Selected Events (04/24) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Sweet 6 > SUNDAY / APR. 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:
This is definitely not Manhattan’s WestSide, but it is Bklyn’s WestSide, and absolutely worth the detour. You just have to see these guys perform. Unforgettable!
Streb Extreme Action Company (LAST DAY!) / 3PM, $25
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 North First Street, Williamsburg,
“After a winter hiatus, superheroes are back in the multiplexes. More excitingly, they’re back in Brooklyn, where Elizabeth Streb’s gang of action heroes can be seen in “SEA (Singular Extreme Actions),” a new show that once again tests the boundaries of the human body as it navigates an army of complex, bespoke mechanical contraptions. The soundtrack shifts from show to show as audience members contribute to the playlist.”(Schaefer-NYT).

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Michel Camilo Trio Latino
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $
“Mr. Camilo, a fastidiously percussive Dominican pianist, has often done his best work in a trio format, and with Trio Latino he has especially fine partners: the bassist Ricky Rodriguez and the drummer Dafnis Prieto.” (Chinen-NYT)

Jeremy Pelt
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, btw 105/106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $38
“A hard-swinging adherent of neo-hard bop, the trumpeter Pelt couldn’t ask for a more authentic rhythm section than this triumvirate of vigorous icons: the pianist George Cables, the bassist Buster Williams, and the drummer Louis Hayes.” (NewYorker)

Eric Reed Quartet
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“Mr. Reed has a precise interface with the piano, and roughly the same inclinations as both an improviser and a bandleader: He favors syncopation and poise, spontaneity and control. Those are qualities well suited to his longtime quartet, with the alto saxophonist Tim Green, the bassist Reuben Rogers and the drummer McClenty Hunter.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

Tribeca Film Festival 15th Edition (LAST DAY)
For details on today’s concluding events, visit tribecafilm.com.

“The festival, which originally set out to help revive the TriBeCa neighborhood post-9/11, has grown into an international celebration of cinema at venues throughout the City. Lasting nearly two weeks, the festival focuses this year on some unique documentaries, female directors and local stories. In addition, the Tribeca Talks series returns with conversations on movies and moviemaking that feature the likes of J.J. Abrams, Tina Fey, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Rock.” (nycgo.com)

Definitely elsewhere, but today’s beautiful weather makes this worth a springtime detour:
Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend
New York Botanical Garden, Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road, the Bronx / 12PM-5PM, $25+
“Now that we’re well into spring and the weather is warm, New York Botanical Garden presents two days of wine tasting, live music and about 150,000 daffodils in bloom. The wines come from New York state vintners, who will talk about their offerings and lead guided tastings. Tours of the garden are also available. More information at nybg.org/exhibitions/2016/weekends/daffodil-and-wine-weekend. (NYT-SpareTimes)

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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
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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