Selected Events (07/01) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Elite 8 – WEDNESDAY / JULY 01, 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
> Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing
Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center W62nd St (btw Columbus/Amsterdam Ave.)/ 6PM, $17
Dance Floor Opens at 6/ Dance Lesson at 6:30/ Live Music at 8
New Orleans traditional jazz; Heather Flock teaches Lindy Hop.

> Kat Edmonson
Madison Square Park, Madison Ave at 23rd St / 7PM, FREE
“she has a flair for clever songwriting, intricate arrangements and behind-the-beat jazz vocal phrasing.”

> “The Tempest” (LAST WEEK, closes 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.

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

> Word for Word / Mary Pilon, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, & the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game.
Bryant Park, 6th Ave, at 42nd St. / 12:30PM, FREE
“this monthly storytelling/reading series combines some of New York’s best storytellers, humor writers, memoirists, and character performers.” today’s talk chronicles the secret 80-year history of the famous board game.

> Taste of the Terminal
Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall / 11AM-2PM, 4-7PM, FREE
“all aboard the sample train! grand central terminal’s third annual ‘taste of the terminal’ includes free tastings, special offers, and live music every wednesday in vanderbilt hall. this week includes joe coffee, financier patisserie, jacques torres ice cream and more, plus live music by violinist susan keser and latin fusion guitarists inti + the moon.” (SKINT.com)

> Fractal Beauty
Museum of Math, 11 E26th St (btw 5th/Madison) / 4PM + 6:30PM, FREE, rsvp
“what makes these patterns so alluring? Alex Kontorovich, mathematician and accomplished sax and clarinet player, delves into questions at the intersection of geometry, number theory, and chaotic dynamics.”

> 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)

> Garbage in the City – Part 1.
Museum of the City of New York, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St. / 6:30PM, FREE
“historian Catherine McNeur considers how the treatment of pigs and cows affected the built environment, real estate interests, immigrants, consumers, and the newspaper industry in Antebellum Manhattan.”

Bonus – Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s 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. South — 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
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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 and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village

Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)

Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’. ”

maxresdefaultEach night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.

There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.

There is also a good selection of fairly priced wines,  but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.

I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.

At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.

When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYCity will have lost a piece of it’s soul.

Website: http://caffevivaldi.com/
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
Lunch/Dinner 11AM-on
Subway: #1 to Christopher St.
Walk 1 blk S. on 7th ave S. to Bleecker St., 1 blk left on Bleecker to Jones St., 50 yards left on Jones St. to Caffe V.

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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
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 to find 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:

Fish280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S. (corner of Bleecker St.)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.

Num Pang – 21 E 12th St. (btw. University Place/5th ave.)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Square park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.

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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. ================================================================================

◊ 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.
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