Selected NYC Events (04/17) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square/ Theater District

What’s Happening This Week >

“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

THE PHILIP GLASS ENSEMBLE (April 20, 8 p.m.). In 1994, the composer Philip Glass reworked the soundtrack to Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film “La Belle et la Bête” with a stunning work of his own, which he has described as “an opera for ensemble and film.” Now, for the first time in over two decades, the Philip Glass Ensemble will revisit his sprawling tour de force, conducted by Michael Riesman; the evening will also feature a conversation with Mr. Glass and the Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris.

LINDA MAY HAN OH GROUP at Jazz Standard (April 19, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). Ms. Oh extracts a wide and somber sound from the upright bass. Her tunes lace radiant melodies into airtight rhythms, but she lets big notes resound and permeate: Sometimes her playing seems to be emanating from a crater in the ground. She has a fine new album out Friday, “Walk Against Wind.” At Jazz Standard she will celebrate its release with some of the musicians from the record, and some others: Ben Wendel on tenor saxophone, Fabian Almazan on piano and keyboards, Matthew Stevens on guitar and Rudy Royston on drums.

MILES OKAZAKI at the Jazz Gallery (April 20, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). Mr. Okazaki has been playing guitar for years alongside the alto saxophonist Steve Coleman, which is to say he’s apprenticed to a doyen of experimental improvising and rhythm. Mr. Okazaki’s potent new album, “Trickster,” features the bassist Anthony Tidd and the drummer Sean Rickman, also Coleman sidemen. The record has a rugged rhythmic twine that reflects their work in Five Elements, Mr. Coleman’s band, but it’s also looser and earthier than most of Mr. Coleman’s music. And everything is subtly recast by the piano playing of Craig Taborn, who sometimes scampers alongside Mr. Okazaki’s clean-toned guitar lines, and elsewhere issues cloudlets of harmony, gauzy but opaque.

(4/19-4/30) The Tribeca Film Festival returns.

(4/20) Aida at The Metropolitan Opera.

EIVIND OPSVIK’S OVERSEAS at Greenwich House Music School (April 19, 8 p.m.). Mr. Opsvik, a bassist who thinks with his pen, recently released “Overseas V.” It’s the latest installment in a series of albums featuring original compositions, most of them built around sighing harmonies and lissome textures. But this newest record leans on the twitchy guitar work of Brandon Seabrook and the sharp drumming of Kenny Wollesen; it includes some of Mr. Opsvik’s funkiest and most physically assertive music yet. He marks its release with a concert featuring the personnel on the album: Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone and Jacob Sacks on piano, as well as Mr. Seabrook and Mr. Wollesen.

TITO PUENTE RETROSPECTIVE: 50 YEARS OF ‘EL REY’ at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture (April 20-22). Among the most important bandleaders of the 20th century, Tito Puente achieved fame onstage at the Palladium Ballroom in Manhattan in the 1950s, then brought Afro-Latin music to a global audience. This three-day celebration of Puente’s life — he died in 2000 — coincides with the 50th anniversary of the start of his so-called Latin jazz period. The events include film screenings, panel discussions, workshops, listening sessions and two major concerts: one on April 21, featuring a band of young Latin jazz scions led by the bassist Carlos Henríquez, and another the next evening, with a large ensemble playing tunes from Puente’s Palladium days.

WADADA LEO SMITH at the Stone (April 18-23, 8:30 p.m.). In the past five years the trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has experienced a late-career boom. His monumental “Ten Freedom Summers” suite was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, and last year he released two celebrated albums: the bristling, crepuscular “A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke,” in duo with Vijay Iyer, and “America’s National Parks,” an equally diffuse and ruminative recording, featuring a quintet. Mr. Smith, a hero of jazz’s avant-garde, has a heavyset, pulse-slowing trumpet sound. Over a week of shows at the Stone you can hear it in a range of contexts. Of particular note are Wednesday’s show with Angelica Sanchez on piano and Pheeroan akLaff on drums, and the April 21 performance featuring DarkMatterHalo, a trio of spectral sound architects.

