Take A Stroll Down West 4th Street

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Let’s take a walk along West 4th Street, long the center of bohemian culture in the Village. Check it out:

The Washington Square Methodist Church stands at #135, an early Romanesque Revival that was built in1859. Its nickname was the “Peace Church”, as it became a neighborhood base for activist groups such as Vietnam War protesters, Black Panthers and Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Sadly, the building was gutted inside and renovated into apartments, but the facade had attained landmark status and remains untouched.

The Pink Pussycat, at #167, should be able to fulfill all of your sex shop needs.

In an area known for its smoke shops, Shisha International, at #171, seems to have a devoted following. Hookahs, rolling papers, vaporizers…they’ve got it all.

At #184, The Silversmith is touted as the Village’s smallest shop. Tons of beautiful jewelry, with an emphasis on Native American pieces.

Vol de Nuit is a cool Belgian beer bar at #148. Dozens of brews, plus mussels and fries with homemade sauces.

At #169 Music Inn World Instruments sells what seems like any musical instrument from all over the world. In a market for a didgeridoo? A kalimba? They’ve got them plus more.

Make a pit stop for a cannoli: Sant Ambroeus is a lovely Italian pastry cafe at #259.

At #267, check out A.P.C. for the latest in euro-hipster looks. The designs are clean and customers are devoted to their great-fitting jeans.

Designer Marc Jacobs’ store, at #301, hawks his women’s accessories and shoes.

Bookleaves is a small, independent book sore at #304. (Yes, they do still exist.)

The Corner Bistro at #331 is a relic of the past. Great burgers, cheap beer and a soulful jukebox–the three key ingredients of a memorable, inexpensive night out.

And finally, around the corner on 6th Avenue, between West 3rd and West 4th, check out the West 4th Street Courts, also know as “The Cage”, a smaller-than-regulation basketball court that regularly hosts fierce pick-up games.

Have a great day!

 

Where Can I Go To Hear Great Music?

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New York has what feels like a bazillion music venues, so everyone is certain to find at least one that suits their needs, right? Here are a few suggestions…

For audiophiles: Town Hall

The acoustics are out of this world. And the artists run the gamut: rock, jazz, children’s shows, spoken word, a Jewish music festival and Roseanne Cash are just a few of the upcoming shows.

For cheap rock: Mercury Lounge

Bar, stage, drinks. Great music. It’s not fancy, but you can happily order a PBR and rock on. ‘Nuff said.

For the Baby Boomers: The Beacon Theatre

To sum it up in a few words: the Allman Brothers are the musicians-in-residence every March. Acoustics are great and the audience has sowed their wild oats many moons ago. Upcoming shows include Ringo Starr, Smokey Robinson and Tori Amos.

For people who love history and killer music: Apollo Theater

Years before American Idol or The Voice were even a blip on our country’s radar, the Apollo hosted Amateur Night every Wednesday. Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five, Lauryn Hill and Gladys Night & The Pips all got their start here. (Jimi Hendrix won first place in 1964.) When you walk in take a look around before you find your seat–the history will envelop you.

For jazz buffs with shallow pockets: Smalls

Yes, there’s a $20 cover charge, but your end-of-the-night tab won’t come close to that of an evening at the Blue Note. The name says it all: space is tight. But jazz should be an intimate experience, no? Head here to listen to the up-and-comers.

For, um, seasoned music lovers that want a glass of wine, a comfortable seat and a nosh with their music: City Winery

The food is yummy, wine delish…and you won’t find the latest You Tube star playing here. Upcoming shows include legendary soul man Sam Moore. Los Lonely Boys and a tribute to Paul Simon. I once saw Todd Rundgren perform an acoustic show there that was out of this world.

For the traditionalists: Carnegie Hall

What can I say? It’s every bit as beautiful as you think it will be–probably more. No matter whom you are seeing the acoustics and atmosphere rate an 11.

Music is for everyone, right? You’ve just got to find what’s best for you…and you can in our city!

 

 

 

 

And The Oscar Goes To…

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The 86th Annual Academy Awards will air next Sunday night, March 2nd. If you’re visiting the city–or are a New Yorker who just wants to get out of your apartment and watch the show with other people who will surely appreciate your sartorial expertise (“Just look at Lupita Nyong’o's dress! She’s the new fashion It Girl!”) or cinematic smarts (“If Christopher Rouse doesn’t win Best Editing for Captain Phillips, well, there is no God.”), then here’s where you need to be:

The Murray Hill Oscar Party is held at Joe’s Pub and is hosted by Murray Hill himself, the “hardest working middle-aged man in show business.” (Who’s to argue?) Attendees walk the red carpet, play trivia contests and cast their ballot for their screen favorites. Oh–and votes will be cast for the best and worst dressed audience members, so make sure you look good (or bad, if that’s your thing). $25 cover.

