Selected Events (10/23) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s SUPER 7 > FRIDAY / OCT. 23, 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:
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Plays Monk
The Town Hall, 123 W43rd St./ 8PM, $30 – $100
“Few musicians have made such significant or unique contributions to the jazz lexicon as pianist-composer Thelonious Monk. Widely regarded as a genius composer of uncompromising creativity, his music is equally loved and feared by musicians for its wide intervals, angular melodies, and surprising rhythms, making it both difficult and rewarding to play.

Joining the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will be 12-year-old pianist Joey Alexander, a jaw-dropping young prodigy undaunted by the challenge. Alexander, who has already released his first album as a leader with Motéma and performed to great acclaim at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, represents the next generation of musicians in reverence of Monk. For two special nights at The Town Hall, the raw energy of this music–rearranged for big band by members of the JLCO–will be unforgettable.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
“This Is Dedicated: Music’s Greatest Marriages”
54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $55-$105
“Newly-married Broadway veterans Jarrod Spector and Kelli Barrett’s show salutes married show business couples from Sonny and Cher, to Beyoncé and Jay-Z. The night celebrates marriage as the powerful force behind this timeless music and tackles the difficult questions behind keeping it all together.”

Blur and Courtney Barnett
Madison Square Garden / 8PM, $
“Even if you didn’t follow the Britpop Wars waged between Oasis and Blur in weekly U.K. music rags during the ’90s, you are no doubt familiar with the latter’s shout of “woo hoo!” as Blur’s 1997 hit “Song 2” curiously enough became a sports stadium staple. And while the band disbanded in 2003, frontman Damon Albarn became ubiquitous with projects like Gorillaz and the Good, the Bad & the Queen. In July of 2009, the four-piece reunited for a show in Hyde Park, but it took six more years before they returned with their comeback album, “The Magic Whip.” (WSJ)

Josie Long: ‘Cara Josephine’ (through Oct. 25)
SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam St./ 9PM, $25
“A gem of the British comedy scene, Ms. Long is a stand-up and storyteller who dwells in earnestness and optimism. “Cara Josephine,” perhaps the best-reviewed comedy show at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is a sweet and very funny hour about relationships, love and family.” (Czajkowski-NYT)

José Limón Dance Company (through Oct. 25)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, at 19th St./ $10 and up
In celebration of its 70th anniversary season, the José Limón Dance Foundation invites guest artists from the Royal Danish Ballet (performing The Unsung) and the Bavarian State Ballet (performing The Exiles), as well as students from all over the world, to perform with the Limón Dance Company in a magisterial retrospective of major works from the repertory.

Some $10 tickets are available, but those go quickly, and they need to be purchased over the phone (which incurs a $6 service charge) or in person at the box office.” (TONY)

Program D: Oct 23 & 24 at 8pm; Oct 25 at 2pm
Orfeo, performed by Limón Dance Company; Chaconne, performed by CoreoArte; Dances for Isadora, performed by Limón Dance Company; The Traitor, performed by Limón Dance Company

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Archtober (Oct. 01-31)
This month offers a prime opportunity to honor the beauty of the NYCity skyline with Archtober, a festival of tours, talks and exhibitions exploring the city’s architecture. In addition, the festival showcases a different building each day.
Today’s Building of the Day:
St. Mark’s Bookshop (Tour Time: 12PM, $10)
Clouds Architecture Office, 136 East 3rd Street,
Tour Guides: Ostap Rudakevych and Masayuki Sono, Founding Partners, Clouds Architecture Office

For all other events today check out the calendar at

PDN PhotoPlus International Conference and Expo (also Saturday)
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W34th St./
This massive show brings together roughly 21,000 photographers, filmmakers, students, teachers and photography fans. The schedule of events includes seminars, demonstrations and new technology on display. More information is at” (NYT/ST)

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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