July 28, 2011. Posted by Simon Rentner.
Singer Gregory Porter performed at Newark Museum's Jazz In The Garden series today. He also visited our studios to promote his gig. If you missed his interview with Gary Walker on Morning Jazz, you can listen here:
© 2011 WBGO
July 22, 2011. Posted by Michael Bourne.
I felt...un-American. Eating a chopped salad at a baseball game. Chopped, though it was, in the Mets Sterling club, by hand.
Every season, my hometown team, the St Louis Cardinals, plays 3 or 4 games in New York at the Mets stadium in Flushing. (Okay, it's called CitiField, because CitiBank paid for the name rights, but I hate stadium name-selling, and, as I read on a fellow's sweatshirt at the game, "I still call it Shea!") My good friend Steve gets me some great tickets on the Sterling level, behind and just to the first base side of homeplate. Padded seats. And waiters that actually wait on you.
They have a menu that includes a burger or hot dogs from Shake Shack. Behind center field, side-by-side, are Danny Meyer's Blue Smoke and Shake Shack. Barbecue, burgers, hot dogs, and long lines so long that I usually don't want to serpentine for an inning. I ordered both the Shack-cago Dog ("dragged through the garden") and the New York Dog (with sauerkraut) at a game last season, but, after waiting two innings, the dogs were cold and the Shack-cago Dog was garden-less. I opted this time only for a black-and-white frozen custard shake from the waiter: too small for the price ($6.25) but good and cold.
One can also order chicken tenders, an Italian hero, a Caesar salad, or (not kidding) sushi. And booze. Not just beer. One can also order wine and cocktails, including "The Fly Ball" (gin with grapefuit and cranberry juices) or your choice of mixed labels.
"Did you ever think when we were kids," I asked a fellow at the Sterling club bar, "that you'd be asked which gin you wanted at a ballgame?"
"I never thought," he answered, "that I'd have a kid ask for sushi at a ballgame."
Available at the food counter of the Sterling club were Nathan's hot dogs in a box long enough for a foot-long, but inside it's only a regular hot dog with some generic chips. They don't have the thick-cut Nathan's fries. They have an over-priced too-big basket of so-so garlic fries. Also little pizzas, chicken tenders, a barbecue chicken special, burgers, and cookies.
I was eating (for $11) the chopped salad, the first food in a lifetime of baseball games that was ... healthy. And pretty good at the food counter of the Sterling club. Choice of greens: spinach, arugala, or something spiky and bitter. Choice of extras: tomatoes, peppers, olives, and cheeses. Hand-chopped by a very sweet saladchopper. And then she couldn't get the lid onto the plastic bowl. Two lids cracked. Third finally fit.
I was eating at the bar and drinking a hometown Budweiser. After being carded. "Do you want to see pictures of my grandkids?" I asked. "Stadium policy," the bartender said with a smile and a shrug. Same shrug to me as to all the other men she carded. Same smile to mine and all the other wisecracks she's heard countlessly at every game.
They have various food at the various clubs around the ballpark, including an upscale restaurant above left field. I've meandered the clubs and, except for the chopped salad, rarely have I salivated. I've also passed on the "official" eats of the New York Mets: Subway, the official sandwich, and Wise, the official cheez doodle.
Actually, the eats I've enjoyed most one can get on the field, especially the kosher dogs at a little grill to the left as one first comes up through the Jackie Robinson rotunda. Not exactly spicy, but tastier than the dogs on rollers at a field stand -- although I have to get mustard at a field stand condiments kiosk. "It's not kosher mustard," said the grill cashier. "Neither," said I, "am I..."
-- Michael Bourne
© 2011 WBGO
July 21, 2011. Posted by Simon Rentner.
Veteran singer and master of vocalese Mark Murphy sat down with WBGO's Michael Bourne on Afternoon Jazz last Monday. They chatted about some of Murphy's greatest hits such as Stolen Moments and music from his recent release Never Let Me Go. Don't miss Murphy at Birdland Jazz Club this Sunday at 9 and 11pm.
© 2011 WBGO