NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/22) + 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:

EarthFest at AMNH
American Museum of History (dawn-to-dusk festival)/ $23
“This dawn-to-dusk festival at the American Museum of Natural History will keep you busy all day long. Starting at 7 and 8 a.m., you can take yoga with live music in the Cullman Hall of the Universe and follow that with a tour of the museum by Hugo Award-winning science fiction author N.K. Jemisin or filmmaker Lynette Wallworth. You also can catch a performance by the Chelsea Symphony Orchestra of “Become Ocean” under the blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, and participate in “The Umbrella Project” by dance group Pilobolus. Throughout the museum, there will be live music by Appalachian folk singer Martha Redbone, harpist Ashley Jackson, Abena Koomson-Davis, Secret Drum Band and Lloyd H. Miller. You can also make a musical instrument with recyclables from Bash The Trash. If that wasn’t enough, you can also catch a concert inspired by birds. Some events require reservations.” (amny)

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 7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Dancing the Gods
>>Christian McBride Big Band
>> LAR LUBOVITCH DANCE COMPANY
>> Linda May Han Oh Quintet
>> Artexpo New York
>>Westworld Tour: Journey to the Center of the Maze
>> How Do We Prepare for Trump’s Second Term?
Continuing Events
>> PEN America World Voices Festival
>> The Orchid Show
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Christian McBride Big Band (LAST DAY)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35+
“GRAMMY® Award-winning bassist Christian McBride first composed for big band in 1995 as a commission for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The master musician has since appeared on over 300 recordings and is easily one of the most accomplished bassists alive. Now a leader of his own GRAMMY® Award-winning Big Band, featuring a staggering and diverse lineup of top musicians, McBride simultaneously shows off his compositional talent and unmatched ability to drive a band from behind the bass. This hip new group combines the classic big band sounds of the Swing Era with more than half a century of post-bop influences.”

Dancing the Gods
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 7PM, lecture, 8PM, performance, $35-$40
“Indian dance is highlighted in two nights of exhilarating, evening-length showcases with live music during the annual Dancing the Gods event at Symphony Space. First is Amrita Lahiri, a star of Kuchipidi dance in South India. Sunday is the Dancing Monks of Assam and the Sattriya Dance Company, with traditional worship dances from northeast India. Both offer a pre-show intro to the significance of the dance, followed by a post-show Chat & Chai with the artists.” (METRO)

LAR LUBOVITCH DANCE COMPANY (LAST DAY).
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM, +8PM, $55+
“One of the most enduring names in American modern dance, Lar Lubovitch has been choreographing for half a century. He will honor that remarkable milestone this week with three programs spanning more than 30 years, from “A Brahms Symphony” (1985), performed by students, to the premiere of a new work. Members of the Martha Graham Dance Company will join the anniversary celebration with performances of Mr. Lubovitch’s “The Legend of Ten,” as will dancers from the Joffrey Ballet with a selection from Mr. Lubovitch’s full-length “Othello.” His acclaimed, tender exploration of masculinity in dance, “Men’s Stories: A Concerto in Ruin,” anchors each program.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

Linda May Han Oh Quintet
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30Pm, +10:30PM, $35
“It seems like just yesterday that the Australian bassist Oh was the new kid in town, dazzling listeners with her levitating bass lines; she’s since played with such estimable artists as Kenny Barron and Pat Metheny. Now leading her own unit at this most hallowed of jazz venues, Oh fronts a quintet that includes the saxophonist Ben Wendel, the pianist Fabian Almazan, and the drummer Rudy Royston.” (NewYorker)

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

Westworld Tour: Journey to the Center of the Maze
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St./ 1:30PM, FREE with museum admission
“Pregame for the return of Westworld Sunday night with a Brainwave session featuring the show’s neuroscientific advisor, David Eagleman, and machine learning specialist Pedro Domingos (The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World). After a discussion of our self-programmable-machine future, catch a Westworld-themed tour of the Rubin designed to “leave you questioning how much you really understand about your own mind.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

How Do We Prepare for Trump’s Second Term?
New York Live Arts, 219 W. 19th St./ 3:30PM, $10
“In a remarkably short span of time, President Donald J. Trump has transformed our culture. His achievement is not measured in his ability to build a border wall, heighten mass incarceration, impose a travel ban, or launch a military strike against North Korea. It is that these ideas are now seriously discussed and debated, when two years ago that would have been impossible. Do progressives have a viable and strategic response to his next presidential campaign? Are artists key to helping shape that response? Multimedia artist/activist Betty Yu and other artists will discuss these questions and others.”

Artexpo New York (April 19-22)
Pier 94, 711 12th Avenue / 10AM-8PM, $20
“Each year thousands of art industry insiders flock to Artexpo New York in search of the art and artists that will shape trends in galleries worldwide. Hosting more than 35,000 avid art enthusiasts annually, we’re the largest international gathering of qualified trade buyers—including gallery owners and managers, art dealers, interior designers, architects, corporate art buyers, and art and framing retailers.” (unplugged)

MLB Foodfest (April 21-22)
415 Fifth Ave./ 11 a.m.-9 p.m.,, $25-$40
“Some of the weirdest food comes out of ballparks, and Major League Baseball is bringing some of the greatest hits from all 30 of its venues nationwide to the first-ever MLB Foodfest. Try hometown classics like the Red Sox’s New England Lobster Rolls, fan favorites like whatever the Kurd-Marczuk is at the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park, or real curveballs like the Toasted Grasshoppers from the Mariners’ Safeco Field, plus fun stuff like a Popcorn Pit and a Hot Dog Pit.” (METRO)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This event looks like a lot of fun. So much fun it just SOLD OUT. Use the link to sign up to be on their mailing list for the next one.

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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

PEN America World Voices Festival
Multiple times and venues; Prices vary (LAST DAY)
“In a 2005 article on the first PEN America World Voices Festival, Salman Rushdie wrote of the need for Americans to listen to the voices of the globally oppressed. “Those voices — Arab or Afghan or Latin American or Russian — need to be magnified, so that they can be heard loud and clear just as the Soviet dissidents once were.” This was, of course, long before the 2016 election of Donald Trump, the surge of white nationalist rhetoric into the mainstream discourse, and the global reckoning of the #MeToo movement. This year’s PEN World Voices Festival: Resist and Reimagine promises to interrogate America’s own dissident histories and power dynamics. Click here to peruse the complete schedule.” (Alana Mohamed, VillageVoice)

The Orchid Show (LAST DAY)
New York Botanical Garden; 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx; various dates and times; $20
“Now in its 16th year, this mesmerizing show displays thousands of orchids in geometric, illuminated sculptural presentations. Catch special Orchid evenings for dancing, music and drinks among the flowers.”

“With less than a month left to see the 16th edition of the Orchid Show, there’s no better time to go to the New York Botanical Garden. Marvel over Belgian floral artist Daniël Ost’s wabi-sabi installations, which find beauty in imperfection and impermanence.” (TONY)

The Orchid Show in NYC guide
https://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/orchid-show-nyc-guide

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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
Another outrageous rent increase by a rapacious NYC landlord will close BBKings as of April 29 – How Sad.
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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