Selected Events (06/11) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square/ Theater District)

Today’s TOP 10 – THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2015

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.”
We make it as easy as 1-2-3.  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Blue Note Jazz Festival 
> Buddy Guy
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 42nd St. (btw 7/8ave) / 8PM, $75-$110
“one of the world’s leading bluesmen, he’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.”

> Kurt Elling (through June 13)
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 8:30PM + 11PM, $
“magisterial jazz singer, note-bender and rhythmic wizard” (NYT)

> The Very Best
S.O.B.’s, 204 Varick St., at Houston St. / 9PM, $20
“deftly twine hip-hop, jazz and traditional African dance into swift-moving, mindful pop celebrations.” (NYT-Anderson)

> Kathleen Battle, accompanied by Cyrus Chestnut,
Blue Note, 131W3rd St. / 8PM +10:30PM, $40 +$65
“soprano Kathleen Battle’s luminous voice has been called “…without qualification, one of the very few most beautiful in the world” (The Washington Post)

> The Sound and the Fury
Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., / 8PM, $45–$70.
“with its inimitable balance of whimsy and rigor, Elevator Repair Service transmutes William Faulkner into a mesmerizing literary performance.” (TONY)

> “The Tempest” (thru July 5) / Shakespeare in the Park
Central Park, Delacorte Theater / 8PM, FREE
actor Sam Waterston, makes his 13th Shakespearean production.
FREE tickets are available via a lottery system. check The Public Theater website.

Elsewhere, but looks worth the detour:
> Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg / 8PM, $30
“the eldest son of Fela Kuti, laces his Afrobeat ancestry with fluid funk and topical hip-hop.” (NYT-Anderson)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> ‘Hudson Square in 3D: Design, Demo, Discuss’
various locations, 8AM-6PM
blend of exhibitions, and talks with design thinkers.

> Inaugural Exhibition: AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St. / 10:30AM-6PM, $22.
“it’s finally here! the new improved Whitney home in MePa that’s supposed to finally put to rest the museum’s rep as the also-ran of New York’s major art institutions. as designed by international starchitect Renzo Piano, the building is certainly big, with 63,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibition space.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but a real treat for bridge lovers and worth a ferry ride to Staten Island:
> ‘Bascove / Bridges: Transporting the Metropolis’
Noble Maritime Collection, Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Livingston, Staten Island, / 1-5PM (Thu-Sun), admission by donation.
celebrates the magnificent bridges of New York City with 32 paintings & drawings.

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 8/9 ave) — 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 + 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 –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
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

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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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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.
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“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.
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◊ 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” ($4.99, available Summer 2015).
◊ Order before Aug. 31, 2015 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
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