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Grand Central Madison is a Destination for All



In 1963 the original Penn Station was torn down and replaced with an unimpressive (if not embarrassing) transportation hub. In the 1980’s if it were not for Jackie O the magnificent Grand Central Station would have met a similar fate.  It appeared that New York had turned its back on rail transportation even though millions of workers daily ride the trains to New York via Metro North, Amtrak, NJ Transit and the Long Island Railroad. Finally New York can be proud of their commitment to the commuter rail system. All aboard to Grand Central Madison! After years of waiting and anticipation the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) finally has a stop in East New York and the destination is quite a sight. For those who  have for years traveled from Long Island to Penn Station only to backtrack east either by foot or E train, the new station will not only take minutes off their commute, save the cost of a subway ride and/or shoe repair but will be a treat to see when they arrive at this new shining example of a modern station.

I made a special trip to the new station to see what years and millions of dollars had created and I spent over an hour just walking through and marveling at what I saw. The new station extends from 43rd to 48th Street with vaulted arches and marble walls that mirror those of the original Grand Central built in 1913, one hundred ten years ago. Artwork of mosaics and digital billboards decorate the gleaming white corridors with color. Quotes from famous New Yorkers are printed along the walkways (no- not graffiti; they are meant to be there.) inspire the passerby with what a great city New York is. From a 1947 quote from French philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir, “There’s something in the New York air that makes sleep useless,” to comedian Jerry Seinfeld confirming that, “All people in New York are funny and get funnier as they get older.” Pulitzer prize winner Toni Morrison writes, “New York is the last true city,” and Yoko Ono emotes, “New York is like an old friend. It has its moods and I know them all.”

Vaulted Ceilings

If you have been seeing the coverage of the new terminal, one of the topics is the long steep escalator you take down to the train tracks. No, the ride is not as exciting as Space Mountain in Disney World; but it is worth the trip up and down. It does take a bit longer than a New York minute to travel down to the trains but no true New Yorker just stands and rides an escalator – we know to walk left and stand right. For your first ride, however, do just stand and take in the view. Elevators are also available throughout the terminal for easier access to the street level.

Ticket Counter

Beautiful mosaics by artists Yayoi Kusama and Kiki Smith bring color to the white walls as does a digital installation that projects artwork from Long Island children.

The escalator

Currently, there are many vacant storefronts, but I am sure those will be occupied once trains begin their regular schedules. The ticketing center is large with many options to purchase tickets so wait times should be minimal. I did have to pop into the restroom to see what a modern clean public facility can be.

Signage is same as Grand Central

For the price of a LIRR ticket Grand Central Madison is definitely worth a visit; not only is it a transportation hub but a destination – a free museum, a modern slice of New York and another reason for us to sing the Jay Z and Alicia Keys lyrics engraved in the marble walls, “Let’s hear it for New York!”


Corruption in The Courts



I have been writing about the discrepancies in my friends divorce case. I wrote about it for several reasons; 1: After being in the court for over a year, being told multiple times I was not being called as a witness, in order to intimate my friend all of a sudden I was called. I still have not been subpoena and I doubt I will. However how can you truly be a witness in a court that breaks the basic principle of equality before the law and deprives people of their right to a fair trial? In a corrupt judicial system, money and influence may decide which cases are prioritized or dismissed. From what I have witnessed this seems to be happening.

Another reason I wrote about this is our judicial system is broken and we all need to speak up about this. The most relevant fact is that America’s criminal justice system is ineffective. Right now perpetrators are getting away unpunished while victims are left with no answer, no justice and in many cases paying the price. How are illegal migrants getting away with theft, rape and murder, while my friend in a divorce court due to un-factual evidence is threatened with Rikers and a pediatrician with a pre-up is force to pay his wife’s attorney bill and before he does is thrown in Rikers?

If someone breaks into your house and squats, you can be arrested and fined for exercising your rights. If you don’t pay the bills involved your credit is destroyed, while the people committing the crime are given a slap on the hand by the time it is over.

The wave of random street and subway violence, the deepening migrant crisis and the fatal shooting last month of an officer during a routine traffic stop, has those in charge saying everything is ok. Is it? Rape, car jackings and felony assaults are at an all time high.

In the mean time Mayor Eric Adams has claimed that “crime is down” in the Big Apple. Mr. Adams what does it take for you to say the truth?

When will our laws work for the people? When will our lawmakers stop trying to help the person committing the crimes and help the victims?

Did you know in New York there are 11 different trial courts and multiple levels of appellate courts, far more than any other state in the nation?

