Today’s Elite 8 NYC Events > SATURDAY/ FEBRUARY 16, 2019
“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.”
Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:
THE ’70S SOUL JAM VALENTINE’S CONCERT
at the Beacon Theater / 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; $49+
“It’s hard to think of a genre more explicitly associated with romance than the R&B and soul of the 1970s, with the lush arrangements and seductively slow tempos. Fittingly, some of the artists behind the era’s date-night-appropriate hits will gather for two Valentine’s Day-themed shows on the Upper West Side. Featured artists include the Philadelphia-based soul groups the Stylistics (“You Are Everything”), the Delfonics (“La-La Means I Love You”) and Blue Magic (“Sideshow”); the funk-inflected band Bloodstone (“Natural High”); and the quiet storm pioneers the Manhattans (“Kiss and Say Goodbye”).” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> EL GRAN COMBO AND LA SONORA PONCEÑA
>> Joe Jackson
>> Marilyn Maye: Always from the Heart
>> DIANNE REEVES
>> Thundercat / Kamasi Washington
>> Presidents’ Day Open House
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
EL GRAN COMBO AND LA SONORA PONCEÑA
at Radio City Music Hall / 8 p.m.; $136+
“That two of the world’s most enduring and renowned salsa bands are booked at a theater with permanent seats is a bit of a head scratcher, but few performance spaces are large enough to accommodate the legions of fans both El Gran Combo and La Sonora Ponceña have accrued during their decades of performance. Both bands hail from Puerto Rico; the former was founded in 1962 by Rafael Ithier, who still leads it today, while the latter was established in 1954 — eight years after its current leader, Enrique Lucca Jr., was born. Expect plenty of dancing in the aisles.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)
Rigoletto (next Feb.19, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $20+
“Verdi’s tragic jester returns in Michael Mayer’s neon-bedecked, Las Vegas–themed production. Baritones Roberto Frontali and George Gagnidze share the title role, and soprano Nadine Sierra reprises her portrayal of Gilda, the role that helped launch her now-blossoming Met career. Tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Bryan Hymel share the role of the lascivious Duke, and Nicola Luisotti conducts.”
Joe Jackson (Feb.15-16)
Look sharp at Joe Jackson’s Town Hall show.
“The still-stylish singer-songwriter Joe Jackson is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his breakthrough debut “Look Sharp!” and the hit “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” with a tour setlist that spans his entire career, including his new album, “Fool.” New songs such as “Strange Land” still show off Jackson’s ability to tell poignant stories with memorable melodies.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16, Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St., Manhattan
INFO $49.50 to $99; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
Marilyn Maye: Always from the Heart (Feb.14-17)
Iridium / 8PM, $45+
“Maye’s stellar past includes a string of classy RCA albums in the ’60s and a nearly unequaled number of Tonight Show appearances, but this husky-voiced, earthy belter has never sounded better than she does now. Beyond her remarkable energy and musical acuity, the astonishing Maye has a bone-deep comfort that imbues familiar songs with fresh simplicity, truthfulness and power. Her Valentine’s Day set centers on love songs from the Great American Songbook.” (TONY)
DIANNE REEVES (Feb.15-16)
at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center/ 8 p.m.; $40+
“For the eighth year in a row, Reeves will headline Jazz at Lincoln Center’s main stage during Valentine’s Day weekend. She became a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master last year, adding a punctuation mark to a career already known to be one of the most distinguished in jazz. Her voice has the power and clarity of Sarah Vaughan’s, and her repertoire only continues to expand: Her most recent album, “Beautiful Life,” from 2014, which won a Grammy, included riveting, personalized renditions of tunes by Fleetwood Mac, Bob Marley and Esperanza Spalding, as well as some Reeves originals.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)
Thundercat / Kamasi Washington (Feb.12-17)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“In 2015, Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed album “To Pimp a Butterfly” flung open a portal to new jazz for audiences previously unaware of or uninterested in the genre’s offerings. But the bassist and vocalist Thundercat and the saxophonist Kamasi Washington, both of whom appeared on that record, had already long been mainstays of L.A.’s bustling modern-jazz scene and members of the influential collective West Coast Get Down. On the 2017 album “Drunk,” Thundercat injects his sharp and freewheeling musicianship with whimsical flourishes, while “Heaven and Earth,” Washington’s ambitious double release from last year, is a transcendent meditation on jazz music’s past and present. This pair of Brainfeeder labelmates—each brilliant in his own right—are leaders of a charge that is reshaping the genre and triumphantly returning it to mainstream consciousness. Thundercat embarks on a six-night, fourteen-show residency at the Blue Note on Feb. 12.” (Briana Younger, NewYorker)
Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
Presidents’ Day Open House (Feb.16-18)
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 11AM-5PM, $1
Celebrate George Washington’s birthday and Presidents’ Day at Fraunces Tavern Museum with dollar admission!
Can’t get enough Washington? Make sure to check out our Scott Gallery featuring A Stoic Countenance: Portraits of George Washington exhibition. Then, head up to the McEntee Gallery to sneak a peek at a lock of Washington’s hair and a fragment of his tooth!”
Guided Tours are included with regular Museum admission and are offered at the following times:
Saturday, February 16
1:00pm – Fighting for Freedom
2:00pm – Fighting for Freedom
3:00pm- Museum Tour
Sunday, February 17
3:00pm – Museum Tour
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.
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)
♦ 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.
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
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.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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’. ”
Each 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.”
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
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.
“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.
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.
“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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.