New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater; April 18–May 28; $30–$175
NYCB’s spring season at Lincoln Center begins with two programs of short works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (Apr 18–23), then moves on to its centerpiece: The Here/Now Festival, 10 shows that comprises 43 recent ballets by 22 choreographers.

A Violin to Match Its Player’s Skill
Anne Akiko Meyers at the 92nd Street Y
Armed with one of the most coveted instruments in the field, this violinist has built her reputation on a polished sound and brilliant technique. For this Thursday-evening recital, at which she will be accompanied by the pianist Akira Eguchi, Ms. Meyers will put her Guarneri through its paces with new and recent compositions by Jakub Ciupinski, Morten Lauridsen and Einojuhani Rautavaara, alongside well-loved classics by Beethoven and Ravel. CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM

Dance Theater of Harlem at New York City Center
Long before Misty Copeland brought ballet’s enduring lack of diversity into the public eye, this company was carving out a home for black ballet dancers. Directed by Virginia Johnson, this 48-year-old troupe returns to City Center with four programs, Wednesday through April 22. Highlights include new works by Robert Garland and Francesca Harper, José Limón’s “Chaconne,” a new production of Glen Tetley’s “Dialogues,” and two chances to see Mr. Garland’s beloved “Return.” SIOBHAN BURKE

‘Harrison Greenbaum: What Just Happened?’ at the Cutting Room
Mr. Greenbaum is a stand-up comic and magician whose routine combines both of his talents into one creative show. In 2010 he received the Andy Kaufman Award, which recognizes distinctive and unorthodox comedic voices. His stand-up is fast-paced, smart and interactive, and his illusions reveal the same caliber of creativity and cleverness. Catch his one-of-a-kind blend at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. ELISE CZAJKOWSKI

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

(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.

Monday, April 17. Explore some of the world’s most distinctive spots without leaving Fifth Avenue at this illustrated lecture with Atlas Obscura. Mid-Manhattan Library.

Monday, April 17. String theory expert Robbert Dijkgraaf comes to the Secret Science Club at The Bell House to ask some seriously intriguing questions. Come ponder black holes, the nature of the universe, and whether the Big Bang created time.

Monday, April 17. World-class athletes have reputations for their focus (at least on the field). Can that determination and precision help us mortals? Neuroscientist John Krakauer (Director of the Brain, Learning, Animation, and Movement Lab at Johns Hopkins) sits down with soccer star Patrick Vieira to find out.

Tuesday, April 18. Eat with your eyes at Food, Design, and Psychology, a talk exploring how our cuisine is affected by the way food products are designed. Prospect Heights Brainery.

Tuesday, April 18. “It’s not magicit’s science!” Bill Nye makes an appearance in support of his new Netflix series, Bill Nye Saves the World, which debuts April 21. Enjoy a two-episode preview plus a conversation with the man himself and some of his correspondents. Paley Center for Media.

Wednesday, April 19. Sustain yourself and explore the city’s environmental impact at Is New York’s Future Sustainable? Graduate Center, CUNY.

Wednesday, April 19. The new book by mathematician Marcus du Sautoy takes readers on “Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science.” Among those trips: What is the true beginning of time? Will we ever be able to predict the future? and Can what it means to be human really be located in the brain? Pioneer Works.

Thursday, April 20. Hear first-hand about the debates and conversations currently going on in and about the Muslim world at Letters to a Young Muslim. Asia Society and Museum.

Thursday, April 20.  The New School spends two days (Thursday and Friday) “looking” at Invisibility: The Power of an Idea. Correspondents include Simon Critchley, Wendy Doniger, Gerald Holton, Mona El-Naggar, Priyamvada Natarajan, and Darryl Pinckney.


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.

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues, almost all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St.,, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St.,, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St.,, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St.,, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St.,, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St.,, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St.,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St.,, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St., 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.

♦ 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):


A PremierPub

Jimmy’s Corner / 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest,” Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a great old time jukebox, with a great selection of  40s& 50s R&B and soul. On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

“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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