Selected Events (05/24) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Fab 5 > TUESDAY / MAY 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.
(click on links for more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

American Ballet Theater (through July 2)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center,
“Alexei Ratmansky, the company’s artist in residence, pays homage to the great composer Dmitri Shostakovich with a trio of one-act ballets set to his music (Friday, Saturday evening and Monday). Another triple bill of Mr. Ratmansky’s work, to music by Bernstein, Scarlatti and Stravinsky, is on display at Saturday’s matinee. Beginning Tuesday, the company presents Frederick Ashton’s cheerful, farm fresh “La Fille Mal Gardée,” complete with clogs, maypoles and dancing hens.” (Brian Schaefer-NYT)
Mondays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m., with additional performances at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Sven Ratzke’s STARMAN
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 7:30PM, $20
“Inspired by the music of the legend David Bowie the entertainer Sven Ratzke creates his own, dazzling character: STARMAN.

Sven Ratzke, the entertainer “extraordinaire” who’s celebrated as a worldwide sensation gives now his own interpretation of the legend David Bowie. Ratzke not just brings a David Bowie tribute, but creates an entirely new character with STARMAN. The weirdly mad and entertaining universe of Ratzke will merge with legendary Bowie universe into a grandiose music show.

In STARMAN we will see an entertainer on stage who might come from another planet, like a “Baron Munchausen out of space”. Ratzke takes us on a crazy, incredibly entertaining journey from New York to Berlin.” (broadwayworld.com)

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

Pint of Science NYC Festival (May 23-25)
Various times (7-10PM) and locations.
“Enjoy science (and a drink or two) at Pint of Science NYC Festival events across four boroughs. At Alewife in Queens, researcher James McInerny talks about how machine learning forces us to consider the creativity of computers while entrepreneur Mike Battaglia talks about technology, seeing differently, and potentially saving the world. The movies love science, at least as far as coping with zombie outbreaks goes. Hear from experts in physical science, anthropology, and psychology as they look at the principles behind some favorite films at Videology in Brooklyn.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

VICE Media: Watch & Learn
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W62nd St./ 7:30PM, FREE
“Dive into today’s most pressing topics with a special screening and talk-back with some of the great minds behind VICE.”

Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder:
Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities
New York Public Library – Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
With Claudia Kalb, acclaimed health and science journalist.

“This illustrated lecture looks at the evolution of mental health and gives a glimpse into the lives of high-profile historic figures through the lens of modern psychology, weaving groundbreaking research into biographical narratives that are deeply embedded in our culture. From Marilyn Monroe’s borderline personality disorder to Charles Darwin’s anxiety, it provides compelling insight into a broad range of maladies, using historical records and interviews with leading mental health experts, biographers, sociologists, and other specialists.”

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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.

==================================================================================
♦ 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 / 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).
========================================================
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.

============================================================
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 (05/23) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s Fab 5 > MONDAY / MAY 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.
(click on links for more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

Broadway by the Year: The Broadway Musicals of the 1960s
The Town Hall, 123 W43rd St./ 8PM, $50,$60
“Scott Siegel’s concert series, now in its 16th season, opens another time capsule. This edition returns us to the decade that bequeathed us Fiddler on the Roof and Hello, Dolly!, among many other winners. The starry lineup includes Bill Irwin, Christiane Noll and Kerry O’Malley.” (TONY)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

American Ballet Theater (through July 2)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center,
“Alexei Ratmansky, the company’s artist in residence, pays homage to the great composer Dmitri Shostakovich with a trio of one-act ballets set to his music (Friday, Saturday evening and Monday). Another triple bill of Mr. Ratmansky’s work, to music by Bernstein, Scarlatti and Stravinsky, is on display at Saturday’s matinee. Beginning Tuesday, the company presents Frederick Ashton’s cheerful, farm fresh “La Fille Mal Gardée,” complete with clogs, maypoles and dancing hens.” (Brian Schaefer-NYT)
Mondays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m., with additional performances at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Sven Ratzke’s STARMAN
Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street) / 9:30PM, $20
“Inspired by the music of the legend David Bowie the entertainer Sven Ratzke creates his own, dazzling character: STARMAN.

