Selected Events (07/29) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper WestSide)

Today’s Sweet 6 > FRIDAY / JULY 29, 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 events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual Events / July”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

David Yazbek
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $45
“Yazbek wrote the scores for Broadway’s The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. On his own, he plays what he calls “challenging pop.” Sporting influences ranging from XTC’s Andy Partridge to old-school Broadway tunester Frank Loesser, his music is full of bouncy riffs and hooks, as well as his trademark nasty-naughty sense of humor.” (TONY)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Charles McPherson Quintet
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St./Broadway/ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
“The mighty Charles McPherson is a legendary bebop saxophonist. After moving to New York City in 1959, he played with Charles Mingus from 1960–1972 and has since performed around the world with his own groups and those of Lionel Hampton, Barry Harris, Art Farmer, James Moody, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, and many more. McPherson continues to release acclaimed albums and tour internationally.”

Hiromi: The Trio Project (through July 31)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $
“The extravagantly dynamic pianist Hiromi Uehara has a new album, “Spark,” featuring a fresh batch of turbocharged pieces for her fusionesque Trio Project, with the bassist Anthony Jackson and the drummer Simon Phillips.”

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

Exploring Hamilton’s New York
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West/ 6:30PM,
Free with pay-what-you-wish admission Friday admission, RSVP recommended
“New York is overflowing with stories of Alexander Hamilton’s life—but where can we find them? Using the Hamilton chapter in their book Footprints in New York as a starting point, authors James and Michelle Nevius search out the remnants of Hamilton’s New York—from King’s College (now Columbia University), where he enrolled as a teenager; to Wall Street, where he lived and worked; to Thomas Jefferson’s “Room Where It Happened,” where he gave up Manhattan as the American seat of government in exchange for advancing his economic program.

Follow in Hamilton’s footsteps during the last weeks of his life, from Fraunces Tavern to Hamilton Grange to the fateful Weehawken dueling grounds! Contemporary photos, historic maps, and images of objects from the New-York Historical Society’s collections will illustrate the journey.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Want to go batty?
Evening Bat Walks in Central Park
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St./ 8PM, $40
“At dusk, bats leave the warm spaces under city roofs to feed on flying insects. Join Bradley Klein, Danielle Gustafson, and other members of the New York City Bat Group for a walk through Central Park. Aided by detectors that amplify the bats’ otherwise inaudible high-frequency chirps, bat-watchers monitor and catalogue the species that call the city home.”

Meet at the Museum entrance on 77th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Enrollment is limited.

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!

More of today’s selected events coming soon.

==================================================
Bonus – 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, 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.
========================================================

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Selected Events (07/28) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s Sweet 6 > THURSDAY / JULY 28, 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 events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual Events / July”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

Broadway in Bryant Park (Thursdays thru Aug 11)
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: Waitress, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Kinky Boots, Fun Home, Himself & Nora

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Barry Harris Trio (through July 31)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“The pianist Barry Harris belongs to a generation that carried bebop’s torch into an uncertain future. He’s a figure of twinkly erudition, a natural pedagogue as well as an artist, and he has deep history with his trio mates, Ray Drummond on bass and Leroy Williams on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

Nicholas Payton’s Afro-Caribbean Mixtape (through July 30)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $
“Mr. Payton, a trumpeter, keyboardist and (in some capacity) vocalist with a taste for soulful postbop and moody funk, recently unveiled this band in New Orleans, his hometown. This will be its New York premiere, with Mr. Payton alongside the keyboardist Anthony Wonsey, the bassist Vicente Archer, the drummer Joe Dyson and the percussionist Daniel Sadownick.” (Chinen-NYT)

Jazz in July (LAST DAY)
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 8PM, $may have to wait list this one.
“This venerable summer concert series, programmed by the pianist Bill Charlap, takes a fondly nostalgic view of jazz and American songbook traditions. The second week of concerts begins on Tuesday  and the final night, Thursday, is “American Rhapsody: Gershwin, Arlen and the Blues,” with Randy Sandke on trumpet, Ken Peplowski on clarinet and tenor saxophone, and Dick Hyman, Mr. Charlap’s predecessor, joining him in a two-piano arrangement of “Rhapsody in Blue.”(Chinen-NYT)

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

Eye on a Director: Canyon Cinema
Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle/ 7PM, $10
“Film artists, scholars and curators who have been key participants and witnesses to Canyon Cinema’s evolution will share memories, recount its history, discuss the challenges faced by the community and speculate about its future.

