NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/01) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Sweet 6  NYC Events > TUESDAY/ AUGUST 01, 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-August”
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:

Dave Chappelle and the Roots (thru Aug 04)
at Radio City Music Hall / 8PM, $55+
“For years withdrawn from public life, Mr. Chappelle is touring once again, bringing his insightful and often controversial comedy to his legion of fans. Over the course of a three-week residency, he will perform alongside comics including Chris Rock, Trevor Noah and Ali Wong, as well as musical guests like Erykah Badu, Chance the Rapper and Lauryn Hill. For his first four shows, Tuesday through next Friday, each one starting at 8 p.m., he will be joined by the Roots, the “Tonight Show” house band since 2014.” (ELISE CZAJKOWSKI-NYT)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Blondie & Garbage
>>Tovah Feldshuh: Aging Is Optional
>>Celebrating Nat King Cole with Sachal Vasandani & Friends
>>Al Franken: Giant of the Senate
>>Astronomy Live: Come Fly with The MARSBAND
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Blondie & Garbage
Beacon Theater / 7:30PM, $60+
“The Wisconsin alt-rock powerhouse Garbage formed in 1993, at the tail end of the grunge era, from which they drew inspiration. After a few highly successful albums, the group disbanded in the early Aughts. But over the last few years, they’ve made a convincing comeback — their 2016 album, Strange Little Birds, was a return to form, retaining the group’s trademark gloomy mood and continuing to deftly meld genres like synthpop and alt-rock. These unique signatures are what earned lead singer Shirley Manson and her band both mainstream popularity and a hardcore cult following. They’ll play at the Beacon this week as the opener for legendary post-punk provocateurs Blondie.” (Sophie Weiner, Village Voice)

Tovah Feldshuh: Aging Is Optional (also Aug 03)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $60
“The four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh is a formidable actor (Golda’s Balcony, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Scarsdale spitfire whose nightclub performances tend to show off her zany streak. Tonight she revives one of her most successful one-woman ventures.” (TONY)

Celebrating Nat King Cole with Sachal Vasandani & Friends
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“Over the past decade, vocalist Sachal Vasandani has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center alongside artists like Jon Hendricks (for his 90th birthday), the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein, and more. Tonight he returns to the intimate Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola to celebrate Nat “King” Cole. He’s brought this acclaimed project to major stages in both small group and orchestral contexts, and it will be a treat to experience it in our smallest performance space. With classics like “Unforgettable,” “Mona Lisa,” and “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” plus a few original tunes, Vasandani and his friends will share their deep passion for the legendary Nat “King” Cole.”

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

Al Franken: Giant of the Senate
The Great Hall at Cooper Union / 8PM, $15–$32
“When, in 2007, Minnesota senator Al Franken first announced his campaign for office, politicians and fans alike wrote him off as a laughingstock of a candidate. (Several prominent outlets reported the news with headlines specifying “no joke.”) Oh, how naïve we all used to be. Flash-forward to 2017, and the former Saturday Night Live comedian is hardly the most controversial television personality making moves in Washington. In the age of Trump, however, Franken’s jaded perspective on politics and America’s obsession with celebrity is both unique and necessary — and he shares that valuable p.o.v. in his new memoir, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. (In one typically confident chapter, he declares Ted Cruz “the Dwight Schrute of the Senate.”) At this Strand-sponsored talk, Franken will be joined by Late Night host (and fellow SNL alum) Seth Meyers to discuss his witty and insightful reflections. Books will be available for purchase on site.” (Amy Brady, VillageVoice)

Astronomy Live: Come Fly with The MARSBAND
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St./ 7PM, $15
“Join Director of Astrovisualization Carter Emmart and the musicians of The MARSBAND, including Keith Patchel for an immersive exploration of the Red Planet. Experience the Martian landscape up close, accompanied by a live performance, as you fly around the planet in an educational, musical meditation.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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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 Nov. 30, 2017 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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