Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Big Apple Is Freezing Cold - The Dog Logs - Happy Birthday Bob Kent


Saturday==>OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, let’s get right to it ... 

It is freezing cold this morning here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World. Yes ... at 8:30am it is 13º, with wind chill it is down to ... -4º

Yeah, that’s right ... -4º with a freezing 17-20 mph wind blowing off of the Hudson River.

It is so misleading because it is sunny with beautiful blue skies and only a few puffy clouds ... but ... man ... stick your arm out the window and you will immediately feel the difference. Brrrrrrr!!

The forecast is for the high to be in the low 20s and the wind chill to remain in the low teens.

Why all this weather news? Well ... because at the moment Billi Pod is unsure if he will even consider leaving the warm and cozy confines of his apartment to brave the elements to attend some entertainment event, either afternoon or evening.

Yeah ... I know ... I know ... but folks ... the sidewalks are icy and the wind chill is in the single digits ... is it worth going out in the elements? Is it? We will see ... 

So ... stay tuned.

Moving on to Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s entertainment event ...

The Off Broadway show ... 

THE DOG LOGS, if you have ever wondered what your dog was thinking The Dog Logs helps with the stories of eleven different dogs, brought vividly to life in monologue form==>B

The premise is interesting and that is ... we humans have no idea what our dogs are thinking, what their lives are really like and what little they understand about their masters/mistresses.

Some of the stories were funny, some sad and a few too many just dull. Overall it wasn’t nearly as funny as I had anticipated/expected.

The cast of 11 performers did an excellent job delivering their monologues.

Billi Pod says==>worth seeing with a discounted or comp. tix.

This show is playing at the Times Square Arts Center on West 43rd Street, has a running time of 1:00, without intermission, and runs through Sunday.

So ... there you have it my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... unfortunately, Billi Pod is beginning to feel the onset of cabin fever ... oh well ...

In closing==>A HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout-out to my dear friend and fraternity brother Bob Kent of Jacksonville, FL, who is celebrating #74 today. Have a great day BK. Love to you and Chris.

Oh ... at noon it has warmed up ... yeah ... it is now 19º, with wind chill down to .

STAY WARM EVERYONE IN THE TRI-STATE AREA.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.50 miles (or, 9,853 steps per day)

Total mileage for 2015==>124.09 miles (average 4.14 miles per day)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Friday, January 30, 2015

TGIF - Weekend Plans - New York Philharmonic Concert - The Dog Logs - Mitt Is Out - Saylor and Finley


Friday==>A huge TGIF shout-out to everyone out there in the boondocks, hinterlands and wastelands. Your favorite blogger here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, hopes that each and everyone has an AWESOME weekend, which will, of course, include being hunkered down in front of your TVs on Sunday evening watching Super Bowl XLIX.

GO SEAHAWKS!!

Right now my plans for the weekend are in flux. I have an Off Broadway show scheduled for tonight (details below) and then another one at 2:30pm on Sunday. Saturday, however, is open at the moment. I am seriously thinking about seeing the Oscar-nominated film “Boyhood.” In all honesty, the thing that has kept me from seeing it has been my concern over the running time, which is 2:45. This is kinda long.

Also on my “to-see list” are the Stephen Hawking movie “The Theory of Everything,” “The Imitation Game,” and “Whiplash.” I might even consider a movie doubleheader ... so stay tuned.

Moving on ... 

To Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s concert at Lincoln Center ... 

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall - The program was:

Chopin - Piano Concerto No. 2 (performed by Emanuel Ax);
Rachmaninoff - Vocalise;
Bartok - The Miraculous Mandarin Suite; and,
Stravinsky - Firebird Suite

Emanuel Ax was outstanding, as usual, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite was majestically performed. 

I was less than enamored with the Rachmaninoff and Bartok works, especially the Bartok. They both paled in comparison to the other two works.

Having said this ... it was still an enjoyable evening and just what Billi Pod was in the mood for.

Moving on some more to Billi Pod’s entertainment event for this evening ... 

The Off Broadway show ...

7:00==>THE DOG LOGS - “Ever wondered what your dog was thinking? The Dog Logs tell the stories of eleven different dogs, brought vividly to life in monologue form. Among the breeds are: a tough Rottweiler with neighbor problems; an aging mongrel who discovers love late in life; a Greyhound who might be too clever for his own good; an extremely suave Afghan Hound who's very proud of his studly abilities; and, a police dog who finds himself up against some abhorrent lawbreakers.” (Off Broadway - $9.00 TDF ticket)

Yeah, I know ... but your favorite blogger wanted a show in his immediate hood and ...