With a focus on experimental craft, MAD’s Eye on a Director cinema screening series spotlights underrepresented voices in film and video history, featuring artists who actively test the limits of the medium and challenge viewers to expand their concept of the moving image. The series provides a platform for directors who resisted mainstream conventions and created unique bodies of work deserving of a retrospective.”

More of today’s selected events coming soon!

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!

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

Bonus – 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 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.

Two exhibitions the NewYorkTimes likes:

 Robert Ryman (LAST DAYS)
“For nearly 60s years, the Minimalist painter Robert Ryman has had few equals when it comes to doing more with less. White has been his primary, if not quite his only, color, the square his typical format. And yet within these seeming limitations a remarkably fecund and resonant body of work has evolved as demonstrated with unusual clarity (and in natural light) by this small but comprehensive exhibition.
Dia: Chelsea, 535 West 22nd Street, 212-989-5566, diaart.org.” (Smith)

Richard Serra (LAST DAYS)
“New works occupying Gagosian Gallery’s two Chelsea display spaces find Mr. Serra, at 76, still wrangling sculptural fundamentals into objects and installations of thrilling severity. At West 21st Street is a single, grand example of his mazes made from immense ribbons of rolled steel; West 24th Street hosts three works made of solid steel slabs as well as a drawing installation. In certain respects, the two exhibitions represent formal opposites. While the maze subordinates material to gravity-defying form, the slabs favor weighty raw material. What the two have in common is their awesomely expansive effects on consciousness.
Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st Street, 212-741-1717; and at 555 West 24th Street, Chelsea, 212-741-1111, gagosian.com.” (Johnson)

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 07/26 and 07/24.
======================================================

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 Events (07/27) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

Today’s Sweet 6 > WEDNESDAY / JULY 27, 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 events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual Events / July”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

Craft Beer Jam 2016
The Greene Space, 44 Charlton St./ 7PM, $25
“Our annual beer-focused series returns for another season of conversation, consumption and celebration over three Wednesdays in July (tonight is the finale). Enjoy beer tastings and snacks as host Jimmy Carbone of the internet radio show “Beer Sessions Radio” talks with local experts and brewers as part of the 8th annual NYC July Good Beer Month.”

TONIGHT: New York’s Farm-to-Tap Brews
“Come taste the magic of farm-to-tap brews. Flavor makers from the state of New York have set up shop to create ales with a local-only ethos. From the honey and fruit to the yeast to the heirloom grains and barley, these young, forward-thinking brewers are reversing years of advancement in brewing technology to make primitive, highly visceral beer. And they are supporting local farmers by sourcing almost exclusively using New York state-grown ingredients. Expect expert brewers in lively conversation and plenty of opportunities to sample unique brews for this one night tasting event.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

L.A. Dance Project (through July 30)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave./ 7:30PM, $71-$91
“Only four years old, this Southern California company has proved a safe bet for adventurous programming and polished dancing. Case in point: For its Joyce debut, the troupe will present an American premiere by one of its founders, Benjamin Millepied, a work by the popular and ubiquitous Justin Peck, another by the singular Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and three duets by Martha Graham. And they’ll make all of them look good.” (Schaefer-NYT)

William Parker
Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St./Broadway/ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $
“Mr. Parker, an avant-garde bassist whose sound and purpose both ring of bedrock, presents all new music in this two-night booking at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, a more formal setting than usual for him. On Wednesday he’ll present his In Order to Survive Extended Breathe Ensemble, featuring the same three saxophonists as Tuesday night, along with the pianist Dave Burrell, the trombonist Steve Swell, and the multi-instrumentalists Lee Rozie (known as Mixashawn) and Daniel Carter.” (Chinen-NYT)

Nicholas Payton’s Afro-Caribbean Mixtape (through July 30)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $
“Mr. Payton, a trumpeter, keyboardist and (in some capacity) vocalist with a taste for soulful postbop and moody funk, recently unveiled this band in New Orleans, his hometown. This will be its New York premiere, with Mr. Payton alongside the keyboardist Anthony Wonsey, the bassist Vicente Archer, the drummer Joe Dyson and the percussionist Daniel Sadownick.” (Chinen-NYT)

Elsewhere, but this sure looks worth the detour:
Dianne Reeves
Queensbridge Park, Vernon Boulevard/41st Ave., Long Island City, Queens / 7PM, FREE
“An authoritative and extravagantly gifted jazz singer, Ms. Reeves makes a virtue of her open-mindedness, mingling standards with bossa nova staples and original pop-gospel exhortations. She performs this free outdoor concert under the auspices of SummerStage, with an opening D.J. set by Greg Caz, whose specialties are Brazilian samba and baile funk.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

The Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson That Defined America, Then and Now
Bryant Park Reading Room, Btw 40th & 42nd Sts. and Fifth and Sixth Aves./ 7PM, FREE
“In collaboration with the New-York Historical Society, the Bryant Park Reading Room presents a series of free lectures on popular topics including biography, the Supreme Court, Civil War history, and more.

