NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/14) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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:  “May 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:

Bill Charlap Trio (May 14-26)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center/ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40-$45
“Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…when he sits down to play, the result is an embrace, an act of possession. The tune rises, falls, disappears, and resurfaces in new forms as Charlap ranges over the keyboard with nimble, crisply swinging lines, subtly layered textures, dense chords, and spiky interjections.” TIME Magazine
One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed and recorded with modern masters ranging from Phil Woods and Wynton Marsalis to Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand. Since 1997 he has led the Grammy Award-nominated Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, long recognized as a leading group in jazz. Veterans of all the top jazz venues, including, this trio is exemplary for its jaw-dropping level of chemistry and on-the-fly interactivity, made possible by both technical chops and hard-earned experience.”

====================================================

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>
NEW YORK CITY BALLET
>> NICOLE MITCHELL
>> Ben Wendel
>> American Ballet Theatre
>> “Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful”
>> Jackie Robinson: The Personal and Political

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

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Art

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through June 2)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $35+
“For the first time, the work of City Ballet’s founding choreographer, George Balanchine, and that of its current resident choreographer, Justin Peck, are on a program together (Friday, Tuesday and Thursday), cementing Peck’s status as the heir apparent and the shaper of the company’s modern identity. In between, spread over two shows and mixed in with other Balanchine classics, Peck’s latest piece and new dances by Pam Tanowitz and Gianna Reisen enjoy a few encores. On Wednesday, Balanchine gets his own program that comprises the large-scale “Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet” and “Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Tonight: BALANCHINE MEETS PECK
Principia (New Peck 1)
Symphony in Three Movements
The Times Are Racing
Works by our Founding Choreographer and our current Resident Choreographer come together for the first time in a single program.

NICOLE MITCHELL (May 14-18)
The Stone at the New School / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Mitchell, a flutist who was recently selected to head the University of Pittsburgh’s prestigious jazz program, has friends in many high places. One of the most esteemed performers and composers on the jazz avant-garde, she will gather a different group of collaborators every night during this five-day run. Highlights will include the trio appearing on Tuesday, with Val Jeanty on electronics and Chad Taylor on drums; Mitchell’s team-up with the Matthew Shipp Trio on Wednesday; and a group she’s calling Funkish — with André Lassalle, known as Dre Glo, on guitar, Jared Nickerson on bass and Calvin Gantt doing spoken word, on May 18.” (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO-NYT)

Ben Wendel (May 14-19)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./
“Ben Wendel, a saxophonist and bassoonist (and a member of the popular band Kneebody), created his “Seasons” project as a series of online video duets that sprang from programmatic piano pieces by Tchaikovsky. It took on a new life as both an album and a band. Here four partners from those duets—the guitarist Gilad Hekselman, the pianist Aaron Parks, the bassist Matt Brewer, and the drummer Eric Harland—join Wendel to give ample voice to his adventurously inviting music.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

American Ballet Theatre (through July 6)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $22
“The city enters peak ballet season this week, with its two major companies facing off across the plaza at Lincoln Center. A.B.T. begins eight weeks at the Metropolitan Opera House with a kind of Alexei Ratmansky retrospective—the choreographer has been at the company for a decade. It begins with his charming rendition of Marius Petipa’s 1900 commedia-dell’arte ballet “Harlequinade” (May 13-18). After that comes a trio of shorter Ratmansky works, including a new ballet set to Alexander Glazunov’s rich and danceable suite “The Seasons.” A Twyla Tharp program, two weeks later (May 30-June 3), includes an exciting company première, “Deuce Coupe,” from 1973, a playful, all-American romp to music by the Beach Boys, originally made for the Joffrey. For those who like their ballet with a heavy dose of drama, there is another company première, “Jane Eyre,” by the British choreographer Cathy Marston. The work, which is set to a selection of nineteenth-century music, premièred at Northern Ballet, in 2016, to good reviews.” (Marina Harss-NewYorker)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

“Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful”
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / 6:30PM, donation requested
“The photographer Kwame S. Brathwaite celebrates the start of his monograph, “Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful,” with a conversation at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Manhattan.” (NYT-Today)

Jackie Robinson: The Personal and Political
Museum of the City of New York / 6:30PM, $20
“Jackie Robinson’s daughter Sharon Robinson, historian Jonathan Eig, and journalist Budd Mishkin reflect on the unlikely hero who helped to launch the modern civil rights era. In conjunction with the exhibition “In the Dugout With Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait of a Baseball Legend”


Continuing Events

NYCxDESIGN (May 10-22)
“New York City’s annual celebration of design, attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe. Taking place each May, the event celebrates a world of design and showcases over a dozen design disciplines through events taking place across the city’s five boroughs.”

Times Square transforms into a design paradise for NYCxDESIGN: What to See

“Here’s a reason for New Yorkers to head to Times Square: there are sixteen installations to check out at DESIGN PAVILION, the hub of NYCxDESIGN, the annual city-wide celebration of design.  Stretching from 42nd Street to 47th Street across five plazas (kiosks will show maps to aid your journey), there is everything from an “ecocapsule,”, a tiny house, a carousel of creative chairs, to an iconic Eastern European bloc kiosk shown in the United States for the first time.” (untapped cities)

===================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)
5/14 My Brightest Diamond, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 Moby & John Hodgman, National Sawdust
5/15 Gordon Lightfoot, Town Hall

============================================================================
♦ 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.
================================================================================

Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

Here is one exhibition the New Yorker likes:

And from New York Magazine:

Nadav Kander (thru May 25)
A dark line.
“Known for his landscapes, the British photographer’s latest work brings the viewer to a particular point in the U.K.: the Thames Estuary, where the river meets the North Sea. The results are visually arresting and somewhat haunting.” (NYMag)
Flowers Gallery, 529 West 20th Street.

