NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/17) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Super 7 NYC Events > THURSDAY/ AUGUST 17, 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:

THE BEACH BOYS
at the Beacon Theater / 7:30PM, $45+
“Almost 50 years ago, the Beach Boys released an album called “Wild Honey.” Generally regarded as a minor work at the time, the LP has since become a cult favorite among fans who appreciate its loose, lighthearted vibe. This summer the current iteration of the Beach Boys — led by the indefatigable singer Mike Love, but notably lacking his former band mate Brian Wilson — is touring with set lists that feature two songs from “Wild Honey.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL
>>TRIO DA PAZ AND FRIENDS
>>Billy Hart Quartet
>>Songbook Summit
>>Thomas Paine and the Flame of Revolution
>>Hawaii Cuisine: Beyond Pineapples with Chef Sheldon Simeon
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL
at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park (Aug. 13-18) 7PM, FREE
and the Schimmel Center (Aug. 19, 6PM).
“For the first six nights of this weeklong festival, which is now in its 36th year, Battery Dance, in association with the Battery Park City Authority, has arranged a glorious backdrop for moving bodies: New York Harbor. Mixed bills feature an eclectic lineup that includes Danuka Ariyawansa and Behri Drums and Dance Ensemble from Sri Lanka; Bollylicious, a Belgium-based collective; and Mophato Dance Theater, an Afro-fusion and contemporary dance company from Botswana. There will be local groups too, like Janis Brenner & Dancers, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and, of course, Battery Dance. On Tuesday, the organization teams up with the Indo-American Arts Council to offer a showcase of Indian dance artists.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)

TRIO DA PAZ AND FRIENDS (Aug. 15-20 and 22-27)
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
“Trio Da Paz has been around for 31 years, and it’s held down a summer residency at Dizzy’s for the last 10. With Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass and Duduka Da Fonseca on drums, the group calls its music “samba jazz.” It’s not false advertising; the triumvirate is given to up-tempo excursions, high on friction — not the lilting bossa nova that you might expect from a Brazilian guitar trio. These comrades will find new angles of engagement over their two-week run, during which they will welcome various special guests on different nights, including the vocalist Maucha Adnet and the trumpeter Claudio Roditi.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Billy Hart Quartet (thru Aug.20)
VILLAGE VANGUARD / 8:30PM, 10:30PM; $30
“As a sideman, drummer Billy Hart played on some of the heaviest, headiest jazz albums of the late Sixties and early Seventies, including Karma by Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi, and the Miles Davis psych-bop classic On the Corner. Yet, as a leader, there is a sense of warmth and beauty to his oeuvre that jibes more with Hart’s time with Stan Getz in the late Seventies — particularly when he’s in the company of his longtime quartet, rounded out by Ethan Iverson on piano, bassist Ben Street, and saxophonist Mark Turner. Six months after a successful run at the Jazz Standard, the BHQ head downtown to the Vanguard, a place where Billy has banged the drums countless times before. And since they’re three years removed from the release of their 2014 LP on ECM, One Is the Other, we can only hope this six-night residency (which also promises special-guest appearances) will debut some new material for their next record as well.” (Ron Hart, VillageVoice)

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 15 – 20: George Gershwin
Featuring ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, ‘Summertime’, ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’, ‘Our Love is Here to Stay’, and more!

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

Elsewhere, but these events look worth the detour:

Thomas Paine and the Flame of Revolution
Park Slope’s Old Stone House / 7:30PM, $15
“The power of radical politics in shaping the world is explored in an evening talk arranged around Thomas Paine. The birth of American political philosophy and Paine’s status as a premier philosopher will be examined. The setting will be resonant as well: Park Slope’s Old Stone House, which played a significant role in the American Revolution.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Hawaii Cuisine: Beyond Pineapples with Chef Sheldon Simeon
Museum of Food and Drink, 62 Bayard St., Williamsburg / 6:30PM, $25
“Join chef, restaurateur, and Top Chef finalist Sheldon Simeon on a culinary journey through the tastes, flavors, and ingredients that make up both traditional and modern Hawaiian foods. Sheldon’s love and appreciation for his home state’s culinary traditions have taken him from Maui Culinary Academy to opening up his own restaurant on Maui, Tin Roof.

Sheldon will be joined by Elyse Inamine of Food & Wine for a discussion on the tastes of Hawaii before he gives a demo of a delicious Hawaiian dish. An informal reception featuring poké and Brooklyn Brewery beer will follow.”

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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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