NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/09) + 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-JULY”
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:

Law of the Land: The Supreme Court’s Year in Review
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $35
“As the Supreme Court wraps up an especially eventful term catch a panel of experts gathered together by the 92nd Street Y and the Forum on Law, Culture & Society at NYU School of Law to put it all into perspective.

The Supreme Court of the United States is the branch of government with the most mystery, and curiosity.  The proceedings are not televised, and yet many are fascinated by the goings on at the High Court, despite having little understanding of the cases decided there, and what they mean for most people. 92Y, and its partner, the Forum on Law, Culture & Society at NYU School of Law, continues its annual program, Law of the Land: the Supreme Court’s Year in Review. We will take you inside the Court’s major rulings and discuss their bearing on past and future cases. Join us with Ron Klain, Kenji Yoshino, Trevor Morrison, Jessica Gresko and our moderator Thane Rosenbaum for another fascinating look at the Supreme Court’s just concluded term.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> WALLACE RONEY QUINTET
>> Oh Wonder / Sasha Sloan
>> Romeo & Juliet:
>> Charlie Rosen’s Broadway Big Band
>> Nelson Mandela at 100
>> “West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express”
Continuing Events
>> French Restaurant Week
>>
World Cup viewing parties
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

WALLACE RONEY QUINTET
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m., $20-$35
“Mr. Roney, a virtuoso trumpeter, was a leading voice among the Young Lions of the 1980s and ’90s, and the only trumpet player to earn an apprenticeship with Miles Davis. Fleet-fingered with a bright and keen tone, he’s not seen particularly often onstage in New York these days, so this one-night engagement provides a rare opportunity. The intergenerational band here features the 18-year-old Emilio Modeste on tenor saxophone, Oscar Williams on piano, Curtis Lundy on bass and Ronnie Burrage on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Oh Wonder / Sasha Sloan – SummerStage,
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park / 7PM, FREE
“The London duo Oh Wonder’s origin story is the stuff of, well, wonder. Anthony, a producer, and Josephine, a vocalist and classical pianist, began their stark, alternative pop project in a DIY way, and never intended to play live. Cut to the mononymous musicians becoming the sound of the screen, with their songs gracing television shows such as Scream and Doctor Foster, and, along the way, becoming unwitting pop stars, too. Joining the duo is the rising pop star and established songwriter, Sasha Sloan.”

Charlie Rosen’s Broadway Big Band
Feinstein’s/54 Below/ 9:30PM, $25+
“Broadway stars take turns fronting Charlie Rosen’s 17-piece jazz orchestra in this exceptional evening of musical entertainment. The arrangements are a wonder, and you won’t believe how much sound they pack onto one small stage. Guests on July 9 include Daniel Breaker, Gerard Canonico, Ariana DeBose, Hannah Elless and Smash survivor Katharine McPhee.” (TONY)

Romeo & Juliet: Shakespeare’s Classic Tale of Two ‘Star-Cross’d Lovers’
NY Classical Theater (July 2-15, no Thursdays)
The Battery, Castle Clinton National Monument / 7:00 pm, FREE
“In fair Verona, the long-standing feud between families Montague and Capulet cause tragic results for their respective children, Romeo and Juliet. After meeting at a masked ball, Romeo and Juliet fall in love, only to discover the surname of their beloved. Revenge, love, and a secret marriage force the lovers to take drastic measures. In the end, both families learn the perils of needless violence.” (ClubFreeTime)

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

Nelson Mandela at 100
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 7PM, $35+
“Nelson Mandela at 100 will feature readings from The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela, performances, and reflections celebrating Nelson Mandela’s centennial birthday. With appearances by Salman Rushdie, and Liesl Tommy, and readings from Condola Rashad, Hisham Tawfiq, and more!”

Jim DeFelice: “West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express”
The Half King, 505 W. 23rd St./ 7PM, FREE
“It was the most audacious get-rich quick scheme in American history, an attempt to monopolize freight, transportation, and financial services through half the country. So what if it involved a swindle of hundreds of thousands of dollars, bribes to government officials, and the occasional loss of an ear or other body part? The only thing standing in its way were fifteen hundred miles of desert, impassible mountains, hostile Indians, sociopathic killers and religious fanatics.
It was the Pony Express.

And while the Pony itself was conceived as a money-losing proposition from the start—a kind of loss-leader for a grandiose plan of financial riches and commercial domination—it so captured American imaginations that it lives on today as a byword of speed and derring-do.”

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Continuing Events

French Restaurant Week (July 02-15)
Various locations // $17.89-$178.90
“Mais oui, it’s the start of French Restaurant Week. Indulge in some of the city’s finest French bistros and brasseries offering prix fixe specials. Participating restaurants include La Sirene, Fig and Olive, and Bistrot Leo. French Restaurant Week actually runs longer than a week, ending on Bastille Day weekend, July 15th.” (Gothamist)

World Cup viewing parties (starting June 14 – thru July 15)
Next Match Tuesday July 10:
   France vs Belgium 2PM
Don’t miss the World Cup, which only comes every four years. Many bars and restaurants will be screening the games and offering food and drink specials across the city. Here are the best lists of where you can find them::
NYT – where to watch the World Cup in New York City.
Soccer Republic – best bars to watch the World Cup in NYC.
Thrillist – World Cup bars NYC
Remeczcla – the 10 Best Venues to Watch the World Cup in NYC
Metro – NYC’s best soccer bars to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018
NYCGO – Ways to Watch the World Cup in New York City
Daily News – The best bars in NYC to watch your favorite team

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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
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.

Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.

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.

CAFFE VIVALDI HAS CLOSED,  JUNE 23 WAS THE FINAL NIGHT. VERY SAD.
As reported in the “Gothamist”:
“Caffe Vivaldi, one of the last bohemian bastions of the West Village, is set to close this weekend. During its 35 years on Jones Street, the casual cafe won the hearts of locals and celebs alike, including Oscar Isaac, Bette Midler, and Al Pacino.

Despite that friendly communal atmosphere, the owners ultimately struggled to survive under their notorious vulture landlord Steve Croman, who they say waged a harassment campaign against the restaurant, and eventually tripled their rent.”

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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