NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/23) + 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.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”


Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

New York City Ballet (thru June 2)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $35+
“In the first week of the season, the company dances two alternating programs of works created for it in the twenty-first century, in addition to William Forsythe’s “Herman Schmerman,” from 1992. Forsythe’s subversion of balletic conventions—courtly manners, gender roles, hierarchy—began a conversation that is still very much alive in the world of ballet. “Herman” shares a program with Alexei Ratmansky’s “Concerto DSCH,” a witty and stylish romp to Shostakovich. Two distinguished works from the past five years, Ratmansky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Justin Peck’s “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes,” bookend the other program. Both are set to excitingly descriptive scores, the former by Mussorgsky and the latter by Copland.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Sam Reider & Human Hands
>> Project Broadway: Lady Lyricists
>> 54 Sings Lady Gaga
>> Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
>>The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> One Book, One New York: Author Event

>> France in the World: A New Global History

Continuing Events
>> Tribeca Film Festival

4/23 Bailen, Music Hall of Williamsburg
4/24 Girlpool, Hatchie, Music Hall of Williamsburg


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Sam Reider & Human Hands
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $35
“[a] staggeringly virtuosic band” RnR Magazine

“Accordionist, pianist, and composer Sam Reider leads the Brooklyn-based crew of bluegrass and jazz musicians known as the Human Hands. Riding high from their critically acclaimed debut record in 2018, Too Hot to Sleep, Human Hands has recently appeared at major festivals and venues throughout the U.S. and UK and performed live on the BBC. With an expansive repertoire that’s technically thrilling and yet infectiously melodic and enjoyable, Human Hands approaches each performance with an exuberance and sense of fun-loving comradery that guarantees a good time for fans of folk, bluegrass, or jazz.”

Project Broadway: Lady Lyricists
Symphony Space / 7:30PM, $30
“Join us for this celebration of musical theater’s finest female wordsmiths, from yesterday’s greats to today’s pioneers. Delight in an evening celebrating lyricists from Betty Comden (On the Town) and Dorothy Fields (Sweet Charity) to Lynn Ahrens (Once on This Island), Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde), Mindi Dickstein (Little Women), Marcy Heisler (Ever After), and Marsha Norman (The Secret Garden). Performers include Kate Baldwin (Hello, Dolly!), Ellie Fishman (Finding Neverland), Jason Gotay (Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark), Drew Gehling (Waitress), Bre Jackson (The Color Purple), Kennedy Kanagawa, Michael Maliakel (Monsoon Wedding), and Alli Mauzey (Hello, Dolly!), with music direction by Leo Munby.”

54 Sings Lady Gaga
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 9:30PM, $45+
“Annie Golden, F. Michael Haynie, Taylor Iman Jones, Lauren Marcus, Brian Charles Rooney, Carrie St. Louis and Talia Suskauer are among the roughly two dozen artists saluting the oeuvre of born star Lady Gaga in this one-night concert. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Born This Way Foundation.” (TONY)

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society (April 23-24)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $30
“Ever since the demise of the swing era, in the late forties, maintaining a large jazz orchestra has primarily been the province of the aesthetically obsessed—those who dream in terms of the myriad tonal colors that only a lush ensemble can afford. Continually traversing the intersection where orchestral girth meets new jazz, the adventurous composer and arranger Darcy James Argue has kept his Secret Society aggregate alive for more than a decade, helping to kick-start the slow but steady rebirth of the contemporary big band.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland / 9:30PM, $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 March 26 edition include BETTY, Nicolas King, Amy Toporek, Mark William, Gene Reed, Gracie and Rachel, Andrew Swackhamer and Kristi Ambrosetti.” (TONY)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

One Book, One New York: Author Event
NY Public Library—Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 476 Fifth Ave. / 6:30PM, FREE
“Meet the incredible group of women authors who wrote this year’s five nominated titles and prepare to cast your vote! Patti Smith is just one of the illustrious authors appearing at a One Book, One New York panel.

Fatima Farheen Mirza, A Place for Us
Nicholasa Mohr (David Mohr), Nilda
Min Jin Lee, Free Food for Millionaires
Patti Smith, Just Kids
Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn
Arianna Rebolini, Books editor, Buzzfeed News

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the BuzzFeed Book Club introduce all five nominated books and authors for One Book, One New York in a special evening of conversation at The New York Public Library. Hear what inspired the authors to write these celebrated titles, check-out the books and then cast your vote for the One Book we should read altogether.”

France in the World: A New Global History
Albertine, 972 Fifth Ave./ 7PM, FREE
“Join us for a panel discussion to celebrate the release of “France in the World,” the English-Language translation of the bestselling Histoire mondiale de la France, a volume conceived and mastered by leading French academic and Collège de France professor, Patrick Boucheron.

France in the World combines the intellectual rigor of an academic work with the liveliness and readability of popular history. This dynamic collection presents a new way of writing national and global histories while developing our understanding of France in the world through short, provocative essays that range from prehistoric frescoes to Coco Chanel to the terrorist attacks of 2015.”


Continuing Events

Tribeca Film Festival

“Robert De Niro and Co.’s Tribeca Film Festival has long shown a spotlight on local indie features, documentaries, foreign films, the latest from big-name talent and the greatest from up-and-coming filmmakers.

TimeOutNY has got your complete one-stop-shopping guide to Tribeca Film Festival: their personal must-see picks, movie screenings, ticket info, a list of nearby bars and restaurants and much more.”

See Also:

IndieWire – Tribeca 2019: 12 Must-See Films at This Year’s Festival, From Danny Boyle to a Wild ‘Showgirls’ Doc

CBS News – 15 highlights at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in NYC (NYMag) – Tribeca Film Festival What to see at the independent film fest April 24 to May 5.


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.

♦ 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.


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.,, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St.,, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St.,, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St. (btw 6/7),, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St.,, 212-505-3474
Sony Hall – 235 W 46th St. (btw 7/8),, 212-997-5123
and one more, not exactly WestSide:
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St.

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


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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.

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.”
“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.

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.

“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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 FALL 2019).
◊ Order before NOV. 30, 2019 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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