Selected NYC Events (05/21) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Super 7 NYC Events > SUNDAY/MAY 21, 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:

Lea Salonga (May 11-22)
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W 54thSt./ 7PM, $95+
“The radiant star of Broadway’s Miss Saigon and Allegiance (and Disney’s Mulan and Aladdin) returns to the cabaret stage with a show that includes show tunes, standards and pop songs.” (TONY)

“After a sold-out engagement last April, Lea Salonga returns to Feinstein’s/54 Below with a show The New York Times called “one of the year’s most satisfying cabaret shows” and Theatermania touted as “unmissable”! Salonga smartly weaves together a set list of her favorite standards, go-to pop tunes, and Broadway ballads. This trio of piano, guitar, and voice ensures an intimate experience with a true Broadway icon. Salonga joins us for a record-breaking run of 15 performances this spring!”

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

>>Stanley Cowell Quartet
>>FLAMENCO VIVO CARLOTA SANTANA
>>American Ballet Theatre
>>9th Avenue International Food Festival
>>NYC Vegetarian Food Festival
>>HARLEM EATUP
>>PLUS Mad. Sq. Eats

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Stanley Cowell Quartet (LAST DAY)
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)

Elsewhere, but flamenco is always worth the detour.
FLAMENCO VIVO CARLOTA SANTANA (LAST DAY)
at BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place / 2 PM, 7:30PM, $25+
“Dedicated to keeping flamenco alive and growing, this New York-based ensemble comes to BAM Fisher with three new works by Spanish choreographers, performed by 14 dancers and musicians from Spain and the United States. “El Pintor,” by Antonio Hidalgo, takes inspiration from the symbolist painter Julio Romero de Torres; José Maldonado’s “Pa’ Triana Voy” evokes life in the Seville neighborhood of Triana; and Angel Muñoz riffs on the traditional style known as soleá por bulerías in a piece for four men.” (SIOBHAN BURKE-NYT)

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 / (NOT TODAY) $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)
and
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)

This is food weekend in New York City. Doesn’t matter what your favorite cuisine is, you will find it here this weekend.

9th Avenue International Food Festival
9th Ave. btw 42nd and 57th St. /starts 10AM
“If your only recent reference for Hell’s Kitchen is Rudy’s, you’re missing out. Though the bar and its free-hot-dog-with-beer deal are longstanding favorites for us, too, there’s a growing wave of alluring restaurants popping up in the neighborhood. This street festival is a good way to see (and taste) what’s in the area these days. It’s billed as the “the oldest, largest continuing food festival in New York City,” and you’ll find food from many corners of the world, as well as from right on these blocks. Locals to look out for include Bar Bacon, where bacon’s in everything from sandwiches to cocktails; Flaming Saddles Saloon, which serves Bloody Marys alongside male dancers; and City Sandwich, which offers a Portuguese spin on the traditional deli hero. There will also be live music and other entertainment, like arts and crafts for the kids.” (Mary Bakija, Village Voice)

NYC Vegetarian Food Festival
Metropolitan Pavilion, 11AM, $30–$75
Veggie-only foodies are people, too, and don’t they deserve to go seitan wild at a like-minded culinary event? Enter the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, a two-day gathering at the Metropolitan Pavilion for health-minded consumers of all stripes — from vegetarians and vegans to locavores and flexitarians — interested in learning about and sampling the best of New York’s plant-based scene. Speaker sessions, live entertainment, chef demos, and animal-welfare information tables round out the offerings at the show’s seventh iteration.” (Jill Menze, Village Voice)

HARLEM EATUP
“Head uptown for this festival founded by chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. Events range from Dine in Harlem Dinners ­­ dinner parties in which restaurants and chefs host other chefs in their kitchens ­­ to The Harlem Stroll in Morningside Park, with food vendors, music and dance performances.” (STAV ZIV-Newsday)
WHEN | Monday, May 15, through Sunday, May 21
WHERE, at various venues including Ginny’s Supper Club at Red Rooster, 310 Lenox Ave.
INFO Prices vary, some events are free;

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:
LAST DAY 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.”

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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 Fall 2017).
◊ Order before Aug. 31, 2017 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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