Selected Events (03/25) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

 Today’s Sweet 6+ > FRIDAY / MAR. 25, 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: 
The Cookers (through Sunday)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St./ 7, 9, +10:30PM, $45
“This group revels in the edgier boundaries of modal hard bop, with peers of a certain age, including the saxophonist Billy Harper, the trumpeter Eddie Henderson, the pianist George Cables, the bassist Cecil McBee, and the drummer Billy Hart, playing alongside admiring younger confederates such as the trumpeter and arranger David Weiss and the alto saxophonist Donald Harrison.” (NewYorker)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Ches Smith, Craig Taborn, Mat Maneri
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W17th St./ 7PM, $20
“On his new album, “The Bell,” Ches Smith subverts expectations at every turn, starting with the idea that a drummer’s album might prioritize drumming. It’s an interior, enveloping, enigmatic experience — and the same should be true of this concert, with Mr. Taborn on piano, Mr. Maneri on viola and Mr. Smith on drums, vibraphone and timpani.” (Chinen-NYT)

Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe (through March 27)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, at 19th St./ $
“This company from New Mexico, founded in 2007, makes its New York debut with an evening of short works. Mr. Siddi’s style arises from the Spanish roots of flamenco combined with influences from the American Southwest, evident in both his choreography and the music, which will be offered live by the troupe’s singers and instrumentalists.”(Burke-NYT)
Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday and March 25 at 8 p.m., March 26 at 2 and 8 p.m., March 27 at 2 p.m.

Elsewhere, but looks worth the detour:
Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos (through Sunday)
Jazz Standard, 116 E27th St./ 7:30PM +9:30PM, $
“The growing resurgence of large ensembles in contemporary jazz owes much to this farsighted Argentinian composer, arranger, and bandleader, who was ahead of the curve in the nineteen-nineties. Now based in upstate New York, Klein brings his bold eleven-piece unit to celebrate the release of a new album, “Los Guachos V,” which is thick with shifting time signatures, dense orchestration, and the delight of the new, in typical Klein fashion.” (NewYorker)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Parlor Chats: How has the internet changed us?
Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway, @12th St. / 7PM, $12, incl FREE drink
An expert in global internet culture and a social media theorist come together to ask How Has the Internet Changed Us?, the final installment of this week’s Parlor Chats at The Strand.

Will the second generation to grow up with the internet be different from the first? Is the real you the one on Facebook, the one on Twitter, or the one Snapchat? And what happens to the one with flesh and bones? In this discussion, Tricia Wang and Nathan Jurgenson will shed light on culture after the digital revolution.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

New Directors/New Films (thru Mar.27)
See the work of emerging or not-yet-established international filmmakers at New Directors/New Films at Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art.

Celebrating its 45th edition in 2016, New Directors/New Films introduces New York audiences to the work of emerging filmmakers from around the world. Throughout its rich history, New Directors has uncovered talents like Pedro Almódovar, Chantal Akerman, Hou Hsiao–hsien, Christopher Nolan, Laura Poitras, Spike Lee, and Kelly Reichardt.

And for 10 days thru Apr 03
The New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 10AM-10PM, exc Sundays until 7PM, $16
This annual convention offers a peek at the newest 2016-7 models, motorcycles, concept vehicles and restored classic cars. More than four floors of displays from the world’s automakers will feature the newest vehicles and latest futuristic concept cars. Nearly 1,000 cars and trucks will be on display at North America’s first and largest-attended auto show dating back to 1900.

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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 (all six are within walking distance of each other):
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 – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
in case you need more options in the Village, these are also fine spots:
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — 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 2016.  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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