Selected NYCity Instagram Photos (08/21) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square/ Theater District)

Today’s NYCity Instagram Photos>SUNDAY/AUGUST 21, 2016

Selected NYC Events is on holiday and will return better than ever on Aug 26.
For future NYC Events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / August”

It’s summertime and the living is easy.
Let’s look at 6 very fine Instagram Photographers who specialize in NYC photos:
(Look for this Instagram series Aug 15, 18, 21, and 24)

gigi.nyc

moustachemannyc

nycprimeshot

humzadeas

13thwitness

dondregreen

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

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 enjoyment and discovery.
See Below.

==================================================================================
♦ 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 58 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.
=================================================================================

A PremierPub + 3 Good Eating places

Jimmy’s Corner / 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest”, Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a great old time jukebox (40s, 50s, R&B, and soul). On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
————————————————————————————————————————
Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

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

3 Good Eating Places

It’s not difficult finding 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:

Patzeria Perfect Pizza – 231 W46 St. (Btw 7th/8th ave)
Perfect name for a pizza joint. On a street filled with Broadway theaters, this is a real hole in the wall, but don’t let the dive look scare you away. You can never go wrong with a slice of NYCity pizza, and this one is a classic thin crust. Only a few seats here, but pizza was made to eat standing up.

Shake Shack – 691 8th Ave. (Btw 43rd/44th st)
Danny Meyer has revolutionized the high quality burger in this town. Now he has a branch on the West Side that was desperately needed, with a bit less of the insane lines that you find at the Madison Sq. Park location. Worth the wait.

Xi’an Famous Foods – 24 W45th St. (Btw 5th/6th ave)
Try to avoid long lunch lines. Order lamb hand ripped noodles and warm your insides at one of the tables in the back. You’ll return, just remember that even mild is pretty spicy.
==============================================================
“3 Good Eating Places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 Premier Pubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available Fall 2016).
◊ Order before Sept. 30, 2016 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
==============================================================

This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station.
===========================================================

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Selected NYCity Instagram Photos (08/18) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s NYCity Instagram Photos>THURSDAY/AUGUST 18, 2016

Selected NYC Events is on holiday and will return better than ever on Aug 26.
For future NYC Events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / August”

Be sure to enjoy NYCity Restaurant Week Summer 2016 (July 25 – Aug 19, 2016)
Enjoy gourmet, 3-course $29 lunch and $42 dinner at 380 participating NYC Restaurant Week restaurants. (Saturdays excluded; Sundays optional. Beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included).

Where to get the best Restaurant Week deals?
See Georgia Kral’s recommendations in AMNY.
OR Zagat’s 8 NYC Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Right Now
OR Thrillist’s advice on the best deals.
OR TimeOutNewYork’s picks of the top Restaurant Week restaurants.
OR CBS Local’s Best Deals in Manhattan.
Reservations are definitely recommended. Mangia!

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

It’s summertime and the living is easy.
Let’s look at 6 very fine Instagram Photographers who specialize in NYC photos:
(Look for this Instagram series Aug 15, 18, 21, and 24)

new_york_city_photo

novess

jasonmpeterson

midnight.xpress

sirroyston

drewmogenesis

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

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 enjoyment and discovery.
See Below.

==================================================================================
♦ 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 58 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.
=================================================================================

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:

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 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 thousand 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 Fall 2016).
◊ Order before Sept. 30, 2016 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
=============================================================
This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
======================================================

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Selected NYCity Instagram Photos (08/15) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s NYCity Instagram Photos > MONDAY / AUGUST 15, 2016

Selected NYC Events is on holiday and will return better than ever on Aug 26.
For future NYC Events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / August”

Be sure to enjoy NYCity Restaurant Week Summer 2016 (July 25 – Aug 19, 2016)
Enjoy gourmet, 3-course $29 lunch and $42 dinner at 380 participating NYC Restaurant Week restaurants. (Saturdays excluded; Sundays optional. Beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included).

Where to get the best Restaurant Week deals?
See Georgia Kral’s recommendations in AMNY.
OR Zagat’s 8 NYC Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Right Now
OR Thrillist’s advice on the best deals.
OR TimeOutNewYork’s picks of the top Restaurant Week restaurants.
OR CBS Local’s Best Deals in Manhattan.
Reservations are definitely recommended. Mangia!

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

It’s summertime and the living is easy.
Let’s look at 6 very fine Instagram Photographers who specialize in NYC photos:
(Look for this Instagram series Aug 15, 18, 21, and 24)

underground_nyc

seaandshoots

silviosandino

papakila

sean  _p

visualmemories

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

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 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 58 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 it’s  just on the 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.