===========================================================================

For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better to plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm). OR try this NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

=======================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 05/12 and 05/10.
=====================================================

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.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening discovery and enjoyment.
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.
===========================================================

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

=======================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/13) + 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:  “May 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:

American Ballet Theatre (through July 6)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $22
“The city enters peak ballet season this week, with its two major companies facing off across the plaza at Lincoln Center. A.B.T. begins eight weeks at the Metropolitan Opera House with a kind of Alexei Ratmansky retrospective—the choreographer has been at the company for a decade. It begins with his charming rendition of Marius Petipa’s 1900 commedia-dell’arte ballet “Harlequinade” (May 13-18). After that comes a trio of shorter Ratmansky works, including a new ballet set to Alexander Glazunov’s rich and danceable suite “The Seasons.” A Twyla Tharp program, two weeks later (May 30-June 3), includes an exciting company première, “Deuce Coupe,” from 1973, a playful, all-American romp to music by the Beach Boys, originally made for the Joffrey. For those who like their ballet with a heavy dose of drama, there is another company première, “Jane Eyre,” by the British choreographer Cathy Marston. The work, which is set to a selection of nineteenth-century music, premièred at Northern Ballet, in 2016, to good reviews.” (Marina Harss-NewYorker)

====================================================

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>
THE WHO
>> TERRAZA BIG BAND
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> Frontiers Lecture: Cassini, Explorer of the Outer Solar System
>> Speaking of Shakespeare with Oscar-Winning Actor F. Murray Abraham
>> Will Outer Space Save Humanity? Tribunal for Future Generations

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

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Art

THE WHO
at Madison Square Garden / 7:30 p.m.; $114+
“Fans of this British Invasion band should make their way to Midtown on Monday night to see them perform, possibly for the final time: Crossing the half-century mark in 2014 and down to two members from the original lineup, the group has hinted that their current tour may be their last. This go-round, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have a 52-piece orchestra in tow, poised to bring new life to their older material, including their classic anthem “Baba O’Riley.” They may also debut new material from a studio album — their first since “Endless Wire” from 2006 — due out later this year.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

TERRAZA BIG BAND
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $35
“This band’s natural home is Terraza 7, an intimate club in Queens where the 18-piece group has held down a monthly residency for the past four years, developing a repertoire of soaring, self-propelling original compositions and a tight group rapport. But on Monday they will venture into Manhattan to celebrate the release of their debut album at Dizzy’s. So unified has this band become that they recorded the entire record — an impressive document, featuring nine complex, splendidly woven tunes — in a single day at the recording studio. The album’s title? “One Day Wonder.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, / 9:30PM, $30
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

AMNH Presents | Frontiers Lecture: Cassini, Explorer of the Outer Solar System
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St./ 7:30PM, $15
Hayden Planetarium Space Theater, Enter at 81st Street entrance
“The extraordinary Cassini spacecraft ended its 13-year mission in 2017 with a fiery plunge into Saturn. Its reach extended across our solar system’s distant sixth planet and the objects in its orbit. Planetary scientist Jani Radebaugh discusses the storms and structures Cassini revealed in Saturn’s colorful atmosphere, the movement and order of its complex rings, and the surface of its moons.” (ThoughtGallery)

Speaking of Shakespeare with Oscar-Winning Actor F. Murray Abraham
National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South / 8PM, FREE
“Although he is best known for his award-winning work in film and television, F. Murray Abraham is also a classically-trained stage actor who has appeared in a number of Shakespeare productions, including a Central Park performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merchant of Venice. Welcome him for what promises to be a delightful conversation about his career and passion for Shakespeare.”

Will Outer Space Save Humanity? Tribunal for Future Generations
Lycée Francais de New York / 6:30PM, FREE
“Fight or flight?” is the question animating a conversation about space exploration. Will it save our species? Or will it divert resources at a time when all hands should be on deck to save Earth? This will be the first international edition of French magazine Usbek & Rica’s “tribunal,” an original staged trial, complete with judge, lawyers, expert witnesses, and a verdict handed down by the audience.”


Continuing Events

NYCxDESIGN (May 10-22)
“New York City’s annual celebration of design, attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe. Taking place each May, the event celebrates a world of design and showcases over a dozen design disciplines through events taking place across the city’s five boroughs.”

Times Square transforms into a design paradise for NYCxDESIGN: What to See

“Here’s a reason for New Yorkers to head to Times Square: there are sixteen installations to check out at DESIGN PAVILION, the hub of NYCxDESIGN, the annual city-wide celebration of design.  Stretching from 42nd Street to 47th Street across five plazas (kiosks will show maps to aid your journey), there is everything from an “ecocapsule,”, a tiny house, a carousel of creative chairs, to an iconic Eastern European bloc kiosk shown in the United States for the first time.” (untapped cities)

===================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)
5/12-13 Lizzo, Brooklyn Steel
5/13 The Who, Madison Square Garden
5/13 “Sound Mind” A Mental Health Benefit w/Langhorne Slim, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 My Brightest Diamond, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 Moby & John Hodgman, National Sawdust
5/15 Gordon Lightfoot, Town Hall

==========================================================================
♦ 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.

