NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/08) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Super 7  NYC Events > SATURDAY/JULY 08, 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-July”

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

Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World Festival
at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park / 1PM – 8PM, FREE
“The pianist Jon Batiste is the musical director on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” where he leads his band, Stay Human. But like most jazz groups — especially those with social evangelism in the name — this one is best experienced live. You can hear the outfit free on Saturday at this year’s Wonderful World Festival in Queens, from 1 to 8 p.m., just blocks from the house where Louis Armstrong once lived. Mr. Batiste is also curating this year’s festival; he has invited Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks and members of the Dap-Kings to play sets as well.” (NYT, GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Julius Caesar
>>ABT Tchaikovsky Spectacular
>>HOUSTON PERSON QUARTET
>>The Django Reinhardt NY Festival All Stars
>>Arab-American Cultural Street Festival
>>Full Moon Festival

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Julius Caesar (LAST DAY)
ACCESS THEATER, 2PM, +7:30PM, $18+
“Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar took on unruly cultural relevance this summer with the controversy surrounding the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production. If that brouhaha got you curious about how a four-hundred-year-old play can still shake people up, you may want to have a look at another provocative staging of Caesar happening this season. Shedding an explicit focus on contemporary politics, the company Pocket Universe has set the Bard’s tale in an all-girl high school. Conceived by Alyssa May Gold and directed by Katie Young, this production, with an all-female cast, wants to look at Shakespeare’s themes of power, betrayal, and friendship through the eyes of teenage girls. Eager to present a story that would leave the Bechdel test in its dust, this adaptation provides a window into the distinct psychological pressures created in a circle of ambitious young women.” (Nicole Serratore, Village Voice)

ABT Tchaikovsky Spectacular (LAST DAY)
American Ballet Theatre The Metropolitan Opera House/ 2PM, +8PM, $22+
“The company concludes its Met season with three more performances in its “Tchaikovsky Spectacular” series. Friday’s program includes George Balanchine’s “Mozartiana” and “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux,” alongside Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Nutcracker” pas de deux and “Aurora’s Wedding.” For the wedding scene — the third act from his meticulous reconstruction of Marius Petipa’s 1890 “The Sleeping Beauty” — Mr. Ratmansky replaces two of the usual divertissements with others by Bronislava Nijinska and Ninette de Valois, choreographed for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1921. The remaining programs (Saturday afternoon and evening) feature Mr. Ratmansky’s “Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher” (“Memory of a Dear Place”), created for the Dutch National Ballet in 2012.”(SIOBHAN BURKE, NYT)

HOUSTON PERSON QUARTET (July 6-9)
Jazz Standard, / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
“Houston Person and Jazz Standard go way back: It was in May 2002 that he made his first appearance as a leader on our stage. The great tenor saxophonist has put fifteen more years under his belt since then but “his playing just goes on getting better,” declared Dave Gelly in The Observer. In his review of a January 2012 engagement at Ronnie Scott’s in London, The Guardian’s John Fordham wrote: “Like Sonny Rollins and a handful of other survivors, Person is an eloquent messenger from a jazz era rooted in traditional blues, black church music, Broadway love songs and the impersonation, by sax, of a singer’s tone palette…His sound has become uniquely characterful: an idiosyncratic edit of all he has learned, expressed in shrugging hoots, briefly cantering bop sprints, spacious and softly blown ballads.”

The Django Reinhardt NY Festival All Stars
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
“This annual celebration of the music and influence of the unparalleled Belgian Gypsy guitarist features such acolytes as the guitarist Samson Schmitt. Guest soloists include the saxophonist Grace Kelly and the vocalists Veronica Swift and Jazzmeia Horn.” (NewYorker)

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

Arab-American Cultural Street Festival
Great Jones St. between Broadway and Lafayette St./ 10AM-4PM, FREE
“Great Jones Street comes alive with arts and food rooted in Arab and North African cultures. The daylong event includes musical performances from Arab musicians both local and international, and authentic dishes from Lebanon, Morocco, and Egypt. Since 2003, the festival has been a trove for collectors and the curious, providing an opportunity to browse handmade wares from across the globe, including original art works and traditional clothing, jewelry, and furnishings. The henna booth, where guests can choose from ornate body-art designs applied by a dye process that dates back centuries, remains one of the festival’s most popular attractions.” (NewYorker)

Full Moon Festival
Governors Island, 12PM-12AM, was $40 for early birds, now $70
“Howl at the full moon during this two-day beach-side music festival on Governors Island. There will be live music from stellar acts, plus art installations and delicious culinary grub.” (TONY)

Let’s not forget this marvelous continuing event from The Film Society Lincoln Center :

New York Asian Film Festival (thru July 16)

“Catch more than 50 new films, including blockbusters, art films and beautiful historical dramas, plus appearances from more than 20 international filmmakers at this 17-day festival. This year’s stellar lineup, which features films hailing from Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia, features films like Chinese romance Soul Mate on July 7, fantastical Japanese drama Vanishing Time: a Boy Who Returned on July 13, and wraps with the U.S. premiere of Jung Byung-gil’s acclaimed assassin film, The Villainess, on July 16.” (TONY)

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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:

Fish – 280 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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