Sven Ratzke, the entertainer “extraordinaire” who’s celebrated as a worldwide sensation gives now his own interpretation of the legend David Bowie. Ratzke not just brings a David Bowie tribute, but creates an entirely new character with STARMAN. The weirdly mad and entertaining universe of Ratzke will merge with legendary Bowie universe into a grandiose music show.

In STARMAN we will see an entertainer on stage who might come from another planet, like a “Baron Munchausen out of space”. Ratzke takes us on a crazy, incredibly entertaining journey from New York to Berlin.” (broadwayworld.com)

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

Pint of Science NYC Festival (May 23-25)
Various times (7-10PM) and locations.
“Enjoy science (and a drink or two) at Pint of Science NYC Festival events across four boroughs. At Alewife in Queens, researcher James McInerny talks about how machine learning forces us to consider the creativity of computers while entrepreneur Mike Battaglia talks about technology, seeing differently, and potentially saving the world. The movies love science, at least as far as coping with zombie outbreaks goes. Hear from experts in physical science, anthropology, and psychology as they look at the principles behind some favorite films at Videology in Brooklyn.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Diane Arbus: Arthur Lubow and Wendy Lesser
New York Public Library—Main Building, 476 Fifth Ave./ 7PM, FREE
“Arthur Lubow and Wendy Lesser discuss Lubow’s new biography, Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer, which draws on exclusive interviews with Arbus’s friends, lovers, and colleagues, as well as on previously unknown letters, and on Lubow’s profound critical understanding of photography, as it explores Arbus’s extraordinary perspective and body of work.”

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

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.

One exhibition the NewYorkTimes likes:

 Robert Ryman (through July 29)
“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)

Here is one that The Observer likes:
“Steven Baldi: Branded Light” (through May 28)
Koenig & Clinton, 459 West 19 Street
“Steven Baldi is currently featured in an acclaimed group show about the use of stock photography in fine art, on view at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Here, he presents black-and-white photomontages of industry logos, such as those for Kodak and Nikon, abstracted with prismatic camera effects. The resulting Constructivist-inspired imagery is contrasted with the Los Angeles conceptualist’s monochromatic paintings that he makes by stretching green book cloth over aluminum panels.”

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

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

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

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 05/21 and 05/19.
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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.
==========================================================

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

Selected Events (05/22) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square/ Theater District)

Today’s Elite 8 > SUNDAY / MAY 22, 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.
(click on links for more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

New York on Location: Street Fair and Celebration
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave. Queens/ 11AM-5PM, FREE
“..a day-long, family-friendly street fair that offers a behind-the-scenes look at film production in New York. The public will have the rare opportunity to go inside 20+ working movie trailers and trucks—straight from productions shooting in New York—and speak directly with movie professionals about what they do on set. As in past years, the event will feature stunt performers demonstrating street fighting, high-falls, and stunt-driving; makeup and hair demos; and weather effects like snow and rain. Food will be available from movie catering trucks and treat trucks.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

PLUS, admission is free to the Museum all day, and this is one small gem of a museum.
Not Manhattan’s WestSide, but this is surely worth the detour.
subway: R or E  from Times Square to Steinway St., 20 min

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Bill Stewart Quartet (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South,/ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“Bill Stewart is a drummer of deep creative resources, and a composer drawn to crooked logic and low-key surprise. His engaging new album, “Space Squid,” spotlights the same longtime band joining him at the Village Vanguard next week, with the tenor and soprano saxophonist Seamus Blake, the pianist Bill Carrothers and the bassist Ben Street.”(Chinen-NYT)

Cuba Festival: Irene Rodríguez Compañía (LAST DAY)
Try to see this one – it’s wonderful. Seats in the side Loge are excellent and only $35.
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave. @ 19th St./ 2PM, $35, $60
IreneRodriguez5“The Joyce continues its dedication to promoting the best of Cuban dance in this festival focusing on the return of audience favorite Malpaso Dance Company and the New York debuts of two other skilled and stylish companies.

