NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/12) + 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:  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:

Miguel Zenón (March 12-17)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“The virtuosic saxophonist and questing composer Miguel Zenón is anything but old school, but he does hold to a traditional approach to band-leading: he’s somehow kept the same aggregation of players together for more than a decade. With the pianist Luis Perdomo, the bassist Hans Glawischnig, and the drummer Henry Cole in tow, Zenón explores his Latin-American roots as refracted through a cutting-edge lens.’ (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> Falstaff

>> New York Youth Symphony Jazz with Ryan Keberle and Matt Holman
>>
SHEN YUN

>> VIJAY IYER AND CRAIG TABORN
>> How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat
>> Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts

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

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland / 9:45PM, $25
“Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her biweekly series at the brand-new Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show their talents. Guests at the February 12 edition include Carole J. Bufford, Lucia Spina, Billy Stritch, Barry Anderson and Mark Petty, Amy Rivard, Pascal Victor Pastrana, Daniel Dunlow, Sarah Krauss and cast members from Night of the Living Dead! The Musical!” (TONY)

Giuseppe Verdi
Falstaff (next and last Mar.16, 1PM)
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.”

New York Youth Symphony Jazz with Ryan Keberle and Matt Holman
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30-$35
“The New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band is one of the best ensembles of its kind. The members of this group range in age from early teens to early 20s, making the quality of their performance even more astonishing. While celebrating the heritage of jazz, the group also values a progressive, emerging new sound. Joining the band this evening are two distinguished jazz professionals with exemplary reputations for their involvement in music education: trombonist Ryan Keberle and trumpeter Matt Holman. The show will feature the world premiere of Sam Wolsk’s Not a Day Missed, commissioned as part of the 35th Anniversary of the New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissioning Series. Enjoy the latest addition to a lineage of great big band jazz music championed by this gifted young band.”

SHEN YUN
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $80+
“Shen Yun takes you on an extraordinary journey through China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired civilization. Exquisite beauty from the heavens, profound wisdom from dynasties past, timeless legends and ethnic traditions all spring to life through classical Chinese dance, enchanting orchestral music, authentic costumes, and dynamic animated backdrops. It is an immersive experience that will uplift your spirit and transport you to another world. It’s 5,000 years of civilization reborn!”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

VIJAY IYER AND CRAIG TABORN
at Roulette / 8 p.m.; $18
Two leading jazz pianists in their late 40s, Iyer and Taborn each have their own specific formulas, but both are built on a mix of studious abstraction and propulsive weight. Next week they will release their first album as a duo, the expansive, richly improvised “The Transitory Poems,” on ECM Records. The crystalline scatter of Taborn’s playing meets Iyer’s slightly thicker articulation in a sympathetic repartee; the pair seem to constantly divert their own path. They celebrate the album’s arrival at this concert, playing on two grand pianos.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat
National September 11 Memorial & Museum, 180 Greenwich St./ 7PM, FREE
“Farah Pandith talks about her high-level experience on the National Security Council, State Department, and Homeland Security Advisory Council and the better strategies we need, as laid out in her book.” (ThoughtGallery)

Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts
Barnes and Noble, 150 East 86th St. / 7PM, FREE
“David E. McCraw recounts his experiences as the top newsroom lawyer for The New York Times during the most turbulent era for journalism in generations.”

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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, NO MON.)
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 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 – 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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