Selected Events (05/26) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Super 7 > THURSDAY / MAY 26, 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:

Sneak Preview of the Hills at Governor’s Island
Obscura Society NY / 4:00-6:15PM, $35
“The Trust for Governors Island’s next acres of park, the Hills, are scheduled to open to the public this summer. Before anyone else can experience this new NYC landscape, the New York Obscura Society is invited for a special sneak peek. Join us for this exclusive opportunity to preview and learn more about this latest public space development on Governors Island.

Ranging in height from 25 to 70 feet, the four Hills are an audacious feat of engineering and design that will forever transform New Yorkers’ relationship with the Harbor. The Hills offer lush rolling landscapes, grassy overlooks, exhilarating slides, a permanent installation by British artist Rachel Whiteread, and unparalleled 360 degree views of the Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and the Lower Manhattan skyline. We’ll get an exclusive tour and discussion of the project’s design, infrastructure, and implementation, a free range to enjoy the park.

This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity offered exclusively to the New York Obscura Society. An experience not to be missed! Take in the wonder of the Hills before the rest of New York gets to them.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Cyndi Lauper + Boy George
Beacon Theatre, Broadway (btw 74/75 St)/ 7:30PM, $75+
“If new-wave icon Cyndi Lauper has demonstrated anything over the course of her three-decade career, it’s that the girl just wants to have fun—even after scooping up a Tony Award for Best Musical with Kinky Boots. For this ’80s flashback show, she teams up with polymathic DJ, fashion-label head and theater producer, Boy George, who’s grown a huskier croon and a matured perspective since his Culture Club days.” (TONY)

Glenn Crytzer’s Savoy Seven
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W62nd St./ 7:30PM, FREE
“Glenn Crytzer’s Savoy Seven is a swing combo reminiscent of combos led by Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fats Waller, and Artie Shaw in the late 1930s and ’40s. The group plays music that delights listeners’ ears, excites dancers’ feet, and creates an atmosphere of charm, sophistication, and revelry.
Presented in collaboration with Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing.”

Sven Ratzke’s STARMAN
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 9:30PM, $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)

Javon Jackson
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“On the recently released album “We’ll Be Together Again,” the tenor saxophonist Jackson—one third of a taut coöperative unit with Ron Carter and Billy Drummond—affirms the improvisational smarts that he’s honed since his trial by fire in Art Blakey’s hard-bop boot camp, back in the late eighties. Here he leads a quartet that includes Jeremy Manasia on piano.” (NewYorker)

CONTINUES: 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.

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

Elsewhere, but if you like wine, you’ll like this event; worth the detour.
Brooklyn Uncorked
26Bridge, 26 Bridge St./ 6-9PM, $80
(early bird was $50, so next time be an early bird)
“We’ve celebrating ten years of Brooklyn Uncorked! Enjoy award-winning wines from New York State wineries and nibble on delicious food from some of the most popular restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan.” (edible)

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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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