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A view of Light Field at Freedom Plaza. Photo by Valérie Blanchard
Travel Reviews
Valerie Blanchard
The Light Field at Freedom Plaza

In Freedom Plaza, artist Bruce Munro crafted a Light Field that is a gentle pageantry of glowing synesthesia enveloped by buildings on three sides and open to the expansive view of the East River. Walking calmly through this window box of light and hope, one imagined a beautiful garden with tall flowers reaching upwards to the clear sky. At the same time, one sensed a serenity gleaned from a cambric of fond memories cradled in this dreamy, sumptuous chiaroscuro celebrating those who have gone before us.

Gesu' Nato at Corpus Christi Church (photo courtesy of Lori Andican)
Music Reviews
Victoria L. Dammer
Christmas at Corpus Christi Church

The Academy of Sacred Drama and the American Classical Orchestra presented a celebration of Christmas at Corpus Christi Church in Harlem, NYC, performing Vespers in the Season of Christmas by Antonio Gianettini and Gesu’ Nato, A Christmas Oratorio, by Antonio Bencini.

American Symphony Orchestra at Riverside Church. (photo from americansymphony.org)
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus
The American Symphony Orchestra and Händel’s Judas Maccabaeus

It was a stellar evening at Riverside Church with the American Symphony Orchestra and Handel’s oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus (1746). This splendid production inspired just as it projected hope, faith, and perseverance in the face of adversity through the story’s characters, Judas Maccabeaus (Jack Swanson), Man (Deborah Nansteel), Woman (Brandie Sutton), and Simon (William Guanbo Su). The ensemble conveyed well the emotional and spiritual significance of the Oratorio.

Magnificent Colors of the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. Photo by Edward Kliszus
Dance
Edward A Kliszus
TNC PRESENTS ITS 49th ANNUAL THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS’ POW-WOW AND DANCE CONCERT JAN. 12 TO 21

Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, will present its 49th annual Thunderbird American Dancers Pow Wow and Dance Concert from January 12 to 21, 2024. There will be dances, stories, and traditional music from Native Peoples of the Northeast, Southwest, and Great Plains regions. The event has become a treasured New York tradition for celebrating our diversity by honoring the culture of our first Americans.  TNC donates all proceeds from the event to college scholarship funds for Native American students. 

Amali Mediterranean Restaurant. (photo from AmaliNYC.com)
New York Restaurant Reviews
Sora Vernikoff
Amali Mediterranean Restaurant

My recent venture to Amali Mediterranean Restaurant reminded me that dining out in New York City is always enjoyable. That is especially so if you enjoy the food and are delighted with the entire “restaurant” experience.

The Irish Tenors. Photo courtesy of theirishtenorsmusic.com
Music Reviews
Victoria L. Dammer
The Irish Tenors

The Irish Tenors performed A Family Christmas on their 25th Anniversary Tour at The Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) in a setting reverberating with the majestic voices and music of angels.

A view of the interior of Balade (photo froim Baladerestaurants.com)
New York Restaurant Reviews
Valerie Blanchard
Balade Lebanese Restaurant

As we entered Balade Lebanese Restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, we were greeted by friendly, attentive, and accommodating staff. It was the beginning of an enjoyable dining experience with genuinely fabulous service and smiles all around!

Indoor seating at Franchia Vegan Café (photo from franchia.com)
New York Restaurant Reviews
Sora Vernikoff
Franchia Vegan Café with Heated Outdoor Dining

I met my girlfriend at the Franchia Vegan Cafe with heated outdoor dining at 35th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood. OK, it was so cold out, but you got to love that there were adjustable heating pads on each chair! The restaurant is billed as “a multi-level space with a mix of modern simplicity and traditional Korean decor set off by heavy dark wood grating…a beautiful and unique space for a relaxing dining experience.”

Gus Solomons Jr., Derrick Arthur, Daniel Pettrow, Macy Sullivan, and Kristen Foote in Peter & the Wolf at the Guggenheim. Photo: Dan Holl
Music Reviews
Edward A Kliszus
Peter and the Wolf by Works & Process

Charming only begins to describe Peter & the Wolf by Works & Process at the Guggenheim. Originally commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow in 1936, tonight’s performance was curated and narrated by the inimitable stage luminary Isaac Mizrahi. Prokofiev’s musical masterpiece came to life through Mizrahi’s delightful repartée, a coterie of splendid musicians, superb dancers, and sublime costuming. The lighting, sound, and set design were fabulous.

