Selected NYC Events (04/15) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

What’s Happening This Weekend >
FRIDAY, APR.14 – SUNDAY APR.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 the next two weeks we are going to try a different format – alternating between selected events in advance and a selection of the very best NYCity Instagram photos.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Christian McBride’s New Jawn with Josh Evans, Marcus Strickland, and Nasheet Waits
Dizzy’s Club, 7:30PM,+9:30PM, $40
Bassist Christian McBride is a master musician who has appeared on over 300 records. He is easily one of the most accomplished bass players alive, and his resume as a bandleader is also quite impressive. Join us at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola to experience New Jawn, which, translated from Philadelphian, could be described as McBride’s “new joint.” The quartet includes Josh Evans, Nasheet Waits and Marcus Strickland, musicians that are regularly featured at Jazz at Lincoln Center and all over the city both as bandleaders and as sidemen with some of jazz’s biggest names. Fans of McBride’s other small groups will surely love this ensemble, and its unusual two-horns, no-piano lineup gives it a unique flavor. With just bass and drums holding down the rhythm section, McBride and Waits provide as rich and driving a foundation as any group could hope for.

SONDRE LERCHE at the Bowery Ballroom (April 15, 9 p.m.). Since releasing his debut record, “Faces Down,” in 2001, this Norwegian singer-songwriter has evolved from strummy folk tunes to bolder exercises in funk, pop and electronica. Mr. Lerche’s sonic vision is more realized than ever on his eighth studio album, “Pleasure,” selections from which he will debut as part of this North American tour. With Ice Choir and Alexander von Mehren.
800-745-3000, boweryballroom.com

BETTY WHO at Webster Hall (April 14, 8 p.m.). If you’re looking for a pop spectacle in the vein of Robyn or Katy Perry, this Australian artist mines similar terrain with bright, effervescent synth pop distinguished by deeply felt lyrics about love and heartbreak. For this performance, she will showcase songs from her solid second album, “The Valley,” which blends party-starting jams like “Some Kinda Wonderful” with dazzling disco tunes like “You Can Cry Tomorrow.” She may also perform a recent cover of Donna Lewis’s 1996 smash “I Love You Always Forever,” which she released as a cover last year.
212-353-1600, websterhall.com

MATTHEW STEVENS at Nublu (April 15, 8:30 p.m.). Mr. Stevens plays the guitar with tight clutch, improvising in truncated melodies and tense, frequently beautiful harmonies that always tilt toward a payoff. On his 2015 album, “Woodwork,” recorded with a quintet, Mr. Stevens reveled in the humming resonance of a hollow-body guitar; his rock-infused songwriting and fleet playing carried the day. His new disc, “Preverbal,” out last month, adds layers of digital percussion and powdery effects to a trio that features Vicente Archer on bass and Eric Doob on drums. Mr. Stevens rings in the record with a concert at Nublu, featuring Mr. Doob on drums and Zach Brown on bass. The multi-instrumentalist Corey King will play an opening set featuring music from his moody 2016 release, “Lashes.”
212-505-3474, lpr.com

Scottish Ballet at the Joyce Theater; Apr 11–16; $26–$56
Founded 60 years ago, Scotland’s national dance company finally makes its New York debut with a bill that includes Bryan Arias’s Motion of Displacement and Christopher Bruce’s Ten Poems (set to poetry by Dylan Thomas, read by Richard Burton).

Cuisine and Confessions, Skirball Center For The Performing Arts; Apr 11–16; tickets start at $190
The circus and culinary world collide in this acrobatics show by Montreal-based company Les 7 Doigts de la Main—or The 7 Fingers, in English. Both foodies and thespians will be intrigued by the combination of parkour-inspired stunts, elaborate choreography and a la carte tastings at the end of the performance.

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

Friday, April 14

(4/14-4/23) The 2017 New York International Auto Show takes place at the Javits Convention Center, with all the latest models available for exploration, plus demonstrations and automotive blasts from the future and past.

Big Data comes to date night. Biology, psychology, and sociology come together in the burgeoning field of relationship science, which can better our understanding of how couples form, why they fall apart, and why we even need these connections in the first place. The Psychology of Relationships: How Experimental Science, Empirical Data and Seinfeld Help Us Understand Love at The Strand.

Ian F. Svenonius (of long-running alternative music fame) lectures on re-education as part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial’s Frances Stark paintings from Svenonius’s 2015 book Censorship Now!!.

Columbia University takes a look at a new art form with The Unplugged Soul: A Conference on the Podcast.

Saturday, April 15

Holi in the City; Stage 48; Apr 15; $20, VIP $35
Wear white and brace yourself for four stories of rainbow delight as Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, hits NYC. Dance in kaleidoscopic ecstasy with hundreds of strangers while you get covered in tinted powders, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and live music. There’s no more cheerful way to usher in springtime.

