NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/08) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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.”


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

Joey Alexander Trio featuring Larry Grenadier & Kendrick Scott
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $20-$35
“Too often, talented young artists succumb to believing so much in their own ability that they lose sight of their true potential as significant contributors to their field. Thankfully, there are others committed to evolving and lifting the music to new levels of appreciation with enthusiasm, engagement, and emotional depth. Enter pianist Joey Alexander, who at the age of 14 has already recorded two GRAMMY-nominated studio albums.

With his third studio effort Eclipse, his most personal statement to date, Joey takes another giant step forward, demonstrating his aptitude as a composer, bandleader, and musician, hinting at the many artistic paths open to him in the decades ahead.”


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Eifman Ballet
>> The Losers Lounge: Tribute to ABBA
>> Paul Taylor Dance Company
>> Ravi Coltrane
>> Bacon and Beer Classic

>> New York City Open
>> CraftNewYork

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


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Eifman Ballet (June 7-9)
City Center, 131 W. 55th St./ m
“The St. Petersburg-based choreographer Boris Eifman, a master of melodrama writ large, returns with his newest ballet, “The Pygmalion Effect,” loosely based on the myth about a sculptor who succumbs to the charms of his creation (a beautiful woman, naturally). In this version, Pygmalion is a choreographer, and his creation is a dancer whom he trains to perfection. The music, taped, is a collage of pieces by Johan Strauss II.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

The Losers Lounge: Tribute to ABBA (June 6-8)
Joe’s Pub / 7PM, +9:30PM, $35
“Joe McGinty has led The Loser’s Lounge since the ’90s, paying tribute to a different artist every month with a cavalcade of guest vocalists. This weekend should be an especially good time as they’ll be singing the songs of ABBA.” (BrooklynVegan)

Paul Taylor Dance Company (June 7-9, 11-12, and 21-23)
Neidorff-Karpati Hall, Manhattan School of Music, 120 Claremont Ave. / 2PM, $
“Last year was a major time of change for the Paul Taylor Dance Company. In May, Taylor selected the company’s next artistic director: Michael Novak, a member of the troupe. Then, in August, Taylor died, at the age of eighty-eight. Now the company has embarked on a new venture, a collaboration with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, which will illuminate Taylor’s complex relationship with the music of Bach, one that spanned four decades. In three programs at the Manhattan School of Music, June 7-23, the company will perform all six of Taylor’s works set to Bach, plus new ones created by Pam Tanowitz and Margie Gillis. In the earliest and thorniest work, “Junction” (1961), Taylor, then still an experimentalist, prods the limits of the ineffable quality known as musicality—as Taylor once wrote, he felt that steps and music “have the right to ignore each other.” In contrast, the epic “Promethean Fire” (2002) and the joyous “Esplanade” (1975) seem to tap into the music’s very essence—and show how Taylor mellowed with age.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

Ravi Coltrane (June 4-8)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, + 11PM; $30+
“It took time and persistence, but Ravi Coltrane has thrown off the yoke of his familial legacy—he’s the son of John and Alice Coltrane—and emerged as an imaginative saxophonist, composer, and bandleader in his own right. Coltrane hasn’t released a new solo recording in a few years, but his impressive showing on the stirring 2016 release “In Movement,” with Jack DeJohnette and Matthew Garrison, still registers seismic activity. His own quartet features the venturing pianist David Virelles.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Bacon and Beer Classic
Pig out on bacon and beer
The Brooklyn Mirage, Bushwick / m, $69 – $119
“Prepare your body for unlimited beer and unlimited bacon: A ticket to the Bacon and Beer Classic gets you as much of both as you can take down in three hours. With over 100 beers and 30+ bacon dishes — think bacon cupcakes, bacon ramen, bacon BBQ, and even bacon ice cream — you’ll have to move quickly. If you can still hold your phone with all that bacon grease on your fingers, the venue will feature Instagrammable moments, including a bacon seesaw (don’t worry…it won’t stain your outfit).” (Thrillist)

New York City Open (June7-9)
Watch the world’s best setters and spikers
Hudson River Park, 427 Gansevoort St. / 10AM, FREE
“The AVP pros are coming to NYC for the Gold Series, a three-day competition featuring both men’s and women’s beach volleyball tournaments. Take a seat in the stands along the river, sip a few cold beers from the beer garden, and watch Olympians (and future Olympians!) bump, set, and spike for their share of a $300,000 purse. You might just get inspired to try it out for yourself on the beach volleyball courts down at Pier 25.”

CraftNewYork (June 8-9)
Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center / 10AM – 7PM, FREE entry
“Not your average outdoor market, CraftNewYork features curated modern and contemporary pieces and art items, created by more than 175 imaginative minds from around the nation. Accessories, jewelry and clothing also will be for sale, and guests can sample small-batch edibles, condiments and beverages.” (amNY)

Continuing Events

“Masters of the Fantastic” (LAST DAY)
Society of Illustrators, 128 E63rd St. / 10AM-5PM, $15
“The Society of Illustrators celebrates the original artwork that of our most celebrated fictional worlds. Trip out as you look back on book covers, movie posters, fable illustrations, and concept designs that have expanded the possibilities of fantasy and sci-fi storytelling.” (TONY)
Subway: F to Lexington Ave–63rd St; N, Q, R to Lexington Ave–59th St; 4, 5, 6 to 59th St

OutdoorFest 2019 (thru June 9)
Various locations and prices
“OutdoorFest, a ten-day lineup of activities, classes and volunteering opportunities, aims to get New York apartment dwellers to engage with the natural environment around the five boroughs and beyond. Look up the full schedule and save your spot for canoeing, camping, bouldering, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, running, surfing and more.” (TONY)

Underground Railroad Game (thru June 15)
A comedy, actually.
“Created by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with the Philly-based company Lightning Rod Special, the incendiary Underground Railroad Game returns to New York for 18 performances. Welcome to Hanover Middle School, where a pair of teachers tackle American history, race, sex, and power in a ferocious, sensational, very R-rated lesson.” (S.H.- NY Magazine)
Ars Nova at Greenwich House, 27 Barrow Street, May 30 to June 15.

at the Delacorte Theater (in previews; opens on June 11, thru June 23).
“Sigh no more, Shakespeare fans. Shakespeare in the Park — its tickets distributed free by line and lottery — returns with this sparkling comedy of sparring lovers. In postwar Messina, Beatrice (Danielle Brooks) and Benedick (Grantham Coleman) are a couple who despise each other. Until they don’t. Kenny Leon directs. ” (NYT-Alexis Soloski)


6/8 The Mavericks, Beacon Theatre
6/8 Parquet Courts, Summerstage
6/8 Ibeyi, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
6/9-10 Beach House, Brooklyn Steel
6/11 Justin Townes Earle, City Winery
6/12 The National with Courtney Barnett, Celebrate Brooklyn – live broadcast on 90.7 FM
6/12 Happy Together Tour w/ The Turtles & more, St. George Theater

♦ 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.

A PremierPub / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.

“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 (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.


Bonus Live Music  – NYC Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So.,, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – – (1st set 7:30)

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. — / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
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.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.


Bonus#2 – 10 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend New York Times (06/07/19)

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


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):


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