Selected events (01/12) + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Times Square/ Theater District

Today’s “Fab 5″+1 / Selected NYCity Events – MONDAY, JAN. 12, 2015.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

Captain Black Big Band   —  Jazz   (7pm) (9pm)

Tanya Tagaq   —  New Wave   (7pm)

The Best American Travel Writing 2014    SmartStuff/ Book Talk   (7pm)

Steve Earle w/Shawn Colvin — Pop/Rock   (8pm) 

August Bournonville and the Danish Joy of Dance-
Lecture by Erik Aschengreen   —  
Dance    (6:30pm)

‘A Good Thing Going: 
The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration’   —  
Musical Theater   (2pm) (7:30pm)

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Jan.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity Sights, Sounds and Stories visit out our sister site:

Captain Black Big Band, Conducted by Orrin Evans
Captain_Black_Big_BandCaptain Black, the celebrated 16-Piece Jazz Orchestra under the direction of pianist Orrin Evans, performs on alternating Mondays and frequently features musicians like Marcus Strickland, Todd Bayshore, Stacy Dillard, Freddie Hendrix, Conrad Herwig, Dave Gibson, Tia Fuller, Bruce Williams , Luques Curtis, Vince Ector and more. There most likely isn’t a more “jazz-like” improvisational approach to running a big band: while Captain Black has a tight book of regular arrangements that the band draws from, the uniqueness of this particular big band project lies within the group’s ability to let Evans “call” tunes and make arrangements on the spot, keeping the material fresh, new and exciting from week to week.
Smoke Jazz Club and Lounge, 2751 Broadway, btw 105th and 106th Sts
7PM & 9PM / $9 music charge, 3-Course Dinner Prix-Fixe available for $38
212-864-6662 /

Tanya Tagaq
tanya-tagaq-publicity-photo.jpeg“This Inuit Canadian who specializes in her culture’s traditional throat-singing techniques often sounds like the extremely vocal child of Björk and Janis Joplin. Tanya Tagaq takes the technique to the limit on her recent Animism, delivering a surprising assortment of pants, growls, purrs, snarls, and screams over strings, percussion, and electronics. The hills are alive with the sound of fucking in “Damp Animal Spirits,” and the hills are destroyed to the sounds of “Fracking.” Flight or fight? All options are explored. She performs here with contemporary-music string aces the Sirius Quartet.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St.
7PM / $22

The Best American Travel Writing 2014
Contributors Tony Perrottet, Andrew Mc Carthy, Julia Cooke

Best American Travel Writing 2014 is a far-ranging collection of the best travel writing pieces published in 2014, collected by guest editor Paul Theroux. The Best American Travel Writing consistently includes a wide variety of pieces, illuminating the wonder, humor, fear, and exhilaration that greets all of us when we embark on a journey to a new place.

“Travel connoisseurs divide the world into those places they’ve been dying to visit or revisit and places they’d never set foot in but are glad someone else did. This year’s volume of travel writing . . . focuses mostly on the latter with derring-do dispatches.” – USA Today
Half King, 505 w 23rd St.

Steve Earle (Mondays, through Jan. 26) w/Shawn Colvin tonight.
“This Texas singer has received a second career wind thanks to TV showrunners who aspire to his grittiness. He’s appeared either in person or through song on “The Wire,” “Longmire,” “Treme,” and most recently, “True Detective.” And like that newest series, Mr. Earle’s music is entrenched in the backwater past: bluesy slide guitars, lo-fi vocals, plenty of heart and fury. This week’s edition of his monthlong residency at City Winery is a double bill with Shawn Colvin.” (Andrew R. Chow-NYT)
City Winery, 155 Varick Street, near Spring St.
8PM / $55-$65 (may be sold out, add your name to wait list or try the secondary market)
212-608-0555 /
here’s the thing – mondays around town are a bit slow, next week book this show early.

Elsewhere, but these look worth the detour:

August Bournonville and the Danish Joy of Dance-
Lecture by Erik Aschengreen
“You may not readily connect the Danes with classical dance, but choreographer August Bournonville (1805-79) had a huge influence on the development of ballet in the 19th century. Many balletomanes feel his works—with their characteristically graceful, airy style—still represent the purest aspect of the art. A noted ballet critic introduces us to August Bournonville and the Danish Joy of Dance in a lecture punctuated with excerpts from the master’s ballets, as danced by his company, the Royal Danish Ballet (performing at the Joyce Theater in January)” (
Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, 58 Park Ave.
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm / FREE

‘A Good Thing Going:
The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration’
The 92nd Street Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists series is exploring the works and partnership of Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince, who collaborated on “Company,” “Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “Pacific Overtures,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Merrily We Roll Along.” Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff and Jeremy Jordan are among the Broadway stars taking part in this program.
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue,
at 2 and 7:30 p.m. / $60
212-415-5500 /

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.

A PremierPub + 3 Good Eating places

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

IMG_2083Jimmy’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 –
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, 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.

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”
This covers a wide range of food – the traditional pizza, burgers, & hot dogs; but also food trucks & carts, soup & sandwiches, picnic fixins’, raw bars & lobster rolls, bbq, vegetarian / falafel, ramen, chopped salad & salad bars. 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 order a copy of my e-book: “Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($3.99, available Spring 2015).
◊ Order before May 31, 2015 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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