NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/10) + 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:  March 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:

SILAS FARLEY
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art / 11 a.m.,1:30 + 3:30 p.m.
“MetLiveArts Performances hosts “Songs From the Spirit,” a site-specific ballet created by Farley, a choreographer and director. During this production, audience members will follow dancers into three galleries as Farley explores ideas revolving around history, spirituality, freedom and the inherent need to create art. The dancers — including Farley, a member of New York City Ballet — are accompanied by traditional spirituals and new songs created by inmates at San Quentin State Prison, courtesy of the Radiotopia podcast “Ear Hustle.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
Of course, you can pair this with a visit to one of America’s premier museums.

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Flamenco Festival
>> Ambrose Akinmusire

>> BALLET FLAMENCO SARA BARAS
>>
Renee Rosnes Quartet

>> Big Apple Comic Con
>> The Armory Show
>> New York International Antiquarian Book Fair

Continuing Events
>> Suzanne Vega.
>> Hubbard Street
>> NOCHE FLAMENCA
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Flamenco Festival (Mar.7-10)
Joe’s Pub / $30
Israel Fernández: Universo Pastora; Sun, Mar 10 at 7PM
Diego Guerrero: Vengo Caminando; Sun, Mar 10 at 9:30PM
“Primarily based in New York, throughout its 22 years of history, Flamenco Festival has taken over (almost) the entire world! Flamenco Festival has a presence in 101 cities, presenting 129 companies and 1,225 shows to 1,600,000 attendees.”

Ambrose Akinmusire (last chance)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Go-for-broke musicians like Ambrose Akinmusire often lead dual musical lives. The gifted trumpeter and composer went big on his compelling 2018 release, “Origami Harvest”—a commissioned work that made fruitfully dissonant use of an impassioned rapper and a string quartet­. Here, though, he reverts to a small group, helming a coiled quintet that features the skillful pianist Sullivan Fortner and the return of the tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

BALLET FLAMENCO SARA BARAS (March 7-10)
at New York City Center / 8 p.m.; $35+
“La Farruca is a style of flamenco characterized by fast, intense footwork, quick spins and dramatic poses. Historically it has been performed by men, but women are increasingly claiming it for themselves. Baras, a flamenco dancer from Spain celebrated for her power and precision, has long been associated with the style. That dismantling of gender roles informs her show “Shadows,” which was created in honor of the 20th anniversary of her company and which will be performed to a score by the guitarist Keko Baldomero.” (NYT- Brian Schaefer)

Renee Rosnes Quartet (Mar.7-10)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35-$45
“One of the premier pianists and composers of her generation, Renee Rosnes has toured and recorded with legendary musicians James Moody, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, JJ Johnson, Bobby Hutcherson, the SFJAZZ Collective, and her husband, pianist Bill Charlap. A New York City staple for years, every member of Rosnes’ group has an extremely impressive résumé and brings their absolute best to this group. If her recent sold-out appearances at Dizzy’s Club are any indication, audiences should expect to hear some of Rosnes’ award-winning original compositions and perhaps a few choice selections by such artists as Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, and Billy Strayhorn. Extraordinarily gifted as a pianist, composer, and bandleader, Rosnes leads one of the most consistently excellent groups in town.”

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Big Apple Comic Con
Penn Plaza Pavilion / 10AM, $30
“Die-hard fans of comics and anime that need a less overwhelming alternative to the behemoth NYCC can head to this delightful old-school convention, running for over 20 years. Browse through bins and bundles of comics and meet icons like William Shatner, Mike Colter, Kathleen Turner, Frank Cho and Brent Spiner. If you’re down for some cosplay fun without experiencing severe agoraphobia, this may be the con for you. “ (TONY)

New York International Antiquarian Book Fair
Park Avenue Armory /
“Calling all bibliophiles! Find something told to love at the Antiquarian Book Fair, happening through Sunday at the Park Avenue Armory. Learn to drink like our forefathers from the 1895 edition of The Mixicologist or How to Mix all Kinds of Fancy Drinks, which includes early on a recipe for a “morning cocktail” with absinthe, brandy, and whiskey. (Fun fact, 1895 was also the the first time the word brunch came into use.) Then take a gander at treasures like an inscribed first U.S. edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (going for $195,000), a first edition of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock with its original dust jacket ($115,000), and an architectural archive featuring Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel’s sketches for the Statue of Liberty. On Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., you can also bring your own rare works, Antique Roadshow–style, for experts to appraise for free.” (grubstreet)

