NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/01) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

“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.


Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

at Carnegie Hall / 8PM, $55+
“Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg had one of the great romances of the 20th century, expressed through two decades’ worth of sly, decadent French love songs — from the succès de scandale of “Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus” in 1969 through “Amours des Feintes,” released less than a year before Mr. Gainsbourg’s death in 1991. In recent years, Ms. Birkin has crisscrossed the world performing new orchestral arrangements of her late ex-lover’s music. “It’s a wonderful feeling, but equally sad, because the most beautiful songs were written when I left him,” she told The New York Times in November. At this Carnegie Hall show, she will be backed by the Wordless Music Orchestra, with a special guest appearance from Rufus Wainwright, one of Mr. Gainsbourg’s greatest stylistic heirs. It’s sure to be a night of bittersweet beauty and high wit.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)


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

>> Losers Lounge: Tribute to Barbra Streisand
>> Jamison Ross
>>Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci
>> Anna Meredith


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Losers Lounge: Tribute to Barbra Streisand (Feb.01-03)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7pm, 9:30pm; $30
The celebrated, stalwart NYC covers act turns its collective hand to the oeuvre of the one and only Barbra Streisand. Thanks to her last studio album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, Streisand is the only artist in history to have Billboard chart–topping records in six separate decades, so the Losers will have no shortage of material to work with.” (TONY)

Jamison Ross
The Jazz Standard / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $30
“The winner of the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for the drums, Jamison Ross continues his graceful, gradual transition as a top-flight jazz singer on his excellent second full-length for Concord, All for One. The 29-year-old cites the 1964 Marvin Gaye LP When I’m Alone I Cry as a key influence here, but it’s his current home of New Orleans that ultimately proves to be the creative beacon for this collection of cool covers and poignant originals.

Renditions of Alan Toussaint’s 1966 hit for Lee Dorsey (“A Mellow Time”) and the 1993 Willie Tee single that serves as the title cut emit a sweet, soulful sentiment — something at the intersection of Donny Hathaway and the Neville Brothers. Nods to such early-twentieth-century greats as Kurt Weill (“My Ship”) and Fats Waller (“Let’s Sing Again”) add further credence to Ross’s growth as a singer and bandleader beyond the drumstand. If you’re a fan of the bold paths vocal jazz is taking in 2018, you should make a point to see Ross during his four-night stand at the Standard.” (Ron Hart, Village Voice)

Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $25+
“Roberto Alagna takes on the leading tenor roles in both parts of opera’s most popular double bill. In Cavalleria Rusticana, Ekaterina Semenchuk and Eva-Maria Westbroek share the role of the woebegone Santuzza, with Aleksandra Kurzak as the hot-blooded Nedda in Pagliacci. Nicola Luisotti conducts Sir David McVicar’s production, which heightens the melo-dramaticaction of this timeless verismo pairing.”

Anna Meredith
Le Poisson Rouge / 8PM, $15
“Anna Meredith is a composer and performer whose music manages to exist in the netherworld between classical and modern. While audiences in the former category struggled to understand her, Meredith found a home among other category-defying acts who’ve made their way in the indie world, like Owen Pallett and Sigur Rós. Her slightly hallucinogenic tracks sound like classical that’s been twisted and released with unfamiliar kaleidoscopic patterns. The Guardian calls her innovative songs “majestic bangers”; it’s not hard to imagine one of them sampled on a hit rap song.” (Sophie Weiner, Village Voice)

MARY HALVORSON (Jan. 30-Feb. 4).
at the Stone / 8:30PM, $
“Ms. Halvorson — whose crinkly, caustic sound makes her one of the most distinctive guitarists in improvised music — will begin her weeklong residency at the Stone with aa triplicate of duets. She’ll play with the drummer Randy Peterson on Tuesday, the guitarist Liberty Ellman on Wednesday and the guitarist Ben Monder on Thursday. On Feb. 2, she expands to a trio (with John Hébert on bass and Ches Smith on drums); over weekend she plays with a different quartet each night.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Please come back for smart stuff events tomorrow.


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


Continuing Events

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)

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


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.

Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(5 underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. South,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — / 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.

♦ 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 2016.  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):


A PremierPub / West Village

Corner Bistro 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $6.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk 2 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
“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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