NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/24) + 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:

NEW YORK CITY BALLET – SWAN LAKE (Sept. 19 to Oct. 1)
Lincoln Center /3PM, $35+
“The first two weeks of City Ballet’s fall season is devoted to the majestic avian classic of the ballet canon, “Swan Lake.” Several of the company’s top ballerinas offer their individual interpretations of the double-sided role of Odette and Odile. In Week One, look for Sara Mearns’s grandeur, Teresa Reichlen’s elegant reach, Ashley Bouder’s attack and Sterling Hyltin’s witty grace. Each will plumb the tragic depths of that white and black plumage in choreography by the company’s director, Peter Martins, that builds on 19th-century steps and later contributions by Balanchine.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Russell Malone
>>BARRY HARRIS TRIO
>>Ute Lemper: Songs from the Broken Heart
>>3rd Annual Brooklyn Americana Music Festival
>>Tribeca TV Festival
>>Rolex Central Park Horse Show
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Russell Malone
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“Time for the Dancers,” the guitarist Malone’s new album, throws out a wide net, finding room for tunes by Bobby Hutcherson, Billy Joel, and Peggy Lee while also nudging in the theme from “Chico and the Man.” The eclectic mix is strictly in service to Malone’s gorgeous tone, melodic logic, and adamant adherence to the virtues of swing, all of which will be on full display here.” (NewYorker)

BARRY HARRIS TRIO (LAST DAY)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30PM, $30
“Uninhibited but serious, loose-limbed but nimble, Mr. Harris came to New York in the early 1960s as part of bebop’s second generation. Now he’s one of the last remaining patriarchs of a musical movement that began as an assault on sacred cows and became a canonical form. Mr. Harris, 87, appears with a trio featuring the bassist Ray Drummond and the drummer Leroy Williams, his most consistent associate.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Ute Lemper: Songs from the Broken Heart
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $30
“Whether attracting or repelling her audiences, international chanteuse Lemper is never less than magnetic. Her style is perversely polymorphic: One moment she might tear into a song with predatory hunger, then she might purr out a dreamy croon or toss back her head for a brassy squeal of jazz. In her newest set, she applies her polyglot taste and aquiline glamour to songs by bards of loss including Charles Bukowski, Paulo Coelho, Leo Ferre, Jacques Brel, Nick Cave and Tom Waits.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this one looks worth the detour:
3rd Annual Brooklyn Americana Music Festival (LAST DAY)
“The 3rd Annual Brooklyn Americana Music Festival encompasses seven stages along the spectacular waterfront from Superfine in Dumbo to Sunny’s in Red Hook, with outdoor stages in The Archway under the Manhattan Bridge, and in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

With over sixty shows at seven locations, Brooklyn’s best play day time shows in The Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge (Friday and Saturday), & Brooklyn Bridge Park (Saturday and Sunday). The 3rd Annual event begins with an Opening Night Gala at Jalopy Theatre. The gala features special guest bands from the heartland: Tim Grimm Family Band (Indiana), Truckstop Honeymoon (Kansas), The Aching Hearts (Missouri), plus local Brooklyn based Annie Keating and Dumbo locals Everything Turned to Color.”

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

Tribeca TV Festival (LAST DAY)
Cinepolis Chelsea, various times, $30
“Film festivals — they’re not just for films anymore! Tribeca is the latest cinema institution to welcome the episodic arts into its fold, following similar programs offered in recent years by the Toronto International Film Festival and South by Southwest — not to mention standalone events like New York’s Split Screens Festival and Austin’s ATX Television Festival. The inaugural Tribeca TV Festival includes sneak-peek screenings of Better Things, At Home With Amy Sedaris, and Designated Survivor, among others. But the real draw (and the real reason to shell out thirty bucks to watch an episode you’ll be able to see on TV soon enough) is the chance to hear from the creators and actors themselves, like Better Things’ Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K., appearing September 22; the stars and creators of the newly revived Will & Grace (September 23); and her highness Oprah Winfrey, who’ll be promoting her network’s new prison-focused documentary series, Released, on September 22.” (Lara Zarum, Village Voice)

Rolex Central Park Horse Show  (LAST DAY)
Central Park, Wollman Rink / 6:30pm; $30–$250
“Central Park will be awash with silky manes and heavy horseshoes as a panoply of majestic horses jump, prance and strut toward eternal glory and big prizes in support of local and equestrian charities.” (TONY)

Continuing Events

Elsewhere, but this one is sure worth the detour:
Photoville  (LAST DAY)
Brooklyn Bridge Park / 12PM-8PM; 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.

Feast of San Gennaro  (LAST DAY)
“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.

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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 – 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 Winter 2017).
◊ Order before Feb. 28, 2018 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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