NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/22) + 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.”

==========================================================

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

FARRUQUITO
at the Town Hall / 8 p.m.; $52+
“This famed flamenco artist returns to New York for a one-night-only performance of “Farruquito,” which is based on his life. It has certainly been an eventful one: A star dancer, he served three years in prison for a hit-and-run accident in Seville, Spain. In the show, for which he serves as both choreographer and composer, he includes a tribute to his grandfather, the celebrated dancer Antonio Montoya Flores, or El Farruco. The evening also brings him back to the Town Hall, where, at the age of 18, he made his New York debut in 2001.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

=========================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Piano Master: The Oscar Peterson Story
>> Falstaff

>> LOUIS HAYES
>> New York Dance Festival
>> BRENT BIRCKHEAD
>> COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET
>> SAXOPHONE SUMMIT: JOE LOVANO, DAVE LIEBMAN AND GREG OSBY
Continuing Events 
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>>NEW YORK CITY BALLET
===================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Piano Master: The Oscar Peterson Story (Feb.22-23)
Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7PM, +9:30PM, $55+
“A superman of mainstream jazz piano, the late Canadian-born virtuoso Oscar Peterson could do almost anything with his instrument; attempting to prove just that in the space of any given performance may have been his chief weakness. Prolix though he could be, Peterson remains a lasting keyboard influence. Established piano stylists—including Kenny Barron, Benny Green, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Gerald Clayton—along with Peterson’s old rhythm mate, the drummer Jeff Hamilton, celebrate this most popular of postwar jazz artists.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Giuseppe Verdi
Falstaff (next Feb.27, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $30+
“Baritone Ambrogio Maestri brings his larger-than-life portrayal of the title role back for the first time since his Met role debut in the 2013–14 season. Robert Carsen’s insightful production—which moves the action to postwar England in the 1950s—features an exceptional cast that includes soprano Ailyn Pérez as Alice Ford and soprano Golda Schultz as Nannetta.”

LOUIS HAYES
at the Iridium / 8 p.m.; $27.50
This 81-year-old drummer plays straight-ahead jazz with a big, broad swing feel, and a built-in sense of the Afro-Latin underpinnings of jazz rhythm. His mix of nuanced syncopation and raw power helped define some quintessential hard-bop groups of the 1960s, led by figures such as Cannonball Adderley and Oscar Peterson. His most recent album as a leader is “Serenade for Horace,” from 2017, a tribute to the pianist Horace Silver. He appears here with Vincent Herring on alto saxophone, David Hazeltine on piano and Dezron Douglas on bass.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

New York Dance Festival (Feb.21-24)
Roosevelt Hotel / Single session tickets run $25-60
“It takes, two, plus an audience, to tango. Enthusiasts of every dance genre will find something to boogie about at the New York Dance Festival. Ballroom, Latin, rhythmic, and cabaret performances will hit the stage at at the Roosevelt Hotel all weekend.” (Thrillist)

BRENT BIRCKHEAD
at Nublu 151 / 8 p.m.; $15
“When he’s not on the road with Lauryn Hill’s band, this alto saxophonist is often found in the basement of Smalls, partaking of late-night jam sessions with other young jazz improvisers. Struck with bluesy warmth and the relentless swing of Cannonball Adderley, Birckhead’s playing has lately established him as one of the most riveting young improvisers in New York. On his impressive debut album, “Birckhead,” his R&B sojourns and his straight-ahead jazz background come to bear, resulting in a sound that skates the divide between svelte swagger and cutting passion. The record finds the young bandleader meditating on romance, personal growth and the travails of his native Baltimore; he will celebrate its release at Nublu with Corey Wallace on trombone, Marc Cary on piano, Jon Michel on bass and Curtis Nowosad on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET (Feb. 19-Mar.03)
at the Joyce Theater / 7p.m.; $45+
“To mark its 25th anniversary, Complexions presents three programs over two weeks that highlight its brand of sharp, sultry ballet. The programs comprise new, revived and repurposed works by Dwight Rhoden, who founded and directs the troupe with the dancer Desmond Richardson. program A features the New York premiere of “Bach 25,” set to music by both J. S. Bach and his son C. P. E. Bach, as well as the return of “Star Dust,” a tribute to David Bowie. Program B pairs the premiere of “Woke,” a response to current politics, with “From Then to Now,” a greatest-hits compilation from the company’s repertory. A separate matinee program combines the compilation with the Bach piece.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

SAXOPHONE SUMMIT: JOE LOVANO, DAVE LIEBMAN AND GREG OSBY (Feb.19-23)
at Birdland / 8:30 and 11 p.m.; $30-$40
“Three of the best saxophonists in straight-ahead jazz and its affiliated territories, Lovano (tenor saxophone), Liebman (soprano) and Osby (alto) join up this week with a trio of all-star side musicians: the pianist Phil Markowitz, the bassist Cecil McBee and the drummer Billy Hart. All six of these players have been among jazz’s most respected figures since at least the 1980s, and all continue to barrel forward creatively.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

More smart stuff coming soon.

=======================================================

Continuing Events
NEW YORK CITY BALLET  (through March 3)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM
“In the coming week, City Ballet’s winter season belongs to Princess Aurora. Through Feb. 24, the company presents “The Sleeping Beauty” in a 1991 version by the former director Peter Martins, who followed a blueprint from the 19th-century master Marius Petipa (a section by George Balanchine made the cut, too). Over the next 10 days, several of City Ballet’s top ballerinas embody the titular character in this streamlined, two-act production. Lilac Fairy aside, the true fairy godfather here is Tchaikovsky, whose enduring score many consider ballet’s best.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)
212-496-0600, nycballet.com

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)

==========================================================================
♦ 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

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.
———————————————————————————————————-

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’. ”

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.
==============================================================
“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.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s