Selected Events (05/22) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper WestSide)

Today’s TOP 10 – FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2015
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening,
primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.
We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Giselle / American Ballet Theatre
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $20-$220
“a poignant tale of unrequited love, remorse, and forgiveness.”

> Bill Charlap Trio (through May 24)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM+9:30PM, $35
this is one fine trio, who have played together forever and it shows.

> Peter Bernstein Quartet (through May 24)
Village Vanguard,178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
a hard bop guitarist brings along his accomplished quartet.

> Dave Holland & Prism (through May 24)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St. / 8PM+10:30PM, $20+$35
long time bassist-composer Holland has been in a jazz-funk mood lately.

> Speakeasy Dollhouse: Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic
Liberty Theater, 233 W41st St. /
“sinfully retro burlesque entertainment.”

> Diane Schur (through May 23)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 8:30PM+11PM, $45
the pop-jazz belter Diane Schuur makes her debut at Birdland.

> Homage to Tango
Symphony Space , 2537 Broadway / 7PM, $35
a concert of tango’s, always irresistible.

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> ‘Top Gun’
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, 46th St. and 12th Ave. / 7:30PM,
FREE, tickets given out starting at 6:15PM
screened on Intrepid’s flight deck+talk by former astronaut Altman, Cruise’s flight double.

> Yoko Ono + Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series
Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd St. / FREE today 4-8PM
All 60 panels of Lawrence’s famed works about the mid 1900’s African-American move from rural to urban communities are being shown together for the first time in decades.

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
> What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions
Genspace, 33 Flatbush Avenue, 7th Floor / 7PM, donations accepted at the door
sounds so fascinating, and way too complicated to summarize in one line.

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Giselle / American Ballet Theatre
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $20-$220

imgresThe epitome of Romantic ballet, this heart-rending tale of unrequited love, remorse and forgiveness perfectly fuses music, movement and drama. The role of Giselle requires an exquisite stylist with daring dramatic and technical skills to create a compelling portrait of the innocent, yet ultimately noble, village maiden. In this universally acclaimed production, ABT’s unrivalled roster of international ballet stars brings Giselle’s mystery and ethereal beauty vividly to life.

“The company’s 75th anniversary is in full swing, with eight performances of “Giselle” up next. Three principal dancers are retiring this season, and two of them, Paloma Herrera and Xiomara Reyes, bid farewell on Wednesday, Ms. Herrera in the afternoon and Ms. Reyes at night. (The third, Julie Kent, gives her last performance on June 20.)

The role of Giselle, a peasant girl who dies of heartbreak and, resurrected, saves her lover from a tribe of ghost women, should lend itself to dramatic and bittersweet goodbyes.”
(Siobhan Burke-NYT)

Bonus – Jazz Picks:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South — villagevanguard.com / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — bluenotejazz.com / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. — 55bar.com / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

====================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
====================================================================================

A PremierPub / Upper West Side

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que / 700 W125th St. @ 12th ave.

Walk only five minutes from the 125th St. station on the #1 line to find this authentic honky-tonk barbecue joint. Some folks think Dinosaur is just a place to eat ribs. Au contraire. With 24 carefully selected taps, this is a place to drink beer, and eat ribs.

HarlHostStandNo food goes better with American craft ales than American barbecue. Dinosaur may be the best combo of good beer drinking and hearty eating in town, which makes the trip uptown to West Harlem totally worthwhile.

This second incarnation of Dinosaur in Harlem is in a two story, old brick warehouse near the Hudson River. Don’t let that run down exterior fool you. Inside it’s a large space with huge, rough wooden columns and unfinished wooden floors and brick walls – just right for a bbq joint. As soon as you open the front door you are hit with that tantalizing aroma of barbecue coming from the large open kitchen. Reminds me of those great rib joints I frequented when stationed in North Carolina all those years ago. If your stomach wasn’t grumbling before, it is now.

Head to the bar, sit down and try to decide on a beer. It’s not an easy decision – a good problem to have. This is a pretty damn good beer list to choose from, one that most beer bars should be jealous of. I love that they feature NY craft beers. You may want to try the four beer sampler, which is always fun, and in this place may be necessary.

The blues music playing in the background will get you in the mood for their North Carolina style barbecue, and even when it’s a full house your order shouldn’t take too long (assuming you snagged a table). The food is all slow smoked, so it’s already mostly done and ready to go. I always start with an order of their giant, spice rubbed wings, so good they may make you give up Buffalo wings.

