NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/15) + 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-February”
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:

ROMEO + JULIET (Feb.13 – 23)
New York City Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30+
“In defiance of its tragic ending, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet remains the greatest romance of all time, demonstrating the power of love in its many forms. Peter Martins’ staging of this eternal classic, set to Prokofiev’s glorious accompaniment, embraces naïve excitement, betrayal, despair, and steadfast resolution, emphasizing the innocence and youthful optimism of its two heroes while proving that even in death true love cannot be overcome.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS
>> Javon Jackson
>>Marilyn Maye
>>Il Trovatore
>> Penny Arcade: Longing Lasts Longer
>>The Miracle of Mindful Meditation
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS
at Radio City Music Hall / 8PM, $
“Noel Gallagher once told The New York Times that Oasis would have seen much more success in this country if their lead singer, his brother Liam, hadn’t flaked on a crucial 1996 tour: “That killed us stone dead in America. We never recovered.” The English guitarist and songwriter will face no such obstacle on his latest tour of the United States with this band, whose 2017 album, “Who Built the Moon?,” is a pleasantly psychedelic romp. And while some Oasis fans may miss the intraband drama of old, Mr. Gallagher has proved repeatedly in the eight years since going solo that he is a highly entertaining frontman in his own right.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

Javon Jackson (Feb.15-17)
Iridium, 1650 Broadway, at 51st St/ 8PM, $30+
“A champion of the rugged tenor-saxophone tradition of such masters as Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Joe Henderson, Jackson came up through the jazz boot camps of Art Blakey and Elvin Jones, and he wears his rigorous training proudly. These days he’s not averse to dipping into R. & B. and funk, the better to reveal his soulful inclinations.” (NewYorker)

Marilyn Maye (Feb.15-18)
With vocalist Marilyn Maye, and pianist Tedd Firth
Dizzy’s Cub, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $
“Singer, actress, and living legend Marilyn Maye is the “Queen of Cabaret,” an iconic entertainer whom Ella Fitzgerald famously praised as one of her favorite singers. She’s shared the stage with artists like Count Basie and Charlie Parker, and she appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson an unprecedented 76 times. Maye has been a recent audience favorite at Dizzy’s Club and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual galas, and in October 2017 she headlined four sets in The Appel Room. She now returns to our most intimate venue for a run that’s likely to sell out in advance. Join us at Dizzy’s and enjoy a true entertainer, one of the remaining geniuses from the “golden age of show business” who remains as sharp and effective as ever.”

Il Trovatore (LAST DAY)
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.”

Penny Arcade: Longing Lasts Longer
Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE, might get there early for a seat.
“Join legendary downtown performance artist, actress, poet, and theater maker Penny Arcade, a.k.a. Susana Ventura, for a night of word-driven entertainment showcasing her highly quotable wit and authentic spirit.

Penny Arcade debuted in 1968 at age 18 with New York’s Play-House of the Ridiculous, the seminal rock ‘n’ roll, queer, glitter/glam political theater. She became a Warhol Superstar at 19 and was featured in the 1972 Warhol/Morrissey comedy Women in Revolt. She is the author of ten full-length works and hundreds of solo performance pieces.”

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

The Miracle of Mindful Meditation
Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Ave./ 6:30PM, $40
East and West will both be represented as the next Asia Society and Museum “Buddhism and Beyond” session takes a look at mindful meditation. Tibetan Buddhist scholar Dr. Thupten Jinpa and ABC News anchor Dan Harris (Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics) explain the practice itself and “how to rewire a hyperactive brain.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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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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