Selected Events (02/24) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

 Today’s Sweet 6+ > WEDNESDAY / FEB. 24, 2016

“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:
Joyce, Dori Caymmi, Trio da Paz (through Feb. 27)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30 + 11PM, $40
“Billed as “A Rare Appearance of Brazilian Greats,” this engagement features the singer-songwriters Dori Caymmi and Joyce Moreno — backed by the samba-jazz cooperative Trio da Paz, consisting of Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass and Duduka Da Fonseca on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet (through Feb. 28)
Village Vanguard, 178 7thAve. S. at 11th St./ 8:30 + 10:30PM, $30
“The title of his 2014 album, “The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint,” is still open to interpretation, but the effect of Akinmusire’s trumpet is immediate and unambiguous. His stirring playing will be on display in a stripped-down quartet setting—joining Akinmusire are the pianist Sam Harris, the guitarist Harish Raghavan, and the drummer Justin Brown.” (NewYorker)

Pacific Northwest Ballet
New York City Center, 131 W55th St. / 7:30PM; $35–$125
“The Seattle company, led by Peter Boal, returns to New York with a pair of programs. The first (February 24, 25) presents three works by George Balanchine, including Square Dance (1957). The second (February 26, 27) comprises David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to my Skin, William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Crystal Pite’s Emergence.” (TONY)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

PT 109 and the Making of an American President
NYPL – Main Branch, 5th Ave @ 42nd St./ 6PM, FREE
Without PT 109, there never would have been a President John F. Kennedy.”
-David Powers, White House official, Kennedy Administration

Author William Doyle, Bill DoyleWilliam Doyle is the author of PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy (HarperCollins), a writer-in-residence in The New York Public Library’s Allen Room and a 2015-2016 Fulbright Scholar.

Movie Freaks: Critics in Conversation—Book Launch
The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave./ 7PM, $10
“Join Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum as they discuss what it means to be obsessed with movies. The iconic taste-makers and long-time co-critics for Entertainment Weekly will discuss Gleiberman’s new memoir, Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies, as they share stories of the pleasures (and perils) of professional cinemania. They will also weigh in on the Oscars and talk about what makes a movie great—or not so. This is a night for the critic in all of us!” (ThoughtGallery.org)

New York City Beer Week (Feb.19 – 28)
HopHeads Rejoice! It may be the heart of winter but there is a silver lining. The annual ten day celebration of craft beer throughout New York City will have events including festivals, tastings, menu pairings, and beer dinners.

For the astounding list of upcoming events for this year’s Beer Week head over tonewyorkcitybrewersguild.com/beer-week/2016-beer-week/ .
Oh My! How to choose, they all look so enticing.
Please drop us a line in the comment section to let us know how your event turned out.

and how about some hot chocolate?
City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival (thru Feb.28)
City Bakery, 3 W18th St./ opens 7:30AM, $
“Regress to childhood with skillfully concocted mugs of hot chocolate courtesy of this downtown canteen. Owner-mastermind Maury Rubin will serve a different flavor of his intoxicating cocoa every day during February.” (TONY)

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Bonus – 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 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 58 million visitors last year and was 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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This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
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