Sunday, April 9, 2017

New York City On My Mind

Regular readers of this blog might have noticed a preponderance for posts about America in general, and New York City in particular. I make no excuses for this. I have an abiding interest in that country, and after four extended stays in New York City totalling eight months, I am not done with the city or the country yet. In fact, I am returning to New York once again from mid-June, where I will spend the better part of ten weeks, and if I can’t tear myself away from the city for a couple of weeks, I will end up spending a full twelve weeks in the city this Northern summer.

With a little more than two months before I jet off to New York, you can be sure I am undertaking plenty of research into possible events and activities taking place across the five boroughs. It has always been my practise to pre-purchase tickets to special events well before my arrival in the city I will be spending the most time in. This ensures that I don’t miss out on concert and theatre tickets for performers or shows I particularly want to see. 

For example I have already bought a ticket to see Dweezil Zappa, the son of the great Frank Zappa at City Winery in mid-July. I am also waiting for bookings to open this week for a series of gigs by Michelle Shocked—also at City Winery. The Dweezil Zappa show sold out weeks ago, and I fully expect all three Michelle Shocked gigs to quickly sell out as well, so pre-purchasing tickets makes a lot of sense—or to use popular vernacular: it’s a no-brainer.

Speaking of gigs, it is also my practise to keep a ‘watching brief’ on the websites of a dozen or so favourite acts, to see if they will be performing in New York City (or near by), during my stay. Again, the point is to try and make sure I get my tickets well before I land in the city. Another benefit of doing this is that it helps to spread the cost of the trip over a much longer period, which I also find helpful.

As for pre-booking Broadway shows, this is another no-brainer. With tickets to the most popular shows often being harder to find than teeth in a chicken (the current must see show, Hamilton being a case in point), getting tickets well before the performance date is essential.

Of course, for a long stay like the one I am looking forward to, it is foolhardy to try and preplan too many events and activities. Half the fun of undertaking an extended trip is keeping your options open so as to take advantage of the unexpected, and the unplanned. And in a city the size of New York City you can pretty much guarantee there will be plenty of both.

Oh, and speaking of Hamilton, did I mention (No, Jim, you did not), that currently the cheapest priced tickets are selling for USD$441.00, while tickets for cashed up theatregoers can be had for anything up to USD$3,150.00.

Yes, that really is three-thousand-one-hundred-and-fifty-dollars! And no, I won’t be going to see Hamilton anytime soon. I think I’ll just wait for the movie.

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