NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/16) + 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 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:

EDDIE PALMIERI SALSA ORCHESTRA AND THE DEL CARIBE LATIN JAZZ ALL-STARS
at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts / 7:30PM, $50-$65
“A legend of salsa and Latin jazz-rock fusion, Mr. Palmieri 80, has never let up on his dissonant, endlessly mercurial improvisation style; this large band, which plays a relatively traditional brand of New York Latin dance music, matches his fire while keeping things fluid enough for dancers. (At the Lehman Center, you’ll have to shake a leg in the aisles.) Also on the bill are the Del Caribe Latin Jazz All-Stars, featuring the pianist Emilio Morales, the tres guitarist Nelson González and percussionist Johnny Rodriguez, known as Dandy. Giovanni Hidalgo will appear with the All-Stars as a special guest.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

>>Bill Charlap Trio
>>ANTONIO SANCHEZ GROUP
>>“Jubilation!”: Celebrating Cannonball Adderley
>>Lindsay Mendez
>>Affordable Art Fair
>>Brooklyn Book Festival
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

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)

ANTONIO SANCHEZ GROUP (Sept. 15-17)
at Jazz Standard / 9:30PM, $30 (7:30PM sold out)
“Later this month, Mr. Sanchez will release “Bad Hombre,” an album of liquid electronics and ebullient drumming; it refers equally to post-rock and ambient techno experimentalism. When he gets going, Mr. Sanchez’s drumming is an emulsion of low surge and high patter, distinctive enough that you might be able to recognize it from the “Birdman” film score, which he recorded. Both that soundtrack and his new album are solo affairs, but for this engagement he will play two sets each night with a quartet: Chris Potter and Donny McCaslin — two of today’s great tenor saxophonists — plus the bassist Matt Brewer.”(NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

“Jubilation!”: Celebrating Cannonball Adderley (Sept. 15-17)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts./ 7. 9, 10:30PM, $38
“There’s never been a more joyful and spirited alto saxophonist than the late, great Julian (Cannonball) Adderley, and it’s looking like there never will be. Honoring this musical giant and the compelling soul-bop bands he co-led with his cornet-playing brother, Nat, will be an ensemble of Adderley aficionados, including the saxophonist Jim Snidero, the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, and, as special guest, the acclaimed drummer Al Foster.” (NewYorker)

Lindsay Mendez (sept 14-16)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $40
“The lovable and super-voiced Mendez has won audiences’ hearts in shows including Wicked, Dogfight, Godspell and last season’s Significant Other. In this nightclub set, her selections include classic show tunes as well as collaborations with contemporary musical-theater songwriters.” (TONY)

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

Affordable Art Fair (sept. 13-17)
Metropolitan Pavilion / 11AM-6PM, $20; Friday is FREE 6-8PM
“The price-conscious art fair returns for its 24th edition in NYC. For an $18 advance ticket, you can shop original paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures from 67 local, national and international galleries. With price tags ranging from $100 to $10,000, you can fix up your apartment without breaking the bank.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Brooklyn Book Festival
various times and locations, prices vary
“Literary enthusiasts of all ages — rejoice! The Brooklyn Book Festival is back with another year of events commemorating all things book-related. Over three hundred authors, including Joyce Carol Oates, Monica de la Torre, and Karl Ove Knausgaard, will present events at various locations throughout the boroughs on such multifarious topics as “I’m Gonna Live Forever: Fame and Its Discontents,” “Big Data and You,” and “Poets at Play and Work.” The Literary Market’s two hundred booksellers, meanwhile, provide the perfect impetus to clear out your summer reads and make space for the stockpile of titles you’ll need to get through the fall and winter. Young readers can find inspiration at the Children’s Day events (September 16), which feature programs like a rap-writing workshop with What is Hip-Hop? author Eric Morse and a STEM seminar presented by NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. The festival also features a special presentation by Patti Smith in the St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, coinciding with the release of her new book, Devotion. (Amelia Rina, Village Voice)

Continuing Events

Feast of San Gennaro  (sept. 14-24)
“Little Italy welcomes all New Yorkers to join The 91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro, which commences on September 14th, bringing 11 days of festivities to the neighborhood. The feast keeps the spirit and faith of the early Italian immigrants alive and celebrates the annual Salute to the Patron Saint of Naples. There will be colorful parades, free musical entertainment every day, a wide variety of ethnic food delicacies, charming restaurants and cafes and even a world-famous cannoli-eating competition!”(untapped cities)

EXHIBIT ‘TO QUENCH THE THIRST OF NEW YORKERS: THE CROTON AQUEDUCT AT 175’   (thru Dec 31)
“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 Croton Aqueduct across the Harlem River. This magnificent civic structure was modeled on the old Roman Aqueduct bridges, and is New York City’s oldest and best bridge. I know, because I lived nearby in the far west Bronx neighborhood of Highbridge, and have strolled across it many times.

Elsewhere, but this one is sure worth the detour:
Photoville  (sept. 13-17; 21-24)
Brooklyn Bridge Park / 4pm; FREE
“Your insta is about to get meta. NYC hosts a bounty of beautiful photography exhibitions, but only Photoville can claim to be as pretty as the photographs it showcases. Held in and around giant shipping containers in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the massive celebration of pictures features more than 500 artists, 75 exhibitions, talks, screenings and a beer garden.” (TONY)

Not just Photos – Smorgasburg Beer Garden and food vendors return, alongside nighttime events and this is one gem of a park – no better view of the Manhattan skyline. I was there opening night, so worth your time.

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Madison Square Eats  (thru sept 29)
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 – Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662

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.

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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 is 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 / 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” closed Jan.15)

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).
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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.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

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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 (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.
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