They say that Madison Square Garden is where people want to see a show. It is, of course, one of the most famous venues in the world. Any night there is a show you will see lines of people wrapped around the building either with tickets in hand or desperately hoping to get to acquire tickets. I have seen many shows at MSG and have come to the conclusion that I do not want to see shows at MSG.
Unless you are lucky enough to score floor seats at an MSG show then, to me, it is not worth it. If you are any farther away it is like watching the band play in a cave. They look miles away ( because they practically are) and they sound it too. Tickets are outrageous as well. Even the nosebleeds can cost you around $100.
A few years ago I discovered Rumsey Playfield or as it is known now Central Park Summer Stage. One of my favorite bands(Panic at the Disco) was playing a show there The tickets were under $50 so I jumped at the chance. I fell in love with the “venue” if you can call it that.
The Central Park Summer stage is located in, you got it, Central Park! Just off the cross streets of 69th street and 5th ave. Just off the main path of Central Park and nestled into the trees sits a small stage and some bleachers. Doesn’t sound like much but it is a great way to see a band perform. It is outdoors which I love. You get to listen to live music while enjoying the summer sun. Granted it can get quite hot so much sure to stay hydrated. They actually provide plenty of fountains so you can keep refilling your water bottle with out having to pay. That was priceless.
Tickets are rarely more then $50 and they often do a ton of free shows. Which is great when you are on a budget traveling through or even living in New York. Let’s face it NYC is not a cheap place to visit but it is worth the money you might have to spend.
My other favorite thing about this place is the food. Most venues offer the same old boring choices. Pizza, burgers, pretzels blah blah blah. All things I can’t eat because I don’t eat meat. My choices are limited to a dry pretzel or a pizza.
However this place is run by the Brooklyn Flea. They provide lots of interesting and fun choices for both food and alcohol. They have a hot dog stand that offers veggie hot dogs! Score for me. They have really interesting toppings like Thai Mango with peanuts. There is a taco joint where you can get anything from pulled pork to veggie. Score for me again. They serve only craft beers. I dislike America’s terrible light beer selection. From Coors to Bud these beers do nothing for me. Instead Summer Stage offers interesting brands like Six Point, Lagunitas and Ommegang. All craft brewing companies! City Cellar is also there with a wonderful selections of interesting wine.
For the grand finale Blue Marble Creamery offers more then your normal selection of ice cream. Unfortunately I went to get ice cream too late and could not try the blueberry. I settled on Mexican Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel. After my first try I had forgotten all about the Blueberry.
In my humble opinion this is the best way to see a show in NYC. If you don’t go for the food, go for the view. Between the trees the city sky line begins to light up for you. The sound of music bouncing off the trees and the lights of the city make me understand why so many people flock to this city.