NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/02) + 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-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:

Fall for Dance (thru Oct. 14)
City Center, 131 W. 55th St./ 8PM, ALL TKTS $15!
“ONE OF THE GREAT EVENTS OF THE NEW YORK DANCE YEAR”
— THE NEW YORK TIMES
“One of the appealing aspects of this festival is its inclusive spirit; there seems to be something for just about everyone. (The opposite is also true; there will be at least one thing to hate on most programs.) The second of five programs opens with a fast-paced ballet from 2004 by Christopher Wheeldon, “Rush,” performed by dancers from Pennsylvania Ballet, and closes with an excerpt from the high-octane tango show “Tango Fire,” by the Argentine choreographer German Cornejo. In program four, New York City Ballet’s Sara Mearns—a ballerina with an adventurous soul—collaborates with the hip-hop choreographer Honji Wang in a duet entitled “No. 1” (a world première). And program five features American Ballet Theatre’s star David Hallberg in a series of miniatures set to Benjamin Britten’s “Twelve Variations for Piano,” created for the festival by Mark Morris.” (NewYorker)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>“LA BOHÈME”
>>Solange
>>Fastball, Wesley Stace
>>Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>>JOHN COLIANNI’S JAZZ ORCHESTRA
>>The Future of Healthcare in America
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

“LA BOHÈME” (various dates through Nov. 4)
at the Metropolitan Opera / 7:30PM, $25+
“Franco Zeffirelli’s picture-postcard Puccini stands as a continuing rebuke to anyone who thinks Peter Gelb is an innovator, and here it returns yet again to Lincoln Center. There are just the 15 performances this season, and the first run of two has the lowest wattage. Angel Blue sings Mimì, Brigitta Kele takes Musetta, and Dmytro Popov is Rodolfo for three nights, before he gives way to Russell Thomas. Note that Sonya Yoncheva plays Mimì in the new year, opposite Michael Fabiano.” (NYT-DAVID ALLEN)

Solange (Oct. 2-3)
also Earl Sweatshirt, The Sun Ra Arkestra, Chassol
at Radio City Music Hall / 8PM, $49+ (TUE.may be easier ticket)
“Solange is playing more and more shows in support of last year’s excellent A Seat At The Table, and her shows have been serious spectacles with an ace live band and it’s the kind of thing that you really just need to see for yourself. This is her first of two nights at Radio City (which sounds like a perfect place to see her), and she has great and very interesting openers. There’s direct support from Earl Sweatshirt, whose 2015 LP I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside remains one of the more unique major-label rap albums in recent memory, plus there’s Sun Ra Arkestra, who feature members of the late jazz legend Sun Ra’s band and perform his songs, and French composer Chassol, who uses field recordings in a way that no one else is really doing.” (brooklynvegan)

Fastball, Wesley Stace
@ City Winery / 8PM, $25-$28
“Nineties alt-rock vets Fastball recently returned with their first album in eight years, Step Into Light, which is a nice dose of McCartney/Kinks-inspired power pop. Their old hits also hold up pretty well, especially in a live environment. Tonight’s show is with Wesley Stace, which makes for a great double bill.” (brooklynvegan)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, / 9:30PM, $30
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of “Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

JOHN COLIANNI’S JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Blue Note Jazz Club / 8:00PM, 10:30PM, $20-$35
“Noted for a virtuosic, hard swinging piano style, Colianni’s resume includes long-term stints and collaborations with many jazz and pop music giants, including Lionel Hampton, Mel Torme, Les Paul, and Larry Coryell.

Now Colianni shares his gifts as a composer, arranger, and band leader with us with the introduction of the John Colianni Jazz Orchestra. The John Colianni Jazz Orchestra works with an approach that seeks to build on and extend the sounds of big band jazz, with originality and innovation.” (wfuv.org)

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

The Future of Healthcare in America
Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave/ 6:30PM, FREE
“As the roller coaster of Repeal and Replace hits another valley, get up to speed on the future of one of America’s main economic pillars. Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman headlines a panel of experts representing a diverse set of POVs.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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)

Archtober
31 days, 100+ ways to celebrate design in NYC! The seventh-annual, month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions in New York City will take place October 1-31, 2017.  Archtober’s calendar features 200 architecture and design lectures, conferences, programs, and exhibitions at more than 70+ collaborating institutions across the city.

For more details go to my Section: “Notable Events October”  and scroll all the way to the bottom.

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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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