After achieving independence in 1783, the Founding Fathers clashed bitterly on how the newly-formed nation should be governed. Historian Thomas Fleming discusses how the diverging visions and temperaments of George Washington, an advocate for a strong, centralized government, and Thomas Jefferson, a staunch anti-Federalist, profoundly shaped the young republic and endured as resonant issues to the present day.”

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!

=====================================================
Bonus – Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who 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 – 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 – 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, even if just on day of performance.
================================================================================

A PremierPub / West Village

Corner Bistro / 331 W. 4th St.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Events (07/26) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s Sweet 6 > TUESDAY / JULY 26, 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 events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual Events / July”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

Jazz in July (Tuesday through Thursday)
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 8PM, $
“This venerable summer concert series, programmed by the pianist Bill Charlap, takes a fondly nostalgic view of jazz and American songbook traditions. The second week of concerts begins on Tuesday with a stride showcase featuring Mr. Charlap, Rossano Sportiello and Ted Rosenthal on pianos, and Anat Cohen on clarinet. Wednesday’s program honors the centennial of Billy Strayhorn, with musicians including the singer Carol Sloane, the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and the alto saxophonist Steve Wilson. The final night, Thursday, is “American Rhapsody: Gershwin, Arlen and the Blues,” with Randy Sandke on trumpet, Ken Peplowski on clarinet and tenor saxophone, and Dick Hyman, Mr. Charlap’s predecessor, joining him in a two-piano arrangement of “Rhapsody in Blue.” (Chinen-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Marissa Mulder: Marilyn in Fragments
Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe, 407W42nd St./ 7PM, $20
“As comfortable singing Tom Waits as she is singing Noël Coward, the winsomely natural Mulder is one of the cabaret world’s biggest breakout successes of the past five years. Her new set is devoted to the fractured image of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe.” (TONY)

Barry Harris Trio (through July 31)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $
“The pianist Barry Harris belongs to a generation that carried bebop’s torch into an uncertain future. He’s a figure of twinkly erudition, a natural pedagogue as well as an artist, and he has deep history with his trio mates, Ray Drummond on bass and Leroy Williams on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered
New York Public Library – Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM,, FREE
“With Laura Auricchio, a School Dean at The New School in New York and a specialist in eighteenth-century French history and art.

This illustrated lecture gives us a rich portrait of the man from birth to death, a man driven by dreams of glory and felled by tragic, human weaknesses.”

AMNH Presents: Grand Tour of the Universe
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St./ 7PM, $15
“Where are we among the stars in the Milky Way? Do we hold a special place in the universe? The Grand Tour will answer these questions as you travel from Earth to the most distant objects in the universe, exploring planets, stars, and myriad galaxies using the 3D Digital Universe Atlas. Join Museum educators Emily Rice and Irene Pease to experience the entire observable universe and come to a cosmic understanding of where we are and how we came to be.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

About Love and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov
Bryant Park Reading Room
Btw 40th & 42nd Sts. and Fifth and Sixth Aves./ 12:30PM, FREE
“A discussion on the craft of short stories and the influence Chekhov has had over the art of story-writing.”

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!

===========================================================
Bonus – 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 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 (thru Aug 7)
“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 07/24 and 07/22.
=============================================================

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 Events (07/25) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Sweet 6 > MONDAY / JULY 25, 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 events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual Events / July”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

Bria Skonberg
Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, at Astor Place, 9:30PM, $16
“Ms. Skonberg is a trumpeter and singer who does her part to bring bygone jazz conventions into dialogue with a modern pulse. She’ll preview material from her forthcoming self-titled debut on Sony in this one-nighter, with Evan Arntzen on clarinet and saxophone, Ehud Asherie on piano, Eric Wheeler on bass and Jerome Jennings on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

“If Louis Armstrong and Doris Day could somehow be the same person, they’d be Bria Skonberg.”- The Wall Street Journal

If you miss her @ Joe’s Pub, try to catch her on Wednesdays at Birdland with the “Louis Armstrong Eternity Band.” It is like a trip to New Orleans on W44th St.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Lesli Margherita: Broad
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 7PM, $30
“Lesli Margherita is not a fan of the small gesture. Having gleefully chewed up Broadway scenery as over-the-top villainesses in Matilda and Dames at Sea, she goes solo with a collection of sexy-tough songs from the ’20s, ’30s and ‘40s.” (TONY)

Broadway Unplugged
Town Hall, 123 W43rd St./ 8PM, $30+
“Scott Siegel’s Broadway Unplugged returns: great show tunes, great Broadway stars, great (big) voices, and NO microphones… just the pure human voice, the way it used to be on Broadway!”

Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner: Unattached! 
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 9:30PM, $60
“The original stars of the conjoined-twin musical Side Show reunite to perform their first show together in nearly a decade. Both have had substantial careers since their joint 1997 breakthrough, and it will be fascinating to see how Ripley’s edgy presence and rough-edged rock voice interplays with Skinner’s vivacious, Broadway-broad approach.” (TONY)

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

American Daredevil: The Extraordinary Life of Richard Halliburton, the World’s First Celebrity Travel Writer
New York Public Library – Mid-Manhattan Library 455 Fifth Ave./6:30PM, FREE
With Cathryn J. Prince, author of “Death in the Baltic,” ” Burn the Town and Sack the Banks,” and “A Professor, a President, and a Meteor.”
“This lecture chronicles the life of the first celebrity adventure journalist, who served as an intrepid globetrotting guide for millions of Americans in the 1920s and ’30s.”

Elsewhere, but this looks well worth the detour:
Brazil Screening + Jonathan Pryce Appearance/Q&A
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow St./ 6:45PM, $15
“One of contemporary cinema’s great film maudits, an instant cult classic, and the kind of work upon an entire director’s career is forever measured against, “Brazil” is still as astounding as ever.

Jonathan Pryce is Sam Lowry, and it is upon his shoulders that Gilliam’s dystopian world, and film, rest. Brazil had a torturous initial release, (read “The Battle of Brazil”), but the heart of the film Pryce’s performance of quiet strength, and his characterization of Lowry is so indelible, that one cannot think of this great film without seeing his face.

A Q&A with star Jonathan Pryce, moderated by Alex Ross Perry, will follow the screening.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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!

===========================================================
Bonus – 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 – 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 – 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

==================================================================================
♦ 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, 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.
======================================================

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

Selected Events (07/24) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

Today’s Sweet 6 > SUNDAY / JULY 24, 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 events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual Events / July”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

Joe Lovano Quartet (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, 10:30PM, $30
“Just over 20 years ago, Mr. Lovano, a saxophonist drawn to garrulous epiphany and tender lyricism, released “Quartets: Live at the Village Vanguard,” a superb double album documenting two separate engagements at the club. The more adventurous of the two quartets on the album will reunite there next week, bringing a world of insights; its members are Tom Harrell on trumpet, Anthony Cox on bass and Billy Hart on drums.”(Chinen-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Harold Mabern Trio (through Sunday)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $38
“The estimable hard-bop pianist Harold Mabern devoted his most recent album, “Afro Blue,” to the support and celebration of jazz singers. For this weekend run, he pares down to a trio, with Nat Reeves on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

Cyro Baptista
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St.& Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $35
“Mr. Baptista, an irrepressibly kinetic percussionist originally from São Paulo, Brazil, leads two distinct projects this weekend, presenting them one after the other each night. His 7:30 p.m. sets will revisit “Vira Loucos,” a 1997 album on which he interprets the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos. (That title, in addition to playing on the composer’s name, could be translated as “Behold the Insanity.”) The 9:30 sets will feature Mr. Baptista’s band Banquet of the Spirits, playing original material as well as tunes by Don Cherry and John Zorn, representing two generations of the jazz avant-garde” (Chinen-NYT)

Elsewhere but this looks so worth the slight detour:
Pat Martino Trio Plus Horns
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
The road provided plenty of unexpected twists and turns in Martino’s six-decade musical journey, yet he has emerged a veritable patriarch of jazz guitar, a fleet modernist who’s never forgotten his earthy roots. His customary organ-based trio is expanded here, with the addition of Alex Norris, on trumpet, and Adam Niewood, on tenor saxophone.” (NewYorker)

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

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Learn to Tango Nights
Stuyvesant Square, 2nd Ave & E16th St./ 6PM, FREE
“It takes two to tango, but you can totally turn up solo at this class. Folks of all ages are welcome to learn this exotic rhythm taught by instructor Esmeralda at Stuyvesant Square Park. After the 45-minute class wraps, you can strut your stuff and practice your new moves until the sun goes down.” (TONY)

More of today’s selected events coming soon.

=======================================================
Bonus – 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.

