Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide (01/23)+ Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Midtown West

Today’s “Fab 4”/ Selected NYCity Events – THURSDAY, JAN. 23, 2014

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “Notable NYC Events-Jan”, 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.

Lauren Fox & Ritt Henn,
‘Ghosts of Love—Songs from the Reel World of David Lynch’
This atmospheric presentation, as much a theatrical event as a nightclub set, reduces narrative, both sung and spoken, to its barest essence with the singing of Lauren Fox and the fender bass and vocals of Ritt Henn. The two juxtapose songs heard in the unsettling films of the provocative auteur David Lynch alongside often cryptic dialogue from those same movies.

As in “Twin Peaks” or “Lost Highway,” the overall result is dark, dark, dark—and hypnotically compelling. There’s unexpected levity in their interpretations of cheerful songs like “I’ve Told Every Little Star” and “This Magic Moment” (as even the 1960 bubblegum hit “Sixteen Reasons”), which have now been thoroughly “Lynched.”
The Triad (Stage 72), 158 W. 72nd St.,
At 7PM / $20
(800) 838-3006 /

J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – SemiFinals
Top-ranked squash players will compete in this annual contest taking place in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal. Men’s semifinals on Thursday at 5 p.m.; and finals Friday at 6 p.m.
Grand Central Terminal,Park Ave and 42nd St,
$8 to $170
(718) 569-0594,

Simone Dinnerstein, piano
A pianist of “arresting freshness and subtlety” (TIME), Simone Dinnerstein returns to Miller Theatre for her second solo recital bringing together challenging keyboard works both old and new. Though Dinnerstein is perhaps best known for her interpretations of Bach, The Philadelphia Inquirer puts her “in a league with any of the great Beethoven pianists of our time.” She’ll pair one of Beethoven’s most profound piano sonatas with a clever work by George Crumb, the New York premiere of a recent piece by Nico Muhly written just for her, and Bach’s ingenious Two-Part Inventions, which are too-rarely performed in concert.

Bach: Two-Part Inventions for keyboard, Op. 772 – 786
Crumb: Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik (Ruminations on ‘Round Midnight by Thelonius Monk)
Nico Muhly: You Can’t Get There From Here – New York premiere
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Opus 11
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway (at 116th Street)
8:00 PM / $35 – $45
212-854-7799 /

Irabagon Fest* (through Friday)
A smart young saxophonist who has successfully ducked in and out of the mainstream jazz tradition, Jon Irabagon spearheads three bands this week. Tonight he will work with a quartet that seems equally inclined toward progressivism, with Ralph Alessi on trumpet, Michael Formanek on bass and Tom Rainey on drums. On Friday he will be working in a trio format with the guitarist Mary Halvorson and the drummer Tyshawn Sorey.” (Chinen-NYT)
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village,
Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 9 and 10:30 p.m.,$10 cover, with a $10 minimum.
(212) 989-9319,

Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.

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.

Those 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; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).


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 some nights includes a sax player with a younger, trimmer piano man.

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