Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Times Square/ Theater District (08/29)

Today’s “Fab 5″/ Selected NYCity Events –FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2014

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
“9 Notable Events-August”and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity Sights, Sounds and Stories visit out our sister site: nyc123blog.wordpress.com
♦ For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.
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Caribbean Festivals (through Monday)
“This weekend vibrant spectacles will keep the sounds and colors of the season alive at celebrations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. On Friday at 6 p.m., a festival of brass bands kicks off the weekend portion of the annual West Indian American Day Carnival on the streets around the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, at Prospect Park.

Saturday’s fare includes a parade and a carnival for children at 9 a.m. and a steel band concert at 6 p.m. A band competition, on Sunday at 7 p.m., will feature performers like the Mighty Sparrow, (King) David Rudder and Robert (Lord) Nelson. On Monday, the parade along Eastern Parkway begins at 11 a.m. at Schenectady Avenue, with marchers continuing along the Parkway to the Flatbush Avenue Extension. The parade is free, but tickets (starting at $40) are required for the shows; details are at wiadca.com.

Caribbean pride will also be displayed on Sunday from 2 to 7 p.m. at a free festival sponsored by Virgin Islanders United in Jackie Robinson Park, 85 Bradhurst Avenue, at 146th Street, Hamilton Heights. The performers include the Image Band, the Mighty Swallow, and Elizabeth Watley and the Outta Limitz Band; virginislandersunited.org. Not a bad finale to the season.” (Anne Mancuso-NYT)

Ed Palermo Big Band (also Saturday)
“The saxophonist-bandleader combines perfect pop with eccentric wizardry for the next two nights – think “Hello It’s Me” into “Black Napkins” – when he leads his dynamic 18-piece big band through “Zodd Zundgren,” a promisingly demented mash-up of music by Todd Rundgren and Palermo’s longtime focus, Frank Zappa. Expect brief stopovers in the halls of King Crimson and Paul Simon.” (Richard Gehr-VillageVoice)
Iridium, 1650 Broadway, at 51st St.
8:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. / $30
212-582-2121 / iridiumjazzclub.com

Bryant Park Shakespeare (last 2 days)
Love’s Labour’s Lost presented by Boomerang Theatre Company

Shakespeare’s smart comedy about the battle of the sexes. A king and friends swear an oath to renounce women, but a princess and companions put that plan to the test. Produced by the award-winning Boomerang Theatre Company, known for its Shakespeare series in Central Park.
Bryant Park, Upper Terrace Steps. 42nd St. (btw 5/6 ave)
7:00pm – 9:10pm / FREE

Dee Dee Bridgewater Featuring Theo Croker (through Sunday)
“Ms. Bridgewater is a jazz singer with the knock-’em-dead instincts of a trouper, which isn’t to suggest that she’s incapable of introspection. She has recently put a lot of effort into the emulation of Billie Holiday — and the cultivation of promising younger musicians, notably Mr. Croker, an incisive trumpeter who joins her in a featured role during this weekend run.” (Chinen-NYT)
Blue Note, 131 West Third Street, Greenwich Village,
212-475-8592, bluenote.net
At 8 and 10:30 p.m./$35 cover at tables, $20 at the bar, with a $5 minimum.

Elsewhere, but absolutely worth the detour:

U.S. TENNIS OPEN (Day 5) / TODAY’S PREMIER EVENT
Maria-Sharapova-hot-picture-2013The U.S. Open continues today (11AM) at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens (about 45 min. from Times Square), and runs through Sept. 8. This is the fourth and final tournament which culminates the tennis Grand Slam each year. It consists of five event championships: men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles, with additional tournaments for seniors and juniors.
subway: #1-2-3 to Times Square; transfer to #7 to Mets-Willets Point.

When you first arrive check out one of the electronic scoreboards listing in progress matches. Find a match or players that interest you. Head over to their court for some great competitive tennis, because in this tournament even the qualifiers are great players. Sometimes the most competitive, fun matches are on the outer courts.

There is no other major sporting event where you can get so close to world class athletes as at the U.S. Open – on the outer courts, the Grandstand court, or even Louis Armstrong stadium. Courts where you can get a real sense of the pace of the game.

Three former US Open champions lead a sizzling slate of action on Day 5, as Roger Federer, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova each look to take another step toward tennis’ toughest title. The three who’ve been there are joined by a host of contenders who’d love to get there, including Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Grigor Dimitrov, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic.

Matches to watch today (per Matt Cronin – usopen.org):
19-Venus Williams vs. 13-Sara Errani
Errani has long been one of the most effective clay courters in the world. About three years ago she began to improve on hard courts as well, largely by becoming a more aggressive player. She reached the semis here two years ago, and while she hasn’t been fantastic in 2011, she keeps pushing herself.

Still, Venus has been stronger of the two in their head-to-head matchups, winning all three matches with ease. Errani can try to smack the lines and mix up her shots, but Venus is tall and to handle Errani’s heavy spins. Expect Venus to advance again – again in straight sets.

5-Maria Sharapova vs. 26-Sabine Lisicki – (EVENING session)
The German Lisicki loves grass, reaching the 2013 Wimbledon final after blasting past some of the tour’s best players. But hard courts are a different story. While they are still quick, they require Lisicki to contest more balls, leading to fatigue and, often, mistakes.

For those reasons, it is not surprising that Sharapova owns a 5-1 record against her. Yes, Lisicki played great to take down the Russian at 2012 Wimbledon, but she has been unable to best the five-time Grand Slam champion on either clay or hard courts. Sharapova not only can hit with huge forehands and backhands, but she also can also dig down and keep churning. Lisicki can belt the ball, but she’s not as consistent, which is why Sharapova will push through in two long sets.

Other Picks
It is obvious that Caroline Wozniacki and Andrea Petkovic will play three long sets, even though the Dane has been playing much better over the past two months and is rising again. The two haven’t played since the 2011 US Open, which was won by Wozniacki, 6-1, 7-6, in the quarters. That was then and this is now and both have improved overall, despite ups and downs due to injury and inconsistency. “Petko” will move inside the baseline, but Wozniacki’s isn’t missing and will win in three sets.

A contest between Jerzy Janowicz and Kevin Anderson could go to the full five sets. Anderson nearly went down in five in his first-round match, while Janowicz has been struggling this year. But he can crack the ball. Take the Polish big banger in five sets.

American Tim Smyczek loves to fight and really enjoys bouncing around New York. He will enjoy the crowd and charging two and fro, but the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut is rising, currently ranked No. 17. Bautista Agut can hustle for hours and will win in four sets.

Today’s tips: Lines to get into the show courts will be long this holiday weekend. Pick a court with matches you are most interested in and stay put. Watching the players on the new practice courts is a good way to get a free tennis lesson, and video screens show when your fave player is scheduled to hit. The best review of the tournament and the current state of tennis can be found at the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com

Finally, these places around the grounds provide special fan experiences, a place to beat the heat, and are open to the public:
Heineken House – big screen tv’s, quality photo booth op, various sporting challenges, sandwiches & beer available for purchase. Say Hi to my fave Heineken girl – Missy.
American Express Fan Experience – swing analysis, 180 degree photo op, charging lockers. Second level of the lounge is only open to card members, where food and drinks are available for purchase.
Time Warner Cable Studios – photo ops, prizes, charging stations.

And only for Chase Bank customers:
Chaise Lounge – snacks and light refreshments (requires pre-registration).

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity is a big town with many visitors, where quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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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.
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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

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, 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 (except for certain jazz clubs).
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 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.

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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 essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide (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 Fall 2014)

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