NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/22) + 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:

RAY ANGRY, WARREN WOLF AND FRIENDS (Jan. 22-24)
at Blue Note / 8 & 10:30PM, $20-$35
“Mr. Angry, a powerful pianist, tends toward soul-influenced, sparkling forms of contemporary jazz; Mr. Wolf hews more closely to a straight-ahead style. Together for three nights at the Blue Note, they will convene a rotating cast of all-star collaborators. The band will be different every evening; some of the big names on deck include the trumpeter Sean Jones, the saxophonists Tia Fuller and James Carter, and the drummer Marcus Gilmore.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Il Trovatore
>>MAJID JORDAN
>> Lyrics & Lyricists: The Bobby Darin Story
>> Tom Harrell
>>Bill Chats: Salman Rushdie
>>From Napster to Netflix: A History of Media From 1999 to Today
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Il Trovatore (Jan 22-Feb 15; next performance Jan.26, 8PM)
The Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $
“Sir David McVicar’s production of Verdi’s thrilling depiction of life on the edgeexhilarating production features Jennifer Rowley as the noble heroine, Leonora, Yonghoon Lee as the troubadour who loves her, Quinn Kelsey as his rival, and Anita Rachvelishvili as the Gypsy Azucena, whose bloodthirsty curse propels the story.”

Elsewhere, but this one looks worth the detour.

MAJID JORDAN
at Brooklyn Steel / 8PM, $35
“This pair of Canadian R&B craftsmen co-wrote Drake’s 2013 hit “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” thereby ensuring that you likely know the contours of their sound whether you realize it or not. In October, Majid Jordan released a well-received new album, “The Space Between,” full of songs that float as pleasantly as perfume in a very fancy nightclub. After a sold-out Terminal 5 show on Saturday, the duo will cross the East River for this Monday night performance.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

Lyrics & Lyricists: The Bobby Darin Story (Jan.20-22)
92nd Street Y / Sun. 2, +7PM, Mon. 2, +7:30PM, $85
“Celebrate the music of celebrated 1960s nightclub and pop entertainer Bobby Darin for three days only as two-time Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (Hamilton) and four other singers take on Darin hits including “Splish Splash,” “Dream Lover” and “Mack the Knife.” Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) directs a show, scripted by new L&L leader Ted Chapin, that covers the singer’s meteoric rise and tragically early death.” (TONY)

Tom Harrell (Jan. 16-23)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“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)

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

Bill Chats: Salman Rushdie
New York Live Arts, 219 W. 19th St./ 7PM, $10+
“The second Bill Chats will feature Bill T. Jones in conversation with British-Indian author and essayist Salman Rushdie.”

Elsewhere, but this looks way cool, worth the detour.

From Napster to Netflix: A History of Media From 1999 to Today
Prospect Heights Brainery, 190 Underhill Ave., Prospect Heights / 6PM, $12
“Since the launch of Napster in 1999, there has been a massive transformation in how we create and consume media. This class charts the waves of change over the past two decades.

We’ll start by looking at the tools and technology that underpin the digital revolution. We’ll then trace what’s happened in four areas: music, print, moving image (tv and film) and the operating systems that run our devices. Along the way we’ll discuss the long tail, piracy, streaming, eBooks, YouTube stars and more. We’ll talk about the upstarts and the big winners; about what has been lost and what has been gained.

Finally, we will talk about how 2017 is a tipping point for another accelerating wave of change in what we create, watch, read and hear.”

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PLUS the Winter Antiques Show, which will run from the 19th to the 28th. Head to the Park Avenue Armory to find one-of-a-kind finds from 70 exhibitors.” (UntappedCities)

BONUS:

Broadway Week began last week! Get two-for-one tickets to your favorite shows, from Chicago to Wicked.  NYC Restaurant Week begins TODAY.

Try  a double header. “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

‘MICHELANGELO: DIVINE DRAFTSMAN AND DESIGNER’
Metropolitan Museum of Art (through Feb. 12).

”A monument to a monument. With 133 drawings by the beyond-famous artist on loan from some 50 front-rank collections, this show is a curatorial coup and an art historical tour de force: a panoptic view of a titanic career as recorded in the most fragile of media: paper, chalk and ink. And it demands that you be fully present. Drawing is more than a graphic experience; it’s a textural one, about the pressure of crayon and pen on a page; the subliminal fade and focus of lines; the weave and shadow-creating swells of surfaces. These are effects that can’t be captured by a smartphone.” (Cotter-NYT)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

The art world has been agog about this exhibition for sometime. One critic after another exclaims that it is the “Exhibition of a lifetime!” The hype has been over the top. Usually that means you’ll be disappointed when you actually experience it, because it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. Not this time.

This is a huge and marvelous exhibition that shows the evolution of Michelangelo from a young artist to a mature, divine genius. An exhibition that you will remember for sometime. Even the works of other artists that are included for contrast and context are amazing.

Here are a few reviews from the critics to give you a fuller flavor of this exhibition. They strongly encourage you to make the time to see this “once in a lifetime” exhibition. I also encourage you to see it.

Only 22 days left, because the exhibition closes February 12, and that last week it will probably be crazy packed.

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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.

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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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