Unfortunately, a place this good does not fly under the radar. There can be some long waits for a table at dinnertime. So you need a strategy – avoid prime time, and try not to arrive with your entire posse, which will limit your seating options.

A seat at the bar, a small table in the bar area, or in the summer, an outside table underneath what’s left of the elevated West Side Highway, all may open before a table inside the main dining room. Otherwise, try Dinosaur for lunch, or come very late for dinner, maybe after a show at the nearby Cotton Club nightclub.

Website: http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/
Phone #: 212-694-1777
Hours: Mo-Th 11:30am-11:00pm; Fr-Sa 11:30am-12:00am;
Su 12:00pm-10:00pm
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day; $1 off all drinks
Music: Fri / Sat 10:30pm
Subway: #1 to 125th St.
Walk 2 blk W on 125th St. to Dinosaur Bar-B-Q,
just past the elevated highway.

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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Selected Events (05/21) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s TOP 10 – THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2015
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening,
primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.
We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Bill Charlap Trio (through May 24)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM+9:30PM, $35
this is one fine trio, who have played together forever and it shows.

> Peter Bernstein Quartet (through May 24)
Village Vanguard,178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
a hard bop guitarist brings along his accomplished quartet.

> Stacy Sullivan ~ Since You’ve Asked
Metropolitan Room, 34 W22nd St. / 7PM, $25
listen for some great american songbook tunes and some more recent pop.

> Dave Holland & Prism (through May 24)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St. / 8PM+10:30PM, $20+$35
long time bassist-composer Holland has been in a jazz-funk mood lately.

> More Music By Alex Rybeck
54 Below, 254 West 54th St. (btw 8th Ave./Broadway) / 9:30PM, $35-$45
Rybeck brings some pretty amazing vocalists and musicians to the stage with him.

> Diane Schur (through May 23)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 8:30PM+11PM, $45
the pop-jazz belter Diane Schuur makes her debut at Birdland.

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> Genealogy, Who You Are, How To Know
New York Society of Ethical Culture, Elliott Library, Room 507, 2 W 64th St. / 6PM, FREE
I would like to know who I am, wouldn’t you.

> “The Great Parade”
Drama Book Shop, 250 W40th St. / 6PM, FREE
Theatre critic/historian Peter Filichia reminisces about glory days of Broadway circa 1963.

> Humans as Animals: Primate Politics, Culture, and Morality
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St. / 6:30PM, $15
Renowned primatologist Frans de Waal speaks on the parallels among primates.

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
> Saul Bellow at 100
92nd Street Y, Lexington Ave. at 92nd St./ 8PM, $28
famous authors read from the works of the great novelist.

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Humans as Animals: Primate Politics, Culture, and Morality
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St. / 6:30PM, $15
book-politics-nyc-667x1024“Man is a political animal. But then so are animals. Renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal speaks at the American Museum of Natural History on the parallels among primates when it comes to culture, morality and politics.

Science has uncovered similarities between the social behavior of humans and other primates, including politics, culture and morality. In this lecture, Frans de Waal will explore how humans and other primates behave in power politics, transmission of knowledge and habits, empathy and sense of fairness.

Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch-American biologist and primatologist renowned for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Bonus – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are a few of my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:
City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St. joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St. lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd dSt. bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

====================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
====================================================================================

WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Metropolitan Museum of Art:
‘Reimagining Modernism: 1900-1950’ (continuing)
One of the greatest encyclopedic museums in the world fulfills its mission a little more with an ambitious reinstallation of works of early European modernism with their American counterparts for the first time in nearly 30 years. Objects of design and paintings by a few self-taught artists further the integration. It is quite a sight, with interesting rotations and fine-tunings to come. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Smith)

Uklanski_DIGITAL_Poster‘Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklanski Selects From The Met Collection’ (through June 14) Complementing the survey of his photographs, the artist has orchestrated 80 works from the museum’s holdings — along with a few of his own — into a mesmerizing display meditating on sex and death. Consisting mostly of photographs, it is bolstered by paintings by Dali and Cranach sculptures from several cultures and several surprises. Scratch any artist of note, even a post-modern one, and you often find a connoisseur. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Smith)

‘Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklanski Photographs’ (through Aug. 16)
A small but succinct survey of the multimedia bad-boy artist’s polymorphous relationship to photography shows him constantly changing scale, film and printing methods while exploring the medium’s ability to startle, seduce and become generic. He appropriates, imitates and pays homage as he goes, regularly invoking his Polish roots. Don’t miss the large photo-banners in the museum’s Great Hall or the massive fiber-sculpture monument to the eye and to insatiable looking. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Smith)

