Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Greenwich Village (08/22)

Today’s “Fab 4” / Selected NYCity Events – THURSDAY, AUG 22, 2013.

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide be sure to check out:
“Notable Events-August”, “on Broadway”,  and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

LINCOLN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Lulacruza
“Shamanic Electronica. Lulacruza bring together Colombia and Argentina with the rest of the world in an electro ethnic ritual” – Rolling Stone

Lulzcruza is an electronic folk duo at the junction of the hypermodern and the ancient. Their music weaves together hypnotic female singing, South American instruments, found sound objects, field recordings, and electronic manipulation. The result is a cross-genre, world-esque music unfolding with mesmerizing vocals, aquatic textures and up-tempo, handcrafted South American rhythms.

Lulacruza is made up of Alejandra Ortiz (Colombia) and Luis Maurette (Argentina). Alejandra is an extraordinary songbird and plays the Colombian cuatro, shruti box, tar and kalimba. Luis Maurette complements with electronic processing and sequencing, as well as percussion, charango, and Amazonian flutes. Together they create catchy, powerful and intimate music that is hard to classify, but has been called pop, folk, electronic, Latin, ambient, world, new age, ethnic, experimental, and even jazz.
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W 62 St
At 7:30PM / FREE
212-875-5350 / atrium.lincolncenter.org

Sunset Salsa
Enjoy an evening of salsa dancing and music as the sun sets.
The best instructors from NYC lead a free lesson from 6:30pm-7:30pm, followed by open dancing from 7:30pm-9:00pm.
Hudson River Park,  at 14th Street Park in Meatpacking District
at 6:30PM / FREE
1-212-627-2020

Anat Cohen and Choro Aventuroso* – Today’s Top Pick
Ms. Cohen, a clarinetist of irresistible rhythmic aplomb, has had some memorable triumphs playing choro, a popular Brazilian music with a strong downbeat and a lightly syncopated cadence. She puts her own spin on the style with Choro Aventuroso, presenting the group for the first time here, as part of the WBGO Jazz Series at 54 Below.” (Chinen-NYT)
54 BELOW, 254 West 54th St.
at 7 and 9 p.m. / $25 and $35 cover, with a $15 minimum
(646) 476-3551, 54below.com

Jimmy Cobb Trio* (through Aug. 25)
“Jimmy Cobb, the venerable hard-bop drummer, routinely leads small combos — but rarely a trio, and not often at the Village Vanguard, where he worked with Miles Davis in the 1950s. His band mates are the fastidious young Japanese pianist Tadataka Unno and the adaptable Italian bassist Paolo Benedettini.” (Chinen-NYT)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave S, at 11th Street, West Village,
At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m./ $25 cover, with a one-drink minimum
(212) 255-4037, villagevanguard.com

Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm dates and check times, as schedules are subject to change.
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A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village

Caffe Vivaldi  /  32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker/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’ ”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, wine bars, cocktail lounges,  tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge.

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3 Good Eating places 

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

Fish – 280 Bleecker St (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $8 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

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

Num Pang – 21 E 12th st (btw. University place/5th ave)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. 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.

The focus for “3 Good Eating places” is on Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style
(pizza,  burgers,  food trucks/carts,  vegetarian/falafel,  soup & sandwiches,  salad bars,  hot dogs,  bbq,  picnic fixins’,  raw bars & lobster rolls – no reservations needed).

—————————————————————————–—————————–———–———
There are also some casual dining, chain restaurant locations in this neighborhood that have decent food, provide a good hotel breakfast alternative, and have free Wi-FI:

A. Pret a Manger @ 821 Broadway (betw 12/13 st)
Subway: #1/2/3 to 42nd st; transfer to n/q/r to 14th st/union sq

B. Potbelly @ 41 W14th st (betw 5th/6th ave)
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th st

C. Cosi @ 53 E 8th st (betw greene/mercer)
Subway: #1/2/3 to 42nd st; transfer to n/r to 8th st

◊ For a few more PremierPubs and Good Eating places see previous Featured Neighborhoods in the right sidebar.

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places and descriptions of my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods (plus 27 casual dining places with free Wi-Fi) order a copy of my e-book: “Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($3.99).

 
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