One exhibition TimeOutNewYork likes:

“The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men” (thru Sep 2)
“This show turns the tables on the male gaze by presenting more than 30 female artists whose works subject men to the kind of scrutiny usually reserved for women.” (TONY)
Cheim & Read, 547 W25th St. / Tue–Sat 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 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).

=======================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 08/13 and 08/11.
======================================================

This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
==========================================================

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Selected NYC Events (08/14) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper WestSide)

Today’s Elite8 NYC Events > SUNDAY / AUGUST 14, 2016

“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 be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / August”

Today’s post is dedicated to our good friends from St. Louis, Illinois, Minnesota, and Colorado. Hope you have a wonderful weekend in Metropolis.

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

Dr. John & the Nite Trippers
City Winery, 155 Varick St./ 8PM, $85-$95
“Six-time Grammy winner and Rock Hall inductee Dr. John is on a roll with his band The Nite Trippers, headlining a string of US and international dates which are earning rave reviews from critics including David Fricke of Rolling Stone. Career accolades are also pouring in: Dr. John just won Best Blues Artist from Jazz FM and he helped to induct What a Wonderful World at the 2015 Songwriters’ Hall of Fame gala. This summer’s tour includes both Nite Tripper gigs featuring classic Dr. John hits reaching all the way back to his legendary album Babylon, to special Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch shows performing his critically acclaimed Louis Armstrong tribute album.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Rolando Morales-Matos Jazz’ Y Mambo Band
Birdland, 315W44th St./ 9PM, +11PM, $30
“an unforgettable evening of explosive and exciting music by one-of-a-kind multi-percussionist/composer Rolando Morales-Matos. His original compositions, along with his interpretations of works by other composers, combine the polyrhythmic traditions of Afro-Caribbean, South American, and Jazz reflects Rolando’s broad pallet as a performer/composer and bandleader.

Rolando will share the stage with an all-star lineup that includes fellow Latin-jazz heavyweights Ivan Renta (tenor sax), John Benitez (bass), Victor Pablo (percussion), Joel Mateo (drums) and Allan Farnham (piano). The night will include selections from Rolando’s albums Forward and From The Earth, featuring his virtuoso talents on vibraphone, percussion, hang drum and more.”

Mulgrew Miller Tribute (LAST DAY)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, btw 105th/106th Sts./
With Mulgrew Miller’s untimely death, in 2013, the world lost one of the most proficient and adaptable jazz pianists. Miller may have been even better known for his work with a wide swath of other bandleaders than for the fine recordings under his own name. Four former associates—Steve Nelson, Peter Washington, Terell Stafford, and Lewis Nash—come together with the pianist Danny Grissett to pay tribute to this once ubiquitous figure.” (NewYorker)
This is one of my favorite jazz clubs, a great place to listen to good music.

Mbongwana Star
SummerStage, Central Park Rumsey Playfield/ 6-10PM, FREE
“Mbongwana Star hails from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo—a network of shantytowns and night shelters where founding members Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza (of Staff Benda Bilili fame) pulled together members of a new generation of Kinshasa musicians embodying the concept of “mbongwana,” or “change.”

Along with maverick Parisian producer Doctor L (Tony Allen, Stomy Bugsy), the band has created a sound that embodies the “smashed-together” nature of the surroundings from which it was born—a sound that fuses traditional Congolese rhythms with European post-punk bass and busted electronics from recycled and reconstructed instruments miked and distorted in unexpected ways.”

Batida – SummerStage Official Afterparty
Subrosa, 63 Gansevoort St./ 10PM, $10
“Batida is Pedro Coquenão and Pedro Coquenão is Batida. There are moments where it’s just him in front of a big crowd, and there are others where Batida is a mutant body, with more musicians, images and people masked that sings and dance on stage. Present however is always a sound that is connected to Pedro’s Angolan roots. A sound that investigates the electric past of a country, transformed in an electronic present, molded to the scale of global dance floors.”
This is a wonderful, intimate space in the Meatpacking district for music and this after party may be better than the concert itself, certainly cooler.

