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43smallTWO FUNNY PHILLY GUYS returns to Phoenixville's Colonial Theatre on Saturday March 23rd.  It's a great venue and it always sells out. GREAT NEWS! Glen Macnow is  the special guest MC for the show and your ticket stub will get you a free draft beer at the Rec Room by Conshohocken Brewing Co. which is directly across the street! Click here to get tix!

COMEDY SHOW!

For the first time in years I am coming to the Northeast Comedy Cabaret on Saturday March 2nd. Click here for tickets

 

Hey if you'd like to help my man Marvin, who runs a camp for blind athletes (Marvin's blind himself), click on this link!

 

throwdown thursBIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN

Listen to BDG'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN with Spins Nitely anytime you want.  There's over a hundred different shows to choose from.  They're perfect for a long drive or flight.  Just click here and pick the show you want.  If you enjoy Big Daddy's "Ditty of the Night" you will love these

 

 

TRIVIA AND QUIZZO...

krick ruderEvery TUESDAY ~ 8PM... Krick Wuder in Bridesburg!

Another great season of football up at the Blue Bell  PJ Whelihans.  That was my 13th year of hosting Eagle parties and this season was sensational.  Hats off to their tremendous staff, DJ Bill, and you,  the fans for packing it in every week,  See you at the Maple Shade PJS every Tuesday night once the Phils begin and see you next year in Blue Bell!  Peace!

AVA QUIZZO

My daughter Ava is running a Quizzo nite at CHICKIE & PETE'S in Drexel Hill every Tuesday at 7 PM! Plus every Wednesday night at 8PM at PJ WHELIHANS in Haddonfield. Don't forget Thursday night at 7pm at CHICKIE & PETE'S in South Philly!That's a busy schedule!

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Big Daddy Graham-Marc Farzetta & Joe Conklin taking a stab at Sinatra's "Summer Wind!" Click Here


 

libertybellbank-logoHey! If you need any mortgage work done whatsoever
get hold of my main man Ken Miller at
856-830-1131 or 609-238-3293
kmiller@libertybellbank.com
NMLS #152270

bar063

 

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 2/7

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey  Mag

HOW WE MET

I know guys are never supposed to admit that they like a romantic comedy.  They’re for chicks.  Guys like car chases and explosions.  It’s a generality, but more often than not, it’s true.
Or maybe men like seeing the dude get the girl at the end as much as women do and they just don’t want to admit to it.  Sort of like admitting you’re a Barry Manilow or Coldplay fan.  (I do like Coldplay by the way.)
But there’s one romantic comedy that I’ve seen a dozen times and that’s “When Harry Met Sally.”  I really dig the interviews with the couples who discuss how they met.  I love listening to how people hook up.
So here’s my little South Jersey version of those interviews.

PAT & MIKE

Pat & Mike Settar in SICPat’s a freshman cheerleader for Gloucester High and Mike is the senior quarterback.  Geez, how much more of a cliche can we get than that?  We might as well cast John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.  Because of the age difference nothing happens, but they store each other in that special “maybe somewhere down the road” section we all possess in the back of our brains.
Years go by when they bump into each other again at Ferry’s Slip Inn in Gloucester City.  It turns out that Mike and Pat have some mutual friends and Pat wants to at least introduce herself, but there’s one little problem.  Pat’s girlfriend has eyes on Mike also, and here’s the important part, mentions it to Pat before she can mention it to her.  So Pat backs off because of that stupid code.
But more time passes.  They’re both in their young twenties now and here’s Pat and Mike back at Ferry’s Slip Inn.  (Must be a real romantic joint)  Pat’s standing at the bar, smoking a cigarette, she’s “kind of “ with a guy, when Mike walks up, yanks the cigarette out of her mouth.  and says to her “what are you doing with this guy?”  “Hmm” Pat thinks to herself, “that’s confidence.” 
They end up in a booth with a bunch of friends and Mike makes sure he sits next to Pat.  At one point Mike puts his hand on Pat’s leg and it’s right there, that instant, that sparks flew.  “I knew right then he was the one” remembers Pat.    Still, when Mike asks Pat for her number, she plays a little hard to get and (you will never hear this expression again) tells him her “number’s in the book.”
Well, Mike digs the number up, and their first date is at the Pub Restaurant at the Airport Circle where Mike says “You know it’s my birthday, am I going to get a birthday kiss?”  Needless to say, he got that kiss and today they’ve been married for 34 years with three beautiful daughters living in Mullica Hill. 
And guess what?  It wasn’t Mike’s birthday.

