Thursday, April 5, 2007

High Notes

Last weekend I finally got to visit the American Museum of Natural History’s Gold exhibit, which offers a fascinating exploration of the precious metal’s role in human history. Well worth checking out. (And be sure to walk into the little room they have wallpapered with gold leaf.)

Living in the Hudson Valley, it’s easy to get away for the day and enjoy all the wonderful cultural opportunities in New York City. Maybe it’s the easy access, but I never really thought about treating myself to a weekend stay there. That is, before last weekend. (Sure, I’d stayed at friends' apartments in Manhattan but this was something really special.) So I stayed at a nice hotel between Central Park and Columbus Avenue and right across from the museum. What a treat!

It was a musical weekend. The Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon on Friday night was loads and loads of fun. On Saturday night we really hit the high notes by going to Birdland to see the sublime jazz trumpeter Charles Tolliver and his Quintet. Wow. Wynton Marsalis was at Lincoln Center the same night but I think we saw the same caliber performance AND sat six feet away from the stage. Not only were Tolliver and his band RIGHT ON all night, but the venue was perfect. Great food (Southern fried chicken and greens to die for, paired with artisanal hard cider), excellent service and super ambience.

I see Birdland is hosting a BossaBrasil Festival from April 17 through April 21. I’m a big fan of the music of Brazil, so it looks like a return trip might be in the stars … Anyone know of valley venues featuring Brazilian music? Please share!

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