Selected NYC Events (05/05) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Super 7 NYC Events > FRIDAY/MAY 05, 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-May”

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

ARTS FRIEZE NEW YORK
Admire the work of established 20th century masters and emerging contemporary voices at this annual visual arts event. More than 200 galleries from cities all over the world ­­including New York, São Paulo, Paris, Warsaw, London, Berlin, and Guatemala City will participate.
The fair will also include interactive, site specific works as well as talks and book signings.
Make an arts extravaganza of it.
Frieze coincides with a slew of other visual arts events this weekend (see next item).
WHEN | Friday, May 5, to Sunday, May 7
WHERE , at Randall’s Island Park, 20 Randall’s Island
INFO $46 for adults; $25 for students and children 13 to 17.
­(STAV ZIV – Newsday)

Art New York
Pier 94; 5pm; $40, students $25, seniors $25, multiday pass $75
“Paired with sister fair Context New York, Miami import Art New York brings more than 150 galleries representing nearly 1,200 modern and contemporary artists from 50 countries to Pier 94 during New York Art Week. During fair hours, courtesy shuttle service will run to Pier 94 from the Frieze Ferry at 35th Street.
AND
Context New York
Pier 94; 5pm; $40, students $25, seniors $25, multiday pass $75
Sharing a space (and ticket) with Art New York, the Context New York art fair bills itself as a forum for dialogue between art collectors (even first-timers), galleries and artists. Stop by to check out 60 participating galleries offering work by emerging, midcareer, and cutting-edge talent.” (TONY mag)

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

>>The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved
>>NYC Ballet
>>ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO AND FRIENDS
>>JOHN SCOFIELD RETROSPECTIVE
>>Pat Martino
>> Benjamin Franklin in London: From British Royalist to American Patriot
>>Buddhist Realism and Dark Comedy: It’s Funny Because It’s True
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved
The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St./ 8PM, $50+
with Tim Robbins & special guests Brad Hall & Chloe Webb
“Renowned producer Hal Wilner, composer Bill Frisell, legendary artist Ralph Steadman and director Chloe Webb bring Hunter S. Thompson’s first gonzo journalism piece (and Steadman’s horse sketches) to hallucinatory life. The Kentucky Derby marked the beginning of Thompson and Steadman’s epic partnership, realized in this stage adaptation with an all-star cast and a band performing guitar great Bill Frisell’s original score. This raucous performance makes its New York City debut, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby.”

NYC Ballet (thru May 28)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 8PM. $30+
“The company continues its Here/Now Festival with four new programs that highlight new and recent choreography made for the company since 1988. Along with more performances of Alexei Ratmansky’s anticipated premiere, “Odessa,” set to music by Leonid Desyatnikov — the same composer he used for his marvelous “Russian Seasons” — other highlights include the return of two dances created by company members. Justin Peck’s spirited “The Times Are Racing,” set to electronic music by Dan Deacon and featuring street-wear costumes by Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony, is a burst of youthful exuberance. And Lauren Lovette’s charming “For Clara,” set to Schumann and rooted in classical ballet, is as fresh as they come.” (GIA KOURLAS – NYT)

ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO AND FRIENDS
at Carnegie Hall / 8 p.m., $
“Only 10 months into the 1980s, Talking Heads released one of the best albums of that decade: “Remain in Light,” the group’s fourth studio record, was a brilliant fusion of serrated post-punk guitars, futuristic synthesizers and hip-swiveling Afrobeat grooves inspired by Fela Kuti. The album had a lasting influence on the Grammy-winning, Benin-born singer Angélique Kidjo, who, with the help of more than a dozen musicians, will share her own interpretation of the band’s game-changing classic. (For the record, David Byrne, the frontman of Talking Heads, has given the performance his wholehearted approval.)” (KEVIN O’DONNELL-NYT)

JOHN SCOFIELD RETROSPECTIVE (May 5-6)
at Jazz at Lincoln Center, 7 and 9:30 p.m., $
“Mr. Scofield, a guitarist, has a tartly confectionary sound that’s both bendy and biting. It’s served him well over a four-decade career, and it won him three Grammys in the past two years. For these weekend shows, he’s borrowing a strategy from his dad-rock contemporaries: He will revisit two old albums, the funky “Blue Matter,” from 1987, and the drifting, acoustic “Quiet,” from 1996. For the “Blue Matter” repertoire he’ll be joined by the bassist Gary Grainger and the drummer Dennis Chambers — both of whom appeared on the album — and the pianist Jim Beard. For “Quiet,” he’ll convene a large ensemble featuring six reed and horn players, including the tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano. “ (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO-NYT)

Pat Martino (May 04-06)
Iridium, 1650 Broadway, at 51st St./ 8:30, $35
“Through soul jazz, bebop, modal adventures, fusion, and beyond, Martino has taken his instrument on a roller coaster of stylistic twists and turns during his six-decade career, emerging as a patriarch of jazz guitar. A serious health crisis and determined recovery in the early eighties, which climaxed with him painstakingly relearning the guitar, may be a touchstone of his iconic legacy, but Martino doesn’t have to call on an inspirational backstory to dazzle.” (NewYorker)

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

Benjamin Franklin in London: From British Royalist to American Patriot
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 6:30PM, $10
“For four-fifths of his long life Benjamin Franklin regarded himself as British. Living in London for the best part of two decades, he sought to bring Great Britain and US colonies more firmly together. But his plans were rejected by Lord North’s government and in March 1775 he was forced to flee and to make a momentous decision.”

Buddhist Realism and Dark Comedy: It’s Funny Because It’s True
The Strand, 828 Broadway / 7PM, $20
Louis-C.K.The Buddha is believed to have taught that the fundamental nature of the human condition is suffused with feelings of existential angst and abiding dissatisfaction. Such realism is not exclusive to Buddhism, however. As any dark comedian knows this already because making jokes about the reality of life usually gets big laughs, or as they say in the business—“kills.” Like the Buddha, the comic can be a powerful medium for communicating the more disquieting and shunned truths in life.

Join me in a provocative conversation on the merits of dark comedy as a vehicle for embracing the truth of the human condition. We’ll watch video clips of comedians like Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, and Andy Kaufman. And we’ll discuss why I believe that both Buddhism and dark comedy offer a kind of therapy for eliminating the existential anxiety that comes from being the kind of animal that lives with the knowledge of their own inexorable death.

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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.

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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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