Selected NYC Events (12/02) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square/ Theater District)

“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 those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Tree Lightings see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

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

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park – Tree Lighting
40th St to 42nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (wintervillage.org)/ 6pm.
“This year, the Winter Village plans to make this beloved event the best to date—and we have a feeling it will be. Expect the usual theatrical ice-skating show, starring Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje from the No. 1 world-ranked ice-dancing team in Canada as well as Javier Fernández (four-time European Champion) and Kimmie Meissner (former Olympian). Jazz group Lapis Luna provides the jams, and you’ll definitely want to stop by to see this year’s celebrity host in the flesh. Check out more than 125 holiday shops and food vendors while you’re there.” (TONY)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

DAVE HOLLAND, KEVIN EUBANKS, CHRIS POTTER, OBED CALVAIRE
DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP
Altered States Special Tour
Brexit Before and Beyond
bonus: Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

DAVE HOLLAND, KEVIN EUBANKS, CHRIS POTTER, OBED CALVAIRE (through Dec. 3)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30, +11PM, $
“Muscular proficiency is one common denominator for the musicians in this group, which features Mr. Holland, a veteran bassist and composer, as the first among equals. You should also expect an earthy foothold in groove and a high premium on dynamic range — qualities almost synonymous with Mr. Eubanks, a guitarist; Mr. Potter, a saxophonist; and Mr. Calvaire, a drummer.” (Chinen-NYT)

DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP (through Dec. 4)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $
“The turbocharged fusion band led by the saxophonist Donny McCaslin gained an emotionally charged form of renown for its heavy lifting on David Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar.” This engagement will feature the group — with Jason Lindner on keyboards, Nate Wood on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums — drawing from Mr. McCaslin’s own new album, “Beyond Now,” which bears a dedication to Mr. Bowie and features brooding covers of two of his songs.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

Altered States Special Tour
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W17th St./ 8:45PM, FREE
“Learn about the connections between transcendent spiritual practices and psychoactive substances on a special Museum tour.

This gallery investigation will precede a film screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain in the theater at 9:30 pm.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Brexit Before and Beyond
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway/ 10PM-5PM, FREE
“On June 23, 2016 a slim majority of the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union by national referendum. The reasons that led to this historic vote, ending 43 years of UK membership in the EU, are still being widely debated, as are the potential ramifications. This two-day event brings together journalists and scholars from European and American universities to uncover both the underlying issues that precipitated the UK’s decision to separate from the EU as well as the ongoing fallout from the “Brexit” vote”

PLUS: A discussion with the Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar about his latest film, “Julieta,” at the Apple Store in SoHo / 6PM, FREE, R.S.V.P. required

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“This weekend he leads an acoustic edition of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including the saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws. On Wednesday he performs a duo set with the guitarist John McLaughlin, and on Thursday he begins a four-night stretch with Mr. McLaughin, Mr. White and the bassist Victor Wooten.”
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.
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Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues, most 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
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
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.

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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 + 3 Good Eating places

Jimmy’s Corner / 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest”, Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a great old time jukebox (40s, 50s, R&B, and soul). On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
————————————————————————————————————————
Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

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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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3 Good Eating Places

It’s not difficult finding 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:

Patzeria Perfect Pizza – 231 W46 St. (Btw 7th/8th ave)
Perfect name for a pizza joint. On a street filled with Broadway theaters, this is a real hole in the wall, but don’t let the dive look scare you away. You can never go wrong with a slice of NYCity pizza, and this one is a classic thin crust. Only a few seats here, but pizza was made to eat standing up.

Shake Shack – 691 8th Ave. (Btw 43rd/44th st)
Danny Meyer has revolutionized the high quality burger in this town. Now he has a branch on the West Side that was desperately needed, with a bit less of the insane lines that you find at the Madison Sq. Park location. Worth the wait.

Xi’an Famous Foods – 24 W45th St. (Btw 5th/6th ave)
Try to avoid long lunch lines. Order lamb hand ripped noodles and warm your insides at one of the tables in the back. You’ll return, just remember that even mild is pretty spicy.
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“3 Good Eating Places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 Premier Pubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available Spring 2017).
◊ Order before Mar. 30, 2017 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
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Holiday Windows and Tree Lightings

THE NYT “New York Today” column had a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
PLUS: Tree Lighting December 2 – an original holiday tale on ice with world-class skaters, live music, and a celebrity narrator.

 

 

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