Selected NYC Events (01/27) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Elite8 NYC Events>FRIDAY/JAN.27, 2017

“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: “Notable NYC Events-Jan.”

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

Noche Flamenca: Antigona (through Jan. 28)
West Park Presbyterian Church, 165 W86th St./ 8PM, $25-$60
image-1 “Traditional Spanish dance and ancient Greek theater are an unlikely but well-suited pair in Noche Flamenca’s sharp production “Antigona,” based on Sophocles’s famous tragedy. The dance lights a fire under the play while discovering in itself a knack for narrative drama. In the title role, the powerhouse Soledad Barrio is both fierce and fragile. The century-old church where the performance takes place is filled with striking sets, darkly amorous music played by a live band and a ferocious Greek chorus of dancers.” (NYT-Schaefer)

My Take: Noche Flamenca is Spain’s most successful touring company and its greatest exponent of the art of flamenco. Soledad Barrio is a goddess of dance and brings so much passion to her role as Antigona. Two wonderful Spanish guitarists and two vocalists do not get the credit they deserve. Every piece of this performance is outstanding. Go See It!

7  OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY
THE LATIN SIDE OF DIZZY WITH CARLOS HENRIQUEZ
GIORGIO MORODER
Nellie McKay: A Girl Named Bill
Butler, Bernstein, and the Hot 9
Bryant Park’s Winter Carnival
Winter Antiques Show
Lunar New Year

PLUS 
NYC Restaurant Week reservations now open
Broadway Week and Attractions Week now open
New York Boat Show

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

THE LATIN SIDE OF DIZZY WITH CARLOS HENRIQUEZ (also Jan.28)
Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7, +9:30PM, $65+
As a teenager growing up in the Bronx, the bassist Carlos Henriquez apprenticed and performed with some of the city’s leading Latin jazz musicians, names like Jerry Gonzalez and Tito Puente. Many of them could recall playing alongside the legendary trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, who in the 1940s helped pioneer a fusion of Afro-Cuban music and bebop. This weekend Mr. Henriquez convenes a redoubtable cast of musicians from across generations and nationalities for a celebration of Gillespie’s Latin jazz legacy. They include the Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez, the American pianist Larry Willis and the Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

GIORGIO MORODER
at Flash Factory, 229 W28th St./ 11PM, $30, only limited tickets left
The Italian producer Giorgio Moroder was a disco trailblazer in the early 1970s, thanks to his work with Donna Summer on songs like “Last Dance” and “I Feel Love.” But after a 2013 collaboration with the futuristic electro-funk mavens Daft Punk, Mr. Moroder, now 76, has been enjoying a career resurgence: His 2015 comeback album, “Déjà Vu,” featured club-ready productions with modern-day disco divas like Britney Spears, Kelis and Kylie Minogue. Mr. Moroder’s D.J. sets these days feature his new work, but it’s the bulletproof classics from his breakthrough years that really get crowds moving — and still sound totally vital today.” (NYT-KEVIN O’DONNELL)

Nellie McKay: A Girl Named Bill
Feinstein’s/54 Below, / 7PM, $55-$65
“Fearless singer-songwriter McKay is always guaranteed to flabber your gast with her witty, unwieldy and beguiling performances. Her themed sets are especially bonkers (in a wonderful way); this one, first performed in 2014, employs original songs and a wide range of covers to explore the life of jazz bandleader Billy Tipton, who was discovered at his death to have been born female.” (TONY)

Butler, Bernstein, and the Hot 9
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./
“The stylistically omnivorous brass man Steven Bernstein has a soft spot for early jazz, so his fertile hookup with the New Orleans pianist and singer Henry Butler, a virtuosic performer who honors tradition while remaining unbound to it, always delivers big fun. The fruits of their collaboration—fortified by the spirited Hot 9 unit—were first heard on “Viper’s Drag,” from 2014, a recording that gave a joyous dusting-off to formative material from Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, and others.” (NewYorker)

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

Bryant Park’s Winter Carnival
There will be an ice castle and so much more at Bryant Park’s Winter Carnival
Rooftop igloos are pretty cool, but an ice castle is way cooler (pun intended). And guess what? You can scope out the frozen fortress at Bryant Park Winter Village’s upcoming Winter Carnival on January 27. Better yet, the formally weekend-only festival has been extended!

That’s right. This year’s nine-day, frosty celebration is jam-packed with entertainment including free curling lessons, a silent disco, a cozy sweater pup meet-up, an outdoor winter brew house and more. And, like last year, there’s an “Ice Ball” where folks can don their fanciest attire and waltz (or, er, try to) on the park’s ice-skating rink. For more of the very ~chill~ activities you can do while you’re there. see the Bryant Park Winter Village Guide.” (TONY)

Winter Antiques Show (Jan.20-29)
Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave./ 12-8PM, $25
“History buffs can riffle through 70-plus booths of decorative housewares, furniture and tableaux at this vintage art and antiques fair, where you’ll find some luxurious and incredibly detailed paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries.” (TONY)

Lunar New Year
Various locations. Jan. 26-31
imgres“There are several ways to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, and most involve lavish displays of fireworks. Red and gold, the traditional shades of good luck, burst over the Hudson River and color the Empire State Building on Jan. 26; in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, on Jan. 28, more than six hundred thousand firecrackers will be set off to ward away evil spirits. The park will also host lion dances (distinct from the more famous dragon dance in its use of just two performers), decorations giveaways, craft venders, and food booths. Organizers suggest that the more dumplings attendees eat, the more money they’ll earn that year, an easy enough proposition. The New York Philharmonic welcomes the Year of the Rooster with a concert and gala at Lincoln Center on Jan. 31.” (NewYorker)

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.

Broadway Week and Attractions Week now open
Day 9 of Broadway Week and Attractions Week, through Feb. 5, where you can receive deals like two-for-one tickets at performances and cultural events around the city.

New York Boat Show (thru Jan.29)
Javits Center, 655 W34th St./ 12PM TH+FR; 10AM SA +SU, $16
“If your life, your love and your lady is the sea, then you’ll be more than satisfied by this five-day nautical convention, which features a vast variety of yachts, sailboats and more. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to sharpen your boating skills with interactive workshops, test the waters on land through a boating simulator and more.” (TONY)

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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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