NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/05) + 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:  “APRIL 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:

MCCOY TYNER AND CHARLES MCPHERSON WITH THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA (April 5-6)
at the Rose Theater / 8p.m.; $
“Two jazz giants, Tyner and McPherson will celebrate their 80th birthdays together in a performance with Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. (Tyner reached the milestone late last year; McPherson will turn 80 in July.) The large ensemble will play Tyner’s and McPherson’s compositions, which have been newly arranged for orchestra by members of the group.” (NYT- GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Brooklyn Folk Festival
>> NATALIA OSIPOVA
>> Sullivan Fortner Trio
>> Joshua Redman Quartet
>> Unknowability: How Do We Know What Cannot Be Known?
>> The Photography Show
>> NYC Craft Beer Festival

Continuing Events
>> New Directors/New Films Festival
>> STREB

COMING SOON (WFUV)
4/5 Tom Paxton, City Winery
4/8-9 Jeff Tweedy, Town Hall
4/8-9 Andrew Bird, National Sawdust
4/8 Muse, Madison Square Garden
4/9 Charlotte Gainsbourg, Brooklyn Steel
4/10 Melissa Etheridge, Town Hall
4/10 The Wallflowers & Mott the Hoople, Beacon Theatre

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Brooklyn Folk Festival (Ap.5-7)
St. Ann & the Holy Trinity, 157 Montague St., Bklyn / 7PM, $25
“The Brooklyn Folk Festival is entering its eleventh year, which makes it a battle-tested stalwart among music festivals and, in the folk world, a sexy young comer. Presented at St. Ann’s Church by the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, it thrives on its inclusiveness. This year’s edition opens on April 5 with a Sardinian vocal quartet and concludes, two days and more than forty acts later, with a Malian kora player. It also features workshops on such pursuits as flat-foot dancing; like the beloved Newport festivals of yore, the prevailing vibe is that of a socialist summer camp. Fittingly, one highlight is a sing-along to commemorate Pete Seeger—no doubt presently engaged in unionizing his fellow-angels—on his centennial. Another is the annual Banjo Toss, a wish-fulfillment exercise for generations of bluegrass audiences in which the festival producer Eli Smith leads contestants in hurling the instrument into the poor, unsuspecting Gowanus Canal.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

NATALIA OSIPOVA 
at New York City Center / 8PM; $35
“Few contemporary ballerinas have the clout to carry a solo show and tour it internationally, but Osipova, a principal with the Royal Ballet, has been a global fan favorite for years. This is because of her ability to fuse fearlessness with vulnerability and apply it to classic and contemporary work alike. For this program, she has recruited David Hallberg, a cherished partner, with whom she will dance the United States premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s “Valse Triste,” which takes its name from Sibelius’s well-known waltz, and “The Leaves Are Fading” by Antony Tudor. Additional works on the bill — some Osipova will do with other partners; some Osipova and Hallberg will perform solo — are by Iván Pérez, Kim Brandstrup, Roy Assaf and Yuka Oishi.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Sullivan Fortner Trio (April 2-7.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
A highlight of his latest album, “Moments Preserved,” finds the adroit pianist Sullivan Fortner reunited with his former employer, the late trumpeter Roy Hargrove, for a lovely account of Elmo Hope’s early-sixties gem “Eyes So Beautiful As Yours.” It’s an off-center and cunning choice that showcases Fortner’s historical awareness as well as the shining touch and unerring taste that he displayed on his recent work with the singer Cécile McLorin Salvant. He leads a trio that features the bassist Ameen Saleem and the drummer Jeremy (Bean) Clemons.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Joshua Redman Quartet (Apr.2-7)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“One of the biggest saxophone stars of the modern era, Redman plays innovative cuts from an upcoming quartet album—what will be his first in nearly two decades. This agile combo consists of pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson.” (TONY)

“Critics and fans alike are blown away by Redman’s passionate live performances and acclaimed recordings. In The Joshua Redman Quartet, Redman evokes a sound that can be challenging, provocative, and forward-looking, but also hard-swinging, melodic, and soulful – music with a joyous and celebratory spirit.”

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Unknowability: How Do We Know What Cannot Be Known?
The New School, 66 W. 12th St./ 11AM-3:30PM; FREE
“How we know what we cannot know” remains a root human concern, even in these post-truth times. Over Thursday and Friday, catch multidisciplinary talks on unknowability, broken down into Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Psychology and Social Science sessions. Among the topics: consciousness, the Oracle at Delphi, and “The Hierarchy of Ignorance.” (ThoughtGallery)

The Photography Show (Apr.05-07)
Marvel at the longest-running photography fair
Pier 94 / 12-7PM, $30
“If a picture’s worth a thousand words, the Photography Show at Pier 94 is swimming in ‘em. Cheryl Medow’s shots of tropical birds in their environments will stop landscape lovers in their tracks, a solo exhibition spotlighting documentary photographer Danny Lyon’s influences will quench journalism junkies’ curiosity, and dudes donning dangly earrings will gawk at David LaChapelle’s iconic portraits.” (thrillist.com

NYC Craft Beer Festival
Sample suds at a craft beer fest
“The NYC Craft Beer Festival promises beverages from more than 70 breweries, and with unlimited beer or cider tastings you’ll be able to try plenty. Guests will also find food available and games, and all will score a souvenir tasting glass to go.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 7 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, April 5; 1 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6; Union West 535 W. 28th St., Manhattan
INFO Admission $65 per session; 201-434-8700, nyccraftbeerfest.com

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Continuing Events

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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STREB (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.

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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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