Scott & Gabrielle
SCOTT & GABRIELLE 

 Scott’s living in Westmont and working for Sears security at the Deptford Mall.  He’s 22.  Gabrielle’s eighteen and wrapping up her senior year at Washington Township High.  She’s also working in the Deptford Mall at the Sears portrait studio.
Scott, while making his rounds, notices her and let’s just say maybe spends a little extra time hanging around.  “She was really hot,” says Scott.  (Shoplifting was probably at an all-time high)
They casually chat to each other and one shift Gab says “so what are you up to this weekend?”  “It was a meaningless, polite comment” remembers Gabrielle, “like talking about the weather.”  But Scott replies, “I’m taking you out.”
And unbeknownst to Scott, Gabrielle’s current boyfriend was also hanging around the portrait studio and was sitting right there.  Well, Scott must have made an impression on Gabrielle because she broke up with that boyfriend an hour later on the car ride home.
Four days later, their first date is “Flight of the Intruders” at the Deptford AMC 8.  They hate the movie, but there is a funny moment during the flick and Scott lets out a huge laugh, which Gabrielle takes notice of.  (See that guys?  A sense of humor always works.) 
They kiss in the car when he drops her off and Gabrielle tells her Mother “I’m going to marry that guy” and today they’ve been hitched for 22 years and living with their daughter Julia in Mickleton.

MARIA AND DARREN

Darren & MariaI’m going to lead with my favorite part of their story.  Darren and Maria lived around the corner from each other in Olney and never meet.  Then their parents move to Marlton four blocks from each other and nobody knows anybody.  Now that blows me away right there.  They even go to the same high school (Cherokee) and still don’t meet.
Now they’re both in their young 20’s and Darren’s working out at the gym when he sees Maria.  “She’s drop dead gorgeous” thinks Darren and he asks around about her.  It turns out that he knows her brother a little and he uses that little crack in the window to introduce himself.  She’s not interested.
The next summer Darren’s driving down Landis in Sea Isle when he sees Maria walking with some girlfriends. He offers to give them a ride and he gets out to open the car door for them.  “Ordinarily this would have impressed me, but there was one little problem” remembers Maria.  “He had to crawl out the drivers side window because the door wouldn’t open.  That should have been a warning to me right there.”  Geez, and this is your writer talking, who hasn’t “been there, done that?”
They kiss throughout the summer and today they have been married almost 14 years and are parents to two adorable daughters, Dani and Ally.  (Geez, doesn’t anyone have boys anymore?)
By the way, they have no plans on moving back to Olney.

 

Greg and Jill with LoganGREG & JILL

Finally, a true high school romance as both meet at Clearview High and start dating while still attending.  They’re both on the lacrosse team and here’s my favorite part of their tale.
They are now in that flirting stage, but no definitive move has been made yet.  Greg drives her to a party.  At the party’s end, Greg pretends (at least that’s what he says) to be a little too inebriated to get behind the wheel so he can sit in the backseat with Jill and make out with her.  Nice move, Greg. 
Today, after a ten-year engagement, they are married with a bouncing baby boy (finally!), named Logan.

Happy Valentine’s Day and I have decided to write this type of article for every February issue, so send your stories to me at bigdaddy295@aol.com

