NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/12) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square / Theater District)

“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:

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
Jazz Standard / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $35
“On a sultry night in June 2016, Dr. Lonnie Smith celebrated his 75th birthday with an inspired performance at the Jazz Standard with his longtime trio of Jonathan Kreisberg (guitar) and Johnathan Blake (drums). They marked the turban-clad B3 icon’s milestone trip around the sun with a joyous set featuring funky, inventive renditions of Wayne Shorter’s “JuJu,” Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” (with Joe Dyson guesting on drums), and the 1962 Freddie Hubbard composition “Up Jumped Spring,” in addition to a revamped version of the good doctor’s own 1977 jam “All in My Mind,” with Alicia Olatuja on vocals. That song also serves as the title cut to the album that was recorded and produced from the concert by Blue Note president Don Was, who was instrumental in bringing Smith back to the label whose sound he helped define in the ’60s. All in My Mind will hit stores on January 12, and its release is being celebrated at the very place it originated, with a three-night stand at the Standard. The Hammond heat from this living master of soul jazz will certainly bring some much-needed warmth to this city trapped in a deep freeze.” (Ron Hart, Village Voice)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> BILLY HARPER QUINTET
>> JTosca
>> AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM
>> Joshua Redman
>>Vijay Iyer Sextet
>>Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons from the New Yorker
>>The History of the End of the World
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BILLY HARPER QUINTET (Jan. 12-14)
at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $
“Mr. Harper was of the most consistently exciting tenor saxophonists to emerge in the late 1960s and early ’70s. He seemed to wield his horn like hot iron; his book of compositions, meanwhile, read as an insurrectionary tract, while fusing concepts from John Coltrane and Joe Henderson. His powers are undiminished, though we haven’t seen a leadership recording from him in roughly a decade, and he does not headline his own shows in New York often enough. Catch him here with Freddie Hendrix on trumpet, Francesca Tanksley on piano, Hwansu Kang on bass and Aaron Scott on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Tosca (Dec 31 – May 12; next Jan.15, 7:30pm)
The Metropolitan Opera / 8PM, $
“Rivaling the splendor of Franco Zeffirelli’s set and costumes of the Napoleonic era, Sir David McVicar’s ravishing new production offers a splendid backdrop for two extraordinary sopranos sharing the title role of the jealous prima donna: Sonya Yoncheva and Anna Netrebko. Vittorio Grigolo and Marcelo Álvarez alternate in the role of Tosca’s revolutionary artist lover Cavaradossi, with Bryn Terfel, Michael Volle, and Željko Lučić as the depraved police chief Scarpia. Andris Nelsons conducts.”

AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM (Jan. 12-14 at various times).
at the Joyce Theater / tonight: 8PM, $66
These may be tough tickets, better order in advance.
“This festival, programmed by Christine Tschida, the director of Northrop at the University of Minnesota, wraps up this weekend with programs featuring shared performances. The newest pairing explores rhythm and showcases Ensemble Español Spanish Theater, which performs flamenco and folkloric dance, and Trinity Irish Dance Company. Other programs offer classic modern dance by Philadanco! alongside hula by Halau O Kekuhi; Jessica Lang Dance with, in its Joyce debut, Backhausdance; and BODYTRAFFIC with the tap ensemble Caleb Teicher and Company.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)

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)

Vijay Iyer Sextet (Jan.9-13)
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)

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

Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons from the New Yorker
Society of Illustrators; 10am; free with $15 admission. opening reception tonight at 6:30PM,  cash bar.
“The works of prolific cartoonist, illustrator and painter Anatol Kovarsky appeared in Colliers, Life, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, andThe Herald Tribune, but its his many works for The New Yorker that are featured in this exhibit. Kovarsky started contributing to the mag in 1947, creating dozens of covers and nearly 300 cartoons over the next two decades. Check out his impressive catalogue—and have a chuckle or two—at this Society of Illustrators exhibit.” (TONY)

The History of the End of the World
The Strand, 828 Broadway / 7PM, $20, includes complimentary beer and wine
Think Olio is back at the Strand for The End of the World!
Come join Jamie Warren and Lawrence Cappello for an Olio about the end of the world. We will examine the social and political forces that have historically produced such apocalyptic fantasies and the radical prescriptions for building a perfect society.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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Continuing Events

NYC Winter Jazzfest  (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)

For 12 essential sets to catch this Friday/Saturday, January 12/13, see this good piece from NY Magazine: “Loud, Wild, Improvised”

The New York Jewish Film Festival  (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)

No Screenings today
tomorrow:Walter Reade Theater, Let Yourself Go

Walter Reade Theater, Siege

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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, almost all 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 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 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

Jimmy’s Corner / 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest,” Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a great old time jukebox, with a great selection of  40s& 50s R&B and soul. On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
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Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

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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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