Selected NYC Events (01/15) + 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.

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

STEVE DAVIS SEXTET (last day)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, btw.105th/06th Sts./ 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $38
“Davis may not have been around for the first flowering of hard bop in the nineteen-fifties, but for this supremely adept trombonist—who has also been heard with the neo-bop One for All unit, as well as with advanced ensembles like Chick Corea’s Origin band—the idiom is as natural as his heartbeat. To stir up the action, he has gathered four similarly minded peers, including the saxophonists Steve Wilson and Jimmy Green, the bassist Peter Washington, and the drummer Lewis Nash, along with a highly regarded elder, the pianist Larry Willis.” (NewYorker)

6  OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY
CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE
Kelly Burke: Love for Sale
NICHOLAS PAYTON: AFRO-CARIBBEAN MIXTAPE
An Evening with Charles Osgood
Legends of Burlesque Calendar Show
‘CRUEL AND UNUSUAL COMEDY’

PLUS – NYC Restaurant Week reservations now open

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE (also Jan. 17-22)
at the Village Vanguard, / 8 and 10PM, $30.
“Mr. McBride, the bassist, bandleader and composer, holds fast to a mood of generous bonhomie with his trio, which recently released a live album recorded in this room. That group, now with Christian Sands on piano and Jerome Jennings on drums, performs the first week of his engagement, Jan. 10 through 15. From Jan. 17 through 22, Mr. McBride will lead a groove-minded quartet, informally called New Jawn McBride, featuring the trumpeter Josh Evans, the saxophonist Marcus Strickland and the drummer Nasheet Waits.” (NYT-Chinen)

Kelly Burke: Love for Sale
SOHO Playhouse, Huron Club, 15 Vandam (btw Varick Street and Sixth Ave.) / 5PM, $30

“English singer-actor Burke makes her U.S. debut in a “cabaret-play” set in the 1930s, featuring songs by Kurt Weill and others. The winning Charlie Alterman costars as her pianist.” (TONY)

“Developed for London’s historic Wilton’s Music Hall, and following sell-out performances in London and Edinburgh, Love for Sale is a 1930’s cabaret celebrating the music of Kurt Weill, Cole Porter and their contemporaries.”

NICHOLAS PAYTON: AFRO-CARIBBEAN MIXTAPE (Jan. 12-15)
at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $40
“Mr. Payton, a trumpeter, keyboardist and (on occasion) vocalist with a taste for soulful postbop and moody funk, recently unveiled this band in New Orleans, his hometown. Along with the bassist Vicente Archer, the drummer Joe Dyson and the percussionist Daniel Sadownick, it features Lady Fingaz, a hip-hop D.J. who has logged some serious time in New Orleans, though she now lives in San Francisco.” (NYT-Chinen)

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

An Evening with Charles Osgood
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $32
Veteran CBS newsman and creator of The Osgood File, Charles Osgood is CBS News’ “Poet-in-Residence” and an icon of American broadcasting.

Osgood spent 22 years hosting the Emmy Award-winning CBS Sunday Morning, continuing the show’s long tradition of in-depth profiles, great reporting and wide-ranging coverage of news, art, entertainment, science, literature and culture. Join him for an evening of storytelling and music reflecting on his remarkable life and the people he has encountered.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Legends of Burlesque Calendar Show
Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St./ 6PM, $20-$30
“The 2017 Legends of Burlesque calendar is here, and Le Poisson Rouge is hosting a gala affair to mark the occasion. The event’s lineup is stacked with top-notch burly-Q talent, including Jo Weldon, Legs Malone, Bunny Buxom, Tansy, Jeez Loueez, Lil Miss Lixx, Dottie Dynamo, Miss Poison Ivory and many more. Hosting duties fall to the ever-enticing World Famous *BOB* and all proceeds from the calendar benefit the Burlesque Hall of Fame, a Las Vegas organization dedicated to preserving the history of burlesque.” (TONY)

‘CRUEL AND UNUSUAL COMEDY’
“The 1926 film “Honest Injun,” starring Johnny Arthur, pictured, will be among the films featured at MoMA on Saturday, Jan. 14, as part of the series “Cruel and Unusual Comedy: Astonishing Shorts From the Slapstick Era.” This series features dozens of silent-era short films that find humor in the darker corners of the American psyche. Themes include domestic abuse, ethnic stereotypes, political anarchists and violence. Screenings generally comprise several films with a total running time of 90 minutes.
WHEN | WHERE Friday, Jan. 13, through Jan. 26 at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St. ADMISSION $12 or free with museum admission
INFO 212-708-9400, moma.org — (STAV ZIV, Newwday)

PLUS – NYC Restaurant Week reservations now open
From Jan. 23 to Feb. 10, have your pick from 375 participating restaurants, with a three-course prix fixe lunch or dinner; lunches are $29, and dinners are $42, not including beverages, gratuities and taxes, a great deal for some of the city’s most popular spots…

This year there are 32 new restaurants participating, joining the array of restaurants that span 41 neighborhoods and four boroughs.

To see the full list, go to nycgo.com/restaurantweek.

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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 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 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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