Today’s Top 10 – SATURDAY / JUNE 27, 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
> Robert Glasper Trio
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St. / 8PM, +10:30PM, $20+$35
“The trio reimagines diverse material by the likes of Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, and Kendrick Lamar, keeping the focus on the leader’s impressively fluid technique while finding its own intuitive groove.” (NewYorker)
> Django Reinhardt Festival
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. / 8:30PM +11PM,
“Dorado Schmitt, a French guitarist with the roguish charisma and pencil-thin mustache required of any Gypsy jazz paragon, is the inexorable star of this 16th annual Django Reinhardt Festival and tour, as in years past./“ (NYT-Chinen)
> Swan Lake – American Ballet Theatre 2015
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $25-$125
“set to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score, this romantic tale of love and forgiveness is often considered the world’s most beloved ballet.”
don’t forget to try the discount ticket window at the David Rubenstein Atrium.
> Harlem Renaissance Opera “Voodoo” by Harry Lawrence Freeman
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway @ 116th St. / 7PM, $25
Morningside Opera, Harlem Opera Theater, and The Harlem Chamber Players join forces to present a semi-staged concert production with seven principal singers, a full chorus, and 30-piece orchestra.
> Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing
Save the Last Dance for Me: Roomful of Blues Plays the Music of Doc Pomus
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center / 6PM, $17
Dance Floor Opens at 6/ Dance Lesson at 6:30/ Live Music at 8
“even if you don’t know Doc Pomus by name, you know the songs of one of the most brilliant songwriters of the early rock ‘n’ roll era, including “Lonely Avenue,” “Viva Las Vegas,” “This Magic Moment,” and the iconic “Save the Last Dance for Me.”
> Harold Mabern Trio (also June 28)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
a soulful hard-bop pianist with his longtime trio, should be good.
> The Royal Ballet (also June 28)
NYS / DHK Theater (at Lincoln Center) / 6:30PM, $35-$150
“after a decade-long absence, the stellar company comes to town with three enticing programs that take a wide-ranging look at British ballet-makers through the ages.” (NewYorkMag-Rebecca Milzoff)
Elsewhere, but if you are a country fan this will be worth the detour:
> FarmBorough Country Music Festival (through June 28)
Randalls Island Park / 2PM, $225–$1,000.
“whatever your preferred country-music varietal, whether it’s slicked-up radio fare or no-nonsense old-school stuff, this fest has plenty to offer.” (TONY)
Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> The Del Close Marathon (thru Sunday)
“a 48-hour improv comedy spectacle with performances by Amy Poehler and others, in Chelsea. Times and locations vary. All access passes are $35.” (NYT-Today)
> Center for Italian Modern Art: Closing Weekend Fiesta
Center for Modern Italian Art, 421 Broome St., near Crosby St., 4th FL, SoHo,
11AM – 8PM, FREE, 646-370-3596, italianmodernart.org.
To close out its exhibition of works by Medardo Rosso, the center is open for two days of free programming and on the second day,
Saturday at 3PM, the center’s fellows will lead a guided visit of the Rosso show, and at 6 p.m. there will be a reception with free prosecco and finger foods. (NYT/SpareTimes)
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 + 3 Good Eating places
Jimmy’s Corner / 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)
Jimmy’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, 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 Fall 2015).
◊ Order before Oct. 31, 2015 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.