Selected Events (11/12) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s SWEET 6 > THURSDAY / NOV. 12, 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
Steve Coleman and Five Elements at the Vanguard (through Nov. 15)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St./ 8:30+10:30PM, $30
“The alto saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman has long been an indefatigable outlier in jazz, engaged in esoteric but vital work on the margins. Early in his career, he was a regular at the Village Vanguard, as a member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra — but this will be his overdue debut as a bandleader.

On Thursday he leads his flagship band, Five Elements, which includes the trumpeter Mr. Finlayson and the guitarist Miles Okazaki.” (Chinen-NYT)

Lera Lynn
Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St./ 7:30PM, $25
“Aside from Colin Farrell’s highly emotive mustache, the highlight of the second season of the HBO series “True Detective” were the smoky noir-country musical interludes by Ms. Lynn. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter, who performed several times in the antiheroes’ dive bar of choice, also performed the soundtrack for the program’s trailer. Her brooding second album, “The Avenues,” was released last year.” (Anderson-NYT)

Our Guy, Cy: The Songs of Cy Coleman (also Nov. 13)
Feinstein/54 Below, 254 W54th St./7PM, $55-$65
“Three Tony Award–winning Broadway ladies—Randy Graff, Cady Huffman and Judy Kaye—pay tribute to the wizardly composer Cy Coleman, whose scores included Sweet Charity, Seesaw, On the Twentieth Century, Barnum, City of Angels, The Will Rogers Follies and The Life. Will Nunziata directs.” (TONY)

Stanley Clarke (through Nov. 15)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8 +10:30PM, $30-$45
“Although Jaco Pastorius deservedly gets the glory for revolutionizing the electric bass in the late seventies, Stanley Clarke had already been turning heads since the start of the decade with his extraordinary playing on both the acoustic and amplified versions of the instrument. For the first half of a two-week engagement, the super-bassist leads his own band, manned by younger players thoroughly versed in Clarke’s fusion visions.” (NewYorker)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Declaration of Sentiments
Cooper Union, Great Hall, 7 E7th St./ 7:30PM, $45
“Celebrate the 200th birthday of first-wave feminist icon Elizabeth Cady Stanton with an armada of powerful performers, artists and politicians. Samantha Bee, Sharon Van Etten, Aja Monet and other comedic and musical acts will perform interpretive responses to the seminal Declaration of Sentiments written by Stanton and fellow suffragettes. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Rachel Maddow and other influential women will chime in with video testimonials. Don’t miss the movement-affirming moment on the historic stage where Stanton and other feminist activists spoke.” (TONY)

DOC NYC (thru November 19)
“The sixth edition of the DOC NYC film festival takes over three cinemas in Manhattan this weekend, with more than 100 features and 200 films, filmmaker tributes and industry events in all.

Highlights this year include tributes to filmmakers Barbara Kopple, Kim Longinotto, Jon Alpert and Frederick Wiseman, premieres of high-profile Netflix- and AOL-backed projects and the world premiere of Thom Zimny’s latest documentary about rocker Bruce Springsteen, The Ties That Bind.” (

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 — / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St., nr 6th ave. — / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St., nr 7th ave.S. — / 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
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St., nr Bleecker St. — / 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.

♦ 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 / 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).


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.

“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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