Selected Events (04/30) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s “Fab 5″+1/ Selected NYCity Events – THURSDAY, APR. 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.”   

“Her Way: A Centennial Tribute to Frank Sinatra” (LAST DAY)
54 Below, 254 West 54th St. (btw 8th Ave./Broadway)
7:00PM / $60-$105
646-476-3551, 54below.com.

‘Hubble and Our Altered Universe’
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, 46th Street and 12th Ave.
7:00PM / $20
877-957-7447, intrepidmuseum.org.

Ben Folds + yMusic
The Town Hall, 123 W43rd St. (btw 6th ave/Broadway)
8:00PM / $35-$60
212-533-2111

Get Involved: “Champions of Change” Public Service Forum with Barney Frank
New York Society of Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th St
7:00PM – 8:30PM/ $30, $5 discount with Senior Planet code: nysec05
nysec.org/forum-4-30-15

OWEL
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W 62 St. (btwColumbus/Broadway)
7:30PM / FREE Thursdays
get there early, no later than 7PM, if you want to get in what is a small performance space.
212-875-5350 / atrium.lincolncenter.org

Elsewhere, but Louis is America’s treasure to the world and worth the detour:
Special Screening & Reception:
Louis Armstrong Live in Concert, East Berlin 1965
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave. Queens
718-777-6888
6:30PM / $15
Reception with red beans and rice at 6:30pm.
Introduction by Ricky Riccardi and screening at 7:30pm.

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Apr.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity trip planning see “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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“Her Way: A Centennial Tribute to Frank Sinatra” (LAST DAY)
The venerable Marilyn Maye’s new show, “Her Way: A Centennial Tribute to Frank Sinatra,” is another birthday celebration of Ol’ Blue Eyes.

imagesAny evening with Marilyn Maye is a special event, but the particular magic of Her Way is its melding of two unique artists, one in spirit, the other in the flesh, into an evening in the theater that boasts not just one but two living legends. It doesn’t get any better than this.

The aptly named production is an unabashed valentine to the late superstar, from the Super Singer that pays tribute to Sinatra’s career with an immensely talented peer’s interpretations of the songs that made Sinatra famous. It’s a full-scale labor of love for another performer that is rarely seen from an artist of Maye’s stature, and that is exactly what makes the show a must-see experience.
54 Below, 254 West 54th St. (btw 8th Ave./Broadway)
7PM / $60-$105
646-476-3551, 54below.com.

‘Hubble and Our Altered Universe’
image004“A team of scientists discusses the legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope as part of its 25th anniversary. The panel includes Sara Seager, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Priyamvada Natarajan, from Yale; Adam G. Riess, from Johns Hopkins University; and Matt Mountain, president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. The talk will be moderated by Ira Flatow, host of Public Radio International’s “Science Friday.” (NYT)
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, 46th Street and 12th Ave.
7PM / $20
877-957-7447, intrepidmuseum.org.

Ben Folds + yMusic
imgres-1“Ben Folds is a consummate professional: underrated as a songwriter, eager but not needy as a performer. The pianist and singer pairs with NYC contemporary-classical ensemble yMusic, which has worked with José González and My Brightest Diamond, for a new album and tour.” (TONY)
The Town Hall, 123 W43rd St. (btw 6th ave/Broadway)
8PM / $35-$60
212-533-2111

Get Involved: “Champions of Change” Public Service Forum with Barney Frank
search“Big questions about public service and the contemporary American presidency will be tackled at this forum, which coincides with the Ethical Culture Society’s annual Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross Public Award Series. Former congressman Barney Frank is one of the panelists this evening; along with other experts, he’ll tackle the loaded question, “Is the idea of the President as public servant obsolete?” The conversation will be moderated by ABC-News anchor Bill Ritter.” (seniorplanet.org)
New York Society of Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th St
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM/ $30, $5 discount with Senior Planet code: nysec05
nysec.org/forum-4-30-15

OWEL
2015-04-30-owelphotoDescribed by NPR columnist Eric Drucker as “a platonic mixture of Jimmy Eat World and Sigur Rós,” OWEL pursues atmospheric compositions that will sate indie, emo, and ambient music fans alike. The band’s 2013 self-titled debut album was recognized for emotionally expansive songs including “Float,” “Death in the Snow,” and “Snowglobe.”

Presented in collaboration with Lincoln Center’s American Songbook
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W 62 St. (btwColumbus/Broadway)
at 7:30 / FREE Thursdays
get there early, no later than 7PM, if you want to get in what is a small performance space.
212-875-5350 / atrium.lincolncenter.org

Elsewhere, but Louis is America’s treasure to the world and worth the detour:
events-nyc-louis-armstrongSpecial Screening & Reception: Louis Armstrong Live in Concert, East Berlin 1965
“Celebrate International Jazz Day with a big plate of red beans at rice in honor of Louis Armstrong at the Museum of the Moving Image. A screening of rare footage from a 1965 East Berlin concert follows the food.

In 1965, Louis Armstrong went behind the Iron Curtain as a “Goodwill Jazz Ambassador” and gave an unforgettable performance featuring a show-stopping version of “Hello, Dolly!,” and many other great hits. This is a rare screening of a remarkable two-set concert, introduced by Ricky Riccardi, Archivist of the Louis Armstrong House Museum.” (ThoughtGallery.org)
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave. Queens
718-777-6888
6:30PM / $15
Reception with red beans and rice at 6:30pm.
Introduction by Ricky Riccardi and screening at 7:30pm.

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:
Greenwich Village:
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
Special Mention:
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.

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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, 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.
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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).

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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
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.

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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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