Selected Events (03/13) + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Times Square/ Theater District

Today’s “Fab 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – FRIDAY, MAR. 13, 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.”

The New York Pops with Sutton Foster  —  Pop   (8pm)   

Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston: Wordless! —  Performance    (7:30pm)

Keb’ Mo’  –  Blues  (8pm)  

Transylvanian Blues with Lucian Ban and Mat Maneri   —  Jazz/Blues  (8pm)    

NYC Craft Beer Festival: Spring Seasonal   —   Food & Drink    (8pm-10:30pm)

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:

The New York Pops with Sutton Foster
Sutton_Foster“Does starring in seven Broadway musicals count as practice? In any case, Sutton Foster finally gets to Carnegie Hall in a concert with the New York Pops. Her program features numbers familiar from those shows, like “Anything Goes,” and a visit from Violet co-star Joshua Henry, who may threaten the hallowed rafters with “Let It Sing.”
(J.G.-NY Magazine)

Sutton Foster is an award-winning actor, singer, and dancer who has performed in 11 Broadway shows-most recently the revival of Violet-and originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek The Musical, and her Tony Award-winning performances in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Ave., @ 57th St.
8pm / limited availability, call 212-247-7800.

Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston: Wordless!
In his Pulitzer prize-winning masterpiece, Maus—a moving father-son memoir about the Holocaust drawn with cats and mice—Art Spiegelman changed the definition of comics forever. In “WORDLESS!” — a new and stimulating hybrid of slides, talk, and musical performance — he probes further into the nature and possibilities of his medium.

Spiegelman, noted as a historian and theorist of comics as well as an artist, collaborates with Phillip Johnston, the critically acclaimed jazz composer who wrote all-new scores performed live with his sextet. Johnston’s music accompanies the cartoonist’s personal tour of the first legitimate “graphic novels”— silent picture stories made by early 20th century masters like Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, and Milt Gross—and their influence on him.
“WORDLESS!” was originally commissioned by The Sydney Opera House for GRAPHIC.
Columbia University, Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway at 116th St.
7:30pm / $25-$45

Keb’ Mo’ (also Saturday)
Keb'_Mo'_Waterville_Opera_House_2014“Few musicians emblematize the blues like Kevin Moore. During his twenty-year career as Keb’ Mo’, he has won three Grammys, appeared on “Sesame Street,” collaborated with Martin Scorsese for the miniseries “The Blues,” and earned his own Gibson signature acoustic guitar. He even portrayed the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson in the 1998 documentary “Can’t You Hear the Wind Howl?” As closely associated with the blues as he is, folk, pop, jazz, and rock also inform his music, which is as accomplished as it is accessible.” (NewYorker)
B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W. 42nd St.

Transylvanian Blues with Lucian Ban and Mat Maneri
Transylvania might conjure images for you of Count Dracula and the macabre. But for pianist and Romanian transplant Lucian Ban it’s home, a place where local music retains its old-world melancholic grandeur. A few years ago Ban teamed up with jazz violinist Mat Maneri to explore what Transylvanian music and the blues have in common; they turned the results into an album of music that will be on display tonight. Some folks like to call it “Goth jazz.” (
Greenwich House Music, 46 Barrow St
8pm / $15, $12 seniors 62+

Elsewhere, but this big craft beer fest is so worth the short detour:
NYC Craft Beer Festival: Spring Seasonal (also Saturday)
imgres“At this suds celebration, beer buffs can sip unlimited samples of nearly 150 local (Braven, Gun Hill, Dyckman) and cross-country brews (Founders, Down East Cider House), plus sit in on brewing and tasting seminars led by suds experts.

The craft-beer revival is like a happy hour that never ends—this is the tenth edition of the biannual event. Driven by a renewed interest in the fermented beverage, the gathering features seventy-five breweries from around the nation. More than a hundred and fifty brews will be available for tasting, with an emphasis on seasonal and limited releases. Artisanal food, music from the High and Mighty Brass Band, and cocktail-making tips from Jonathan Pogash will also be on tap.” (TONY)
Lexington Avenue Armory, 68 Lexington Ave.
8pm-10:30pm / $65

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:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South — / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. — / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — / 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 + 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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