My first post about New York City (March 18th) pointed to Washington Square Park and a few other places in that part of Manhattan. But even from the little bit that I know about the city, there's so much more. Here's a good one that you can do at the end of a day in New York.
The last time I went was two months ago. I got to travel there with my daughter and some of the other music students from Rocky Hill (CT) High School. The trip was planned and orchestrated by the school's vocal music teacher, Claire Burnett, who managed to make the whole thing look easy.
We went down by charter bus on a Monday, January 31st. The timing was intentional. It's every Monday night that the Iridium Jazz Club hosts the legendary Les Paul who performs with a few other fantastic musicians.
The performance was the planned highlight of our trip and it exceeded what all of us were hoping for. The club is at 1650 Broadway (at the intersection of 51st Street). The place isn't easy to find because it's actually down a flight of stairs from the street level. You could walk right past it, miss the skimpy signage, and never know that a club was there.
Anyway, once our group was underground, we checked our coats and settled into the cramped seating. After a few minutes of our ordering Cokes and coffee--anything to meet the two-drink minimum--the piano player, stand-up bassist, Les Paul, and two other guitarists took the stage.
For the next ninety minutes, everyone in that place, from high schoolers to old schoolers, tapped the tables, kept time with the toes, and took in an absolute delight.
Since the time he was 13, Les Paul's been performing, which explains why he's as comfortable on the stage as most people are on the couch. His banter between songs and interaction with the audience keeps up with the quality of the music, and that's saying something.
A friend to new talent, Les brought on a couple of young performers during the show. A smooth jazz saxophonist played a couple of tunes with the band. And then there was this Fred Astaire-like tap dancer who clearly enjoyed wowing us as much as we liked watching him.
With "Red-Hot Red " nearing his nineties, this show is a go-soon as well as a must-see. You won't regret it.