NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/06) + 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:

Répons (Oct.6-7)
Pierre Boulez, Composer, Andrew Gerzso, IRCAM Computer Music Design
Ensemble intercontemporain
Park Avenue Armory, / 8PM, $40+
“The total-immersion work by the composer, conductor, and provocateur Pierre Boulez, who died last year at 90, can be stunning, disorienting, and thrilling. Vast in scale and dizzying in detail, it’s a kind of Gothic cathedral in sound, surrounding the audience with a swirl of musical mystery. The Ensemble Intercontemporain (which Boulez founded) performs the work twice in a row, allowing listeners to change places.” (J.D., NY magazine)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Hudson
>>New York City Ballet
>>Ron Carter’s Great Big Band
>>Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – In Concert
>>Fall for Dance
>>Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Hudson (also Saturday)
Rose Theatre, 60th St. at Broadway / 8PM, $17.50+
“The guitarist John Scofield, the drummer Jack DeJohnette, the keyboardist John Medeski, and the bassist Larry Grenadier, heavy hitters all, mosey a bit into classic-rock mode in their guise as the collective Hudson ensemble. Spinning its own meditations on such boomer fare as “Lay Lady Lay,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” and “Woodstock”—as well as apposite originals—this fabulous foursome extracts inspiration from an unlikely repertoire without pandering to cozy nostalgia.” (NewYorker)

New York City Ballet (through Oct. 15, at various times).
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / tonight 7:30PM, $30+
“One of the programs this week is a trio of works by George Balanchine. In his particularly joyful 1957 piece “Square Dance,” Balanchine evoked the high spirits, rhythms, and formations of country dancing, but set them to the music of Vivaldi and Corelli. In 1976, he added an enigmatic male solo, and with it, a note of gravity. The result is one of his most perfect ballets.” (NewYorker)

“Three works, each stylized and rousing, exhibit Balanchine’s masterful yet subtle penchant for channeling cultural sensibilities, including a distillation of square dancing into fascinating patterns and effervescent spirit, a cavernous ballroom where a young woman both horrified and fascinated by her own vanity is seduced by the figure of Death, and a grand procession of classical dance.”

Ron Carter’s Great Big Band
A Celebration of Ron Carter, October 3-21
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific and influential bassists in jazz with more than 2,000 albums to his credit. Beginning his career in the 1960s with Jaki Byard and Eric Dolphy, Cannonball Adderley, and a five year stint with the Miles Davis’ Quintet, Ron also performed and recorded with notables including Bill Evans, B.B. King, and Dexter Gordon. Ron Carter’s various ensembles, big band to trio, feature a who’s who of the finest players on the NYC scene with, “an absolute commitment to musical sublimity [that] exudes refined elegance and sonic power.” (amazon.com)”

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – In Concert
David Geffen Hall (at Lincoln Center) / 7:30pm; $65­–$175 (maybe tough tkt)
“New York Philharmonic takes on John Williams’s scores for the most iconic film franchise in history with screenings of A New Hope (September 15, 16), The Empire Strikes Back (September 26–28), Return of the Jedi (October 4, 5) and The Force Awakens (October 6, 7), all backed by conductor David Newman and an 85-person orchestra. Maybe we’ll get the prequels in 2018?” (TONY)

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)

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

coming soon

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know (Oct.5-7)
Joe’s Pub, / 6:30PM, +9:30PM, $25
“News you can use.
Leave with answers to questions you didn’t even know you had when the hit podcast–game show helmed by Freakonomics Radio’s Stephen J. Dubner tapes six live shows at Joe’s Pub, with co-hosts including Top Chef’s Gail Simmons.” (NewYork magazine)

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 – 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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