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Tony Bennett Auction Exhibition at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco



Tony Bennett: A Life Well Lived,” exclusive exhibition opening at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, California, celebrating the legendary life and career of the iconic pop jazz vocalist before its two-day auction event by Julien’s Auctions taking place April 18th and Friday, April 19th, 2024 at Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame in Jazz at Lincoln Center. The free public exhibition opens April 8th and runs through April 10th (10am-6pm daily).The Fairmont San Francisco and Mr. Bennett have enjoyed a special relationship for decades. Mr. Bennett first performed his hit “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in the Venetian Room at the hotel in 1961. The Fairmont San Francisco has had the honor and pleasure of welcoming Mr. Bennett and his family to the hotel for decades. The hotel also touts a special Tony Bennett suite that pays homage to his career and features several pieces of his artwork.Highlights of the exhibition include artifacts pertaining to the American songbook master’s life and career with his special link to San Francisco such as a San Francisco cable car bell award presented to Bennett for his instrumental role in saving the city’s iconic cable car system in the 1980s; a San Francisco Giants jacket worn by Bennett as the Texas Rangers faced the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the World Series in San Francisco, California, October 27, 2010 and his white personalized “Bennett” San Francisco Giants jersey; his original “Landscape San Francisco” watercolor painting; as well as record awards, a Grammy nomination plaque for his iconic hit, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and more.

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Jameson Set to Take Over Times Square for Epic Event and More with Colin Jost and Michael Che



To make St. Patrick’s Eve as epic as possible, Jameson is taking over Times Square on Saturday, March 16. Starting today, fans can visit to enter for a chance to score a spot on the guest list for Jameson’s St. Patrick’s Eve celebration in New York City, co-hosted by Jost and Che, featuring a  surprise DJ performance and a can’t-miss, first-of-its-kind ‘rock drop’ – a Jameson version of the famous Times Square ball drop – at 8 p.m. ET (aka midnight in Ireland) to mark the occasion. Jameson Irish Whiskey is one of the first brands to ever drop the Times Square Ball to launch a celebration for a new holiday. To further spread the St. Patrick’s Eve spirit from coast-to-coast, Jameson will also light up the Sphere in Las Vegas in Jameson green, wrap the ferries and water taxis in the dyed- green Chicago River and have a complete digital takeover at L.A. Live – all marking the new holiday.

Anyone 21+ can tune into the rock drop live streamed on and for those in NYC, Jameson will have a kick-off to St. Patrick’s Eve in Times Square Plaza between 43rd and 44th Streets with a live DJ, giveaways and more from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

Because a special holiday deserves an equally stylish look, Jameson is releasing limited-edition, vintage-inspired jackets at The design includes a hidden pocket inside the jacket to perfectly

hold a Jameson hip flask that comes with the order, as well as luxe patches signature to the iconic Irish Whiskey brand. The Jameson St. Patrick’s Eve jacket will retail for $150 plus tax with free shipping in the continental U.S., and 50-jacket drops will take place weekly hrough March 12.

All proceeds will benefit the Restaurant Workers’ Community Fund (RWCF), a nonprofit dedicated to advocating for food and beverage service industry workers, continuing the brand’s long-standing partnership with the organization to support its bartending community.

For more details about Jameson St. Patrick’s Eve festivities or for St. Patrick’s Eve cocktail ideas, visit and follow @Jameson_US.


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Off Broadway

Public Theater Brings “The Ally” Forward for an Intense Debate




So here’s the pickle. This play, The Ally, clocking in at a far too long two hours and forty minutes, throws controversy at you in numerous long-winded speeches one after the other, filling your brain with details and complexities that clash and do battle with each other from beginning to end. The structuring is intelligent, as the Public Theater‘s new play, The Ally, written by Itamar Moses (Outrage; The Band’s Visit) and directed with precision by Lila Neugebauer (Second Stage’s Appropriate), strides forward into dangerous territory with determination against all odds. Wickedly smart and articulate, the play, in general, overwhelms the intellectual senses. It’s factual and intricate, somewhat off-balanced and attacking, delivering detailed positions with fiery accuracy, which only made me question whether I wanted to sit this one out. Or step more in.

It’s unsafe and determined, placing the action (or inaction, if you really want to get into it) inside a college campus, and attempting to engage in deep-level conversations and arguments with the complicated issues of the world. These are exactly the debates worth having, says basically one character to another, in the tradition of arguing. Because banning free speech is “weird on a college campus.” These conundrums and conflicts are core to passionate dialogue, and just the idea of having them is meeting with fierce debate at universities and colleges across the country. The complexities and the tipping points are layered and real, swimming in a sea of questions about what free speech really truly means, and how differing points of view, civil dialogue, and the stark polarization contrasts collide and enflame. And how, in discussion, defensiveness and aggressive emotional stances are taken on and used against one another like weapons; bullets, and missiles. I even feel a bit worried that taking this stance of wanting to back away might be taken as ‘part of the problem’.

Ben Rosenfield and Josh Radnor in The Ally at The Public Theater. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

The program notes that “the theatre is a safe space in the most literal sense of that term: no one is going to be physically harmed during this performance in the Anspacher. But it is most decidedly not a safe space if by that term we mean a space where everyone will feel comfortable and no one will feel angry, saddened, or offended. It can’t be that kind of space. The theater depends on conflict – the form itself refuses the idea of a single truth. It’s why I [Oskar Eustis; Artistic Director of The Public Theater] believe that theater is the ultimate democratic art form – just like citizens in democracy, the theater demands that we listen to and share opposing viewpoints, and that from that conflict, a greater truth will emerge.” And I couldn’t agree more with that.

