Selected Events (06/25) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Sweet 6 > SATURDAY / JUNE 25, 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:

Al Jarreau / Blue Note Jazz Festival
The Town Hall, 123 W43rd St./ 8PM, $45
“Al Jarreau’s unique vocal style is one of the world’s most precious treasures. His innovative musical expressions have made him one of the most exciting and critically-acclaimed performers of our time with seven Grammy Awards, scores of international music awards and popular accolades worldwide.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Lorna Luft Celebrates Pride Week
54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $50+
“Liza Minnelli gets the lion’s share of public attention, but Judy Garland’s other singing daughter is a seasoned performer, too, with a voice that sometimes eerily recalls that of her matchless mom. In her return to Feinstein’s/54 Below, she shares favorites from the Great American Songbook.” (TONY)

“After several sold-out Feinstein’s/54 Below engagements, Lorna Luft returns with a brand new show to celebrate Pride Week in NYC! The evening will be a celebration of what it means to be proud. Join Lorna Luft as she sings, tells stories, and focuses on the history behind New York City Pride and what it means to her while also dedicating her show to everyone who has pride in themselves. This is a show for all ages, shapes, and sizes and is a true celebration of who we all are, Lorna- style!”

American Ballet Theater (through July 2) /
tonight: Romeo and Juliet (LAST DAY)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center / 2PM +8PM, $20+
“Kenneth MacMillan’s masterful interpretation of Shakespeare’s enduring romantic tragedy has become one of ABT’s signature productions. Against a sumptuous setting in Renaissance Italy, MacMillan weaves a dance tapestry rich in character nuance and sensuality, and Sergei Prokofiev’s instantly recognizable music underscores the lyric beauty and passion of this beloved ballet’s star-crossed lovers.”

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

Chelsea “Best Exhibits” Gallery Tour
New York Gallery Tours / 1PM, $25
“Take a fascinating gallery tour of Chelsea – the world’s center for contemporary art – and see the very latest in painting, sculpture, electronic media & photography. Our guide, who holds a Ph.D. in arts education, helps explain the artwork and leads the group in lively discussion.

The tour takes place Sat. June 25 at 1:00 PM, rain or shine (the art is all indoors). Meet at 526 W. 26th St. between 10th & 11th Ave. Nearest subways: C- or E-Train to 23rd St. Admission is $25. SPECIAL OFFER: use DISCOUNT code “chelsea29” for $8-off admission! For more info, visit http://www.nygallerytours.com or call 917-250-0052.”

Governors Island Walk
Governor’s Island / 12PM, $15
“Despite years of history, for most New Yorkers Governors Island might as well have popped out of the ocean when it became open to the general public in 2003. Join Albert and James for a 90-minute walk through this amazing facet of the New York harbor.”
This walk meets at Governors Island, and you’ll receive exact meeting instructions the day before the walk.

Elsewhere, but this sure looks worth the detour:
Screening & Live Event: Citizen Kane
Museum of the Moving Image, Queens, 36-01 35th Ave./ 2PM, $12
“For decades consistently ranked by critics and filmmakers around the world as the greatest movie of all time, Welles’s perversely grandiose portrait of a newspaper tycoon loosely based on William Randolph Hearst is a dazzling work of art that ushered in a new era in virtuosic filmmaking and fragmented cinematic narratives. Grappling with Citizen Kane, Otis Ferguson wrote “its presentation is managed in complex ways and its conclusions are so vague with the shadows of meaning that it is easy to read almost anything into it, including what was actually put there.” The screening will be followed by a signing of The Rhapsodes, the new book by David Bordwell, in the Museum store.”

PLUS:
River to River Festival (through June 26)
“This annual event is something of a performance-inspired scavenger hunt around Lower Manhattan, both confusing and delighting unsuspecting passers-by. This week, the witty Dance Heginbotham weaves through a harbor-side business complex; the captivating Eiko Otake continues her multiyear project “A Body in Places” on Governors Island; Okwui Okpokwasili takes inspiration from Nigerian women in the 1920s; the hip-hop dancer Ephrat Asherie collaborates with her jazz pianist brother, Ehud; and Will Rawls, left, nods to Balkan folklore. At various times and locations. lmcc.net/program/river-to-river.” (Schaefer-NYT)

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Bonus – Jazz Clubs:
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 Fall 2016).
◊ Order before Sept. 30, 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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