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For Springing Ahead to My Busy Season

Do you remember this Staples commercial? It just popped into my head.

The favorite time of the year they are referring to is of course the fall and going back to school.

But my favorite time of year is fastly approaching and passing us by. I am doing all of my planning now. It gets me excited just thinking about it. I am always the busiest in the spring and early summer because that is when the new shows are opening on Broadway and when all of the tickets to the hot summer concerts go on sale. It is also the best time to take road trips and plan adventures for spending the day in the city going on tours and exploring. Not only are the flowers starting to bloom but so is my schedule! This type of weather before it is too hot or too cold is too rare to waste without properly planning ahead. I have no intention of that ever happening.

Patti Lupone on the soundtrack to Gypsy says it best:

Originally when the idea for this blog popped into my mind I was only half serious about doing it. “My busy season”, what does that even mean? But as the days progressed and I started to write dates on my calendar I noticed how many weekends in a row I was busy. However, now I am booked through July! Prior to this season I was only booked up to April, if you don’t count weddings and family occasions.

As I attempted to keep my weekends free, it appeared the harder I tried the less successful I became. Now I am not complaining. I was finding out about events that were too good to pass up.

Take the Alicia Keys concert for example (only two blogs away from this post). I knew since last fall that she would be going on a brief tour this year promoting her new album. I had seen her interview at 92Y ( and I knew I would have to go once tickets were available. I have seen her last few shows and they are amazing. If you read this other blog you will also realize the special connection I have to her and her music. 

So when tickets did come out I knew she would be spending only one night in my city the date didn’t matter. I would make it work. Sure enough once that date was locked in I found out about another once in a lifetime opportunity. It was to see Joan Rivers (three blogs from now) perform. It was a show I found out about matter-of-factly and almost missed out on. That was the night after the Alicia Keys concert. I knew that would be a rough few days for me and my migraine ridden head but I was not given up either opportunity. Somehow I would make it work.

From the beginning of this year I knew the hottest play in town would be “Ann”. I had been waiting at least a year for it to come to Broadway. It stars the incomparable Holland Taylor. As this is my next blog entry I am doing everything in my power right now not to explode and dedicate the next six pages just on this topic. We will have our time for that tomorrow I promise and it will be well worth it. Okay I am starting to slip. Next topic. Okay one more thing I got my ticket just as soon as the play opened so I knew that was a must for my spring season. I am moving on now like they taught me in the home I will undoubtedly be put in one day for my tangents and stalking, I mean adoration of Holland Taylor and all things Ann Richards.

Since this was the only play I had my eye on I was looking more towards concerts this year. After all last year I had seen more Broadway shows than at any time previously in my life, including setting my all time high record of seeing three in one week! (

This appeared to be my year of concerts. They were finding their way to me, I wasn’t even really looking. But everywhere I turned or magazine I read, I found out about another show I wanted to go to. After Alicia Keys the next performance I had to see was New Kids on the Block (NKOTB). I know that might seem a little random but I have not seen them perform since I was six years old. Not even since they are “back” so to speak in business. I feel like once more as adult is needed. This is sort of what led me to see Debbie Gibson last year.  (

The only other concert I wanted to see, was actually desperate to see, was Beyonce. Here is where things went awry.  At first she was only performing one night, the closing night of her tour, at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York.  That is a brand new venue that her husband Jay-Z owns, but that will get reviewed later on in another blog. Safe to say I knew it would be a great show and about twenty minutes from my house so I was in. Actually it was the night of the Super Bowl I knew I wanted to see her live again. I had been meaning to for years but she hasn’t really be touring. I know she is putting out a new album and would be traveling again. I had seen her many years ago when she was part of Destiny’s Child when they were just one of the groups performing at Z100’s Zootopia Concert. That was back in 2000 which was a concert held every summer in the N.Y./ N.J. tri-state area which stopped in 2009. They were actually pretty good. It is funny that they had their brief reunion on stage again this year when I thought I might finally get to see a Beyonce show but it was not in the cards for me. I have to tell you why because everyone else around me is sick of hearing it. And, it's a good cautionary tale.

Whenever I know I am attempting to get tickets to a popular event I am a good little soldier and make sure that I am logged in and on the website and on hold with the ticket agent by the magic time those tickets go on sale. I have never ever had a problem before and I have seen many sold out shows. However on said date and time I had no luck. The website froze and the lines went dead. The sale had crashed multiple websites. So the next day another show was added. I repeated the process once again getting my hopes up. Guess what happened? Another show was added. Rinse and repeat. This went on for days. I am not even sure how many days she is performing her farewell tour performance there at this point. It can be anywhere between three to fourteen days. I don’t care I will not lower myself to look. Worse than the pain of being a loser was finding out why I lost. I already knew it wasn’t from lack of trying. 

I just couldn’t let it go. Apparently no one else could either. How could thousands of seats disappear into thin air? Well they didn’t exist in the first place. The reasons why are incredible. You can’t make this kind of stuff up. It started online and then across media everywhere I saw how scalpers had been given access to seats before they went on sale at record levels, and not to mention prices, unseen at previous shows. But my all time favorite is that tickets were exchanged as a reward for turning in firearms!! If ever I wish I had a gun……………

Going forward I will be looking to see music groups at places more intimate and with more personality than mass venues who apparently don’t need to care about their customers. Two of my favorites are Joe’s Pub and 54 Below. Joe’s Pub held the album release party for Megan Hilty (of Smash fame) this week and 54 Below has many legends grace its stage such as our good friend Ms. Lupone. But even though such super starts perform at these places doesn’t mean indie artists can’t. That’s the best part. One of the most talented artists I am lucky enough to know, Mr. Levi Kreis, ( introduced me to both introduced me to both locations. 

He is definitely someone to keep on your radar and visit nation-wide.

Besides plays and concerts, what I am most excited for are the many cultural events that I am eager to pursue. Recently I visited the New York Historical Society (see previous blog) and now there are many more exhibits and museums on my list. Currently I am waiting for the Intrepid Museum to complete the work it is doing to recover from Hurricane Sandy, although it is open at this time. I also would like to take the borough tour aboard a Circleline cruise.

I should point out that these events are in no particular order, nor the order I will or have participated in them.

Another great activity will be when New York Restaurant Week returns in the summer. I haven’t heard anything yet but it is still pretty early. The last time it took place was in January and it usually happens again around July. It is a great way to try amazing restaurants, maybe even more than one, for less than half of the original price. 

The last activity I know I am participating in this season in an annual Italian-American feast in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It takes place every July and I never miss it. (

At the beginning of any year I look ahead to where I might travel to, where I might want to go, or especially where I will be able to go. I think right now I am locked in on two very different locations. I am not going to give them all away but I am starting my research. I will say that one is a domestic city and one an international. But to be honest any place I read about sounds more incredible than the last.

Just like when I am in a good restaurant, I too like my plate to be full of good treats when it comes to outings. I can never get enough.

With all of that I will be busy through July. I am sure there are plenty of things that will come up and get added to that list. I look forward to each of them because if they make it on my calendar in this season they must be pretty special. That’s what makes each year so exciting. There are never two years that are the same.

                  “Some people can thrive and bloom
Living life in a living room
That’s okay for some people
Who don’t know they’re alive”

So that’s all folks. I will be posting all the individual posts about what I do and sharing them with you, of course. You will have to stay tuned tomorrow to see which activity I reveal next.

I hope this season is merry and bright, and may all your springs be busy!

For all the information you need to have a busy season:

Why no one who isn’t willing to pay a million dollars will ever see Beyonce anywhere but on T.V.:


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