This show is playing at the Times Square Arts Center on West 43rd Street, has a running time of 1:20, without intermission, and runs through this coming Sunday.

BREAKING NEWS==>It has just been announced that Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential candidate, will not seek nomination for a third presidential run.

Awwwwwwwww ... too bad ... as a fair and unbiased journalist I was looking forward to tons of material for this blog ... oh well ... now it looks like Jeb will have to step forward and fill the void, and I know he will.

So ... on this happy note will post this and then do ... actually I don’t know what ... but I will no doubt do something for the remainder of the day.

Hey ... wait a minute ... let’s close on a much more positive note ... I will share a recent pic of my two darling great-granddaughters Saylor and Finley Falletta.

STAY WARM EVERYONE IN THE TRI-STATE AREA.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.27 miles (or, 9,340 steps per day)

Total mileage for 2015==>119.59 miles (average 4.12 miles per day)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Out Cabin Fever - Into The Woods - The River - New York Philharmonic - Super Bowl Sunday.



Thursday==>Good morning to all of my loyal and faithful readers and followers out there in the morass known as cyberspace. 

Your favorite blogger here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In the World, is happy to report that yesterday was another pretty awesome entertainment doubleheader, coupled with some pretty good walking stats ... all despite very cold weather.

Yeah ... I wanted to shake off my cabin fever and I am happy to report that this morning it is totally gone ... so ... why don't we just get started with Billi Pod’s reports cards on his two shows ... starting with ...

INTO THE WOODS, with only 10 actors, one piano and boundless imagination, this witty and wildly theatrical re-invention is Into the Woods like you’ve never seen it before==>A

The acting from the ensemble cast is totally amazing as they play multiple characters, play musical instruments, do set changes and sing and dance at a frenetic pace. Their energy and enthusiasm flows into the audience.

I found the first act to be more involving than the second act, which kinda dragged a bit. My synopsis and grade for each is ...

Act I - It’s OK to scheme, plot, lie, steal, kill, anything that is necessary in order to escape a curse and BTW ... don’t ever go into the woods alone==>A+

Act II - If you piss off a giant you are basically fucked==>B

I found this experience to be totally enjoyable. It was also helped by the fact that I saw the show with my theater-buddy Dian Crystal aka My Lady who once again used her amazing aura/magic to secure us excellent comp. seats, orchestra, row G, on the aisle. Thank you My Lady!

She also liked the show a lot.

Billi Pod says==>you gotta see this show.

This generally well-reviewed revival of the musical classic by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine is playing at The Laura Pels Theatre on West 46th Street, has a running time of 2:40, with intermission, and currently is selling tickets through April 11th.

After the show we split and I spent about 45 minutes in the lobby area of the Marriott Marquis, out of the elements, killing time until my second show ...

THE RIVER (starring Hugh Jackman), on a moonless evening, a man brings his new girlfriend to a remote cabin for a night of trout-fishing. But before the night is over, it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems … and as memory collides with desire, the truth becomes the most elusive catch of all==>B.

I really wanted to like this show a lot more because I am a huge Hugh Jackman fan ... but ... the story line totally confused me and when the 1:25 running time was over I had no fucking clue what message, if any, the playwright was attempting to convey.

As the press blurb said ... “nothing is as it seems” ... and, folks, that is putting it mildly.

When I got back to the apartment I went online and checked out the reviews and basically most of the reviewers had the same feeling(s) about the show.

Now ... on a positive note, and what makes the show worth seeing with a discounted ticket, is the superb acting by the 4-person cast, headed, of course by Jackman.

The staging and sets are also stellar.

Billi Pod says==>see it if you can score a discounted ticket.

This drama received mixed reviews, is playing at the Circle In The Square Theatre on West 50th Street, has a running time of 1:25, without intermission, and runs through February 8th.

So ... my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... there you have Billi Pod’s cure for cabin fever ...

Moving on to tonight’s entertainment event, a concert at Lincoln Center ... 

7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall - The program is:

Chopin - Piano Concerto No. 2 (performed by Emanuel Ax);
Rachmaninoff - Vocalise;
Bartok - The Miraculous Mandarin Suite; and,
Stravinsky - Firebird Suite
(concert - season subscription series)

I am a huge fan of Emanuel Ax so I am really looking forward to this concert.