==============================================================

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).
=========================================================
Website: cornerbistrony.com
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.
Update:
==============================================================
“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: 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.”

========================================================

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

=======================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/12) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“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:  “May 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: Big City Songbook
Birdland Theater / 7:30PM, $40+
“You can (literally) take the A train to this musical guidebook through New York City. From Billy Joel to Rodgers and Hart to Mary Chapin Carpenter, why have so many songwriters been compelled to write about life in Gotham? What is it about this city that fuels an endless supply of stories? Whether you’re a “Boy from New York City” or you just “Happen to Like New York,” join host Deborah Grace Winer and find out why Big City Songbook is attracting audiences from all over the globe to Birdland’s hottest monthly revue.” (cityguideny)

====================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>
NEW YORK CITY BALLET
>> JEREMY PELT
>> Maceo Parker
>> Japan Day Festival
>> Murderous Mothers: A Dark Celebration of Mother’s Day
>> ‘What’s My Name| Muhammad Ali’ pop-up
>> David Sedaris

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

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Art

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through June 2)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 3PM, $35+
“For the first time, the work of City Ballet’s founding choreographer, George Balanchine, and that of its current resident choreographer, Justin Peck, are on a program together (Friday, Tuesday and Thursday), cementing Peck’s status as the heir apparent and the shaper of the company’s modern identity. In between, spread over two shows and mixed in with other Balanchine classics, Peck’s latest piece and new dances by Pam Tanowitz and Gianna Reisen enjoy a few encores. On Wednesday, Balanchine gets his own program that comprises the large-scale “Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet” and “Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)
Today: CLASSIC NYCB I
An afternoon of dances that highlights Balanchine, Robbins and Peck’s places in the NYCB repertory, and a brand-new creation from Pam Tanowitz.

JEREMY PELT (May 9-12)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“Pelt’s trumpet tone can wander into the mist during a ballad, then come roaring out with a scorching solo when the energy rises. He spends a lot of time somewhere in between those two places on “The Rodin Suite,” a five-part work that dominates his most recent album, “Jeremy Pelt the Artist,” which came out earlier this year. While his nominal inspiration was the sculptures of Auguste Rodin, the musical influences are at least as apparent — particularly the 1970s fusion records of Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. This weekend he appears with most members of the band that played on the album: Victor Gould on piano, Alex Wintz on guitar, Chien Chien Lu on vibraphone and marimba, Corcoran Holt on bass, Allan Mednard on drums and Ismel Wignall on percussion.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Maceo Parker (May 7-12)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $35-$45
“The saxophonist Maceo Parker’s fame was insured by his work as the Johnny-on-the-spot soloist for James Brown and by his later contributions to modern funk, but his affection for R. & B.-inflected jazz-horn work—a tradition that runs from Louis Jordan to Hank Crawford and beyond—is never far below the surface. At seventy-six, he remains a soulful instrumentalist and occasional singer who still bows to the majesty of the groove.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Japan Day Festival
Catch a glimpse of Japan in NYC
@ Central Park Bandshell / 9:30AM-4PM, free to enter
“An annual celebration of Japanese culture. The festival pops up around the Bandshell from 9:30am to 4pm, with drummers, dancers, readings, and live bands appear on three stages. Snap a photo booth pic, take a virtual reality tour through Japan, see origami calligraphy demos, and sample your way through food and drink tents.” (thrillist)

Elsewhere, but this seems like such a unique way to spend Mother’s Day:

Murderous Mothers: A Dark Celebration of Mother’s Day
Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Ave., btw. 27th & 28th Sts., Astoria, Queens / 2PM, $10
“Tired of the Betty Crocker image of motherhood? The origins of Mother’s Day are darkly tragic so why not take a look at the darker side of mothers? This lecture will take you on a historical “tour” of mothers who murder that will leave you with a new appreciation of your own dear mom. The stories will range from the surreal to downright horrifying.

Marie Carter is an NYC-based writer and tour guide who hails from Scotland. She is a tour guide with Boroughs of the Dead, a macabre and ghostly historical walking tour company.”

‘What’s My Name| Muhammad Ali’ pop-up (May 11-12)
45 Grand St./ 12-7PM, FREE
“Learn about Muhammad Ali’s life in a two-day pop-up in SoHo that has eye-catching imagery, artwork, quotes and audio and three dedicated spaces that highlight different aspects of Ali’s life including: ” The Athlete,” “The Activist” and “The Orator.” The pop-up is being held in celebration of the debut of HBO’s two-part documentary “What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali.” (amNY)

David Sedaris (May10-12)
@ Town Hall / 7PM, $51+
“Humorist and author will regale the crowd tonight with stories at his “An Evening With” performances at Town Hall.” (BrooklynVegan)


Continuing Events

STREB (LAST WEEKEND)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

===================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)
5/12-13 Lizzo, Brooklyn Steel
5/13 The Who, Madison Square Garden
5/13 “Sound Mind” A Mental Health Benefit w/Langhorne Slim, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 My Brightest Diamond, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 Moby & John Hodgman, National Sawdust
5/15 Gordon Lightfoot, Town Hall

==========================================================================
♦ 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.
================================================================================

WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

New-York Historical Society

‘BETYE SAAR: KEEPIN’ IT CLEAN’  (through May 27).

