Today’s Fab 5 > TUESDAY / MAY 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:
American Ballet Theater (through July 2)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center,
“Alexei Ratmansky, the company’s artist in residence, pays homage to the great composer Dmitri Shostakovich with a trio of one-act ballets set to his music (Friday, Saturday evening and Monday). Another triple bill of Mr. Ratmansky’s work, to music by Bernstein, Scarlatti and Stravinsky, is on display at Saturday’s matinee. Beginning Tuesday, the company presents Frederick Ashton’s cheerful, farm fresh “La Fille Mal Gardée,” complete with clogs, maypoles and dancing hens.” (Brian Schaefer-NYT)
Mondays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m., with additional performances at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Sven Ratzke’s STARMAN
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 7:30PM, $20
“Inspired by the music of the legend David Bowie the entertainer Sven Ratzke creates his own, dazzling character: STARMAN.
Sven Ratzke, the entertainer “extraordinaire” who’s celebrated as a worldwide sensation gives now his own interpretation of the legend David Bowie. Ratzke not just brings a David Bowie tribute, but creates an entirely new character with STARMAN. The weirdly mad and entertaining universe of Ratzke will merge with legendary Bowie universe into a grandiose music show.
In STARMAN we will see an entertainer on stage who might come from another planet, like a “Baron Munchausen out of space”. Ratzke takes us on a crazy, incredibly entertaining journey from New York to Berlin.” (broadwayworld.com)
Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other
Pint of Science NYC Festival (May 23-25)
Various times (7-10PM) and locations.
“Enjoy science (and a drink or two) at Pint of Science NYC Festival events across four boroughs. At Alewife in Queens, researcher James McInerny talks about how machine learning forces us to consider the creativity of computers while entrepreneur Mike Battaglia talks about technology, seeing differently, and potentially saving the world. The movies love science, at least as far as coping with zombie outbreaks goes. Hear from experts in physical science, anthropology, and psychology as they look at the principles behind some favorite films at Videology in Brooklyn.” (ThoughtGallery.org)
VICE Media: Watch & Learn
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W62nd St./ 7:30PM, FREE
“Dive into today’s most pressing topics with a special screening and talk-back with some of the great minds behind VICE.”
Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder:
Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities
New York Public Library – Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
With Claudia Kalb, acclaimed health and science journalist.
“This illustrated lecture looks at the evolution of mental health and gives a glimpse into the lives of high-profile historic figures through the lens of modern psychology, weaving groundbreaking research into biographical narratives that are deeply embedded in our culture. From Marilyn Monroe’s borderline personality disorder to Charles Darwin’s anxiety, it provides compelling insight into a broad range of maladies, using historical records and interviews with leading mental health experts, biographers, sociologists, and other specialists.”
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 / 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.
Those 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).
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.
“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.
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. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.