How I visited New York City – part 2

Ryan Boldt captured on my mobile phone during concert

First part of this post is available here -> How I visited New York City – part 1

This post will focus on Concerts & my “Bob Dylan’s Village” tour.

Less planing required for this part.
Find the right websites (Village Voice is a good start for NYC), check their calender (what’s on).. and plot in your dates.
In addition you should visit the websites of important theatres & Music venues.. just to be sure.

I was very lucky to land a concert with 2 of my “Top 25 albums of 2011” artists: The Deep Dark Woods & Robert Earl Keen.
This was pure luck, but when visiting a place like NYC.. there are usually great names performing..
The Venue was “Irving Plaza“:
My advice: don’t show up to early.. the bar is… expensive.. 🙂

The Concert was a great experience. Deep Dark Woods delivered the goodies, a dark and moving sound.. that pulls you in and holds a good grip. If you dig  Townes Van Zandt’s “No Deeper Blue” (I love that album), you really need to check out their music. I managed to write down 7 out of 10 songs on my mobile phone (forgot  pen & paper.. grrrr) of their setlist:

The Banks of Leopold Canal, Westside Street, Back Alley Blues, The Place I Left Behind, Sugar Mama, The Man In Me (Dylan cover), Two Time Loser

Robert Earl Keen was the main attraction, and the floor was considerably more packed during his performance. He delivered a good show, and we got his most popular songs (The Road Goes On Forever, Gringo Honeymoon & Merry Christmas From The Family (too loud applause)), but in my book DDW was a far better (and more hungry) live band… as expected.


New York has many great jazz clubs (Blue Note, Village Vanguard, Birdland, etc..), and I knew I had to visit one of them.
..and when Blue Note presents “Ron Carter, Bill Frisell & Joey Barton”, the choice was indeed easy.
It’s very easy to reserve tickets at Blue Note.. just register at their website.. get a ref.number.. present this number at the door.. and you’re in.
If you show up a bit early you will get a table close to the stage..
Fantastic place… be sure to buy something from their giftshop upstairs (you will be exposed.. as it’s located right above the toilets 😉

When the lights dimmed and beautiful jazz music started to fill the room… I closed my eyes and mindfulness came natural & easy. Almost everybody in the room stayed silent during the concert, it was a wonderful experience. It became clear early on that Ron Carter was the man, he was the centre and the music build around his performance. Both Frisell & Barton delivered a great performance.. and they both were in excellent mood.. many smiles.. they really had a ball. Ron Carter did not smile much, he was totally involved in and focused on the music…. This kind of music is indeed a perfect way to stay mindful over “long” period of time.

I just had to live in Greenwich Village (or close).
As I am a huge Bob Dylan fanatic (the greatest artist of our generation), Hotel Earl (he did live here a short period) was a something to check out..
I knew that it had changed, and was now “Washington Square Hotel“. Location is perfect.. price is OK.. bar(s), rooms & service is good.
Don’t look elsewhere!

Bob Dylans Village
The most important part of my visit.
Read over 40 books about Dylan (and countless articles), I always knew I had to visit Greenwich Village some day.
— a quick way to get some background is to read “Bob Dylan: New York” by June Skinner Sawyers (She has also written a good Springsteen book)
@White Horse Tavern.. with Guinness & June Skinner Sawyers book 

Here’s what ended up on my must visit Dylan-Village sites:

  • Washington Square Park
  • Washington Square Hotel (former Hotel Earl)
  • Christopher Park
  • White Horse Tavern (a couple of Guinness’es is mandatory)
  • Jones Street
  • 94 MacDougal Street
  • 116 MacDougal Street (former Gaslight Cafe)
  • Bitter End
  • Cafe Wha?

Many of these places were visited several times during my stay, but I just had to do a formal tour on Saturday 🙂

Pictures were taken at most locations (I got 2 of my pals to join in.. with the promise of Guinness at White Horse Tavern)

Weather could have been more agreeable.. but hey.. it’s NYC in January.

Google map link


..So all you have to do is create a couple of applications/databases, buy a load of relevant books, know thy internet… (& thyself)  and most important: be passionate about ART.

My next trip will be to Venice – Italy in April.. much planning ahead.. a lot of great art & architecture…
but not that much (of my kind of) music  🙂


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