NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/30) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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:

Michael Feinstein: Swinging with The Count (May 30-31)
The Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7PM, $75+
“The 2017–18 Jazz & Popular Song series closes with a swinging celebration of Count Basie. Singer, historian, host, director, and all-around entertainer Michael Feinstein provides a glamorous evening of timeless vocal stylings, entertaining anecdotes, and the Tedd Firth Big Band’s irresistible swing. Audiences will be swept away by The Appel Room’s stunning view of the Manhattan skyline while enjoying hits made famous by Count Basie and vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sarah Vaughan, and Bing Crosby.

Special guest singers Ann Hampton Callaway and Kenny Washington will join Feinstein on classics like “One O’Clock Jump,” “April In Paris,” “The Good Life,” and “Everyday I have the Blues,” and the Tedd Firth Big Band’s virtuosic instrumentalists will round out the uplifting and elegant affair. Michael Feinstein’s Jazz & Popular Song is one of our longest-running and most popular concert series, and this event will be a climactic finale to its seventh consecutive season.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Billy Hart Quartet
>>NEW YORK CITY BALLET
>> Marty Ehrlich
>> The Bad Plus
>> AMERICAN BALLET THEATER
>> The 10th annual World Science Festival
Continuing Events
>> Othello 
>> Mad. Sq. Eats
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Billy Hart Quartet (May 29-June 3)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Although the saxophonist Chris Potter is substituting for the official band member Mark Turner, the quick-on-its-feet interplay that has made this unit a benchmark of twenty-first-century jazz will undoubtedly remain intact. The collective features the same rhythmic acuity and tonal sensitivity that the veteran drummer Hart honed with, among many others, Herbie Hancock and Stan Getz. The quartet also includes the pianist Ethan Iverson (of Bad Plus fame) and the bassist Ben Street.” (NewYorker)

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through June 3)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30+
“The enduring 19th-century comedic ballet “Coppélia” tells of a young man who falls for a lifelike doll until his human girlfriend helps him snap out of it. City Ballet’s production, based on original choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Leo Delibes with enhancements by George Balanchine made in 1974, appears this week and the next.

During the week, City Ballet offers a “Classic NYCB” program featuring Balanchine’s sublime “Mozartiana”; “Not Our Fate,” a recent work by the company dancer Lauren Lovette; “Pulcinella Variations” by the choreographer-in-residence Justin Peck; and Jerome Robbins’s intricate “Glass Pieces,” set to the music of Philip Glass.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Marty Ehrlich
THE STONE / 8:30PM, $20
“Composer and reeds modernist Marty Ehrlich inaugurates a six-night residence with the jazz equivalent of a Reddit AMA session: a no-holds-barred duo set with visionary trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Raised in St. Louis and educated at the New England Conservatory, Ehrlich moved to New York in 1978, at the height of its Downtown jazz heyday, and has been a highly regarded Zelig among Zeligs ever since. Wednesday, the protean player celebrates a new album with his aptly named Trio Exaltation, which includes John Hebert (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums). The rest of his run comprises a trio of quartets: Philosophy of a Groove, with pianist James Weidman; Shards, featuring pianist Angelica Sanchez; and Welcome, with trumpeter Ron Horton.” (Richard Gehr, VillageVoice)

The Bad Plus (May 29-June 3)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St. / 8PM, 10:30PM, $20-$35
Change—often difficult, even when necessary—shook the Bad Plus when the pianist Ethan Iverson (playing this week with Billy Hart’s quartet) left the popular trio, in 2017. But the group quickly rebounded with the pianist Orrin Evans and the aptly titled album “Never Stop II,” a vibrant recording that shies away from the cheeky reinventions of rock standards that originally garnered attention. The band has pulled off a graceful transition.” (NewYorker)

AMERICAN BALLET THEATER (Thru July 7)
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $35+
Tonight: La Bayadère (May 29-Jun 02)
“Amid the sweeping vistas and grand temples of mystical India, this Russian classic is a glorious epic of eternal love and godly revenge. This season, ABT offers tour-de-force performances by Principal Dancers as the doomed temple dancer, Nikiya, the warrior who betrays her, Solor, and her archrival in love, Gamzatti. This ballet also features the renowned vision of the “Kingdom of the Shades,” showcasing the corps de ballet in gossamer white tutus, filling the stage in sublime unison as heavenly angels.”

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

The 10th annual World Science Festival (May30-Jun04)
Various locations, times and places – all the details HERE
“Join us for an exploration of groundbreaking discoveries, encounters with the trailblazing scientists and thinkers who are changing the world, and youth & family events that will inspire the next generation of leaders.

Perennial favorites return, including our main stage Big Ideas programs, the Flame Challenge, Cool Jobs, and free outdoor events that transport science from the lab to NYC’s parks and waterways. This year, we’ll also celebrate the achievements of Women in Science, and explore the impact of the award-winning teachers on the future of scientific discovery.”

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Continuing Events

Othello (May28-Jun24)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE*
“Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Jitney) directs the first offering of the Public Theater’s 2018 season of Shakespeare in the Park: an account of the Bard’s fast-paced tragedy of jealousy and misplaced trust, in which a villain preys on the insecurities of a Moorish war hero married to a white woman. The cast is headed by Chukwudi Iwuji as Othello, Corey Stoll as Iago and Heather Lind as Desdemona.”
*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

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: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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A PremierPub / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

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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 (except for certain jazz clubs).
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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