Irene Rodríguez, one of the most prominent figures in Cuban dance, has created a company rooted in classical Spanish Flamenco that has been presented on prestigious stages throughout Cuba. Merging the dramatic arts, contemporary dance, national rhythms, and anything else that unites both the tradition and modernity of the Cuban character, the company leaves a “trail of triumph and applause” (Granma, Cuba) whenever it performs.”

“Irene Rodríguez Compañía combines Spanish flamenco with contemporary dance and Cuban rhythms for infectious performances that honor both tradition and modernity. ‘ (Schaefer-NYT)

Kurt Rosenwinkel and the OJM Big Band (LAST DAY)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20, $35
“This astonishingly fluid and harmonically adventurous guitarist is among the most gifted members of the generation of players that followed such visionary six-string giants as Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell. Here he shares his luxurious chops with Portugal’s Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, which joined him on the 2010 album “Our Secret World.”(NewYorker)

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

Vulture Festival (LAST DAY)
A Sunday Evening with David Chase
Milk Studios, 450 W15th St./ 5PM, $50
Emmy Award–winning writer, director, and producer David Chase (The Sopranos) returns to your Sunday night, in an exclusive interview with New York Magazine and Vulture television critic Matt Zoller Seitz. . Tickets $50 (wine to be served during the event).

‘New York magazine’s entertainment website, Vulture, hosts this annual celebration of all things binge-worthy in the world of pop culture. Many of the 30-plus offerings — which include talks, screenings and tours — are sold out, but standby tickets are available 15 minutes before each event. Among the highlights is a singalong of the musical “Rent” with Broadway stars (10:30 a.m. on Sunday, at Milk Studios,450 West 15th Street). More information at vulturefestival.com.” (NYT-AroundTown)

Sacred Sites Open House Weekend
“Tourism with sacred sites can be tricky; some are not open during the day, and visitors may find themselves admiring a church’s art in the middle of a service. But for this free annual event, which features more than 150 houses of religion, doors are open wide to the public to play the part of tourists for the weekend. Churches from all five boroughs, including St. Bartholomew’s Church and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, are planning to take part.

For people who want to plan ahead (which is a good idea, as hours vary from venue to venue), the Conservancy has an interactive online guide — with details for all the participating churches and registration for walking tours — at informavore.com/testing/nylcweb.
More information: 212-995-5260, nylandmarks.org.(NYT/AroundTown)

“Harlem EatUP! (LAST DAY)
Harlem (Multiple Locations)/ Today Morningside Park, 12:30-5:30PM
Marcus Samuelsson and J.J. Johnson have brought together a top-notch lineup of chefs for this incredible Harlem food festival, which includes both grand tastings and seated dinners. Participating restaurants include Mountain Bird, Melba’s, Blujeen, and more. Some of this weekend’s events are free, but others require tickets ($80 and up).
Check out the full roster of activities here.

The Hidden History of City Hall Park
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave./ 1PM, $30
“Most people know City Hall Park as the center of city government, but did you know that British soldiers were once housed there during the Revolutionary War? Or that there was an almshouse and a prison right next door? Join us for a walking tour with archaeologist Alyssa Loorya to discover the hidden history of the park from its early Dutch beginnings through the present day. With more than 15 years of experience excavating in lower Manhattan, Loorya will share stories from the Park’s colorful history and insights into digging beneath Manhattan’s bustling streets. The total length of the tour will be less than 3/4 of a mile.”

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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.

