Selected NYC Events (05/19) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Super 7 NYC Events > FRIDAY/MAY 19, 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:

Cécile McLorin Salvant and the Aaron Diehl Trio (also Saturday)
Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St./ 7, 9:30PM, $90+
“It’s inevitable that the singer McLorin Salvant and the pianist Diehl will eventually go their separate ways, but that’s a time no one is looking forward to. Salvant, a reigning vocal diva of her generation, and Diehl, at the helm of his polished trio, read each other like childhood buddies through bolting swing and ruminating balladry.” (NewYorker)

This is going to be a tough ticket, and if you ever heard Cecile Salvant sing you would know why. Need to order your ticket right now, may have to try for the late show on Saturday.


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

>>Stanley Cowell Quartet
>>Elza Soares
>>Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band
>>American Ballet Theatre
>>Choice Eats
>>PLUS Mad. Sq. Eats


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Stanley Cowell Quartet (thru May21)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, btw 105th/106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $38
“In the nineteen-seventies and eighties, this sparkplug of post-bop jazz shared his encyclopedic piano skills on his own fine recordings and with a host of top-tier artists, co-founded the Strata East record label, and composed large scale pan-historic pieces. Now, following academic retirement, Cowell has resurfaced, leading a quintet featuring the saxophonist Bruce Williams.” (NewYorker)

Elza Soares
The Town Hall / 8PM, $45
“Although she turns eighty this summer, once and future samba queen Elza Soares released one of Brazil’s more radically forward- looking albums last year with Woman at the End of the World. Her abrasively seductive collection deals with sex, blackness, domestic abuse, crack addiction, and other everyday joys and hardships, conveyed through her husky, sensuous voice. The São Paulo–based, Afrobeat-influenced group Bixiga 70 added horns, electronics, and skronky guitars to Soares’s urgent, angry accounts of the third-class status endured by black women in Brazil. From impoverished origins in a Rio de Janeiro favela, Soares ascended to the heights of samba stardom and suffered numerous personal tragedies on the path to her magnificent late-in-life comeback.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band
Edison Ballroom, 240 W47th St./ 7:30PM
Dinner, open bar, and dancing – $100
“The expansive Art Deco grandeur of the Edison Ballroom is the scene of this highly retro evening of dinner and swing music, courtesy of Battaglia and his brassy 16-piece crew. If You’re looking for a time-capsule New York Valentine’s Day, this is the place to find it.” (TONY)

PLUS, for the remainder of May it is dueling ballet companies, as the city’s two major companies, A.B.T. and New York City Ballet, face off at Lincoln Center – only in NY.

American Ballet Theatre (thru July 08)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center / (May 19, 7 p.m.; May 20, 2 and 8 p.m) $22+
“The company continues performances of its first full-length production of the season, “Don Quixote,” staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, through Saturday. (Saturday’s evening performance will feature Christine Shevchenko and Thomas Forster in debuts as Mercedes and Espada.) But the spring gala on Monday heralds a new treat: Alexei Ratmansky’s “Whipped Cream,” set to music by Richard Strauss, with whimsical scenery and costumes by the acclaimed pop-surrealist artist Mark Ryden. In the ballet, a young boy samples too many pastries and dreams of Princess Praline and her court. This New York premiere will also be the return of the principal David Hallberg, who has — for too long — been absent from the stage because of injury. He takes on Prince Coffee.” (GIA KOURLAS – NYT)
NYC Ballet (thru May 28)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $30+
“The Here/Now Festival is nearly over, which means one thing: It’s time to wipe the stage clean with the season’s glorious closer, George Balanchine’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This 1962 ballet, filled with fairies and butterflies — and, of course, the antics of that mischievous goofball Puck — brings Shakespeare to dancing life in a beloved two-act production that starts out with arguments and misunderstandings and ends with a double wedding. For his version, Balanchine, who played an elf in a St. Petersburg production as a child, choreographed one of his most romantic pas de deux; this serene look at love is a jewel within a jewel.” (GIA KOURLAS – NYT)

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

at Joe’s Pub / 7PM, $30
“Writing songs is hard, but describing how to write them might be even harder. This festival aims to pin down that elusive process through a series of conversations, and the organizers have tapped some of the best songwriters working today: Mitski, appearing on Friday, distills fury and torment into blazing earworms like “Your Best American Girl,” while Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, appearing on Saturday, conquered Hollywood (“La La Land”) and Broadway (“Dear Evan Hansen”) in quick succession. And the rising singer-songwriter Shaina Taub, who has made her mark on Broadway and Public Theater productions, will perform a set on Friday at 9:30 p.m.” (ANDREW R. CHOW-NYT)

Choice Eats
Metropolitan Pavilion / 7PM, $85–$135
“The weather’s warming up, the days are longer — these are signs of spring, and also of one of the season’s ultimate savory staples, the Village Voice Choice Eats food-and-drink extravaganza. Join hundreds of foodies at this tenth-annual edition and raise a glass to the city’s diverse and tasty culinary scene. More than fifty hand-picked New York City restaurants will be on hand to wow your taste buds with countless samples. From Chavela’s Mexican eats to Mooncake Foods’ Vietnamese delights, you can eat your way around the world — all from the comfort of the Metropolitan Pavilion. Don’t forget to save room for dessert, courtesy of sweet spots including Ample Hills Creamery and Confectionery. All Choice Eats goers will get a complimentary tasting glass with which to sip on boozy (and virgin) drinks around the event.” (Tatiana Craine, Village Voice)

PLUS Mad. Sq. Eats (thru Jun 03)
General Worth Square; starts 11am; free access
“Twice a year, this outdoor food fest brings buzzworthy bites from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District. Best eats include Roberta’s sensational pizza, MeltKraft grilled cheese sandwiches and cheesesteaks by the Truffleist. The one-stop shop for the tastiest grub in town will be available every day until June 3, so make sure to wear your stretchy pants.” (TONY)

The great food options here along with the lovely Madison Square Park across the street make an unbeatable combo.

And don’t forget these outer borough events:
Day 8 of Bronx Week 2017, which celebrates the citizens of the borough with events through May 21. Times and prices vary.

And while you are in the Bronx you won’t want to miss this:
CHIHULY (thru Oct.29)
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd./ $20 to $25
“Step into the sublimely colorful mind of multimedia artist Dale Chihuly at this larger-than-life exhibition, where over twenty of the celebrated creators’ gigantic pieces will take over the 250-acre grounds of the New York Botanical Garden, with installations created especially for the exhibit. Don’t miss special after-dark hours to experience the glassworks illuminated.”

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,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662

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 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):


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).
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.

“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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