Selected Events (09/27) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s ELITE 8 > SUNDAY / SEPT. 27, 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

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
> Cy Walter Centennial Celebration
Cutting Room, 44 E32nd St./ 6PM, $35
“Hear an all-star remembrance of the eminent, half-forgotten grand style cabaret/jazz piano. Pianistic and vocal pyrotechnics will be performed by a large roster of awesomely-talented cabaret luminaries, showcasing Cy Walter’s unparalleled solo and duo piano arrangements, along with some two dozen of his gorgeous original song compositions.

Sheehan_Jennifer_89_ret2-e1371150888931-300x253_web

 

Performers will include Doug Bowles; Lou Brockman; Eric Comstock; Jed Distler; Barbara Fasano; Tedd Firth; Heather Gehring; Jeff Harnar; Alex Hassan; Jenny Lin; Peter Mintun; Marissa Mulder; Karen Oberlin; Steve Ross; Jennifer Sheehan; KT Sullivan; Stacy Sullivan; and Ronny Whyte.”

That’s a quality list of performers, but one name stands out – Jennifer Sheehan. Never miss a chance to hear one of NYCity Cabaret’s young, new stars.

> The Coca-Cola Generations In Jazz Festival (through Sept. 30)
Dizzy’s Club, 60th St and Broadway, / At 7:30PM +9:30PM; $35
“This monthlong series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola explores a loose multigenerational theme.Highlights of the coming week include tonight’s drummer Bryan Carter, performing the music of Ray Charles, with vocal guests..” (NYT-Chinen)

> Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St. / 8:30 +10:30PM, $30
“Mr. Rosenwinkel, a guitarist, favors floating lyricism, a luminous tone and an ultramodern harmonic language, all reasons for his stature as one of the modern gurus on his instrument. His current trio features Eric Revis on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums.” (NYT-Chinen)

> Chick Corea and Béla Fleck
Town Hall, 123 W43rd St./ 8PM, $46-$87
“Unlikely musical bedfellows, the jazz pianist Corea and the banjo phenomenon Fleck unite by way of a mutual thirst for genre-hopping exploration, as heard on their 2007 album, “The Enchantment.” A new live recording, “Two,” finds the shamelessly virtuosic duo again reaching common ground on diverse material that includes a bluegrass take on “Bugle Call Rag,” à la Flatt and Scruggs.” (NewYorker)

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

> The NYC Big Flea Market
Pier 94, W54th St., at the Hudson River / 10AM-5PM
“This pop-up flea market boasts more than 600 vendors inside a 140,000-square-foot space on Pier 94. The size is vast, as is the selection: Collectibles, jewelry, art, furniture — the list goes on.” (NYT)

Here’s something you won’t see everyday:
> Rolex Central Park Horse Show
Central Park / 1:30PM; $50
“Central Park will be awash with silky manes and heavy horseshoes as a panoply of majestic horses jump, prance and strut toward eternal glory and big prizes in support of local and equestrian charities.” (TONY)
Sunday afternoon Special Equestrian Event – Charlotte Dujardin Dressage Master Clinic presented by Chronicle of The Horse.

Inaugural Exhibition: AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE (LAST DAY – DON’T MISS IT!)
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St. / 10:30AM-6PM, $22.
lederman_1540“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. The Whitney inaugurates its new home with this massive permanent-collection survey spanning eight decades. Covering four floors in roughly chronological order, the show relays overlapping histories about the Whitney itself, the development of modernism in America and the country’s transition from cultural backwater to overweening superpower.” (TONY)
This is one very fine exhibition. I’ve been back 3 times and will be sorry to see it close.

Elsewhere, but for coffee bean fans, sure looks worth the detour:
> New York Coffee Festival (LAST DAY)
69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue (btw 25/26th streets)
Afternoon session: 1:00pm-5:00pm
“There’s more than just joe brewing at this weekend’s New York Coffee Festival. In addition to a barista championship and steampunk brew bar, the three-day event will feature java-inspired cultural offerings, including performers from the Coffee Music Project; a multidisciplinary coffee-themed art competition; and a screening of “Caffeinated,” a documentary about coffee culture.” (NYT)

Bonus – Jazz Picks:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is 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.S. — 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
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St., nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

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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 / Midtown West.

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).

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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a sax player with a younger, trimmer piano man. “tiny” we miss you.

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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 (except for certain jazz clubs).
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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