NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/29) + 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:  January NYC Events”
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.
To make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (thru March 3)
TSCHAIKOVSKY & BALANCHINE (also Jan.30)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $35+
“The company gives its winter season an extra glow with debuts, notably Gonzalo Garcia in “Apollo” and Teresa Reichlen in “Orpheus” on Saturday evening. Later in the week, as part of the annual New Combinations Evening on Thursday, the company’s resident choreographer, Justin Peck, unveils his latest, “Principia,” set to a commissioned score by the composer Sufjan Stevens. Featuring 24 dancers led by Tiler Peck and Taylor Stanley, the premiere is the fourth time Peck and Stevens have collaborated at City Ballet. The program will be rounded out by William Forsythe’s “Herman Schmerman” and Kyle Abraham’s “The Runaway.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Andy Milne & Unison featuring La Tanya Hall
>> Carmen

>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> BALLETBOYZ

>> The Falconer: Dana Czapnik with Salman Rushdie
>> An Evening with Jill Abramson
>> An Evening of Adventures in Inuit Art
Continuing Events
>> Restaurant Week
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Andy Milne & Unison featuring La Tanya Hall
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 6:30PM, +8:30PM, $20+
“Pianist and composer Andy Milne is known for his boundless versatility across genres and artistic mediums. He has led a series of highly distinctive groups and worked with artists including Fred Hersch, Ravi Coltrane, Dianne Reeves, Bruce Cockburn, and Steve Coleman. With his latest group, Unity, Milne returns to his “first love”—the classic piano trio format. Vocalist La Tanya Hall will take the stage alongside regular band members John Hébert and Clarence Penn for this performance, adding another soulful dimension to the tried-and-true beauty of the piano trio.”

Carmen
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $20+ (next Feb.2, 1PM)
“Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine reprises her remarkable portrayal of opera’s ultimate seductress, a triumph in her 2017 debut performances, with impassioned tenors Yonghoon Lee and Roberto Alagna as her lover, Don José. Omer Meir Wellber and Louis Langrée share conducting duties for Sir Richard Eyre’s powerful production, a Met favorite since its 2009 premiere.”

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland Theater / 9:45PM, $20+
“Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her biweekly series at the brand-new Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show their talents. Guests at the January 29 edition include Alice Ripley, Amy Lynn, Sean Bernardi, Natalie Douglas, Leanne Borghesi, Michael Winther, BariToned and Kira Goi.” (TONY)

BALLETBOYZ (through Feb.3).
at the Joyce Theater (Jan. 29-30, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 31, 8 p.m) $35+
“This company, formed by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt — who met at the Royal Ballet School and both joined the Royal Ballet in 1987 — presents the New York premiere of “Young Men,” a multimedia work focusing on stories of love, friendship, loss and survival among soldiers in World War I. Choreographed by Iván Pérez, a former Nederlands Dans Theater member, the production is set to a score by Keaton Henson and includes a film.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

The Falconer: Dana Czapnik with Salman Rushdie
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby St./ 7PM, FREE, RSVP
“Hear from author Dana Czapnik, speaking on her debut novel, which is set among NYC’s public basketball courts circa 1993. She’ll be joined by Salman Rushdie, no stranger to New York novels himself.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

“As much the portrait of an era as it is the portrait of an adolescence, this is a crossover novel that will thrill readers of all generations. “—Colum McCann

An Evening with Jill Abramson

Merchants of Truth
The Struggle for the Future of News
Temple Emanu-El, 1 E. 65th St./ 7PM, $25

“Worried about fake news, biased news, clickbait, hoaxes and rumors parading as journalism? You should be, according to Jill Abramson, and she’s stopping by to explain how we landed in this tangle of truth, half-truth and outright lies that has disrupted American life.

Few people have more credibility on the topic than Abramson, the former — and first female — executive editor of The New York Times, a reporter and deputy bureau chief at The Wall Street Journal, co-author of the National Book Award finalist, Strange Justice and columnist for The Guardian.”

An Evening of Adventures in Inuit Art
Explorers Club, 46 East 70th St. / 6PM, $25
“The executive director of the Inuit Art Institute is in town for a talk on the history of art in Inuit culture. Presented in conjunction with Adventure Canada, the evening will include tales of Arctic explorers visiting Inuit artists across the province, the way various types of art have shaped Inuit culture, how these works have been received around the world, and the Inuit Art Institute’s role in supporting the artists’ success.” (Gothamist)

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Continuing Events

Restaurant Week (January 21 to February 10)
“Some of New York’s best known “deal holidays,” including NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Broadway Week, are joining forces this winter to create, wait for it… NYC Winter Outing.

From January 21 to February 10, NYC Broadway Week, NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Must-See Week will all be running simultaneously offering full nights out for drastically reduced rates. During this time, a selection of Broadway shows, museums, attractions and tours will be available at two-for-one prices and almost 400 restaurants across the city will be offering prix-fixe menus. As in previous years, that means $26 prix-fix lunches and $42, three-course dinners.

For more information on Restaurant Week, including our recommendations for the best deals to take advantage of this season, check out our NYC Restaurant Week page.” (TONY)

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Bryant Park (btw 5th/6th Ave. @42nd St.) / shops to 8PM, rink to 10PM
Enjoy The Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Rink
This 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting and Rink may be closed for events – check here)


Magic After Hours
Tannen’s Magic, Midtown West (Until Dec 31 2019)

“Twice a week, after closing time, 20 people crowd into the city’s oldest magic shop, Tannen’s, for a cozy evening of prestidigitation by the young and engaging Noah Levine. The shelves are crammed with quirky devices; there’s a file cabinet behind the counter, a mock elephant in the corner and bins of individual trick instructions in plastic covers, like comic books or sheet music. The charm of Levine’s show is in how well it fits the environment of this magic-geek chamber of secrets. As he maneuvers cards, eggs, cups and balls with aplomb, he talks shop, larding his patter with tributes to routines like the Stencel Aces and the Vernon Boat Trick—heirlooms of his trade that he gently polishes and displays for our amazement.” (TONY)

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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 65 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. (btw 6/7), thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Sony Hall – 235 W 46th St. (btw 7/8), sonyhall.com, 212-997-5123
and one more, not exactly WestSide:
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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, VERY SAD.
I HAVE LEFT THIS REVIEW ON MY SITE AS A KIND OF MEMORIAL.
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 SUMMER 2019).
◊ Order before AUG. 31, 2019 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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