==================================================================================
♦ 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 + 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

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

It’s not difficult 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.
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“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 Summer 2016).
◊ Order before July 31, 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 Events (05/21) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s Sweet 7 > SATURDAY / MAY 21, 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.
(click on links for more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Pick one of these Food Fests:

“Harlem EatUP!
Harlem (Multiple Locations)
Friday through Sunday
Marcus Samuelsson and J.J. Johnson have brought together a top-notch lineup of chefs for this incredible Harlem food festival, which includes both grand tastings and seated dinners. Participating restaurants include Mountain Bird, Melba’s, Blujeen, and more. Some of this weekend’s events are free, but others require tickets ($80 and up). Check out the full roster of activities here.

Taste Of Tribeca 2016
334 Greenwich Street
Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Triangle Below Canal’s top restaurants are teaming up for the 22nd annual Taste of Tribeca. This year’s lineup features neighborhood fixtures like Bubby’s, Bouley, and the Odeon. General admission — which includes a tasting card good for six tastes of any dishes — starts at $45 in advance and $55 on the day of the event. Reserve yours here.

Essex Street Market Block Party
Essex Street Market (120 Essex Street)
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Essex Street Market is celebrating its 76th birthday with a block party bash. Pushcarts, grills, and picnic tables will line Essex Street, along with grub from Saxelby Cheesemongers and Arancini Bros. Restaurants like Pies ‘n’ Thighs, the Fat Radish, and Ice & Vice will also showcase a selection of bites, including a special ice cream flavor modeled after the market itself. The event also includes free tours about the building’s history and future renovations planned for Essex Street Market.”
All this info from the Village Voice.

here is one more (from edible)
Sunday: Sycamore in Ditmas Park is hosting its 7th Annual Crawfish Boil this Sunday. You get a bucket of crawfish, a delicious side, and a pint of beer from Threes Brewing.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Eddie Palmieri’s ‘Harlem River Drive’ Revisited
Richard Rodgers Amphitheater,
Marcus Garvey Park, Madison Avenue and 122nd St./ 3PM,
“Harlem River Drive,” released in 1971, was an ill-fated crossover attempt by Eddie Palmieri, the great Nuyorican bandleader. A viscous haze of socially conscious funk and Afro-Latin groove — with a cast including the singer Jimmy Norman, the baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber and the guitarist Cornell Dupree — it has since become an object of cult obsession. This weekend Mr. Palmieri presides over a 45th-anniversary tribute to the album, presented by the Red Bull Music Academy.” (Chinen-NYT)

‘Jazz and Spirit’
Apollo Theater, 253 W125th St./ 8PM, $
“Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra will perform several new pieces in this concert — notably a commission designed to feature the African-American scholar and activist Cornel West in full oratorical splendor. But in addition to “The Cornel West Concerto,” the program will include two other recent provocations by Mr. O’Farrill: “A Still Small Voice,” a choral piece that suggests a moral response to the recent banking crisis, and “Trump, Untrump,” whose subject is glaringly obvious.” (Chinen-NYT)

The Ray Charles Songbook (also May 21)
Rose Theatre, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St./ 8PM, $40-$130
“A taste for ballads drenched in the blues links Diane Schuur with another sightless singer, the iconic Ray Charles. Paying homage to the innovative genius, Schuur will acknowledge Charles’s eclectic bent—his uncanny ability to turn everything from American Songbook standards to country music into a genre that we can classify only as Ray Charles music.” (NewYorker)

“Tonight, Kenny Rampton honors his former bandleader by presenting the most authentic Ray Charles experience possible. The band is full of Ray Charles alumni, the set lists are faithful recreations of actual Ray Charles sets, and the charts are transcribed from the original tour music. In addition, get this, heart-stopping vocals by The Raelettes–Charles’ historic group of female singers.”

Cuba Festival: Irene Rodríguez Compañía (thru May 22)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave. @ 19th St./ 8PM, $35, $60
IreneRodriguez5“The Joyce continues its dedication to promoting the best of Cuban dance in this festival focusing on the return of audience favorite Malpaso Dance Company and the New York debuts of two other skilled and stylish companies.