L-R: Ava Jones, Gabriel Winkler, Abby Grumpper, Youssef Alaoui, Edwin Vazquez and Queen Koleurz Koluchi. Photo by Omar Villegas
Off Broadway
Edward A Kliszus
Killin’ Republicans by Dick D. Zigun

Killin’ Republicans may sound like an extreme anti-GOP motto, but it’s a hilarious reference to American politics looking back 150 years or so. Perhaps the sequel is Killin’ Democrats or Progressives? Put on your thinking caps for a wild rock n’ roll ride through American history linked by actress Jodie Foster and her famous, bizarre, and twisted encounter with neo-Nazi stalker John Hinckley, Jr.

An interior view of Chumley's NYC. (photo from ChumleysNewYork.com)
New York Restaurant Reviews
Sora Vernikoff
Chumley’s NYC

Chumley’s NYC was a prohibition restaurant and speakeasy near The Cherry Lane Theatre in Manhattan’s West Village frequented by illustrious writers like Ernest Hemingway.

Seth Sikes. (photo from SethSikes.net)
Cabaret
Holli Harms
Seth Sikes Come a Little Closer

Seth Sikes is one of the most prolific contemporary artists of our time with unlimited talent, magnetism and the absolute exhilaration he casts across whatever space in which he performs. He lifts everyone to a place where we feel the beauty of life. He is, simply put, the warmth and hope of sunshine.

Entrance to Bergdorf Goodman in NYC. Photo by Sora Vernikoff
New York Restaurant Reviews
Sora Vernikoff
BG at Fifth Restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman

At BG at Fifth Restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman I ordered something light to ensure I had room for a dessert–fluffy Deviled Eggs accompanied by delicious bread.

Lokal Mediterranean Kitchen, New York City. (photo from lokal83.com)
New York Restaurant Reviews
Sora Vernikoff
Lokal Mediterranean Restaurant

Lokal Mediterranean Kitchen was an all-around nice, comfortable dining experience with fresh, well prepared dishes and a sunny kind of casual ambiance.

Cathédrale Restaurant. (Photo from moxyeastvillage.com:cathedrale)
New York Restaurant Reviews
Sora Vernikoff
Cathédrale French Restaurant

I loved the spaciousness of Cathédrale French restaurant with its delicious Mediterranean cuisine that painted a picture of the coastal cuisine of Southern France, with brushstrokes of Italy, Spain, and Greece.

Mikel Murfi Trilogy. Photo by Gili Benita
Off Broadway
Holli Harms
Mikel Murfi Trilogy

Mikel Murfi is quite simply astonishing in this extraordinary performance of an ordinary life, a simple, beautiful life, the life of Pat Farnon.

Nice Matin in New York's Upper West Side. (photo from nicematin.com)
Dining
Sora Vernikoff
Ooh La La Nice Matin

My choice of the salmon at Nice Matin was one of the finest I’ve ever had. The combination of the salmon on the lentils with shaved raw Brussels sprouts cooked in lemon vinaigrette was off-the-charts amazing. Fabulous!

Oceans New York. (Photo from oceansnewyork.com
New York Restaurant Reviews
Sora Vernikoff
Oceans New York

If you like to cruise but don’t have the time to take one in the near future, then take yourself to Oceans Restaurant at the corner of 19th Street and

Regina Gibson. Photo courtesy of Regin Gibson.com
Cabaret
Victoria L. Dammer
Divina: A Fantasy Cabaret with Regina Gibson

Texting and the lack thereof, relationships, and Maria Callas’ life, loves, and musical arias shared the stage in Regina Gibson’s one-woman show Divina, A Fantasy Cabaret, at Pangea, New York City.

Poster for A Star Without A Name by the PM Theater Company
Off Broadway
Holli Harms
A Star Without A Name

Enchanting, exciting, and theatrical in movement and staging, PM Theater Company presents Mihail Sebastian’s  A Star Without A Name at Theatre at St. Clements.

Community School of the Arts Foundation (Photo from csoaf.org)
NYC NonProfits
Sora Vernikoff
Wine Tasting Holiday Fundraiser

The Community School of the Arts Foundation partners with local schools, artists, and other youth organizations to bring quality arts education to students of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. They have been able to achieve this with the help of donations from large institutions or patrons like you.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of NYC
NYC NonProfits
Sora Vernikoff
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New York City

Celebrate your Holiday Spirit and join the Young Professional Committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NY for a Winter Wonderland-themed holiday party to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters!

A Scene from Smashworks (Screenshot from SmashworksDance.com)
NYC NonProfits
Sora Vernikoff
Smashworks Social

Smashworks Dance is a New York based dance company that advocates for women’s empowerment through the performing arts, educational programming, and community outreach.

Edgar Allen Poe portrait at Edgar's Cafe. (photo from EdgarsCafe.com)
Dining
Valerie Blanchard
Edgar’s Café

Edgar’s Café serves delicious food on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and is billed as a “Magical place with a cafe, wine, beer, food & desserts.”