Selected NYC Events (08/12) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Elite8 NYC Events > FRIDAY / AUGUST 12, 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 NYC Events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / August”

Today’s post is dedicated to our good friends from St. Louis, Illinois, Minnesota, and Colorado. Hope you have a wonderful weekend in Metropolis.

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Mulgrew Miller Birthday Tribute (thru Aug 14)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, btw 105th/106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
With Mulgrew Miller’s untimely death, in 2013, the world lost one of the most proficient and adaptable jazz pianists. Miller may have been even better known for his work with a wide swath of other bandleaders than for the fine recordings under his own name. Four former associates—Steve Nelson, Peter Washington, Terell Stafford, and Lewis Nash—come together with the pianist Danny Grissett to pay tribute to this once ubiquitous figure.” (NewYorker)
This is one of my favorite jazz clubs, a great place to listen to good music.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Norbert Leo Butz (LAST DAY)
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $65
“Back by popular demand! Two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz returns with his hit show “Girls, Girls, Girls” focusing on the female – both the mythic & the contemporary. Expect tunes from the likes of Elvis Costello, Loretta Lynn, Frank Sinatra, and even a little Johnny Cash! After celebrating his dazzling cabaret debut (which went on to be the critically lauded CD), we’re delighted to re-welcome the star of Big Fish, Catch Me If You Can, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Wicked, and The Last 5 Years.” (broadwayworld.com)

The Birdland Big Band
With Guest Conductor Rob Middleton
Birdland, 315W44th St./ 5:15PM, $30
“Founded by drummer and musical director Tommy Igoe, the Birdland Big Band features the finest musicians in New York! Celebrating 10 years at the club, the BBB roars into action every Friday, playing the finest Jazz, Latin and Brazilian music from the world’s best arrangers. After work or before a show, drinks or a great dinner, come hear one of the world’s best drummers driving the hardest swinging band in New York. Experience why the BBB is the must-see weekly jazz event in New York and kick off your weekend with what critics are calling “the best live music bargain in all of NYC!” (BroadwayWorld.com)

The Bad Plus (through Aug. 14)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20-$35
“This hyperintelligent and crashingly heroic trio — Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, David King on drums — revives some proven old strategies on “It’s Hard,” out later this month. The album, which will be previewed in part during this weeklong run, deftly reimagines familiar songs by popular figures ranging from Prince to Johnny Cash to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs” (Chinen-NYT)

John Zorn: Bagatelles at the Vanguard (through Aug. 14)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 10:30PM, $
“Fifteen ensembles are on hand to present selections from the composer John Zorn’s bagatelles, a series of three hundred compact pieces open to adaptation by any instrumentation. Among the swarm of musicians will be the guitarists Mary Halvorson, Marc Ribot, and Julian Lage; the pianists Kris Davis, Uri Caine, and Craig Taborn; and the drummers Dave King, Tyshawn Sorey, and Jim Black.” (NewYorker)

Steve Kuhn Trio with Steve Swallow and Joey Baron (Thru Aug.13)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $40
“After making his mark as a sideman with John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Art Farmer and others, pianist Steve Kuhn moved beyond the powerful influence of Bill Evans to become a unique stylist with incredible technique, sense of dynamics and lyricism.

Over the last fifteen years Steve has released critically acclaimed CDs marking a well-deserved career renaissance. The trio’s recent ECM CD, “Wisteria,” takes a fresh look at several pieces heard on Kuhn’s orchestral, “Promises Kept,” alongside the driving hard bop of “A Likely Story,” Swallow’s “Dark Glasses,” Carla Bley’s gospel-tinged “Permanent Wave” and the Brazilian flavored “Romance,” by Dori Caymmi.” (broadwayworld.com)

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

Summer Film & Stargazing Series: E.T.
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway/ 7PM, FREE
“As a complement to our public lecture events during the school year, in the summer we switch to screening science fiction films. Following the film is a short discussion describing the relevant science found in the film with special attention to separating fact from fiction. Stargazing is available on the plaza in front of Pupin Hall (weather permitting).”

Stargazing at Lincoln Center 
on the plaza, just north of the fountain, starting around sunset/ FREE
“Astronomers Association sets up its high-powered telescopes by the fountain at Lincoln Center so come take a look at the planets and the moon and other celestial wonders. Gazing begins at sunset and continues until 11pm “ (TONY / Weekend)
Tonight: Sunset at 7:57. Saturn, Mars, Moon

finish up by Celebrating the Olympics – head over to Little Brazil — Rua de Brasileiros, on 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Like Little Italy, Little Brazil has shrunk and is more little than ever before, but there are still a few fine Brazilian restaurants on this block. Try Via Brasil, Emporium Brasil, and my fave, Ipanema.

PLUS: NYCity Restaurant Week Summer 2016 (July 25 – Aug 19, 2016) 
Enjoy gourmet, 3-course $29 lunch and $42 dinner at 380 participating NYC Restaurant Week restaurants. (Saturdays excluded; Sundays optional. Beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included).

Where to get the best Restaurant Week deals?
See Georgia Kral’s recommendations in AMNY.
OR Zagat’s 8 NYC Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Right Now
OR Thrillist’s advice on the best deals.
OR TimeOutNewYork’s picks of the top Restaurant Week restaurants.
OR CBS Local’s Best Deals in Manhattan.
Reservations are definitely recommended. Mangia!

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Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

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.
See Below.

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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 for these top NYC events 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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