Neue Galerie:
‘Egon Schiele: Portraits’ (through Sept. 07)
zakovsek_1“Of the approximately 125 items in this terrific show, there are only 11 oil paintings, which is a good thing. Except for a large picture of his wife, Edith, in a colorful striped dress, Schiele’s works on canvas are dark and turgid. But his drawings are nimble and nuanced. Working on paper with pencil, charcoal, ink, gouache, watercolor and crayons, he portrayed himself and others with infectious avidity. There’s hardly a single sheet here that doesn’t warrant close looking for its virtuoso draftsmanship and psychological acuity. 1048 Fifth Avenue, at 86th Street, 212-628-6200, neuegalerie.org. “(Johnson)

Guggenheim Museum:
Kandinsky Before Abstraction, 1901–1911 (through spring 2015)
ex_Kandinsky_Landscape-near-Murnau-with-Locomotive_490Early in his career Vasily Kandinsky experimented with printmaking, produced brightly-colored landscapes of the German countryside, and explored recognizable and recurrent motifs. This intimate exhibition drawn from the Guggenheim collection explores the artist’s representational origins.

El Museo del Barrio:
‘Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa, Art and Film’ (through June 27)
Painting with light is one way to define the cinematographer’s task, and it describes the art of Gabriel Figueroa (1907-1997), who worked with some of the leading international film directors of his time and was a national hero in his native Mexico, the supreme painter-in-light of Mexicanidad. How do you put this particular kind of art across in a museum — art that is as much about time as it is about material, as much about flux as it is about fixity? This show, which mixes Figueroa film clips with paintings and prints by some of Mexico’s greatest artists and in the process utterly transforms El Museo’s interior spaces, gives an enthralling answer. 1230 Fifth Avenue, at 104th Street, East Harlem, 212-831-7272, elmuseo.org. (Cotter)

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (continuing):
rendering-3The stately doors of the 1902 Andrew Carnegie mansion, home to the Cooper Hewitt, are open again after an overhaul and expansion of the premises. Historic house and modern museum have always made an awkward fit, a standoff between preservation and innovation, and the problem remains, but the renovation has brought a wide-open new gallery space, a cafe and a raft of be-your-own-designer digital enhancements. Best of all, more of the museum’s vast permanent collection is now on view, including an Op Art weaving, miniature spiral staircases, ballistic face masks and a dainty enameled 18th-century version of a Swiss knife. Like design itself, this institution is built on tumult and friction, and you feel it. 2 East 91st Street, at Fifth Avenue, 212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org. (Cotter)

==================================================

Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Nine museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:

• 110th Street – Museum for African Art
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York
• 92nd Street – The Jewish Museum
• 91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
• 89th Street –  National Academy Museum
• 88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
• 86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
• 82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 70th St. and the The Morgan Library & Museum on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl. ========================================================

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 05/19 and 05/17.
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Selected Events (05/20) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

Today’s TOP 10 – WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2015
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening,
primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.
We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Jennifer Sheehan – Stardust: A Night in the Cosmos
54 Below, 254 West 54th St. (btw 8th Ave./Broadway) / 9:30PM, $40
A Star is Born. Don’t miss this show. Just go and then thank me. I’ll be there with friends.

> Melissa Stylianou Quintet plus Special Guests
55 Bar, 55 Christopher St. / 7-9PM, no cover, 2 drink minimum
Melissa, who also sings here with Duchess, has a very sweet voice. worth a stop.

> NYC Ballet – All Robbins / The Goldberg Variations
New York City Ballet, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza W 63rd St. / 7:30PM,
considered a choreographic tour de force that pays homage to Bach’s epic score

> Buffy Sainte-Marie
Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St. (btw 9/10 ave)  /7:30PM, $28-$55
a living legend in action. back in the day there was Dylan, Baez, and Buffy.

> Diane Schur (through May 23)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 8:30PM+11PM, $45
the pop-jazz belter Diane Schuur makes her debut at Birdland.

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> Richard Goldstein and Anthony DeCurtis
Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway, at 12th St. / 7PM,
Village Voice’s first rock columnist discusses his memoir.
Buy a copy of the book or a $15 Strand gift card in order to attend this event.

