Selected Events (01/30) + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Midtown West

Today’s “Fab 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – FRIDAY, JAN. 30, 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.”

Winter Carnival Special Event/ Sporting Life   (12pm-10pm)   [FREE]

Jazz and Colors at the Met  Museum   (6pm)   (7:30pm)  [pay what you wish]

Dance on Camera Film Festival 2015 Film   (various times)

Bernstein’s “Romeo and Juliet”  —  Classical Music   (8:30pm) 

Frick Collection: Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery  
Museum   (6-9pm)   [FREE]

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:

Winter Carnival (also Sat. Jan. 31)
A Frosty Celebration!
Bundle up and come on out for the 1st annual Winter Carnival at Bank of America Winter Village! Embrace the frosty weather and join us for a celebration of the winter season. This jam-packed weekend will get you out into the elements, try some wintery spins on park favorites, as well as exciting events making their Winter Village debut.

Here’s what I am looking for:
Curling Lessons / 2:00pm – 3:30pm | East End of Rink
searchSweep sweep sweep! We’ll have professional instructors and equipment on hand to teach you how to play this classic oddball winter sport. Line will form on eastern edge of ice rink. Skates not permitted – shoes only. Do not go through the Skating Pavilion to access this activity. Open Skating will be available on the rest of the Rink as usual.

Also Featuring:
Outdoor Winter Brew House
Comfort Food by Local Chefs
Summer Themed Skate Night
Ice Golf, Curling and Hockey on the Rink
Frozen Fingers Ping Pong
Games and Giveaways
Bryant Park
12:00PM – 10:00PM / FREE
Plus Bryant Park’s Winter Village skating rink features free admission (skate rentals are $15). Skating hours are 8 a.m to 10 p.m.

Jazz and Colors at the Met: The Masterworks Edition
Fifteen ensembles. Fifteen galleries. One setlist.
Lose yourself at the Met and find dazzling masterpieces of art and jazz.

SET ONE: Edgar Sampson Stompin’ at the Savoy; Cole Porter Night & Day; Billy Strayhorn Take the A Train; Johnny Green Body & Soul; Thelonious Monk Straight, No Chaser; Charles Mingus Good Bye Porkpie Hat

SET TWO: Sonny Rollins St. Thomas; Miles Davis All Blues; Lee Morgan The Sidewinder; Ornette Coleman Lonely Woman; Alice Coltrane Blue Nile; Max Roach Freedom Day
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
6pm and 7:30pm / Suggested Admission $25

Dance on Camera Film Festival 2015 (through Feb. 3)
ALL THAT JAZZNow in its 43rd year, Dance on Camera honors ballet and contemporary dance personalities through documentaries and narrative films, while also demonstrating dance’s capacity to change lives and contribute to well-being. More than ever, Dance on Camera moves beyond familiar expectations to explore new genres, such as cheerleading and girls’ hand-clapping games that have an empowering effect on young women. In addition to putting the spotlight on youth, this year’s edition pays homage to crossover artists who bring a unique perspective to their art.
Filmmakers and dancers will do q+a at select screenings.
Film Society Lincoln Center
$14 General Public / $9 Student & Senior

Bernstein’s “Romeo and Juliet”
January’s concert series showcases several exciting collaborations. Erich Schoen-René performs the Caprice for Cello and Orchestra by TCS co-founder Yaniv Segal, and the orchestra teams up with TCS Resident Composer Aaron Dai for Overture alla Marcia, a festive instrumental world premiere.Emanouil Manolov performs the solo in Sibelius’s dramatic Violin Concerto.

Here’s the highlight – selections from West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein’s beloved reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet, complete the program. That’s what I’m looking forward to.
Conductors: Reuben Blundell, Julie Desbordes, Matthew Aubin
St. Paul’s Church, 315 West 22nd Street (between 8th + 9th Avenues),
8:30pm / $20

Frick Collection: Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery 
Enjoy a night of free programs and a special after-hours viewing of Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery (Friday 6-9PM). The evening will include gallery talks, sketching, and live music inspired by the exhibition. Visitors will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, and reservations are not accepted.

‘Masterpieces From the Scottish National Gallery’ (through Feb. 1)
Sargent_2000“As it did last year with masterworks from the Mauritshuis, the Frick has welcomed 10 paintings from the Scottish National Gallery, in Edinburgh, home to a renowned collection of fine art from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. It’s a quieter sort of exhibition, exemplified by the under-the-radar entrance of Sargent’s “Lady Agnew of Lochnaw.” It’s also a rangier show, one that isn’t as identifiably Scottish as the Mauritshuis works were Dutch — even considering the commanding Sir Henry Raeburn portrait of a kilted Macdonell clan chief.” (Karen Rosenberg)

♦ 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 / 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.

lThose 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 near the piano man; 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 now includes a sax player with a younger, trimmer piano man. “tiny” we miss you.

“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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