Today’s “Fab 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – WEDNESDAY, MAR. 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.”
Mivos Quartet & Kate Soper — Classical Music (7pm)
A Taste of Italy — Food & Drink (6pm)
Jason Moran Celebrates the 80th Anniversary of the Village Vanguard —
Jazz (8:30pm) (10:30pm)
National Book Critics Circle Finalist’s Reading 2015 –
SmartStuff/ Readings (6pm)
The Noble Hustle: An Evening with Colson Whitehead —
SmartStuff/ Book Talk (7pm)
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: nyc123blog.wordpress.com
Mivos Quartet & Kate Soper
“The Italian Academy at Columbia keeps on delivering some of the most intriguing classical programs in town. (And you can’t beat the price, either.) Tonight the adventurous Mivos players present works by Berg, Gesualdo and Iannotta, plus a world premiere by the wildly talented composer-soprano Kate Soper (who will join Mivos in performance).” (TONY)
Kate Soper, a 2012 Guggenheim Laureate, is quickly gaining recognition as one of the most important composers of her generation. Her work, effortlessly theatrical and dazzling in its virtuosity, explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure. Soper’s timbral fusion of voice and instruments and her development of extreme vocal techniques have created a new frontier for the vocal repertoire
Italian Academy (at Columbia University), 1161 Amsterdam Ave. (btw 116/118 St.)
7pm / FREE
A Taste of Italy
Celebrate Italy with our walk-around tasting devoted to Europe’s famous boot. Italy’s legendary winemaking covers over 2,000 native grape varieties as well as varied terrain. You can only imagine the passion this country has for its wine. From Veneto to Tuscany to Piedmont-and all of the areas in between-we’ll explore the wonderful regions (and grapes) that make Italy such a prominent force in the industry.
Of course, no tasting would be complete without some bites to complement our liquid offerings. Join us for an evening of bountiful wine, cheese, charcuterie, and good company. We’re pouring 24 wines at this walk-around event, our tip-of-the-hat to one of the most diverse wine regions around. Sounds good to me – I’ll be there.
Astor Center, 399 Lafayette St. (at East 4th St.)
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM / $45
(212) 674-7501 / astorcenternyc.com
Jason Moran Celebrates the 80th Anniversary of the Village Vanguard (through March 15)
“As part of the Village Vanguard’s anniversary festivities, the club commissioned this tribute from the pianist Jason Moran, who never met a programming challenge he couldn’t enliven. Mr. Moran decided to feature a different part of the Vanguard legacy each night — starting on Tuesday with an evening of solo piano, featuring himself along with Kenny Barron, Stanley Cowell, Fred Hersch and Ethan Iverson. On Wednesday, Mr. Moran’s trio, the Bandwagon, will accompany the poets Elizabeth Alexander and Yusef Komunyakaa; on Thursday the band will appear with the comedians Marina Franklin, David Alan Grier and Keith Robinson.” (Chinen-NYT)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St, West Village,
At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m./$30
212-255-4037 / villagevanguard.com
National Book Critics Circle Finalist’s Reading 2015
Every year, the National Book Critics Circle presents awards for the finest books published in English in the categories of: Fiction, General Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism. On Wednesday finalists will read from their work.The stellar lineup includes Marlon James, John Lahr, Roz Chast, Lynne Tillman and Elizabeth Kolbert.
The New School (Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall), 66 West 12th St., room 510
6pm / FREE
The Noble Hustle: An Evening with Colson Whitehead
Join Colson Whitehead for a reading and discussion to celebrate the paperback release of “The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death”, a gritty, grimly funny account of Whitehead’s adventures in poker, from an amateur run at seedy $2 tables in Atlantic City to the World Poker Series in Las Vegas, with a few diversions for beef jerky and contemplations of mortality along the way. A brilliantly insightful foray into an odd American subculture, The Noble Hustle comes nothing close to a gamble: a hugely entertaining social satire whose main target is the author himself.
McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St.
7:00pm / FREE
BONUS JAZZ PICKS:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South — villagevanguard.com / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — bluenotejazz.com / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. — 55bar.com / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of 8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015. Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
A PremierPub / Tribeca
B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St))
There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.
But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.
It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.
There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.
Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.
It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.
This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music it may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat
“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.