Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide (01/25)+ Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Today’s “Fab 4”/ Selected NYCity Events – SATURDAY, JAN. 25, 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.

“The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution” (thru Feb 13)
“The Historical Society visits a watershed exhibition in the history of American art (and a significant event in the annals of New York City) with this centennial celebration of the 1913 Armory Show, the controversial survey that introduced New York audiences to the works of such modern artists as Duchamp, Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Some of those same pieces return here.” (TONY listings)
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Sts
Sat 10am–6pm; Tue–Thu, Fri 10am–8pm; Sun 11am–5pm
$18, seniors $14, students $12
Fri 6–8pm pay what you wish
212-873-3400 / nyhistory.org

BILLY CHILDS JAZZ CHAMBER ENSEMBLE
“Although Childs gained early notice for his taut piano work with such hard-bop heroes as Freddie Hubbard, he’s now most recognized for Grammy-winning recordings that ingeniously blend jazz and classical music. Here his sextet, which includes the celebrated drummer Brian Blade, will interact with the Ying String Quartet.” (NewYorker listings)
Allen Room, Jazz At Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St.
At 7PM / $55-$75
212-721-6500

‘The Power of Poison’ (through Aug. 10)
The good and bad uses of poison will be covered in this interactive exhibition that includes animation and a bit of theater. In his review for The New York Times, Edward Rothstein said that this is one of the museum’s “most theatrical exhibitions” and that the curating team has “combined elements with deft curatorial alchemy, touching on every taxonomical category.”
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street,
Daily from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m./ $22, $17 for students and 60+
(212) 769-5200, amnh.org

SATURDAY AT THE BALLET WITH GEORGE
Each winter the NYCB celebrates the birthday of Founding Choreographer George Balanchine with a full day of activities and performances. This year’s highlights include movement workshops for adults and children, a special onstage presentation on the training of an NYCB dancer, and two dazzling performances: a mixed all-Balanchine repertory program and his opulent full-length ballet Jewels, which showcase the mastery of this 20th-century choreographer.

The workshops look to be sold out, but for detailed info on all the programs and ticket info go to the NYCB website: nycballet.com

Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and 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, 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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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. ================================================================================

◊ 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 Spring 2014)

 
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