> LIVE FROM THE NYPL – Matthew Weiner
New York Public Library: Main Bldg., 5th Avenue, 42nd St. / 7PM, $25
creator of “Mad Men” speaks about the characters and themes in “Mad Men”.

> “New York Ideas” – The Atlantic magazine and the Aspen Institute
Center548, at 548 W. 22nd St. / 9AM-5PM, reception follows,
highlighting the biggest people, ideas and trends that will change the future.
not sure if tickets are available – may have to live stream this one.

> Crossing Broadway: A Conversation with Robert Snyder and Ray Suarez
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St. / 6:30PM, $16
Washington Heights ranks as one of Manhattan’s most distinctive neighborhoods.
Join historian Robert W. Snyder, author of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City (2015), and journalist Ray Suarez to discuss what the neighborhood reveals about our constantly-changing city and its myriad socioeconomic contradictions.

> Jan Gaye – “After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye.”
LeRoy Neiman Art Center, 2785 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, at 148th St. / 7PM, FREE
“a cautionary tale about loving a legendary artist.”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Jennifer Sheehan – Stardust: A Night in the Cosmos
54 Below, 254 West 54th St. (btw 8th Ave./Broadway) / 9:30PM, $40

A Star Is Born. This is the last of 4 shows in April and May. Don’t Miss This One.
Hear what the critics have said:
“If the quirky world of New York cabaret were a high school class, Jennifer Sheehan would qualify for valedictorian, prom queen and the person most likely to succeed.”
“The program, which began with “Stairway to the Stars” and ended with an a cappella rendition of “Star Dust,” is a wonder of craftsmanship that took the audience on an exhilarating journey into the unknown with Carl Sagan serving as a conceptual space captain….Enthralling is the word.” (NYT)

“While much of the patter ruminates on the vastness of the universe, the most winning moments are those when she focuses on closing up the space between us, and makes the cosmos seem like a very warm and intimate place indeed. She’s compelling both on the big songs (‘Lost in the Stars’), as well as the very personal ones (‘A Little Boy, A Little Girl, A Little Moon’).” (Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal)

Bonus – Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South — villagevanguard.com / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — bluenotejazz.com / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. — 55bar.com / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

====================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
====================================================================================

A PremierPub / West Village

Corner Bistro / 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $6.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
=========================================================
Website: cornerbistrony.com
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk 2 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
Update:

===========================================================================================
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selected Events (05/19) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

Today’s TOP 10 – TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2015
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening,
primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.
We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Diane Schur (through May 23)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 8:30PM+11PM, $45
the pop-jazz belter Diane Schuur makes her debut at Birdland.

> ‘Sweet and Lowdown Reunion’
Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 7:15PM, $35
listen to the band from the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s seminal vintage jazz film

> The Navy Band Northeast Pops Ensemble
Bryant Park, 6th ave (btw 40/42 St.) / 12:30-1:30PM, FREE
have lunch with popular standards, jazz and patriotic favorites.

> Othello / American Ballet Theatre
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $20-$220
“Lar Lubovitch’s gripping take on the Shakespearean tragedy, a riveting revival” (NYMag)

> Mozart, Liebermann, & Tchaikovsky
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall, 70 Lincoln Square
“close the season with a stunning program” / 7:30PM, $30.
pre-concert discussion with composer Lowell Liebermann at 6:30PM.

> Music Under New York Annual Tryouts
Vanderbilt Hall inside Grand Central / 9AM-3:30PM, FREE
listen to buskers. who do you think should get the prime underground spots

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> Live From the NYPL: Bitcoin
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, / 7PM, $25
a chance to understand this new technology, although I’m old fashioned-show me the cash

> Multiple Visions, The Crazy Machine
El Museo del Barrio, Heckscher Building, 1230 Fifth Ave. / 7PM, FREE with RSVP
a celebration of the iconography of legendary Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa.

> NY Indie Spirits Expo
Penn Club of New York, 30 W. 44 St., / 2 sessions: 5-7PM, 7-9PM, $50.
sample products from dozens of small, independent, family owned distillers.
my advice – afterwards, leave the driving to the train conductor or cabbie

Elsewhere, but looks worth the detour:
> Robert M. Gates in Conversation with Charlie Rose
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $45
former US secretary of defense discusses his memoir, “Duty”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> ‘Sweet and Lowdown Reunion’
Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 7:15PM, $35

2015PostcardAprilGraphicSymSpaceThe Sidney Bechet Society presents the band from the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s seminal vintage jazz film, the Oscar nominated “Sweet and Lowdown”. These allstar musicians unite once again to recreate the film’s classic swinging 1930’s jazz score, live on stage!
starring:
Howard Alden & Bucky Pizzarelli – guitars
Ken Peplowski – clarinet & sax
Byron Stripling – trumpet & vocals
Kelly Friesen – bass
Ted Sommer – drums
These are some very fine, experienced musicians. A rare opportunity to see them together.