Irene Rodríguez, one of the most prominent figures in Cuban dance, has created a company rooted in classical Spanish Flamenco that has been presented on prestigious stages throughout Cuba. Merging the dramatic arts, contemporary dance, national rhythms, and anything else that unites both the tradition and modernity of the Cuban character, the company leaves a “trail of triumph and applause” (Granma, Cuba) whenever it performs.”

“Irene Rodríguez Compañía combines Spanish flamenco with contemporary dance and Cuban rhythms for infectious performances that honor both tradition and modernity. ‘ (Schaefer-NYT)

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

Vulture Festival (also Sunday)
‘New York magazine’s entertainment website, Vulture, hosts this annual celebration of all things binge-worthy in the world of pop culture. Many of the 30-plus offerings — which include talks, screenings and tours — are sold out, but standby tickets are available 15 minutes before each event. Among the highlights are a conversation with David Schwimmer of AMC’s coming drama “Feed the Beast” (7 p.m. on Saturday at Milk Studios, 450 West 15th Street) and a singalong of the musical “Rent” with Broadway stars (10:30 a.m. on Sunday, also at Milk Studios). Free events include screenings and talks with the casts of the new shows “You Me Her” (1 p.m. on Saturday, Roxy Hotel, 2 Avenue of the Americas) and “Kingdom” (5 p.m. on Saturday, also at the Roxy). More information at vulturefestival.com.” (NYT-AroundTown)

Elsewhere, but this just may be worth a very long detour:
Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival,
Factory Floor at Industry City; 2pm and 7pm; $69 per three-hour session
“At this vernal drinking extravaganza, fill up a souvenir wine glass with limitless samples of more than 200 wines from locales both near (Brooklyn Winery) and far (Australia, South Africa). Your ticket is good for three hours of nonstop sipping set to the sounds of a live jazz performance from local outfit the Blue Vipers. To complement the vino, snack on gratis hors d’oeuvres (cheese, crudités), with more grub for purchase at the new Supper Section stocked with borough eats like subs, sandwiches and pastries.” (TONY)

==========================================================
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
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)

Frick Collection:

‘Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture’ (through June 5)
“A rare exhibition devoted exclusively to the artist’s portraiture, which helped give the genre a new prominence. With their fluid brushwork and relaxed elegance, his subjects exude a sense of modern life and ease, despite the extravagant dress. The drawings are breathtaking. 1 East 70th Street, Manhattan, 212-288-0700, frick.org.” (Smith)

Metropolitan Museum of Art:

‘Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection’ (continuing)
“This lavish roll out of 160 objects came to the Met from the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation last spring. The Burkes loved Japanese art — all of it — and the collection is close to compendious in terms of media, from wood-carved Buddhas to bamboo baskets, with a particular strength in painting, early and late. The quality of the work? Japan thinks highly enough of it to have made the Burke holdings the first Japanese collection from abroad ever to show at Tokyo National Museum. Some pieces on view now will be rotated out and replaced in February, making this an exhibition to visit at least twice. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

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

Neue Galerie:

‘Munch and Expressionism’ (through June 13)
“There’s no question that Munch was a product of his Norwegian homeland. But this show makes him part of a larger history too. It argues that his art significantly shaped, and was shaped by, European culture of the early 20th century, when an atmospheric clash of liberationist yearning and doomsday fear charged the air like lightning and sparked reality-fracturing art styles, including German Expressionism. Along with “The Scream,” in the 1895 pastel version that sold at Sotheby’s a few years back, you’ll find wonderful paintings by Munch’s younger contemporaries Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Beckmann and Egon Schiele glowing like lamps against midnight-blue walls. 1048 Fifth Avenue, at 86th Street, 212-628-6200, neuegalerie.org.”(Cotter)

===========================================================
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 05/19 and 05/17.
=============================================================

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 (05/20) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Sweet 7 > FRIDAY / MAY 20, 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.
(click on links for more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do This:

