Today’s Elite 8 > FRIDAY / JULY 31, 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
> Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca (through Aug. 15)
West Park Presbyterian Church, 165 West 86th St. / 8:30PM, $20-$50
“There are many ways of retelling Sophocles’s “Antigone,” and thanks to this company, flamenco is now one of them. In “Antigona,” the artistic director Martín Santangelo has adapted the Greek tragedy for 14 performers and four musicians, with choreography by the troupe’s irrepressible star, Ms. Barrio.” (NYT-Burke)
> AFROPUNK @ Lincoln Center
Vintage Trouble, The Skins, and LION BABE
AFROPUNK presents The Triptych
– Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center / 7PM, FREE
“Described by the New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the U.S.,” the word “AFROPUNK” has become synonymous with “open-minded,” “non-conforming,” and “unconventional,” placing the institution at the epicenter of urban culture inspired by alternative music.Vintage Trouble is a sensational, soulful four-man band whose live shows feel like a sweet Southern revival mixed with a downtown edge.”
> Blake Mills
City Winery, 155 Varick St., near Spring St. / 8PM, $20-$25
An elegant, blues-influenced guitar player and coolly assertive singer, Mr. Mills scaled back his usual firebrand solos in favor of lo-fi intimacy on “Heigh Ho,” his second album.”
> Lynette Washington and Dennis Bell Jazz NY
Richard Rodgers Ampitheater, 18 Mount Morris Park West / 6:30PM, FREE
Lynette Washington is a Grammy nominated jazz vocalist. She was the winner in the Jazzmobile Anheuser-Busch Jazz Vocal Competition in 2005 and has worked with artists such as Aretha Franklin, U2, and Peter Gabriel.
> Momix (through Aug 1)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave at West 19th St. / 7:30PM, $10+
“Moses Pendleton’s whimsical troupe, a hybrid of modern dance, circus and visual spectacle, celebrates its 35th anniversary with a nearly monthlong run of the new work “Alchemia.”
Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 (through Aug 14)
Various locations and times; $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Enjoy the summer edition of Restaurant Week (actually three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Mangia!
ELSEWHERE, but this looks worth the detour:
> Animation Block Party
BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building / various times; $14, $10 matinee
‘This cartoon fest returns for a 12th season, bringing animated films from various genres—including some that are fun for the whole family and those far too experimental, abstract or just plain inappropriate for Saturday mornings on public television.” (TONY)
Friday features a selection of favorites from “Eyeworks,” an annual festival of abstract animation in Chicago, and a twentieth-anniversary showing of Mamoru Oshii’s highly influential sci-fi film “Ghost in the Shell.”
On Saturday, Tom Stathes, a collector of animated shorts from the early twentieth century, shares rare and saucy clips from the pre-Code era of Hollywood.
On Sunday, the highlights include a retrospective of “Sesame Street” animations and a 35-mm screening of “The Care Bears Movie,” from 1985. (animationblock.com.) (NewYorker)
> Christine Ebersole – Big Noise From Winnetka
54 Below, 254W54th St. / 7PM, $85-$100, plus $25 minimum
“Christine Ebersole is the top of the cabaret food chain in her stirring new show!”
– The New York Times
“Two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole returns to 54 Below for three performances only of her hit concert Big Noise From Winnetka. Praised by The New York Times’ Charles Isherwood for her role in this summer’s Ever After at Paper Mill Playhouse, this “gorgeous soprano” brings her sold-out concert back to where it began, following a season of concert performances across the country.”
Backed by some of the finest musicians, including Musical Director Bette Sussman (Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper), Christine Ebersole takes the audience on her personal journey, from Winnetka to NYC, Hollywood and to New Jersey. Filled with hits from every decade, the show offers audiences songs from Broadway, pop, and jazz. It’s a journey that ends with standing ovations at every performance.
Winner of two Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical (42nd Street and Grey Gardens), Christine has also starred in film (Wolf of Wall Street), television (Sullivan & Son, Royal Pains), and has performed concerts in theaters and concert halls across the country, from The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall to The Pasadena and Boston Pops.”
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:
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
♦ 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 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’. ”
Each 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.
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
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.
“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.
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:
Fish – 280 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.
“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.