Selected NYC Events (11/10) + 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 / Nov.”

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

LET’S TALK SEX!
Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française, 55 E59th St./ 7PM, $25
“The French Institute Alliance Française’ series “The Art of Sex & Seduction” returns with this frank talk moderated by Elisabeth Ladenson, a French literature professor at Columbia University. Panelists include Toni Bentley, the journalist and author of “Surrender: An Erotic Memoir”; Erica Jong, of “Fear of Flying” fame; Daphne Merkin, the novelist and essayist; and Amy Sohn, the columnist and author of the novel “Prospect Park West.” (NYT-AroundTown)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

Harold Mabern Trio
Tierney Sutton
Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway
American Maelstrom: The 1968 Election and the Politics of Division
“Baseball’s Most Baffling MVP Ballots
bonus: SHALL WE TANGO NYC

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Harold Mabern Trio (through Nov. 13)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“You can take the man out of Memphis, but the bluesy refinement and soulful phrasing that the veteran stylist Mabern soaked up from such resident masters as Phineas Newborn, Jr., has cohered to his pianistic DNA. Mabern, a New York fixture for nearly sixty years, will churn up the room with assistance from two trusted associates, the bassist John Webber and the drummer Joe Farnsworth.” (NewYorker)

Tierney Sutton (Nov. 8-12)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, 11PM, $40
The vocalist took on Joni Mitchell with her 2013 musical mash note “After Blue,” and recently she put a personal spin on the work of Gordon Sumner, with her latest album “The Sting Variations.” “Roxanne” didn’t make the cut, but Sutton did refashion soundtrack-of-a-generation hits like “Message in a Bottle” and “Fields of Gold.” (NewYorker)

Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W46th St./ 8PM, $47+
“Petite powerhouse Kristin Chenoweth (On the Twentieth Century) returns to the Great White Way with a concert to celebrate the release of her latest album, The Art of Elegance. Like the new CD, the song list should be dominated by American standards by Rodgers & Hart, the Gershwins and others.” (TONY)

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

American Maelstrom: The 1968 Election and the Politics of Division
with Michael A. Cohen, national political columnist, Boston Globe.
Mid-Manhattan Library / 6:30 PM, FREE
This lecture captures the full drama of a watershed election, establishing 1968 as the hinge between the decline of political liberalism, the ascendancy of conservative populism, and the rise of anti-government attitudes that continue to dominate the nation’s political discourse

“Baseball’s Most Baffling MVP Ballots with Jeremy Lehrman
Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, 67 E11th St./ 7PM, FREE
“Snubs. Grudges. Conspiracies. Incompetence.
All in a day’s work for some of those who vote on Baseball’s Most Valuable Player Award.

From its colorful and scandalous beginnings more than a century ago, the MVP has evolved into the most prestigious — and contentious — individual honor in the sport. No award means more to the players, the media, or the fans — and no other award can claim a voting history so rich in controversy.

“Baseball’s Most Baffling MVP Ballots” looks at the past, present and future of the MVP Award through the most controversial ballots of all time. Which of the so-called “worst MVPs” can hold up to contemporary statistical analysis? Who cast the single worst vote in MVP history? Does racial bias influence the MVP vote? Who really deserved the award in a given year?”

And for you tango fans, here’s a special bonus:
SHALL WE TANGO NYC
“Unleash your inner dancer for a week and a half of tango events. You can watch concerts featuring an all-female troupe, and other ensembles and professionals, often with live music; participate in seminars open to all levels (and no partner required); and learn about the history and evolution of the tango at an “illustrated history” presentation. Pictured: Gabriel Misse and Carla Espinoza, from Buenos Aires.”
WHEN | WHERE Thursday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 13, at various venues including the Dardo Galletto Studios, 151 W. 46th St. INFO Free-$40 (shows), $20-$500 (classes and seminars); shallwetango.com. (STAV ZIV, Newsday)

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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 Spring 2017).
◊ Order before Mar.31, 2017 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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