“Saar has been making important and influential work for nearly 60 years. Yet no big New York museum has given her a full retrospective, or even a significant one-person show, since a 1975 solo at the Whitney Museum of American Art. As this exhibition demonstrates, the institutional oversight is baffling, as her primary themes — racial justice and feminism (her 1972 breakthrough piece, “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima,” merges the two by transforming the racist stereotype of the smiling black mammy into an armed freedom fighter) — are exactly attuned to the present.” (Cotter-NYT)
212-873-3400, nyhistory.org

Morgan Library & Museum

‘TOLKIEN: MAKER OF MIDDLE-EARTH’ (LAST DAY).

“J. R. R. Tolkien did more than write books like “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy; he invented an alternate reality, complete with its own geography, languages, religion and an era-spanning history. This exhibition of his artwork, letters, drafts and other material reminds visitors that the stories Tolkien wrote, however impressive, represent only a fraction of his efforts, and it highlights his unparalleled ability to create an immersive experience using only words and pictures. After a visit you, too, may find yourself believing in Middle-earth and the hobbits, elves, dwarves, orcs and wizards that live there. (NYT-Peter Libbey)
212-685-0008, themorgan.org

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’

“After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish for NewYorkers)

“The Tale of Genji” (Through June 16)

“To detail the rich history of a Japanese literary epic, this stunning exhibition assembles artifacts and art works spanning nearly a millennium. Written in the early eleventh century by the noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu, the fifty-four-chapter tale—a mix of entertainment, social commentary, and Buddhist philosophy—recounts the misadventures of an emperor’s son, who, excluded from the line of succession, seeks restitution through romantic liaisons. Colorful episodes describe the opulence of the Heian period and introduce iconic female characters. The fascinating objects on view include paired calligraphic texts and paintings drawn from the oldest-known complete “Genji” album, from 1510; an ornate, portable lacquered-wood cabinet, from the Edo period, made to house the tale’s many volumes; and a wedding palanquin (or covered litter), from the same era, whose exquisitely painted interior features motifs from the story. The visual literary tradition instigated by Murasaki’s classic was not just for the élite: modern translations, as well as books and popular prints, disseminated it to a wide audience. The show concludes with original drawings by the contemporary manga artist Yamato Waki, from his updated adaptation “Asaki Yume Mishi” (thirteen years in the making)—a testament to the saga’s enduring legacy.” (Johanna Fateman, NewYorker)

‘THE WORLD BETWEEN EMPIRES: ART AND IDENTITY IN THE ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST’ (through June 23).

“The Met excels at epic-scale archaeological exhibitions, and this is a prime example. It brings together work made between 100 B.C. and A.D. 250 in what we now know as Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. In the ancient world, all were in the sphere of two competing superpowers — Rome to the west and Parthia to the east — and though imperial influence was strong, it was far from all-determining. Each of the subject territories selectively grafted it onto local traditions to create distinctive new grass-roots cultural blends. Equally important, the show addresses the fate of art from the past in a politically fraught present.” (NYT-Cotter)

“In Praise of Painting” (thru Oct.4, 2020)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.”

===========================================================
Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW) for NewYorkers

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
==============================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 05/10 and 05/08.
============================================================

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.

========================================================

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

=======================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/11) + 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:  “May 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:

Rebirth Brass Band
Symphony Space / 8PM, $38+
“Whether seen on HBO’s Treme, or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, The Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they’ve also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound.”

====================================================

8 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>
AUSTRALIA FESTIVAL
>> JEREMY PELT
>>  ‘DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES’
>> The Pucci Amanda Jhones Quartet
>> ‘EL CIMARRÓN’
>> David Murray with Saul Williams
>> Maceo Parker

>> ‘What’s My Name| Muhammad Ali’ pop-up
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Art

AUSTRALIA FESTIVAL (through May 12)
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM, +8PM, $35+
“The Australian Ballet presents a program of works by homegrown choreographic talent. Alice Topp’s acclaimed Aurum, supported by The Joyce Theater’s Nureyev Prize, draws inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi—repairing cracked pottery with precious metals—and explores damage, healing, and the beauty of our flaws. The dancers’ powerful movement is framed in breathtaking stage design featuring a reflective golden floor and ripples of burnished light. The award-winning duet Unspoken Dialogues by Stephen Baynes, and a new work by Resident Choreographer Tim Harbour will round out the program.”

JEREMY PELT (May 9-12)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“Pelt’s trumpet tone can wander into the mist during a ballad, then come roaring out with a scorching solo when the energy rises. He spends a lot of time somewhere in between those two places on “The Rodin Suite,” a five-part work that dominates his most recent album, “Jeremy Pelt the Artist,” which came out earlier this year. While his nominal inspiration was the sculptures of Auguste Rodin, the musical influences are at least as apparent — particularly the 1970s fusion records of Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. This weekend he appears with most members of the band that played on the album: Victor Gould on piano, Alex Wintz on guitar, Chien Chien Lu on vibraphone and marimba, Corcoran Holt on bass, Allan Mednard on drums and Ismel Wignall on percussion.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