HOT TIP – Tomorrow Wednesday, May 20
Jennifer Sheehan at 54 Below / Wed May 20, 9:30PM, $35
Here’s what the NYT had to say about Ms. Sheehan:
“If the quirky world of New York cabaret were a high school class, Jennifer Sheehan would qualify for valedictorian, prom queen and the person most likely to succeed.”

“The program, which began with “Stairway to the Stars” and ended with an a cappella rendition of “Star Dust,” is a wonder of craftsmanship that took the audience on an exhilarating journey into the unknown with Carl Sagan serving as a conceptual space captain….Enthralling is the word.”

Here’s what I have to say: A Star is Born – just go, then thank me.

Bonus Music Picks:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are a few of my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:
City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St. joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St. lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd dSt. bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

====================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
====================================================================================

WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:
‘One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North’ (through Sept. 7)
imgres“In the early 20th century, tens of thousands of African Americans left the rural South for the industrial North in search of jobs, homes and respect. Officially, this MoMA show is meant to mark the centennial of that immense population shift, though it also marks another anniversary: the first time in two decades that all 60 paintings in Jacob Lawrence’s great “Migration Series,” now divided between New York and Washington, D.C., have been shown together at the museum. Here they are surrounded by period photographs, books and fabulous music in a display as stimulating to the mind and the ear as it is to the eye. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Cotter)

American Folk Art Museum:
‘When the Curtain Never Comes Down’ (through July 5)
EVB_caro“A sprawling, cacophony of objects, audiotapes, photographs and films is here orchestrated into a curatorial marvel. Strange and wonderful in numerous ways, the show sheds new light on the performance aspects of much outsider art while reminding us how eccentricity is not only basic to creativity but to personal liberty and democracy itself. 2 Lincoln Square, Columbus Avenue at 66th Street, 212-595-9533, folkartmuseum.org.” (Roberta Smith)

Museum of Arts and Design:
‘Richard Estes: Painting New York City’ (through Sept. 20)
images-1“The core of this show is a selection of vivid, Photorealist paintings of urban subjects like glass and chrome storefronts, movie theater marquees, cars and trucks, subways, the Brooklyn Bridge, views from the Staten Island Ferry and idyllic images of Central Park made between 1965 and 2015. The exhibition also includes didactic sections about the craft and technique that go into Mr. Estes painting and prints, but that aspect doesn’t fully deliver what it promises. 2 Columbus Circle, Manhattan, 212-299-7777,madmuseum.org.”(Johnson).
I LOVE THIS ONE.

Museum of Biblical Art:
timthumb‘Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral’ (through June 14) “This terrific 23-piece show features three major works by the early Renaissance sculptor Donatello (1386-1466), including the life-size statue of a bald prophet known as “lo Zuccone” or “Pumpkin Head,” which is widely considered the sculptor’s greatest work. Along with a half-dozen other works by or attributed to Donatello are sculptures by Nanni di Banco (circa 1386-1421), Donatello’s main competitor, including his monumental representation in marble of St. Luke. With the addition of a series of octagonal marble reliefs by Luca della Robbia and wooden models of the Florence Cathedral’s enormous dome attributed to its designer, Filippo Brunelleschi, the exhibition amounts to a tightly cropped snapshot of the birth of the Renaissance. 1865 Broadway, at 61st Street, 212-408-1500, mobia.org.”(Johnson)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 05/17 and 05/15.

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Selected Events (05/18) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s TOP 10 – MONDAY, MAY 18, 2015
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening,
primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.
We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Tedeschi Trucks Band and Spirit Family Reunion
Central Park, Rumsey Playfield, enter at E. 72nd St / 7PM, FREE
SummerStage in its 30th season, gets underway already with an evening of blues-rock.

> Avishai Cohen’s TRIVENI
SubCulture, 45 Bleecker St. / 7PM, $25
Anat’s brother, a trumpeter,  has been voted a Rising Star in the DownBeat Critics Poll

> Natalie Douglas in “Hello Dolly…The Music of Dolly Parton”
Birdland, 315 W44th St (btw 8/9 ave) / 7PM, $30 (+$10 food or beverage minimum)
Broadway at Birdland concert series celebrates the beloved singer, actor, and songwriter.

