NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/24) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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:

New Shanghai Circus
A day at the Chinese circus
Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce St. / 4PM, $29
“Drawing on 2,000 years of Chinese circus traditions, the New Shanghai Circus stretches the limits of human strength and agility during a one-off performance at the Schimmel Center. China’s most celebrated circus company brings a troupe of acrobats, jugglers, contortionists and more sure to amaze.” (Metro)
“Feats of circus art that reach breathtaking heights of skill.” – The New York Times

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Musical Salute To The First Ladies of Neo-Soul: Sade, Lauryn Hill & Jill Scott feat. Emilie Surtees
>> Reeve Carney
>> Dayna Stephens Quartet

>> New York Dance Festival
>> COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET
>> One Day University: A Morning of Music
>> Make Mozzarella Drink Wine
Continuing Events 
>> NYC Beer Week
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>>NEW YORK CITY BALLET
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Musical Salute To The First Ladies of Neo-Soul: Sade, Lauryn Hill & Jill Scott feat. Emilie Surtees
City Vineyard at Pier 26 / 8:30PM, $25
“For a singer with such powerful pipes, it’s something of a shock to hear vocalist Emilie Surtees describe herself as primarily a “listener.” Then again, maybe it’s her extraordinary capacity to listen that gives her tribute to Sade, Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott its amazing accuracy. Surtees not only replicates hit songs, power note for power note, but communicates the soul of each singer who originally recorded them — something that requires not only incredible vocals but also a profound appreciation of music. Be moved and amazed by a tribute artist every bit as talented as the singers she honors.”

Reeve Carney
The Green Room 42 / 9:30PM, $30+
“After originating the web-singing title role in Broadway’s ill-fated Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Carney has gone on to star as Dorian Gray in Penny Dreadful. In November, he’ll play Orpheus in the London premiere of Hadestown. First, though, he returns to the Green Room 42 with a solo show that focuses on original songs from his 2016 album, Youth Is Wasted.” (TONY)

Dayna Stephens Quartet (LAST CHANCE)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“The riveting post-bop saxophonist Dayna Stephens has already proved his worth on this bandstand as a trusted associate in the ensembles of Kenny Barron and others. For this critical engagement, though, he débuts at the helm of a topnotch quartet, featuring the pianist Aaron Parks, the bassist Ben Street, and the drummer Gregory Hutchinson.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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)

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)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

One Day University: A Morning of Music
New York Institute of Technology / 10AM-1:15PM, $119
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
A Brief History of Jazz: America’s Greatest Original Art Form
This lecture, designed for jazz fans and newcomers alike, celebrates America’s most distinctive music and its impact on global culture. Jazz is a genre broad in scope with the power to cross multiple borders: geographical, political, economic, racial, and religious. The key to jazz is its connection to recorded sound. It was the first musical genre shaped by modern technology – the first world-wide music phenomenon.
11:45 AM – 1:15 PM
Showstoppers: Memorable songs from Broadway (and beyond), and what makes them so great

Make Mozzarella Drink Wine (next Mar.17)
Don’t just eat cheese and wine; make it
Keste, Fulton St. / 3PM, $75
“Learn the craft of mozzarella-making while you sip unlimited red and white wine pours at Keste restaurant’s Fulton Street location. You’ll pull and knead your own cheesy creation, and sample Italian bites like burrata, bocconcini salad with fresh tomatoes, and Neapolitan pizza.” (Thrillist)

MORE SMART STUFF COMING SOON.

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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

NYC Beer Week (Feb. 23-March 2)
The best week for craft beer lovers
“The NYC Brewers Guild’s annual celebration of all things hops, malt and a little madness, NYC Beer Week, returns with over 60 breweries taking part in more than 150 events, from walk-around tastings to tap takeovers, brewer talks and pairing dinners. With beers brewed special for the festival, it’s a chance to taste things you won’t find anywhere else in the company of people who love one thing above all else”. (Metro)

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)

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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: 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.

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

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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A PremierPub / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

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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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