Selected NYC Events (10/17) + 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 be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / Oct.”

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

PlayFest: Made in New York (also Oct.19)
Paley Center for Media, 25 W52nd St./ 7PM, $50
‘This series of screenings and panel discussions returns with a focus on television shows filmed in New York City. The coming week’s lineup includes the ABC series “Quantico,” with appearances by the cast members Priyanka Chopra and Blair Underwood, as well as the show’s creator, Joshua Safran (Monday at 7 p.m.). On Wednesday, PaleyFest concludes with a screening of Fox’s “Gotham” and a talk with Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue and Michael Chiklis (at 8 p.m.).” (NYT-AroundTown)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Regina Spektor
The Town Hall; 8PM, $75
“Thanks to the ascent of women such as Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles and Christina Perri, the female quirk-pop field is a lot more crowded now than it was when Regina Spektor broke through with “Fidelity,” her oft-licensed semihit, in 2006. Yet one needn’t proceed too deeply into Spektor’s latest to remember what an idiosyncratic talent she remains: On Remember Us to Life (released on September 30), the NYC songstress returns to form.” (TONY)

THE BROADWAY PRINCE PARTY
54 Below, / 7PM +9:30PM, $45+
“After six sold out “Broadway Princess Parties,” the time has come for Broadway’s favorite leading men to stand in the spotlight in THE BROADWAY PRINCE PARTY at Feinstein’s/54 Below!

Hosted by Aladdin’s Adam Jacobs and Anastasia’s Derek Klena and produced by The Broadway Princess Party’s Laura Osnes and music director Benjamin Rauhala, the very first BROADWAY PRINCE PARTY will be an unforgettable MANLY evening of heroism, bravura, and macho magic. The all-star cast will sing the most beloved ‘prince’ songs of stage and screen in a thrilling evening that is not to be missed! Where else might the son of a Greek God converse with a prince enchanted by the voice of a mermaid? Or might the ruler of the Pride Lands converse with a prince in pursuit of a maiden whose foot fits a glass slipper?

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

The Elephant Singers of Kenya’s Kerio Valley
The Explorers Club, 6 E70th St./ 6PM, $25
“Don Young will tell the story of a vanishing ritual — virtually unknown to the rest of the world — that could hold the key to saving elephants and other wildlife in one of the most remote and beautiful parts of Africa. For many years, Young and his friend Senior Warden William Kimosop have studied remarkable individuals who are envoys between people and elephants. Singing ancient songs, they welcome the elephant herds (estimated to be 500-600), asking them not to destroy their fields, and to bless their children to be “as good as the elephant.” The ultimate compliment is to be told you have the “Soul of the Elephant.”

Don and William believe this ancient ritual can be a foundation to save wilderness and wildlife in the spectacularly beautiful Kerio Valley. Intertwined with the story of the Elephant Singers will be Don’s other adventures researching the explorer Captain Richard F. Burton, and Don’s discovery of an important fossil site in northern Kenya. (ThoughtGallery.org)

ARCHTOBER (through Oct. 31)
Tours, talks, exhibitions — it’s difficult to keep track of all the events going on during New York’s annual monthlong celebration of architecture and design. Each day features a building of the day, with a tour. Make reservations early; coveted tours sell out quickly. Among the options for the coming week is the edible schoolyard at P.S. 7 in East Harlem (Tuesday at noon). Other highlights include a tour of the Steinway piano factory in Astoria, Queens (Saturday at 1 p.m.). More information at archtober.org.” (NYT-AroundTown)

TODAY’S events include: National September 11 Memorial & Museum / 12PM
The Stories They Tell: Trees of Steel
Every Monday in October, 9/11 Memorial staff will present a short talk about the architectural history of the World Trade Center site as exemplified by the tridents, iconic forked beams that withstood the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. These talks will take place in the Museum Auditorium and are free with Museum admission.

OPERA IN POP CULTURE
Opera Learning Center, Samuel B. and David Rose Building at Lincoln Center, 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue/ 5:30PM, $22
“With its history of four centuries, the operatic art form has found its way into many aspects of pop culture. From TV commercials to bestselling books to heavy metal music, opera and its themes are part of our lives in ways we may not always realize. Join William Berger as he explores these familiar and unexpected connections.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

A three-part series of talks hosted by the Metropolitan Opera Guild and led by William Berger, the author and co-host of the Met’s radio broadcasts. It began last week with Opera and Literature. Parts 2 and 3, will explore opera in pop music (Oct. 17) and film (Oct. 24).

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

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
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 enjoyment and discovery.
See Below.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village

Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)

Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’. ”

maxresdefaultEach night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.

There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.

There is also a good selection of fairly priced wines,  but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.

I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.

At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.

When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYCity will have lost a piece of it’s soul.

Website: http://caffevivaldi.com/
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
Lunch/Dinner 11AM-on
Subway: #1 to Christopher St.
Walk 1 blk S. on 7th ave S. to Bleecker St., 1 blk left on Bleecker to Jones St., 50 yards left on Jones St. to Caffe V.
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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge.

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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3 Good Eating places

It’s not difficult to find a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:

Fish280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S. (corner of Bleecker St.)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.

Num Pang – 21 E 12th St. (btw. University Place/5th ave.)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Square park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24 thousand 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 Winter 2016).
◊ Order before Nov. 30, 2016 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
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This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
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