NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/04) + 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-April”
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:

John Scofield (April 3-8.)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10;30PM, $20-$35
You never really know what direction this jazz-guitar avatar is headed; a recent venture found him teaming up with the all-star Hudson quartet to reinvent some nineteen-sixties rock classics. Wherever his fancy leads him, it’s certain that Scofield will exhibit the deliciously twisting lines and sweet-meets-nasty tone that are his calling cards.” (NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Dance Theatre of Harlem
>> Così fan tutte
>> MARY HALVORSON
>> Dada Masilo/The Dance Factory
>> Renee Rosnes
>> AMNH Presents, SciCafe: Seeing Is Believing
>> Kolkata Calcutta — Photographed by Fionn Reilly
Continuing Events
>> New Directors/New Films
>> New York International Auto Show
>>Macy’s Flower Show
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Dance Theatre of Harlem
New York City Center / 7PM, $25+
“Three premieres; four performances; seven choreographers spanning more than a century of ballet and contemporary dance tradition; and tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., dance diva Carmen de Lavallade, and civil rights leader Xernona Clayton comprise the too-short season of this remarkable troupe, now under the artistic direction of Virginia Johnson. Included are works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Marius Petipa, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Diane McIntyre, the company’s resident choreographer and school director Robert Garland, and Geoffrey Holder (whose fantastical marriage ceremony Dougla returns to the New York stage after too many years away).” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

Così fan tutte (Mar 15-Apr 19, next April 7)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $
“A winning cast comes together for Phelim McDermott’s clever vision of Mozart’s comedy about the sexes, set in a carnival-esque, funhouse environment inspired by 1950s Coney Island—complete with bearded ladies, fire eaters, and a Ferris wheel. Manipulating the action are the Don Alfonso of Christopher Maltman and the Despina of Tony Award–winner Kelli O’Hara, with Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Ben Bliss, and Adam Plachetka as the pairs of young lovers who test each other’s faithfulness. David Robertson conducts.”

MARY HALVORSON (April 3-4)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $30
“Ms. Halvorson’s fraying, sparkplug style makes her as singular a guitarist as they come. As a bandleader and composer, she’s always changing shape. Her latest project is one to seek out: Code Girl, a quintet in which the vocalist Amirtha Kidambi sings lyrics written by Ms. Halvorson. The band is about to release a fine debut album — a mix of indie-rock testimonial, noisy convulsion and warped group improvising — and will celebrate the disc with this two-night run, featuring Ms. Kidambi on vocals, Adam O’Farrill on trumpet (filling in for Ambrose Akinmusire, the group’s regular horn player), Michael Formanek on bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Dada Masilo/The Dance Factory (April 3-8)
Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $35+
South African choreographer Dada Masilo combines classical ballet with traditional African dance in her celebrated version of Giselle, one of the oldest surviving works in the Western canon. Composer Philip Miller combines Adolphe Adam’s nineteenth-century score with African sounds, and a dozen members of Masilo’s troupe, the Dance Factory, bring new life and insights to the classic tale of a peasant girl tempted and betrayed by a member of a royal family, and the eerie revenge she exacts. For the last time this season at the Joyce, you can book a couple of seats for a dollar each, and then pay what you think the show is worth after you see it.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

Renee Rosnes (April 3-8)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“The pianist Rosnes, one of the leading stylists of her generation, has retained core members of her earlier units—the bassist Peter Washington and the vibist Steve Nelson—while adding significant new ones: the drummer Lenny White and the saxophonist Melissa Aldana. The potent concentration of the leader’s compositions, as heard on her ambitious “Written in the Rocks” recording, from 2016, insures the group’s integrity.” (NewYorker)

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

AMNH Presents, SciCafe: Seeing Is Believing
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St., Cullman Hall of the Universe, Enter at 81st Street Entrance / 7PM, FREE
How does our brain allow us to focus on specific objects or locations while blocking out others? How well can our brain multi-task? Neuroscientist Marisa Carrasco explores how our minds process sensory inputs to make sense of the world around us and shape what we see.

Kolkata Calcutta — Photographed by Fionn Reilly
Shakespeare & Co., 939 Lexington Ave. (corner of 69th St.)/ 6:30PM, FREE
“Join photographer Fionn Reilly for the presentation of his book of photographs of Calcutta. Slide show and anecdotes about the photographs will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

Kolkata Calcutta is a superb collection of classic black-and-white, and color photographs of one the world’s most enthralling and mysterious cities as revealed through the lens of photographer Fionn Reilly. Inspired by the films of Kolkata’s celebrated director Satyajit Ray and the great Indian photographer Raghubir Singh, Reilly’s images capture an intense city that exudes a true sense of soul, haunted by its ghosts of empire.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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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.

New York International Auto Show (3/30-4/8)
“The 2018 New York International Auto Show is home to an awe-inspiring display of technology and design, as 1,000 new cars and trucks are arrayed across the acreage of the Javits Convention Center. You can check out all the latest models from a hands-on, driver’s seat vantage. The show also features the hottest exotics, joined by futuristic concept cars and a few shiny classics. Some 60 world and North American debuts can be found at this year’s show! You’ll even leave with a gift bag or two.” (cityguideny)
WHEN | WHERE Friday, March 30, through April 8 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St.
INFO $17, $7 ages 12 and younger, free 2 and younger, autoshowny.com

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)

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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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