Moving on ... 

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... is response to several rather snarky texts and posts ... NO ... your favorite blogger IS NOT a New England Patriots fan ... come Super Bowl Sunday he and his son Bill III aka The Bill will be pulling for The Seahawks. Satisfied now? I hope so ...

In closing ... with the locations of my two shows and a bit of walking around the apartment ... yesterday was also a very good walking day, the freezing weather be damned==>5.01 miles.

STAY WARM EVERYONE IN THE TRI-STATE AREA.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.01 miles (or, 10,950 steps per day)

Total mileage for 2015==>115.32 miles (average 4.12 miles per day)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Blizzard That Wasn’t - John Scott Reed - Into The Woods - The River



Wednesday==>At 7:30am here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, it is a freezing cold 17º, with wind chill down to . Burrrrrrrrrrr, folks, this is cold.

Manhattan is in the process of getting over the so-called “Blizzard of 2015.” Even though the snow levels didn’t reach the predictions, it is still ugly and nasty on the sidewalks and particularly at the slushy cross-sections. The conditions are now perfect for the dreaded black ice.

I won’t bore you with all of the finger-pointing that is going on here as a result of the less-than-blizzard conditions. Suffice it to say that meteorology is an imprecise science, at best. Will leave it at that.

Tuesday was a boring and blah day ... except ... 

There was one very positive thing ... a nice late lunch with John Scott Reed aka Fabson at the Theatre Row Diner, located next door to my apartment building. We did some much needed catching up.

Scott has just returned from London and ... tada ... early this morning he is headed out West, first to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and then on to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA.

Scott==>it was great being with you.

When our meal was finished we split and then I did something pretty stupid. What was it, I know you are all asking your inner selves? Well ... inner selves ... despite promising Scott that I wouldn’t do it ... I braved the elements to walk over to the Office Depot store on West 41st and 7th Avenue to get an ink cartridge for my printer. Man ... it was a lot more unpleasant (and dangerous) than I had anticipated. Yes Scott ... you were right ... and ...

When I finally made it to the location I discovered that the store had gone out of business. WTF??? Man ... did I feel stupid ... oh well ... I made it back to the apartment without breaking my hip or anything.

Moving on ...

I have to admit that this morning your favorite blogger is suffering from a major case of cabin fever and he really feels the need to be out and about, the weather conditions be damned ... so ... 

In order to rid himself of the cabin fever Billi Pod has scheduled an entertainment doubleheader for today ... first is ...

2:00==>INTO THE WOODS - "With only 10 actors, one piano and boundless imagination, this witty and wildly theatrical re-invention is Into the Woods like you’ve never seen it before! Mind the wolf, heed the witch and honor the giant in the sky at this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes and what really happens after they come true.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This generally well-reviewed revival of the musical classic by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine is playing at The Laura Pels Theatre on West 46th Street, has a running time of 2:40, with intermission, and currently is selling tickets through April 11th.

I will be seeing this show with my theatre-buddy Dian Crystal aka My Lady.

When it is over I will stay in the Theatre District because my next event is a Broadway show, with an early ticket pickup time ... 

7:00==>THE RIVER (starring Hugh Jackman) - “On a moonless evening, a man brings his new girlfriend to a remote cabin for a night of trout-fishing. But before the night is over, it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems … and as memory collides with desire, the truth becomes the most elusive catch of all.” (Broadway - discounted Actors Fund Benefit ticket)

This drama received mixed reviews, is playing at the Circle In The Square Theatre on West 50th Street, has a running time of 1:25, without intermission, and runs through February 8th.

In the name of fair and unbiased reporting ... this show was booked a long time ago, before weather became an issue ... but it is still a doubleheader.

So there you have it my loyal and faithful readers and followers==>CABIN FEVER BE GONE.

Oh ... yesterday’s walk to and from the Office Depot store and my in-apartment walking regimen resulted is a very good walking day==>4.10 miles.

Time to post this and then get ready to head out into the elements to begin my entertainment doubleheader ... so ... 

STAY WARM EVERYONE IN THE TRI-STATE AREA.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.10 miles (or, 8,978 steps per day)

Total mileage for 2015==>110.31 miles (average 4.09 miles per day)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Blizzard of 2015


Tuesday==>Your favorite blogger here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In the World, woke up at 7:00am this morning to discover that the projected “Blizzard of History” had not lived up to expectations/forecasts.