> New Music in Bryant Park
Bryant Park, 6th Ave, at 40th St. / 5:30PM, FREE
a vibraphonist, and a cello and percussion duo should make for some interesting listening.

> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party (Cabaret)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 9:30PM, $25
the witty host attracts broadway stars on their night off, along with up and comers.

> Whiplash
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 307 W 26th St. / 11PM, FREE
popular show is known for always featuring the city’s best up-and-coming comedians.
(tonight’s show is sold out, listed here to remind you to try this earlier next week)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971”
MoMA,11 W. 53 St. / 10:30AM to 5:30PM, $25.
first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the work of this long time NYCity resident.

> Art Museum Day 
various locations and times
free or reduced admission at some city museums, like the Bronx Museum of Art, MoMA, Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum and more. Some deals later in the week.

> Author Talk: Brian Morton
The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Avenue / 2PM, $15
Morton speaks about his recent novel “Florence Gordon.”

> “Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography,”
New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd St. / 10AM to 6PM, FREE.
reframes the way we look at photographs from the past. FREE tours at 12:30PM + 3:30PM

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Tedeschi Trucks Band and Spirit Family Reunion
Central Park, Rumsey Playfield, enter at E. 72nd St / 7PM, FREE
212-360-2777, summerstage.org.

tedeschi-trucks-band“The 30th-anniversary season of SummerStage, the City Parks Foundation’s delightful free series of al fresco concerts, debuts with a set by these Grammy-winning blues-rockers. This Florida-based band, led by the married musicians Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, should deliver sweltering jams to match the swiftly rising temperatures; its second album, “Made Up Mind,” was a true Southern barnburner.” (NYT-Anderson)

“Central Park SummerStage gets underway with an evening of blues-rock. Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks were both rising stars when they got married and formed a roots-rock all-star outfit a few years ago. She sings, he wails on guitar like the descendant of the Allman Brothers that he is. Local band Spirit Family Reunion is up first.” (seniorplanet.org)

Bonus – Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South — villagevanguard.com / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — bluenotejazz.com / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. — 55bar.com / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662

====================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
====================================================================================

A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village

Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)

Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’ ”.

maxresdefaultEach night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.

There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.

There is also a good selection of wines and lite meals, fairly priced, but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.

I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.

At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.

When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYC will have lost a piece of it’s soul.

Website: http://caffevivaldi.com/
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30pm – 11pm, but varies
Lunch/Dinner 11am-on
Subway: #1 to Christopher st
Walk 1 blk S on 7th ave S to Bleecker st, 1 blk S/left on Bleecker to Jones st, 50 yards E/left on Jones st to Caffe V

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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3 Good Eating places

It’s not difficult to find a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:

Fish280 Bleecker St (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S (corner of Bleecker)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.

Num Pang – 21 E 12th st (btw. University place/5th ave)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Sq park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
This covers a wide range of food – the traditional pizza, burgers, & hot dogs; but also food trucks & carts, soup & sandwiches, picnic fixins’, raw bars & lobster rolls, bbq, vegetarian / falafel, ramen, chopped salad & salad bars. No reservations needed. ================================================================================

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, with expanded descriptions, maps with contact info, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($3.99, available Sumer 2015).
◊ Order before May 31, 2015 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places on Manhattan’s WestSide with free Wi-Fi.
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Selected Events (05/17) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s TOP 10 – SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2015
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening,
primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.
We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Russell Hall “The Music of Wayne Shorter: The Early Years,”
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM + 9:30PM / $35
bassist Hall joined by 3 saxophonists to interpret the jazz master Shorter.

> NYC Ballet – La Sylphide, Hear the Dance: Denmark
New York City Ballet, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza W 63rd St. / 3PM, $29-$164
NYCB premiere of La Sylphide, a story of passion and unrequited love.

> Odean Pope Saxophone Choir, With Ravi Coltrane 
Blue Note, 131 West Third St. / 8PM + 10:30PM, $20 + $35
like the sax? this tenor saxophonist brings 8 saxophonists with him to this gig.

> Bruce Barth Quintet
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St. / 7, 9 and 10:30PM,
pianist and composer Bruce Barth, has been called “one of the best pianists in town.”

> Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th Street, 8:30PM +10:30PM,
maestro Klein has created some radical jazz and the audience is digging it.

