Selected Events (02/11) + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Times Square/ Theater District

Today’s “Fab 5″+1 / Selected NYCity Events – WEDNESDAY, FEB. 11, 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.”

Zap Mama and Antibalas   Rock/Pop   (8pm)

Marilyn Maye —  Jazz   (7pm)  

Boozy Book Swap  —  SmartStuff/ Book swap   (7pm)

Loren Stillman Trio  Jazz   (9:30pm)   

Lincoln and the Jews SmartStuff/ Lecture   (7pm)

Synth Nights: Eli Keszler   Rock/Experimental   (8pm)   

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide:

♦ “9 Notable Events-Feb.”, 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:

Zap Mama and Antibalas
imgres“Born in Zaire and raised in Belgium, Marie Daulne founded Zap Mama in 1989, and the group has been releasing records since 1991. The outfit, which traffics in a fusion of traditional African styles and Europop, is particularly interested in exploring the various tonalities of the human voice, and its capacity for blending.

Daulne has made her home in New York since 2000, and she’s on a collaborative tour with the Brooklyn-based group Antibalas. The expansive rhythm machine, infused with Daptone Records horns, was founded by the saxophonist Martín Perna and fronted by the charismatic singer Duke Amayo, and is best known for its onstage work, several years ago, as the band for the Broadway show “Fela!” (NewYorker). If you saw “Fela” you know these guys are good.
Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St. (btw 9/10 Ave)
8pm / $35
212-414-5994 /

Marilyn Maye
images“Marilyn Maye, who is 86 going on 35, is presenting a string of Birdland performances emphasizing her jazz side, from Tuesday through Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., with Billy Stritch at the piano. With a voice like a blazing trumpet, she is at her peak, as is the ageless jazz pianist Barbara Carroll whose Saturday evening concerts at Birdland have been selling out.” (Stephen Holden-NYT)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St., Clinton,
7pm / $30
212-581-3080 /

Boozy Book Swap
“Dating website OkCupid and The Strand Bookstore are joining forces once more for their Boozy Book Swap. Bring a copy of your favorite book to trade while you mix and mingle in The Strand Bookstore’s cozy book room, where the music and wine will be flowing. Feast on treats from Fat Witch Bakery too! “ (
7 p.m. / $20
Rare Books Room at The Strand, 828 Broadway, East Village.

Loren Stillman Trio
imgres-1“Two of the more beguiling jazz albums released last year featured the alto saxophonist’s sinuous improvisations: “Apocryphal,” by Vinnie Sperrazza, and “Going Public,” by Stillman’s own Bad Touch band. In an intriguingly spare setting, Stillman, who displays a lithe grace when he plays, is flanked by the guitarist Nate Radley and the drummer Jared Schonig.” (NewYorker)
Smalls, 183 W. 10th St.
9:30pm / $20

Lincoln and the Jews
From the time of Lincoln’s presidency to the present day, American Jews have viewed him as a sympathetic figure. Two leading historians of American Judaism consider how Lincoln acquired his exceptional status.
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place
7:00pm / $15

Synth Nights: Eli Keszler
“The Kitchen is consistently brilliant in its booking of avant-garde performances, but it outdoes itself with this series, whose past curators include Laurie Anderson and Nico Muhly. In this installment, the hard-core rock-cum-experimental innovator Eli Keszler weaves performance art with his compositions in a new piece titled “Filtrations,” comprising exposed piano wires, sculptures and several musicians.” (Anderson-NYT)
the Kitchen, 512 West 19th St., Chelsea,
8pm / $15
212-255-5793 /

♦ 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.

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. (Btw 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 NYCity 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. (Btw 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 a bit less of the insane lines that you find at the Madison Sq. Park location. Worth the wait.

Xi’an Famous Foods – 24 W45th St. (Btw 5th/6th ave)
Try to avoid long lunch lines. Order lamb hand ripped noodles and warm your insides at one of the tables in the back. You’ll return, just remember that even mild is pretty spicy.

“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, with expanded descriptions, maps with contact info, 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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