NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/22) + 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-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:

Guillermo Klein y los Guachos (May 22-27)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30, +10:30PM, $35+
Ahead of the curve in the nineteen-nineties, when he initially convened his own large ensembles, this ambitious composer, arranger, pianist, and vocalist continues to thwart big-band conventions. Klein’s music delights in shifting time signatures, rich tonalities, and arresting multicultural influences, attracting some of the most farsighted improvisers around, including Miguel Zenon, Ben Monder, and Taylor Haskins.” (NewYorker)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> AMERICAN BALLET THEATER
>> GALLIM/ANDREA MILLER
>> Parsons Dance
>> Oneohtrix Point Never
>> Dine Around Downtown
Continuing Events
>> Mad. Sq. Eats
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

GALLIM/ANDREA MILLER (May 22-24)
at the Met Breuer / at various times).
“In the premiere of “(C)arbon,” Ms. Miller works with the filmmaker Ben Stamper, the composer Will Epstein and the costume designer Jose Solis to create a six-day performance installation. Inspired by the museum’s exhibition “Like Life: Sculpture, Color and the Body (1300-Now),” Ms. Miller uses three gallery spaces to reveal three aspects related to the body: as an individual, as a partner and as part of a collective group. This installation concludes her yearlong residency with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” (NYT)

Parsons Dance (May 15-27)
Joyce Theater/ 7:30PM, $56+
“David Parsons and his company return to the Joyce with a mixed bill that comprises four pieces by Parsons himself—Wolfgang, Whirlaway, world premiere Microburst and company favorite Caught—as well as the company premiere of Trey McIntyre’s Ma Maison, set to music by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.” (TONY)

Oneohtrix Point Never
Park Avenue Armory, Wade Thompson Drill Hall / 9PM, $40
“Daniel Lopatin claims that the acronymic title of his new site-specific Oneohtrix Point Never project, MYRIAD, which has its world premiere Tuesday, signifies “My Record = Internet Addiction Disorder.” A multimedia spectacle, or “hyperstitial ‘concertscape,’ ” that also involves aspects of François Rabelais’s sixteenth-century Gargantua and Pantagruel novels, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, MYRIAD will use the armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall in its entirety and feature music from a new album: Age Of evokes our apocalyptic Anthropocene amid arrangements of harpsichords, Kelsey Lu’s cello, OPN’s signature blurry sonic smears, and the occasional Bruce Cockburn–ish vocal.

While Age Of doesn’t pack quite the lysergic punch of Lopatin’s Cannes-winning score for last year’s terrific Safdie brothers film Good Time, MYRIAD might well be the best bad time you enjoy all year.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

AMERICAN BALLET THEATER (Thru July 7)
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 6:30PM, $35+
“This weekend, the company wrapped up its performances of “Giselle,” the first full-length ballet of the season. On Monday night, the spring gala unveils a pièce d’occasion by the tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance. Set to recorded music by the Brooklyn acoustic ensemble Dawn of Midi, it features 15 dancers. The evening also includes excerpts from Alexei Ratmansky’s “Harlequinade,” with Isabella Boylston as Columbine and James Whiteside as Harlequin. The week continues with a new program pairing Wayne McGregor’s “AfteRite” — his premiere set to Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” — and Mr. Ratmansky’s “Firebird.” (NYT)

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

Dine Around Downtown
“Food festivals are a dime a dozen in New York City, and Dine Around Downtown is no exception. The lunchtime fest will host 40 downtown restaurants purveying their goods in 28 Liberty from 11am—3pm on Tuesday, May 22. Although you can sample dishes from big names like Brushstroke, Blue Ribbon Bakery and Delmonico’s, the vendor with the longest line will most definitely be Manhatta, Danny Meyer’s newly announced but not-quite-open-yet restaurant.

In case you haven’t heard about the Walt Whitman-inspired spot, the first thing you should know is that it will be on the freakin’ 60th floor of that very same 28 Liberty building, lending the space some pretty delicious views (we’re sure the food will be alright, too). Although we don’t know what will be on the menu yet, we do know that the kitchen will be helmed by chef Jason Pfeifer, who has worked at spots like Noma and Per Se. The restaurant is expected to open this summer. “ (TONY)

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Continuing Events

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

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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 closed BBKing’s 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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