The Armory Show (Mar.7-10)
Piers 90, 92, 94 / 12-8PM, $52
“The Armory Show is a top international art fair devoted to the most important artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries. The show combines a selection of the world’s leading galleries—more than 200 of them from 30 countries around the world—with an unsurpassed program of art events and exhibitions at the fair venue and throughout New York City.” (nycgo.com)

“For three days or so at the beginning of each March, Armory Week—the closest thing the New York art world has to Fashion Week—brings a stampede of collectors, curators, artists and dealers (including, of course, those from Chelsea, Uptown and Lower East Side galleries) to the city. Thousands of them from all over the world rush in for a confluence of art fairs featuring modern and contemporary art of all stripes. For the general public, Armory Week—which takes its name from The Armory Show—offers the perfect opportunity to discover the latest trends in art. There’s tons to see, and taking it all in can be exhausting, but there’s a fair for everyone’s taste. To help you find one that suits yours, we offer this handy guide of the best things to do during Armory Week.” (TONY)

Celebrate 25 years of the Armory Show.
“Break out the comfy kicks, art lovers (and according our critic Jerry Saltz, pack snacks and breath mints), it’s Armory Show week. The behemoth itself is now on Piers 90, 92 ,and 94 (with a shuttle running in between), but all the major players are still there, including this year’s “Focus” section, curated by Lauren Haynes of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. When you’re done with all that head to the satellite fairs: cutting-edge works at the Independent on Varick Street; exhibits with the theme “fact and fiction” at Spring/Break, this year at the U.N. Plaza; 60 international exhibitors at Scope, at the Metropolitan Pavilion; and the self-explanatory Art on Paper at Pier 36. Buy tickets ahead of time to avoid lines.” (grubstreet)

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Continuing Events

Suzanne Vega (through March 16)
at Café Carlyle
“This New York-based singer-songwriter has been composing and performing folk-inspired acoustic tunes since she was a Barnard student in the early 1980s. The venerable cabaret Café Carlyle might be considerably more upscale than Tom’s Restaurant — the Upper West Side student haunt that inspired Vega’s enduring and influential single “Tom’s Diner” — but both offer a glimpse of a bygone New York. A product of the bohemian Greenwich Village folk scene, which has all but disappeared, Vega herself presents an evening of time travel to a completely different period in the city’s history.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Hubbard Street (thru Mar.17)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./
“Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, one of the country’s most prominent contemporary-dance ensembles, returns to New York after a four-year absence. Each half of the two-week run is devoted to a single choreographer: the Tel Aviv-based Ohad Naharin first, followed by the Canada-born Crystal Pite. “Decadance/Chicago” is an updated version of Naharin’s popular 2000 work, a series of surrealistic vignettes that concludes with a section in which audience members slow-dance with the cast onstage. The Pite evening, in contrast, is made up of three works—“A Picture of You Falling,” “The Other You,” and “Grace Engine”—executed in Pite’s highly articulated, sinuous movement style.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

NOCHE FLAMENCA  (thru Mar.31)
at the Connelly Theater
“This splendid flamenco company, led by Martín Santangelo, its artistic director, and the dancer Soledad Barrio, presents “Entre Tú y Yo” (“Between You and Me”), an evening of solos, duets and ensemble works that includes “Refugiados” (“Refugees”), which has been recently added to the company’s repertoire. The piece transforms poems written by children in refugee camps into song and dance. The program also features the latest iteration of “La Ronde,” which is inspired by Max Ophüls’s 1950 film and spotlights the talents of a guitarist, a vocalist and a solo dancer.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
(March 10, 3 p.m.; March 12-14, 7:30 p.m.; through March 31).
If you like flamenco even a little you must see Soledad’s performance.

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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– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

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 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
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.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

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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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