Best of New York

February 6, 2014 Updated: April 24, 2016

Westminster Dog Show: My sincere apologies to all you dog lovers for not including the upcoming Westminster Kennel Club Show in special events of the year.

It will be held Feb 10-11 at Madison Square Garden, and for the first time they are allowing mutts into the inner sanctum of canine royalty to do special demonstrations.

 As you experience this extraordinary event, please don’t forget the thousands of loving shelter pups (and kitties) that are desperate for a home and perhaps even a life saver.

Theatre: Beautiful. The true story of Carole King as she transitions from aspiring teenage Brooklyn songwriter to superstar performer. This is not a perfect production, but it is easy to understand why Jessie Mueller nailed this role with her first audition. She is terrific and multi-talented!

Her strong, emotional soprano is a treat to the ears as she performs the legendary Carole King  tunes. It’s hard not to enjoy an evening filled with the hits recorded by so many artists that we know and love.

Film: 20 Feet from Stardom: Director Morgan Neville does an excellent job of telling the untold story of the background singers who are an integral part of the music that we know. Note: this film has been nominated for an Oscar in best feature documentary category.

With the exception of the unique Darlene Love who has established a solo career for herself, even the multi-talented Lisa Fischer who is a fixture on the Rolling Stones tours is a part of these talented background singers.

Valentine’s Specials NYC : Why not surprise the lucky guy or girl by popping the question on one of Times Square’s iconic big screens? (

Most of the fancy restaurants take advantage of this (or any holiday) by giving patrons a “special” package. Here are some notable specials we found for the year’s most romantic evening. (20

If you like really good Cuban food, great mojitos and hot music, make a reservation (a must) at Guantanamera, 56th and 8th Avenue, 212 262-5354 and party on from 4pm-1am for a reasonable $69 prix fixe.

You might try a great (delicious and nutricious) vegan fest at Candle 79 for $75 per person. Don’t miss their coconut vegan ice cream for a guilt-free topper. Broadway @ 89th St., 212 769-8900

21 Club: A romantic spurge that is worth the price! Celebrate Valentine’s at New York’s landmark ’21’ Club, where this lovely place has been the site of numerous wedding proposals. For Valentine’s Day, 21 is serving a sumptuous three-course dinner, including a champagne toast, for $125 per person for a 6 course tasting menu. 21 W. 52nd. 212 582-7200.

The best chocolate value we found is a full pound of luscious dark chocolate around moist candied orange peel by famous Belgian Chocolaterie Leonidas on  Order soon and it will arrive by Valentine’s Day in a beautiful gift box.

Flowers and a personal card or note are always a winner, but skip the online sites for a local Korean fruit stand. The flowers are better and cheaper!