Yet, even with such heightened emotions on stage, delivered full throttle by the excellent cast that includes Cherise Boothe (Signature’s Fabulation,) as Nakia; Elijah Jones (Signature’s Confederates) as Baron; Michael Khalid Karadsheh (Target Margin’s The Most Oppressed by All) as Farid; Joy Osmanski (“Stargirl“) as Gwen; Josh Radnor (LCT’s The Babylon Line) as Asaf; Ben Rosenfield (RTC’s Love, Love, Love) as Reuven; and Madeline Weinstein (BAM’s Medea) as Rachel, who each try to make it sound more authentic than the writing really allows, the play suffers from how deep of a dive the writing goes. But not without a solid attempt by this cast, bringing qualities and characteristics to the forefront whenever they are given the chance. But a lot of the time, like their main focus, Radnor’s Asaf, they must stand and listen to whoever has the microphone at that one particular speechified moment. And wait, just like us, for the next round. And viewpoint.

Madeline Weinstein, Michael Khalid Karadsheh, and Elijah Jones in Ally at The Public Theater. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

Playwright Itamar has certainly dived fully into some of the most difficult topics of our time and asks us to patiently listen to all sides, even when the dialogue doesn’t really resemble discussion but more like informed lectures or one-framed speeches. On the plainest of sets, designed by Lael Jellinek (Public/Broadway’s Sea Wall/A Life), with costuming by Sarita Fellows (Broadway’s Death of a Salesman), lighting by Reza Behjat (ATC’s English) and sound design by Bray Poor (Broadway’s Take Me Out), The Public‘s The Ally, uncovers some emotional space within the manifestos presented. Itamar states in the note section: It “wasn’t that i had nothing to say,” he carefully explains, like the main character who has to stand back and take on the full force and brunt of the argument. “Rather, I didn’t know where to begin because what I had to say was too confused, too contradictory, too raw.” And if that was the complicated stance he was trying to unpack, the playwright succeeded tremendously well.

But does that make The Ally, at The Public Theater, especially this long-winded one, worth sitting through? I’d say yes, and I’d say no. I couldn’t wait to leave that debate hall, but I was also impressed and intrigued by the arguments presented and discussed, even if ‘debate’ would not exactly be the word I would use for the ideas thrown around at one another with brutal force. One of the later statements said to Radnor’s Asaf by his ex-girlfriend, Nakia (Boothe) at maybe one of the few truly emotional moments of actual human souls speaking their truth, sums up my stance. “The thing you need, may not be words.” I won’t argue with that.

For more information and tickets, click here.

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The Hotel Edison Opulent and Convenient with History



George Burns and Gracie Allen lived on the 9th floor of The Edison Hotel. Their friend Jack Benny lived on the 4th floor. Moss Hart lived there after his Once in a Lifetime was a Broadway hit. He then moved his parents there until he found them an apartment. The Edison Hotel is featured in the movies “The Godfather” and “Bullets Over Broadway”, so history abounds.

Located at 228 West 47th Street, you are down the street from Six, Hamilton, Prayer for the French Republic and Sweeney Todd. Across the street is the Barrymore Theatre, but all of Broadway and Times Square is a hop, skip and a jump away. Talk about location, location, location.Built in the late 1920’s, Art Deco abounds from the hotel lobby to the lights and the bed spread in the lush rooms. The hotel is elegant and feels like you stepped back in time. My room was spacious with a king-sized bed that was so comfortable, I wish this was a staycation where I could have spent more time catching up on sleep. I also had a small sitting room with a couch, desk and more windows with views.

The rooms are well designed with great features, such as a Keurig coffee maker and coffee, black-out drapes, windows that opened, and a full-marble bathroom. In the bathroom fluffy towels, designer toiletries and a hair dryer awaited me. The spacious shower also had a relaxing rain shower. In the closet a safe, iron, ironing board and fluffy robes.

There were also two flat-screen high-definition smart TVs, Bluetooth-enabled audio, high-speed Wi-Fi which made my life so much easier, and an alarm clock.

The room was ultra clean and to get to it you need a room key, which you also need for the elevator, so you feel incredibly safe.

Another fun fact…when you arrive you will have a personalized note waiting just for you and some lovely snacks, which were highly appreciated considering I had been running all day and needed a pick me up.

Amenities to the hotel are a gym, two fabulous restaurants, a piano bar, complimentary wine and cheese receptions (Tuesday & Friday), with entertainment, as well as complimentary walking tours of the neighborhood.

You would think for this much pampering and convivence this hotel would be overpriced but it is not. There are rooms are the best offer and prices in town.

If you are looking for history, comfort, boutique, friendliness and luxury, this is the perfect place to stay.

The Edison Hotel: 228 West 47th Street

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