‘DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES’
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 12PM, $53+
“The Met often sneaks in one of the most interesting prospects of the year right at the end of its season, and these three performances, reprising a 2013 run, certainly qualify as that. Its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, leads John Dexter’s 1977 production of Poulenc’s masterwork with a cast that includes Isabel Leonard as Blanche, Karita Mattila as the Prioress and Adrianne Pieczonka as Madame Lidoine.” (NYT-David Allen)

The Pucci Amanda Jhones Quartet
at The Sound Bite / 7PM, $
“Jazz vocalist Ms. Jhones has kept busy performing across the world: The Renaissance Jazz club in Kuala Lumpur; the Half Note Jazz Club in Athens, Greece; the Q. Jazz club in Istanbul; and the Park Hyatt Jazz club in Tokyo, Japan. Catch her in Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday.” (cityguideny)

‘EL CIMARRÓN’ (May 10-11)
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art / 7 p.m.; $55
“It’s a tribute to the socially conscious, artistically collaborative vision of the soprano Julia Bullock that her season as an artist in residence at the Met includes these concerts of Henze’s, the title of which translates to “The Runaway Slave.” Bullock does not perform; instead, relish the singing of Davóne Tines, a breakout bass-baritone, alongside Emi Ferguson on flute, Jonny Allen on percussion and Jordan Dodson on guitar. Zack Winokur directs.” (NYT-David Allen)

David Murray with Saul Williams (May 7-11)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
Back in the eighties and nineties, it might have seemed as if every new dawn also brought a new David Murray recording. The still mighty tenor saxophonist and bass clarinettist may have cut down on his productivity of late, but his taste for experimentation and variety remains. Here, he reunites with the politically attuned spoken-word poet Saul Williams in a collaborative venture entitled “Blues for Memo”; they front a quintet that also features the acclaimed drummer Nasheet Waits.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Maceo Parker (May 7-12)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $35-$45
“The saxophonist Maceo Parker’s fame was insured by his work as the Johnny-on-the-spot soloist for James Brown and by his later contributions to modern funk, but his affection for R. & B.-inflected jazz-horn work—a tradition that runs from Louis Jordan to Hank Crawford and beyond—is never far below the surface. At seventy-six, he remains a soulful instrumentalist and occasional singer who still bows to the majesty of the groove.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

‘What’s My Name| Muhammad Ali’ pop-up (May 11-12)
45 Grand St./ 12-7PM, FREE
“Learn about Muhammad Ali’s life in a two-day pop-up in SoHo that has eye-catching imagery, artwork, quotes and audio and three dedicated spaces that highlight different aspects of Ali’s life including: ” The Athlete,” “The Activist” and “The Orator.” The pop-up is being held in celebration of the debut of HBO’s two-part documentary “What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali.” (amNY)


Continuing Events

STREB (LAST WEEKEND)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

===================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)
5/10-11 Morrissey, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
5/10-11 Crossing Bridges Music Festival, The Schimmel Center
5/11 Rebirth Brass Band, Symphony Space
5/11 Lee Fields and the Expressions, Brooklyn Steel
5/12-13 Lizzo, Brooklyn Steel
5/13 The Who, Madison Square Garden
5/13 “Sound Mind” A Mental Health Benefit w/Langhorne Slim, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 My Brightest Diamond, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 Moby & John Hodgman, National Sawdust
5/15 Gordon Lightfoot, Town Hall

==========================================================================
♦ 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.

=====================================================

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.”
==============================================================
“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.
========================================================

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.

========================================================
“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
========================================================
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.

=====================================================
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.”

========================================================

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

===========================================================================
m

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/10) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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:  “May 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:

ARCANGELO
at Zankel Hall / 7:30 p.m.; $66
“This British period-instrument ensemble, under the direction of Jonathan Cohen, has made quite the name for itself in nine short years. Here they play trio sonatas by Bach and Buxtehude, weaving them in between Handel’s nine German Arias, sung by the soprano Joélle Harvey.” (NYT-David Allen)

====================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>
JEREMY PELT
>>
Paulo Szot
>>  ‘EL CIMARRÓN’
>> David Murray with Saul Williams
>> NEW YORK CITY BALLET
>> Maceo Parker
>> David Sedaris

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

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Art

JEREMY PELT (May 9-12)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“Pelt’s trumpet tone can wander into the mist during a ballad, then come roaring out with a scorching solo when the energy rises. He spends a lot of time somewhere in between those two places on “The Rodin Suite,” a five-part work that dominates his most recent album, “Jeremy Pelt the Artist,” which came out earlier this year. While his nominal inspiration was the sculptures of Auguste Rodin, the musical influences are at least as apparent — particularly the 1970s fusion records of Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. This weekend he appears with most members of the band that played on the album: Victor Gould on piano, Alex Wintz on guitar, Chien Chien Lu on vibraphone and marimba, Corcoran Holt on bass, Allan Mednard on drums and Ismel Wignall on percussion.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Paulo Szot
Feinstein’s/54 Below/ 7PM, $75+
“The superb Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot, who made Lincoln Center audiences swoon as Emile De Becque in South Pacific, returns to 54 Below with a set that salutes the 1960s collaboration between Frank Sinatra and bossa nova master Tom Jobim.” (TONY)

‘EL CIMARRÓN’ (May 10-11)
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art / 7 p.m.; $55
“It’s a tribute to the socially conscious, artistically collaborative vision of the soprano Julia Bullock that her season as an artist in residence at the Met includes these concerts of Henze’s, the title of which translates to “The Runaway Slave.” Bullock does not perform; instead, relish the singing of Davóne Tines, a breakout bass-baritone, alongside Emi Ferguson on flute, Jonny Allen on percussion and Jordan Dodson on guitar. Zack Winokur directs.” (NYT-David Allen)

