Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide (12/28) + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Times Square/ Theater District 

Today’s “Fab 5”/ Selected NYCity Events – SATURDAY, DEC. 28, 2013

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “Notable NYC Events-Dec.”, (because the holiday season kicks into high gear in December)
and also “on Broadway”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

Circus Der Sinne (through Jan. 5)
Fans of contemporary circus may be used to the surreal worlds of Cirque du Soleil, but “Mother Africa” by Circus Der Sinne (“Circus of the Senses”) offers a warmer and more spirited journey through a specific cultural landscape. Riding a wave of propulsive rhythms, the show mixes the spectacle of contortionists, jugglers and other tricksters with live African music and dance.” (Schaefer-NYT)
New Victory Theater,  209 West 42nd St. (btw 7th/8th ave)
at 2 and 7 p.m. / $17 to $60
223-3010, newvictory.org

Barb Jungr ‘Dancing in the Dark’ (through Dec 29)
“Easily one of our major contemporary vocal artists, the Rochdale-born Barb Jungr is as much provocateur as she is a singer, as evidenced the way she builds her latest show around “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, rather than the 1931 standard that most cabaret goers would expect—and darned if she doesn’t succeed in making the Springsteen song sound almost as compelling as the Schwartz & Dietz classic. In fact, in reinterpreting the music of the leading singer-songwriters, she typically makes the songs sound more meaningful than the composers themselves—apparently no one told her that’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

This current show follows an arch of exceedingly melancholy seasonal texts, from Joni Mitchell’s “River” to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” all of which emphasize the bleakness of the midwinter solstice. She might have been tempted to title it “Christmas Night of the Soul,” but that would be giving too much away. As always, Ms. Jungr is the alternative to alt-cabaret.” (WSJ)
59E59, 59 E. 59th St.,
At 5:15 & 8:15PM / $35
(212) 279-4200

Open Loose 
“Mark Helias is a bassist equally committed to the causes of momentum and texture, and in that sense he has a very good thing in Open Loose, a band with Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone and Tom Rainey on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village
At 9 and 10:30 p.m./ $10 cover, with $10 minimum.
corneliastreetcafe.com, (212) 989-9319

PHISH (through Dec 31)
“It’s becoming a tradition for this iconic jam band to ring in the New Year with a multi-day extravaganza at Madison Square Garden, but “phans” (as they have come to be called) of the Vermont quartet may take extra delight in these anniversary performances. It was nearly thirty years ago this month that Phish played its first gig. Since then, the act has created a legacy of concerts (the show on Dec. 30 is its thirtieth at the Garden) that puts them in the Pantheon of great rock acts, thanks, in part, to their knack for never playing a song the same way twice.” (NewYorker mag)
Madison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plaza,7th Ave. at 33rd St.
At 7:30PM / $65
800-745-3000 / (212) 465-6741

The Disco Biscuits
“Camp Bisco” is in temporary session with this, the Disco Biscuits’s annual Manhattan engagement. The eccentric funk-dance group from Philadelphia promises theatrics directly at odds with their jam-roots musical foundation; it’s a strange, groovy alchemy.” (Anderson-NYT)
Best Buy Theater, 1515 Broadway, at 44th Street,
AT 11PM / $37.50-$45
If you can handle the late start and the young crowd, this might be fun.
929-7849, bestbuytheater.com
Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm dates and check times, as schedules are subject to change ================================================================================

A PremierPub + 3 Good Eating places 

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

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

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

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

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

===========================================================================================
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, 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.
===========================================================================================

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 (Betw 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 NYC 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 (Betw 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 none of the insane lines that you find at the Madison Sq. Park location. Plus, it may be the cleanest joint to eat in all of Hell’s Kitchen.

================================================================================
“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 other casual dining options in this neighborhood that provide good food, especially as alternatives to overpriced hotel breakfasts, and most importantly,
have free Wi-FI:

>Pret a Manger @ 11 W 42nd st (Betw 5th/6th)
Subway: #1/2/3 to 42nd st / times square

>Potbelly @ 30 Rockefeller Plaza (Betw 49/48 st)
Subway: #1 to 50th st

>Pret a Manger @ 1200 6th ave (Betw 47/48)
Subway: #1 to 50th 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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