NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/12) + 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 better check the tab above: “Notable NYC Events-September”
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 through the month.

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

Bill Charlap Trio (sept 12-17)
Village Vanguard / 8:30PM, 10:30PM, $30
“This year marks the twentieth anniversary of pianist Bill Charlap’s acclaimed trio, rounded out by Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums, who since 1997 have been keeping the flame of Ellingtonian elegance eternally lit on the New York City jazz scene. The combo’s excellent new album, Uptown Downtown, is a continued love letter to Charlap’s hometown metropolis, following up on last year’s Notes From New York with another collection of quaint and compelling versions of favorite compositions from both Broadway’s theater district and Lower Manhattan’s nightclub circuit. For the first two weeks of September, the Charlap Trio will be celebrating the record’s release at the hallowed Village Vanguard, giving these classic tunes from the likes of Gerry Mulligan, Richard Rodgers, Jim Hall, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Duke himself a fresh breath of 21st-century air. As the Director of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University, Charlap certainly knows the importance of jazz music on young minds, and this lengthy residence is a perfect opportunity for students to experience an education on the art in real-time.” (Ron Hart, Village Voice)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)

>>ETHAN IVERSON TRIO WITH RON CARTER AND BILLY HART
>>Logan Strosahl Quintet
>>BIG THIEF
>>FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC
>>Star Wars: Music for a Galaxy
>>Jane Campion’s Own Stories
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

ETHAN IVERSON TRIO WITH RON CARTER AND BILLY HART
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $25
“Mr. Iverson, a pianist, has played in the Bad Plus since 2000. But in December he will leave that trio of louche provocateurs to focus on his own solo career (as both a musician and a writer). He will have more time to explore partnerships like this one, in which he’s joined by two jazz luminaries: Mr. Carter, a bassist and a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, and Mr. Hart, a tonally astute drummer with a thriving career as a bandleader.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Logan Strosahl Quintet
Cornelia Street Cafe / 9:30PM, $20
Saxophonist-composer Logan Strosahl kicks off a medieval jazz trilogy with his new Book I of Arthur, which employs a banquet of compositional techniques to recount the legend of King Arthur from the scandalous circumstances of his birth to the Knights of the Round Table. If there is such a thing as prog jazz, Strosahl’s blend of polyphonic writing, nods to contemporary composers like Stravinsky and Messiaen, and outlier jazz moves probably defines it. (Fans of Jethro Tull’s Passion Play might also take notice.) The melodic bounty of Strosahl’s 2015 Sunnyside label debut, Up We Go, along with an album of conversational duets with pianist Nick Sanders, set the stage for his ambitious new direction. Jessica Pavone (viola), Aquiles Navarro (trumpet), Lim Yang (bass), and Allan Mednard (drums) join him here.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

Elsewhere, but this one looks worth the detour:
BIG THIEF (Sept. 11-12)
at Music Hall of Williamsburg / 8PM, $20
“This Brooklyn-based folk-rock band turned heads in 2016 with its first album, the cheekily (but not undeservedly) titled “Masterpiece”; this summer, it drew even stronger reviews for its follow-up, “Capacity.” Both LPs are full of sharply sketched story-songs, which the band’s singer, Adrianne Lenker, invests with striking emotional clarity. Big Thief will be joined at these shows by Lucy Dacus (Monday) and Palehound (Tuesday) — two powerful acts in their own rights — among others.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC (Sept. 11-12)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $30
“Since 2003, the trumpeter Dave Douglas has led the Festival of New Trumpet Music, an ecumenical celebration hitting its 15th year this week, with events on seven straight nights. Highlights include a five-trumpeter conclave on Saturday at the Stone’s glass box at the New School; an award ceremony and panel discussion on Sunday honoring Charles Tolliver, the postbop trumpeter; and this two-night run featuring Keyon Harrold, Marquis Hill and Maurice Brown, trumpeters who mine the fault line between funk, hip-hop and straight-ahead jazz.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Star Wars: Music for a Galaxy
Philharmonic Insights
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE, but better get there early for a seat.
“From Tatooine to Hosnian Prime, the scope of the Star Wars galaxy is reflected in John Williams’s legendary scores. Join conductor and composer David Newman for an exploration of John Williams’s compositional techniques, leitmotifs, and musical philosophy and discover how the orchestra helps to bring imaginary worlds to life.”
David Newman, speaker
Habib Azar, speaker
Mark Travis, moderator

Jane Campion’s Own Stories
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
various times, FREE–$14
“Since her first feature, the peculiar family drama Sweetie (1989), Jane Campion has been one of the defining feminist voices of world cinema. Her work is imbued with a radically female sensibility that challenges viewers to reconsider their presumptive views of both society’s ills and the possibilities of film form. This month, the Film Society of Lincoln Center celebrates Campion with a retrospective timed around the U.S. premiere of the second season of her acclaimed crime show, Top of the Lake. The series spans her entire career, from her earliest short films to her most recent feature, the underrated Bright Star (2009). Other highlights include an adaptation of Henry James’s classic novel The Portrait of a Lady (1996), starring Nicole Kidman, and The Piano (1993), which remains the only film directed by a woman to have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The first season of Top of the Lake (2013) will be shown in its entirety for free, and Campion will participate in a public conversation on the retro’s opening night.” (Morgan Leigh Davies, VillageVoice)

Continuing Events

EXHIBIT ‘TO QUENCH THE THIRST OF NEW YORKERS: THE CROTON AQUEDUCT AT 175’
“Many New Yorkers today take for granted the appearance of clean water in the city’s taps. This exhibit focuses on the history of the Croton Aqueduct, an engineering feat that brought fresh water from the Croton River upstate to fountains in the middle of the city when it was completed in the 1840s.” (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Opens Saturday, Sept. 2 at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave.
INFO $18; 212­534­1672, mcny.org.

Learn all about the High Bridge, which carried the aqueduct across the Harlem River. It is New York City’s oldest and best bridge. I know, because I lived there and have strolled across it many times.

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Madison Square Eats
Worth Square, 11AM, FREE
“The fall version of this twice-a-year event from UrbanSpace and the Madison Square Park Conservancy runs daily from September 2–29, and it’s your chance to try food from two dozen vendors who converge on the park from all corners of the city. It’ll be hard to go wrong with any of it, but we recommend the po’boys from the Gumbo Brothers and whatever sweet concoction that Renegade Lemonade, Ice & Vice, and Macaron Parlour have teamed up to create. (Hint: It’s called “Renegade Vice Parlour.”) Or, if you look at a plate of chicken and waffles and think, “Wish I didn’t have to sit at a table and bother with utensils to enjoy this,” Chick’nCone is your food trend du jour.” (Mary Bakija, Village Voice)

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Bonus NYC Events – 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
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
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
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 discovery and enjoyment.
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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  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:

Fish – 280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

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

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

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24,000 eating establishments you might welcome some advice.

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available Fall 2017).
◊ Order before Nov. 30, 2017 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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