Selected Events (11/22) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s SUPER 7 > SUNDAY / NOV. 22, 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:
Django Reinhardt Festival Allstars (LAST DAY)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
“No one has ever truly captured the passionate brilliance of the Belgian Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, who died in 1953, but that hasn’t stopped generations of players from following in his virtuosic path. The French father-and-son guitarists Dorado and Amati Schmitt lead a quintet in this annual festival honoring the six-string king.” (NewYorker)
Guests include the saxophonist Joel Frahm (Friday), the cellist Borislav Strulev (Saturday) and the singer Cyrille Aimée (Sunday).

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Tyshawn Sorey Trio (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30 +10:30PM, $30
“Mr. Sorey, a powerfully inventive drummer who has applied most of his recent focus to composition, presents the trio that can be heard on his latest album, “Alloy.” Featuring the pianist Cory Smythe and the bassist Christopher Tordini, it’s a chamberesque unit that works as much with new-music protocols as with any jazz dialect — and it counts as an unexpected booking at the Village Vanguard, one worth bolstering with a show of support.” (NYT-Chinen)

Thomas Adès: ‘Concentric Paths — Movements in Music’ (LAST DAY)
City Center, 131 W55th St./ 3PM, $
“At 44, the British composer Thomas Adès is already a lion of contemporary classical music. In this Sadler’s Wells London production, his music – described as “sonic surrealism” – is muse to four choreographers. Wayne McGregor tackles “Concentric Paths,” a violin concerto; Karole Armitage sets a duet to “Life Story” with piano and voice; and Alexander Whitley interprets “Piano Quintet” (with Mr. Adès on piano).

The showstopper is Crystal Pite’s “Polaris,” set to the orchestra of the same name, which she has called “epic.” With 66 dancers, so too is her dance. Part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival.” (NYT-Schaefer)

Twyla Tharp: 50th Anniversary Tour (LAST DAY)
NYS / DHK Theater (at Lincoln Center) / 8PM, $35-$150
“The legendary Twyla Tharp celebrates her golden anniversary with two premieres: the linked Fanfare and Preludes and Fugues, set to Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, and Yowzie, a jazz-infused celebration of music by titans like Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton.” (TONY)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Goddard Riverside Book Fair
Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Ave, at 88th St./ 11AM-5PM,
“This annual fund-raiser doubles as a rare chance for book buyers to get new hardback best sellers at a 50 percent discount. This community center teams with major publishing houses for this sale, which goes toward the center’s services: youth programs, college counseling, adult support and outreach to homeless people.” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Elsewhere, but these look worth the detour:
American Fine Craft Show
Bklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, at Prospect Park/ 11AM-6PM, $
“Richard and Joanna Rothbard, founders of An American Craftsman, the Manhattan galleries, host this annual event that brings in about 90 of the country’s top craft artists. Handmade ceramics, jewelry, furniture and more will be on display. The price of admission also gets visitors into the Brooklyn Museum, which is hosting the show in its Beaux-Arts Court.” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Brooklyn Chili Takedown 2015 – Unyielding Brutality!!!!!
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, 514 Union St./ 12PM, $20
“Get heavy, Brooklyn. Be not ye daunted by the ferociousness of the savagery of the carnal brutality of chili hell! Embrace your satanic impulse to consume this filthy mess, over and over till the End of Days!!!! 25-30 local competitors boil huge cauldrens of toil and trouble- just for you and your lucky tummy!!!!! Now eat!!!!!!

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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