The Ray Charles Songbook (also May 21)
Rose Theatre, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St./ 8PM, $40-$130
“A taste for ballads drenched in the blues links Diane Schuur with another sightless singer, the iconic Ray Charles. Paying homage to the innovative genius, Schuur will acknowledge Charles’s eclectic bent—his uncanny ability to turn everything from American Songbook standards to country music into a genre that we can classify only as Ray Charles music.” (NewYorker)

“Tonight, Kenny Rampton honors his former bandleader by presenting the most authentic Ray Charles experience possible. The band is full of Ray Charles alumni, the set lists are faithful recreations of actual Ray Charles sets, and the charts are transcribed from the original tour music. In addition, get this, heart-stopping vocals by The Raelettes–Charles’ historic group of female singers.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Kurt Rosenwinkel and the OJM Big Band (through May 22)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20, $35
“This astonishingly fluid and harmonically adventurous guitarist is among the most gifted members of the generation of players that followed such visionary six-string giants as Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell. Here he shares his luxurious chops with Portugal’s Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, which joined him on the 2010 album “Our Secret World.”(NewYorker)

Bill Stewart Quartet (through May 22)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South,/ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $
“Bill Stewart is a drummer of deep creative resources, and a composer drawn to crooked logic and low-key surprise. His engaging new album, “Space Squid,” spotlights the same longtime band joining him at the Village Vanguard next week, with the tenor and soprano saxophonist Seamus Blake, the pianist Bill Carrothers and the bassist Ben Street.”(Chinen-NYT)

Murray, Allen & Carrington Power Trio (through May 21)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $40
“Perfection” is the assured new debut album by this all-star trio, with David Murray on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Geri Allen on piano and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums. Stout in its purpose, ringing with expedition, it’s a statement of tribute to the avant-garde hero Ornette Coleman, but also a straightforward celebration of the bonds between these players.” (Chinen-NYT)

Cuba Festival: Irene Rodríguez Compañía (thru May 22)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave. @ 19th St./ 8PM, $35, $60
IreneRodriguez5“The Joyce continues its dedication to promoting the best of Cuban dance in this festival focusing on the return of audience favorite Malpaso Dance Company and the New York debuts of two other skilled and stylish companies.

Irene Rodríguez, one of the most prominent figures in Cuban dance, has created a company rooted in classical Spanish Flamenco that has been presented on prestigious stages throughout Cuba. Merging the dramatic arts, contemporary dance, national rhythms, and anything else that unites both the tradition and modernity of the Cuban character, the company leaves a “trail of triumph and applause” (Granma, Cuba) whenever it performs.”

“Irene Rodríguez Compañía combines Spanish flamenco with contemporary dance and Cuban rhythms for infectious performances that honor both tradition and modernity. ‘ (Schaefer-NYT)

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

Harlem EatUp (May 19-22)
“The Harlem EatUp! food festival is back for its second year on May 19th to 22nd featuring 38 chefs and over a dozen participating restaurants. Don’t miss your chance to celebrate the spirit of Harlem with four days of food, culture, music and art!

Events:
Dine In dinners – Harlem restaurants pair up with acclaimed chefs from across the country to collaborate on multi-course menus showcasing the unique feel of Harlem’s landscape.
The Stroll – Two days of fun in Morningside Park where you can sample delicious dishes at The Taste, shop local at The Market and catch cooking demos at The EatUp! Main Stage.
For more information, visit harlemeatup.com.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Bill Clinton: New Gilded Age President – Patrick Maney
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 12PM, $25
“Discover how Bill Clinton met the challenges of this new Gilded Age and hear about Bill Clinton in all his guises: The first baby boomer to reach the White House; the “natural” — the most gifted politician of his generation, but one with an inexplicably careless and self-destructive streak; the “Comeback Kid,” repeatedly overcoming long odds; the survivor, frequently down but never out; and, with Hillary Rodham Clinton, part of the most controversial First Couple since Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.” (thoughtgallery.org)

