, Judy Craymer, the last of its performances at Broadhurst Theatre (located close to Shimmie Horn’s Iroquois New York hotel) will be on September 5 of this year.

Craymer explained:

“Mamma Mia! has celebrated a passionate 14-year love affair with New York City. I am thrilled that Mamma Mia! has brought the music of ABBA to Broadway and so grateful to the hundreds of wonderful actors, musicians, stage managers, crew, front of house staff and the other people of the theatre who have given their professional lives and souls to be part of the Mamma Mia! family and adventure on Broadway. And a huge thank you to our fans who have come from all over the world to see the show. It’s an honour to be recognised as one of the most popular shows in Broadway history and we’re looking forward to celebrating our last summer at the Broadhurst Theatre.”

So if you’re in the area over the next two months, don’t miss it!

Midler in Manhattan

Divine Intervention is coming to Manhattan. Or, more precisely, Bette Midler and her tour. Featuring material from It’s the Girls (her new album) as well as other parts of her long-term career, this show has fun costume changes and sets, classics she is known for including Wind Beneath My Wings (from the famed Thelma and Louise movie) as well as her risqué bath house humor.

In addition, since her latest album – It’s the Girls – is a tribute to girl power, this would make a perfect trip for a true girl’s night out (such as a bachelorette party) at Madison Square Garden. Manhattan is a great place to see Bette Midler given her duet, ‘Manhattan’ with Rod Stewart.

For those who miss the Manhattan shows, they can catch it in Brooklyn at the Barclay Center.

Reconnecting Washington Heights and the Bronx

Finally, after decades of closure, the High Bridge linking Washington Heights and Highbridge is reopening. Built in 1848 it closed down in the 1970s and pedestrians were not able to make the move from these two neighborhoods. At the reopening, officials and community members were joined by Gale Brewer (Manhattan Borough President) and Ruben Diaz Jr. (Bronx Borough President). The two raised their hands yelling “Welcome to Manhattan.”

This is a great way of bringing families together. As Diaz said, “today this is about making sure that we’re not just joining Washington Heights and the Highbridge section of the Bronx physically, today is about joining families.”

What is great about this is that it is similar to the bridge as it was in the 1950s. Indeed, Sidney Horenstein crossed it during that time and said it is now “almost the same…save for the 8-foot protective fence, the benches and the light posts.”

Overall the feeling is that it is great that people can walk between these two neighborhoods now. The focus though probably has to move toward ensuring safety though.


Melbourne Meets East Village

indian-foodBabu Ji is a restaurant that hails from Melbourne, Australia, which is making its way overseas. To the East Village to be precise. The restaurant’s name could refer to many things: a bureaucrat, a song in the Bollywood movie Salaam E Ishq, title of India’s former Deputy Prime Minister, Ramsevak Singh, among others. The New York eatery is run by husband-and-wife team Jessi (who runs the kitchen) and Jessica (who controls what happens at the front of the Avenue B location).

It’s a pretty hip place too. Bollywood films on the wall (perhaps to tie in with the Salaam E Ishq reference?) and typical Indian street food including the Papdi Chaat which could make a great start for New Yorkers wanting to sample Indian fare but are a bit scared. These are sort of like nachos but using chickpea crisps. Served with an interesting chutney too.

So for New Yorkers wanting to sample a bit of India, check out Babu Ji.

New York Summer Fun

Central-ParkThere is so much to do in the Big Apple. And in the summer the calendar gets even busier. Of course Central Park is always a classic, but here we look at other potential hot spots over the course of the next few months.

With festivals, carnivals, and more, New York City is the place to be. The Pier A Harbor House in Manhattan is has a spectacular beer garden, where one can enjoy a pint of Guinness, or a Long Hall Lager, while taking in the Zen of the sunset and panoramic views.

For views of the Hudson River, take in a latte while basking in some culture at the Studio Café, located in the Whitney Museum of Modern Art and for those who prefer the aesthetics of the East River, the Brooklyn Barge Bar is a great place to visit.