Battery Dance Festival (Aug 14-20)
Robert F. Wagner, Jr., Park, Battery Park City / 6:30PM – 8:30PM, FREE
This free weeklong festival boasts the most gobsmacking backdrop in New York: the rippling waves of New York Harbor. Participants include the contemporary ballet choreographer Joshua Beamish and his troupe, Move: The Company; Lori Belilove’s ensemble of Isadora Duncan-esque dancers; and the hosts, the socially conscious modern-dance practitioners Battery Dance Company. Not to be missed is the evening devoted to Indian dance, on Aug. 15, co-sponsored by the Erasing Borders Festival.” (NewYorker)

The Bad Plus (LAST DAY)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20-$35
“This hyperintelligent and crashingly heroic trio — Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, David King on drums — revives some proven old strategies on “It’s Hard,” out later this month. The album, which will be previewed in part during this weeklong run, deftly reimagines familiar songs by popular figures ranging from Prince to Johnny Cash to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs” (Chinen-NYT)

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

11th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party
Governor’s Island, Colonel’s Row / 11AM-5PM, $
“The Jazz Age Lawn Party 2016 is a spectacular summer tradition on gorgeous Governors Island. Step onto the ferry, and back in time, with thousands of others dressed to the 1920s nines and enjoy music from Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, learn the Charleston and sip on cocktails in the sunshine.” (TONY)
Let’s hope the weather holds out.

finish up by Celebrating the Olympics – head over to Little Brazil — Rua de Brasileiros, on 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Like Little Italy, Little Brazil has shrunk and is more little than ever before, but there are still a few fine Brazilian restaurants on this block. Try Via Brasil, Emporium Brasil, and my fave, Ipanema.

PLUS: NYCity Restaurant Week Summer 2016 (July 25 – Aug 19, 2016) 
Enjoy gourmet, 3-course $29 lunch and $42 dinner at 380 participating NYC Restaurant Week restaurants. (Saturdays excluded; Sundays optional. Beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included).

Where to get the best Restaurant Week deals?
See Georgia Kral’s recommendations in AMNY.
OR Zagat’s 8 NYC Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Right Now
OR Thrillist’s advice on the best deals.
OR TimeOutNewYork’s picks of the top Restaurant Week restaurants.
OR CBS Local’s Best Deals in Manhattan.
Reservations are definitely recommended. Mangia!

==================================================
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 (all six are within walking distance of each other):
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
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 – 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 58 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 in advance at these top NYC events, 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.
========================================================
“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. 
================================================================================

This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.
OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.
Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
========================================================

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

Selected NYC Events (08/13) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s Elite8 NYC Events > SATURDAY / AUGUST 13, 2016

“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 be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / August”

Today’s post is dedicated to our good friends from St. Louis, Illinois, Minnesota, and Colorado. Hope you have a wonderful weekend in Metropolis.

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

SARASOTA BALLET (LAST DAY)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave./ 2PM & 8PM, $55 & $85
Try the $55 seats in the loge, good views and a good deal.
“Frederick Ashton was a pillar of 20th-century dance known for his lyricism, lightning footwork and regal torso carriage. It’s considered the epitome of English style, but since 2007 this Florida company has been a proud and celebrated steward of his work. The company arrives in New York with “A Knight of the British Ballet,” featuring five Ashton works that exemplify his charm, humor and astute dramatic sensibilities. Several are recently revived; the delightful “Facade” dates to 1931.” (Schaefer-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Go-Go’s Farewell Tour with Best Coast and Kaya Stewart
(a SummerStage Benefit Concert)
SummerStage in Central Park/ 5-10PM, $50-$60
“After a 38 year run, we are gearing up for one last blast of a summer tour,” says the band about the farewell trek. “We feel so lucky and so grateful to have had the incredible support of our fans for so long. We can’t wait to get out on the road and give the people what they want: some loud fast music and a great party!

The legendary rock group made history as the first, and to date only, all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to ever top the Billboard charts.”

Mulgrew Miller Tribute (thru Aug 14)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, btw 105th/106th Sts./ 7. 9. 10:30PM, $40
With Mulgrew Miller’s untimely death, in 2013, the world lost one of the most proficient and adaptable jazz pianists. Miller may have been even better known for his work with a wide swath of other bandleaders than for the fine recordings under his own name. Four former associates—Steve Nelson, Peter Washington, Terell Stafford, and Lewis Nash—come together with the pianist Danny Grissett to pay tribute to this once ubiquitous figure.” (NewYorker)
This is one of my favorite jazz clubs, a great place to listen to good music.

