Today’s TOP 10 – MONDAY, JUNE 15, 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
> Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
Central Park SummerStage / 8PM, FREE
recitals starring leading Met artists, as well as rising young stars of the opera world.
“The Apu Trilogy” by Satyajit Ray (LAST CHANCE)
Film Forum, 209 W Houston St. / $12.50, $9 seniors 65+ M-F before 5pm
12:30 PM, 2:45 PM, 5:30 PM, 7:45 PM, 10:10 PM
“wonderfully restored prints of filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s landmark trilogy about the life of Apu, a boy who grows to manhood in a newly independent India.”
Blue Note Jazz Festival
> Gregoire Maret & The Inner Voice Ensemble w/ Special Guest Lizz Wright
Highline Ballroom, 431 W16th St. / 8PM, $25-$50
“Gregoire is an amazing player. His scope is broad and he’s fearless. There’s no one else out there that comes close on the harmonica and he rivals the best on any instrument. He’s one of the most creative musicians around.” Herbie Hancock.
> Laugh with Amy Schumer and Friends
Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway / 8PM, $50-$255
The lineup includes Mike Birbiglia, Colin Quinn and Judd Apatow.
Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> Yiddish Theater – The Ultimate American Theater
NYC Department of Records, 31 Chambers St, / 5PM, FREE
author Nahma Sandrow evokes the lively shows and audiences of immigrants to America and explains why Yiddish theater was the most American of them all.
> ‘Design as Discipline: From the Drafting Table to the Academy’
Museum of the City of New York, Fifth Avenue at 103rd St., / 6:30PM, $16
professors discuss Rand’s work and approach to design education.
> Season Finale of Seriously Entertaining’s Literary Cabaret
City Winery, 155 Varick St., / 8PM, $10-$40
New York’s only writers’ cabaret, wraps up its first full season.
> 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 these look worth the detours:
> Fourth Annual Spirits of New York
McCarren Hotel Rooftop Lounge, 160 N12th St, / 7-9PM, $40
lift a glass to the distillers of the Empire State at this regional-spirits showcase.
> Aha! The Moments of Insight That Shape Our World
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. / 12PM, $24
“great insights sometimes come as abruptly as bolts of lightning. Hear from an author and philosopher as he delves into inspirations that changed the world, from Archimedes to Mahler to Einstein.”
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 8/9 ave) — 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 / 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.
Those 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).
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.