Selected NYC Events (09/29) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Sweet6 NYC Events > THURSDAY / SEPT 29, 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 / Sept.”

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

FALL FOR DANCE (through Oct. 8)
City Center, 131 W55th St./ 8PM, all seats $15
“The best sampler platter of dance in town — and all year, for that matter. Program 1 on Monday and Tuesday features the fierce action heroes of Streb Extreme Action in a newly commissioned work; a take on Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” by the South African choreographer Dada Masilo; members of American Ballet Theater in Frederick Ashton’s “Monotones II”; and the flamenco master Farruquito (1:42). Program 2 on Wednesday and Thursday includes the veteran British modernist Richard Alston’s company; the fanciful Aszure Barton & Artists; a tango-tinged duet by Arthur Pita for the adventurous ballet favorites Wendy Whelan and Edward Watson; and the winning Brazilian troupe Grupo Corpo (2:12).” (Schaefer-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Dance Now Festival
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St./ 7PM; $30
“Dance Now’s 21st season offered a massive festival of short works by 40 dance makers of every stripe, all challenged to create five-minute pieces for the teeny stage at Joe’s Pub. TruDee, the comedic alter ego of Deborah Lohse, emceed each show.

The 10 best of the fest (chosen by the producers) return for a special encore performance tonight, when an overall winner will be selected.”

HENRY THREADGILL’S ZOOID (through Oct. 2)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“Mr. Threadgill recently won a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize for music, on the strength of his assuredly spiky 2015 album, “In for a Penny, In for a Pound.” He’ll be at the Village Vanguard this week with the same band featured on the album: Zooid, a blazingly intuitive chamber-improv unit with Liberty Ellman on guitar, Jose Davila on tuba, Christopher Hoffman on cello and Elliot Kavee on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

JOHN SCOFIELD (through Oct. 2)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $20-$35
“For his latest project, “Country for Old Men,” the guitarist didn’t exactly run down to Nashville and start cutting duets with the likes of Kenny Chesney. What he did do was transform some favorite country songs into jazz excursions for a crack ensemble featuring longtime collaborators, including the celebrated electric bassist Steve Swallow and the keyboardist Larry Goldings. The result is a clever genre mashup; it’s not every day that you hear Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” transformed into a stirring jazz-waltz jam.” (NewYorker)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
New York Gypsy Festival (also Oct.01, Oct.08)
Drom, 85 Ave A (btw 5/6 St.)/ various times, $25 Festival Pass
“Tradition and whimsy joyously collide during this celebratory series, which showcases performances by musical nomads around the globe. Strap on your dancing shoes and enjoy mellifluous artists such as Turkish clarinet master Hüsnü Şenlendirici, the electric Hungarian folk fiddlers of Söndörgő and a wild night of live music and belly dancing with the Brooklyn Oryantal Parti.” (TONY)

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

JOYCE CAROL OATES
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, 58 West 10th St./ 7PM, FREE
“At 78, Joyce Carol Oates hardly needs an introduction. A National Book Award winner, she’s long taught writing at Princeton, and her bibliography has its own separate Wikipedia page. She’s also prolific, perhaps like many of her students, on Twitter. Her newest work, “Soul at the White Heat,” muses on inspiration and the writing life, but Ms. Oates will be reading fiction during this series hosted by New York University’s creative writing program.” (NYT-AroundTown)

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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.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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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 Winter 2016).
◊ Order before Nov. 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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