Selected Events (10/29) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s SUPER 7 > THURSDAY / OCT. 29, 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.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
“The Betrayal”
The Most Talked About World Series in Baseball History
Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, 67 E. 11th St./ 7PM, $FREE
“On an off day for this year’s World Series, a look back at the most talked about Fall Classic in baseball history…

We are continually pulled to the story of the 1919 World Series and the Chicago White Sox —The Black Sox—because so much of modern sport, and our attitude towards it, springs from the scandal.

Unearthing new information, Charles Fountain traces the Black Sox story from its roots in the gambling culture that pervaded the game in the years surrounding World War I, through the confusing events of the 1919 World Series itself, to the noisy aftermath and trial, and illuminates the moment as baseball’s tipping point.

Situating the Black Sox events in the context of later scandals, including those involving Cincinnati Reds manager and player Pete Rose, and the ongoing use of performance-enhancing drugs in the game up through the present, Fountain illuminates America’s near century-long fascination with the story, and its continuing relevance today.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
TimesTalks: Alice Walker, Jennifer Hudson, Cynthia Erivo & John Doyle
The New School, 66 W. 12th St./ 7:30PM, $45
“Don’t miss this exciting conversation with musical performances from the new Broadway production of The Color Purple.

Hear Alice Walker, author of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel; Tony Award-winner John Doyle, who re-envisioned the new, critically acclaimed musical; and two of its stars: Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson; and from the hit London production, British stage star Cynthia Erivo, both making their Broadway debuts. Moderated by New York Times theater reporter Michael Paulson and presented in collaboration with The New School.”

Al Di Meola
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W42nd St./ 8PM, $
“Elegant Gypsy,” released in 1977, was the second album by the guitarist Al Di Meola, and a touchstone for guitar-driven, Spanish-inflected jazz fusion. This two-night stand comes as part of Mr. Di Meola’s “Elegant Gypsy & More Electric Tour,” featuring the keyboardist Philippe Saisse, the percussionist Gumbi Ortiz and others. (Along with the repertory tribute, Mr. Di Meola will draw from his new solo album, “Elysium.”) (NYT-Chinen)

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)

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:
The Musket Room (Tour Time: 12PM, $10)
Shadow Architects, 265 Elizabeth St.
Tour Guide: Larry Cohn, LEED AP, Principal, Shadow Architects
“The Musket Room … re-invigorates an historic structure to create a showcase for an elegant food and drink menu. The firm worked with Alexander Waterworth Interiors on the floor plan and design, creating a generous bar and seating area at the front of the restaurant, with private seating groupings in the back. The back room also overlooks the new herb garden through large new casement windows.

The exterior shell of the front facade was repaired where needed and white-washed to create a chic rustic backdrop for the new furnishings and finishes. Downstairs, the old kitchen was completely gutted and the architects enlarged and streamlined the cooking area to support chef Matt Lambert’s culinary vision. The Musket Room has been awarded a Michelin Star for two years running. It was the youngest New York restaurant to ever receive a star after being open just four months.”
>>>For all the other interesting events today check out the calendar at

Google Photos’ Pumpkin Patch in Times Square
Times Square, 12PM-8PM, FREE
“Google Photos is hosting a pop-up pumpkin patch (say that five times fast!) in the heart of New York City — Times Square. Guests can pose in the Google Photos’ booth and have their photos displayed on a Times Square billboard. Stick around to have a photo etched into a real pumpkin by a special carving machine while you snack on apple cider donuts from Google’s “Pay With a Photo” food truck.” (

Elsewhere, but this looks interesting:
Korean Cultural Service New York, Gallery Korea (through Oct. 29)
460 Park Avenue, at East 57th Street
“This exhibition highlights the culture of Korean webtoons — comics specifically made for the internet. In addition to displaying the comics, this show will also take a look at the media and commercial products that have been inspired by popular webtoons.” (NYT-Joshua Barone)

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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