Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Greenwich Village (10/21)

Today’s “Fab 5”/ Selected NYCity Events – MONDAY, OCT. 21, 2013

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

New York Television Festival, (Oct. 21–26)
“The boob tube has long been derided as a haven of mindless entertainment, but the field is shifting and television has largely supplanted film as the go-to medium for intelligent, original storytelling. The ninth-annual New York Television Festival caters to TV tastes both highbrow and lowbrow, with seminars, parties, an Independent Pilot Competition and high-profile screenings galore for industry types, aspiring creators and fans alike. For more information, visit nytvf.com.” (nycgo.com)
Multiple locations

Clarinet Master Class with David Shifrin
One of only two wind players to have been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize since the award’s inception in 1974, Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator
Manhattan School of Music, 120 Claremont Ave.
At 2pm / FREE
1-917-493-4428
subway: #1 train to 125th St.

The Last Banquet: Stories of Obsession and a Discussion with Jonathan Grimwood and More
An evening of storytelling, lively literary conversation, and bizarre culinary tastes. Join novelist Jonathan Grimwood and special guests at a celebration of food, obsession, and literature. Dishes prepared especially for the occasion by The Works executive chef Emily Casey and inspired by The Last Banquet will be served (You have been warned.)

Set against the backdrop of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the delectable decadence of Versailles, The Last Banquet is the gripping story of one man’s search for the ultimate taste. A sumptuous and appealing novel about food and flavor, about the Age of Reason, about revolution, hunger, and obsession.
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, (btw Houston/Prince)
AT 7:00PM / FREE
subway: 1-2-3 to TimesSq; transfer to N/R to Prince St; walk 1 block E, 1 block N

Jazz Trumpet Player Sean Jones and His Quartet
Whether he’s exploring the emotional depths of a ballad or tearing it up in a high-tempo cooker, Jones is one of the most exciting trumpet players on the jazz scene. The former lead trumpet player of Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jones plays the instrument with tremendous expressive power. The critics agree: The All About Jazz website said of his dynamic quartet’s new recording, “At times breathtaking, No Need for Words is an album of exceeding beauty.”
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd.
@ 135th St. Subway:#2, 3 trains to 135th St.
At 7:00PM / FREE
RSVP 1-212-491-2200

Juilliard Jazz Orchestra
The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, a prestigious showcase for some of the most talented emerging artists on the jazz scene, returns to the Mary Lea Johnson Performing Arts Center in a presentation hosted by Calhoun’s Performing Arts Series.

Since its inception in 2001, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra–taught by today’s most active, innovative, and respected jazz musicians–has appeared at the Detroit Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and the renowned Blue Note in New York City, and plays week-long runs at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The group also performs across the globe, thrilling audiences in locales such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Japan and Spain. The orchestra is conducted by James Burton III, a New York-based trombonist who has quickly earned a reputation as one of the most sought after performers/educators in the jazz community.

Open to the public, the concert is not only ideal for the aficionado, but it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce children ages 8 and up to jazz, in an intimate setting with state-of-the-art acoustics. Tickets are only $10 adults, $5 students and seniors. Venue is wheelchair accessible.
The Calhoun School’s Mary Lea Johnson Performing Arts Center
433 West End Avenue at 81st Street

At 7PM / $10
 

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

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges  – 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.
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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.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
That covers a wide range of food – pizza,  burgers,  food trucks/carts,  vegetarian/falafel,  ramen,  chopped salad & salad bars,  hot dogs,  bbq,  soup & sandwiches,  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).
(available Winter 2013)

 
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