Hester Street Fair; April 15; Free
It’s the opening day for the Lower East Side market that combines food and flair in the community-driven spectacle. First-time entrepreneurs and established vendors like Macaron Parlour, Melt Bakery and Cheeky Sandwich have strutted their stuff for its weekly Saturday market.

Spend the sunset at Green-Wood by joining an atmospheric twilight tour. Green-Wood Cemetery.

Learn the occult side of the wreck of the Titanic, as Boroughs of the Dead hosts a walking tour from Astor Place to Pier 54 in Chelsea, the ship’s never-reached destination.

Sunday, April 16.

(4/16) Easter in New York brings egg hunts, fine brunches, and a bonnet-filled procession down Fifth Avenue that’s been a city tradition for nearly a century and a half. Celebrate the holiday in true New York fashion with a trip to the Easter Parade. The tradition dates all the way back to the 1870s, when upper class New Yorkers would stroll down Fifth Avenue after church and show off the fashionable new outfits they’d purchased for the holiday.
Traffic shuts down for the parade on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th Streets from 10am to 4pm on Easter Sunday, letting festive paradegoers fill the streets in their elaborate Easter finest.

Say cheers at this tour and tasting at Brooklyn’s Rooftop Reds, the only rooftop vineyard in the world. Untapped Cities.

Find out how Ben Platt does it as the actor joins Tony Award nominated director Michael Greif for a discussion of Dear Evan Hansen, moderated by This American Life’s Ira Glass. 92nd Street Y.

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These wonderful museum exhibitions continue through this period:

(3/20-1/7/18) Mummies at the American Museum of Natural History. For thousands of years, peoples around the world practiced mummification as a way of preserving and honoring their dead. Mummies brings you face to face with some of these ancient individuals and reveals how scientists are using modern technology to glean stunning details about them and their cultures. In Mummies, ancient remains from the Nile Valley of Africa and the Andes Mountains of South America will be on view, allowing visitors to connect with cultures from the distant past. Mummification, a more widespread practice than most think, was used not only for royal Egyptians but also for common people and even animals. Interactive touch tables let visitors virtually “unravel” or see inside mummies as they delve deep into the unique stories of the people or animals who lie within. Other parts of the exhibition showcase the latest isotopic and DNA testing being performed on mummies, and explain how these sophisticated analytical techniques are helping scientists discover important clues about long-vanished practices. Mummies was developed by The Field Museum, Chicago.

(now-9/6/17) The newest show at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim, provides a rare chance to explore in-depth some of the key artists of this essential New York institution. Framed by the interests of six leading patrons, Visionaries brings together canvases from masters like Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Yves Tanguy, and sculptures by Joseph Cornell and Alberto Giacometti. In addition, Jackson Pollock’s Alchemy (1947) is being shown in the U.S. for the first time in nearly 50 years. More than a dozen works on paper by Picasso and Van Gogh, rarely on view to the public, can be seen in the Thannhauser Gallery, and paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, and Édouard Manet are displayed on the museum’s legendary ramps.

(now-4/30/17) Tattooed New York at the New-York Historical Society explores more than 300 years of tattoo culture. The exhibit will feature more than 250 works dating from the early 1700s to today—exploring Native American body art, tattoo craft practiced by visiting sailors, sideshow culture, the 1961 ban that drove tattooing underground for three decades, and the post-ban artistic renaissance.

(now-4/23/17) Also on display at the New-York Historical Society are two revealing exhibits:—Muhammad Ali, LeRoy Neiman, and the Art of Boxing and “I Am The King of the World”—Photographs of Muhammad Ali by George Kalinsky. The complementary exhibits, one by a watercolor painter/sketch artist and one by a Madison Square Garden photographer, offer an intimate perspective of the heavyweight boxing champion’s trailblazing career. Both shows come from a place of deep respect and trust; they chronicle highlights and low points, as well as capturing Ali’s sometimes quieter, more thoughtful interior life.

(3/3-7/3) Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern provides a new look at an iconic American artist at the very institution that hosted her first solo museum exhibition in 1927—the Brooklyn Museum. Presenting O’Keeffe’s remarkable wardrobe in dialogue with iconic paintings and photographs, this singular exhibition focuses in on the modernist persona O’Keeffe crafted for herself. With photographs by luminaries like Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, and Annie Leibovitz, the show reflects O’Keeffe’s radical rethinking of female identity, and the artist’s commitment to elements of modernism—minimalism, seriality, simplification—not only in her art, but also in her distinctive style of dress.

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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
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 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 – UG, 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. (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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