NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/30) + 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-OCTOBER”
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:

TWYLA THARP DANCE (Sept. 19 to Oct. 8)
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM +8PM, $76+
“Dance’s Renaissance woman, Twyla Tharp, camps out at the Joyce for three weeks this fall, packing an eclectic collection of old and new works. “The Fugue,” the 1970 work that put her on the dance map, is inspired by Bach’s complex rhythms. But in lieu of his music, we get the dancer’s amplified stomps instead. In “The Raggedy Dances,” from 1972, she mashes up Scott Joplin and Mozart with her own unique blend of rigorous frolicking. Fast forward to now and Ms. Tharp introduces “Dylan Love Songs,” her return to the music of Bob Dylan more than a decade after wrestling with his oeuvre in a short-lived Broadway musical.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>KENDRICK SCOTT PRESENTS ‘HOUSTON STRONG’
>>Eddie Henderson
>>GOGO PENGUIN
>>Christine Andreas: Love Is Good
>>CHICK COREA AND STEVE GADD BAND 
>>Rachel Tucker
>>Jim Gaffigan
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

KENDRICK SCOTT PRESENTS ‘HOUSTON STRONG’
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $30
“It’s no longer a secret that New York jazz in the 21st century would be unrecognizable without the contributions of musicians from Houston. That group includes Jason Moran, Eric Harland and Kendrick Scott, to name a few. Here, Mr. Scott, a wakeful drummer with an elastic funk attack, has organized a benefit to help his hometown recover from Hurricane Harvey. The concert will include a stunning array of contemporary jazz talent — from Houston and elsewhere — including the names above, plus Vijay Iyer, Melissa Aldana and Aaron Parks.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Eddie Henderson (Sept. 29-Oct. 1.)
Smoke Jazz Club / 7, 9, 10:30PM, $38
“The Henderson of the seventies and the trumpeter of the present day are two different species of jazz player. While the brass man who weaved through the fusion forests of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi band and his own jazz-funk projects was all Miles-ish jabs and flourishes, today’s Henderson is a post-bop classicist eager to exhibit his sharp-edged chops. He’s joined by the saxophonist Donald Harrison and the drummer Mike Clark, another veteran from the Hancock fusion era.” (NewYorker)

GOGO PENGUIN
at Le Poisson Rouge / 7:30PM, $25
“Gogo Penguin is a British piano trio that’s redolent of a few things: Brad Mehldau’s 1990s chamber jazz; Jon Brion’s warm and glistening film scores; and Dawn of Midi, a contemporary group sounding like electronic dance music played by acoustic instruments. It doesn’t strike you as viscerally as any of those three — its momentum is tidy, not tidal — but it is carving out an amalgamated identity, built on its associations, that sounds distinctly like today.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Christine Andreas: Love Is Good  (LAST DAY)
Beach Cafe / 9:15PM, $10-$20
“Broadway leading lady Andreas could coast on her pure, silvery soprano, but she is also a strong storyteller who knows how to dip beneath the pretty surfaces. This set of romantic standards features her husband, composer Martin Silvestri, at the piano.” (TONY)

CHICK COREA AND STEVE GADD BAND (LAST DAY)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30PM, $55-$85
“Mr. Corea, one of jazz’s most influential pianists and keyboardists, featured Mr. Gadd’s drumming on a few albums in the 1970s, including the classic fusion excursion “My Spanish Heart.” (Mr. Gadd was also in Mr. Corea’s storied band Return to Forever for a spell, though he never recorded with it.) The two have reunited sporadically in recent years, and here they’ll play a two-week run with the support of some fabulous sidemen: Steve Wilson on saxophone and flute, Lionel Loueke on guitar, Carlitos Del Puerto on bass and Luisito Quintero on percussion.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Rachel Tucker  (LAST DAY)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $55+
“Northern Irish singer-actor Tucker has played Elphaba to widespread plaudits on Broadway and in the West End., and was a standout as the female lead in Sting’s short-lived 2014 musical, The Last Ship. Now she makes her New York solo cabaret debut.” (TONY)

Jim Gaffigan  (LAST DAY)
@ Beacon Theatre / 7:30PM, $40+
“Jim Gaffigan is a Grammy nominated comedian, actor, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. Gaffigan is known around the world for his unique brand of humor which largely revolves around fatherhood and his observations on life and food.”

Continuing Events

The 55th New York Film Festival (9/28-10/15)
at The Film Society of Lincoln Center,
The 18-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring 25 works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent from around the globe.

“The 55th New York Film Festival’s Main Slate showcases films honored at Cannes, including Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or–winner The Square; Robin Campillo’s BPM, awarded the Cannes Critics’ Prize; and Agnès Varda & JR’s Faces Places, which took home the Golden Eye. From Berlin, Aki Kaurismäki’s Silver Bear–winner The Other Side of Hope and Agnieszka Holland’s Alfred Bauer Prize–winner Spoor mark the returns of two New York Film Festival veterans, while Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed Call Me by Your Name will be his NYFF debut.”(cityguideny.com)

“The main slate nabs the headlines, but this festival’s sidebars nearly constitute a festival of their own. In the Spotlight on Documentary program, Travis Wilkerson’s riveting “Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?” (Friday and Sunday) grapples with a family legend: that Mr. Wilkerson’s white great-grandfather almost certainly got away with murdering a black man in Alabama in the 1940s. The main retrospective of the festival (which runs through Oct. 15) celebrates Robert Mitchum’s centennial. “His Kind of Woman” (Friday), with Mitchum (above, with Jane Russell) as a gambler lured to Mexico as a sap, and the auteur purée “Macao” (Thursday), on which Nicholas Ray took over for Josef von Sternberg, are enjoyably overstuffed Howard Hughes productions. William A. Wellman’s “Track of the Cat” (Monday); Otto Preminger’s “River of No Return” (Monday), with Marilyn Monroe; and Vincente Minnelli’s “Home From the Hill” (Thursday), all in CinemaScope, demand big-screen viewing.” (BEN KENIGSBERG, NYT)

 

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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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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