NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/16) + 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-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.


Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

New York Cabaret Convention 2017 (Oct.16-19)
Rose Theater / 6PM, $25+
If you like cabaret even a little bit, you’ll love this show.
“The 28th annual cabaret fest kicks off with a lineup that brings together some of the genre’s signature artists to celebrate the Great American Songbook. Mabel Mercer Foundation bigwig KT Sullivan hosts the evening; performers of note include Marilyn Maye, Amanda McBroom, Luba Mason, Karen Mason, Carole J. Bufford and Vivian Reed.” (TONY)


5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Norma
>> Los Wembler’s de Iquitos
>> Can You See This?
>> Dancing with Fred Astaire: Jonas Mekas with Amy Taubin

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $32+
“Ponselle, Milanov, Sutherland, Callas … after last night, Radvanovsky can add her name to the list,” declared the Huffington Post when Sondra Radvanovsky made her Met role debut as Norma in 2013. The 2017–18 season opens with a new production of Bellini’s masterpiece, starring Radvanovsky as the Druid priestess and Joyce DiDonato as her archrival, Adalgisa—a casting coup for bel canto fans. Tenor Joseph Calleja is Pollione, Norma’s unfaithful lover, and Carlo Rizzi conducts. Sir David McVicar’s evocative production sets the action deep in a Druid forest where nature and ancient ritual rule.”

at Le Poisson Rouge / 8PM, $40
“The Paris singer Camille is a sly innovator, reworking the traditional sounds of French pop into thrillingly unrecognizable forms. Her most recent album, “Ouï,” was recorded in a former monastery, and at times it sounds like a one-woman sect reaching psychedelic nirvana. And while her lyrics are full of clever French puns, even resolute Anglophones will find much to enjoy.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

Elsewhere, but I’m a big fan of Peruvian rhythms, makes this worth the detour:
Los Wembler’s de Iquitos
PIONEER WORKS, 159 Pioneer St. Red Hook, 8PM, $25
“Formed in 1968 by Peruvian shoemaker Solomon Sanchez, along with his five sons, the apostrophically beguiling Los Wembler’s de Iquitos (the moniker reportedly has something to do with Wembley Stadium) launched the most otherworldly of cumbia subgenres with their first single, “Cumbia Amazónica.” Better known as chicha, the Sanchez sound mixed Andean melodies, psychedelic surf-rock guitar, and Farfisa organ along with strident cumbia bass lines and a pair of polyrhythmically persuasive percussionists. Songs like “Lamento del Yacuruna” and “La Danza del Petrolero” celebrated Amazonian water spirits and the oil industry, respectively, and inspired many other fine chicha groups (and imitators) during the Seventies. The five Sanchez brothers embody their father’s spirited grooves to this day, and local chicha-savvy Tropical futurists Combo Chimbita will join them here.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

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

Can You See This?
The Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St./ 6:30PM, FREE
“A free public lecture on how letters got on the eye chart and what they’re doing there by Professor William Germano, author of the recently published Eye Chart (Blooomsbury). The book traces the history of the eye chart as a medical test, work of graphic design and metaphor. Registration is requested.”

Author Talks:
Dancing with Fred Astaire: Jonas Mekas with Amy Taubin
NYPL, Main Building, Wachenheim Trustees Room / 6:30PM, FREE
“Filmmaker, critic, and poet Jonas Mekas has had an extraordinary life in the arts, playing an instrumental role in the careers of Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, and numerous other iconic artists as well as hanging out with everyone from Maya Deren to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, from Tiny Tim to Salvador Dalí, from the Kennedys to Fred Astaire. In A Dance with Fred Astaire (Anthology Editions) , Mekas recalls his many chance encounters, intimate exchanges, and lasting friendships with some of the past century’s most iconic and beloved artists. Whether stealing Anaïs Nin’s cookies, living alongside Janis Joplin and Patti Smith in the Chelsea Hotel, contemplating life and death with Allen Ginsberg, or meeting Timothy Leary, Arthur Miller, Lenny Bruce and so many more, Mekas has spent 94 years weaving himself inextricably into the very fabric of American culture.

In this special one-night-only program, Mekas will not only discuss the stories in the book with film critic Amy Taubin, he will also present a selection of short 16mm films he has curated from the Library’s Reserve Film and Video Collection. The films amplify anecdotes in A Dance with Fred Astaire and represent some of the incredible filmmakers whose lives and work have intersected with Mekas’s.”

Continuing Events

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 Tab in the Header: “Notable Events October”  and scroll all the long way to the bottom. This event makes America, or at least NYCity, great again.

The 10th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival (Oct.13-20)
“Produced by Imagine Science Films — the nonprofit behind science film festivals in New York, Paris, Abu Dhabi and satellite events worldwide – Imagine Science Film Festival showcases new and experimental works that bridge the worlds of science and film in an artful, entertaining, and meaningful way.

All of the events are low cost or FREE. The festival includes short and feature-length films, live cinema performances, discussions, interactive demonstrations and more taking place at museums, universities and cultural institutions across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Several of the films will be making their U.S. debuts at the festival.

Notable programming includes:
North American premiere of Honey, Rain and Dust at the American Museum of Natural History (Friday, Oct 20 @ 4 pm) – A unique ethnographic and ecological look into an unseen corner of the Arabian Gulf: beekeeping traditions in the northwestern mountains of the United Arab Emirates.” (

For the complete program, visit:
Tickets: FREE – $18

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,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

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

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — / 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.

♦ 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):


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).
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.

“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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