Selected Events (06/11) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

Today’s Nifty 9 > SATURDAY / JUNE 11, 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:

Maria Schneider Orchestra (LAST DAY)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $50
“The Thompson Fields,” Schneider’s vivid and poetic 2015 release, continued a stirring and deserving winning streak for this celebrated composer, arranger, and bandleader. Balancing heft and enticing tonal textures with melodic verve, her ingenious scores—as interpreted by her loyal ensemble—have set the bar high for contemporary big bands.”(NewYorker)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (thru June 19)
NYS/DHK Theater, LincolnCenter/ 2PM +8PM, $50+
Contemporary meets classic.
“This season, five programs cover oodles of new and classic works. Robert Battle’s The Hunt, inspired by his martial-arts background, is a fierce showcase for the company’s awe-inspiring male dancers, and the return of Alvin Ailey’s iconic solo Cry (starring Linda Celeste Sims), dedicated in 1971 to “black women everywhere,” feels especially timely.”(Rebecca Milzoff-NY Mag)

‘Lush Life: Celebrating 100 Years of Billy Strayhorn’
Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St. and Broadway / 8PM, $85+
Billy Strayhorn is remembered as one of jazz’s most elegant composers, working on his own and (especially) in partnership with Duke Ellington. For this centennial tribute, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led for the occasion by its pianist, Dan Nimmer, welcomes a guest: Johnny O’Neal, a veteran singer and pianist with keen insight into the fine, dissolute pathos of songs like “Lush Life,” a signature Strayhorn ballad.” (Chinen-NYT)

Blue Note Jazz Festival (through June 30)
“This monthlong fete rolls on with a mix of marquee names and crossover fare. A special highlight in the coming week is Sangam, an intuitive, shape-shifting trio comprising the multi-reedist Charles Lloyd, the tabla player Zakir Hussain and the drummer Eric Harland, on Saturday at Town Hall. Among the other strong offerings are a quartet led by the bassist Christian McBride, at the Blue Note Jazz Club from Tuesday through June 19; and the organist Cory Henry with his band, the Funk Apostles, at the Highline on Thursday. A full schedule is at bluenotejazzfestival.com.” (Chinen-NYT)

Chelsea Music Festival (through Thursday)
“The Chelsea Music Festival, seems more inventive than ever this summer. It’s hard to detail the varied offerings, which bring together the performing, culinary and visual arts under the theme of “Gravity 350,” honoring the anniversary of Isaac Newton’s discovery. The gala opening reception, “The Elements of Gravity,” has culinary delicacies followed by a concert of Saint-Saens, Elgar, Rebel and the festival’s composer in residence, Michael Gandolfi. There will be late-night jazz programs, chamber music, family concerts and much more. Check the website for details. (It runs through June 18.)”
(Anthony Tommasini-NYT)

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

Jazz Age Lawn Party
Governors Island, various times and prices
“Slap on your spats and practice the Charleston because the Jazz Age Lawn party is returning to Governor’s Island. Sip on Prohibition-era cocktails like a classic St-Germain with mineral water and a twist or a glass of bubbly and none of the back-alley hooch of the day. Food vendors will be on hand to keep your Lindy Hop hoppin’.” (TONY)

Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge
Hudson River Park, Pier 26; 10AM, luau 6PM
“Dust off your Hawaiian shirt, and get ready to enjoy a taste of the Pacific Islands from the edge of Manhattan. Hawaiian Airlines is bringing the Liberty Challenge to the Hudson River for an outrigger regatta, during which you can watch teams from around the world compete as you enjoy Polynesian music and dance, food trucks, a beer garden and a traditional Hawaiian luau.” (TONY)

The Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam, Tracing the Castello Plan
Untapped Cities Tour/ 2PM, $30
“At first glance, it might seem like there’s not much left of Dutch New Amsterdam, but there’s much more than meets the eye. The Dutch influence is felt in many hidden relics south of Wall Street. This includes the massive one hidden in plain sight: the original street grid embedded in lower Manhattan grid today.

Join author, playwright, and Untapped Cities guide, Justin Rivers (who also leads our Remnants of Penn Station tour), complete with Manhattan’s first map in hand as you trace the streets of Manhattan in 1667. You’ll hear about New York’s founding myths and facts while standing in the very spots they all happened. Tour highlights include a look at the remains of Manhattan’s first City Hall, a walk of the city’s original coast line, discovering the original Dutch fort, wind mill, and the original battery. Physically touch history as we also spend time finding out why Bowling Green has its name and why it’s been so important in our city’s history.”

American Crafts Festival
Lincoln Center, 65th St at Columbus Ave./ 10AM-7PM, FREE
“Lincoln Center plays host to 380 jury-selected craft vendors from across the country at this nifty fair. Find glasswork and handmade leather pieces you never knew you needed, and indulge in some one-of-a-kind new threads from regional designers with special weekend-only rates. If you’re not looking to spend your rent check redecorating your apartment in one go, then head to demonstrations on weaving, spindling and enjoy live music.” (TONY)

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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 / West Village

Corner Bistro / 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $6.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
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Website: cornerbistrony.com
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk 2 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
Update:

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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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