Selected Events (08/30) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Elite 8 > SUNDAY / AUGUST 30, 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)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

>Aaron Neville (also Monday)
City Winery, 155 Varick St. nr. Spring St / 8PM, $70-$80
aaronnevill_banner_3“Built like a linebacker but with a nimble, angelic and aching tenor that could climb into a falsetto, Aaron Neville’s first major single from 1967, “Tell It Like It Is,” became a standard. Ten years on, he enjoyed moderate success as part of the Neville Brothers, didn’t find the top of the charts again until 22 years later, when he performed with Linda Ronstadt. In 2013, he signed to Blue Note Records and released “My True Story,” which explored the era of doo-wop and vocal pop that preceded his own career, featuring renditions of classics like “Under the Boardwalk” and “Goodnight My Love.” (WSJ)

“The Grammy Award-winning soul and R&B singer Aaron Neville yearned to make a doo-wop album for 30 years, yet he was turned down by record labels despite his celebrated career. He finally released the passion project, titled “My True Story,” in 2013. Don Was and Keith Richards helped produce the pleasant, unhurried outing.“
(Anderson-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

>Birdland Jazz Party, Hosted by Carole Bufford
Birdland, 315W44th St./ 6PM, $30
“Birdland’s very own jazz quartet hits the stage every Sunday to wrap up the weekend with jazz classics featuring jazz vocalist Carole J. Bufford, one of the most sought after young performers in the New York cabaret & jazz scene.”

>Trio da Paz and Friends (LAST DAY)
Dizzy’s Club, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $40
“Effervescence comes easily to Trio da Paz, a samba-jazz cooperative consisting of Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass and Duduka Da Fonseca on drums. This engagement, a celebration of bossa nova standards, will augment the band with familiar reinforcements: the trumpeter Claudio Roditi, the saxophonist Harry Allen and the vocalist Maucha Adnet.“ (NYT-Chinen)

>Gerald Clayton Quintet (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“While there are certainly more daringly original pianists on the scene, Clayton has an unapologetic vivacity that’s hard to resist. Where trios were once his ensemble of choice, Clayton is now thinking like a commanding small-group leader: his sharp quintet includes the saxophonists Ben Wendel and Logan Richardson.” (NewYorker)

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

>Summer HD Festival (through Sept. 7)
Lincoln Center Plaza, Columbus Ave and W63rd St / 7:45PM, FREE
tonight: Anna Netrebko in Verdi’s “Macbeth.”
“For 11 nights the Metropolitan Opera will take over Lincoln Center Plaza to bring some of the company’s most memorable recent performances to the masses. The series features 10 screenings of previously recorded operas, including Anna Netrebko in Verdi’s “Macbeth” (8 p.m. Sunday) and Vittorio Grigolo in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (7:45 p.m. Monday ). Seating is first come first served. At various times, 212-721-6500, metopera.org” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Elsewhere, but these look worth the detours:
>Waku Waku +NYC fest (also Sunday)
Various Locations and Times / $45
latest-campaign-tuckerangerExperience the overlap between Japanese and Brooklyn culture this weekend. The celebration looks at anime and manga, with forays into food, film and fashion, at venues around Greenpoint and Williamsburg. There are several talks in the mix, kicking off Saturday morning with Abby Denson on “Discovering Cool Japan.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

>Commemoration of the Battle of Brooklyn
Green-Wood Cemetery, 5th Avenue and 25th St., Bklyn / FREE
Activities honoring this early-Revolutionary War battle are being held on grounds where some its fighting took place — Green-Wood Cemetery. Historical re-enactments begin at 12:30 p.m.; a parade led by the Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at 1:30 p.m.; and a commemorative ceremony at 2 p.m.

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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