NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/03) + 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, check the tab above: NYC Events-JUNE”
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.


Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

The Little Prince: A Filmmaker’s Story
Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Ave./ 1PM, $15
Tickets include free admission for the day of the program as well as admission to The Little Prince film screening at 2:30pm.
A Conversation with Mark Osborne and Christine Nelson

“Inspired in part by a special gift of a copy of The Little Prince, Mark Osborne—director of Kung Fu Panda and the forthcoming film Bone—made the audacious decision to adapt one of the world’s best-loved stories into a full-length animated feature film. Join him as he talks with Christine Nelson, Drue Heinz Curator of the Morgan’s 2014 exhibition The Little Prince: A New York Story, about the personal and creative journey that resulted in his award-winning 2015 animated film The Little Prince. A special screening of the film (at 2:30 pm) follows the talk.

The exhibition Joseph Cornell: The Saint-Exupéry Dossier will open for program attendees.”

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Billy Hart Quartet
>> The 10th annual World Science Festival
>> BookCon
>> Txikifest 2018
>> Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
>> Scooper Bowl
Continuing Events
>> Othello

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 3PM, $30+
Today: Balanchine Black & White
“The company winds down its spring season. The Sunday program — all Balanchine — promises to be a spectacular finish, with “Concerto Barocco,” “Agon” and “The Four Temperaments.” Plan on applauding extra hard: The performance is the last in New York for Likolani Brown, Cameron Dieck and Savannah Lowery. They are moving on.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

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)


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.”

Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St. / 10AM-5PM, $40-$45
“The Comic Con of books takes over the Javits Center all weekend for tons of panels with celebrity authors including former President Bill Clinton and Broad City star Abbi Jacobson, workshops on how to become the next George R.R. Martin, a giant crime fiction discussion and, of course, a marketplace where you can be the first to score new releases or a special edition of a favorite book.” (

Txikifest 2018
Txikito, 240 Ninth Ave. / 1-4PM, $65,
Txikito celebrates 10 years of bringing authentic flavors from the Basque country to Chelsea — and you’re invited. The big bash takes place Sunday afternoon, with a whole hog barbecue, txuleta steak and sides (a special menu for the special day, from the only place for Basque cuisine in NYC). Beverages are also included, and attendees will take home a commemorative txakoli glass. Adding a little more incentive to your revelry, all proceeds will go to the ACLU.” (

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
University Place, btw E.13th and Waverly Pl. / 12PM-6PM, FREE
Enjoy looking at (and maybe buying some) oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, mixed media, graphics, photography, sculpture, and crafts including fabric, jewelry, glass, wood, and ceramics.

“This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft.” (TONY)

Plus, a Special Event
Scooper Bowl
Bryant Park / Fri/Sat 12PM-9PM; Sun 12PM-7PM, $25
All-you-can-eat ice cream returns to Bryant Park and I have been waiting for this one all year.

“Sometimes it’s a struggle to pick just two ice cream flavors for your cone.
You won’t have to this weekend, when an all-you-can-eat ice cream festival returns to Bryant Park for its second year, with scoops in more than 60 flavors from 13 commercial and artisanal creameries.

Flavors run the gamut from classics like vanilla to innovative variations like honey comb and Syrian date and walnut, to vegan selections like chocolate chip cookie dough and salted caramel. (Find the full list, released this week, below.) Making their New York premiere are four Haazgen-Dazs flavors, including three with crispy layers of chocolate.”


Continuing Event

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.

♦ 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.


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.,, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St.,, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St.,, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St.,, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St.,, 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.,, 212-505-3474
and one more, not exactly WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St.,

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St., 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.


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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.

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.
“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.

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.

“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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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