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

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 Summer 2016).
◊ Order before July 31, 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 Events (05/19) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

Today’s Sweet 6 > THURSDAY / MAY 19, 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.
(click on links for more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do This:

Cuba Festival: Irene Rodríguez Compañía (thru May 22)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave. @ 19th St./ 8PM, $35, $60
IreneRodriguez5 “The Joyce continues its dedication to promoting the best of Cuban dance in this festival focusing on the return of audience favorite Malpaso Dance Company and the New York debuts of two other skilled and stylish companies.

Irene Rodríguez, one of the most prominent figures in Cuban dance, has created a company rooted in classical Spanish Flamenco that has been presented on prestigious stages throughout Cuba. Merging the dramatic arts, contemporary dance, national rhythms, and anything else that unites both the tradition and modernity of the Cuban character, the company leaves a “trail of triumph and applause” (Granma, Cuba) whenever it performs.”

“Irene Rodríguez Compañía combines Spanish flamenco with contemporary dance and Cuban rhythms for infectious performances that honor both tradition and modernity. ‘ (Schaefer-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Bill Stewart Quartet (through May 22)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South,/ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $
“Bill Stewart is a drummer of deep creative resources, and a composer drawn to crooked logic and low-key surprise. His engaging new album, “Space Squid,” spotlights the same longtime band joining him at the Village Vanguard next week, with the tenor and soprano saxophonist Seamus Blake, the pianist Bill Carrothers and the bassist Ben Street.”(Chinen-NYT)

Murray, Allen & Carrington Power Trio (through May 21)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $40
“Perfection” is the assured new debut album by this all-star trio, with David Murray on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Geri Allen on piano and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums. Stout in its purpose, ringing with expedition, it’s a statement of tribute to the avant-garde hero Ornette Coleman, but also a straightforward celebration of the bonds between these players.” (Chinen-NYT)

Joey Ramone Birthday Bash
Webster Hall, 125 E11th St./ 7PM, looks like a tough ticket*
“Forty years ago, four high-school friends from Forest Hills, Queens, came up with the revolutionary idea to reduce rock and roll to three chords and play them loud, sloppy, and blindingly fast, in black leather Perfecto jackets. They called their band the Ramones, after the fake name that Paul McCartney used to check in to hotels incognito. Joey Ramone would have been sixty-five this year, and to celebrate his birthday a handful of old friends are gathering in the East Village to play live Ramones karaoke.

The band is pure punk-rock royalty, a supergroup made up of members of Blondie, the Dead Boys, the Minutemen, and the Bullys; one by one, Joey’s old friends from the Cramps, D Generation, the Independents, and the Dictators will get onstage to raise a glass to punk rock’s original antihero.” (NewYorker)

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

An Evening of Irish History in New York
American Irish Historical Society, 991 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, $25
“American and Irish academics recall New York City and Ireland’s shared history. An Evening of New York and Irish History with Matt Guterl, Chair of American and African Studies at Brown University (Roger Casement’s Ghost in Harlem) and Ruan O’Donnell, University of Limerick (America and the 1916 Rising).”

Harlem EatUp (May 19-22)
“The Harlem EatUp! food festival is back for its second year on May 19th to 22nd featuring 38 chefs and over a dozen participating restaurants. Don’t miss your chance to celebrate the spirit of Harlem with four days of food, culture, music and art!

Events:
Dine In dinners – Harlem restaurants pair up with acclaimed chefs from across the country to collaborate on multi-course menus showcasing the unique feel of Harlem’s landscape.
The Stroll – Two days of fun in Morningside Park where you can sample delicious dishes at The Taste, shop local at The Market and catch cooking demos at The EatUp! Main Stage.

For more information, visit harlemeatup.com.”

=======================================================
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.

