NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/20) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Elite 8 NYC Events > THURSDAY/JULY 20, 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”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you’ll find anywhere.

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

DIZZY GILLESPIE BIG BAND
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“History has produced its share of great artists and great people. John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was both. As a performer, he left behind an incredible record of innovation and inspiration; as a composer, a broad repository of musical masterpieces; and as a man, a legion of friends, colleagues, and compatriots who remember him with the same degree of love and esteem they reserve for his work.

The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band is a direct descendant of Gillespie’s musical ventures. The group has featured some of Dizzy’s closest compatriots and all of them are outstanding band leaders, educators, and recording artists in their own right.

The band debuted in 1998. Together they continue to delight audiences around the world with the enduring power and freshness of Gillespie’s music. These groups are the legacy the master would have wanted, and they serve as a living tribute from extraordinary musicians who exemplify his style, range, and commitment.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Broadway in Bryant Park
>>Compagnie XY
>>Marissa Mulder ~ Shelter from the Storm
>>ESPERANZA SPALDING
>>MARY HALVORSON OCTET (
>>Karrin Allyson
>>JAZZ IN JULY
++ continuing events:
>>‘THE ART OF WATCHES’
>>‘UP CLOSE: MICHELANGELO’S SISTINE CHAPEL’
>>Seaport Food Lab

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Broadway in Bryant Park
Bryant Park / 12:30PM, FREE
“LiteFM radio hosts a showcase of actors from the hottest on and off Broadway shows playing their hits in Bryant park. Try not to sing and dance along to tunes from classics like Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and Avenue Q, as well as newcomers like Kinky Boots, Waitress, and Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. The recurring event will take place every Thursday from July 6 through August 10th.” (TONY)
TODAY:
Today’s show is hosted by Rich Kaminski and includes performances from:
Billy Porter
Waitress
Cats
Spamilton: An American Parody

Compagnie XY
Rose Theater, Time WarnerCenter / 8PM, $30–$65
“A charming fusion of acrobatics, theater, and dance, this relatively low-tech collective of French performers combines jitterbug with some lighthearted heavy lifting and a poetic sensibility in Il N’est Pas Encore Minuit. Their newest work, Le Progrès, made in collaboration with the choreographer Loïc Touzé, mobilizes twenty-two extraordinarily centered acrobats in an exploration of instability; they learn to balance themselves precisely over another person’s center of mass, enabling towers of bodies several people high. The takeaway may be poetry and philosophy, but the strategy is pure physics, with a soupçon of Lindy hop thrown in. They give new meaning to the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

Marissa Mulder ~ Shelter from the Storm
Metropolitan Room / 7PM, $24
The Songs of Bob Dylan
Mike Rosengarten: Guitar
Mike Lunoe: Drums

Stephen Holden of The NY Times said, “Ms. Mulder has a voice with a bounce and a twinkle that recalls that much missed pop-jazz pixie, Blossom Dearie. Her ingenuousness is real.”

ESPERANZA SPALDING
at Carnegie Hall / 7:30PM, $10-$50
“On each of her three most recent albums Ms. Spalding, the bassist and vocalist, has chosen a new genre to infuse with jazz chops. Here she will perform selections from “Emily’s D+Evolution,” her 2016 rock fusion record, and “Chamber Music Society,” from 2010, an ode to chamber music. She’ll perform here with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and NYO2, Carnegie Hall’s summer orchestral program for talented young musicians.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

MARY HALVORSON OCTET (July 18-23)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30PM, $30
“Ms. Halvorson’s guitar sound is so distinctive — coiled and tart; unwieldy; both tinny and wooden — that you might wonder how it would fit in a relatively large ensemble. And how could she possibly arrange music for such a band that would both adhere to and expand that idiosyncratic sound? With her octet she accomplishes both those things, as proved on the band’s 2016 debut, “Away With You.” Most of that album’s personnel will join here: Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Jon Irabagon on alto saxophone, Ingrid Laubrock on tenor saxophone, Jacob Garchik on trombone, Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar, Chris Lightcap on bass, and Ches Smith on drums.” (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO – NYT)

Karrin Allyson (July 18-22)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30Pm, +11PM, $40
“Although she can add polish to any number of Great American Songbook standards—as evinced by her most recent album, “Many a New Day,” which focusses on the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein—the singer Karrin Allyson has delved deeply into all manner of material, from tributes to John Coltrane to popular music from France and Brazil. Matching versatility with vocal flair, she’s a staple worth attending to.” (NewYorker)

JAZZ IN JULY (through July 27).
at the 92nd Street Y / 7:30PM, $45
“Now in its 33rd year, this festival reliably offers an impressive smorgasbord of straight-ahead jazz. The 2017 edition gets started on Tuesday with a concert celebrating the pianist Dick Hyman, 90, Jazz in July’s founding artistic director. Wednesday night, the tenor saxophone giants Jimmy Heath and Benny Golson — who grew up together in Philadelphia in the 1940s — will make a rare onstage appearance together. On Thursday the vocalist Jane Monheit is featured in a program of Frank Loesser compositions.” (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO, NYT)

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

No Smart Stuff today, there are just too many good music and dance performances happening. Come back tomorrow for your Smart Stuff events, “only the best.”

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Let’s not forget these marvelous continuing events:

‘THE ART OF WATCHES’
“Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe has been practicing its art and science for 178 years. Now, visitors can immerse themselves in the past and present of the company’s timekeeping traditions with historical timepieces ­­ such as the astronomical pocket watch, pictured ­­ and their contemporary counterparts. The exhibition inhabits several rooms of a two­ story structure set up within Cipriani specifically for the occasion.” (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Thursday, July 13, thru July 23 at Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 E. 42nd St.
INFO FREE; 212-­218-­1240, patek.com

‘UP CLOSE: MICHELANGELO’S SISTINE CHAPEL’
“You don’t have to travel all the way to Rome to experience the masterpieces Michelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This immersive exhibit is comprised of 34 high­ quality reproductions nearly the size of the originals, presented to allow for close observation. Follow an audio guide, or contemplate in silence.” (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Friday, June 23, through July 23 in The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center, 186 Greenwich St.
INFO $20; westfield.com/upclose ­­

Seaport Food Lab
203 Front St., various times, prices vary
“What would it take to get you down to the South Street Seaport, a place overrun by tourists, during the heart of summer? The promise of some of the country’s best chefs popping up for two-week residencies might do the trick. Through Friday, July 21, the Seaport Food Lab will be serving Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson’s take on Southern cuisine; Alon Shaya, of the New Orleans restaurants Domenica, Pizza Domenica, and Shaya, then takes over for the July 30–August 12 slot. Those who’ve become enamored of L.A. cuisine via Instagram will be thrilled to know that Jessica Koslow, of the revered Sqirl, is at the helm from August 20 to September 2, before local stars Dale Talde (September 10–23) and Wylie Dufresne (September 29–October 11) work their shifts. Each chef has a distinctive style; tickets for the individual stints will be doled out incrementally on Resy.” (Alicia Kennedy, VillageVoice)

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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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