David Murray with Saul Williams (May 7-11)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
Back in the eighties and nineties, it might have seemed as if every new dawn also brought a new David Murray recording. The still mighty tenor saxophonist and bass clarinettist may have cut down on his productivity of late, but his taste for experimentation and variety remains. Here, he reunites with the politically attuned spoken-word poet Saul Williams in a collaborative venture entitled “Blues for Memo”; they front a quintet that also features the acclaimed drummer Nasheet Waits.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through June 2)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $35+
“For the first time, the work of City Ballet’s founding choreographer, George Balanchine, and that of its current resident choreographer, Justin Peck, are on a program together (Friday, Tuesday and Thursday), cementing Peck’s status as the heir apparent and the shaper of the company’s modern identity. In between, spread over two shows and mixed in with other Balanchine classics, Peck’s latest piece and new dances by Pam Tanowitz and Gianna Reisen enjoy a few encores. On Wednesday, Balanchine gets his own program that comprises the large-scale “Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet” and “Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Tonight: Balanchine’s electrifying Symphony in Three Movements, danced to the Stravinsky composition of the title, is book ended by two Peck works, a winter premiere featuring music by Sufjan Stevens and the propulsive The Times Are Racing, an instant audience favorite at its 2017 debut.

Maceo Parker (May 7-12)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $35-$45
“The saxophonist Maceo Parker’s fame was insured by his work as the Johnny-on-the-spot soloist for James Brown and by his later contributions to modern funk, but his affection for R. & B.-inflected jazz-horn work—a tradition that runs from Louis Jordan to Hank Crawford and beyond—is never far below the surface. At seventy-six, he remains a soulful instrumentalist and occasional singer who still bows to the majesty of the groove.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

David Sedaris (May10-12)
@ Town Hall / 8PM, $51+
“Humorist and author will regale the crowd tonight with stories at his first of three “An Evening With” performances at Town Hall.” (BrooklynVegan)


Continuing Events

STREB (LAST WEEKEND)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

===================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)
5/10-11 Morrissey, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
5/10-11 Crossing Bridges Music Festival, The Schimmel Center
5/11 Rebirth Brass Band, Symphony Space
5/11 Lee Fields and the Expressions, Brooklyn Steel
5/12-13 Lizzo, Brooklyn Steel
5/13 The Who, Madison Square Garden
5/13 “Sound Mind” A Mental Health Benefit w/Langhorne Slim, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 My Brightest Diamond, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 Moby & John Hodgman, National Sawdust
5/15 Gordon Lightfoot, Town Hall

==========================================================================
♦ 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.
===============================================================================

WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art

“The Value of Good Design” (through June 15)

“The simple flask of the Chemex coffeemaker, the austere fan of aluminum tines on a garden rake, and the airtight allure of first-generation Tupperware exemplify the democratic promise of the Good Design movement in this edifying survey, which highlights (although not exclusively) the museum’s role in its history. Also on view—and among the winners of MOMA’s first design competition, held in 1940-41—is a molded plywood chair by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen; it’s a classic design, but, owing to technological limitations in its day, it wasn’t mass-produced until 2006. Starting in 1938, MOMA mounted an annual exhibition called “Useful Objects,” which championed the inexpensive and doubled as recommendations for holiday gifts. No item had a value of more than five dollars the first year; a decade later, the limit was a hundred dollars. By the fifties, the museum had established partnerships with national retailers for the exhibited products, from textiles to appliances, and, in the eighties, it opened its own design store. In the current show, the most compelling items are the everyday gems: Timo Sarpaneva’s cast-iron and teak casserole, from 1959; the original Slinky, from 1945; and a collapsible wire basket, from 1953, as graceful as a Ruth Asawa sculpture.” (

“Joan Miró”  (through June 15)

“This enchanting show draws on the museum’s immense holdings of Miró’s work, along with a few loans. Its star attraction is “The Birth of the World,” painted in 1925, while the artist was under the spell of the Surrealist circle of André Breton. It presents drifting pictographic elements—a black triangle, a red disk, a white disk, an odd black hook shape, and some skittery lines—on an amorphous ground of thinned grayish paint that soaks here and there into the unevenly primed canvas. It’s large—more than eight feet high by more than six feet wide—but feels larger: cosmic. There had never been anything quite like it in painting, and it stood far apart from the formally conservative, lurid fantasizing of the other Surrealist painters. Today, we are ever less apt to base valuations on precedence—who did what first. Art of the past seems not so much a parade as a convocation, subject to case-by-case assessments. Never unsettling in the ways of, say, Matisse or, for heaven’s sake, Picasso, Miró is a modernist for everybody. He earns and will keep his place in our hearts.” (

American Museum of Natural History

‘T. REX: THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR’  (through Aug. 9, 2020).
“Everyone’s favorite 18,000-pound prehistoric killer gets the star treatment in this eye-opening exhibition, which presents the latest scientific research on T. rex and also introduces many other tyrannosaurs, some discovered only this century in China and Mongolia. T. rex evolved mainly during the Cretaceous Period to have keen eyes, spindly arms and massive conical teeth, which could bear down on prey with the force of a U-Haul truck; the dinosaur could even swallow whole bones, as affirmed here by a kid-friendly display of fossilized excrement. The show mixes 66-million-year-old teeth with the latest 3-D prints of dino bones, and also presents new models of T. rex as a baby, a juvenile and a full-grown annihilator. Turns out this most savage beast was covered with — believe it! — a soft coat of beige or white feathers.” (Farago-NYT)

================================================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 05/08 and 05/06.

