NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/11) + 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:  “February 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:

MARC RIBOT (Feb.11-15)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Ribot’s all-around aesthetic is one of raucous disruption — whether he’s clawing a distorted wail out of his guitar in a caustic rendition of a jazz standard, assembling a crew of musicians to record classic protest anthems, or participating directly in activism on behalf of 21st-century artists’ rights. In the coming week at the Stone he will perform in a different musical setting each night. Highlights will include his collaboration with a large ensemble of Haitian musicians on Tuesday night and his solo-guitar show on Thursday.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> New York City Ballet
>> Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> CHE MALAMBO
>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> Le Nozze di Figaro
>> ADAM O’FARRILL’S STRANGER DAYS
>> George Washington:
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

New York City Ballet (through March 1)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $78+
“Alexei Ratmansky’s new work, “Voices,” set to the experimental music of the Austrian composer Peter Ablinger, receives a few more encores in the coming week in a program (on Friday, Saturday afternoon and Wednesday) that pairs it with Jerome Robbins’s “Opus 19/The Dreamer” (1979), Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia” (2001) and Justin Peck’s “Bright,” which debuted last year. The Saturday evening bill (performed again on Tuesday and Feb. 13) juxtaposes the ballets of Balanchine with Peck, while Sunday’s performance also features Balanchine (“Haieff Divertimento” and “Episodes”) and Peck (the lovely “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes”) and makes room for Robbins’s “Concertino” as well.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Feb.11-16)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, 10:30PM, $35
“Until the sixties, Monday nights were a jazz wasteland, as most clubs would shutter to cool off after the weekend. But then the polymathic brass man Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis formed a big band in order to kick off the week in style at the Village Vanguard. Fifty-four years later, the group, now dubbed the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, has outlived both its founders and numerous star soloists, yet it has lost none of its vigor or tonal lustre. As is now the custom, the durable ensemble gets a full week to celebrate its remarkable longevity.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

CHE MALAMBO (thru Feb.16)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30 p.m.;
“In 17th-century Argentina, gauchos flaunted their strength and agility through a lightning-quick percussive dance called malambo, often facing off in dance battles to prove their mettle. This all-male Argentine troupe continues the tradition, but with rock concert lighting and attitude. Gilles Brinas, the company’s founder and choreographer, provides rousing synchronized stomping routines for the dozen virile dancers, supported by the thunder of live drumming. It’s a spectacle, rooted in tradition, spiked with swagger.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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 February 11 edition include Marti Gould Cummings, Karen Oberlin, Nick Preziosi, Kira Goidel, Eddie Jacques, Paul Scott Piltcz and Ilana Gabrielle, Greg Holt, Jon Satrom and musical director Brad Simmons.” (TONY)

The Metropolitan Opera
Le Nozze di Figaro (next Feb.14, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30 PM, $30+
“Two outstanding casts—including sopranos Nadine Sierra, Anita Hartig, Susanna Phillips, and Hanna-Elisabeth Müller; mezzo-sopranos Gaëlle Arquez and Marianne Crebassa; baritone Mariusz Kwiecien; and bass-baritones Luca Pisaroni and Adam Plachetka—come together for Mozart’s scintillating class comedy. Antonello Manacorda and Cornelius Meister conduct Sir Richard Eyre’s fast-paced production.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

ADAM O’FARRILL’S STRANGER DAYS
at Seeds Brooklyn / 8:30 p.m.; $
“O’Farrill is the scion of musical royalty (his grandfather Chico was, and his father, Arturo, still is, a major Latin-jazz bandleader), but in the last few years he has thoroughly outrun their shadow. He has released two albums with his chordless quartet, Stranger Days, both head-turningly good distillations of his scrappy approach to contemporary jazz. O’Farrill appears here with a slightly modified version of the band: Xavier Del Castillo on tenor saxophone, Walter Stinson on bass and Zack O’Farrill on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

George Washington:
You Never Forget Your First–But You Do Misremember Him
NYU School of Law, 40 Washington Square S./ 6PM, FREE
Historian Alexis Coe’s new book, You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington, looks at the first president in a humanizing light, asking what he would make of partisan politics today; she speaks with CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer. (ThoughtGallery)


Continuing Events

MM

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

2/11 Richard Julian, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1
2/12 The Heavy, Webster Hall
2/12 James Maddock, Rockwood Music Hall
2/12 Joe Pug, Rough Trade

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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 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.

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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 and A WARNING. WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO SAVE THESE SPECIAL PLACES.

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 SUMMER 2020).
◊ Order before AUGUST 31, 2020 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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Bonus NYC Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com

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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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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