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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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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’ (through July 24)
“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)

‘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:

‘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)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right sidebar dated 05/11 and 05/09.
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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 (05/18) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

Today’s Sweet 7 > WEDNESDAY / MAY 18, 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.
(click on links for more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do This:

Adam Gopnik and Lara Downes: NEW YORK STORIES
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 8PM, $35
“The pianist Lara Downes and the essayist Adam Gopnik come together to make an evening of music about New York City: its anthems, its atmosphere, its ambitions. From Gershwin to Joplin, and from William Grant Still to Kurt Weill, Downes will play the music she thinks best captures the special spirit of the city, while Gopnik will speak his mind — and read from the masters — about what Manhattan means. Together they promise a special evening of city conversation and cross-talk, both in notes and in words.” (thought gallery.org)
Oh Boy! I can’t wait for this one, should be superb.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Kurt Rosenwinkel and the OJM Big Band (through May 22)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20, $35
“This astonishingly fluid and harmonically adventurous guitarist is among the most gifted members of the generation of players that followed such visionary six-string giants as Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell. Here he shares his luxurious chops with Portugal’s Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, which joined him on the 2010 album “Our Secret World.” (NewYorker)

Murray, Allen & Carrington Power Trio (through May 21)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $
“Perfection” is the assured new debut album by this all-star trio, with David Murray on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Geri Allen on piano and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums. Stout in its purpose, ringing with expedition, it’s a statement of tribute to the avant-garde hero Ornette Coleman, but also a straightforward celebration of the bonds between these players.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

“This Is Not Your Mama’s MoMA: The Illusions of Modern Art”
El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue / 6:30PM, FREE
“In conjunction with their freaky-deaky show of ’60s-inspired Op and Kinetic Art titled “The Illusive Eye,” this Harlem museum has scheduled a talk between the show’s curator (who’s also the museum’s executive director) Jorge Daniel Veneciano and the esteemed New York Times critic and author of Are You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art, Ken Johnson (who is clearly into that kind of stuff).

The two will discuss psychedelic and occult properties within the history of Modern art—probably as they relate to the works in this show—and will likely field some bizarre questions from the stoners who actually managed to find their way up to Harlem.” (the Observer)

‘Cleaning Up New York’
Rizzoli Bookstore, 1133 Broadway / 6PM, FREE
“The writer Bob Rosenthal was Allen Ginsberg’s longtime secretary, and in the 1970s wrote the cult classic “Cleaning Up New York,” a mixture of memoir and practical guide to the working-class life. He discusses the work, which was recently reissued, with Ada Calhoun, author of “St. Marks Is Dead.” (NYT-Around Town)

Illustrated Talk: Central Park Trees and Landscapes
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center / 5:30PM, FREE
‘Central Park Conservancy will host natural history author and long-time Park enthusiast Edward Sibley Barnard for an illustrated talk about his new book Central Park Trees and Landscapes: A Guide to New York City’s Masterpiece, co-written by Neil Calvanese, the Conservancy’s former Vice President for Operations and chief arborist.”

Elsewhere, but this looks pretty unique and interesting, worth the detour:
Tenant Kitchens: Adaptations in America
Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St./ 6:30PM, $25
“Part exhibit, part cooking class, the Tenement Museum presents this rare chance to get your hands dirty in the gallery. Two kitchens from 1916, belonging to the Greek Confino family and the Rogarshevkys, from Lithuania, are faithfully recreated, highlighting the experiences of immigrant families in New York’s downtown slums during the early twentieth century. The culinary historian Sarah Lohman will show guests how to prepare traditional baklava as well as dishes that were invented by resourceful Orchard Street families, who combined old-country cuisines with the hodgepodge of Lower East Side cultures to create a culinary tradition that’s stood to this day.” (NewYorker)

PLUS:
Art Museum Day
“Celebrate Art Museum Day with events and free or discounted admission to many of the city’s museums. Various prices and locations.” (NYT-Today)
Find out who is participating here.

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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 – 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 / Tribeca

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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