Selected Events (10/27) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s SWEET 6 > TUESDAY / OCT. 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 more complete event info.)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
The Heath Brothers (through Nov. 1)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30+10:30PM, $
“Although Percy Heath—the bass-playing sibling of the Heath Brothers Band, who died in 2005—is missed, his siblings, the drummer Albert (Tootie) and the saxophonist Jimmy, have kept their collective ensemble a viable and valued entity. With David Wong, on bass, and Jeb Patton, on piano, this venerable quintet offers up refined hard bop, enlivened by Jimmy’s sturdy compositions and polished playing from all involved.” (NewYorker)

Alfredo Rodríguez Trio / Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio (through Wednesday)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20-$35
“A double bill of two resourceful young Cuban pianists, each appearing with bass and drums. Mr. Rodríguez, whose two albums feature production by Quincy Jones, now has a home base in the United States; Mr. Lopez-Nussa still lives in Havana, though he has toured widely.” (Chinen-NYT)

Ballet Memphis (through Nov. 1)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, at 19th St./
Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30PM, $10 and up
“Ballet Memphis makes a concerted effort to ensure that the dance it presents is reflective of its hometown. Initiatives like the River Project and the Memphis Project have stocked the company’s repertory with work inspired by the city (the “river” being the Mississippi, which flows right by). Six original works, many hailing from those initiatives, come to New York in the company’s first visit since 2007. Choreographers include Matthew Neenan, Gabrielle Lamb, Julia Adam and several company members.” (Schaefer-NYT)
“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)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Ashley Monroe
Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St./ 8PM, $20
“Nashville singer/songwriter Ashley Monroe bears a résumé that belies her age. Not yet 30, she’s already worked with the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Jack White and Miranda Lambert, to name a few, earning her stripes as a songwriter on Music Row before releasing her first solo album.

With Ms. Lambert and Angaleena Presley, she formed the feisty country trio Pistol Annies, who earned accolades on their two albums. On her third solo album, “The Blade,” her songwriting is as sharp as the title suggests. The music is pared down and evocative, with Ms. Monroe’s songwriting acumen delivering heartbreak and humor in equal measure.”(WSJ)

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. One of the highlights –  the festival showcases a different building each day.
Today’s Building of the Day:
National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion (Tour Time: 6PM, $10)
27_2014-05-11-20.21.59-1-e1438372129722-300x300Snøhetta,180 Greenwich Street / Tour Guide: Aaron Dorf, Senior Designer, Snøhetta
“In 2004, SNØHETTA was commissioned to design the only building on the memorial plaza. In the years since, the program has changed several times, however it has remained a cultural facility dedicated to visitor comfort and orientation. The design for the building embodies a careful reaction to the horizontal character of the memorial plaza’s design, while also providing the area with a lively organic form that allows the visitor to imagine the site and city in a broader sense.”
>>>For all the other interesting events today check out the calendar at archtober.org

Secret Science Club: Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
with Astrophysicist Jason Kalirai
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 8PM, $20
“It’s 100 years since Einstein presented his General Theory of Relativity—changing forever how we think about space and time—and ushering in discoveries beyond even Einstein’s wildest imagination. Blast off with astrophysicist Jason Kalirai to explore where Einstein’s theory has led since 1915, from supermassive black holes to the evolution of the universe itself.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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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