The Bad Plus (through Aug. 14)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20-$35
“This hyperintelligent and crashingly heroic trio — Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, David King on drums — revives some proven old strategies on “It’s Hard,” out later this month. The album, which will be previewed in part during this weeklong run, deftly reimagines familiar songs by popular figures ranging from Prince to Johnny Cash to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs” (Chinen-NYT)

John Zorn: Bagatelles at the Vanguard (through Aug. 14)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 10:30PM, $
“Fifteen ensembles are on hand to present selections from the composer John Zorn’s bagatelles, a series of three hundred compact pieces open to adaptation by any instrumentation. Among the swarm of musicians will be the guitarists Mary Halvorson, Marc Ribot, and Julian Lage; the pianists Kris Davis, Uri Caine, and Craig Taborn; and the drummers Dave King, Tyshawn Sorey, and Jim Black.” (NewYorker)

Steve Kuhn Trio with Steve Swallow and Joey Baron (LAST DAY)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $40
“After making his mark as a sideman with John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Art Farmer and others, pianist Steve Kuhn moved beyond the powerful influence of Bill Evans to become a unique stylist with incredible technique, sense of dynamics and lyricism.

Over the last fifteen years Steve has released critically acclaimed CDs marking a well-deserved career renaissance. The trio’s recent ECM CD, “Wisteria,” takes a fresh look at several pieces heard on Kuhn’s orchestral, “Promises Kept,” alongside the driving hard bop of “A Likely Story,” Swallow’s “Dark Glasses,” Carla Bley’s gospel-tinged “Permanent Wave” and the Brazilian flavored “Romance,” by Dori Caymmi.” (broadwayworld.com)

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

11th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party (also Aug 14)
Governor’s Island, Colonel’s Row / 11AM-5PM, $
“The Jazz Age Lawn Party 2016 is a spectacular summer tradition on gorgeous Governors Island. Step onto the ferry, and back in time, with thousands of others dressed to the 1920s nines and enjoy music from Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, learn the Charleston and sip on cocktails in the sunshine.” (TONY)
Let’s hope the weather holds out.

Summer Streets
Lafayette St and Park Ave between the Brooklyn Bridge and 72nd St; 7AM-1PM; FREE
If you missed the first weekend of Citi Summer Streets, not to worry. You still have two more chances to walk, run, or bike all 7 miles of car free streets! Get out there and enjoy Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park (72nd Street).

“For three weekends this August, nearly seven miles of Manhattan streets will be closed off to traffic and inundated with thrill-seekers who want a good time in the outdoors but don’t feel like taking a jitney to the Hamptons. And after much fanfare from last year’s fest, such favorites as the 270-foot Vita Coco waterslide will return.” (TONY has a great full guide.)

finish up by Celebrating the Olympics – head over to Little Brazil — Rua de Brasileiros, on 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Like Little Italy, Little Brazil has shrunk and is more little than ever before, but there are still a few fine Brazilian restaurants on this block. Try Via Brasil, Emporium Brasil, and my fave, Ipanema.

PLUS: NYCity Restaurant Week Summer 2016 (July 25 – Aug 19, 2016) 
Enjoy gourmet, 3-course $29 lunch and $42 dinner at 380 participating NYC Restaurant Week restaurants. (Saturdays excluded; Sundays optional. Beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included).

Where to get the best Restaurant Week deals?
See Georgia Kral’s recommendations in AMNY.
OR Zagat’s 8 NYC Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Right Now
OR Thrillist’s advice on the best deals.
OR TimeOutNewYork’s picks of the top Restaurant Week restaurants.
OR CBS Local’s Best Deals in Manhattan.
Reservations are definitely recommended. Mangia!

===========================================================
Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 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 58 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.
================================================================================

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)

 Solomon R Guggenheim Museum:
“Moholy-Nagy: Future Present,”  (through Sept. 7)
“A key innovator in the fields of kinetic sculpture and cameraless photography, Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) was one of the giants of 20th-century modernism, who pioneered the use of ephemeral materials like plastics. The Hungarian-born artist was an instructor at the legendary Bauhaus in Germany before he eventually moved to Chicago to continue his teaching. This retrospective is his first in 50 years.” (TONY)

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum:
‘Beauty — Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial’ (through Aug. 21)
“This year’s version of the Cooper Hewitt’s always interesting Design Triennial boldly ventures to tackle one of the most controversial topics in today’s visual culture. With more than 250 works by 63 designers from around the world in a jam-packed two-floor show, it’s a mixed bag in terms of quality. But whether or not everything in it qualifies as incontrovertibly beautiful, it offers an exciting opportunity to meditate on two perennially confounding questions: What is beauty? And what is it good for? 2 East 91st Street, 212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org.” (Ken Johnson-NYT)