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 1/11

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey  Mag

MY 2019 WISH

I HATE TOLLS!
big daddy dinerWhile I would love to wish for world peace, we know that ain’t happening.  Wouldit be dynamite for Mullica Hill to have a 24-hour a day swinging nightclub?  Fat chance.  How about my wife telling me I can spend the weekend with Sofia Vergara?  (Actually, she might not mind just to get rid of me for a couple of days.)
No, my wish for 2019 is pretty much the same wish I have every year.  To rid South Jersey of it’s annoying tolls.  I hate their guts and I have my entire life. 
My first memory of tolls was my old man complaining about them.  And we didn’t even have a car!  Is that hilarious?  I guess it was his way of sticking up for the workingman.  (I can only guess what he would have thought of beach tags)
My Pop would sit in the kitchen all night drinking Ballentine beer and listen to KYW.  Whenever there was a traffic report warning you of a “backup at the tolls,” he’d go nuts.  He had once read that when the Benjamin Franklin Bridge first opened up in 1926, the public was told that the five-cent toll was only going to be collected until the bridge was paid for.  Where he heard this I have no idea, but if I heard him exclaim it once I heard him say it a million times. 
I guess he just looked at tolls as another extension of the government reaching into your pocket and stealing money.  I have to give my old man credit.  He despised the government before it became fashionable.  (To be fair to “City Hall,” my old man pretty much hated everything.)
When the DRPA would occasionally announce they were raising a toll, he would go completely ballistic.  I’m old enough to remember when the bridges added “exact change” lanes and this completely drove Dad over the edge.  “That’s taking a job away from the working man!”  And remember he never owned a car!
When my boys and I began driving down the shore on our own, we not only had to pool our dough for gas money, we quickly mapped out how to get down there using back roads so we could avoid the Atlantic City Expressway and Garden State Parkway tolls.  And not just because of the cost, but because they were always backed up.  Remember, there was no EZ-Pass then. 
bdg armen pink caddy smallSpeaking of the EZ-Pass, anyone remember when they actually saved you money?  They don’t any longer.  They haven’t for years.  Yet (and I know this because of trivia nights that I host), you would be surprised how many folks still think they do save you money.  I guess there are riders out there who don’t read the fine print of your bill.  That’s because the entire EZ Pass bill is fine print.  You go blind trying to read it. 
I HATE TOLLS!
The EZ Pass is nothing but a public relations scam.  The DRPA wants you to think they care about the commuter and they want to make life easier on you.  Baloney.  If they really cared, they would occasionally shut them down.  Connecticut used to do that.  If a toll got backed up a certain length, they would allow people to actually drive through without paying.  In a couple minutes, the toll would be back to it’s normal, annoying (but not outlandish) crawl, and they would charge again.  Alas, they stopped this practice years ago.
But why couldn’t the DRPA occasionally look for moments to do this?  To say, “thank you” to its customers.  How about shutting the tolls down for ten Sundays during the summer between 5 and 11pm when they know beachgoers are returning home and it’s going to be backed up the length of the bridge?  Do they have to make every conceivable dime?  And please don’t tell me the tolls are needed for the bridge’s upkeep because I’m telling you that’s a lie.  It’s bad enough these tolls ruin your Monday through Friday rush hours, do they have to wreck our weekends also?
How about when the DRPA knows there’s going to be a huge crowd at one of the stadiums?  Say the Eagles are playing at 1pm.  They can’t shut the tolls down between 1030am and 1230pm?  Cut us a break for once in our lives
I HATE TOLLS!
Ibill matz remember going into WIP a few years ago in the middle of an insane blizzard.  Radio and TV news and talk personalities do everything in their power to perform their duties in a snowstorm.  Believe it or not, your fellow on-air employees consider you a weakling if you don’t make it in.
Well, I’m on in the middle of the night so it ordinarily takes me only about 28 minutes to get from my house to the station.  There’s no traffic whatsoever.  But for this whopper of a storm, I left a full two hours before my shift was to begin and believe you me it took every minute of it to get there.  It was treacherous.  322, 55, 42, 676, were all disasters.
But when I got to the entrance of the Ben Frank?  There was the toll collector sticking his hand out for a five-dollar bill.  They must have helicoptered him in.  They should have been handing me a medal for the insanity of even leaving the house.  But god forbid, they don’t get every stinkin’ dollar!
I HATE TOLLS!
I’m telling you the first politician to run on some sort of anti-toll platform will win in a landslide.  Maybe it’ll be me.  What if I somehow organized a “No Toll” day.  A day where no one stops to pay.  A day where everyone just drives on through.  They couldn’t arrest us all, could they?
So there it is.  My 2019 wish.  The same wish I had last year.  The same wish I had ten years ago.  Thirty years ago.  A wish that will never come true. 
Oh well, Happy New Year,  and do me a favor?  Tweet out when you’re leaving the house to drive over one of our bridges.  If I get enough of them, it might cause me to leave the house a little earlier.  Or later.  It’ll make for a happier South Jersey.

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 11/24

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey  Mag

HAPPY THANKSGIVING,  RT 55!

Vince QuinnI love when people say something like “there’s nothing worse in the world than a stale bagel.”  My response to that goes along the lines of “Nothing worse, eh?  How about Pearl Harbor?  You think that might rank a tad above a stale bagel on the atrocity scale?”

The majority of annoyances that we let ruin our day usually aren’t worth it.  Losing the remote.  Breaking a shoelace.  Not being able to find your keys right away.  A Dallas Cowboy fan.

But if there is one thing in this world that does merit you losing your freakin’ mind over, it’s  . . . . . . .traffic.

