NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/22) + 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:

Monday Nights with WBGO: Andrea Motis Quintet
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $30
“Singer and trumpeter Andrea Motis makes her anticipated New York City debut at Jazz at Lincoln Center alongside the same remarkably consistent lineup that has brought incredible life to her albums. On Motis’ latest record, Do Outro Lado do Azul, she brings together jazz, Mediterranean influences, and above all, the sounds of Brazil and its legendary composers. Her overall repertoire is even more extensive, however, featuring smart originals, American songbook standards, and more. Motis plays trumpet with a bright, relaxed feel and sings with rare dexterity in Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and English. Her extremely tight band really rounds out the performance, holding it down with as a precise, yet soulful rhythm section and contributing plenty of memorable solos of their own. This performance is equally recommended for fans of jazz, Brazilian music, and beyond.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> The Loser’s Lounge Tribute to Prince
>> Broadway Rising Stars
>> Victor Wooten
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> A Familiar Face: Emoji Design Over Time

>> How to Do Nothing: Jenny Odell and Aparna Nancherla
>> Monday Night Magic

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

The Loser’s Lounge Tribute to Prince
@ City Winery / 9:30PM, $32+
“The original Varick St location of City Winery is closing soon, moving to it’s new Pier 57 locations next year, and if you’re looking to visit one more time this is a good one. Joe McGinty and the ace Loser’s Lounge orchestra paying tribute to Prince with a variety of guest vocalists.” (brooklynvegan)

Broadway Rising Stars
Town Hall / 8:00pm, $37+
“Tony Award Winner, former Broadway Rising Star, Ali Stroker, will be a Special Guest Star to perform and introduce our new Rising Stars!

A national showcase that introduces New York audiences to the next generation of up-and-coming talent as chosen by a panel of discerning judges from among the most outstanding new graduates from acclaimed institutions.”

Victor Wooten (July 22-24)
Blue Note / 8PM,10:30PM, $30-$45
“Best known as the longtime bassist of Bela Fleck’s Flecktones, Wooten’s turned up in various capacities in the city the past several years, including alongside Chick Corea for the keyboard pioneer’s 75th birthday celebration. Expect to be awed as he leads a funky quartet.” (TONY)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party (Cabaret)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 9:30PM, $30
the witty host attracts broadway stars on their night off, along with up and comers.
“Part cabaret, part piano bar and part social set, Cast Party offers a chance to hear rising and established talents step up to the microphone (backed by the slap and tickle of Steve Doyle on bass and Billy Stritch at the ivories, plus the bang of Daniel Glass on drums). The waggish Caruso presides as host.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

A Familiar Face: Emoji Design Over Time
The Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St. | 41 Cooper Sq./ 6:30PM, FREE
“It is easy to think of Emoji as being glib; existing without a history, or created without a designer. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Because they are so ubiquitous, it is important to inspect them with a critical eye — where they came from, what purpose they serve, why do they look the way they do, who made them that way, and how their design subconsciously affects our communication. From ’90s mobile phones and the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, to Unicode and Apple, together we will trace emoji back to their roots, and speculate on their future.”

How to Do Nothing: Jenny Odell and Aparna Nancherla
McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St./ 7PM, FREE
“Artist and critic Jenny Odell argues that nothing is harder today than doing nothing. Find her in conversation on her new field guide to focus, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, which posits that our attention is “the most precious—and overdrawn—resource we have.” (ThoughtGallery)

Monday Night Magic
Players Theatre, West Village / 8PM, $42.50
“For more than two decades,, this proudly old-school series has offered a different lineup of professional magicians every week: opening acts, a headliner and a host, plus two or three close-up magicians to wow the audience at intermission. Housed for the past seven years at the unprepossessing Players Theatre, it is an heir to the vaudeville tradition.

Many of the acts incorporate comedic elements, and audience participation is common. (If you have young children, bring them; they make especially adorable assistants.) Shows cost just $37.50 in advance and typically last well over two hours, so you get a lot of value and variety for your magic dollar. In contrast to some fancier magic shows, this one feels like comfort food: an all-you-can eat buffet to which you’re encouraged to return until you’re as stuffed as a hat full of rabbits.” (TONY)


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: STARTS TODAY
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)

JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film
Japan Society, 333 East 47th St./ various times, $15 individual films
“From July 19 – 28, the Japan Society will present JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film. Premiering 26 features and 16 short films, the festival offers a deep dive into one of the world’s most vital film cultures with a diverse selection across its Feature Slate, Classics: Rediscoveries and Restorations, Documentary Focus, Experimental Spotlight and Shorts Showcase sections. This year’s lineup features 19 first-time filmmakers and 14 female directors (the most in the festival’s history), including 10 International Premieres, 16 North American Premieres, 4 U.S. Premieres, 4 East Coast Premieres and 6 New York Premieres. In addition, over 20 guest filmmakers and talent from Japan will join the festival to participate in post-screening Q&As and parties.”
(NYC-ARTS.ORG)

GregD: This is the Best of Contemporary Japanese Cinema – some films already sold out.

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

7/22 Jesca Hoop, Rough Trade
7/23 Taj Mahal, City Winery
7/24 Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie, Forest Hills Stadium
7/24 Steve Miller Band & Marty Stuart, Rooftop at Pier 17
7/24 Caroline Rose, Rocks Off Concert Cruises

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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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