Today’s Super 6 > THURSDAY / SEPT. 17, 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:
> The Royal Bopsters Project (through Sept. 19)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $
“The new vocal quartet of Amy London, Darmon Meader, Dylan Pramuk, and Holli Ross celebrates the release of its first album, “The Royal Bopsters Project,” honoring the art of vocalese, the classic form that grafts lyrics to bop-based improvisations. Five original masters—Sheila Jordan, Annie Ross, Bob Dorough, Andy Bey, and Jon Hendricks (who celebrates his ninety-fourth birthday on Sept. 16)—join the ensemble throughout the week” (NewYorker)
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> The Coca-Cola Generations In Jazz Festival (through Sept. 30)
Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St and Broadway, / At 7:30; 9:30PM, late sessions on various nights at 11:15, $35
“For the sixth year running, Jazz at Lincoln Center presents a monthlong series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola with a multigenerational theme. Highlights of the coming week include tonight’s the Curtis Brothers, young bloods in the Latin-jazz game, working with an esteemed elder, the trumpeter Ray Vega.” (Chinen-NYT)
> Studio 63: Loser’s Lounge Dance Party
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center/ 7:30PM, FREE
“Dress up like you’re going back in time to your favorite night club, then dance your way to the future with New York City’s most entertaining house band, canonizing the great songwriting catalogues of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.”
Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
>Passage to Cuba: An Up-Close Look at the World’s Most Colorful Culture
Barnes & Noble, 2289 Broadway, @ 82nd St. / 7PM, FREE
“Photographer Cynthia Carris Alonso has spent 20 years capturing Havana’s crumbling, baroque splendor. Her photographs celebrate the dreamy palette of Cuba and open the doors to an exquisite but rarely seen place.”
>Feast of San Gennaro (through Sep 20)
Little Italy / 11:30AM-11PM (12AM on fri/sat)
“Celebrate the martyred 3rd-century bishop and patron saint of Naples at this 11-day festival that fills the streets of Little Italy every year. Watch the professionals in action at the cannoli-eating competition, and you won’t feel so bad about indulging in calorific treats from the food vendors; return daily for live musical performances.’ (TONY)
Mulberry St between Canal and Houston Sts; Grand St between Baxter and Mott Sts; Hester St between Baxter and Mott Sts.
Elsewhere, but these photo events/exhibitions sure look worth the detours:
> Small Camera, Big Results: Professional iPhone Photography
School of Visua Arts, 209 E23rd St. 3rd Fl / 7PM, FREE
“learn techniques to take better iphone photos from travel photographer jack hollingsworth at sva’s amphitheater.” (theskint.com)
Plus, two in Brooklyn Bridge Park, one of NYCity’s newest parks – a small gem with spectacular skyline views:
> Photoville (Sept.10-20)
Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 uplands / 4-10PM th/fr; 12-8PM sa/su; FREE
The city’s largest annual photography exhibition returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park with more than 65 shipping containers turned into photo galleries. Also special nighttime events, including @8PM tonight “AN EVENING WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES LENS BLOG”
> “The Fence” (through Oct. 11)
Begin at Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn Bridge Park / FREE
a 1,250-foot outdoor photo installation, this exhibit features work from 40 professional photographers from around the world. a unique site-specific exhibition aimed at fostering conversations and exploring new thematic directions in photography.
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 Winter 2015).
◊ Order before Dec. 31, 2015 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.