NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/29) + 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-March”
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:

CRY CRY CRY
at the Town Hall / 8PM, $45+
“In the late 1990s, three well-liked folk singer-songwriters — Dar Williams, Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky — formed this group, releasing one album of cover songs before going their separate ways. Writing about one of their concerts in The New York Times in 1999, the critic Ann Powers noted that “Cry Cry Cry epitomized the pleasure that can come from songcraft’s momentary resolutions.” This is the recently reunited trio’s first concert in New York City since then, and it should offer that pleasure in abundance.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Ravi Coltrane
>> António Zambujo
>> Michael Feinstein
>> BOBBY MCFERRIN SPIRITYOUALL
>>Whatever Happened to the Ides of March?
Continuing Events
>> New Directors/New Films
>>STREB EXTREME ACTION
>>Macy’s Flower Show
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Ravi Coltrane (Mar.28-31)
Jazz Standard / 7:30pm, 9:30pm; $30
Expect plenty of inside-outside postbop intrigue here, as the subtly commanding sax star distills the innovative spirit from his jazz-royalty legacy into a distinctly modern style with a killer trio. Keep an eye for a rotating bill of special guests: Pharaoh Sanders’s son Tomoki Sanders (Mar 28), Brandee Younger (Mar 30), and Ralph Alessi (April 1).”(TONY)

António Zambujo
Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center/ 7:30PM, FREE, but get there early for a seat.
“António Zambujo is a singer of brilliant subtlety and elegance. Considered an innovative pioneer as well as an heir to traditional fado, his popularity as a singer and guitarist in Portugal and abroad comes from a restless curiosity of musical influences from fado to bossa nova and jazz to French chanson. Born in the Alentejo region of Portugal, he grew up listening to the cante alentejano—choirs of men and women who sing of the land on which they work, local saints, and lost love.

In 2002, he was deemed the “Best New Fado Voice” by Radio Nova FM and the “Best Male Fado Singer” by the Amália Rodrigues Foundation in 2006. His eighth CD, Até Pensei que Fosse Minha (Until I Thought It Was Mine) is a tribute to the songs of Brazil’s Chico Buarque, one of the great singer-songwriters in the Portuguese language.”

Michael Feinstein
Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St./
Feinstein is going to have to walk a very fine line as he celebrates the sexist, boozing, and crass-as-they-wanted-to-be kings of the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. It’s fortunate that each was a masterly singer who embraced some of the most durable standards still heard today. Feinstein will be supported by the Tedd Firth Big Band and joined by guest singers including Clint Holmes.” (NewYorker)

BOBBY MCFERRIN SPIRITYOUALL (March 23-April 1)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30PM, $55-$75
“Since the 1980s, audiences have known Mr. McFerrin as a virtuoso vocalist who can deliver entire captivating sets without any accompaniment. But when he’s with his Spirityouall band, Mr. McFerrin discovers untold possibilities in the rootsy, molten arrangements of Gil Goldstein, the ensemble’s pianist and musical director. Spirityouall has a smartly tailored aesthetic, but Mr. McFerrin complicates and provokes it — sounding shots of vocal percussion, modulating the flow, coaxing kinetics out of languor. Here Mr. Goldstein helms a five-piece band, and Mr. McFerrin is joined on vocals by his daughter, Madison, a notable talent in her own right.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Whatever Happened to the Ides of March?
Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Ave./ 6:30PM, $15
“What became of Roman time? Roger S. Wieck, curator of Now and Forever: The Art of Medieval Time, joins Alexander Jones, Leon Levy Director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, to explain the timekeeping of the Romans and how it evolved in the Middle Ages.”

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.
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Continuing Events

New Directors/New Films (March 28 through April 8.)
Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA, / various times, $12-$17
“Delightfully eccentric.
In its 47th year, ND/NF opens with a portrait of freewheeling rapper M.I.A., Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., drawing on videos she made herself, and features Portuguese director Pedro Pinho’s three-hour The Nothing Factory — an epic portrait of an elevator-factory strike with musical numbers.” (D.E., NYMagazine)

Love this festival. After the film screens, the Q&A with the directors and cast (sometimes) is always fascinating. Who knows, you may discover the next Pedro Almodovar – we did.

Visit the Macy’s Flower Show
“It’s a floral fairy tale at Macy’s for the store’s annual spring flower show, “Once Upon a Springtime.” Flowers, plants and trees take over windows and countertops, are featured in gardens and on bridges on multiple floors. Events range from a family fun day and breakfast with the Easter bunny to a sip-and-paint class and a men’s grooming and beer tasting.”
WHEN | WHERE Sunday, March 25, through April 8 at Macy’s Herald Square, 151 W. 34th St.
INFO Free (events range up to $24), 212-494-4495, macys.com/social/flower-show/new-york  (Newsday)

This is not Manhattan’s WestSide, but it is Brooklyn’s WestSide. If you have never seen these crazy, fearless performers, they are well worth the detour:

STREB EXTREME ACTION (March 2- April 8, Friday-Sunday at various times)
at SLAM, 51 N 1st St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
“Elizabeth Streb’s cavernous Brooklyn space is known as SLAM (Streb Lab for Action Mechanics), which is also a frequent move that occurs at one of her shows. For the month of March, her fearless team of action heroes, as they’re called, will navigate intimidating industrial contraptions and fling themselves from unnatural heights, seemingly defying physics with the pep of cheerleaders. The hourlong show, “S.E.A.” (“Singular Extreme Actions”), encapsulates all the thrill, humor and energizing fun that makes this company so singular.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

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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. Hit the Hot Link and check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
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
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not exactly WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,

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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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 FALL 2018).
◊ Order before NOV.30, 2018 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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