And then of course there are the more active delights in the city, such as Central Park’s Amazing Scavenger Hunt that operates every day from 10am until 7 30pm, enabling tourists and natives alike to uncover true gems that are often missed completely at the park.

So get out the sunscreen, put on your sun hat and discover the thrills of New York in the summer of 2015.

The Edison Hotel

Times SquareThe Edison Hotel is one of Shimmie Horn’s newer hotels, but dates back to 1931 and offers exciting and bold eye-catching art. Located right in the center of everything – in the heart of Midtown – it modernizes the concept of Art Deco! Enjoy visiting Times Square and then returning to this delightful accommodation for some luxury.

Make the most of your time in New York by staying right in the center, but at the same time enjoy hidden gems back at the hotel.

Punk Rock Reaches Manhattan

punk-rockIt seems that punk rock is not just for having fun, but also for getting in shape. And it has reached Manhattan vis-à-vis keeping fit. More and more gyms are now offering classes that take a retro back to the eighties and are getting into old-school punk.

And what’s great about it is that it’s not just the hard core aerobics that is using this music, but also soft stuff like yoga! Everyone who is moving is getting into the punk rock beat!

Some examples include the following classes: Haley De Groat offers Blitzkrieg Bod (which takes place in the back of Bushwick’s Cobra Club every Friday night) focuses on High Intensity Interval Training. Tim Haft has a class called Punk Rope and MoshFit which offers classes using alternative music, bringing together rockers and fitness freaks which are aimed at being a mixture of: community oriented, creative and fun all at the same time.

Then there is Michael Macneal who has his MonsterCycle class which is “run by the music” featuring “energy like rock stars with call and response instruction. And then right on the other side of the spectrum Brian Williams has Punk Yoga which is just focusing on being present.

So there really is a sense of punk arrival in the Manhattan fitness scene!

MoMA Exhibition

Between May 7 and August 16, visitors to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art will be privy to an exhibition detailing the connection between east and west. China Through the Looking Glass is set to be one of MoMA’s largest exhibitions, and has taken nearly two years to put together. It shows guests the inspiration western designers found in all things Chinese. For example, Imperial Chinese costumes and military dress worn in the Cultural Revolution.

The title of the exhibition is a spin off from the 1871 novel “Through the looking Glass, and What Alice Found There,’ since it is focused on what one feels when they enter another world.

‘Tis the Season for…

Central ParkNew York is a great place for travelers, and during springtime this is even more the case. Indeed, if one can only get to the Big Apple during the winter months, it is a bit of a shame as the cold weather can render the excellent sightseeing opportunities lost. So now that things have brightened up a bit, what is on the menu for both New Yorkers and tourists alike?

First off there is Central Park that simply cannot be missed during the springtime. Boasting an array of stunning colors through its blossoming flowers, it is the perfect place for a lazy Sunday picnic or romantic stroll. For wine lovers the Seneca Lake shores in Finger Lakes Wine Country provides one with a wonderful appreciation of the countryside that is so often missed by New Yorkers.

For those who cannot get enough of the city, shopping in New York is always a must. The springtime will offer the latest fashions for spring but there is also the flea markets that provide something a bit different. Be sure to make a stop there.

Environmentalists will love the outdoors during springtime in New York, with a special emphasis on birding that is a very popular hobby in NYC. And then for those who want to enjoy the aspect of the city that never sleeps, the nightlife is there all year round for their pleasure.

Local Theater Showings

Mary PoppinsFor those in town for a vacation – maybe staying at Shimmie Horn’s The Chandler Hotel located on 12 E 31st Street – the theater is currently offering has some really great shows. For example, Rupert Holmes’ Accomplice is playing at Murphys Creek Theatre. As well, there is the classic and much loved Mary Poppins by Sierra Repertory Theatre at the East Sonora theatre until May 3.

Also playing locally is the Honky Tonk Angels musical at the Fallon House theatre located at Columbia State Historic Park. And then the whole family can enjoy the Play Reading Series held on a weekly basis with features such as the “absurdist Elizabethan comedy by Tom Stoppard dealing with the exploits of two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.”