Selected NYC Events (02/04) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Elite8 NYC Events>SATURDAY/FEB.04, 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:

Walter Murch + Heather Berlin: How Is Movie Magic Made? 2PM, $25
Lawrence Weschler + Walter Murch | Is There a New Way to See the Stars? 6PM, $25
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St.
“An intriguing weekend at the Rubin continues Saturday with two sessions from legendary film editor Walter Murch. In the first he’ll talk the perception of image and sound with neuroscientist Heather Berlin; the second will cover the new book Waves Passing in the Night, Lawrence Weschler’s profile of Murch, and how the latter’s amateur astrophysicist investigations “could reshape our understanding of the universe.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

7  OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)

Family Concert | Who is Louis Armstrong?
Ólöf Arnalds
Broadway Originals!
Marcus Roberts Trio
Chinese New Year Celebration, Year of the Rooster / Rockin’ Rooster
Chelsea “Best Exhibits” Gallery Tour
Target First Saturdays

You saw these here yesterday and they continue today:
David Berkman
AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE QUARTET
Monty Alexander
THE 45TH ANNUAL DANCE ON CAMERA FESTIVAL

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

Family Concert | Who is Louis Armstrong?
Jazz at Lincoln Center, 3 Columbus Circle, Rose Hall / 1PM, +3PM, $20+
“Through stories, recordings, and live music, audiences will learn about a talented youngster from New Orleans who changed the meaning of jazz – and the way we think about art. This hour-long journey through the life of Louis Armstrong will be hosted by jazz royalty Catherine Russell. Not only is Russell a supreme vocalist and gifted storyteller, she is also the daughter of Louis Armstrong’s long-time music director, Luis Russell. The concert will also feature an all-star band and 19-year-old trumpeter Anthony Hervey, a most exciting up-and-comer who was awarded “Outstanding Trumpet” in the 2014 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Festival and Competition, and has already wowed audiences at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Monterey Jazz Festival. In addition to demonstrating Armstrong’s greatest musical achievements as a trumpeter and singer, we will also consider some of his inspiring lessons about improvisation, self-expression, community, and the joy of music.”

Ólöf Arnalds
Mercury Lounge, 217 E Houston St./ 8:30PM, $14
It’s easy to see how remarkable Icelandic singer Ólöf Arnalds has drawn such distinguished fans (including Björk and Jonathan Richman). Her playing is full of soft, insistent little plucks and strums, and her clear, virtuostic voice recalls Joanna Newsom, but where Newsom is all medieval fairy-tale mystery, Arnalds conjures something more ancient-sounding.” (TONY)

Broadway Originals!
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 w54th St./ 9:30PM, $35+
“History gets remade as musical-theater stars re-create some of their most celebrated numbers in the latest installment of cabaret impresario Scott Siegel’s popular series. Scheduled performers include Stephanie J. Block (9 to 5), Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd), Claybourne Elder (Bonnie & Clyde), Bill Irwin (Bye, Bye Birdie) and Lee Roy Reams (42nd Street).” (TONY)

Marcus Roberts Trio
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway/ 8PM, $30
“We call him ‘the genius of modern piano’ because he is,” says Wynton Marsalis of jazz legend Marcus Roberts. The long-running Marcus Roberts Trio makes their Miller debut, shining a light on their unique and virtuosic style. Each member of the Trio shares equally in leading and changing, displaying their innate connection to the music and each other.”

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

Chinese New Year Celebration, Year of the Rooster / Rockin’ Rooster
China Institute, 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor/ Family Workshops: 1:00–3:30PM $5-$15 *Price includes entry to one workshop and the concert; Party & Performance: 4:00–7:00PM, $20
“Kick off the Year of the Rooster with China Institute’s signature New Year Celebration. In the afternoon, we open our doors to families for New Year-themed workshops and activities including dumpling making, storytelling, and lantern-making. In the evening, adults and families alike are welcome to a party featuring a lion dance, food, and live music.”

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!”

Elsewhere, but this is always worth the detour:

Target First Saturdays
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway (Washington Ave.)/ 5PM, FREE
“Are you free Saturday night? We are! Join us for our monthly evening of free art and entertainment. In February we are honoring Black History Month through the lens of our exhibitions I See Myself in You and Beverly Buchanan—Ruins and Rituals. All night long, we’ll celebrate activists, revolutionaries, and artists of the African diaspora through vibrant music, dance, storytelling, and 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 16 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 – 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 is 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 / Midtown West.

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” closed Jan.15)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

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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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