Selected NYC Events (02/02) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Sweet6 NYC Events>THURSDAY/FEB.02, 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-Feb.”

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

The Count Basie Orchestra ft Dee Dee Bridgewater (thru Feb.05)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM,10:30PM; bar $30, tables $45
“In the history of Jazz music, there is only one bandleader that has the distinction of having his orchestra still performing sold out concerts all over the world, with members personally chosen by him, for over 30 years after his passing. Pianist and bandleader William James Count Basie was and still is an American institution that personifies the grandeur and excellence of Jazz. The Count Basie Orchestra, today directed by Scotty Barnhart, has won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, won 18 Grammy Awards, performed for Kings, Queens, and other world Royalty, appeared in several movies, television shows, at every major jazz festival and major concert hall in the world.”

5  OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY
AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE QUARTET
Monty Alexander
BATSHEVA DANCE COMPANY
Robert Coover Discusses “Huck Out West”
If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body

PLUS 
NYC Restaurant Week reservations now open
Broadway Week and Attractions Week now open
Bryant Park’s Winter Carnival

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE QUARTET (thru Feb.05)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30, +10:30PM, $30
“For the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, revelation emerges from a place of contemplative darkness. He makes music with a furrowed brow, and the occasional splash of abandon. At the Vanguard this week, Mr. Akinmusire, 34, will appear with a quartet, allowing himself a rare level of unfettered prominence. The band mates are all longstanding associates: Sam Harris on piano, Harish Raghavan on bass and Justin Brown on drums. Go, but be sure to clink those glasses quietly: The band will be using this weeklong run to record a live album.” (NYT – GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Monty Alexander (thru Feb.04)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“Versatility defines the artistry of the pianist Alexander, and his sixty-year résumé confirms his uncanny ability to assert his voice in diverse settings. This mini retrospective offers just a sliver of his multifarious experiences, but each is choice: a glance at the 1969 album “That’s The Way It Is,” which featured a young Alexander alongside the co-leaders Milt Jackson and Ray Brown; a revisit to a stirring 1977 live date with Jackson and Dizzy Gillespie; and a loving reworking of the reggae sounds that originated during the pianist’s youth at Studio One, the legendary recording studio in Alexander’s native Jamaica.” (NewYorker)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

BATSHEVA DANCE COMPANY (thru Feb.04)
at the Brooklyn Academy of Music / 7:30PM, $25
“The Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin unveils “Last Work” (2015), a dance for 18 that spotlights the choreographer’s movement language, Gaga, a silken, sensual approach that allows energy to flow nonstop through the body. For the duration of the piece, a dancer runs on a treadmill that is part of the set. Romanian lullabies are included in the score, as well as a composition by the German electronic music producer Grischa Lichtenberger. The engagement also coincides with the New York release of a documentary by Tomer Heymann that focuses on Mr. Naharin called “Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance.” Both are highly recommended.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)

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

Robert Coover Discusses “Huck Out West”
The Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St./ 6:30PM, FREE
“Leave to the always-daring Robert Coover to tackle a great hanging thread of American literature: what happened to Huck after he decided to “light out for the Territory” to avoid getting “sivilized.” Coover discusses his latest at The Cooper Union.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Author @ the Library:
If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body – with Dr. James Hamblin, a writer and senior editor at The Atlantic magazine.
Mid-Manhattan Library / 6:30PM, FREE
“This lecture explores the human stories behind health questions that never seem to go away—and which tend to be mischaracterized and oversimplified by marketing and news media. Topics include sleep, aging, diet, and much more.”

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 15 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.

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)

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

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