Morgan Library & Museum:
‘Dreams in Dust: The Pastels of Lucas Samaras’ (through Aug. 21)
“In the late 1950s, when ambitious painters were obliged to produce big, bold abstractions, Lucas Samaras took up the fragile, intimate medium of pastel. He went on to forge a singular, nearly 60-year career of eccentric invention in painting, sculpture and photography, but he periodically returned to pastel to create small, vibrantly colorful and poetically captivating images. Of the hundreds of pastels Mr. Samaras has made, 48 are in this intensely absorbing exhibition. Dating from 1958-83, they range from offbeat abstractions to hallucinogenic allegories. 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, 212-685-0008, themorgan.org.” (Johnson-NYT)

‘Rembrandt’s First Masterpiece’ (through Sept. 18)
“In 1629, after some years of apprenticeship, the young Rembrandt finished what many experts consider his first painting in his resolved and distinctive style. Titled “Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver,” it is certainly powerful in ways that his great work will be, with its operatic, Verdian largeness of gesture, its sense for light as both specific and cosmic, and its piercing, unembarrassable instinct for human emotion. Now in a British private collection, the picture is visiting New York for the first time, and has been surrounded at the Morgan Library with a wealth of the artist’s prints and drawings. 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, 212-685-0008, themorgan.org.” (Cotter-NYT)

Jewish Museum:
‘Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist’ (through Sept. 18)
“Working primarily in South America, Roberto Burle Marx, the great Brazilian landscape architect, designed some of the modern world’s most distinctive parks and gardens, from an immense, jazzy tattoo of a promenade on the beachfront of Rio de Janeiro to rooftop plantings in Brasilia, a city carved from jungle. In the process, he became invested, heart and mind, in preserving the Amazonian paradise that surrounded him, fought to halt its devastation and turned his home near Rio into a sanctuary for one of the largest collections of tropical plants anywhere. To appreciate his art fully, you have to go to the gardens themselves, but a visit to the compact Jewish Museum show gives you a full sense of his protean work as designer, painter, sculptor and collector. 1109 Fifth Avenue, at 92nd Street, 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.” (Cotter-NYT)

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

at the very least you will want to see this one:
‘Turner’s Whaling Pictures’ at the Met (LAST DAY)
“Among the most revered works by the great British painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) are those representing the world dissolved by light, steam, fog, smoke, rain, wind and snow. One of his favorite settings for his evocations of elemental chaos was the ocean, where nature regularly overwhelms human challenges to its dominion. In this vein, late in his career, he made the dangerous business of whaling the subject of four stirringly atmospheric and poetically thrilling paintings. They’ve never been shown together until now, in this small, beautiful exhibition that no Turner fan should miss.” (Ken Johnson-NYT)

===========================================================
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) (SUN 11am-1pm PWYW) 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).
==============================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 08/11 and 08/09.
=============================================================

This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
=========================================================

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Selected NYC Events (08/12) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Elite8 NYC Events > FRIDAY / AUGUST 12, 2016

“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 be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / August”

Today’s post is dedicated to our good friends from St. Louis, Illinois, Minnesota, and Colorado. Hope you have a wonderful weekend in Metropolis.

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

Mulgrew Miller Birthday Tribute (thru Aug 14)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, btw 105th/106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
With Mulgrew Miller’s untimely death, in 2013, the world lost one of the most proficient and adaptable jazz pianists. Miller may have been even better known for his work with a wide swath of other bandleaders than for the fine recordings under his own name. Four former associates—Steve Nelson, Peter Washington, Terell Stafford, and Lewis Nash—come together with the pianist Danny Grissett to pay tribute to this once ubiquitous figure.” (NewYorker)
This is one of my favorite jazz clubs, a great place to listen to good music.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Norbert Leo Butz (LAST DAY)
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $65
“Back by popular demand! Two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz returns with his hit show “Girls, Girls, Girls” focusing on the female – both the mythic & the contemporary. Expect tunes from the likes of Elvis Costello, Loretta Lynn, Frank Sinatra, and even a little Johnny Cash! After celebrating his dazzling cabaret debut (which went on to be the critically lauded CD), we’re delighted to re-welcome the star of Big Fish, Catch Me If You Can, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Wicked, and The Last 5 Years.” (broadwayworld.com)

