NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/10) + 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:  February 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:

54 Celebrates the Richard Rodgers Theatre
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, +9:30PM, $30+
“Behind the Curtain podcaster Robert W. Schneider hosts a double header of shows celebrating the musical-theater history of the Richard Rodgers Theatre, the current home of Hamilton and the past digs of such classics as Chicago, Guys and Dolls and 1776. Guests at the 7pm show include Mark Blum, Jim Brochu, Shelly Burch, Kristy Cates, Scott Ellis, Ann Harada, Cady Huffman, Michael McCormick and Raisin star Ernestine Jackson. The 9:30 roster includes Clyde Alves, Ed Dixon, Tyler Hanes, Eddie Korbich, Jeremy Kushnier, Janine LaManna, David Sabella, Maury Yeston and The Bad Seed child star Patty McCormack.” (TONY)

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4 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> New Combinations
>> Declan O’Rourke: Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine
>> Freddy Cole Quintet: Songs for Lovers
>> BAM Black Comix Expo
>> more coming soon
>> more coming soon
Continuing Events
>> Restaurant Week
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (thru March 3)
New Combinations
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 3PM, $35+
“The Sleeping Beauty” begins performances on Wednesday, but before spells are cast and Aurora falls asleep for 100 years, there are several mixed-repertory programs up for grabs, including, on Friday, a one-time-only evening featuring the George Balanchine works “Agon” and “Orpheus,” followed by Jerome Robbins’s infectious and endlessly cool 1958 sneaker ballet “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz.” Other picks include William Forsythe’s “Herman Schmerman,” Kyle Abraham’s “The Runaway” and Justin Peck’s latest, “Principia.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Declan O’Rourke: Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine  
Explore history through performance.
Irish Arts Center / $60
“Through Sunday, the Irish Arts Center presents singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke’s song cycle Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine, which won a 2018 RTÉ Radio One Folk Award, by combining true and fictional stories of history and O’Rourke’s life.” (grubstreet)

Freddy Cole Quintet: Songs for Lovers (Feb.7-10)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $25-$45
“Freddy has an impeccable sense of swing… the most maturely expressive male jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive.” – The New York Times

“Whatever the accompaniment, Cole extracts the maximum from each tune asserting his stature as our greatest living jazz singer.” – DownBeat

Referred to as a “national treasure” by the Huffington Post, jazz pianist and singer Freddy Cole is a prolific artist of undisputed pedigree. Building his career at the same time as his brother, the iconic Nat “King” Cole, it was never going to be easy for Cole to establish his own musical identity. However, with 20 albums released in just the last 25 years, three of which were nominated for Grammy Awards, Cole has carved out a reputation as an individual and prolific force in the jazz world. Amongst the greatest contemporary crooners, Cole’s sensitivity and effortlessly powerful delivery make him an enduring favorite in our most intimate venue and a perfect artist to enjoy this Valentine’s Day week.

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Elsewhere, but for comic book fans this is surely worth the detour:

BAM Black Comix Expo
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 30 Lafayette Ave./ 11AM-5PM, FREE
“Comic book nerds, graphic novel aficionados, fantasy lovers, and all-around fans of the art form are invited to the BAM Black Comix Expo. This fun-filled day—co-presented by BAM and the Black Comics Collective—is back for year two, celebrating comic writers, illustrators, and creators of color. Meet the next generation of black superheroes, hear a panel discussion about women and Afrofuturism, participate in a children’s art workshop, take part in a superhero cosplay showcase, and so much more.”

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Continuing Events

Restaurant Week (LAST CHANCE)
“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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