NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/16) + 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:  “July 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:

Steve Smith’s Groove Blue Organ Trio (July16-19)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $30-$40
“The former drummer for arena-rock monolith Journey has traipsed through all varieties of funky music over the course of his storied career, playing with the likes of Allan Holdsworth, Frank Gambale, Stanley Clarke and even Mariah Carey. Here Smith turns up with a hard-grooving trio to demonstrate his muscular chops in jazz-rock workouts and Buddy Rich–inspired jazz blasts.” (TONY)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Maria Kochetkova
>> Shaina Taub
>> The Evan Sherman Big Band featuring Joy Brown
>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher

>> Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz
>> Pulitzer Winner Colson Whitehead Reads From His Book The Nickel Boys
>> What’s in Your Faucet? Climate Change and New York City’s Water Supply

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Maria Kochetkova (July 16-21)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30 p.m.; $55+ (may need to try another night)
“Maria Kochetkova is one of those can-do ballerinas with limitless technical capacities and boundless energy. In her eleven-year career at San Francisco Ballet, she danced everything from Petipa to William Forsythe and Wayne McGregor—always with rigor and style. For the past year, she has been freelancing. Now she has a project of her own, a program of new and recent works, called “Catch Her if You Can,” by a cluster of big names such as Forsythe, David Dawson, and Marco Goecke, which she will perform along with friends and colleagues, including Drew Jacoby and Sebastian Kloborg. In addition, the French dance-theatre choreographer Jérôme Bel has created a sort of mini-portrait of Kochetkova, the title of which, “Masha Machine,” references the nickname by which she is best known to dancers and fans alike.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

Shaina Taub
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $20
“Accomplished piano songstress and theater composer Taub, whose wrote the score for the Public Works productions of Twelfth Night and As You Like It, shares new material in her latest Joe’s Pub set. Though her musicianship sometimes outstrips her lyrics, there’s no doubt she’s a rising talent.” (TONY)

The Evan Sherman Big Band featuring Joy Brown: A Tribute to Dinah Washington
Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame Celebration
Dizzy’s Club / 9:30PM, $?
“The votes are in, and now it’s time to celebrate the 2019 Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame inductees! This year’s festivities continue with the Evan Sherman Big Band and special guest vocalist Joy Brown in a tribute to the great Dinah Washington. A formidable vocal master who even enjoyed crossover success on the charts, Dinah Washington effortlessly bridged the worlds of jazz, blues, R&B, and pop. Her distinctive vocal prowess and tone enabled her to take any song and make it uniquely her own, undertaking transformative interpretations of anything from Fats Waller to Hank Williams. With support from the hard-swinging Evan Sherman Big Band, vocalist Joy Brown will offer her own fresh take on the iconic vocalist. Don’t miss this special, one-set-only Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame induction celebration.”

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 weekly series at the downstairs Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show their talents. Guests at the July 9 edition include Dan Finnerty, Van Hughes, Lauren Mufson, Jodi Bluestein, Jeffery Power, Dylan Hartwell, Miss Maybell, Joe Ardizzone and Carson Scott Higgins.” (TONY)

Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz (also July 18-20)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $70+
“The stars of the original Off Broadway production of The Last Five Years, having gone on to major Broadway careers, reunite for a nightclub set. Scott is a blond bombshell with a paradoxical flair for understatement, a reticent power that reached its apex in her 2010 Broadway showcase, Everyday Rapture; Butz has an unlikely but winning combination of everyday guyness and star magnetism. In addition to The Last Five Years, the two have also shared the stage in Rent and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and both are highly accomplished nightclub performers, so this should be a doozy. Todd Almond is the musical director.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Pulitzer Winner Colson Whitehead Reads From His Book The Nickel Boys
Barnes and Noble Union Square / 7:30PM, FREE
“In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.”
Restrictions apply. Call store for details.

What’s in Your Faucet? Climate Change and New York City’s Water Supply
New York Public Library—Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 476 Fifth Ave./ 6PM, FREE
“This month, we’ll consider the availability, quality, and distribution of water, focusing on New York City’s drinking water system. In the wake of changing climate conditions and municipal water supply disasters like Flint, how are we ensuring that New Yorkers have continued access to safe water?”


Continuing Events

“Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival will run from July 10 through August 10, 2019. Harnessing Mozart’s innovative spirit as its inspiration, this edition will feature groundbreaking, multidisciplinary, international productions and acclaimed artists from a variety of genres, introducing the audience to emerging creative voices, commissions and premieres.  The program will include performances from Mark Morris Dance Company, a panel discussion on Mozart’s Magic Flute, a screening of the film The Great Buster: A Celebration, and much more. For a full festival lineup, visit the Mostly Mozart Festival event page.” (nyc-arts.org)

NYC Restaurant Week 2019:
Start making your reservations.

“The more than three-week-long promotion featuring two-course lunches ($26) and three-course dinners ($42) at some of the city’s best restaurants is back for its summer edition starting July 22. This time around, the celebration features prix-fixe meals at more than 380 eateries, with deals through Aug. 16.

You can find links to menus and the restaurants involved here, but check out our picks for some of the most enticing deals below.” (amNY)

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

7/17 Okkervil River, City Winery
7/17 Aimee Mann, 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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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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