The Return of Whisperado

April 14th, 2016

Big news: My band, Whisperado, is back in action. After a hiatus, we’ve been booked to play a set of our NEW songs at a NEW venue, Goldsounds in Brooklyn, on June 8 at 7:30 PM. See the Whisperado website for details.

Meanwhile, I’m covering all four of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings” productions at BAM, beginning with Richard II starring David Tennant. In between, I’ve reviewed a concert featuring the great Ute Lemper singing songs from the Holocaust and the Jewish ghettoes of World War II; a wonderful production of Nathan the Wise starring F. Murray Abraham at Classic Stage; a great CD recording of a jazz-band version of Porgy and Bess; and more.

And I’m working, slowly, on my book based on my Park Odyssey blog. Tentative title: PARK ODYSSEY: AN URBAN EXPLORER’S QUEST TO VISIT EVERY PARK IN NEW YORK CITY. I’m up to well over 200 parks, if anyone’s counting. On the blog, not the book. Onward!

The Park Odyssey Rolls On

June 12th, 2015

My blog Park Odyssey documents my quest to visit every park in New York City. There are over 1,700 park properties in the city’s five boroughs. Some – but an unknown number – are playgrounds, sports facilities, or undeveloped properties that don’t count for my purposes. That leaves an uncertain number of hundreds of parks to visit, with new ones being planned or opened all the time too. I’m up to about 180.

First Installment of My Chile Travelogue Posted at Blogcritics

January 23rd, 2015

Check it out here. Lots about Santiago, Chile.

cerro san cristobal santiago chile
Cerro San Cristobal, Santiago, Chile


March 28th, 2014

In today’s business news:

My co-editor Barbara Barnett and I have incorporated as Critical Lens Media Ltd. and acquired the web magazine Blogcritics, for which we have been freelance editors for some years.

Congratulations and/or sympathy gladly accepted.

At the Dingli Cliffs, Malta

November 20th, 2013

October 1st, 2013

At the Living Room at Meg Braun’s Fred’s Team cancer research fundraiser. I told you I knew how to play a D chord!


August 22nd, 2013

Conjoined twins, an artist’s model, Sojourner Truth, strangers on a train, and “manual cinema” via overhead projector – some of the theater I’ve covered so far at this year’s New York International Fringe Festival.

from ‘Human Fruit Bowl” – photo by Andrea Kuchlewska

August 17th, 2013

Check out my review of Lula Del Ray, a dreamy, compelling period-piece “movie” presented live via overhead projector, cardboard puppets, live actors and music. (Photo by Katherine Greenleaf)

And follow me on a trip to Staten Island’s Snug Harbor, complete with wetlands.

Adventures in Queens

May 13th, 2013

A busy day in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Queens Botanical Garden, and Flushing’s Chinatown on Cinco de Mayo.

Park Odyssey Visits Staten Island

March 12th, 2013

Finally touched base with Staten Island on my Park Odyssey blog. It was only a matter of time.

Berlin: A Journey into Modern History

November 9th, 2012

Full travelogue at Blogcritics. Enjoy!

Nine Days in Wales

April 14th, 2012

Full travelogue at Blogcritics. Enjoy!

Music Video for Whisperado’s “Teenage Popstar Girl”

April 14th, 2012

From our new CD I’m Not the Road. Video directed by Daniel Azarian.

CD Release Party!

March 8th, 2012

Well, it’s finally done. The new CD from Whisperado, I’m Not the Road, is here, and we’re celebrating Friday March 9 with a big show at Parkside Lounge. I hope to see everyone there.

Meanwhile, visit and check out the video for “Teenage Popstar Girl” directed by Daniel Azarian, starring Mary O’Rourke, Tara Langella, and of course, Whisperado.

Whisperado…The Sexiest Band in the World?

June 28th, 2011

Here’s a photo, taken by cinematographer Milton Kam, of Whisperado at our video shoot the other day. The upcoming video, for “Teenage Popstar Girl,” is being directed by Dan Azarian. From left: Jeff Lampert (pedal steel), Jon Sobel (bass), David Mills (drums), Patrick Nielsen Hayden (guitar)

The Morton Report and More

May 17th, 2011

I’ve begun freelancing for The Morton Report, from celebrity biographer Andrew Morton. It’s a website of literate pop culture from both sides of the Atlantic, and I’m the New York City columnist keeping an eye on Broadway theater and related showy matters. My columns are here.

There are also some new entries at the Park Odyssey blog. So check them out too.

And everywhere you go, leave a comment!


April 8th, 2011

For my Park Odyssey blog I paid a visit to the New York Botanical Garden and saw the Orchid Show. All I can say is… Orchids! (And did you know the Bronx River is the only freshwater river in New York City?)

Also, check out my reports from Argentina. Glaciers. Icebergs. Steak. Dulce de leche…

The Shows Must Go On

January 29th, 2011

Nineteen-inch snowfalls can’t stop the theater. I’ve seen some good shows recently—check out my reviews (and my other articles) on Blogcritics.

Snow can’t put a halt to the Park Odyssey, either, though winter does slow things down a bit. Check out the latest in my ongoing project to visit and blog about every New York City park.

And Whisperado’s still working on that long-promised first full-length album. A couple of gigs coming up.

New Whisperado Page, and Gigs!

December 9th, 2010

I hope you haven’t forgotten about Whisperado! We’re still here, with a new web page (basic but functional) and two gigs coming up, one in Manhattan (to celebrate my birthday!) and one in Brooklyn. Check out the new page and come to the shows! We’ll see you there.

Park Odyssey Press Release

October 27th, 2010

October 27, 2010

Jon Sobel, a Manhattan-based writer and musician and Co-Executive Editor of Blogcritics Magazine, has embarked on an unprecedented adventure: visiting and blogging every New York City park. He plans to document all 1,300 green spaces within the five boroughs.

“I already spend a lot of my spare time walking around the city, especially the parks,” Sobel says. “It’s astounding how many parks there are within the city limits. So this project combines my life as a writer, with my life as a lover of the outdoors. And nobody has ever done it before.”

Why 1,300? The roster of NYC Parks goes far beyond the famous ones like Central Park, Prospect Park, and Battery Park. The five boroughs are festooned with hundreds of parks of every shape, size, design, and purpose. Looking over the Parks Department’s website and other resources, Jon identified about 1,300 properties that seem to rank as actual parks (as opposed to pure playgrounds or mere grassy strips). He’ll visit, photograph, and blog about every park that’s at least partially laid out for passive enjoyment of the outdoors.

The more than 30 parks already featured on the blog, with text and photos, include:

-> Manhattan’s oldest park, Bowling Green, where it all began…
-> Brooklyn’s cannon-decked John Paul Jones park in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge…
-> The city’s most celebrated green space, Central Park, captured in the winter snow…
-> Chinatown’s Seward Park, named for Lincoln’s Secretary of State (whose statue can be found much farther uptown in Madison Square Park)…
-> The fast-developing landscape of Governor’s Island, where preserved military housing stands side by side with cutting-edge art exhibits…
-> Gantry Plaza State Park on the Queens waterfront, where you can take in some of New York’s storied industrial history along with the sun’s rays…
-> And quite a few more.

“When I first conceived the project last year, I imagined that I could cover all the parks in one long summer season,” Sobel says. “Then I started to look into it more seriously—and upped my estimate to two years. And now that I’ve actually begun, it’s looking more and more like a multi-year exploration. But so is life, and what could be better than spending as much of life as possible outdoors, while still being right here in the greatest city in the world?”

Read the Park Odyssey blog here:
Read the introductory post here:

Contact Jon Sobel at: