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In the Footsteps of Woody Allen in New York City

The program for our upcoming trip to New York City later this week is now engraved in digital stone in my calendar. After several days of working on planning for this trip, I have just finished putting the final touches on a very full schedule of events and happenings spanning the course of four days, under the master theme “In the footsteps of Woody Allen”.

I am no stranger to New York City, having visited that great city many times during my life, and I have certainly exhausted several times over the “top ten things to do in New York City”. Which was all the more reason for me to plan and build the visit around a new and different theme, in order to bring renewed excitement and a sense of adventure to the four days we will spend in the Big Apple. The recent opening of Woody Allen’s new Broadway musical, Bullets over Broadway, provided the ideal foundation around which an exciting trip to New York City could be built.

Who can better symbolize New York City than Woody Allen? More than anyone else, he has brought New York to life and humanized the city for millions of movie goers. Many unique and typical New York locations have been featured in his movies and have become symbols of the city itself. Woody Allen epitomizes New York to such a degree that you almost dare not say that you really know New York unless you know it Woody Allen’s way.

The first step in my preparation for the trip was to put together a list of key New York locations associated with Woody Allen, either because they are places he currently or has in the past personally been associated with, or because they have been featured in his movies. It turns out to be a rather long list of fascinating places!

To that list were then added several current special events in New York which might be of interest during our stay there. The important opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum later this week; the fantastic cabaret musical at the Kit Kat club of Studio 54 with the all-star cast of Michelle Williams, Alan Cumming, Linda Emond and Danny Burstein; the Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the Gauguin Metamorphoses exhibition at the MOMA museum, all made the cut.

Once the list was put together, the second step was to find out the availability and opening hours for each item on the list. For example, it is important to know for planning purposes that the Guggenheim Museum is closed on Thursdays, and that the new 9/11 Memorial Museum requires the advance purchase of date and time tickets.

The third and very important step was then to place and save all of the locations on a digital map, for which I used my favorite travel app, Pocket Earth. Google Maps can also be used for the same purpose. This process is an invaluable tool in organizing the timetable for each item on the list. Simply looking at the map and the various locations enables you to schedule the timing of each visit in a way that minimizes the distances traveled and makes the best use of your available time.

In the case of this upcoming Woody Allen trip, the map showed three separate and distinct areas, Lower Manhattan, Central Manhattan and the Upper East Side. Naturally, we will plan all the Lower Manhattan locations for the same day, and will similarly group together the visits to the Central Manhattan and Upper East Side locations. Scheduling the timing of each visit within an area was a relatively easy process since we knew the availability criteria for each location.

The resulting program for our “In the footsteps of Woody Allen” trip to New York City looks like this

:Day One: -Vamoose Gold Bus from Washington to New York City -MOMA visit of Gauguin Metamorphoses exhibition -Dinner at 21 Club

Day Two: -Dean & DeLuca at 560 Broadway -Nom Wah Tea Parlor -John’s of Bleecker St -Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery -Lanza’s Restaurant for lunch -9/11 Memorial Museum -Russian Tea Room for dinner -Bullets over Broadway musical on Broadway

Day Three: -Photo stop at Riverview Terrace and Queensboro Bridge -Argosy Bookstore -Guggenheim Museum -Cafe 3 at Guggenheim Museum -Sistina Ristorante for Lunch -Woody Allen’s current residence -Frick Collection -Woody Allen ex-residence -Cafe Carlyle for Dinner -Cafe Carlyle for Evening show

Day Four: -Met Museum for Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibition -Carnegie Deli for Lunch -cabaret musical on Broadway (matinee) -Vamoose bus back from New York City to Washington

Culture, art, music, neighborhoods, food and more food, I look forward to it all!

Stay tuned to the BonVoyageurs blog in coming days to follow our adventures in the footsteps of Woody Allen’s New York! .

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