Selected NYC Events (03/16) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Sweet 6 NYC Events > THURSDAY/MAR.16, 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-Mar.”

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

Carmen Cusack
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $60
“Cusack’s miraculous range let her play roles as disparate as Elphaba in Wicked, Christine in The Phantom of the Opera and Nellie in South Pacific before making a wonderful broadway debut in Bright Star last year. We look forward to seeing what she does next—which, based on her history, could be anything.” (TONY)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Andrew Kober: Koberet
>>ROBERTA GAMBARINI
>>DUNGEN
>>The Future of Espionage
>>Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City

Plus, don’t forget these Continuing Events:

>> New Directors / New Films festival
>>Asia Week New York
>>The Orchid Show

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Andrew Kober: Koberet
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 9:30PM, $25+
“A scene-stealer in Broadway’s Hair, Andrew Kober shares more of his convictions in this reprise of his New York solo debut, updated to reflect his new status as a dad. Caissie Levy is his guest star.” (TONY)

ROBERTA GAMBARINI (March 15-19)
at the Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $20-$35
“The Italian vocalist Roberta Gambarini is today’s jazz crooner to beat. Her bold and lavish voice greets you right up front, and it keeps alive the spirit of jazz heroines like Carmen McRae and Anita O’Day. Her repertoire consists mostly of great American songbook standards and bossa nova tunes. She appears here with a remarkable band of stalwarts: George Cables on piano, John Lee on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

DUNGEN
at BRIC Arts Media House, / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $18
“This consistently underrated psychedelic-rock band from Sweden rarely tours America, but for its latest United States appearance, the quartet will perform its most ambitious project to date: an original score to the 1926 silent fairy tale film “The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” by the German director Lotte Reiniger. Dungen’s companion piece is a stunning odyssey of spaced-out rock instrumentals, kinetic bebop grooves and heavy guitar jams that would not sound out of place on a Pink Floyd album.” (NYT – KEVIN O’DONNELL)

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

The Future of Espionage
New-York Historical Society,  170 Central Park West / 6:30PM, $44
“In an increasingly unstable geopolitical environment, governments across the world must combat threats of terrorism, cyber-security, and international conflict. Examining the ability of intelligence agencies to adapt and respond to new challenges, experts discuss the future of our national security institutions.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 6:30PM, $10
“With the entry of France into the American Revolution, the war changed on a strategic level. For Sir Henry Clinton and the British in New York City, it was a time of sweeping change and new threats. The enormous logistical challenges however would also bring about its last great campaign in the north. Find out more about Sir Henry Clinton’s great autumn forage!”

And don’t forget these continuing events:

New Directors / New Films festival (Mar.15 – 26)
Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art, @ various times
“Celebrating its 46th edition in 2017, the New Directors/
New Films festival introduces New York audiences to the work of emerging filmmakers from around the world. Throughout its rich, nearly half-century history, New Directors has brought previously little-known talents like Pedro Almódovar, Chantal Akerman, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Christopher Nolan, Laura Poitras, Spike Lee, and Kelly Reichardt to wider audiences. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating a group of filmmakers who represent the present and anticipate the future of cinema: daring artists whose work pushes the envelope and is never what you’d expect.”

This is a wonderful, only in New York, film festival that started yesterday. For full programming and ticketing information, please visit newdirectors.org.

Asia Week New York (Mar.09-18)
“It’s New York’s salute to the vibrant arts of Asia, a 10-day festival where visitors admire or acquire ancient treasures and contemporary masterworks displayed in lustrous galleries, auction houses and museums. Now in its eighth year, Asia Week New York, has blossomed into a kind of high-culture pub crawl where international and local exhibitors showcase fine art from all corners of Asia, and museums and others stage special events. This year more than 50 vendors are participating — the most ever.” (NYT). Go here for the full list.

“For just over a week, Asian art and culture take over New York City. Among the museums, galleries, auction houses and cultural institutions participating are the Noguchi Museum, China Institute, Museum of Modern Art and the Rubin Museum of Art. Each venue will be showing works from the continent, and art dealers from around the world will display their collections during open houses throughout the week. There will also be a full schedule of films, lectures, symposia, curator talks, tours, auctions and other events.” (nycgo.com)

The Orchid Show (thru April 09)
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., the Bronx.
“This edition of the New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Show, now in its fifteenth year, focusses on Thailand’s rich history and the flower’s cultural status as one of the country’s leading exports. Held in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the display features blooming orchids by the hundreds in lush tropical environments, leading into an arched installment styled in the manner of a traditional Thai pavilion. The schedule includes several panel discussions, tours, and after-hours viewings with music and cocktails.” (NewYorker)

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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 discovery and enjoyment.
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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