NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/29) + 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:  “June 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.”

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

LIMÓN DANCE COMPANY
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30 p.m.; $45+
(May 30-31, 8 p.m.; through June 2).
“This company, founded in 1946, preserves the works of José Limón, the Mexican-born pillar of American modern dance. This season’s offerings include “The Moor’s Pavane,” a 20-minute take on “Othello” from 1949 that is one of Limón’s most enduring works, and “Psalm,” an ensemble work from 1967 that was revamped in 2002. Joining these are “The Weather in the Room” by the company’s artistic director, Colin Connor, and “Radical Beasts in the Forest of Possibilities” by Francesca Harper.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Nicole Henry: Where Love Is
>> AARON TVEIT
>> XENIA RUBINOS
>> URI CAINE
>> American Ballet Theatre

You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Nicole Henry: Where Love Is
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“Since her debut in 2004, Nicole Henry has established herself as one of the jazz world’s most acclaimed vocalists and has captivated audiences in over 15 countries. Her soulful voice and genuine charisma earned her a 2013 Soul Train Award for “Best Traditional Jazz Performance,” three top-10 U.S. Billboard and HMV Japan jazz albums, and rave reviews both domestically and internationally.”

AARON TVEIT
at Webster Hall / 9 p.m.; $35
‘This singer and actor gracefully navigates between stage and screen. Known for roles like Gabe Goodman in Broadway’s “Next to Normal” and Enjolras in the 2012 film adaptation of “Les Miserables,” Tveit, a native of New York’s Hudson Valley, wields a titanic tenor. Unlike many fellow Broadway stars, he has yet to leverage his stage career as a segue into original music. At jukebox-style concerts like the one on Wednesday, he typically performs a mix of pop covers and show tunes, as heard on “The Radio in My Head,” his live solo album from 2013, which features songs by Joni Mitchell and Taylor Swift, and from “Rent” and “Carousel.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

Elsewhere, but this looks like it might be worth the long detour:

XENIA RUBINOS
at Murmrr Ballroom, 17 Eastern Parkway, Bklyn. / 7 p.m.; $15
“On paper, this Brooklynite’s music seems dizzyingly multifaceted: She fuses elements of hip-hop, R&B, jazz, funk, soul and indie rock, while also nodding to Latin rhythms, inspired by her Cuban and Puerto Rican heritage. But the singer is always looking for ways to unify these many textures; on her most recent album, “Black Terry Cat,” she corrals her diverse influences in service of potent questions about race, labor and American identity. One highlight, “Mexican Chef,” delivers the memorable lyric “Brown raised America in place of its mom.” Rubinos’s performance at this ballroom inside a Brooklyn temple will follow a panel discussion about the music-streaming economy, presented by the Baffler.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

URI CAINE (May 28-June 1)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Prodigiously gifted and bursting with vigor at the piano, Caine is the uncommon player who sounds just as deft on a deep groove, a classical minuet or a freely improvised odyssey. Highlights of his upcoming week at the Stone include a solo performance on Thursday, drawing from the second book in John Zorn’s epic “Masada” series, and his appearance on May 31 with a tango-inspired band featuring Mark Feldman on violin, Agustin Uriburu on cello, Julien Labro on bandoneon and Pablo Aslan on bass.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

American Ballet Theatre (through July 6)
Metropolitan Opera House / 2PM, + 7:30PM, $25+
“After a week of showcasing the more serious, probing side of its resident choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky, Ballet Theater serves up one of his more frothy and whimsical creations: “Whipped Cream,” a 2017 work inspired by a 1924 ballet that is literally about a kid in a candy store. In the tradition of “The Nutcracker,” the tasty treats dance. Beginning on Thursday, the company takes a stylistic about-face with the start of its Twyla Tharp program, comprising “The Brahms-Haydn Variations,” the virtuoso “In the Upper Room” and the Beach Boys escapade “Deuce Coupe.” (Brian Schaefer-NYT)
Tonight: Whipped Cream
Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky
Libretto and Score by Richard Strauss

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

more coming soon.


Continuing Events

Coming soon.

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

5/29 Rufus Wainwright, City Winery
5/29 Weyes Blood, Music Hall of Williamsburg

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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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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.”
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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 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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Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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

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Bonus#2 – 9 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend New York Times (05/24/19)

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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