Selected NYC Events (01/07) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

“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.

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

ANAT COHEN TENTET (also Jan.8)
Jazz Standard, / 7:30, +9:30PM, $30
“A clarinetist and tenor saxophonist of irresistible rhythmic aplomb, Ms. Cohen has dabbled in music for midsize ensembles, and this one should bring out some vibrant colors in her writing. The 10-piece ensemble’s chamberesque lineup includes Nadje Noordhuis on trumpet, Rubin Kodheli on cello, James Shipp on vibraphone and Sheryl Bailey on guitar.” (Chinen-NYT)

“With the clarinet she becomes a singer, a dancer, a poet, a mad scientist, laughing – musically – with the sheer delight of reaching that new place, that new feeling, with each chorus.” (JazzTimes)

Whenever Anat Cohen is in town she is always my top pick – just magical.

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

Roméo et Juliette
DAVID BROZA & FRIENDS
UTE LEMPER
Fred Hersch Trio
AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM
Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Monster Energy Buck Off
Chelsea “Best Exhibits” Gallery Tour
BONUS: NYC WINTER JAZZFEST

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Roméo et Juliette
Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center/ 8PM, $27+
“When Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo starred opposite each other in Manon at the Met in 2015, the New York Times said, “the temperature rises nearly to boiling every time Damrau and Grigolo are on stage together.” Now they’re back as opera’s classic lovers, in Gounod’s lush Shakespeare adaptation. The production, by director Bartlett Sher, has already won acclaim for its vivid 18th-century milieu and stunning costumes during runs at Salzburg and La Scala. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the sumptuous score.”

DAVID BROZA & FRIENDS
Town Hall,/ 8PM, $35+
“This very special show at the Town Hall will begin with only David Broza on stage. Although a commanding presence by himself, with each new song he will introduce a band member or group of band members, layering a bolero-style crescendo on the audience. Every newly-introduced musician brings their instrument to a level of expertise and sensory delight. With guitars, drums, percussion, keyboard, piano, recorder and vocals, the audience will be mesmerized by the depth of fluency and youthful, hip energy on stage. The shared joy of the musicians is both captivating and addictive. Adding to this mix are special guests qanun-player Ali Paris and Spyro Gyra saxophonist Jay Beckenstein, as well as a few unannounced surprise guests. A spectacular and wonderful evening lies in store.”

UTE LEMPER (Jan 07-11)
54 Below, / 7PM, $45+
“Back by popular demand, Feinstein’s/54 Below presents renowned international chanteuse and star of Broadway’s Chicago, Ute Lemper with her new show Songs From the Broken Heart. Share in Ute’s stories of life, wonder, love, doubt, and loss, spanning from her Song Trilogy of Poets to her own tales of long sleepless nights. Delve into Ute’s repertoire of her own pen alongside the lyrics of Bukowski, Coehlo, Leo Ferre, Jacques Brel, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits. Journey beyond the dark streets of Berlin and Paris, and follow the main road that leads to Ute’s heart in this deeply personal and intimate evening of stories and songs.”

Fred Hersch Trio
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30, +10:30PM, $30
images“This prime pianist’s instrumental touch only strengthens his acute composing and band-leading skills. See all three forces in play at this six-night stand, where Hersch expands his invaluable trio—with the bassist John Hebert and the drummer Eric McPherson—to include the trumpeter Mike Rodriguez and the saxophonist Dayna Stephens.” (NewYorker)

AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM (Jan. 3-8)
Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave./ 7:30PM, $36
“This showcase of stylistically disparate domestic dance companies returns to the Joyce for a second year. Program A (Jan. 3 and 8 at 7:30 p.m.) features the New York-based Dusan Tynek Dance Theater and Company E of Washington. In Program B (Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 8 at 2 p.m.), RAWdance, a contemporary troupe from San Francisco, meets Contra-Tiempo from Los Angeles, which blends salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop and modern dance. Program C (Jan. 5 and 7 at 8 p.m.) features Davalois Fearon Dance and the mother-daughter Bharatanatyam artists Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy.”
(BRIAN SCHAEFER-NYT)

BONUS:
NYC WINTER JAZZFEST (through Jan. 10)
“This teeming convergence of bands and artists, both emerging and established, qualifies as New York City’s biggest jazz event of the season, if not the year. The festival’s 2017 edition has adopted a theme of social justice, with related work presented by, among others, the trombonist Craig Harris (“Breathe”) and the drummers Mike Reed (“Flesh & Bone”) and Terri Lyne Carrington (with her band Social Science). They will represent a few options among many in the Winter Jazzfest Marathon, on Jan. 6 and 7 in a range of settings below 14th Street.

The festival then continues with a centennial tribute to Thelonious Monk, on Jan. 8 at Littlefield, featuring improvisers like the pianist David Virelles and the guitarist Marc Ribot; a double bill of the singer-songwriter Sam Amidon (with an array of guests) and the drummer Andrew Cyrille (performing solo) on Jan. 9 at Le Poisson Rouge; and the Liberation Music Orchestra, with the pianist Geri Allen as a guest conductor, on Jan. 10, also at Le Poisson Rouge.” (Chinen – NYT)

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

Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Monster Energy Buck Off (Jan.06-08)
Madison Square Garden, / 7:45PM, $26+
imgres“Escape the chilly weather with some Southern-style, yee-haw-worthy fun at the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden. Don a cowboy hat and cheer on 35 ace studs as they attempt to stay atop bucking bovines—which can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds—for more than eight seconds.” (TONY)

PLUS, Two places to ride a mechanical bull in NYC
“When you do, rider Ryan Dirteater (yes, that’s his real last name) says to “keep your chin down, bow that chest out, keep your hips on the rope, and don’t get too wild with your free arm.” Ready to ride? Here’s where to go.
Johnny Utah’s
Sign a waiver, get a stamp on your hand, and enjoy free bull rides all night at this kitschy Southwestern-inspired bar. The midtown haunt promises a “challenging” experience, so you might want to hold off on those loaded nachos until after your turn. 25 W 51st St (212-265-8824)
Slate
On special occasions, this sleek Chelsea lounge amplifies its Sunday football-watching revelry with mechanical livestock. Between the writhing bull and the club’s pool, Ping-Pong and foosball tables, you’ll never be bored during halftime. 54 W 21st St (212-989-0096)” (TONY)

Chelsea “Best Exhibits” Gallery Tour
New York Gallery Tours, 1PM, +3:45PM, $25
“Take a fascinating gallery tour of Chelsea—the world’s center for contemporary art—and see the very latest in painting, sculpture, electronic media & photography. Our guide, who holds a Ph.D. in arts education, helps explain the artwork and leads the group in lively discussion.

The tour will take place no matter what the weather – rain, snow or shine (the art is all indoors). Meet at 526 W. 26th St. between 10th & 11th Ave. Nearest subways: C- or E-Train to 23rd St. Admission is $25. SPECIAL OFFER: visit our website to request a DISCOUNT ticket link for $8-off admission!”

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

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

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 60 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 / West Village

Corner Bistro / 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $6.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
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Website: cornerbistrony.com
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk 2 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
Update:
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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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