Today’s Elite 8 > TUESDAY / AUGUST 18, 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
>Joe Lovano (through Saturday)
Birdland, 44th St (btw 8/9 ave) / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“Cleveland native saxophonist Joe Lovano, “one of the most creative saxophonists going,” (Boston Globe) combines eclectic taste in conceptual projects with his own distinctive sound.”
>KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar – Sondheim, Act Two
Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W42nd St. / 7PM, $30
“Another Hundred People: KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar Sing Sondheim, Act Two.” They don’t include 100 songs, but get close to it by way of several astute medleys. Sometimes they sing together, sometimes separately, but always with Jon Weber at the piano and under Sondra Lee’s smart staging.”
>Sunset Salsa with Talia (final week of the season)
Hudson River Park at Christopher St, Pier 45 / 6:30PM, FREE
dancer Talia Castro-Pozo and international guest teachers lead outdoor salsa lessons. After class, stick around for an evening dance party, featuring a live DJ set and, of course, your new moves.” (TONY)
>‘See Jane Sing!’ musical comedy show (through Wednesday)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. / 7PM+9:30PM, $25-$75
“Jane Lynch brings her cabaret act to Joe’s Pub after a well-reviewed run at 54 Below last year. The actress from “Glee” and Broadway’s most recent revival of “Annie” will bring in guests — like Kate Flannery of “The Office — and perform her take on songs.
>Battery Dance Festival (through Aug 20)
Robert F. Wagner Park, 20 Battery Pl./ 6:30-8:30PM, FREE
“Dance fans can take in some culture — and lovely Hudson River views — during a festival of free nightly performances on an outdoor stage set along the waterfront in the Battery Park City park. The shows will feature a variety of dance companies and styles, including post-modern, classical ballet and Indian.” (dnainfo.com)
today: An Evening of Colombian Dance
> “Cymbeline” / Shakespeare in the Park (through August 23)
Central Park, Delacorte Theater / 8PM, FREE
a fairytale tucked within a tragedy. Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe in the Bard’s romance where cross-dressing and fake deaths move the plot. this is one tough ticket
– if you qualify, try the new line for seniors 65-plus at the Delacorte Theater.
– take your chances with the online ticket lottery (click here to learn how)
– or try the new ticket lottery at the Public Theater near Astor Place (instructions here).
Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
>Joseph Stiglitz on the Crisis in Greece
Book Culture, 450 Columbus Avenue, at 82nd St. / 7PM, FREE
“The Nobel laureate and economist from Columbia University discusses the Greek debt crisis with Christopher Beha, deputy editor at Harper’s Magazine. Mr. Stiglitz, who occasionally appears on The New York Times opinion pages, recently wrote in The Guardian that the crisis is more about power and democracy than it is about money and economics.” (NYT)
Have time for only one event today? Do this:
Hosted by HuffPost, Electric Literature and BOMB
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby St / 7PM, FREE
This boisterous trivia event tests your knowledge of a) Art, b) Books and c) Culture.
If you’re bringing your own team (team maximum is six people), show up before 6:45pm to register; or feel free to come alone and join forces with other cultureheads.
Get ready for 1.5 hours of arts, books and culture revelry. There will be prizes. There will be a cash bar. There will be weird and wonderful lightning round questions. The evening’s emcees are arts and books editors from the Huffington Post, Electric Lit and BOMB Magazine – they’re also coming up with the questions.
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:
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.