NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/16) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

“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-August”
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:

Roy Hargrove (LAST DAY)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“Cuba has long held a special place in the musical soul of the trumpeter Hargrove, who first professed his passion on the 1997 recording “Habana.” Here he hooks up with a fellow-virtuoso, the saxophonist and clarinet player Paquito D’Rivera, who firmly established his Stateside reputation after defecting from Cuba, in 1981.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> BIG HEART MACHINE
>> Jorge Glem
>> SARASOTA BALLET
>> JULIAN LAGE
>> BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL
>> Kurt Rosenwinkel
>> Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano,
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
>> Candytopia
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BIG HEART MACHINE
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30PM and 9:30PM, $15-$20
“Led by the versatile reedist Brian Krock and conducted by Miho Hazama, this 18-piece ensemble works by stealth and swarm and accrual. The suspenseful, layered music can sound like migration in motion or a wisp of twisting smoke. And if you’re looking for musical-historical references, there are plenty — from progressive metal to Carnatic music to late-20th-century Western classical. At this show, Big Heart Machine celebrates the release of a self-titled debut album, which was produced by the esteemed big-band leader Darcy James Argue.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Jorge Glem
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Using unconventional techniques, Grammy-nominated cuatro player, mandolinist, producer, and composer Jorge Glem draws a seemingly limitless array of sounds from the cuatro, a four-stringed Venezuelan folk instrument. Glem, who has shared the stage with artists like Paquito D’Rivera, Jordan Rudess, Rubén Blades, Carlos Vives, and Calle 13, is an unwavering champion of the instrument both on stage and through his #4CuatroMusic movement on social media. Experience the full power of Glem’s cuatro revolution at this free show.”

SARASOTA BALLET (Aug. 16-17, 8 p.m.)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $45+
“Under the artistic direction of Iain Webb, this respected company returns to the Joyce with two programs highlighting ballets by Christopher Wheeldon, Ricardo Graziano — the group’s resident choreographer and one of its principal dancers — and Frederick Ashton, the great British choreographer, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of his death. The season includes a guest performance by Marcelo Gomes, who recently resigned from American Ballet Theater after an allegation of sexual misconduct. In the final pas de deux from Ashton’s “The Two Pigeons,” Mr. Gomes partners with another Sarasota principal dancer, Victoria Hulland.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

JULIAN LAGE (Aug. 14-18)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m., $20
“Mr. Lage seeks communion freely and easily; his playing is elegant and refined, but he’s also happy in the company of rougher improvisers. He starts a five-night run at the Stone on Tuesday, in duet with the spiky guitarist Mary Halvorson. On Wednesday he is joined by the vocalist Margaret Glaspy; on Thursday he appears with Jorge Roeder on bass and Dave King on drums; on Aug. 17, the saxophonist and Stone proprietor John Zorn joins that trio; then on Aug. 18, Mr. Lage closes with a trio featuring Mr. King on drums and Kris Davis on piano.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL (Aug. 12-17)
at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park / 7 p.m., FREE
“With a breathtaking backdrop of the New York Harbor, this festival returns to Battery Park City (the closing event on Aug. 18 will be at the Schimmel Center) with eclectic programming by the artistic director of Battery Dance, Jonathan Hollander. Along with his company, participants include Ariel Rivka Dance and Douglas Dunn & Dancers, as well as out-of-town groups like Damir Tasmagambetov (Kazakhstan), Skopje Dance Theater (Macedonia) and Mophato Dance Theater (Botswana). The breeze is nice, too.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Kurt Rosenwinkel (Aug. 14-19)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Last week, the adroit guitarist Rosenwinkel kept the setting sparse, appearing with just a bassist and a drummer for support; this week, he adds harmonic muscle and an interactive jolt to his ensemble in the form of the acclaimed pianist Aaron Parks. Shakeups in the rhythm section include Eric Revis on bass and Allan Mednard on drums.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano, #1 (Aug.15-18)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $80+
“Bebe Neuwirth lives on deadpan: In her best roles—including her Tony-winning turns in Chicago and Sweet Charity, and her Emmy-winning stretch as Lilith Sternin on Cheers—she has presented herself as a kind of human icicle, pale and stiff and dripping with wit. Tonight she slices her distinctive contralto into story songs by Kander and Ebb, Stephen Sondheim, Edith Piaf and Tom Waits.” (TONY)

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

More smart stuff 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.

Candytopia (thru Nov.15)
Candytopia @ Penn Plaza, 145 W. 32nd St./ 10AM-8:30PM, $34
“This interactive candy exhibit, which has drawn the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden and Wiz Khalifa from California, has more than a dozen rooms and art installations including a swimming pool filled with about half a million giant marshmallows; unicorn-pig hybrids that fart confetti; a candy-covered Sphinx sculpture; and candy recreations of such artworks as the “Mona Lisa,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (amNY) &  (amNY)

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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.

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

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove 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 / West Village

Corner Bistro 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $6.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
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Website: cornerbistrony.com
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk 2 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
Update:
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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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