Yes, there had been snow overnight and the temperature was freezing cold, 22º, wind chill , but the snow accumulation was not nearly as heavy as anticipated and that, my friends, was excellent.

The outer boroughs and Long Island, however, took major hits.

Last night the Mayor and the Governor basically shut down the City by closing all of the streets to non-emergency vehicular traffic and shutting down mass transit. At midnight the City looked like a ghost town ... it was really eerie and that is putting it mildly.

These two pictures were taken at 7:30am this morning. 

The first one is from the 41st floor of my apartment building looking down on the intersection of West 42nd Street and 9th Avenue.
This one is from the entrance to my apartment building looking East on 42nd Street.
After I posted on my Facebook Timeline I went back to bed and didn’t get up until noon.

At noon it is overcast but no snow. It is still cold ... 26º, wind chill down to 15º.

My planned entertainment event for tonight was canceled yesterday, including dinner at Meske with my friends Dian Crystal aka My Lady and Marty Kosarik aka Whatever. That is a bummer.

On a very positive note ... in mid afternoon I am meeting  John Scott Reed aka Fabson for a late lunch at The Theatre Row Diner, located just steps away from my building. Nice!!

My scheduled events for Wednesday and Thursday will go on as scheduled.

Before the snow began yesterday I braved the elements to go downtown to the Union Square area to pick up a birthday present. The walking to and from the subway stations and my in-apartment walking resulted in an excellent walking day==>4.35 miles, about the only really positive thing for the day.

STAY WARM EVERYONE IN THE TRI-STATE AREA.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.35 miles (or, 9,516 steps per day)

Total mileage for 2015==>106.21 miles (average 4.09 miles per day)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blizzard of 2015 - New York Choral Society - Broadway Unplugged


Monday==>What could be the biggest blizzard in the history of The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, is forecast to slam into The City today and Tuesday with a projected 30 or more inches of snow.

At 8:00am it was very lightly snowing and the temperature was 24º, wind chill down to 11º.

Your favorite blogger dressed warmly and headed outside to walk the 1/2 block to the post office to mail the first of the month bill payments and stuff ... and ... man ... it was already nasty and unpleasant.

The snow is supposed to get heavier in the early afternoon and run through Tuesday afternoon. Tomorrow the wind will be 25mph to 35mph, with gusts up to 60mph.

I have taken the usual precautions with food, water and stuff, including recharging everything.

And, of course, I have major entertainment events scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night ... but ... folks ... ain’t no way your favorite blogger is gonna brave the elements and expose himself to the icy slushy sidewalks etc ... no fucking way ... that is a promise to family and friends.

Will keep you posted with updates via my Facebook page.

Now ... let’s move on to ...

Billi Pod’s report card on yesterday’s concert ...

NEW YORK CHORAL SOCIETY AND ORCHESTRA @ Carnegie Hall - The program was:

Mendelssohn - “St. Paul” Oratorio

This was a totally enjoyable event, made even better because of the super-titles which allowed the audience to follow the story of the conversion of Saul, later known as the apostle Paul.

The chorus, orchestra and soloists did excellent jobs.

My complimentary ticket was also excellent, in the rear of the center orchestra. Perfecto.

Yeah ... I left Carnegie Hall with a big smile on my face.

Now ... moving on ...

Tonight’s scheduled entertainment event is a concert ...

8:00==>BROADWAY UNPLUGGED 2015 -  “For the 10th year, Scott Siegel presents some of Broadway's best talent, belting it out without a microphone.  The evening stars BARITONES UNBOUND, a magnificent trio of 4-time Tony Nominee Marc Kudisch, Tony Honoree Ben Davis, and the Met Opera Principal Jeff Matsey. They will be joined by Tonya Pinkins, Liz Callaway, Christopher Sieber, Christiane Noll, and Barbara Walsh, and others.” (concert - discounted TDF ticket)

This always enjoyable show is playing at Town Hall on West 43rd Street, has a running time of 2:15, including intermission, and Monday is its only performance date.

Will your favorite blogger risk going outside to see this show? Time will tell ... so ... stay tuned.

BREAKING NEWS==>just received an email notification that tonight’s concert at Town Hall has been cancelled. Oh well ... at least that is a decision I won’t have to make.

STAY WARM EVERYONE IN THE TRI-STATE AREA.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.02 miles (or, 10,978 steps)

Total mileage for the week==>28.78 miles (average 4.11 miles per day)

Total mileage for 2015==>101.86 miles (average 4.07 miles per day)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”