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> 9th Avenue International Food Festival 
9th Avenue from 42nd St. to 55th St. / 12-5PM
city’s largest food fest with lots of ethnic food & drink, and lots of folks, too.

> Harlem EatUp!
various locations and times
Taste the Best of this Neighborhood at Inaugural Harlem EatUp!

> Jud Süss: Introduced by STUART KLAWANS, Film Critic, The Nation
Film Forum, 209 W Houston St. / 12:15PM, FREE
maybe the most notorious example of Nazi film propaganda.

Elsewhere, but these look worth the detour:
> Frieze New York
Randall’s Island Park
almost 200 global galleries. an annual art extravaganza, with great river views.

and let’s hear it for the Bronx. 10 day festival ends today. Mangia!
> Bronx Week (Last Day)
Various locations and times.
today: the Bronx Parade (at noon); the Bronx Food and Arts Festival (from noon to 6 p.m.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
> 9th Avenue International Food Festival 
9th Avenue from 42nd St. to 55th St. / 12-5PM

image-4“Head over to Hell’s Kitchen for the city’s oldest and largest food festival, and celebrate local food spots like Daisy May’s BBQ and Poseidon Greek Bakery as they set up shop on Ninth, street-market–style.

The city’s oldest and largest food fair launches its 41st weekend with 15 blocks of street eats and a food-truck park. From joints like Bali Nusa Indah and BarBacon—as well as grub from Chelsea Grill, Southern Hospitality and Poseidon Bakery—the blowout raises funds for a host of local and national charities including the Food Bank for NYC and City Harvest. “ (TONY)

“With the Ninth Avenue Food Festival, Hell’s Kitchen comes alive like no other neighborhood in New York. It’s a truly international food festival with delicious treats you won’t find at any other fair. From 42nd Street to 57th Street, Ninth Avenue closes to cars and the festival takes over. More than a million people visit the food festival each year. It’s unique and amazing, celebrating the joys of ethnicity through food, entertainment and every kind of street fair stall.

The food is the big draw, but the festival is a fabulous expression of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood – teeming with ethnic food shops and fine restaurants and offering an eclectic global smorgasbord of national and regional foods. Outside venders participate as well, but the Ninth Avenue merchants and restaurants and the community organizations of Hell’s Kitchen are out in all their neighborhood glory.

Come for Argentinian, Brazilian, Cajun, Chinese, Cuban, Dominican, Ethiopian, French, German, Greek, Haitian, Indian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Moroccan, Pakistani, Polish, Puerto Rican, Peruvian, Senegalese, Sicilian, Southern, Spanish, Thai, Trinidadian, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese food – and more! “ (hellskitchen.bz)

Bonus Music Picks:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are a few of my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:
City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St. joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St. lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd dSt. bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

====================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
====================================================================================

Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

Here are two current exhibitions that TimeOutNY recommends:
“Santu Mofokeng: A Metaphorical Biography” (through May 23)
Photojournaism becomes art.
image-1“Since 2011, the New York outpost of Germany’s Walther Collection has been an important showcase for modern and contemporary African photography. Case in point: this excellent minisurvey of the work of Santu Mofokeng, titled, “A Metaphorical Biography.” It positions him as both a photojournalist and an artist concerned with questions of meaning and representation. Born in Johannesburg in 1956, Mofokeng began his professional career in the mid-1980s as a member of the photo agency Afrapix. In the turbulent decade leading up to apartheid’s end, he produced photo essays on South African townships, offering a more complex view of their inhabitants’ lives than the coverage found in the global media.

During the 1990s Mofokeng began to collect late-19th- and early-20th-century studio portraits of middle-class black South Africans. These became his 1997 slide show, The Black Photo Album/Look at Me: 1890–1950, in which intertitles provide biographical information on some of the subjects, while also questioning what their real-life experiences might have been.” (Anne Doran)
The Walther Collection, 526 W 26th St. (btw 10/11 ave)
Wednesday-Sunday // 11am-6pm

Keith Edmier, “Regeneratrix” (through June 20)
KE_13_009L9Edmier worked in Hollywood doing model effects and it shows in his hyperrealistic plumbing of the uncanny valley. Cast in silicone copies of plants, animals, objects and people (including icons like Jackie Kennedy) is his eerie métier. Similarly, his strange relationship/collaboration with former Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett yielded a pair of Greco-Roman nudes: one of artist by the star and vice versa. This show includes another off-center take on classicism with a monumental replica of one of the metal arches that supported the roof of the old Penn Station, which was itself modeled on Roman architecture. It’s exemplary of Edmier’s interest in exploring the overlap between histories, especially when it involves his own.
Petzel Gallery, 456 W 18th St. (btw 9/10 ave)
Tuesday – Saturday // 10AM – 6PM

For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday. and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm).

