Selected NYC Events (01/03) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

“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 Music Events see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

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

Jomama Jones: Black Light
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $25
image-1 “Decked out in sequined splendor, Jones is a paradigm of R&B-diva grandeur circa 1982, with impeccable posture and elocution that bespeak an old-school black-star dignity. Created and performed by Daniel Alexander Jones, Jomama has starred in a series of shows, most recently the fascinating Duat; now she joins forces with young pianist Samora Pinderhughes for a night of original “Afromystical” songs.” (TONY)

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

BACH’S ‘CHRISTMAS ORATORIO’
NOCHE FLAMENCA
Copland and Marsalis
DAVID BINNEY GROUP
The Fermented Man: A Year on the Front Lines of a Food Revolution
New Year’s Resolutions: How to Make and Keep Them

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BACH’S ‘CHRISTMAS ORATORIO’ (also Jan.4 and 6)
St. Paul’s Chapel / Trinity Wall Street / 1PM, FREE
“Julian Wachner’s Time’s Arrow festival (Jan. 1-12) at Trinity Wall Street this year celebrates the 250th anniversary of St. Paul’s Chapel. All of the programming is worthwhile, but this performance of Bach’s frequently overlooked “Christmas Oratorio,” spread out with two of six parts per lunchtime performance, ought to be especially interesting. Mr. Wachner, never less than intriguing in any repertoire, conducts the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street.’ (NYT)

NOCHE FLAMENCA (Dec. 26-Jan. 28)
West Park Presbyterian Church, Amsterdam Ave & 86th St./ 8PM, $27.50+
“In the early 20th century, Arthur Schnitzler’s play “La Ronde” scandalized audiences with its vignettes of sexual encounters that breached class borders. The inventive and indispensable dance company Noche Flamenca interprets that work through a series of duets that explore the dynamics of loneliness and desire, feelings that flamenco captures well. Accompanying “La Ronde” in a 75-minute program, which will performed from Dec. 26 through Jan. 7, is “Creación,” inspired by the lives of Noche Flamenca’s incomparable star Soledad Barrio and the accomplished hip-hop dancer TweetBoogie (in a role also performed by Nubian Néné). The two will share the stage with younger women dancing both styles.” (NYT-Schaefer)

Copland and Marsalis
Lincoln Center, Philharmonic Hall / 7:30PM, $44+
“The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis join the Philharmonic in the World Premiere of the jazz legend’s latest creation, one of The New York Commissions for the Orchestra’s 175th anniversary. With style, class, and talent to spare, Marsalis is one of the world’s finest musicians and composers. Plus William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto, featuring Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi.”

DAVID BINNEY GROUP
55 Bar / 10PM, $
“The alto saxophonist David Binney favors a forward-tilt approach to the contemporary post-bop tradition — athletic, dynamic and sometimes furiously intense. He has a long, productive history with the bassist Eivind Opsvik and the drummer Dan Weiss, who form a whirring blade of rhythm in this band, alongside the hyperarticulate pianist Matt Mitchell.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

The Fermented Man: A Year on the Front Lines of a Food Revolution
New York Public Library—Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
With Derek Dellinger, a writer, brewer, and fermentation enthusiast based in the Hudson Valley.

“This illustrated lecture spotlights “the fermented man”‘s year spent on an unorthodox diet, revealing insights about the science of fermentation, as well as its cultural history, its culinary value, and its nutritional impact.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

New Year’s Resolutions: How to Make and Keep Them
Prospect Heights Brainery, 190 Underhill Ave./ 6:30PM, $25,
“The New Year is a time when we reflect on our goals for the year ahead: better health, a new job, travel or finding a relationship.But change is hard. It requires a real commitment, the forming of rituals and planning.
Research has found 88% of people actually fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. The reason: setting and reaching goals isn’t strictly about self discipline or willpower, it’s about intention and finding pleasure in pursuing what matters to you.

In this class, we will set practical goals, take a look at the calendar and come up with a plan for the year ahead. We’ll also find a partner or support system to help make our dreams come true.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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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 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.
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 24,000 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 Spring 2017).
◊ Order before Mar.31, 2017 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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