NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/22) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

Today’s Sweet 6  NYC Events > THURSDAY/JUNE 22, 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-June”

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

CHRIS POTTER QUARTET (June 20-25)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30, +10:30PM, $30 (he’s good, may need to try the late show)
“Mr. Potter is a hyper-articulate tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist, subject to all the attendant triumphs and pitfalls. His most recent album, “The Dreamer Is the Dream,” came out this year on ECM Records, and it has the markers of an ECM release: clarity to match the stoutness of its sound; an unfixed sense of time and motion; a broad harmonic palette that guides the improvisations. The sound suits him. There’s a sense of pacing and depth to everything on the album, and it hardly ever sags. He’s joined by the quartet from “The Dreamer”: David Virelles on piano, Joe Martin on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums.” (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO-NYT)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT
>>Onegin
>>Jazztopad Festival: Wójciński / Szmańda Quartet and STRYJO
>>Brian Stokes Mitchell: Plays with Music
>>“The Pride of the Yankees” with Richard Sandomir
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT (June 22-24)
at Beacon Theater / 8PM, $40+
“The Alabama musician Jason Isbell spent several years as a central member of the Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers before going solo in 2007. His album “Something More Than Free” was highly praised by critics in 2015 for its detailed stories of Southern life; next week Mr. Isbell and his backing band, the 400 Unit, will celebrate his latest release, “The Nashville Sound.” (SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON-NYT)

Onegin (Jun 19 – 24)
American Ballet Theatre (through July 8)
@ Metropolitan Opera House / 2PM +7:30PM, $22+
“Pushkin’s great verse novel, Eugene Onegin, is interpreted with flawless storytelling skill by John Cranko. With a wealth of magical moments, this compelling tale features an unusual twist of double unrequited love—while the high-handed Onegin at first spurns the young, naive Tatiana, she blooms to become a sophisticated St. Petersburg aristocrat who, in turn, rejects his subsequent advances in a final crushing blow. Tchaikovsky’s vivid music brings to life the world of Imperial Russia with beauty, drama and passion.”

Jazztopad Festival: Wójciński / Szmańda Quartet and STRYJO
Presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“The annual Jazztopad Festival at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola is a must-see showcase for anyone interested in the world of jazz and improvised music. This year, each set will be split between two groups: the Wójciński / Szmańda Quartet and STRYJO. The two groups are quite different, but they compliment one another beautifully.

The Wójciński / Szmańda Quartet features the three Wójciński brothers – each of them a current mainstay in the Polish jazz scene – on trumpet, piano, and bass, plus Krzysztof Szmańda on drums.

STRYJO is a trio that, on paper, probably sounds like it’s for a niche audience, but that’s absolutely not the case. STRYJO performs 100% improvised songs (including themes, rhythms, structure, etc.) that sound neither “free” nor overly simplistic. Groove seems to be a priority here, and STRYJO’s embrace of easily identifiable rhythmic foundations makes their music immediately accessible and allows them to dazzle with the details.”

Brian Stokes Mitchell: Plays with Music (thru June 24)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $100
“Superlative or not, there aren’t many adjectives that fit Brian Stokes Mitchell as well as “unparalleled.” Last starring on Broadway in 2016’s SHUFFLE ALONG, the two-time Tony winner and member of the Theatre Hall of Fame has cemented himself as one of the greatest leading men on Broadway, and his rich, deep baritone is a force all its own. This week, alongside long-time collaborator Tedd Firth, he makes his Feinstein’s/54 Below solo debut, sampling songs from his upcoming album, PLAYS WITH MUSIC, an eclectic collection of showtunes, folk songs, and more.” (Ashley Steves, BroadwayWorld)

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

“The Pride of the Yankees” with Richard Sandomir
Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, 67 E. 11th St./ 7PM, FREE
The untold story behind the first great sports film.
On July 4, 1939, baseball great Lou Gehrig stood in Yankee Stadium and gave a speech that contained the phrase that would become legendary: “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

He died two years later and his fiery widow, Eleanor, wanted nothing more than to keep his memory alive. With her forceful will, she and the irascible producer Samuel Goldwyn quickly agreed to make a film based on Gehrig’s life, “The Pride of the Yankees.” Goldwyn didn’t understand — or care about — baseball. For him this film was the emotional story of a quiet, modest hero who married a spirited woman who was the love of his life, and, after a storied career, gave a short speech that transformed his legacy. With the world at war and soldiers dying on foreign soil, it was the kind of movie America needed.

Using original scripts, letters, memos, and other rare documents, Richard Sandomir tells the behind-the-scenes story of how a classic was born. The search to find the actor to play Gehrig; the stunning revelations Eleanor made to the scriptwriter Paul Gallico about her life with Lou; the intensive training Gary Cooper underwent to learn how to catch, throw, and hit a baseball for the first time.”

and don’t forget this continuing event, an eclectic extravaganza that is an annual highlight in Lower Manhattan –  the very lowest WestSide of Manhattan:

River To River Festival (June 14–25)
The 16th annual River To River Festival will have over 100+ performances — with 12 days of dance, music, theater and the visual arts activities. The festival will take place across 31 unique sites across Lower Manhattan and Governors Island.

“From City Hall Park to the Financial District to South Street Seaport to Governors Island, the Medici-like Lower Manhattan Cultural Council deploys some of our most interesting dance artists, including the Dance Cartel, Netta Yerushalmy, Faye Driscoll, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Beth Gill, Maria Hassabi, Jodi Melnick, and Will Rawls. If I had to choose, I’d definitely catch Melnick’s Moat (June 17–18 at Fort Jay), and the long-awaited, The Set Up: Island Ghost Sleep Princess Time Story Show (June 18–19 and 24–25 at Governors Island), a six-year collaboration among Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey, and multiple international collaborators, all masters of French or Asian dance traditions. Consider taking a week of vacation days so you can wallow in all this talent. Events are free, though some require advance reservations at the website, which offers full descriptions and schedules.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

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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 underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 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 was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  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 / West Village

Corner Bistro / 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $6.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
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Website: cornerbistrony.com
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk 2 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
Update:
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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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