=======================================================================
♦ 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, even if just on day of performance.
=======================================================================

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

Museum of Modern Art:

‘Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty’ (LAST DAY)
“Among the greats of late 19th-century French painting, Degas remained closest to tradition and its focus on the human body, which may explain why this large but thrillingly intimate show is his first solo at the Modern. It focuses his monotypes — the most seductive of all print mediums — and their modernizing effect on his art, revealing with exceptional clarity a radical merging of subject and process that brought new liveliness to depictions of the body and to art itself. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Smith)

‘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 07/16 and 07/14.
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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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Selected Events (07/23) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Sweet 6 > SATURDAY / JULY 23, 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 events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual Events / July”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

An Evening with Darlene Love
Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park / 7:30pm; FREE
“Darlene Love is one of the biggest names of the girl-group era and ’60s pop music in general: She’s collaborated with Elvis, Sinatra, Sonny and Cher and has survived working with producer Phil Spector. Now, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee returns to New York to celebrate her 75th birthday in the sunshine of Lincoln Center for its annual outdoor summer concert program, Out of Doors.” (TONY)

“Hers was the voice that helped launch a hundred hits during the glory days of the girl-group era, including the No. 1 “He’s a Rebel,” “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Recently, she has been on a creative hot streak, featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom and releasing last year’s “Introducing Darlene Love” with songs written just for her by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and other renowned songwriters.

Experience true music royalty at Love’s 75th birthday celebration, where Lincoln Center Out of Doors gives the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee free reign to interpret American popular music as only she can.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Twyla Tharp Dance (LAST DAY)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave./ 2PM+8PM, try the $76 loge seats, they are fine.
“Twyla Tharp, modern dance’s great populist, brings her company back to the Joyce for the first time in over a decade. The broad range of her artistic and cultural interests is on display with a program that includes deconstructed square dancing in “Country Dances” (1976); the busy, complicated and colorful “Brahms Paganini” from 1980, with six dancers elegantly freaking out in preppy pastels; and a new work made to Beethoven’s Opus 130.”(Schaefer-NYT)

Barbara Cook
54 Below, 254 W. 54th St./ 7PM; $100
“Time takes what it must from us all, but the imperishable vocalist Cook toughs it out to give everything she’s got for the glory of song. Heartfelt interpretation may have replaced technical command, but in the hands of this iconic trouper that’s more than enough.” (NewYorker)

“A top Broadway ingenue of the 1950s, Barbara Cook has since emerged as perhaps the greatest living interpreter of the musical-theater repertoire. The Golden Age lives for as long as Cook sings; listen closely to her voice, and you may hear the fabled lullaby of Broadway itself.” (TONY)

Cyro Baptista (through Sunday)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St.& Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $
“Mr. Baptista, an irrepressibly kinetic percussionist originally from São Paulo, Brazil, leads two distinct projects this weekend, presenting them one after the other each night. His 7:30 p.m. sets will revisit “Vira Loucos,” a 1997 album on which he interprets the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos. (That title, in addition to playing on the composer’s name, could be translated as “Behold the Insanity.”) The 9:30 sets will feature Mr. Baptista’s band Banquet of the Spirits, playing original material as well as tunes by Don Cherry and John Zorn, representing two generations of the jazz avant-garde” (Chinen-NYT)

Elsewhere but this looks worth the slight detour:
Dick Hyman/Ken Peplowski Duo
Jazz at Kitano, 66 Park Ave., at 38th St./ 8PM, +10PM, $32
“Two walking compendiums of jazz—the eighty-nine-year-old pianist Hyman and the younger clarinettist and saxophonist Peplowski—are virtuosos who never forget that mirth isn’t antithetical to sterling musicianship. The two, both New York treasures, have been featured on the soundtracks to various Woody Allen films, naturally.” (NewYorker)

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

OZY Fusion Fest
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, midpark at 70th St./ 10:30AM-9PM; $35
“Part music festival, part TED Talk, part food fair — this event’s debut aims to accomplish a lot. But with a packed schedule lasting from morning to night, there’s plenty of room to give the star-studded lineup room to breathe. Among those making appearance are Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of “Broad City,” the author Malcolm Gladwell and Will.i.am. The full list is at ozy.com/ozyfest2016.” (NYT-AroundTown)

PLUS (way off the beaten track, but the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band is so good!)
Hot Jazz / Cool Garden Summer Concert Series
Louis Armstrong House Museum 34-56 107th St. btw 34th/37th Aves/ 2PM;
$18, includes free admission to museum
Jazz is served with Satchmo’s favorite dish: red beans ‘n’ rice and sweet tea. David Ostwald leads the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, which will pay tribute to the legendary trumpeter, composer, and band leader.

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Bonus – Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who 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 – 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 – 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.

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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 in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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A PremierPub / Midtown West.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a sax player with a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.

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

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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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