Selected Events (07/23) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Sweet 6 > SATURDAY / JULY 23, 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.
For future events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual Events / July”

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

An Evening with Darlene Love
Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park / 7:30pm; FREE
“Darlene Love is one of the biggest names of the girl-group era and ’60s pop music in general: She’s collaborated with Elvis, Sinatra, Sonny and Cher and has survived working with producer Phil Spector. Now, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee returns to New York to celebrate her 75th birthday in the sunshine of Lincoln Center for its annual outdoor summer concert program, Out of Doors.” (TONY)

“Hers was the voice that helped launch a hundred hits during the glory days of the girl-group era, including the No. 1 “He’s a Rebel,” “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Recently, she has been on a creative hot streak, featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom and releasing last year’s “Introducing Darlene Love” with songs written just for her by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and other renowned songwriters.

Experience true music royalty at Love’s 75th birthday celebration, where Lincoln Center Out of Doors gives the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee free reign to interpret American popular music as only she can.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Twyla Tharp Dance (LAST DAY)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave./ 2PM+8PM, try the $76 loge seats, they are fine.
“Twyla Tharp, modern dance’s great populist, brings her company back to the Joyce for the first time in over a decade. The broad range of her artistic and cultural interests is on display with a program that includes deconstructed square dancing in “Country Dances” (1976); the busy, complicated and colorful “Brahms Paganini” from 1980, with six dancers elegantly freaking out in preppy pastels; and a new work made to Beethoven’s Opus 130.”(Schaefer-NYT)

Barbara Cook
54 Below, 254 W. 54th St./ 7PM; $100
“Time takes what it must from us all, but the imperishable vocalist Cook toughs it out to give everything she’s got for the glory of song. Heartfelt interpretation may have replaced technical command, but in the hands of this iconic trouper that’s more than enough.” (NewYorker)

“A top Broadway ingenue of the 1950s, Barbara Cook has since emerged as perhaps the greatest living interpreter of the musical-theater repertoire. The Golden Age lives for as long as Cook sings; listen closely to her voice, and you may hear the fabled lullaby of Broadway itself.” (TONY)

Cyro Baptista (through Sunday)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St.& Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $
“Mr. Baptista, an irrepressibly kinetic percussionist originally from São Paulo, Brazil, leads two distinct projects this weekend, presenting them one after the other each night. His 7:30 p.m. sets will revisit “Vira Loucos,” a 1997 album on which he interprets the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos. (That title, in addition to playing on the composer’s name, could be translated as “Behold the Insanity.”) The 9:30 sets will feature Mr. Baptista’s band Banquet of the Spirits, playing original material as well as tunes by Don Cherry and John Zorn, representing two generations of the jazz avant-garde” (Chinen-NYT)

Elsewhere but this looks worth the slight detour:
Dick Hyman/Ken Peplowski Duo
Jazz at Kitano, 66 Park Ave., at 38th St./ 8PM, +10PM, $32
“Two walking compendiums of jazz—the eighty-nine-year-old pianist Hyman and the younger clarinettist and saxophonist Peplowski—are virtuosos who never forget that mirth isn’t antithetical to sterling musicianship. The two, both New York treasures, have been featured on the soundtracks to various Woody Allen films, naturally.” (NewYorker)

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

OZY Fusion Fest
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, midpark at 70th St./ 10:30AM-9PM; $35
“Part music festival, part TED Talk, part food fair — this event’s debut aims to accomplish a lot. But with a packed schedule lasting from morning to night, there’s plenty of room to give the star-studded lineup room to breathe. Among those making appearance are Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of “Broad City,” the author Malcolm Gladwell and The full list is at” (NYT-AroundTown)

PLUS (way off the beaten track, but the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band is so good!)
Hot Jazz / Cool Garden Summer Concert Series
Louis Armstrong House Museum 34-56 107th St. btw 34th/37th Aves/ 2PM;
$18, includes free admission to museum
Jazz is served with Satchmo’s favorite dish: red beans ‘n’ rice and sweet tea. David Ostwald leads the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, which will pay tribute to the legendary trumpeter, composer, and band leader.

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,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — / 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.

lThose 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: 
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.

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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