NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/28) + 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:

New York City Ballet
NYS (dhk) Theater, Lincoln Center / 3PM, $30+
Today: All Balanchine No. 1
Apollo (Stravinsky)
Mozartiana (Tschaikovsky)
Cortège Hongrois (Glazounov)
“Drawing from a canon of over 400 works, this remarkable assemblage spans the breadth of Balanchine’s career. One of his earliest international successes, Apollo presents the young god as he is ushered into adulthood by the muses of poetry, mime, and dance, and Mozartiana, one of his last masterpieces, begins quietly before building to pure exhilaration. A magnificent pageant, Cortège Hongrois blossoms from a folk-stylized processional to a classical grand pas de deux.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)

>> WAYNE ESCOFFERY QUARTET
>> Anthony Rapp: Unplugged
>>Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage
>> BroadwayCon
>> The New York Times Travel Show
>> Colleen Eren–Bernie Madoff and The Crisis: The Public Trial of Capitalism

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Anthony Rapp: Unplugged
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 11:30PM, $50
“One of Broadway’s most celebrated rock and rollers, Anthony Rapp (Broadway’s If/Then; Six Degrees of Separation; Rent; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown) brings his Unplugged evening of stories and songs to Feinstein’s/54 Below with musical director Dan Weiss. Unplugged audiences can expect to hear some of the great songs that have inspired Anthony. And what evening with Anthony Rapp would be complete without hearing some iconic songs from Rent and Hedwig & The Angry Inch?”

“Original Rent boy Rapp shares some of his favorite songs, as well as a few numbers from his many forays onto the musical-theater stage.” (TONY)

WAYNE ESCOFFERY QUARTET (Jan. 26-28)
at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $38
“Mr. Escoffery, a tenor saxophonist of fluid and beaming power, is celebrating the release of “Vortex,” an album recorded with his longstanding quartet. That group — an impressive mainline jazz ensemble, with Dave Kikoski on piano, Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Ralph Peterson on drums — appears here, playing the Escoffery originals featured on the recording.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage (Jan 25-28)
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $
“With tenor saxophonist/bass clarinetist/flutist Craig Handy, trombonist Jay Ashby, pianist/accordionist Julian Shore, vocalist Fabiana Masili, percussionist Fernando Saci, and bassist/cavaquinho player/percussionist Nilson Matta

Nilson Matta is well known as the world-class bassist of Trio da Paz, but his solo career as a composer and bandleader is equally noteworthy. His albums are thoughtful aural masterpieces featuring lush harmonies and contemporary Brazilian rhythms. “Brazilian Voyage” is an apt title for tonight’s performance, as Matta’s expert knowledge of Brazilian jazz unfolds as a varied journey through the music’s traditions and contemporary explorations, demonstrating an evolution in which he continues to play a major role.”

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

BroadwayCon
Javits Center / 10AM, $90
“Become a theater expert at BroadwayCon in NYC this weekend.
It’s the last day of BroadwayCon in New York! Head over to the Javits Center to meet your favorite theater stars, buy souvenirs and attend workshops. It will have panels, performances and meet-and-greets with the biggest Broadway stars. Sunday includes a class where you can make a 3-D model of a theater set, and it concludes with a look at upcoming Broadway shows in 2018 that should be on your radar.” (TONY)

The New York Times Travel Show
Javits Center / 10am, $20
“Celebrating 15 years, the New York Times Travel Show is back with more than 550 exhibitors sharing tips of the trade. There will be live seminars featuring Zac Posen, Andrew Zimmern, Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer and others; cultural performances; culinary demonstrations and tastings; travel advice; travel deals and more. Receive a special discount of $5 off your ticket purchase with code SOCIAL.”

Sunday Meeting | Colleen Eren–Bernie Madoff and The Crisis: The Public Trial of Capitalism
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St./ 11AM, FREE
“Utilizing critical sociology, criminal justice professor Colleen Eren speaks about her new book, Bernie Madoff and The Crisis: The Public Trial of Capitalism, which looks at the response to the financial crime of the century and our broader tendencies to blame individuals instead of systems./“ (ThoughtGallery.org)

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PLUS It’s the last day for the Winter Antiques Show, which ran 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 began this week on Monday.

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 16 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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