=====================================================
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.”

========================================================

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

===========================================================================
m

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/09) + 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:  “May 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 June 2)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $35+
“The season continues with repeats of premieres by Justin Peck and Pam Tanowitz, as well as several George Balanchine gems, including “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” “Stravinsky Violin Concerto” and “Western Symphony.” But, really, isn’t it all about “Diamonds”? Suzanne Farrell, the magnificent ballerina and muse to Balanchine, has recently been coaching dancers in the 1967 work, which is set to Tchaikovsky and pays homage to Russian schooling. The tiaras will glitter even more brightly than usual.” (NYT)

Tonight: CLASSIC NYCB I
“An evening of dances that highlights Balanchine, Robbins and Peck’s places in the NYCB repertory, and a brand-new creation from Pam Tanowitz.”

====================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>
Lee Narae: A cursed woman, Ong-nyeo
>> 
AUSTRALIA FESTIVAL
>>  Mavis Staples
>> Now is the Month of Maying.
>> Maceo Parker
>> Panel: Future of Work
>> The Power of Lipstick

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

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Art

Lee Narae: A cursed woman, Ong-nyeo
Atrium @ Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Throughout her career as a traditional Korean singer (“sorikun”), Lee Narae has reflected on and problematized the representation of women in traditional pansori, a form of musical storytelling that developed under the influence of Confucian culture. In exploring this art form, she sheds new light on Byeongangsoe-ga—a pansori narrative that is a particularly strong example of patriarchal values—by shifting the perspective to the ill-fated female character, Ong-nyeo, and recreating this work through a variety of artistic styles.

Lee Narae combines a wide range of sounds with spoken word and transforms them through music, seamlessly incorporating other musical influences. She thus inherits the tradition of pansori while recharging it with contemporary creative energy.”

AUSTRALIA FESTIVAL (through May 12)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $35+
“This event continues with performances by Australian Dance Theater (Friday to Monday) and the Australian Ballet (May 9 to 12). For its program, Australian Dance Theater explores the natural world in “The Beginning of Nature,” which is set to a score sung in Kaurna, the first language of the Indigenous peoples of the Adelaide Plains of South Australia. The Australian Ballet wraps up the festival with a trio of dances: Alice Topp’s “Aurum,” Stephen Baynes’s “Unspoken Dialoguesfollows” and a yet-to-be-titled premiere by Tim Harbour.” (NYT)

Mavis Staples
Apollo Theatre, 253 W. 125th St./ 8PM, $ may be a tough ticket, try the secondary market, if necessary
“The Chicago soul aristocrat Mavis Staples spent her seventies recording albums—including “We Get By,” a forthcoming LP produced by Ben Harper—with starry young allies. She greets eighty with a bash that features, among others, Jon Batiste, Valerie June, and David Byrne, whose Talking Heads song “Slippery People” gave the Staple Singers a late-career hit. This flood of cameos is no fluke: Staples maintains a peer-approval rating roughly on par with sunny days and ice-cream cones. In an age of walls, she continues to see only bridges.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

Now is the Month of Maying.
Saint Thomas Church / 6PM, $10+
“Catch a program of chamber music within the lovely acoustical surrounds of midtown’s St. Thomas Church. Tickets start at $10 and include access to a reserved happy hour event just west of the church at Fogo de Chão, featuring $4 Brazilian bites and beers, $6 South American wines, and $8 Brazilian-inspired cocktails.” (cityguideny)

Maceo Parker (May 7-12)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $35-$45
“The saxophonist Maceo Parker’s fame was insured by his work as the Johnny-on-the-spot soloist for James Brown and by his later contributions to modern funk, but his affection for R. & B.-inflected jazz-horn work—a tradition that runs from Louis Jordan to Hank Crawford and beyond—is never far below the surface. At seventy-six, he remains a soulful instrumentalist and occasional singer who still bows to the majesty of the groove.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Panel: Future of Work
New York Live Arts, 219 W. 19th St./ 6PM, $10
“Foxconn’s Terry Gou says the company plans to replace 80% of workers with robots in 5-10 years.” – Samson Ellis

Remember the Luddites? The fear and resistance to change is not new. New technology has upended industries for millennia. Jobs were replaced or eliminated by machines and new ones were created. Remember the steam engine? So what makes it different this time in the age of artificial intelligence and automation?”

The Power of Lipstick
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7PM, $29
“Lipstick is much more than just a beauty item. It’s been worn by women for centuries to feel bolder, stronger, and more confident; it’s equally loved by royalty, movie stars, and everyday people worldwide. Join Rachel Felder, author of Red Lipstick: An Ode to a Beauty Icon, to discuss the appeal, force, and glamour of makeup’s most beloved product.”

A book signing follows the event.


