NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/23) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

“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.

For future NYC Events better check the tab above: “NYC Events-February”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

DAVE DOUGLAS (Feb. 23-24)
at Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7 and 9:30PM, $60+
“An eclectic trumpet virtuoso who’s been a leading voice on his instrument since the 1990s, Mr. Douglas presents “Dizzy Atmosphere,” a program of improvisations and extrapolations based on Dizzy Gillespie’s compositions. He’s joined onstage by a cast of prodigious comrades: the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, the pianist Gerald Clayton, the guitarist Bill Frisell, the bassist Linda May Han Oh and the drummer Joey Baron.” (NewYorker)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ‘PARSIFAL’
>> Tierney Sutton
>>Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On
>> ROMEO + JULIET
>>Peter Bernstein
>>Questioning the Origins of Sexual Desire

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

‘PARSIFAL’ (next and last performance, Feb.27 @ 6PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 6PM, $
“François Girard’s take — part mysterious, part mystifying — on Wagner’s last opera is one of the Met’s most interesting productions of the last decade or so, and returns for the first time since its premiere in 2013. There is no Jonas Kaufmann this time, but Klaus Florian Vogt is a veteran replacement in the title role, and Evelyn Herlitzius may well make for a fine Kundry. Three standouts from the earlier run return: René Pape as Gurnemanz, Peter Mattei as Amfortas and Evgeny Nikitin as Klingsor. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, future music director of the house, conducts.” (NYT)

Tierney Sutton (Feb. 20-24)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“A stylish and canny singer determined to usher the pop and rock auteurs of past decades into the jazz-vocal repertoire, Sutton has delved into the Joni Mitchell songbook, and on her 2016 album, “The Sting Variations,” she put her own spin on the work of Gordon Sumner. “Roxanne” didn’t make the cut, but such soundtrack-of-a-generation fodder as “Message in a Bottle” and “Fields of Gold” were given new life.” (NewYorker)

Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On (LAST DAY)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $95
“The enchanting and sharp-witted Laura Benanti has captured Broadway’s heart in shows from Into the Woods and Gypsy through Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, She Loves Me and the recent Meteor Shower (She also stole NBC’s The Sound of Music Live from right under Carrie Underwood’s nose.) In her return to F/54, she performs alongside her mother, Linda, an actor turned voice teacher.” (TONY)

ROMEO + JULIET (LAST DAY)
New York City Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30+
“In defiance of its tragic ending, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet remains the greatest romance of all time, demonstrating the power of love in its many forms. Peter Martins’ staging of this eternal classic, set to Prokofiev’s glorious accompaniment, embraces naïve excitement, betrayal, despair, and steadfast resolution, emphasizing the innocence and youthful optimism of its two heroes while proving that even in death true love cannot be overcome.”

Peter Bernstein (Feb. 20-25.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“There are plenty of jazz guitarists currently pushing the envelope of the art form, but sometimes expertly performed mainstream picking is the only thing that will do the trick, and Bernstein is the man for the job. A smooth-toned bebopper with an outsized technique (one that the position demands), Bernstein leads a quartet that includes the pianist Sullivan Fortner, the bassist Doug Weiss, and the drummer Leon Parker.” (NewYorker)

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other

Questioning the Origins of Sexual Desire
The Strand, 828 Broadway / 7PM, $20, includes complimentary beer
“Think Olio spends an evening at The Strand “Questioning the Origins of Sexual Desire.” Philosophy educator Jeanne Proust leads the session, which looks at philosophy’s eliding of sexuality as both a moral and linguistic question.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.

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

Continuing Events

Lincoln Center Balloons
Birthday parties. The circus. Performances by classically-trained ballet dancers in one of the world’s preeminent companies. Everything is made a little bit better with balloons.

Encounter thousands of the aforementioned inflatable objects and enjoy instigators at the New York City Ballet’s home at Lincoln Center. The balloons are an installation by visual artist Jihan Zencirli and will range in size from 10 inches to 10 feet.

You can stop by the NYS / DHK Theater and check out the extra festive atmosphere for yourself during free, public viewing hours from February 17 through February 25 at the following times:
Mon–Fri 10am–6pm
Sat-Sun 10am–12pm
The happy helium habitat will also be on view during NYC Ballet performances on Feb 2 and Feb 24, with tickets going for $30+. (TONY)

Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

=====================================================
Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Check out who is playing tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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A PremierPub / Tribeca

B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St))

b_flat4There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.
But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.

It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.

There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.

Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.

It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.

This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music it may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.

Website: http://http://www.bflat.info/index.html
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat

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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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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/22) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“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.

For future NYC Events better check the tab above: “NYC Events-February”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

DAMIAN ‘JR. GONG’ MARLEY
at PlayStation Theater / 8PM, $55
“Bob Marley’s youngest son has been a noteworthy reggae standard-bearer in his own right since the early 2000s, scoring an enduring solo hit with “Welcome to Jamrock” in 2005 and collaborating prominently with Nas and Mick Jagger, among others. Last year, he had a scene-stealing turn on Jay-Z’s Grammy-nominated album “4:44.” CyHi the Prynce and Stefflon Don open.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

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

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ANDY BEY
>> Tierney Sutton
>>Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On
>> ROMEO + JULIET
>>Peter Bernstein
>>Noche Flamenca

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

ANDY BEY
at Minton’s Playhouse / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $
“With his round and crinkled baritone, Mr. Bey can turn jazz vocals into a vessel for close inspection and surprise (that beats the more typical role they play: delivering comfort and emotional payoff, without much work from the listener). Audiences in the 1960s knew him for his work in Andy and the Bey Sisters, a vocal trio, and in the ’70s he staked out distinctive terrain in the funk-fusion landscape. But since the 1990s, Mr. Bey, who doubles on piano, has thrived as a soloist. He performs jazz standards and his own poetic originals, letting the songs open up and slow down and sometimes nearly dissolve on his tongue.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Tierney Sutton (Feb. 20-24)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“A stylish and canny singer determined to usher the pop and rock auteurs of past decades into the jazz-vocal repertoire, Sutton has delved into the Joni Mitchell songbook, and on her 2016 album, “The Sting Variations,” she put her own spin on the work of Gordon Sumner. “Roxanne” didn’t make the cut, but such soundtrack-of-a-generation fodder as “Message in a Bottle” and “Fields of Gold” were given new life.” (NewYorker)

Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On (Feb.20-23)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $95
“The enchanting and sharp-witted Laura Benanti has captured Broadway’s heart in shows from Into the Woods and Gypsy through Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, She Loves Me and the recent Meteor Shower (She also stole NBC’s The Sound of Music Live from right under Carrie Underwood’s nose.) In her return to F/54, she performs alongside her mother, Linda, an actor turned voice teacher.” (TONY)

ROMEO + JULIET (Feb.13 – 23)
New York City Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30+
“In defiance of its tragic ending, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet remains the greatest romance of all time, demonstrating the power of love in its many forms. Peter Martins’ staging of this eternal classic, set to Prokofiev’s glorious accompaniment, embraces naïve excitement, betrayal, despair, and steadfast resolution, emphasizing the innocence and youthful optimism of its two heroes while proving that even in death true love cannot be overcome.”

Peter Bernstein (Feb. 20-25.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“There are plenty of jazz guitarists currently pushing the envelope of the art form, but sometimes expertly performed mainstream picking is the only thing that will do the trick, and Bernstein is the man for the job. A smooth-toned bebopper with an outsized technique (one that the position demands), Bernstein leads a quartet that includes the pianist Sullivan Fortner, the bassist Doug Weiss, and the drummer Leon Parker.” (NewYorker)

Noche Flamenca
Joyce Theater / 8PM, $61+
“One of the pleasures of living in New York City is knowing that Madrid-born Soledad Barrio, flamenco artist extraordinaire, lives here too; one Sunday I found myself sitting next to her on the subway! Even better to sit in front of her at the Joyce during this two-week season, called Intimo, as she performs the series of duets that make up La Ronde, a variation on the carousel plot of intimate human interactions based on Schnitzler, Bergman, Chekhov, and the 1950 Max Ophüls film, and here choreographed by her husband, Martin Santangelo. Also see solos by her frequent partner, Juan Ogalla, and by Barrio herself, accompanied by a clutch of passionate musicians and singers. (She’s sitting out Saturday matinees, so be careful as you book.) (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

==================================================================================
♦ 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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.

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

Continuing Events

Lincoln Center Balloons
Birthday parties. The circus. Performances by classically-trained ballet dancers in one of the world’s preeminent companies. Everything is made a little bit better with balloons.

Encounter thousands of the aforementioned inflatable objects and enjoy instigators at the New York City Ballet’s home at Lincoln Center. The balloons are an installation by visual artist Jihan Zencirli and will range in size from 10 inches to 10 feet.

You can stop by the NYS / DHK Theater and check out the extra festive atmosphere for yourself during free, public viewing hours from February 17 through February 25 at the following times:
Mon–Fri 10am–6pm
Sat-Sun 10am–12pm
The happy helium habitat will also be on view during NYC Ballet performances on Feb 2 and Feb 24, with tickets going for $30+. (TONY)

Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

===========================================================
Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
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:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are 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)

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish)

DAVID HOCKNEY (through Feb.25, 2018) “For nearly 60 years, David Hockney (British, born 1937) has pursued a singular career with a love for painting and its intrinsic challenges. This major retrospective—the exhibition’s only North American venue—honors the artist in his 80th year by presenting his most iconic works and key moments of his career from 1960 to the present.

Working in a wide range of media with equal measures of wit and intelligence, Hockney has examined, probed, and questioned how to capture the perceived world of movement, space, and time in two dimensions. The exhibition offers a grand overview of the artist’s achievements across all media, including painting, drawing, photography, and video. From his early experiments with modernist abstraction and mid-career experiments with illusion and realism, to his most recent, jewel-toned landscapes, Hockney has consistently explored the nature of perception and representation with both intellectual rigor and sheer delight in the act of looking.” (Metropolitan Museum)

“Give it up for David Hockney, one of painting’s elder statesmen, and for his crystalline retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which proceeds in a string of perfectly curated mini-exhibitions. Check at the door the usual caveats and tsk-tsks regarding this wildly popular Anglo-Californian — that he’s a lightweight; that his “moment” was the ’60s; that he’s obvious. Suspend at least briefly the belief that a tragic vision, or abstraction, is essential for entry into art history’s pantheon.

No, Mr. Hockney, at 80, is not Jasper Johns or Gerhard Richter. But he has his own greatness, which flows from openly following his own desires — including his attraction to other men — while rigorously exploring the ways art and life feed each other, visually and emotionally. Full disclosure, forthright joy and forward motion are the dynamos of his art, which in my book at least, gives him an edge over Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon.” (NYT)

‘BIRDS OF A FEATHER: JOSEPH CORNELL’S HOMAGE TO JUAN GRIS’ (through April 15). “This small, hyper-specialized, stunning exhibition brings together a grand total of only 13 works — a dozen shadow boxes by Joseph Cornell, the Queens-based assemblage artist, and a Cubist masterwork that he cited as their direct inspiration. Gris’s “Man at the Café” (1914) might seem like a surprising obsession for Cornell, who was not a painter nor a Frenchman. He and Gris never met. But Cornell was deeply moved by Gris, the overlooked, tagalong third in the Cubist movement that also included Picasso and Braque, and the show succeeds in tracking the fluttery ways of artistic inspiration.”
(Deborah Solomon)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘THE FACE OF DYNASTY: ROYAL CRESTS FROM WESTERN CAMEROON’ (through Sept. 3). “Upstairs, the Michelangelos continue to knock ‘em dead; downstairs, in the African wing, a show of just four commanding wooden crowns constitutes a blockbuster of its own. These massive wooden crests — in the form of stylized human faces with vast vertical brows — served as markers of royal power among the Bamileke peoples of the Cameroonian grasslands, and the Met’s recent acquisition of an 18th-century specimen is joined here by three later examples, each featuring sharply protruding cheeks, broadly smiling mouths, and brows incised with involute geometric patterns. Ritual objects like these were decisive for the development of western modernist painting, and a Cameroonian crest was even shown at MoMA in the 1930s, as a “sculpture” divorced from ethnography. But these crests had legal and diplomatic significance as well as aesthetic appeal, and their anonymous African creators had a political understanding of art not so far from our own.” (Farago)

Jewish Museum.

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’  “After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 02/20 and 02/18.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/21) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

“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.

For future NYC Events better check the tab above: “NYC Events-February”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

“LA BOHÈME” (various dates through Mar.10; next performance Feb.24, 12:30PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $25+
“The world’s most popular opera returns in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production, with a series of exciting casts. Angel Blue, Anita Hartig, and Sonya Yoncheva share the role of the fragile Mimì, with Dmytro Popov, Russell Thomas, and Michael Fabiano alternating as the poet Rodolfo. Alexander Soddy and Marco Armiliato share conducting duties.”

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

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Tierney Sutton
>>Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On
>> ROMEO + JULIET
>>Peter Bernstein
>>Noche Flamenca

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

Tierney Sutton (Feb. 20-24)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“A stylish and canny singer determined to usher the pop and rock auteurs of past decades into the jazz-vocal repertoire, Sutton has delved into the Joni Mitchell songbook, and on her 2016 album, “The Sting Variations,” she put her own spin on the work of Gordon Sumner. “Roxanne” didn’t make the cut, but such soundtrack-of-a-generation fodder as “Message in a Bottle” and “Fields of Gold” were given new life.” (NewYorker)

Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On (Feb.20-23)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $95
“The enchanting and sharp-witted Laura Benanti has captured Broadway’s heart in shows from Into the Woods and Gypsy through Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, She Loves Me and the recent Meteor Shower (She also stole NBC’s The Sound of Music Live from right under Carrie Underwood’s nose.) In her return to F/54, she performs alongside her mother, Linda, an actor turned voice teacher.” (TONY)

ROMEO + JULIET (Feb.13 – 23)
New York City Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30+
“In defiance of its tragic ending, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet remains the greatest romance of all time, demonstrating the power of love in its many forms. Peter Martins’ staging of this eternal classic, set to Prokofiev’s glorious accompaniment, embraces naïve excitement, betrayal, despair, and steadfast resolution, emphasizing the innocence and youthful optimism of its two heroes while proving that even in death true love cannot be overcome.”

Peter Bernstein (Feb. 20-25.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“There are plenty of jazz guitarists currently pushing the envelope of the art form, but sometimes expertly performed mainstream picking is the only thing that will do the trick, and Bernstein is the man for the job. A smooth-toned bebopper with an outsized technique (one that the position demands), Bernstein leads a quartet that includes the pianist Sullivan Fortner, the bassist Doug Weiss, and the drummer Leon Parker.” (NewYorker)

Noche Flamenca
Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $61+
“One of the pleasures of living in New York City is knowing that Madrid-born Soledad Barrio, flamenco artist extraordinaire, lives here too; one Sunday I found myself sitting next to her on the subway! Even better to sit in front of her at the Joyce during this two-week season, called Intimo, as she performs the series of duets that make up La Ronde, a variation on the carousel plot of intimate human interactions based on Schnitzler, Bergman, Chekhov, and the 1950 Max Ophüls film, and here choreographed by her husband, Martin Santangelo. Also see solos by her frequent partner, Juan Ogalla, and by Barrio herself, accompanied by a clutch of passionate musicians and singers. (She’s sitting out Saturday matinees, so be careful as you book.) (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

==================================================================================
♦ 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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.

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

Continuing Events

Lincoln Center Balloons
Birthday parties. The circus. Performances by classically-trained ballet dancers in one of the world’s preeminent companies. Everything is made a little bit better with balloons.

Encounter thousands of the aforementioned inflatable objects and enjoy instigators at the New York City Ballet’s home at Lincoln Center. The balloons are an installation by visual artist Jihan Zencirli and will range in size from 10 inches to 10 feet.

You can stop by the NYS / DHK Theater and check out the extra festive atmosphere for yourself during free, public viewing hours from February 17 through February 25 at the following times:
Mon–Fri 10am–6pm
Sat-Sun 10am–12pm
The happy helium habitat will also be on view during NYC Ballet performances on Feb 2 and Feb 24, with tickets going for $30+. (TONY)

Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz 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
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not exactly WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,

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 discovery and enjoyment.
See Below.

———————————————————————————————————-

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
=================================================================================

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 fairly priced wines,  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, NYCity 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 left on Bleecker to Jones St., 50 yards left on Jones St. to Caffe V.
==============================================================
“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.

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
========================================================

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:

Fish – 280 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 St.)
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 Square 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.

========================================================
“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
========================================================
NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24,000 eating establishments you might welcome some advice.

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, 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” ($4.99, available Spring 2018).
◊ Order before May 31 28, 2018 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/20) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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.

For future NYC Events better check the tab above: “NYC Events-February”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Tierney Sutton (Feb. 20-24)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“A stylish and canny singer determined to usher the pop and rock auteurs of past decades into the jazz-vocal repertoire, Sutton has delved into the Joni Mitchell songbook, and on her 2016 album, “The Sting Variations,” she put her own spin on the work of Gordon Sumner. “Roxanne” didn’t make the cut, but such soundtrack-of-a-generation fodder as “Message in a Bottle” and “Fields of Gold” were given new life.” (NewYorker)

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

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On
>>Peter Bernstein
>> ‘PARSIFAL’
>> JAY RODRIGUEZ AND SPECIAL GUESTS
>>Love Bites: Best Duets Ever
>>Noche Flamenca

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

Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On (Feb.20-23)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $95
“The enchanting and sharp-witted Laura Benanti has captured Broadway’s heart in shows from Into the Woods and Gypsy through Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, She Loves Me and the recent Meteor Shower (She also stole NBC’s The Sound of Music Live from right under Carrie Underwood’s nose.) In her return to F/54, she performs alongside her mother, Linda, an actor turned voice teacher.” (TONY)

Peter Bernstein (Feb. 20-25.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./
“There are plenty of jazz guitarists currently pushing the envelope of the art form, but sometimes expertly performed mainstream picking is the only thing that will do the trick, and Bernstein is the man for the job. A smooth-toned bebopper with an outsized technique (one that the position demands), Bernstein leads a quartet that includes the pianist Sullivan Fortner, the bassist Doug Weiss, and the drummer Leon Parker.” (NewYorker)

‘PARSIFAL’ (next performance, Feb.23 @ 6PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 6PM, $
“François Girard’s take — part mysterious, part mystifying — on Wagner’s last opera is one of the Met’s most interesting productions of the last decade or so, and returns for the first time since its premiere in 2013. There is no Jonas Kaufmann this time, but Klaus Florian Vogt is a veteran replacement in the title role, and Evelyn Herlitzius may well make for a fine Kundry. Three standouts from the earlier run return: René Pape as Gurnemanz, Peter Mattei as Amfortas and Evgeny Nikitin as Klingsor. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, future music director of the house, conducts.” (NYT)

JAY RODRIGUEZ AND SPECIAL GUESTS
at Le Poisson Rouge / 9:30PM, $25
“Mr. Rodriguez plays with an unreserved flexibly on the tenor, alto and soprano saxophones; flute; and bass clarinet. Originally from Colombia, he has worked with artists from Prince to Elvis Costello to Marc Ribot. On his own forthcoming album, “Your Sound (Live at Dizzy’s Club Cola-Cola),” Mr. Rodriguez moves between idioms and energies as easily as he switches instruments. He celebrates the album’s release with this concert, featuring a powerhouse band: J. D. Allen on tenor saxophone, Arturo O’Farrill on piano, Melissa Slocum on bass, Victor Jones on drums and Billy Martin on percussion.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Love Bites: Best Duets Ever
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 9:30pm; $20
“Downtown stars team up to sing superhits like “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “I Got You Babe” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” in this annual duets show, hosted by Cathy Cervenka and Tony Z. Performers this year include Molly Pope, Angela Di Carlo, Corn Mo, Brian Charles Rooney, Bridget Barkan, Aaron David Gleason, Travis Moser, Daryl Glenn, Mike Greco and Michael Musto.” (TONY)

Noche Flamenca
Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $61+
“One of the pleasures of living in New York City is knowing that Madrid-born Soledad Barrio, flamenco artist extraordinaire, lives here too; one Sunday I found myself sitting next to her on the subway! Even better to sit in front of her at the Joyce during this two-week season, called Intimo, as she performs the series of duets that make up La Ronde, a variation on the carousel plot of intimate human interactions based on Schnitzler, Bergman, Chekhov, and the 1950 Max Ophüls film, and here choreographed by her husband, Martin Santangelo. Also see solos by her frequent partner, Juan Ogalla, and by Barrio herself, accompanied by a clutch of passionate musicians and singers. (She’s sitting out Saturday matinees, so be careful as you book.) (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More smart stuff tomorrow.

==================================================================================
♦ 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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.

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

Continuing Events

Lincoln Center Balloons
Birthday parties. The circus. Performances by classically-trained ballet dancers in one of the world’s preeminent companies. Everything is made a little bit better with balloons.

Encounter thousands of the aforementioned inflatable objects and enjoy instigators at the New York City Ballet’s home at Lincoln Center. The balloons are an installation by visual artist Jihan Zencirli and will range in size from 10 inches to 10 feet.

You can stop by the NYS / DHK Theater and check out the extra festive atmosphere for yourself during free, public viewing hours from February 17 through February 25 at the following times:
Mon–Fri 10am–6pm
Sat-Sun 10am–12pm
The happy helium habitat will also be on view during NYC Ballet performances on Feb 2 and Feb 24, with tickets going for $30+. (TONY)

Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

=====================================================
Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Check out who is playing tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

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 their expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:

A special pat on the back to MOMA, who is now displaying art from the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

“Trump’s ban against refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations has sparked acts of defiance in NYC, from demonstrations across town, to striking taxicab drivers at JFK to Middle Eastern bodega owners closing their shops in protest. Recently, the Museum Of Modern added its two cents by bringing out artworks it owns from the affected countries, and hanging them prominently within the galleries usually reserved for 19th- and 20th-century artworks from Europe and the United States. Paintings by Picasso and Matisse, for example, were removed to make way for pieces by Tala Madani (from Iran), Ibrahim El-Salahi (from Sudan) and architect Zaha Hadid (from Iraq). The rehanging, which was unannounced, aims to create a symbolic welcome that repudiates Trump by creating a visual dialog between the newly added works and the more familiar objects from MoMA’s permanent collection.” (TON12

Stephen Shore (thru May 28)

“This immersive and staggeringly charming retrospective is devoted to one of the best American photographers of the past half century. Shore has peers—Joel Meyerowitz, Joel Sternfeld, Richard Misrach, and, especially, William Eggleston—in a generation that, in the nineteen-seventies, stormed to eminence with color film, which art photographers had long disdained. His best-known series, “American Surfaces” and “Uncommon Places,” are both from the seventies and were mostly made in rugged Western states. The pictures in these series share a quality of surprise: appearances surely unappreciated if even really noticed by anyone before—in rural Arizona, a phone booth next to a tall cactus, on which a crude sign (“GARAGE”) is mounted, and, on a small-city street in Wisconsin, a movie marquee’s neon wanly aglow, at twilight. A search for fresh astonishments has kept Shore peripatetic, on productive sojourns in Mexico, Scotland, Italy, Ukraine, and Israel. He has remained a vestigial Romantic, stopping in space and 
time to frame views that exert a peculiar tug on him. This framing is resolutely formalist: subjects composed laterally, from edge to edge, and in depth. There’s never a “background.” The most distant element is as considered as the nearest. But only when looking for it are you conscious of Shore’s formal discipline, because it is as fluent as a language learned from birth. His best pictures at once arouse feelings and leave us alone to make what we will of them. He delivers truths, whether hard or easy, with something very like mercy.” (NewYorker)

MM

==============================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 02/18 and 02/16.
============================================================

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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/19) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper West Side)

“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.

For future NYC Events better check the tab above: “NYC Events-February”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Semiramide (Feb 19-Mar 17, next performance Feb.24, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $
“Rossini’s Babylonian dazzler comes back to the Met for the first time in a generation with a headliner that should make the wait worthwhile: The explosive but refined Angela Meade sings the title role.” (J.D.-NYMagazine)

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

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Jeffrey Milarsky conducts the Juilliard Orchestra
>>INTERFERENCE AV
>> Morrison Motel
>>Modern Mondays: Híbridos, the Spirits of Brazil
>>Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
=========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Jeffrey Milarsky conducts the Juilliard Orchestra
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30
“RAVEL Ma Mere l’Oye MUSSORGSKY (arr. Stokowski) Boris Godunov: A Symphonic Synthesis CORIGLIANO Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (The Red Violin) (performed in celebration of John Corigliano’s 80th Birthday)

Faculty member and Ditson Conductor’s Award-winning artist Jeffrey Milarsky leads the Juilliard Orchestra in 20th-century masterworks, including Juilliard faculty member John Corigliano’s haunting The Red Violin concerto, in honor of the composer’s 80th birthday. “

INTERFERENCE AV (Feb.19-21)
at AMC Empire 25 / 8PM, $
“This free festival will turn the AMC Empire 25, a large Times Square movie theater, into a temporary hub of avant-garde music. On Monday night, the Midwestern electronic producer Jlin will headline; on Tuesday night, the long-running noise-rock act Lightning Bolt will take over; and the Sun Ra Arkestra will close out the event on Wednesday night. Experimental video projections, D.J. sets and more will round out the festivities.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

Morrison Motel
Cornelia Street Cafe / 8:30pm; $25
“Stop by for a night at John Morrison’s stand-up show, where you’ll find killer drink specials and a game assembly of comedians ready to bring the house down. February packs a stellar lineup:Janeane Garofalo, Phoebe Robinson, Mike Drucker, Angry Bob, Margot Dodge and Troy Alan.” (TONY)

Modern Mondays: Híbridos, the Spirits of Brazil
Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St./ 7PM, $12
“Enjoy a Modern Mondays exploration of the spirituality and music of Brazil. A screening and installations will be joined by an effort to build “an immersive, sensorial experience that evokes the trance state.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 9:30PM, $30
“Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of “Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More smart stuff tomorrow.

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

♦ 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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.

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

Continuing Events

Lincoln Center Balloons
Birthday parties. The circus. Performances by classically-trained ballet dancers in one of the world’s preeminent companies. Everything is made a little bit better with balloons.

Encounter thousands of the aforementioned inflatable objects and enjoy instigators at the New York City Ballet’s home at Lincoln Center. The balloons are an installation by visual artist Jihan Zencirli and will range in size from 10 inches to 10 feet.

You can stop by the NYS / DHK Theater and check out the extra festive atmosphere for yourself during free, public viewing hours from February 17 through February 25 at the following times:
Mon–Fri 10am–6pm
Sat-Sun 10am–12pm
The happy helium habitat will also be on view during NYC Ballet performances on Feb 2 and Feb 24, with tickets going for $30+. (TONY)

Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

================================================
Bonus NYC Events – Jazz Clubs:
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:
(5 underground (UG), classic jazz joints. all 6 within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319

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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats in advance at these top NYC events, even if just on day of performance.

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

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
================================================================================

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.
========================================================
“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

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/18) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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.

For future NYC Events better check the tab above: “NYC Events-February”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

GERALD CLAYTON QUARTET
at Jazz Standard / 7:30, + 9:30PM, $30
“Mr. Clayton, a pianist with a lissome and prayerful touch, leads a quartet here featuring the bassist Yunior Terry, the drummer Obed Calvaire and the percussionist Gabo Lungo. The group is joined during this run by two special guests: On Friday, it’s the young vibraphonist Joel Ross; on Saturday and Sunday, the alto saxophonist Yosvany Terry. All of these musicians can play with ease and assurance, as if submitting to some ecstatic momentum, but they get there by different routes. Mr. Clayton’s piano playing cascades, illustrates and embellishes, whereas Mr. Ross likes to interpose and chatter, like a kinetic conversationalist. And Mr. Terry, on saxophone, treats the tousled rhythmic logic of Cuban rumba as his foundation, moving in arcs and dashes and sweeps of color.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ROMEO + JULIET
>>Catherine Alcorn: The Divine Miss Bette
>> Noche Flamenca
>>Steve Davis
>>Marilyn Maye
=========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Catherine Alcorn: The Divine Miss Bette
Don’t Tell Mama / 3PM, $20
“You may have missed your chance to see Bette Midler on Broadway in Hello, Dolly!, this might be your next best Bette: Young Australian cabaret singer Alcorn is in town for a weekend with a tribute act inspired by the Divine Miss M’s early concert years. Expect such Bette standards as “Friends,” “Hello in There” and “Stay with Me.” (TONY)

ROMEO + JULIET (Feb.13 – 23)
New York City Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 2PM, +8PM, $30+
“In defiance of its tragic ending, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet remains the greatest romance of all time, demonstrating the power of love in its many forms. Peter Martins’ staging of this eternal classic, set to Prokofiev’s glorious accompaniment, embraces naïve excitement, betrayal, despair, and steadfast resolution, emphasizing the innocence and youthful optimism of its two heroes while proving that even in death true love cannot be overcome.”

Noche Flamenca
Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $
“One of the pleasures of living in New York City is knowing that Madrid-born Soledad Barrio, flamenco artist extraordinaire, lives here too; one Sunday I found myself sitting next to her on the subway! Even better to sit in front of her at the Joyce during this two-week season, called Intimo, as she performs the series of duets that make up La Ronde, a variation on the carousel plot of intimate human interactions based on Schnitzler, Bergman, Chekhov, and the 1950 Max Ophüls film, and here choreographed by her husband, Martin Santangelo. Also see solos by her frequent partner, Juan Ogalla, and by Barrio herself, accompanied by a clutch of passionate musicians and singers. (She’s sitting out Saturday matinees, so be careful as you book.) (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

Steve Davis (Feb.16-18)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, btw105th/106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“All modern jazz trombonists owe much to J. J. Johnson, the man who brought bebop to the instrument. Davis is an obvious acolyte of the master, his technical wizardry firmly wed to expressive mirth. Here, Davis pays tribute to Johnson, with an all-star sextet featuring Eddie Henderson on trumpet and Harold Mabern on piano.” (NewYorker)

Marilyn Maye (Feb.15-18)
With vocalist Marilyn Maye, and pianist Tedd Firth
Dizzy’s Cub, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $
“Singer, actress, and living legend Marilyn Maye is the “Queen of Cabaret,” an iconic entertainer whom Ella Fitzgerald famously praised as one of her favorite singers. She’s shared the stage with artists like Count Basie and Charlie Parker, and she appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson an unprecedented 76 times. Maye has been a recent audience favorite at Dizzy’s Club and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual galas, and in October 2017 she headlined four sets in The Appel Room. She now returns to our most intimate venue for a run that’s likely to sell out in advance. Join us at Dizzy’s and enjoy a true entertainer, one of the remaining geniuses from the “golden age of show business” who remains as sharp and effective as ever.”

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More smart stuff tomorrow.

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

♦ 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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.

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

Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz 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
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

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 discovery and enjoyment.
See Below.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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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 is an exhibition the New Yorker likes:

“The first in a multiyear series of shows about photographs made for commercial or practical purposes, curated by Brian Wallis, considers the portrait. Most of the images date to the nineteenth century; all of them fit into typologies. Fifteen tintypes of “workers with tools of their trade” include a barber, a piano tuner, and a sword swallower; several mug shots attributed to the California sheriff Thomas Cunningham are so picturesque that they could be mistaken for stills from a Hollywood period piece. Passport photographers across Africa take full-length portraits and cut out the heads, leaving behind accidental studies of fashion. A mesmerizing series of such discards, shown here, were taken against a red background in Gulu, Uganda, and collected by the Italian-born journalist Martina Bacigalupo. A found group of forty-eight color snapshots of migrant farmworkers, each holding up a paper number—their source is unknown—takes the idea of identifying documents in a more chilling direction.”

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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 better to 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). OR try the NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

=======================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 02/16 and 02/14.

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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/17) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

“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.

For future NYC Events better check the tab above: “NYC Events-February”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Lorna Luft
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $70+
“Liza Minnelli gets the lion’s share of public attention, but Judy Garland’s other singing daughter is a seasoned performer, too, with a voice that sometimes eerily recalls that of her legendary mom. In her return to Feinstein’s/54 Below, she shares favorites from the Great American Songbook.” (TONY)

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

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ROMEO + JULIET
>>Catherine Alcorn: The Divine Miss Bette
>> Noche Flamenca
>>Steve Davis
>> Javon Jackson
>>Marilyn Maye
=========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

ROMEO + JULIET (Feb.13 – 23)
New York City Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 2PM, +8PM, $30+
“In defiance of its tragic ending, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet remains the greatest romance of all time, demonstrating the power of love in its many forms. Peter Martins’ staging of this eternal classic, set to Prokofiev’s glorious accompaniment, embraces naïve excitement, betrayal, despair, and steadfast resolution, emphasizing the innocence and youthful optimism of its two heroes while proving that even in death true love cannot be overcome.”

Catherine Alcorn: The Divine Miss Bette
Don’t Tell Mama / 11PM, $20
“You may have missed your chance to see Bette Midler on Broadway in Hello, Dolly!, this might be your next best Bette: Young Australian cabaret singer Alcorn is in town for a weekend with a tribute act inspired by the Divine Miss M’s early concert years. Expect such Bette standards as “Friends,” “Hello in There” and “Stay with Me.” (TONY)

Noche Flamenca
Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $
“One of the pleasures of living in New York City is knowing that Madrid-born Soledad Barrio, flamenco artist extraordinaire, lives here too; one Sunday I found myself sitting next to her on the subway! Even better to sit in front of her at the Joyce during this two-week season, called Intimo, as she performs the series of duets that make up La Ronde, a variation on the carousel plot of intimate human interactions based on Schnitzler, Bergman, Chekhov, and the 1950 Max Ophüls film, and here choreographed by her husband, Martin Santangelo. Also see solos by her frequent partner, Juan Ogalla, and by Barrio herself, accompanied by a clutch of passionate musicians and singers. (She’s sitting out Saturday matinees, so be careful as you book.) (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

Steve Davis (Feb.16-18)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, btw105th/106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“All modern jazz trombonists owe much to J. J. Johnson, the man who brought bebop to the instrument. Davis is an obvious acolyte of the master, his technical wizardry firmly wed to expressive mirth. Here, Davis pays tribute to Johnson, with an all-star sextet featuring Eddie Henderson on trumpet and Harold Mabern on piano.” (NewYorker)

Javon Jackson (Feb.15-17)
Iridium, 1650 Broadway, at 51st St/ 8PM, $30+
“A champion of the rugged tenor-saxophone tradition of such masters as Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Joe Henderson, Jackson came up through the jazz boot camps of Art Blakey and Elvin Jones, and he wears his rigorous training proudly. These days he’s not averse to dipping into R. & B. and funk, the better to reveal his soulful inclinations.” (NewYorker)

Marilyn Maye (Feb.15-18)
With vocalist Marilyn Maye, and pianist Tedd Firth
Dizzy’s Cub, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $
“Singer, actress, and living legend Marilyn Maye is the “Queen of Cabaret,” an iconic entertainer whom Ella Fitzgerald famously praised as one of her favorite singers. She’s shared the stage with artists like Count Basie and Charlie Parker, and she appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson an unprecedented 76 times. Maye has been a recent audience favorite at Dizzy’s Club and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual galas, and in October 2017 she headlined four sets in The Appel Room. She now returns to our most intimate venue for a run that’s likely to sell out in advance. Join us at Dizzy’s and enjoy a true entertainer, one of the remaining geniuses from the “golden age of show business” who remains as sharp and effective as ever.”

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More smart stuff tomorrow.

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

♦ 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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.

=====================================================
Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Check out who is playing tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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

Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

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).
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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:
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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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