NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/25) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square / Theater District)

“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:

NINAGAWA Macbeth (LAST DAY)
Mostly Mozart Festival
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30, $35+
“The 1980 premiere of Yukio Ninagawa’s “legendarily beautiful” Japanese-language production of Macbeth (Independent, U.K.) was a watershed moment in global theater. Transposing Shakespeare’s tragedy from medieval Scotland to feudal Japan, Ninagawa created a breathtaking world filled with samurai, kabuki witches, a highly expressive cherry tree, and a moving musical score of Buddhist chant and western classical music. This revival, the last production overseen by Ninagawa before his death in 2016, transforms the Bard’s brutal tale of greed, ambition, and revenge into a poetic meditation on the ephemeral nature of existence.”
“Achingly beautiful.” – Guardian

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> RAPHAEL SAADIQ
>> STANLEY COWELL QUINTET
>> COURTNEY BARNETT
>> Marilyn Maye
>> DIZZY GILLESPIE ALL-STAR BIG BAND
>> Fred Hersch Trio
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

RAPHAEL SAADIQ
at Damrosch Park (July 25, 7:30 p.m.).
“The common musical DNA that runs through Solange’s 2016 album, “A Seat at the Table”; the soundtrack to HBO’s “Insecure”; and D’Angelo’s 2000 single “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” can be attributed to Mr. Saadiq. He has been an integral contributor to R&B since the 1980s, when he got his start touring in Sheila E.’s band. Though he has recently pursued behind-the-scenes songwriting and production work, Mr. Saadiq has a rich catalog of his own from both his days as a member of Tony! Toni! Toné! and his work as a solo artist. This free show, which is part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival, is a stop on his first headlining tour since 2012.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

STANLEY COWELL QUINTET (July 24-25)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $35
“Mr. Cowell, a pianist, has always integrated the hot-blooded angularity of post-bop — think Andrew Hill and McCoy Tyner — with a sense of erudition and narrative clarity. A composer and organizer as well as a distinctive instrumentalist, he co-founded the Strata-East label in the early 1970s, releasing some of the most ardent improvised music of that era; played alongside the likes of Bobby Hutcherson and the Heath Brothers in the 1960s and ’70s; and always maintained an ambitious practice as a composer. (In 2015, he released the impressive “Juneteenth” suite.) At Dizzy’s, Mr. Cowell, now 77, will perform selections from across his five-decade career with the saxophonist and flutist Bruce Williams, the trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, the bassist Tom DiCarlo and the drummer Vince Ector.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
COURTNEY BARNETT
at the Prospect Park Bandshell / 7 p.m., $45
In the course of just two albums, this Australian singer-songwriter has become one of the most acclaimed voices in indie rock. Her plain-spoken, self-effacing portraits of modern life are pleasantly distorted but never so messy that the lyrics get lost in the fray. Instead, Ms. Barnett’s tightly arranged songs are just grungy enough to sound nonchalant — even as she sings “Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence,” for example, off her new album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel.” Opening are Julien Baker and Vagabon, both of whom are also critical favorites.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Fred Hersch Trio (July 24-29)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
The pianist Fred Hersch generally forms deep connections with his rhythm mates, who, since 2009, have been John Hebert, on bass, and Eric McPherson, on drums­­—an assured, near-telepathic team. The splendid results of this artistic union recently arrived in the form of the album “Live in Europe,” which stands as a testament to Hersch’s commanding stature as an improviser and bandleader.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Marilyn Maye (July 25-28)
Birdland / 7PM, $40-$50
“The Birdland Theater is proud to announce that legendary, Grammy-nominated songstress Marilyn Maye will be headlining in the brand new performance space for two weeks. Ms. Maye will be accompanied by the Tedd Firth Trio from July 24 – 28, and the Billy Stritch Trio from July 31 – August 4, with shows at 7pm each night.

Marvelous Ms. Maye, who just celebrated her 90th birthday with a string of concerts and a featured interview on CBS Sunday Morning, has been crisscrossing the country playing hundreds of clubs, concert halls and joints for over seven decades.”

DIZZY GILLESPIE ALL-STAR BIG BAND (July 24-29)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m., $30-$45
“Gillespie is known for helping to establish two important idioms that aren’t always associated with large ensembles — bebop and Latin jazz — but he did much of his most impressive work with big bands. In the final chapter of Gillespie’s career, his United Nation Orchestra was his main vehicle: an ecumenical group of improvisers from across the Americas, pushing his compositions into fresh terrain. After he died in 1993, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band sprang up to carry the torch. Today, that group includes such major figures as the vocalist Roberta Gambarini and the pianist Cyrus Chestnut.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

More Smart Stuff events coming soon.

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Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*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.

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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– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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 enjoyment and discovery.

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.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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A PremierPub

Jimmy’s Corner 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest,” Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a great old time jukebox, with a great selection of  40s& 50s R&B and soul. On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
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Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

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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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