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 05/15 and 05/13.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selected Events (05/16) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s TOP 10 – SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2015
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening,
primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.
We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Bugs Bunny at the Symphony (25th Anniversary)
New York Philharmonic, Lincoln center / 2PM +7:30PM, $55-$160
Philharmonic plays live scores while classic Looney Tunes cartoons play on a big screen.

> Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos (also Sunday)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th Street, 8:30PM +10:30PM,
maestro Klein has created some radical jazz and the audience is digging it.

> Odean Pope Saxophone Choir, With Ravi Coltrane (also Sunday)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St. / 8PM + 10:30PM, $20 + $35
like the sax? this tenor saxophonist brings 8 saxophonists with him to this gig.

> Wayne Shorter Festival  (also Sunday)
Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St. and Broadway / 8PM, $30-$120
jazz master who many consider the poet laureate of jazz.
FREE Shorter Festival in the Atrium (6PM) live music, truffle risotto, cocktail samples.

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> Harlem EatUp!  (also Sunday)
various locations and times
Taste the Best of this Neighborhood at Inaugural Harlem EatUp!

> Jud Süss: Introduced by Richard Brody, Film Editor, The New Yorker
Film Forum, 209 W Houston St. / 12:15PM, FREE
maybe the most notorious example of Nazi film propaganda.

> 9th Avenue International Food Festival (also Sunday)
9th Avenue from 42nd St. to 55th St. / 12-5PM
city’s largest food fest with lots of ethnic food & drink, and lots of folks, too.

> Texas Chili Cook-Off
at Hudson River Park’s Pier 84 / 12-5PM, $60
sample the best unlimited chili, Shiner beer, & Lambrusco wine.

Elsewhere, but these two sure look worth the detour:
> Frieze New York (also Sunday)
Randall’s Island Park
almost 200 global galleries. an annual art extravaganza, with great river views.

> 9th Annual Dance Parade and Festival
parade starts at 21st St. (btw Fifth Ave and Park Avenue South) / 1-7PM, FREE
more than 70 styles of dance, thousands of marchers head to Tompkins Sq. Park festival

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
> Wayne Shorter Festival
Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St. and Broadway / 8PM, $30-$120

The musical influence of saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter is incalculable. From hard bop to fusion and beyond, his contributions are not merely supplemental, they are revolutionary. At 81, Shorter is ever-present, remaining one of the most transformative figures in music. May 14-16, he joins us to celebrate his career in Rose Theater, and musicians who he has influenced pay tribute to him in The Appel Room and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.

Please join us in the Atrium for the free Wayne Shorter Festival beginning at 6pm on Friday and Saturday evening with live music by Jovan Alexandre, truffle risotto and other tastings by Urbani Truffles, and cocktail samples from The Black Grouse Scotch Whisky and Snow Leopard Vodka.

shorter_wayne_byrobert_ascroft_web_crop_300_170_0_0_0_90___1167Rose Theater: At 81 years old, NEA Jazz Master Wayne Shorter is ever-present, remaining one of the most transformative figures in music. Shorter will join the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in celebration of his unique and definitive compositions, which have placed him heir to modern jazz architect Thelonious Monk as the poet laureate of jazz.

sound_prints_quintet_courtesyoftheartist_hires_crop_300_170_0_0_0_90___1170The Appel Room:  Saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas, prominent bandleaders with highly successful recording careers and distinguished honors, are two leading voices in jazz today. As part of our Wayne Shorter Festival, they will perform with Sound Prints, their Shorter-inspired quintet, conceptualized after their shared time in the SFJAZZ Collective in 2008. Joined by pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Joey Baron, they have formed a unique, generationally-vast ensemble in direct collaboration with Shorter himself. A rare treat, this homage is a continuum of Shorter’s legacy as a vanguard of modern jazz, showcasing both new repertoire and Shorter compositions. Free pre-concert discussion nightly, 6pm & 8:30pm.

Bonus Jazz Picks:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South — villagevanguard.com / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — bluenotejazz.com / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. — 55bar.com / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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A PremierPub / Midtown West.

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).

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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a sax player with a younger, trimmer piano man. “tiny” we miss you.

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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