NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/07) + 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:  “August 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:

Jesús Carmona- Amator: Electrifying Flamenco Choreography and Improvisation
+ Arooj Aftab
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“With his flawless footwork and ballet-infused moves, Jesús Carmona is “un fenómeno”—a phenomenon—of the flamenco world (New York Times). He brings his palpable charisma to the Damrosch Park Bandshell for a performance of his intensely beautiful Amator, a deeply personal work that draws upon his love of Spanish dance. Experience this masterful feat of electrifying choreography and improvisation, accompanied by onstage orchestration.

This evening of visceral musicality begins with Lahore-born, Brooklyn-based artist Arooj Aftab who is continuing the Sufi tradition with a style that combines Sufi-mystical poetry with the spirit of independent rock. Reworking classical Pakistani and North Indian forms, including thumri, khayal, and kafi, she creates a fascinating mix of sounds and cultures that will float through the night air with lightness and poise. Tonight, Aftab presents new music in collaboration with an exceptional ensemble featuring Maeve Gilchrist, Shahzad Ismaily, Gyan Riley and Greg Fox.

“The fast-slicing percussiveness of his feet is brilliant.”
– New York Times on Jesús Carmona

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>
Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward
>> Michael Feinstein: I Happen to Like New York
>> Accordions Around the World
>> Charenee Wade: Betty Carter at 90
>> Joshua Bell Plays Dvořák
>> MOLLY BURCH
>> Ruin and Redemption in Architecture: Dan Barasch

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward (Aug.7-11)
Irish Repertory Theatre / 3PM, +8PM, $45-$50
“The Noël Coward touch was always a light one. His music scampers like a mouse; his lyrics bounce like balloons. In his plays, even suffering has an upward tendency. But when his work is excerpted and performed by others, that glancing quality can turn coy and saccharine, as it sometimes does in Barry Day’s two-handed cabaret Love, Noël.

Reading from Coward’s letters and covering nearly two dozen songs, cabaret stars Steve Ross and KT Sullivan pay Coward tribute. Sometimes Ross, the longtime king of café cabaret, is his own tuxedoed self, and sometimes he’s pretending to be Coward; an amused-seeming Sullivan takes on all the women. (She does a great, gloomy Marlene Dietrich.)” (TONY)

Michael Feinstein: I Happen to Like New York (Aug.7-23)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85+
“The popular and polished standard-bearer of American song returns to the club that bears his name for a three-week run devoted to tunes that celebrate New York City; the set includes a salute to the masterfully ebullient singer-pianist Bobby Short, who defined the champagne wing of cabaret in his four-decade run at the Café Carlyle. Feinstein is joined by special guests Marilyn Maye (August 6–13), Melissa Manchester (August 15–20) and Jackie Evancho (August 21–23).” (TONY)

Accordions Around the World
Bryant Park / 5:30PM, FREE
“Accordions Around the World is a weekly summer series featuring accordionists as well as bandoneon, bayan, concertina, and harmonium-players of different musical genres. Audiences have an opportunity to hear music from all over the world and to experience the wide range of this often overlooked and little-known instrument in an intimate performance setting. Choose to wander the park to explore different musical stylings or set up a picnic and the artists will rotate around the audience. The finale is Accordion Festival, a five-hour celebration of bands with at least one accordionist.” (nyc-arts.org)

Charenee Wade: Betty Carter at 90 (Aug.6-7)
Dizzy’s Club / 7;30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“Ms. Wade is a jazz singer of commanding skill, an heir to the legacies of Betty Carter and Carmen McRae.” – The New York Times

‘Betty Carter blazed her own trail as one of the most original jazz vocalists of our time. Her flawless phrasing, unpredictability, and signature glissando placed her in a league of her own as a true “musician’s singer.” She was also one of jazz’s foremost mentors, and the elite “Jazz Ahead” program that she founded and led was a life-changing opportunity for rising star musicians—including tonight’s headlining vocalist, Charenee Wade. In celebration of what would have been Carter’s 90th birthday, Wade will interpret the music of one of her personal idols. Wade is a gifted interpreter, as demonstrated in her eclectic tributes to Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson, and, on the occasion of her 85th, Ms. Carter.”

Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra
Joshua Bell Plays Dvořák (Aug.6 and 7)
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center/ 7:30PM, $
“The annual summer festival winds down with a cruise through Bohemia: Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony, Kodály’s Dances of Galánta (loosely based on folk music from present-day Slovakia), and Dvorák’s Violin Concerto, all played by the ever-intense violinist Joshua Bell.” (NYMagazine,J.D.)

Elsewhere, but this sure looks worth the detour:

MOLLY BURCH
at Rough Trade NYC / 9 p.m.; $15
“She may be young, but this 28-year-old singer-songwriter’s voice suggests an old soul. Counting Dusty Springfield, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone among her inspirations, Burch studied jazz vocal performance in college and went on to make records that leverage her sultry, sepia-toned alto in service of stories about romance, loss and social anxiety. On “Wild,” one highlight from her latest album, she sings, “It’s in my nature to be guarded/I wish I was a wilder soul.” In her smoldering delivery, being strait-laced sounds positively glamorous.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Ruin and Redemption in Architecture: Dan Barasch
New York Public Library—Mid-Manhattan Library
476 Fifth Ave. (42nd St. Entrance) / 6:30PM, FREE
“The beauty and purpose in lost and reclaimed architecture.

Ruin and Redemption in Architecture illustrates the scale and diversity of abandoned buildings all around the world, and highlights transformations by some of the greatest architectural designers of the past 150 years. From Victorian gas holders, railway stations, factories, World War II bunkers, and Gothic churches to high-profile projects such as the High Line in New York and the Tate Modern in London.”


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)

MM

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

8/6 Mac DeMarco, Celerate Brooklyn
8/6 Keane, Bowery Ballroom
8/7 Chuck Leavell, The Gramercy Theatre

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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 / 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).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
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.

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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 (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.

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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., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

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

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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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