Whenever we come upon bumper to bumper traffic that makes your blood boil, someone in the car.  who’s not driving, will inevitably say something inane like, “Oh, calm down.  There’s nothing you can do about it.”  Yet if that same person would happen to be the one driving at that moment you would be googling where the closest mental asylum is.  (And for heaven’s sake, why does someone always have to mention “could there be a worse time for this traffic than now?”  Like there’s ever a good time for traffic)

 So check out this recent five-day stint I had driving in Pennsylvania.  It might ease your pain.

Tuesday Oct. 9th.  I was making an appearance at this really cool bar/restaurant called “Krick Wuder” in Bridesburg.  (By the way, they cook up the most amazing scrabble sandwich I’ve ever eaten)  I had to be there at 8pm.  It’s a minute off the 95North Bridge St exit.  With no traffic it should take me about 40 minutes.   (Let’s get this out of the way.  Is there a more useless, ridiculous comment in the world than “with no traffic?”)

So because it’s my first time there, I don’t want to be late and knowing what a mess 95North is between center city and Woodhaven Road, I decide to leave my Mullica Hill home at 630.   A full 90 minutes I’m giving myself.  I’m an “early” guy to begin with.  I’d rather sit in a parking lot and read a magazine or do work on my I-phone, then be freaking out because of some gaper delay.

Well, guess what?  95North is a complete under construction nightmare and it takes me the full 90 minutes to get there.  I tell myself that I caught a remnant of rush hour and the journey home will be much better.

WRONG!  95South between Bridge and Alleghany is a one-lane parking lot and it takes me an hour and ten minutes.

3 AmigosWednesday Oct. 10th         I’m performing an 8pm comedy show with Joe Conklin at Parx Casino.  But I know for a fact I won’t hit the stage before 9pm, so after the debacle the evening before, I decide to try to avoid even a smidge of rush hour and I leave at 730pm and again, it takes me an hour and half EACH WAY.  How do people travel this road every day?!

What’s the solution?  Take the NJ Turnpike to the PA Turnpike?  It just might be.

Thursday Oct.  11th     I’m hosting the TNF Eagles game at PJ Whelihans in Blue Bell PA.   Now I have been up there for every Birds game for 13 years and I have this 55 minute drive down to a science.  I could do it blindfolded.   Hop on Rt 322 to the Commodore Barry and then on to the Blue Route.  But the far majority of Eagles games are played on Sunday and I don’t care if it’s a 1, 415, or 820pm start, it’s still a Sunday and the ride is usually uneventful.

But this is a Thursday evening and it’s murder to even get on the Blue Route from I-95 any time during the week.  It’s a two lane exit that very quickly turns to one lane and when you actually enter the Blue, it goes from four lanes to two immediately and then it’s every man for himself.

But I’m aware of all this, so again, I give myself an hour and a half and it took every minute.  This is shaping up into my worst three day traffic nightmare ever and I consider myself a lucky man because I work the traffic-free overnight shift at 94WIP.

Friday Oct 12th           I spend the entire day in bed.   I kid you not.  I’m shocked I don’t bump into traffic to and fro the bathroom.  I’ve been fortunate to have done some amazing things in my time, but this Friday, Oct. 12th could turn out to be the greatest day of my life.  And it is.

Sunday Oct 14th        The Eagles are off today so I am going to see the great singer Eddie Bruce’s big band salute to the Latin Casino, which is being held on Drexel campus.    It’s a Sunday, the show’s at 3pm.  What could go wrong?  Well, first of all there is a big daglogjam on 76W between the Vare and South St. exit.  Then when we get off, 33rd St (which is where we have to make a right) is closed for construction forcing everyone to go up to 38th.  It literally takes up an half an hour to go 5 blocks and we end up late for the show.  That’s five days, 6 horrendous trips,  that involve I95, the Blue Route, and the Schuylkill Expressway. The three most important roads in the Philly area.

Which is precisely why I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to three Jersey roads.  Rt. 55, the NJ Turnpike, and the Atlantic City Expressway.

RT. 55   I realize it gets backed up at the very end where it connects with Rt. 42, especially at the morning rush hour.  But I’ve been living in Mullica Hill now for over 25 years and you know how many traffic jams I’ve encountered whether I’m going south to the shore or north to the Deptford 8 movie theatres?  Try none.  Zero. It’s an amazing road.  And I’ve never been pulled over either.  I’ll admit I saw a woman in a wedding dress walking along the shoulder at 130am one night that I originally thought was a ghost, but let’s just forget that. 

