• New York City officials vowed Tuesday to crack down on vendors selling boat rides around the Statue of Liberty after actor Alec Baldwin complained that he was among the many people scammed into thinking he was buying tickets to the statue itself. Baldwin posted on Instagram Sunday that he and his wife, Hilaria, "Two sharp, savvy NYers," bought $40 tickets for themselves and their children for a boat tour of the Statue of Liberty and were escorted to a shuttle bus to New Jersey. "I kid you not," Baldwin said in his social media post. "We paid. Then we read the tickets." New York City Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Gastel said the shuttle bus the Baldwins were directed to transports passengers from lower Manhattan to New Jersey, where they get on a boat that offers views of the Statue of Liberty. Only one tour company, Statue Cruises, is licensed to take visitors to Liberty Island, but ticket sellers from other companies often mislead tourists into believing they are booking a ride to the statue. There have also been reports of scammers selling tickets to the Staten Island Ferry, which is free. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that city agencies including the police, the Department of Transportation and the Economic Development Corporation are joining forces to crack down on unlicensed and misleading Statue of Liberty tour operators. "Tourists and visitors have been taken for a ride, and it's unacceptable," de Blasio said.
• Josh Groban has a date for Valentine's Day -- with 6,000 or so of his fans. The singer-songwriter said Tuesday he has booked New York's City's Radio City Music Hall for a Feb. 14 show that he promises will be a night of music with special guests and plenty of spontaneous, off-the-cuff segments. "I am most fulfilled when I am most scared so I'm excited to have the opportunity to terrify myself," Groban said on the eve of the announcement. "As my tours have gone on, I have found that really where the good stuff lies is when you let go." In addition to Valentine's Day, Groban has also booked Radio City for April 18 and hopes he will return to the venue for a new show every few months. "This is something that's so fun an idea for us that if this winds up just being two shows, it still would have been an incredible experience." While details are still being worked out, the show will have an orchestra, band and choir -- "all the bells and whistles that go into a regular 'me' show," Groban said -- plus guests and impromptu interactions with fans. "We have 100 ideas and we are going to, from now until Feb. 14, whittle them down."
This June 9, 2019 file photo shows Josh Groban at the 73rd annual Tony Awards in New York.
A Section on 10/09/2019
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