The Birdland Big Band
With Guest Conductor Rob Middleton
Birdland, 315W44th St./ 5:15PM, $30
“Founded by drummer and musical director Tommy Igoe, the Birdland Big Band features the finest musicians in New York! Celebrating 10 years at the club, the BBB roars into action every Friday, playing the finest Jazz, Latin and Brazilian music from the world’s best arrangers. After work or before a show, drinks or a great dinner, come hear one of the world’s best drummers driving the hardest swinging band in New York. Experience why the BBB is the must-see weekly jazz event in New York and kick off your weekend with what critics are calling “the best live music bargain in all of NYC!” (BroadwayWorld.com)

The Bad Plus (through Aug. 14)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20-$35
“This hyperintelligent and crashingly heroic trio — Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, David King on drums — revives some proven old strategies on “It’s Hard,” out later this month. The album, which will be previewed in part during this weeklong run, deftly reimagines familiar songs by popular figures ranging from Prince to Johnny Cash to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs” (Chinen-NYT)

John Zorn: Bagatelles at the Vanguard (through Aug. 14)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 10:30PM, $
“Fifteen ensembles are on hand to present selections from the composer John Zorn’s bagatelles, a series of three hundred compact pieces open to adaptation by any instrumentation. Among the swarm of musicians will be the guitarists Mary Halvorson, Marc Ribot, and Julian Lage; the pianists Kris Davis, Uri Caine, and Craig Taborn; and the drummers Dave King, Tyshawn Sorey, and Jim Black.” (NewYorker)

Steve Kuhn Trio with Steve Swallow and Joey Baron (Thru Aug.13)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $40
“After making his mark as a sideman with John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Art Farmer and others, pianist Steve Kuhn moved beyond the powerful influence of Bill Evans to become a unique stylist with incredible technique, sense of dynamics and lyricism.

Over the last fifteen years Steve has released critically acclaimed CDs marking a well-deserved career renaissance. The trio’s recent ECM CD, “Wisteria,” takes a fresh look at several pieces heard on Kuhn’s orchestral, “Promises Kept,” alongside the driving hard bop of “A Likely Story,” Swallow’s “Dark Glasses,” Carla Bley’s gospel-tinged “Permanent Wave” and the Brazilian flavored “Romance,” by Dori Caymmi.” (broadwayworld.com)

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

Summer Film & Stargazing Series: E.T.
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway/ 7PM, FREE
“As a complement to our public lecture events during the school year, in the summer we switch to screening science fiction films. Following the film is a short discussion describing the relevant science found in the film with special attention to separating fact from fiction. Stargazing is available on the plaza in front of Pupin Hall (weather permitting).”

Stargazing at Lincoln Center 
on the plaza, just north of the fountain, starting around sunset/ FREE
“Astronomers Association sets up its high-powered telescopes by the fountain at Lincoln Center so come take a look at the planets and the moon and other celestial wonders. Gazing begins at sunset and continues until 11pm “ (TONY / Weekend)
Tonight: Sunset at 7:57. Saturn, Mars, Moon

finish up by Celebrating the Olympics – head over to Little Brazil — Rua de Brasileiros, on 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Like Little Italy, Little Brazil has shrunk and is more little than ever before, but there are still a few fine Brazilian restaurants on this block. Try Via Brasil, Emporium Brasil, and my fave, Ipanema.

PLUS: NYCity Restaurant Week Summer 2016 (July 25 – Aug 19, 2016) 
Enjoy gourmet, 3-course $29 lunch and $42 dinner at 380 participating NYC Restaurant Week restaurants. (Saturdays excluded; Sundays optional. Beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included).

Where to get the best Restaurant Week deals?
See Georgia Kral’s recommendations in AMNY.
OR Zagat’s 8 NYC Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Right Now
OR Thrillist’s advice on the best deals.
OR TimeOutNewYork’s picks of the top Restaurant Week restaurants.
OR CBS Local’s Best Deals in Manhattan.
Reservations are definitely recommended. Mangia!

===========================================================
Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 enjoyment and discovery.
See Below.

==================================================================================
♦ 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 58 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.
=================================================================================

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:

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 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.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24 thousand 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 Fall 2016).
◊ Order before Sept. 30, 2016 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
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This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
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Selected NYC Events (08/11) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

Today’s Sweet6 NYC Events >THURSDAY / AUGUST 11, 2016

“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 be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / August”

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

Broadway in Bryant Park (Last Thursday!)
Bryant Park / 12:30–1:30PM, FREE
“Can’t get a ticket to your favorite Broadway show? You might get lucky in Bryant Park. Catch the best performances on and off Broadway as talented musicians and actors showcase the hits.” (TONY)

Have your picnic lunch in nycity’s best vest pocket park, while listening to cast members of popular musicals perform their hits. I look forward to this wonderful, only in NYCity experience each year.
TODAY:  Phantom of the Opera, Something Rotten, Cagney, Ruthless

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Bad Plus (through Aug. 14)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20-$35
“This hyperintelligent and crashingly heroic trio — Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, David King on drums — revives some proven old strategies on “It’s Hard,” out later this month. The album, which will be previewed in part during this weeklong run, deftly reimagines familiar songs by popular figures ranging from Prince to Johnny Cash to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs” (Chinen-NYT)

Carmen Cusack, (also Aug.14, 16)
54Below, 254 W54th St./ 9:30PM, $45-$55
“Bright Star Tony Award nominee Carmen Cusack makes her solo concert debut! After her time on the West End as Fantine in LES MISERABLES, Cusack toured as the leading lady of both Wicked and South Pacific. Most recently, she has been moving audiences as Alice Murphy in Bright Star, her Broadway debut! Cusack, who consistently delivers deeply emotional performances, has been widely recognized for her sensitivity to past pains and joys during each moment onstage. Join us for an evening with Carmen Cusack as she shares with us the stories and songs which brought her to Broadway.” (BroadwayWorld.com)

Steve Kuhn Trio with Steve Swallow and Joey Baron (Thru Aug.13)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $40
“After making his mark as a sideman with John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Art Farmer and others, pianist Steve Kuhn moved beyond the powerful influence of Bill Evans to become a unique stylist with incredible technique, sense of dynamics and lyricism.

Over the last fifteen years Steve has released critically acclaimed CDs marking a well-deserved career renaissance. The trio’s recent ECM CD, “Wisteria,” takes a fresh look at several pieces heard on Kuhn’s orchestral, “Promises Kept,” alongside the driving hard bop of “A Likely Story,” Swallow’s “Dark Glasses,” Carla Bley’s gospel-tinged “Permanent Wave” and the Brazilian flavored “Romance,” by Dori Caymmi.” (broadwayworld.com)

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

COOL | Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned City
The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
“The world is coming off 14 consecutive months of record heat. Is our addiction to air-conditioning fueling a vicious circle of warmth and compensation? “Brave Thinker” Stan Cox looks at New Yorkers’ reliance on A.C. and the surprising ways it impacts our sensitivity to temperature, our immune systems, and even our sex lives.

While “summer in the city” may conjure up images of sweaty subway cars, in reality New York’s summers are actually a lot cooler than one might think. More and more electricity is being consumed for air-conditioning, and the resulting emissions will mean even higher outside temperatures as time goes on. Join author and environmentalist Stan Cox, named one of The Atlantic‘s “Brave Thinkers” in 2012, for a talk about the costs and benefits of New Yorkers’ growing reliance on climate control.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Neither Snow Nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service
NYPL – Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
With Devin Leonard, a staff writer at Bloomberg Businessweek, and Evan Kalish, creator of Postlandia, a blog dedicated to chronicling his visits to over 7,000 post offices in America.

“This illustrated lecture is a rich, multifaceted history, full of remarkable characters, from the the first letter carriers through Ben Franklin’s days, when postmasters worked out of their homes and post roads cut new paths through the wilderness, to stamp-collecting FDR, to the revolutionaries who challenged USPS’s monopoly on mail, to the renegade union members who brought the system — and the country — to a halt in the 1970s.”

Last Day to Celebrate the Olympics with Rio on the Hudson
Pier 26 – Hudson River Park / 5-11PM, FREE
“This summer, Citi brings the excitement of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to NYC with a free, week-long celebration. From August 5th – 11th at Pier 26 – Hudson River Park, you’ll find everything you need to support Team USA and experience the Olympic Spirit firsthand. Keep up with the latest action and enjoy authentic Brazilian culture and entertainment throughout the week, including opportunities to see U.S. Olympians and Paralympians.

If you want to get in the game, you can virtually “sprint” against track & field sensation Allyson Felix, honor golf’s return to the Olympics by testing your swing in the golf simulator, and learn all about the Paralympic movement by trying out Paralympic equipment. Plus, with family friendly activities like face painting, live art demonstrations, and samba dancers, there’s something for everyone.”
OR
Head over to Little Brazil — Rua de Brasileiros, on 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Like Little Italy, Little Brazil has shrunk and is more little than ever before, but there are still a few fine Brazilian restaurants on this block. Try Via Brasil, Emporium Brasil, and my fave, Ipanema.