NJ TURNPIKE.     When I am shooting up Manhattan, I take 322 to Exit 2 of the Turnpike and then North to the Lincoln Tunnel.  I have made this trip a couple hundred times over the years and I have never encountered any traffic whatsoever heading north.  It’s always smooth sailing.  There might be problems once I get to 7A, but that’s not South Jersey.

AC EXPRESSWAY.   I don’t use the expressway to get to the shore, and I know it can back up at the toll on select summer weekends, but when I have to use the expressway to go to AC to perform, I never encounter any problem whatsoever because it’s the off-season and if it is the summer season I’m shooting over from Sea Isle.  (However, I have been pulled over on this road numerous times)

So let’s give thanks to these three major South Jersey roads for generally being the polite, clean, and safe roads that they are.  Happy Thanksgiving!

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 10/5

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey  Mag

447PMMARCH 5TH, 2015A REAL LIFE TRUE GHOST STORY

The following story is 100% true.  No names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Everything I write actually occurred and while you may be thinking “Sure, just in time for the October Halloween issue, “ it all started happening to me in July.  So the tale is extremely fresh to me.

I did not grow up with a dog in my house.  The only pets I ever had were Moe, Larry and Curly, three turtles my Mom bought in a knock off version of a Woolworths in my neighborhood called “Jupiters.”  I believe they lived about two weeks and my old man then put a halt to any kind of animals in the house.

Years go by and I move to Mullica Hill and my daughters want a puppy in the worst way and I (of course) relinquish and we get a rescue beagle by the name of Dutch, a hacking, wheezing mutt who sounds like he smokes two packs of Marlboro Reds a day.

To say at that point in my life I wasn’t too fond of dogs would be an understatement.  I had gotten bit twice in my life, by two different dogs, and I frankly was nervous around them.  So I was completely caught off guard when I fell madly in love with Dutch.  Boy, did I ever.  My girls were two and six at the time, and I swear Dutch helped raise them as much as my wife and I.  From the first night we brought him home he would sleep with Keely one night and then Ava the next.  He was their best friend and protector against all evils of the world.

Because of this, he became like a second Dad to them and I didn’t mind having a partner.  It made me adore my Dutch even more.  Because of the nature of my 94WIP shift, I usually don’t get up till roughly two in the afternoon and when I would open my bedroom door Dutch would be quietly awaiting for me to go downstairs.  We would then lie on the living room floor where I would rub his belly and await the school buses to arrive.  My daughter’s bus would drop her off at the opposite end of the development that I live in.  Roughly the equivalent of a couple block walk.  

Since I was new to the dog game, this next phenomenon freaked me out.  My daughter Ava’s bus would drop her off at approximately 315.  At around 310 Dutch would jump up from his belly rub and start barking and scratching at the front door.  This was a full five minutes before the bus would even pull up to the stop a couple blocks away.  And it wasn’t like that bus would arrive at its destination the same exact time every single day.  But somehow Dutch knew when it was five minutes away. 

mike angelinaThose minutes that Dutch and I would lay in the quiet afternoon waiting for the bus?  I couldn’t begin to tell you how much I miss those moments.  The kids have grown, there’s no more waiting for the bus, and Dutchie passed away fourteen years ago.

        Or did he?  One thing that Dutch was legendary for was that he must have been the heaviest thirty pound Beagle in history.  When he would lay in bed with you he would park himself right next to your leg and use it as a pillow.  Good luck to you if you attempted to even slightly move him because it would be easier to move the Eagles Jason Peters.  You just couldn’t budge him. 

But in the end, I loved him cuddling up next to me, so I never made a fuss out of this,  and our next two beagles were allowed to sleep in bed with us,  including our current four legged friend, Beau.

Well, it started the beginning of this July.  I was in my house alone.  It was about six in the evening and I was lying in bed watching television when Beau moved ever so slightly.  I won’t claim that it startled me, but I was caught a little off guard because I thought that I was in bed by myself.  One little problem.  I was in bed alone.  Beau was somewhere else in my house.

But it definitely had the feel that you experience when your dog moves a little in his sleep when they are laying next to you.  But there was no Beau in bed with me.  I didn’t make a big deal out of it figuring that I was simply just imagining things, which is easy enough to do.  I didn’t bring it up to anybody afraid that they would look at me like I was a whack-job.  Remember, this is all true.

Well, it happened about seven more times throughout July and August.  Now I am not one of these people who are fascinated by the paranormal.  Sorry, Bill Murray and the rest of the “Ghostbusters” crew, but I am afraid of a ghost.  I do not want to see one.  However, this doggie movement in bed never scared me at all.  In fact, I had convinced myself that it was the ghost of my first beagle, Dutch, and I found it all very comforting.

