NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/10) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

“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 better check the tab above: “NYC Events-January”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Vijay Iyer Sextet
Birdland / 7:30PM, 10:30PM, $40
“A band for the age, if not the ages, the Vijay Iyer Sextet is the latest poll-topping project by the ever-experimenting pianist. Cerebral yet appealing, or appealingly cerebral, the group’s recent ECM release, Far from Over, is a bracing blast of contemporary jazz at its most uncompromisingly complex and virtuosic. With only a couple of low-voltage exceptions, the music is relentlessly dynamic, thanks in large part to the turbulent combustications of drummer Tyshawn Sorey (the equally formidable Marcus Gilmore replaces him for the final two dates of this five-show run). Iyer familiars reunite and recombine. Saxophonists Steve Lehman (alto) and Mark Shim (tenor) helix regularly, while Graham Haynes provides spacier horns (cornet, flugelhorn) and electronics. Longtime Iyer trio member Stephan Crump returns on bass, while Iyer sparkles, provokes, glosses, and annotates throughout.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM
>> Joshua Redman
>>Works and Process
>>Le Nozze di Figaro
>>Cabernet Cabaret
>> 21st Annual Shoe-Inn Warehouse Sale
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM (Jan. 9-14 at various times).
at the Joyce Theater / tonight: 7:30PM, $66
These may be tough tickets, better order in advance.
“This showcase of domestic dance arrives at the Joyce with four pairings of stylistically and geographically diverse troupes from around the country. On Jan. 9 and 14 (evening), the innovative choreographer Caleb Teicher — also a stellar tap performer — shares a program with the dynamic Los Angeles-based contemporary dance company BODYTRAFFIC. On Jan. 10 and 14 (matinee), New York’s Jessica Lang Dance splits the bill with Backhausdance from California’s Orange County, both examples of polished virtuosity. On Jan. 11 and Jan. 13, the veteran modern dance company PHILADANCO!, hailing from Philadelphia, meets Halau O Kekuhi, hailing from Hawaii and noted for its explosive style of hula inspired by legends about the volcanoes.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

Joshua Redman (Jan. 9-14)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, 10:30PM, $30-$45
“The ability to hold a band together, thus insuring a unified ensemble identity, is not to be undervalued. The saxophonist Redman can flit about among a swath of side projects, but he always finds his way back to his trusted quartet, which counts the pianist Aaron Goldberg, the bassist Reuben Rogers, and the drummer Gregory Hutchinson as its loyal members.” (NewYorker)

Works and Process
Guggenheim Museum / 7:30PM, $40+
“The APAP-related glut of performances continues uptown with this split week at the Guggenheim. First, Wednesday through Friday, Ryan McNamara remounts his 2016 Battleground, a “sci-fi cosplay house-music ballet-battle” specifically constructed for the unique architecture of the museum’s underground theater and featuring nine superb downtown dancers including Reid Bartelme, Jason Collins, Effie Bowen, and Dylan Crossman. Then, on Sunday and Monday, the Gugg brings back another hit program from 2016: liquid dancer Jodi Melnick with New York City Ballet stars Jared Angle, Sara Mearns, and Taylor Stanley in NEW BODIES, with live music; Melnick also performs One of Sixty-Five Thousand Gestures, a solo created in collaboration with Trisha Brown before Brown’s death last year.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

Le Nozze di Figaro (next performance Jan.13, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $
“An exceptional ensemble of performers—including Ailyn Pérez, Nadine Sierra, Isabel Leonard, Luca Pisaroni, Mariusz Kwiecien, and Ildar Abdrazakov—share the stage in Mozart’s comic yet profound look at human nature and one crazy day in a wealthy Spanish household. Acclaimed Mozartean maestro Harry Bicket conducts Richard Eyre’s high-spirited production.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Cabernet Cabaret
Club Cumming, 505 E 6th St./ 8PM, FREE
“You’re guaranteed to be delighted at this weekly showcase beside the piano, hosted by conquering empress of musical comedy Catherine Cohen and downtown cabaret essential Henry Koperski. Expect experimental sets, sing-a-longs to Mariah Carey favorites and other unhinged turns from a line-up of rising gems. January 3 features Katie Birenboim, Dara Katz, Maya Deshmukh, Meghan O’Neill, Marie Faustin, Sydnee Washington, Brandon Scott Jones, Josh Daniel and Nicole Silverberg. On January 10, catch Marcia Belsky, Ali Levin, Eudora Peterson, Daniel Lempert, Abby Feldman, Kady Ruth Ashcraft and Friends Who Folk.” (TONY)

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

21st Annual Shoe-Inn Warehouse Sale (thru Friday)
Penn Plaza Pavilion; 9am; free admission
Let the shoe fetish commence at the 21st Annual Shoe-Inn Warehouse sale at Penn Plaza Pavilion. For five days over 10,000 pairs from designers like Stuart Weitzman, Vince, Sam Edelman, Kendall & Kylie, Frye, Eileen Fisher, Fiorentini + Baker, Aquatalia, Dolce Vita, Ash, Free People, Ugg, Sorel, Sigerson Morrison, Marc Fisher, Steve Madden, Joie, and over 100 additional brands will be on sale at this mega shoe event. So swing by and grab some shoes for as low as $20 and boots for as little as $39. All major credit cards accepted, no checks.” (TONY)

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Continuing Events

NYC Winter Jazzfest starts today (Jan.10-17)
Various times and venues, Prices vary
“More than 130 acts perform in twelve venues over eight days during the annual stamina-testing NYC Winter Jazzfest, which kicks off Wednesday, January 10, with emerging British jazz acts The Comet Is Coming, saxophonist Nubya Garcia, and trumpeter Yazz Ahmed. Coming up, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane pays tribute to his mother, Alice; drummer Teri Lyne Carrington hosts an all-star celebration of the late pianist Geri Allen; and flutist-composer Nicole Mitchell explores a sci-fi musical utopia. The core of the festival, of course, is the weekend marathon. Bundle up Friday night to hear saxophonist Rudresh Mahathappa’s rhythmically elliptical Indo-Pak Coalition, drummer Ches Smith’s Haiti-centric We All Break, and experimental Brooklyn duo Sonnymoon at various locations. And explore the free-jazz outskirts at the New School on Saturday with power trio Harriet Tubman and the Sun Ra Arkestra’s live score to the Ra-written 1974 Afrofuturist film Space Is the Place.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

The New York Jewish Film Festival starts today. (Jan.10-23)
Watch the screenings at Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center
at various times; $15
“A wide variety of documentaries, narrative films and retrospectives awaits you at this packed festival. Catch Italian comedy Let Yourself Go (January 13, January 14), West Bank doc West of the Jordan River (January 23) a restored screening of 1937 Yiddish film The Dybbuk (January 14, January 17), among many others.” (TONY)
today: Razzia – Directed by Nabil Ayouch, 7:30pm
The Last Goldfish – Directed by Su Goldfish, 12:30pm
The Prince and the Dybbuk – Directed by Piotr Rosolowski & Elwira Niewiera, 2:45pm

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Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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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 Spring 2018).
◊ Order before May 31 28, 2018 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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