PLUS: EAT & DRINK

NYCity Restaurant Week Summer 2016 (July 25 – Aug 19, 2016)
Enjoy gourmet, 3-course $29 lunch and $42 dinner at 380 participating NYC Restaurant Week restaurants. (Saturdays excluded; Sundays optional. Beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included).

Where to get the best Restaurant Week deals?
See Georgia Kral’s recommendations in AMNY.
OR Zagat’s 8 NYC Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Right Now
OR Thrillist’s advice on the best deals.
OR TimeOutNewYork’s picks of the top Restaurant Week restaurants.
OR CBS Local’s Best Deals in Manhattan.
Reservations are definitely recommended. Mangia!

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Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi32 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 58 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.
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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:

‘Dadaglobe Reconstructed’ (through Sept. 18)
“In 1920, the Romanian poet and gadfly Tristan Tzara made plans for a worldwide publication featuring the art of Dada, the convention-busting movement that arose from the senselessness of World War I. The anthology never materialized, but this sparky show, first seen at the Kunsthaus Zürich and accompanied by a landmark catalog, reassembles the drawings, reproductions and wacky head shots that Dadaists like Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp contributed for it. (There’s also fascinating correspondence and ephemera, plus photographs of knees-up parties; at one, Tzara appears in black tie with the word Dada scrawled across his forehead.) For the Dadaists, art wasn’t a matter of placing discrete objects in museums, but circulating ideas and images across new, international media networks. It is an aim as fresh today as it was a century ago. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Farago)

‘From the Collection: 1960-1969’ (through March 2017)
“MoMA shakes up its sanctum sanctorum, installing half of its permanent collection galleries with works chosen by 17 curators from a single decade: the tumultuous 1960s. The limited time frame is balanced by unprecedented breadth and variety. As never before, the presentation mixes together objects and artworks from all six of the museum’s curatorial departments. The blend is alternately stimulating and bewildering, revelatory and infuriating: yet another symptom of the museum’s limited curatorial mind-set. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Smith)

 Whitney Museum of American Art:

‘Stuart Davis: In Full Swing’ (through Sept. 25)
“This restless, zestful Whitney exhibition leaves out the earliest phase of a great American modernist’s career but is still broad enough to be a survey while feeling sufficiently focused to qualify as a thematic study. As you move through the show, you move through time, and change over time is the thread the show follows. Beginning in the 1950s, you see Mr. Davis’s dense compositions, abstract with a realist core, start to untangle. His palette simplifies. His use of words, or script-like arabesques, grows. And more and more he looks to the past and brings it forward, revisiting, reusing and transforming motives from his own art, a pattern he likened to a jazz musician’s improvisations on favorite, unforgettable tunes. 99 Gansevoort Street, at Washington Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Cotter)

‘Human Interest: Portraits From the Whitney’s Collection’ (through Feb. 12)
“A year ago, the Whitney inaugurated its new downtown home with a permanent collection showcase called “America Is Hard to See.” Its even more immediately engaging successor, devoted entirely to portraiture, is now on view and might well have been subtitled “Americans Are Strange to Look At,” which, in the 250 images here, we sure are: funny-strange, beautiful-strange, crazy-strange, dangerous-strange, inscrutable-strange. The work is arranged by theme and spread over two floors. There are magnetic images everywhere. 99 Gansevoort Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Cotter)

Museum of Arts and Design:

‘Studio Job: Mad House’ (through Aug. 21)
“Working in the overlap of fine art and design, the Belgium-based Studio Job produces materially opulent tables, chairs, clocks, rugs, wallpaper, stained-glass windows, lamps, decorative objects and sculptures. While exceptionally imaginative and wide-ranging in their historical and sociopolitical references, the works in this lavish, two-floor exhibition are more kitschy than visionary. A gaudy, 12-foot tall sculpture of King Kong climbing to the top of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, would make a fine gift for a Las Vegas casino owner. 2 Columbus Circle, 212-299-7777, madmuseum.org.” (Johnson)

 New-York Historical Society:

‘The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman’ (through Aug. 21)
“The Nadelmans’ tale, like the best collecting narratives, is a riveting combination of wealth, visionary thought, aesthetic passion and cruel fate. It is recounted in this outstanding exhibition (and catalog) in unprecedented detail. The 250 objects on view sample the immense collection — most of which was purchased by the Society in 1937 — while the great Nadelman wood sculptures tell of the inspiration Elie drew from it. 170 Central Park West, at 77th Street, 212-873-3400, nyhistory.org.” (Smith)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right sidebar dated 08/09 and 08/07.
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This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Train and Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
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