NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/30) + 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:

Marcus Miller: “Electric Miles” (Mar.29-30)
at the Rose Theater, 60th St. at Broadway / 8 p.m.; $40+
Miles Davis, grand musical auteur that he was, also knew the importance of essential collaborators; by the late eighties, the bassist Marcus Miller’s contributions as a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer were crucial to Davis’s work. Here, Miller leads a program devoted to the trumpeter’s late-career forays into funky fusion.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Fatoumata Diawara

>> Bobby McFerrin & Gimme5
>> Duduka Da Fonseca, Helio Alves and Maucha Adnet
>> Ballet Hispánico
>> EDDIE HENDERSON
>> Best of the Boroughs: Staten Island Day
>> Affordable Art Fair

Continuing Events
>> STREB
>> NOCHE FLAMENCA
>>
Make March Madness a slam dunk
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Fatoumata Diawara
musician/actress/activist triple-threat
(Le) Poisson Rouge / 7:30PM, $30+
“Experience the musical stylings of singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara. Fenfo (Something to Say), the Ivory-Coast-born artist’s most recent release, was nominated for a Best World Music Album Grammy in 2018.” (Thrillist)

Bobby McFerrin & Gimme5 (Mar.28-31)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $55+
“There’s far more to McFerrin than that giddy 1988 a cappella hit with the video featuring Robin Williams and Bill Irwin, including collaborations with symphony orchestras, jazz titans and scientists. Here, the uncategorizable vocal marvel plays with his latest ensemble, Gimme5, which bases its work off of McFerrin’s “Circlesinging” practice and invites audience members to join in on its inventive reimagination of bluegrass, folk, jazz, pop and classical.” (TONY)

Duduka Da Fonseca, Helio Alves and Maucha Adnet (Mar.28-31)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM,+9:30PM, $35+
“Tonight’s samba jazz showcase features three of Brazil’s most in-demand musicians, two of whom worked closely with the iconic Antonio Carlos Jobim. Drummer Duduka da Fonseca (of Trio da Paz), pianist Helio Alves, and vocalist Maucha Adnet are all experts in this music, each of them recognized internationally for expanding the worlds of jazz and Latin music. The music is truly infectious, featuring dazzling rhythms, daring improvisations, and soul-stirring harmonies. Come enjoy samba jazz and the music of Jobim performed by those who know it best.”

Ballet Hispánico (Mar.26-31)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $45+
“For nearly fifty years, this troupe has examined Latinx identity and culture through dance. For its Joyce season this year, it shifts the angle of vision to the overlap between Latinx and Asian identities. In his piece “El Viaje,” the Taiwanese-American choreographer Edwaard Liang focusses on Chinese immigration and the China-to-Cuba diaspora. In “Homebound/Alaala,” the Filipino-American choreographer Bennyroyce Royon considers the idea of home in the culture of the Philippines, which was colonized by Spain. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Sombrerísmo,” a stylish work originally made for six men that is as much about machismo as it is about sombreros, gets an all-female cast.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

EDDIE HENDERSON (Mar.28-30)
at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $40
“In big-band jazz and bebop, a trumpeter was often responsible for adding a flare of percussive energy to the upper reaches of a group’s sound. In later forms of jazz, more heavily influenced by funk and soul, the instrument sometimes played more of a steadying role — holding sultry tones, projecting calm — while the rhythm section addressed questions of impact more directly.

Eddie Henderson is comfortable in both circumstances, though he is more commonly associated with the jazz-funk movement of the 1970s, when he was known for work in his own bands and those led by Herbie Hancock. He performs here with Donald Harrison on alto saxophone, Peter Zak on piano, Essiet Okon Essiet on bass and Mike Clark on drums — most of whom appeared on “Be Cool,” Henderson’s strong album from 2018.” (NYT – GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Best of the Boroughs: Staten Island Day
American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square / 11:30AM-7PM, FREE
“This spring, celebrate your city at the American Folk Art Museum. Join us for a five-part series celebrating the contributions, communities, histories, cultures, music, and food of each of New York City’s five boroughs. This multi-day festival is offered in conjunction with the exhibition Made in New York City: The Business of Folk Art (March 19–July 28, 2019).

As part of the new exhibition Made in New York City: The Business of Folk Art, catch a family-friendly Saturday for Best of the Boroughs: Staten Island Day. A gallery talk on the historic Alice Austen House (originally constructed in the 1690s/early 1700s) is part of the afternoon.” (ThoughtGallery)

Affordable Art Fair (Mar.28-31)
Metropolitan Pavilion / 11AM-8PM, $10+
“The price-conscious art fair returns for its 26th edition in NYC. For an $18 advance ticket, you can shop original paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures from 70 local, national and international galleries. With price tags ranging from $100 to $10,000, you can fix up your apartment without breaking the bank.” (TONY)

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Continuing Events

NOCHE FLAMENCA (ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT)
at the Connelly Theater / Tue – Thu at 7:30pm; Fri & Sat at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm; $20+
“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)

If you like flamenco even a little, you must see Soledad’s performance.

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STREB (starts w gala opening Mar.23 – weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.


New Directors/New Films Festival (March 27 to April 7)
The future of cinema.
MoMA Theaters and Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center
“At 48, the joint Museum of Modern Art and Film Society of Lincoln Center festival is one of the most venerable New York film fests — but also the one that’s still most apt to challenge, vex, and explode your perceptions. This year’s starts with a bang — the Sundance sensation Clemency, Chinonye Chukwu’s prison drama with Alfre Woodard and Aldis Hodge. Another Sundance winner, Monos, stars Julianne Nicholson as an American engineer held captive in a South American jungle by teenage guerrillas. The programmers say it’s “sure to be one of the most hotly debated films of 2019,” so see it early and stake out your position.” (David Edelstein, NewYork Magazine)

My favorite NYCity film festival. These films are not all home runs, but it is so exciting when you find the next Pedro Almodóvar.

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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.”

In Memoriam:
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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