At 49 Grove, right down here in the Village, the fun begins at 6 p.m. Expect drink specials and games (and no cover).

Singl Lounge, right off Union Square, will also screen the Red Carpet at 6. You can expect delicious tapas, games, prizes and drinks named after the best movie nominations. No cover.

230 Fifth is an enclosed (in the winter), heated rooftop bar that will switch on the festivities at 7 p.m. $25 will get you a champagne, beer and wine open bar from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Snacks will be served for a couple of hours, too.

 

 


 

 

Next Week Is Beer Week!

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Everyone knows that it’s Restaurant Week…but did you know about New York City Beer Week? Well, you’re about to…here’s the scoop:

The festival runs from this Friday, February 21st through March 2nd. Tastings, menu pairings and beer dinners will be held all week in dozens of venues throughout the city.

All sixteen local craft breweries will participate in the activities. Rockaway Brewing Company, Bronx Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery and Coney Island Brewery are just a few of the brands you’ll be tasting.

According to the New York City Brewers Guild, “The mission of the New York City Brewers Guild is to advocate for and promote awareness of its local brewing members; to increase the visibility of local beers through programs, events, and consumer education; and to foster a healthy, ethical and growth-focused craft beer industry throughout the city.”

And your mission? Tasting lots of different brews, of course!

The opening bash on Friday evening, in beautiful Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station, will feature all of our local breweries plus others from around the country.

Beer lovers should check it out!

 

Take A Stroll Down Thompson Street

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Thompson Street runs from Washington Square South through the Village and Soho and is a lovely and active route to amble down on a sunny day. Previous residents include the late Frank Zappa at #180, plus various Bonnano and Genovese family members. (I’d tell you where they lived, but…)

Start at Kee’s Chocolates at #80. Their incredible handmade chocolates and macaroons will give you energy for your journey.

INA, at #101, is a designer consignment store. Drop in and see if you’re interested in someone else’s hand-me-downs, or bring our own older designer duds. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. (Isn’t that the saying?) But the trash here is high-class trash, got it? Plus INA recently produced its own line of women and men’s clothing.

The Hat Shop at #120 sells chapeaus both fancy and functional.

ZZ’s Clam Bar, at #169, is for all things seafood: a raw bar, ceviches, carpaccio… think of a way you like your fish prepared and I’m sure they do it.

Beer fans will love The Malt House gastropub at #206. They’ll help you pair their extensive brands of micro-brews on tap with their yummy comfort food.

Generations Records at #210 sells…records. (Remember them?) They have an extensive metal and punk collection and frequent live in-store performances.

The Chess Forum at #219 sells beautiful chess sets at all price points, plus chess-related items, like clocks and tournament supplies.

Speaking of games,The Uncommons at #230, describes itself as, “Manhattan’s first and only play cafe.” Sip a warm cup of coffee or tea while you obliterate your opponent at Checkers, Clue, Backgammon, Monopoly, Pictionary or practically any other game you can think of.

And for the kids? Vesuvio Playground, formerly known as Thompson Playground (the new moniker was taken from the popular Italian bakery on nearby Prince Street) is between Spring and Prince.

Happy strolling!

 

 

 

Winter Jazz Fest 2014

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If you love jazz, New York City is the place you want to be from January 7th through the 11th. (Frankly, even if you loathe jazz, you want to be with us, just because you love us, right?)

For the tenth year in a row, the Winter Jazz Fest will help be-bop and big band buffs ease into the new year with phenomenal sounds. Over a hundred artists will perform at multiple venues on the main dates: 1/10 and 1/11. $35 gets you a one-day pass and $55 will buy you two days of music. $95 will get you access to the whole shebang from the 7th on (including Blue Note Records anniversary concerts on the 8th and 9th).

Venues are mostly local to Washington Square: Le Poisson Rouge, Judson Church, NYU Lounge, Zinc Bar, Bitter End, Subculture and Bowery Electric. So buy a day pass, wander through Greenwich Village and get a little taste of everything.

Artists include Jason Moran, the (bassist) Chris Morrissey Quartet, the Jazz Passengers, the Antoine Rony Trio (featuring Kojo), NEXT Collective and Don Byron’s Six Musician Group. Click here for the full lineup, and read more about the festival on their Facebook page.

 

The Parade Is Back!

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Sandy may have given us a swift kick last year, but she can’t keep us down. The Village Halloween parade has returned!

