Selected Events (10/11) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s ELITE 8 > SUNDAY / OCT. 11, 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:

Chatty Pianist – Music & The Boundaries
Caffe Vivaldi @ ReneeWeiler Concert Hall, 46 Barrow St./ 4PM, $20
“In this colorful classical program, featuring various composers, Chatty Pianist Emir Gamsizoglu will explore the relationship between music and the boundaries created by social, physical, emotional, intellectual and often political reasons.”
“Emir is a musician of sensitivity” – David Dubal

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
NYC Ballet
DHK / NYState Theater, Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue, at W64th St.
(through Oct. 18) Sundays at 3PM
“Much of the week is a Balanchine love-fest, featuring a collection of his famous “Black and White” ballets (Oct. 10 matinee and evening), a taste of his Romantic side in “Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3” and “Liebeslieder Walzer” (Oct. 11), and a nod to commedia dell’arte in “Harlequinade,” which is paired with Jerome Robbins’s streetwise rumble, “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz.” (Oct. 13-15) (Brian Schaefer-NYT)

Tom Harrell (through Oct. 18, except Oct. 12)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./
“With his First Impressions ensemble, the estimable trumpeter and composer Tom Harrell augments a standard jazz quintet with a guitar, cello, and violin—in effect, a compact string section. Harrell is a veteran player who seems to be getting more adventurous as he ages. (NewYorker)

‘Spherical’: A Thelonious Monk Birthday Celebration
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St./ 7, 9 +10:30PM, $
“Spherical,” a new album by the tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield, pays homage to Thelonious Sphere Monk, the pianist-composer of peerless stature in jazz’s modernist canon. As on the album, Mr. Warfield appears here — on what would have been Monk’s 98th birthday weekend — with a band featuring Victor Gould on piano, Eddie Henderson on trumpet and Ben Wolfe on bass.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

Silent Film: “The Freshman,” with live music
Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce St. at Pace University / 2PM, $12
Watch classic 1925 silent film “The Freshman,” a comedy starring Harold Lloyd, with live music.” (

“Harold Lloyd plays a college-bound small-town young man who’s caught up in the all the fads and trends of campus life he’s seen in movies. Duped into thinking he is the new college hero and star player on the football team, reality sinks in on the eve of the championship game. The love of his college sweetheart and pure determination leads to one of the funniest football games ever filmed. One of Lloyd’s own personal favorites! Live accompaniment by Ben Model.”

Lincoln Center Autumn Crafts Festival (LAST DAY)
This festival in its 26th year, will feature 250 displays in Hearst Plaza, Columbus Avenue and 64th Street, on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

New York Comic Con (LAST DAY)
Javits Center, / 10AM, $40 (may need to stub hub this one)
“Last year’s glorious geek assembly brought in more than 151,000 visitors, beating San Diego Comic-Con and making NYCC the second-biggest event in the city. Wear a Batman T-shirt or a full cape-and-cowl at this packed pop culture mecca, where anyone can be a superhero.”

“It begins. The country’s biggest comics and sci-fi convention arrives for its 10th weekend of panels, cosplay, shopping and signings. Whether you’ve spent the past few months with a hot glue gun and a cape or you’re just down to get an autograph from your favorite artist, make sure you’re in line early for four full days of fan worship. “ (TONY)

Elsewhere, but for beer drinkers this looks worth the detour:
Zum Schneider
Munich on the East River
“Bavarian bier haus Zum Schneider brings Oktoberfest to the East River, where a German-speaking staff—outfitted in lederhosen—serves liter steins of Oktoberfest suds while a slew of snack stands hawk cotton candy, gingerbread and brezel.” (TONY)

“Oktoberfest officially ended last Sunday, but that isn’t stopping the bierhaus Zum Schneider from extending the party for an extra weekend. It has set up a sort of Munich on the East River, complete with Lederhosen-clad staff, strongman competitions, live music and liter steins. The beer tent opens Saturday and Sunday at noon, 24-20 F.D.R. Drive Service Road East, near 23rd Street, Stuyvesant Town, 212-598-1098,” (NYT)

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, — / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave. South — / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9 ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway, nr.106th St. — / 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’. ”

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.

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.

“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:

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.

“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.

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