NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/16) + 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:

Barb Jungr and John McDaniel: Float Like a Butterfly—The Sting Project
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $35
“One of the world’s great cabaret singers, England’s Barb Jungr is a genuine original, deploying warmth, high drama and sensitive musicality to reinvent everything she sings. Her supple and versatile voice glows like a hearth on a winter’s day, and her emotional intelligence is faultless: She knows just how a song should feel. In her latest set, she teams up with musical director John McDaniel (The Rosie O’Donnell Show) to explore the oeuvre of Police man turned solo superstar Sting.” (TONY)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Tom Harrell
>> Breakout Artist Comedy Series: Greta Titelman
>>DAVID BRIGGS
>> Keyon Harrold and Friends
>> Intelligence Squared US Debates: Unresolved, The Economy
>> Who Are You, Really?: The Surprising Puzzle of Personality
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Tom Harrell (Jan. 16-23)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./
“Parsing the components of the trumpeter Harrell’s stylistic identity is the easy part—bebop, post-bop, Latin, and classical influences clearly run through his playing. But understanding just how this admired veteran absorbed it all and emerged with a thoroughly integrated and distinctive musical approach is more difficult. His robust quintet finds room for the saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and the pianist Danny Grissett.” (NewYorker)

Breakout Artist Comedy Series: Greta Titelman
Carolines on Broadway; 7:30pm; $18
“Conquering queen of mean and Lady Lovin’ podcast co-host Greta Titelman takes over Carolines for this bomb night of stand-up, searing pop-culture satire and snarky storytelling of naughty behavior. She’s joined by a lineup of all-powerful furies including Sydnee Washington, Mo Fry Pasic, Rosebud Baker and Marie Faustin.” (TONY)

DAVID BRIGGS
at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine / 7:30PM, $25
“Currently an artist in residence at this Morningside Heights cathedral, Mr. Briggs is one of our finest organists, and also a particularly good transcriber of orchestral works for his own instrument. Hear that to good effect in this concert, where he plays Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.” (NYT – DAVID ALLEN)

Keyon Harrold and Friends (Jan. 15-18)
The Blue Note / 8PM, 10:30PM, $20–$35
In the fall Mr. Harrold released a bold, expansive album, “The Mugician.” It finds his trumpet coaxing an electrified ensemble into all sorts of approaches — slow-jam, vague Caribbean groove, contemporary jazz balladry — then tearing into them with animated, inventive soloing. He will draw on that material here, likely with special guests. (The album features a long list of guest vocalists, and when he played the Blue Note last January, Mr. Harrold brought along the rapper Big K.R.I.T. and the vocalist Bilal.)” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Intelligence Squared US Debates: Unresolved, The Economy
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 7PM, $40
“The U.S. economy is rolling along, but the recent tax bill follows a recipe that led to 1929 and 2008. Get both sides of the story as six experts join Intelligence Squared US Debates to talk protectionism, deregulation, and whether the stock market is too high.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Who Are You, Really?: The Surprising Puzzle of Personality
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7PM, $29
“Why does my introverted partner become a raging extrovert whenever we dine in Brooklyn? Why was my brutish and curt brother so extraordinarily sweet over the holidays? You say I have not been myself recently. Who else could I possibly be?

These kinds of questions get to the heart of how each of us is, in certain respects, like others, yet also like no other person. They underscore the powerful but subtle ways in which personality shapes our lives. Dr. Brian Little, author of Who Are You, Really?, poses important questions about well-being, authenticity and how we relate to others, revealing human personality as complex, frustrating, hilarious, noble and massively consequential.”

BONUS:

Broadway Week begins in New York today! Get two-for-one tickets to your favorite shows, from Chicago to Wicked

“NYC Broadway Week and NYC Restaurant Week will overlap this winter, creating the perfect storm of events where you can sit down indoors.

NYC Broadway Week begins first with two-for-one tickets to the best shows from January 16 through February 4. NYC Restaurant Week joins in on January 22, and it runs through February 9, offering lunches for $29 and dinner for $42.”

See TONY magazine:  Your guide to combining NYC Broadway Week and NYC Restaurant Week

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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)

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)>mm

Today:

An Act of Defiance , Directed by Jean van de Velde – 3:30PM

The Cousin , Directed by Tzahi Grad – 8:45PM

The Impure, Directed by Daniel Najenson – 1:15PM, 6:30PM

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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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