It’s the 40th anniversary of this annual Greenwich Village extravaganza, and the theme is “Revival”. (Hear that, Sandy?) Costumes and puppets from all forty years the parade has been in existence will be brought back to life to pay homage to the Village’s biggest party. So I guess among the Miley Cyruses and Duck Dynasties, we’ll catch a glimpse of Donna Summer or Alf or maybe even an Ed Koch lookalike–no doubt carrying a sign asking, “How Am I Doin’?”

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The parade order prescription viagra begins at 7 p.m. on 6th Ave. and Spring St. and winds up at around 10:30 on 16th St. Click here to see the entire route, subway info and whatnot.

So stop by the lounge and show us your costume! We promise that our bartenders are currently living, as are the guests of the hotel–and Jack Nicholson hasn’t been spotted anywhere near us for quite some time (at least that we’re aware of).

Until then, I leave you with this:

Yeah…I’m not going to sleep tonight either.

 

 

Take A Stroll Down Perry Street

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Perry Street has a few one-of-a-kind retail shops and restaurants nestled in among the online canadian pharmacy brownstones on this lovely, tree-lined road in the heart of the Village.

Geminola at #41 is the place to go to get that perfect, stand-out frock for a special occasion. Re-worked vintage dresses and skirts and dip-dyed silks crowd the racks with other unique looks.

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Kaas Glassworks, at #117 sells beautiful pieces of decoupage under glass, put together by hand using reprinted images that the artists have collected from scouring flea markets, antique shows and estate sales. It has a great collection of trays, plates, coasters or paperweights, like a beautifully decorated tray decorated with sunflowers or owls for $142. Plus customers  can request custom made-to-order items.

A.P.C. Specials, at #92, is a surplus store for the A.P.C. brand–a preppy look for downtown hipsters. In this location you’ll find overstocks, novelties and discounts.

Saturdays Surf NYC at #17, is an espresso bar, a surf shop and a beauty products distributor all rolled into one. Where else can you sip coffee, window shop for surfboards and stock up on bathing suits and hair pomade all at the same time?

Duck into Aria Wine Bar at #117 for a cozy snack and glass of vino. Lots of small plates of nibbles (sauteed artichokes, baked clams) and pastas plus a wide selection of Italian wines by the glass.

If you love Latin food, head to Yerba Buena at #1. Arroz con pollo, ceviches, empanadas and tacos. Si, all yummy.

Oh–and fans of modern architecture should know that those gleaming apartment towers at #173 and #176 were designed by none other than Richard Meier.

 

TGIF

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It’s Friday afternoon on what feels like a thousand degree summer day and you’re schvitzing like one of those poor slobs who dress up as Goofy in Disneyland. Relief. Must. Come. Soon.

So you know what that means…cocktails!!

I begged the bartenders in the lounge to give me the recipe for their Watermelon and Basil Smash, the perfect drink to kick off a steamy July weekend. They kindly obliged, so rip off your tie, grab your flip-flops and prepare to be refreshed:

Ingredients:

10 Watermelon viagra price segments
8 torn basil leaves
2 shots Partida tequila
¾ shot Luxardo Limoncello
Top with Ginger Ale

Muddle 10 watermelon segments in the base of a shaker. Add next four ingredients. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Top with ginger ale.

We mix it up in a martini glass and put a watermelon wedge on the rim–because we’re fancy like that–but any cup or tumbler will do.

See? It’s easy. Make one at home or come and enjoy one with us. Have a great weekend!

Have You Been To The Ear Inn?

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Everyone knows many of the city’s oldest taverns:  McSorley’s, Fraunces, The White Horse…but few visitors may know the Ear Inn. Erected in the late 18th Century by James Brown (no, not that one), an aide to Washington during the revolution, the house now has landmark status, and is one of the few remaining examples of Federal architecture in the city.

Through the years it’s alternately been a haven for thirsty sailors, a boarding house, a speakeasy during buy generic online viagra the days of Prohibition, a smuggler’s den and a brothel. Women (clearly other than ladies of the night) were not allowed for decades.

Flash forward to 1977: the new resident-owners christened the place the “Ear Inn”. That strange name? It was chosen to bypass the Landmark Commission’s lengthy review of any new sign. (Bureaucracy is still alive and well, thankyouverymuch.) To skip the red tape, the neon “BAR” sign was simply painted over to read “EAR”.

Now, surrounded by dusty tchotchkes, you can swill a pint or sip a whiskey or a glass of wine. Then tuck into a full, reasonably priced menu–burgers, mussels, Caesar salad, chili, steaks and the like. The fun part? Your neighbor chowing down may be a biker, a teamster, a doctor or an artist or…who knows?

Plus you can hear music on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday from midnight on. (Or as the website says, 11:59.) You can find traditional blues, jazz and, my personal fave, “weirdo country music”.

Check it out!

The Ear Inn – 326 Spring St. NY, NY (212 226-9060)