Movies, Movies, Mac and Cheese and Much, Much More!

Experience NYC with Jay

Entry 3.1

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a great week! Since last I wrote you I've seen so many new movie releases and I've done so much in this great city so I've decided to make this a two part entry. These entries are fun filled and packed with great reviews and ways to experience the NYC on a budget!  Entry #3.2 will be released this Friday, October 26, 2012. I didn't want to pack too much info into one entry because as Diana Vreeland would say, "The eye has to travel". Who is Diana Vreeland you might ask? Well that takes me into the first of my movie reviews "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel".

Diana Vreeland was the force who pretty much defined what culture was and still is today in America. Vreeland, born in Paris in 1903, was a dancer in the roaring 20's and  wasn't ashamed of the fact that she never attained a very high level of education. She lived her life purely on raw instinct and her passion for life was displayed in everything she did, mostly through fashion. In 1937 she became a columnist at Harper's Bazaar and later Editor-in- Chief at Vogue. She is credited with discovering Lauren Bacall,  Lauren Hutton and many other model/actresses that were very unique in their looks and personalities. What made Vreeland so extraordinary is that she captured what people really wanted, thought, dreamed, imagined, their inner strength, the inner beauty of everything and allowed it to be savored in her work. In my opinion, Vreeland was a person of the people. Many things she would say might have been considered politically incorrect but she felt it needed to be said. For example, she thought it was important that an 8 year old girl in Harlem understood her work and if she didn't, something was off. She once said "It's not worth doing anything if it's boring. Even if it's true, never be boring... " She coined the term "Faction". "Faction" was the state of living in between fact and fiction which would create an extraordinary event. She also said "Blue jeans are the most beautiful things since the gondola...". She made blue jeans popular and acceptable and as you know blue jeans are the most popular item of clothing here in the U.S. Her famous column for Harper's Bazaar was "Why Not?......" where she would challenge readers to do things not of the ordinary. After reading some of these "Why Nots.... " I found myself smiling because I thought to myself "Why Not??". The "Why Nots" were simple tasks that would challenge the reader to think "What If?", the beauty of possibility. This 86 minute documentary packs a powerful punch and had me on the edge of my seat wanting more and at the end gave me a little spark to go back out into the world and explore even more of the beauty of life and say "Why Not?...".

"Mole Mac and Cheese" & "Southwest Mac and Cheese"

On Sunday evening after seeing "Diana Vreeland..." I headed to the trendy Williamsburg area of Brooklyn to attend the 3rd Annual Mac-Off. The Mac-Off is a Mac and Cheese competition where 20 contestants come up with their best version of one of America's most favorite comfort foods. I consider myself to be a Mac and Cheese connoisseur so I've been anxiously awaiting this event for weeks and it did not disappoint. When I walked into the very cool Huckleberry Bar there were loads of fellow Mac and Cheese eaters and a sea of contestants dishing out their creations. It was like Heaven to me. 3 hours to try all of
Me, "Southwest Mac and Cheese" & "Nectarious
this Mac and Cheese! Yummm! Sadly, I didn't get to try them all because I don't eat meat but the 1st place winners were Patrick Scola & Bryan Heffernan with their "Mac- cauly Culkin". The "Mac- cauly Culkin" was a Mac and Cheese with pulled pork added. Some of my favorite Mac And Cheese dishes were: 
1. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg Mac and Cheese 
2. Mac and Cheese with buffalo wing sauce 
3. Mac and cheese with New York pretzels and sauerkraut. 
4. Mac and Cheese with salsa, sour cream and crushed Doritos. 

Amaaaazing! This Mac- Off was incredible and I'll definitely be back next year. Click here for details.

"Pumpkin Mac and Cheese"

I imagine after reading my last few entries you might be wondering how can he afford to see and do all of these activities in the NYC? Well, I'll tell you a few secrets! The first thing to get is an unlimited monthly Metrocard. Many events in the NYC are free and or low cost. As long as you can get around the city with your Metrocard you are good to go. 

Here are a few websites that list many free and low cost events in the NYC. You can sign up for their newsletter and receive email alerts.

For movies and theatre discounts check with your unions,  local community centers or movie/theater/production company websites i.e. United Artists, AMC, and Also, check out these websites which offer tickets to Broadway and Off- Broadway shows for $20 -$30.  Many of these programs have some age restrictions/affiliation restrictions/specific dates but I'm sure you'll find the perfect ticket program for you!

The coolest ticket program is It's free to join and for ages 18-35. For $20 you can get a seat and go to a Hiptix party. Hiptix parties are so cool because they have complimentary wine, beer, vodka, some Hors d'oeuvres and gift bags that have many Theatre goodies.

Get information about (day of) performance rush tickets, standing room policies, free tickets and invitations to industry events, which museum exhibits are free and when. is really good if you want to purchase tickets in advance for Broadway shows and concerts for up to 75% off. $45 for an Orchestra seat at a Broadway Show!
Sign up here and pay half price to Broadway shows, plays, musicals & more. Also, check their list of the top 10 things to do in NYC. 
Anyone who is 30 years old or younger is eligible to participate in MTC’s 30 UNDER 30 Club. Members have access to two $30 tickets to all MTC productions, pending availability.
LincTix is Lincoln Center Theater's new discount ticket program for theater goers aged 21-35. Members have the opportunity to purchase tickets, in advance, for just $30 to each new LCT production. A limited number of LincTix are available for EVERY performance.

I hope you've enjoyed this entry! 
Until next time...
 "Live And Love New York, New York " 

Jason E. Bernard - is a native New Yorker from The Bronx. Jason began seeing theatre at the age of 4 and at the age of 17 made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award Winning musical " Bring In Da' Noise, Bring In Da' Funk". Jason toured the world for 10 years with the international dance show "Riverdance". He has performed with Cois Ceim Dance Theatre  in Ireland and was a  member of the original companies of "Cotton Club Parade" City Center Encores! and Kris Johnson's " Jim Crow's Tears". To date, Jason has attended over 1,000 shows on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Concerts and counting. He has all the Playbills to prove it! :)
Follow Jay on twitter @broadwayjayb

**to read Jay's other posts click the "Experience NYC with Jay" tab on the home page**