Then it got even stranger.  I was lying in bed at my house in Sea Isle.   It’s mid-August.  Again it was the afternoon, not in the middle of a dark night.  And “Ghost Dog” moved in my shore house bed.  It really did.  So I’m thinking this ghost dog is following me and me not haunting one particular Mullica Hill bed.  This part of the story did freak me out.

farzetta conklinSo I went public with this phenomenon on August 20th via twitter and Facebook and I also talked about it on the air.  And guess what happened?  Ghost Dog stopped moving in the bed.  He completely went away.  I can’t say that he disappeared because I never saw anything to begin with, just felt him. 

And I miss him horribly and wish he would come back.  And what’s to make of his disappearing after I start talking about it?   How would Ghost Dog know any of this?  I swear on a stack of Playboys that I am not making any of this up.

Meanwhile, dozens of listeners and readers have written me telling me that also have experienced similar doggie movements in bed.  But almost every one of these pet lovers had recently lost their dog and Dutch has been gone since 2004.  And while I have taken some comfort in the folks who have reached out to me, I would take much more comfort if this Ghost Dog would cuddle up to me again.

I guess I’ll never truly know what happened, but I’ll tell you this much.  It’s one hell of a Halloween story.

And every word of it is true.

 

 

 



HEY! I'M LOOKING FOR ALBUM COVERS. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THE VINYL...



ray ovation

Click on Ray to hear the amazing ovation he got at the Pitman's Broadway Theatre on
Saturday, February 10th, which was the first Saturday of our Super Bowl!

 

 


NewYorkSkyline2

 

There is this amazing talent in the New York area by the name of Rachelle Garniez.  She's an versatile singer who accompanies herself on piano, guitar, and, yes, accordion.  She's a gifted songwriter with a tremendous sense of humor.  She often performs at a really cool Village venue Pangea that seats maybe fifty that itself is worth checking out.  Go to these sites for more info: www.rachellegarniezcom.virb.com & www.pangeanyc.com

You can take an inexpensive tour  of RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL that's well worth it.

Check out MASH ARMY & NAVY on 8th Ave between 45 & 46th streets.  A blast from the past!

Folks are always asking me about piano bars in Manhattan.  There's two I would recommend and they couldn't be any bit different.  DON'T TELL MAMA is on 46th St between 8 & 9th Avenues.  It's a comfortable narrow long bar where you either sit at thee bar or at a table.  They have a singing piano player and every fourth song or so a member of the bar or serving staff will get up and sing a three song set.  And sometimes a member of the audience will get up at the mic and sing. And they have awesome food also. It's a really fun joint, but completely different from MARIE'S CRISIS CAFE which is at 59 Grove St in the Village.  (Make sure you have the address handy before you get in the cab.)  MARIE'S is a tiny hole in the wall basement club where there is a piano player but no professional singer.  YOU are the singer.  It's insane.  People (like my nutty wife) go there TO sing.  There's no microphone and literally 150 people or so will be singing at the top of their lungs to some Broadway tune  Which, by the way, IS ALL Marie's does.  They don't mix in pop tunes like MAMA does.  The two couldn't be any different from each other and any more fun if a piano bar is your bag.

A HOTEL TO STAY AT?   We always use some hotel site and often stay at one of these two hotels which I would both recommend.  THE BELVEDERE on West 48th St is clean with a nice lobby and it's very convenient to Broadway and many clubs and bars.  THE WARWICK is pricier, but still affordable when you go through Expedia.  It's at 54th & 6th and many famous folks (like the Beatles and Liz Taylor have stayed there.

As obvious as this sounds, you can spend a couple hours exploring Central Park and never get bored.

LEXINGTON CANDY SHOP on Lexington between 82 & 83rd St. has been opened since 1925 and is a don't miss trip.

BIG ONION WALKING TOURS are a lot of fun and reasonably priced.  I have taken many of them and they never disappoint.

54 BELOW on 54th St. is literally the basement of the famous Studio 54 disco. It's a terrific place to see anybody. Top notch club.

Finally made it to BIRDLAND for one of those CAST PARTY shows. What a great time and the sight lines are excellent.  Legendary jazz artists perform there and if you ever thought about seeing one of them at BIRDLAND, do it.

A BRONX TALE the musical is really good.  I wasn't expecting much and I was very entertained.

You can get a really good cheese steak at 99 MILES TO PHILLY at 94 3rd Avenue.  The owner is from Philly.

 

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