NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/10) + 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-MAY”
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:

Thornetta Davis, Detroit’s Queen of the Blues
Lincoln Center, Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway and 62nd St.
7:30PM, FREE, but get there early for a seat.
“Davis brings her powerful voice, tight band, and electrifying live show to New York City. A major force in the Detroit music scene since the mid-1980s, she has won a total of 30 Detroit Music Awards; been inducted into the Detroit Music Hall of Fame; opened for B.B. King, Ray Charles, Etta James, and Bonnie Raitt (to name just a few); and performed alongside Kid Rock and Bob Seger.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Bill Charlap
>> LIMÓN DANCE COMPANY
>> Fred Hersch Duos
>> Australian Short Film Today 2018
>> The Way It Was: My Life with Frank Sinatra
>> Scars of Independence
>> Secret Science of Agave Spirits
Continuing Events
>> Hudson Yards Shed
>> Red Bull Music Festival
>> Mad. Sq. Eats
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Bill Charlap (May 8-19.)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“There’s a deep soul in the machine that is the Bill Charlap Trio, a precision engine that mates the lyrical and expressive pianist with his joined-at-the-hip partners, the bassist Peter Washington and the drummer Kenny Washington. A special treat finds Charlap playing solo at an early set.” (NewYorker)

LIMÓN DANCE COMPANY (May 8-13)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $45+
“The company returns to the Joyce with a revival of José Limón’s “Missa Brevis,” an emotionally stirring work from 1958 set to Zoltán Kodály’s “Missa Brevis in Tempore Belli.” Joining the group are the guest dancers Carolina Avendano and Terry Springer, of Venezuela’s Coreoarte, along with Kristen Foote and Julian Nichols. The program also includes Limón’s “The Unsung,” performed by an all-male cast; “The Body Is a House Without Walls,” for an all-female cast by the troupe’s artistic director, Colin Connor; and three short works by the choreographers Rosie Herrera, Adam Barruch and Yin Yue.” (NYT)

Fred Hersch Duos
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 9:30PM, $35
“When it comes to intimate duets, the pianist Hersch, a brilliant soloist and a dynamic trio head, is also the perfect host. In what has become a highlight of the jazz year, Hersch will find common ground with special guests; this year’s partners include the clarinettist Anat Cohen, the singer Kate McGarry, and the bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding.” (NewYorker)

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

Australian Short Film Today 2018
Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Ave./ 6:30PM, $12
“Asia Society, the long-time home base in New York City for Australian Short Film Today, is proud to present this annual screening. The 90 minute program features eclectic short films from Down Under, ranging from wry Australian humor, dark comedy, live action drama and clever animation.

This year’s presentation will include legendary Australian filmmaker Jane Campion’s 1982 student film, An Exercise in Discipline – Peel, which won the best short film prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986. This recently remastered version of Peel is courtesy of Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).”

The Way It Was: My Life with Frank Sinatra
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 12PM, $29
“For decades, Eliot Weisman was an advisor, a confidant and at times a psychiatrist and protector of some of the most notable names in entertainment.

Sinatra was his “Boss” from 1975 through 1998. Weisman shared with Sinatra his most transformative memories and came to know Sinatra’s friends and family intimately. Join us for a candid and eye-opening inside look at the final decades of Sinatra’s life told by this longtime manager and friend.”

Scars of Independence
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 6:30PM, $10
Presented by Holger Hoock*
“Although the American Revolution is often portrayed as an orderly, restrained rebellion, with brave patriots defending their noble ideals against an oppressive empire, that may be far from the truth.

In his deep research of America’s founding, author Holger Hoock finds that the Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles, but also a profoundly violent civil war—one that shaped the nation, and the British Empire, in ways we have only begun to understand.”

MM

Secret Science of Agave Spirits
Museum of Food and Drink / 6:30PM, $35
“For its Wild Foods and Spring Spirits 2018 series, the Museum of Food and Drink will dive deep into the world of Mexican booze with Secret Science of Agave Spirits. Leading the discussion will be Rachel Meyer, whose uniquely qualified to do so. She’s not only a botanist and the University of California Conservation Genomics Consortium’s executive director but the co-owner of Shoots & Roots Bitters. On the menu: current knowledge of production methods and how research and traditional knowledge in Mexico can inform our understanding of how climate change might affect these boozy traditions. Drinks will be served in the form of straight agave spirits and cocktails from Don Lee, who’s opening a new bar with MOFAD’s Dave Arnold.”

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Continuing Events

Hudson Yards Shed (May 01-13)

“Hudson Yards continues to transform before our eyes with an ever-growing list of new sites, such as Vessel, the beehive-like public landmark that’s New York’s answer to the Eiffel Tower. But the largest and most exciting cultural contribution to the far West Side is the Shed, a multi-arts performance venue opening in spring 2019. To provide a sneak peak of what’s to come, the entertainment center presents a free art series, just a block away from its home base. Dubbed A Prelude to the Shed, the two-week event is being held at a structure that has been designed to change fluidly as dancers and guests move about.

Aside from exhibiting “A Stroll Through the Fun Palace,” which showcases the archives of Cedric Price (an inspiration to the architects of the Shed), the main event boasts a killer lineup of entertainers for the evening performances. On select nights, check out R&B singer Abra, electronic-music producer and performer Arca, and the New York rapper-singer Azealia Banks.

Beyond the lit musical performances, there’s plenty of art and dance to catch, too. Artist Tino Sehgal’s This variation seamlessly intertwines throughout the day with ​William Forsythe’s new work, ​titled​ Pas de Deux Cent Douze​. There’s also ​D.R.E.A.M. Ring dance battles organized by dancer Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray​. Chances are, you’ll feel encouraged to bust a move and shake your tail feather along with them—especially if you hit the grab-and-go café for beer and wine beforehand.” (TONY)

Mad. Sq. Eats (May 07-31)
General Worth Square (5th Ave btw 25/26 St.) / near Madison Square Park
11AM-9PM; FREE
“Twice a year, this outdoor food fest brings buzzworthy bites from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District. Highlights include Roberta’s sensational pizza, MeltKraft grilled cheese sandwiches and cheesesteaks by the Truffleist.” (TONY)

“Mad. Sq. Eats brings the diverse flavors of the city’s best restaurants and food entrepreneurs to Worth Square, a prime location in the heart of New York’s historic Flatiron District. The highly anticipated bi-annual event draws hungry crowds of neighborhood residents, workers, and tourists who enjoy this unique opportunity to savor offerings from buzzworthy eateries.”

2018 Vendor List
Burger & Lobster / Jicama / Renegade Lemonade /
the Truffleist / Mayhem Sandwiches / Gotham Poke & Hawaiian Kitchen / Bao by Kaya / La Sonrisa / Frida’s Favorites / Roberta’s /
Duck Season / Daa! Dumplings / Mr. Bing / Baked Cheese Haus / Chick’NCone / Arancini Bros / Top Hops Beer Shop / CousCous /
Melt Ice cream Sandwiches / Ice & Vice / Palenque Arepas /
Coney Shack / Korilla / Casa Toscana / Enfes NYC

“The innovative Red Bull Music Festival (May 03-25) returns for the sixth year with a lineup as diverse as the city itself. This Friday, catch a performance by cult musician John Maus at Deno’s Wonder Wheel, Saturday, see a conversation with Harry Belafonte, and on Sunday, see Brooklyn-based experimental R&B and gospel artist Serpentwithfeet in the Refectory at the High Line Hotel. Beginning Friday, you can also catch an exhibition by hip-hop pioneer and cult artist RAMMΣLLZΣΣ.” (NYMagazine)

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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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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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