Selected Events(02/01) + Today’sFeaturedNeighborhood: WestVillage

Today’s “Fab 5″ / Selected NYCity Events – SUNDAY, FEB. 01, 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.”

T. Oliver Reid, ‘Drop Me Off in Harlem’  —  Cabaret   (7pm)   

Bottlerocket Third Annual Whisk(e)y Fest  —  Food & Drink  (3pm-6pm) [FREE]

Bill Charlap Trio   Jazz   (7pm)   (9pm)   (10:30pm) 

Outsider Art Fair   Art   (11am-6pm)   

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra    Jazz  (8:30pm)   (10:30pm)

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: nyc123blog.wordpress.com
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T. Oliver Reid, ‘Drop Me Off in Harlem’
imagesSinger and Broadway star T. Oliver Reid leads what he describes as “a club hopping journey through the swanky clubs and low down joints of 1934 Harlem,” featuring the music of Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen, Andy Razaf, and more. In this new show, Reid performs each number with the unmistakable dramatic flair of a musical theater veteran, and he also provides an overview of the clubs, musicians, and social context of the music. Funny, informative, and a consummate showman, Reid will transport you back to the heyday of iconic venues like the Cotton Club. “In 1934, on a Saturday night in New York City, if you were boozin’ and jazzin’, you were doing it in Harlem.” 80 years later, we’re doing it right here at Metropolitan Room.

“There is no place you will ever see / Like this dusky town-within-a-town.” Seen (but not heard enough) in Broadway’s “After Midnight,” the remarkably versatile bari-tenor T. Oliver Reid shows how African-American music of the interwar years wasn’t just one single style, but a polyglot of styles—jazz, show music, gospel, blues—and he does justice to the cumulative legacies of all of these genres at once.” (WSJ)
Metropolitan Room, 34 W 22nd St. (btw Fifth and Sixth Aves)
7pm / $25
212-206-0440 / metropolitanroom.com

Bottlerocket Third Annual Whisk(e)y Fest
This sounds like a pretty good pregame event on SuperSunday.
“Bottlerocket is pouring free whiskey every single day in February

Need some liquid help to get through the nausea-inducing PDA-filled weeks of February? Luckily, Flatiron booze haven Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit is kickstarting their excellently-timed third annual Whisk(e)y Fest on February 1st, rolling out a month-long parade of tastings, classes and guests.

Fifty slug selections from around the world will be showcased throughout February and each day of the month will be dedicated to a featured whiskey, which you can taste for free between 5 and 8pm, except for Super Bowl Sunday, on which they’ll be hosting pours of Booker’s, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek and Old Grand Dad from 3 to 6pm before the big game.

And there’s even a special for you Pappy Van Winkle hunters—with every purchase of $100 or more, the shop will enter you into a raffle for a chance to buy a bottle of the distiller’s coveted, insanely hard-to-find 10, 15 or 20-year vintages at retail price (a $198 steal compared to the four-figure price tags they’re asking for on eBay).” (TONY)
Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit, 5 West 19th St. |
Sunday, February 1st, 2015 at 3:00PM to Saturday, February 28th, 2015 at 8:00PM
tastings generally 5-8pm, unless otherwise noted.
(212) 929-2323 / bottlerocket.com (for the daily lineup)

Bill Charlap Trio
images-1“The pianist Bill Charlap has become a trusted docent of the American songbook through his decade-long programming role at the 92nd Street Y. But his interaction with jazz standards finds no clearer or more illuminating results than in this spruce trio, with Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington (no relation) on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St.
This room suits the Charlap trio just perfectly.
At 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m. / $40
212-864-6662 / smokejazz.com

Outsider Art Fair
Vogue calls New York’s Outsider Art Fair, “the Most Refreshing Show in Town”
“Now in its twenty-third year, the Outsider Art Fair was long ago adopted by art world insiders. …the fair focuses on work by self-taught and folk artists. The pieces themselves …feel entirely fresh, giving more than enough reason to head to West Twenty-second Street this weekend and scale the vertiginous staircase at Center 548.

Open through Sunday, the fair features an embarrassment of mostly unknown riches. There is the extraordinary Opera Girl by Morris Hirshfield, which radiates like a twentieth-century Giotto at the booth of Galerie St. Etienne. The Creative Growth Art Center brought one of their few Judith Scott cocoons not currently on view at the artist’s Brooklyn Museum retrospective. There are original Vivian Maier photographs (as opposed to the disputed reprints), oil paintings coated in surfboard resin by New Zealander Rob Tucker, and the much-hyped stonework by Jerry the Marble Faun (better known as the gardener in Grey Gardens).” (Vogue – Mark Guiducci)
Center 548, 548 West 22nd St.
11am-6pm / $20
1 212 337 3338 / outsiderartfair.com

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (through Monday)
images-2“Typically this big band holds court only on Monday nights, but this week it has been celebrating its 49th anniversary, drawing from a repertory fortified by some of the smartest composer-arrangers ever to ply the form. (Case in point: Its current album, “OverTime: The Music of Bob Brookmeyer,” which is nominated for a Grammy Award.) The long run is welcome, because it presents the musicians with a chance to really settle in — and also for the simple reason that hearing this band, in this room, is one of the irreducible New York pleasures.” (Chinen-NYT)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, West Village,
At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. / $30
212-255-4037 / villagevanguard.com

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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 (pop. 8.4 million) had a record 56 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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A PremierPub / West Village

Corner Bistro/ 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $6.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
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Website: cornerbistrony.com
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk 2 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
Update:

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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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