Selected Events (05/02) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Super 7 > MONDAY / MAY 02, 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 New York Pops 33nd Birthday Gala
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / 7PM, $65-$160
“The Pops snap and crackle through a star-studded gala evening of orchestral delight in this tribute to Broadway hitmakers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (Les Misérables, Miss Saigon). Featured performers include Patti LuPone, Lea Salonga, Stephanie J. Block, Norm Lewis, Hugh Panaro, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Laura Osnes, Montego Glover, Jeremy Jordan, Jon Jon Briones, Eva Noblezada, John Owen-Jones, Robert Marien, Kyle Scatliffe and Marie Zamora. Steven Reineke wields the baton.” (TONY)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Laura Michelle Kelly
54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $50+
“In a personal, revealing evening of song and stories, Broadway leading lady Laura Michelle Kelly (Finding Neverland, Mary Poppins, Fiddler on the Roof) shares her journey of coming to New York City and making it her home. You’ll hear some of her most favorite songs, ranging from musical theatre classics like “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, to current pop hits by artists such as Sara Bareilles.

There will even be tunes from her favorite shows written by Jason Robert Brown, Stephen Sondheim, and Gary Barlow & Eliot Kennedy… who wrote her current Broadway venture, Finding Neverland. Laura Michelle Kelly invites you to experience her heart and a taste of what makes her feel at home. Be ready for some fun surprises and a big hearted welcome!” (broadwayworld.com)

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

Interviewing bin Laden
National September 11 Memorial & Museum, 180 Greenwich St./ 7PM, FREE
“John Miller, today the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism, famously interviewed Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in May 1998 for ABC News. Miller looks back on that interview and offers unique insight into current counterterrorism strategies.”

Tickets are required for program entry, which begins at 6:30pm at the museum entrance. All programs are presented in the Auditorium on the Atrium Terrace (Second Floor) level of the Museum. Seating is first come, first served for all free public programs.
Program admission does not include Museum admission.

Hidden History: Maritime New Jersey
The Explorers Club, 6 E70th St./ 6PM, $25
Captain Stephen D. Nagiewicz, is an expert in the oddities of the Jersey coast, including the two hydrogen bombs that went (and remain) missing off the Atlantic City shore in 1957.

“What stories hide beneath the sand and surf of the Jersey Shore?
An estimated three thousand shipwrecks lie off the coast of New Jersey, but these icy waters hold more mysteries than sunken hulls. Ancient arrowheads found on shoreline of Sandy Hook reveal Native American settlements before the land was flooded by melting glaciers over 10,000 years ago. Little-known sea battles raged along the South Jersey shore on the way to independence during the Revolutionary War, and forgotten ships lost in time are re-discovered national landmarks.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Theater Talks: Turn Me Loose
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / 6:30PM, FREE
“Emmy award winner and Tony nominee Joe Morton (Scandal) stars in Turn Me Loose, a new dramedy about the extraordinary and explosive life and career of Dick Gregory, the first black comedian to expose white audiences to comedy confronting racial issues. The play reveals Gregory’s struggle between his newfound celebrity and his burgeoning yearning to join the activism of the Civil Rights Movement; how his commitment to equality nearly forced him to reject the greatest television opportunity of his career, and his inner struggles facing the demons of his philandering, absent father and the haunting echoes of his mentor, slain civil-rights activist Medgar Evers.
Join Morton in a riveting conversation with director John Gould Rubin and producer Ron Simons, moderated by Michaela Angela Davis.”

Miss Independent: Kate Bolick + Rebecca Traister + Marianne Schnall
The Strand, 828 Broadway/ 7PM,
Buy a copy of Spinster or a $15 gift card to attend this event.
“Cultural critic Kate Bolick, author of the paean to singlehood Spinster, joins two fellow leading voices in contemporary feminism to discuss the changing roles of women in the modern world.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Author @ the Library:
Defeating ISIS:
Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe, with Malcolm Nance, internationally renowned intelligence veteran, author, and counter-terrorism expert.
Mid-Manhattan Library/ 6:30PM, FREE
“This illustrated lecture explains the religious and military origins of ISIS—the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, its virulent propaganda, and how it spreads its cult ideology throughout the Middle East and to disaffected youth across the globe through ultra-violence.”

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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

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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 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.

Website: http://caffevivaldi.com/
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.
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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.

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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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.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24 thousand eating establishments you might welcome some advice.

◊ 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 Summer 2016).
◊ Order before July 31, 2016 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
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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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