Today’s Sweet 6 > FRIDAY / MAY 06, 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:
Iridium, 1650 Broadway @ 51 St./ 8PM, $35
Shemekia is touring in support of her latest Grammy-nominated album, Outskirts Of Love. She puts on a great show. Last time I saw her she came down from the stage to dance in the aisle with us.
Shemekia’s a ball-of-fire vocalist with a voice that’s part Memphis, part Chicago and all woman…devastatingly powerful. She’s a great singer, period.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Shemekia captures the timelessness of the blues while spinning it forward with remarkable maturity.”—USA Today
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
New York City Ballet (through May 29)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $30+
“This week, City Ballet introduces two programs honoring its founding fathers: “All Balanchine” comprises “Ballo della Regina,” “Kammermusik No. 2” and “Vienna Waltzes” (Friday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday); “All Robbins” features “Dances at a Gathering” and “West Side Story Suite” (Wednesday). The weekend brings encores of recent premieres, including Justin Peck’s “The Most Incredible Thing” (Saturday matinee) and “Belles-Lettres,” which joins “American Rhapsody” by Christopher Wheeldon and “Mothership,” Nicholas Blanc’s choreographic debut for the company, on Saturday evening.” (NYT-Schaefer and Burke)
One for All (May 6-8)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway,(btw 105th/106th Sts.)/ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
Pledging allegiance to hard bop in all its durable glory, the members of this collective sextet, which includes the saxophonist Eric Alexander and the trombonist Steve Davis, have been together for nearly twenty years, fulfilling a need for slamming, unpretentious jazz which is in little danger of disappearing.” (NewYorker)
Nik Bärtsch’s Mobile
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W17th St./ 7PM,
“Mr. Bärtsch, a rigorously conceptual Swiss pianist and composer, has a new album, “Continuum,” featuring a series of chamber pieces — moduls, he calls them — that deftly incorporate shifting texture and post-minimalist repetition. He presents some of that music in concert with Mobile, his acoustic ensemble with Sha on bass and contrabass clarinets and Kaspar Rast and Nicolas Stocker on drums and percussion.” (Chinen-NYT)
Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
New York African Film Festival (May 4-10)
FilmSocietyLincolnCenter, 65th St (btw Broadway/Amsterdam) / various times & prices
“The drama, “Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai,” is one of the highlights of the New York African Film Festival, whose 23rd edition opened Wednesday at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
The festival is part of a monthlong focus on African cinema that continues May 13 to 15 at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. On May 18, the Brooklyn Academy of Music opens the theatrical revival of Ousmane Sembène’s pioneering 1966 film “Black Girl.” The month closes with the companion “FilmAfrica” series, also at BAM.” (WSJ)
Their opening night film “Tanna,” set on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu, was just wonderful and there was a well deserved full house.
Hardly Manhattan’s WestSide, it’s an island in the East River, but this is worth the detour:
“Frieze New York” (May 5-8)
Randall’s Island Park / 11AM, $ various prices
The main attraction of the week, the fifth edition of Frieze New York, features more than 200 exhibitors from 31 countries in its dynamically designed white tent on Randall’s Island. Offering one of the best art fair presentations in contemporary art, Frieze mixes up its program with galleries showing blue chip artists, solo shows of 20th century artworks, sections for emerging art and special projects and talks, which make the visitors’ experience even more rewarding.
Standouts this year include Salon 94’s and David Zwirner’s female-focused booths; Matthew Marks Gallery’s show of sculpture; David Wojnarowicz’s multi-media installation from 1985 at P.P.O.W; and solo shows of Fred Wilson at Pace, William Kentridge at Marian Goodman and Melvin Edwards at Alexander Gray Associates, as well as a Frith Street’s presentation of works by Cornelia Parker, which coincides with her current rooftop project at the Met.” (the Observer)
BONUS: Let’s not forget one for this hometown boy:
“I Love the Bronx” Bronx Week (May 6-15)
various locations and times; various prices
“Celebrate the Boogie Down with 11 days of fun activities. Take a trolley tour, paddle on the Bronx River, hear some stand-up and much more at this annual festival.” (TONY)
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
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.
♦ 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.
A PremierPub + 3 Good Eating places
Jimmy’s Corner / 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)
Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest”, Ali.
Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.
Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.
On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a great old time jukebox (40s, 50s, R&B, and soul). On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s
“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.
3 Good Eating Places
It’s not difficult finding 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:
Patzeria Perfect Pizza – 231 W46 St. (Btw 7th/8th ave)
Perfect name for a pizza joint. On a street filled with Broadway theaters, this is a real hole in the wall, but don’t let the dive look scare you away. You can never go wrong with a slice of NYCity pizza, and this one is a classic thin crust. Only a few seats here, but pizza was made to eat standing up.
Shake Shack – 691 8th Ave. (Btw 43rd/44th st)
Danny Meyer has revolutionized the high quality burger in this town. Now he has a branch on the West Side that was desperately needed, with a bit less of the insane lines that you find at the Madison Sq. Park location. Worth the wait.
Xi’an Famous Foods – 24 W45th St. (Btw 5th/6th ave)
Try to avoid long lunch lines. Order lamb hand ripped noodles and warm your insides at one of the tables in the back. You’ll return, just remember that even mild is pretty spicy.
“3 Good Eating Places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 Premier Pubs 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.
This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS:
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.
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.
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.