Continuing Events

STREB (LAST WEEKEND)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

===================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)
5/9 Strand of Oaks, Music Hall Of Williamsburg
5/10-11 Morrissey, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
5/10-11 Crossing Bridges Music Festival, The Schimmel Center
5/11 Rebirth Brass Band, Symphony Space
5/11 Lee Fields and the Expressions, Brooklyn Steel
5/12-13 Lizzo, Brooklyn Steel
5/13 The Who, Madison Square Garden
5/13 “Sound Mind” A Mental Health Benefit w/Langhorne Slim, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 My Brightest Diamond, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 Moby & John Hodgman, National Sawdust
5/15 Gordon Lightfoot, Town Hall

============================================================================
♦ 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.
=============================================================================

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).
=======================================================
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.

==================================================================================
“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 NYC events– 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.

==========================================================

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

=======================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/08) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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:  “May 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:

Maceo Parker (May 7-12)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $35-$45
“The saxophonist Maceo Parker’s fame was insured by his work as the Johnny-on-the-spot soloist for James Brown and by his later contributions to modern funk, but his affection for R. & B.-inflected jazz-horn work—a tradition that runs from Louis Jordan to Hank Crawford and beyond—is never far below the surface. At seventy-six, he remains a soulful instrumentalist and occasional singer who still bows to the majesty of the groove.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>
Antonio Sanchez
>> 
Songs for Our Planet
>>  Imogen Heap
>> David Murray with Saul Williams
>> Governors Island Official Walking Tour
>> Keynote/Performance: What Is AI?
>> Orwell’s China

==================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Art

Antonio Sanchez (May 7-12)
Village Vanguard / 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“One of the most sought-after drummers of the new-jazz generation, Sanchez made the rounds with stars such as Pat Metheny and Michael Brecker before turning 30. Here this deft player—best known for the jaw-dropping solo-drum score he contributed to Best Picture winner Birdman—draws equal attention to his writing and bandleading chops, heading up a special project.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Songs for Our Planet
Brooklyn Bowl, Williamsburg / 7:30PM, $20
“Brooklyn-based country-soul rockers the Lone Bellow sit atop the bill at this concert benefitting environmental organization 1% for the Planet. The event offers a code to get 25% off a Lyft ride, but, let’s be honest, riding your bike or taking public transport is a little more apropros.” (TONY)

Imogen Heap (May 7-8)
@ Town Hall / 8PM, $35+
“Imogen Heap is on her first North American tour in nine years, and making the tour even more exciting is that she is reuniting with her Frou Frou partner Guy Sigsworth for it. The tour is happening in conjunction with the launch of Mycelia, Imogen’s new “research and development hub for music makers,” but she isn’t letting the unique concept deter her from playing lots of solo and Frou Frou classics.” (brooklynvegan)

David Murray with Saul Williams (May 7-11)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
Back in the eighties and nineties, it might have seemed as if every new dawn also brought a new David Murray recording. The still mighty tenor saxophonist and bass clarinettist may have cut down on his productivity of late, but his taste for experimentation and variety remains. Here, he reunites with the politically attuned spoken-word poet Saul Williams in a collaborative venture entitled “Blues for Memo”; they front a quintet that also features the acclaimed drummer Nasheet Waits.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Governors Island Official Walking Tour
Governors Island, Soissons Landing Welcome Center / 11:30AM, FREE
“Look into the past of Governors Island and talk about its exciting transformation and future! In these one-hour walking tours, examine how historic preservation, innovative design and environmental stewardship make the Island what it is today – one of the most unique public spaces in New York City.

Meet At:
Governors Island, Soissons Landing Welcome Center
Take the Governors Island Ferry that departs lower Manhattan at 11:00am from the Battery Maritime Building (10 South Street, just east of the Staten Island ferry terminal). Allow time for first-come/first-served boarding. The ferry is free. (The return ride from Governors Island is also free.)” (ClubFreeTime)

Keynote/Performance: What Is AI?
New York Live Arts, 219 W. 19th St./ 6PM, $15
Opening Keynote and Lecture Performance to the 2019 Live Ideas Festival.
“Get a grasp on AI’s past, present, and future in a combined lecture/performance that serves as the keynote to the New York Live Arts 2019 Live Ideas Festival. A musical rendition of the history of AI, words from the author of Artificial Unintelligence, and Patricia Marx on robots are among the presentations.” (ThoughtGallery)

Orwell’s China
SubCulture, 45 Bleecker St./ 7PM, $20
“George Orwell’s 1984 is proving prophetic in today’s China, where a new “social credit” system combines around-the-clock surveillance and consumer data mining to rank the citizenry. That’s on top of censorship and the ongoing marginalization of foreigners, minorities, and dissidents. As the PEN World Voices Festival continues, hear from two authors with insight into Chinese feminism and the absurdities of totalitarianism.” (ThoughtGallery)


Continuing Events

STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

===================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)
5/7-8 Morrissey, Lunt-Fontaine Theatre
5/8 Dandy Warhols, Brooklyn Steel

============================================================================
♦ 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.
================================================================================

Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

Here are two exhibitions the New Yorker likes:

And from New York Magazine:

Nadav Kander (thru May 25)
A dark line.
“Known for his landscapes, the British photographer’s latest work brings the viewer to a particular point in the U.K.: the Thames Estuary, where the river meets the North Sea. The results are visually arresting and somewhat haunting.” (NYMag)
Flowers Gallery, 529 West 20th Street.

===========================================================================

For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better to plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm). OR try this NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

=======================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 05/06 and 05/04.
=====================================================

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.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening discovery and enjoyment.
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.
===========================================================

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

=====================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment