06 Jan Entertainment in New York
As soon as I finished booking my flight and accommodation I started looking at every event possible and tried ordering them so I could see as much as I could.
I picked dates, arranged them, rearranged them, looked for better hours, changed tickets and the end result looked like this:
Saturday- Turandot at Met Opera
Sunday-rest day. What a fool I have been. I regret now not booking anything but if you remember that day it rained the entire day and messed up my initial plans.
Monday-New York Knicks- Denver Nuggets- Madison Square Garden
Thursday-NHL Game Rangers vs Vegas Knights- Madison Square Garden
Wednesday- A Bronx Tale-Longacre Theatre
Tuesday-Jerry Seinfeld at the Beacon Theatre
As you can see I managed to see something different almost every night and I truly believe that even if you are not a sports fan or an opera fan you should give it a try.
Bellow I will give some info for each night containing locations, prices, where I got my tickets, attire, etc.
Before I go I must be honest and admit there are cheaper ways to buy the tickets. There are always the TKTS booths in NY where you can go and wait in line each morning hoping you can buy tickets or you can go and look for sport events tickets on the day of the match at that venue.
Now my reasoning for buying in advance was simple. Yes I paid some extra cash but I felt relaxed and able to make my program.
By no means did I wanted to line up each morning hoping to catch some tickets at the theatre, if they were on sale, at the play I wanted.
And I couldn’t predict the behavior of the Knicks and Rangers until the dates I was in town.
Yes, they could play badly so the ticket prices might drop but they could be also on a roll and end up paying more than I paid for my online tickets.
That being said I am sure that if you want to book tickets cheaper you can find many sites like broadwaybox or others that are having discounts and if you are lucky you could get a really good ticket at a decent price.
Just to be sure I’m understood from the start the prices for events in NY might seem higher than what you’re used to in Europe for example but trust me the experience is worth it.
So let us dive in and start from the beginning.
Saturday. Turandot. Met Opera
I must make a confession. I have never in my life been to the opera so you’ll have to excuse my descriptions and lack of details because I am not used to this kind of event.
Location: Met Opera. 49 USD
Price: 49 USD for a family circle ticket bought directly on the Opera’s website.
Attire: I have to be honest when I left Bucharest I planned to bring a pair of elegant shoes but dropped the idea seeing how big my luggage got.
So I chose a chino trouser, grey sneakers and a sweatshirt.
If you are visiting and buying tickets in the family circle I highly doubt you will be turned down for lack of dress code unless you plan on coming in sweatpants or shorts.
Be smart and dress normal. No need to bring your A game unless you buy tickets in the “Dress Section” where I believe a tuxedo or a suit is mandatory.
The play: frankly I didn’t have many expectations from the play and I guess by being open and relaxed I enjoyed the show even more.
I was honestly expecting something boring but i held on to my seat as the play wet on.
Not being an opera connoisseur I can’t really comment on the performance (which for me was impressive) but only on the whole story feeling, choreography, costumes and the acoustics of the Met.
From my place the sound was incredible and I really got a good view. However if you are having troubles with your eyes you can always search for the first rows in the family circle or go lower.
As an ending I have to say I would not say no to opera again considering how much I enjoyed that night.
Monday. NBA Game. 117.5 USD
It has been a long time dream of mine to see an NBA game.
Ever since I was a kid of 13-14 and got up at 03:00-04:00 and watched the NBA before going at school, seeing this amazing spectacle (because it is more than a sports events) was a dream.
On that Monday night I stepped for the first time inside the Madison Square Garden, the place where legends like Patrick Ewing, Marcus Camby, Amar’e Stoudemire, John Starks or Carmelo Anthony graced the floor for so many years.
Now I know that I missed some other famous Knicks players but I’m only talking about players that I had the pleasure to watch on TV, not the older legends.
Knicks playing Nuggets will always remain a fantastic memory for me because of so many things. The packed venue, the Knicks winning, the national anthem sang in the beginning, the crowd cheering and the show during breaks.
All these and so many more helped build a magical night, a night I will never forget.
Even if you are not a fan of basketball buying a ticket and attending a game here will be a great experience for you.
While the price may seem high (I paid for my ticket 117.5 USD) it is totally worth it.The above price included all charges and taxes associated with buying a ticket.
I am aware of the high price. I too was a bit skeptical but I thought that ever since I was a child I wanted this so I bought them and it turned out a great decision.
Tuesday. NFL game. 113.75 USD
I’d be lying if I were to tell you that I am a huge hockey fan. And I’d also be lying if I were to tell you that I watched hundreds of games just lime I watched the NBA.
Of course names like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Marc Messier, Martin Brodeur, Joe Sakic, Dominik Hasek or Sergei Fedorov do ring a bell and I watched a few games in my life but I cannot say that I consider myself a fan.
However I paid 113.75 USD for a ticket and went with it since I wanted to taste hockey atmosphere too and I was not disappointed.
What I noticed, and I could be wrong, is that while the show, the pregame and in game show is just as amazing as the NBA the crowds are different.
My assumption is that NBA has more guests, more visitors, is widely more accessible outside The United States while the hockey games are followed more by locals, by Americans.
Word of advice. If you want to study/visit a hockey game you’d best bring something warm with you because…let’s just say it gets cold inside.
At this point I must make a quick note: both NBA and NHL tickets were acquired thru Vivid Seats as e-tickets.
I will always list the final price, the one I paid and not just the price for a ticket. I think this is more fair because you can see a ticket for 80/90 USD and after all the charges that ticket could cost 110-120 USD.
Also if you are worried about seats arrangements I must confess that I stood on the last row of the Arena and still had a great view and did not miss a thing.
All in all it was a great experience for me and I am happy I got to experience it.
Wednesday. A Bronx Tale. Longacre Theatre. 103 USD
Let me start by telling you this. On the night I got back to Bucharest I have bought on my IPhone the soundtrack for the play and I already played it 4 times during these last 3 days.
For me this was the best night and I loved every minute of it.
I don’t know how other plays are but this play is a must see. This play is legendary and the settings, the actors, the music, the dancing are all memorable.
This is not theatre but rather art.
The play manages to walk you thru a different set of emotions, making you smile, laugh or feel sorry about the characters and the story.
If there is a thing I can say is that I am sorry I waited so long for such an incredible event.
At the end as a bonus surprise Chazz Palminterri came on stage and talked a bit to the audience and I felt so great seeing a guy who starred in amazing movies lime A Bronx Tale, The usual suspects or Bullets over Broadway.
Now I must confess this is not the usual theatre play that you might be used to. This is modern, is colored and is full of life. The actors sing, dance, move on the stage pulling you into their world.
I guess this is something that only great books or plays can do. Draw you into their world and make you feel part of the show.
My only regret is that I wasn’t able to see such a performance at a younger age. Maybe it would have made me enjoy theatre more.
Jerry Seinfeld. Beacon Theatre. 145 USD
Well, what can I say? I grew up with a few shows. Cheers, Bundy and Seinfeld. I still remember being a kid and waiting all day for 22:00 hours, the time this shows aired.
After close to 20 years since I saw the series I still find joy in watching occasional episodes or hanging in front of the TV when I see an episode.
Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer meant something new for me at that time. Now, as the years have passed, I think of them as old acquaintances, old friends that still appear in my life from time to time, make me laugh and feel joy then our ways part again until the next time we meet.
I think I told you already that the number one reason, that extra push in choosing New York was Jerry Seinfeld.
I had to choose between Tokyo and New York and while Tokyo for me was way cheaper browsing on the internet and finding Jerry’s show meant that New York was the place to be for me.
What can I tell you about the show? If you loved Jerry as I did you will love it. If you were not his fan then this show probably is not for you.
As I sat there in the balcony watching the guy who made me laugh as a kid tons of memories came back to me.
Memories of times with no worries, no credits, no job pressure. Memories of staying with my parents, brother or friends in front of the TV and laughing. Memories of finding joy in the simplest of things, memories of a time long gone but not forgotten.
And seeing Jerry after so long I smiled and laughed the whole show remembering his tone, his voice, making connections to old jokes and memorizing new ones.
It doesn’t really matter which seat you’ll choose in the Beacon Theatre. You will be able to see and hear him from everywhere.
In the end
Five different shows. Five amazing performances and first times for me. In the end what can I say? See them all. It doesn’t matter which play you choose, it doesn’t matter if you see Jerry or a Comedy Cellar show. It doesn’t matter if the Knicks play the Cavaliers or the Pistons.
The only thing that matters is that you will love it. From Opera to hockey you can rest assured that you will not get bored or feel cheated. Yes, the prices are higher than usual but after attending each performance I can say with an open heart that I don’t regret a single dollar.
The price paid, even if it seems high, brought more to my mind and soul than I expected. It wasn’t just the novelty or a dream come true but also something that brought new emotions and feelings.
Each night was perfect in its own way. Be it amazing athletes or great, great actors each show was unique in its way.
As the end of the article is near I can only tell you that it is better to feel and see each thing for yourself. Maybe you don’t like sports or you’re not an opera fan. That is OK. But if ever in New York give it a try. You could end up loving it.
PS: word of advice. In all locations be it NBA game or visiting The Rock it is advised you should bring printed tickets and not pdf’s on your smartphone or e-tickets. Be wise and check the info associated with your ticket upon purchasing. If I remember right I showed a pdf on my Iphone at The Rock but I had printed tickets for all of the above events.