NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/22) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

“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:  “January 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:

New York City Ballet (through March 1)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $
“In the opening week of the winter season, the company goes back to basics with two alternating programs of ballets by its founding choreographer, George Balanchine. The first features four of his ballets set to music by Igor Stravinsky, from the strutting, high-spirited “Danses Concertantes” (originally from 1944, but rechoreographed in 1972) to the delicate and courtly “Monumentum pro Gesualdo” (1960). The second program offers more variety, and yet another ballet with music by Stravinsky: the 1949 piece “Firebird,” with ravishing costumes by Marc Chagall. (Try to catch Teresa Reichlen in the title role.) It also includes the seldom seen “La Source,” a pas de deux (plus corps) overflowing with refinement and charm, set to sunny music by Léo Delibes, the composer of such ballets as “Coppélia” and “Sylvia.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Rufus Wainwright
>> Tony Yazbeck Both Feet Off the Ground
>> Grand Illusions: Nora Ephron’s Magical Manhattan on Film
>> How to Keep Your Cool

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


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“Willis was a pianist whose impact was perhaps best measured by the achievements of those around him: He played on and contributed compositions to landmark recordings by Jackie McLean, Hugh Masekela and others. He mentored Roy Hargrove, the younger trumpeter whose career would come to define a jazz generation. But Willis also led a distinguished — if less prominent — career as a bandleader, recording close to two dozen albums and assembling a thick book of original compositions. He died last year at 76, and at this concert an intergenerational squad of musicians will pay homage to the work of a musician whom many knew as “Prof.” Led by the drummer Willie Jones III, the band will also include Justin Robinson on alto saxophone, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Steve Davis on trombone, George Cables on piano and Gerald Cannon on bass.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Rufus Wainwright
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $
Lincoln Center’s annual “American Songbook” series crackles most when it pushes against the parameters suggested by its title to encompass an expansive view of American music. Appropriately, this year’s edition opens with Rufus Wainwright, a proud habitant of bygone pop who was born into folk (via his parents, Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle) and has engaged with some daunting artistic entities: opera, Shakespeare, Judy Garland. For his series début, Wainwright presents a unique set that includes “songs that shaped [his] identity” and glimpses of his forthcoming album.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

at the Metropolitan Opera House / 8 p.m.; $30+
“The artist William Kentridge follows up his pioneering productions of “Lulu” and “The Nose” with Berg’s first opera, a take that my colleague Zachary Woolfe called extraordinary on its debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2017. The Met’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, wields the baton for this run, with Peter Mattei as Wozzeck, Elza van den Heever as Marie, Christopher Ventris as the Drum Major, Gerhard Siegel as the Captain, Andrew Staples as Andres and Tamara Mumford as Margret. Also at the Met are “Der Rosenkavalier” on Saturday and Wednesday evening and the family-friendly “Magic Flute” on Saturday and Thursday afternoon.” (NYT-)

RANDY BRECKER (Jan. 21-22)
at the Iridium / 8 p.m.;
“This trumpeter was one of the most versatile studio musicians of the 1970s and ’80s, and together with his sibling — the influential saxophonist Michael Brecker — he led a successful fusion group, the Brecker Brothers, in which he served as primary songwriter. That band became known for its balance of pop sensibilities and jazz sophistication, a calculus that has remained Brecker’s calling card. At the Iridium he will perform with a modern-day iteration of the Brecker Brothers band, playing music from that group’s back catalog as well as newer compositions, including some by himself and others by the tenor saxophonist Ada Rovatti, his wife and longtime collaborator.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Tony Yazbeck Both Feet Off the Ground (Jan.21-22)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $45+
“Broadway hoofer-actor-singer Yazbeck has brightened such revivals as Gypsy, A Chorus Line and On the Town. Now he returns to F/54 with a new evening of old-fashioned song and dance.” (TONY)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Grand Illusions: Nora Ephron’s Magical Manhattan on Film
Landmark West! 45 West 67th St./ 6:30PM, $20
“See how filmmaker Nora Ephron turned sites in Manhattan’s Upper West Side into iconic film settings at the Landmark West! multimedia presentation, Grand Illusions: Nora Ephron’s Magical Manhattan on Film. Historian and author Paula Uruburu revisits will look back on Ephron’s love affair with some of the city’s beloved landmarks that make appearances in her films where the Upper West Side is as much a character as its enchanted inhabitants.” (untappedcities)

How to Keep Your Cool
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7PM, $29
“As much as this is an age of anxiety it’s an age of anger. Bard College classics professor James Romm talks about his forthcoming book, How to Keep Your Cool: An Ancient Guide to Anger Management (Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers). He’ll share insight into Seneca’s belief that anger is our most destructive passion, and ways to avoid and control it.” (ThoughtGallery)

Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week (Jan.21—Feb.9)

A celebration of NYC’s most fabulous pastime: dining out. With hundreds of restaurants throughout the City rolling out special prix-fixe menus for a limited time, this is your chance to revel without a cause.

Restaurants offer a minimum of three choices for appetizers and three choices for entrées at lunch ($26). Restaurants offer a minimum of three choices for appetizers, three choices for entrées and at least two desserts at dinner ($42). Several restaurants may also offer drink specials, supplemental items and other à la carte options for an additional price.
2-course lunch $26 | 3-course dinner $42



1/22 Rufus Wainwright, Alice Tully Hall, NYC
1/22 J Roddy Walston, The Bowery Ballroom
1/22 Toshi Reagon, Joe’s Pub

♦ 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 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. 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 / West Village

Corner Bistro 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 55th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $9.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk: 1 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
“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.



NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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