NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/03) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Elite 8  NYC Events > THURSDAY/ AUGUST 03, 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 two NYC Events today? Do this:

Elsewhere, but this topic is way too important to ignore, which makes this book talk so worth the detour. No one is more passionate and knowledgeable about the subject then Jeremiah Moss.

“Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul” by Jeremiah Moss—In Conversation with Judy McGuire
powerHouse Arena, 28 Adams St./ 7PM, FREE
“New York has long been a destination for rebels and rule breakers, artists, writers, and other hopefuls longing to be part of its rich cultural exchange and unique social fabric. But today, modern gentrification is transforming the city from an exceptional, iconoclastic metropolis into a suburbanized luxury zone with a price tag only the one percent can afford.

Jeremiah Moss, author of the popular blog Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, has spent the past decade observing and painstakingly documenting the sea change that has occurred in New York City, and has emerged as one of the most outspoken and celebrated critics of this dramatic shift.

Now, in Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul, he reports on the city’s development in the twenty-first century, a period of “hyper-gentrification” that has resulted in the shocking transformation of beloved neighborhoods and the loss of treasured unofficial landmarks.”

American Acoustic with Punch Brothers + I’m With Her
Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway / 8PM, $40+
“A-list newgrass group the Punch Brothers, led by übertalented mandolinist, singer, songwriter and Prairie Home Companion host Chris Thile, headlines this night of twangy goodness. Count on hearing traditional string music performed with insane chops and plenty of whimsical asides. Joining them on stage is all-female folk trio I’m With Her and jazz guitarist Julian Lage.” (TONY)

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

>>Broadway in Bryant Park
>>Gregory Lewis Organ Monk Trio
>>Tovah Feldshuh: Aging Is Optional
>>Tony Malaby Festival
>>Songbook Summit
>>Steve Kazee
>>GHOST TRAIN ORCHESTRA
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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 Bob Bronson and includes performances from:
Miss Saigon
Chicago
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Broadway Dreams

Gregory Lewis Organ Monk Trio
at Pier 84 in Hudson River Park / 7PM, FREE
“For years Gregory Lewis has been rewiring Thelonious Monk’s music for the organ. With a kind of offhand savvy, he simplifies Monk’s harmonies and lets his ludic rhythms take the lead. But on his most recent album, Mr. Lewis has something else on his mind. “The Breathe Suite,” released this year, collects six heavy, swarming originals dedicated to black lives lost in conflicts with the authorities or engaged in the struggle for racial justice. Mr. Lewis may draw from both sides of his repertoire at this free show.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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)

Tony Malaby Festival (thru Aug 05)
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St./ 8PM, $10
“Brawny-toned and tough-minded, yet reflective and lyrical when the music calls for it, the saxophonist Malaby has been a significant presence on the jazz scene for the past twenty-plus years. This trim gala finds him collaborating with such noteworthy peers as the bassist William Parker, the guitarist Ben Monder, and the drummer Tom Rainey in a variety of ensembles.” (NewYorker)

Songbook Summit
59E59 Theaters,/ 7PM, $35
It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely.
Will Anderson and Peter Anderson are identical twins who play the saxophone and clarinet. They will perform in a six-piece ensemble throughout August highlighting four great American composers: Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, and Richard Rodgers. The first week is Porter, so anything goes!

“Virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone,” (The New York Times) identical twins Peter & Will Anderson return to 59E59 Theaters by popular demand for a celebration of the great American Songbook. Shining the spotlight on the work of four of its most distinguished composers (one composer each week), a 6-piece ensemble featuring vocalist Molly Ryan will perform hits such as ‘Summertime’, ‘My Favorite Things’, ‘Night & Day’,’Somewhere Over the Rainbow’, and ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.
August 2 – 6: Cole Porter
Featuring ‘Night & Day’, ‘Begin the Beguine’, ‘I Get a Kick out of You’, ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, ‘Just One of Those Things’, and more!

Steve Kazee
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St. / 9:30PM, $45
“The sensitively hunky star of Broadway’s Once (for which he won a 2012 Tony Award) shares a new batch of his original alt-country songs.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

GHOST TRAIN ORCHESTRA
at the Manhattan Bridge Archway / 6PM, FREE
“Musically speaking, what’s called the Jazz Age was in fact a time of gestation and transition: A small-band tradition, primarily centered in New Orleans and the Midwest, began making its way to the coasts in the 1920s, and growing into something bigger. The big-band sound and its attendant dance craze were in the offing. The Ghost Train Orchestra, a midsize ensemble, explores the music of that period, dipping into both the Dixieland and swing-era songbooks, and offering some nostalgic compositions of its own. This concert, which includes a swing-dancing lesson from Paolo Pasta Lana, is part of Live at the Archway, the Dumbo Improvement District’s series of free summer shows in a public plaza beneath the Manhattan Bridge.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Too much good music today. More Smart Stuff coming tomorrow.

Let’s not forget these wonderful continuing events:

Dave Chappelle and the Roots (thru Aug 24 with various guests)
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)

Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2017
“Lincoln Center Out of Doors, one of the country’s longest-running free outdoor summer festivals, opens this year on July 26 and runs through August 13. The 47th edition of the popular festival will fill the Lincoln Center campus with a diverse range of music, dance, spoken word, and family events, featuring dozens of artists from across the city, country, and world-all completely free and open to the public.

“We are thrilled about this year’s festival,” says Jill Sternheimer, Director of Public Programming at Lincoln Center. “It’s a profound reminder of what is truly great about this city-the opportunity to come together on a beautiful summer night and experience totally free world-class concerts and performances from such a wide array of incredible artists, and to be able to share in the sense of community that goes along with that. It’s what Lincoln Center Out of Doors is all about”
Tonight:
Bollywood Boulevard: A Journey Through Hindi Cinema
Damrosch Park / 7:30PM

The artistry of Hindi cinema comes alive during this exuberant stage show that fuses live music, dance, and imagery that will thrill lifelong fans and novices alike. Join a passionate group of performers as they trace the evolution of Bollywood, from black-and-white classics to colorful blockbusters, and bring the spirit and romance of India’s grand palaces, mountain vistas, and sweeping mustard fields to Damrosch Park.

For more info on this wonderful festival, Time Out NY has it all covered.

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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 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are 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 is 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 / Midtown West.

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” closed Jan.15)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

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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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