NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/20) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

“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:

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
BRIC JazzFest 2017 Marathon (Oct.19-21)
BRIC Arts Media House, 647 Fulton St., Brooklyn.
“Too long in coming but welcome all the same, Brooklyn has a jazz festival to call its very own. Now in its third year, this proudly eclectic gathering remains unbounded by convention; look for such artists as Maceo Parker, Vijay Iyer, GoGo Penguin, Harriet Tubman, Rudresh Mahanthappa Indo-Pak Coalition, Papo Vazquez, Dave Douglas Meets the Westerlies, and Matana Roberts during the three-day marathon.” (NewYorker)

My fave among many good ones tonight: Vijay Iyer Sextet (9:20PM, $30)
“The trailblazing pianist stretches out with drummer Marcus Gilmore, bassist Stephan Crump and the rest of the group behind his striking new progressive-jazz album, Far from Over.” (TONY)


9 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Mara: A Chamber Opera Libretto
>> Camille O’Sullivan Sings Jaques Brel
>> Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller
>> American Ballet Theatre
>> Norma
>> Pre-Concert Discussion: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Songbook
>> 41st Annual Margaret Mead Film Festival
>> John Herzog on “A Billion to One”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Mara: A Chamber Opera Libretto by Stephen Batchelor + Music by Sherry Woods
Rubin Museum of Art ,150 W. 17th St./ 7PM, $25
“No great transformation is without its obstacles. Upon leaving home at the age of 29 on his quest for enlightenment, Siddhattha Gotama (Siddhartha Gautama) engaged in a sustained struggle to understand and overcome the forces that stood in his way. Once he had realized his goal and become the Buddha, he still had to contend with forces that resisted the establishment of his teachings and community. These psychological, physical, social, and institutional powers are personified in the complex, demonic figure of Mara. In MARA: A Chamber Opera, these deeply human conflicts are played out in a 75-minute performance with a libretto by best-selling Buddhist author Stephen Batchelor and music by Sherry Woods.”

Camille O’Sullivan Sings Jaques Brel
Irish Arts Center / 8PM, $32 (maybe a tough ticket, but she was awesome last night)
“Irish chanteuse O’Sullivan (Absinthe) throws herself into songs with spellbinding intensity, as she proved in her triumphant 2014 and 2016 runs at Irish Arts Center. In her new set, she rides the emotional carousel of songs of the great Belgian troubadour Jacques Brel (“Amsterdam,” “Ne Me Quitte Pas”).” (TONY)

at Smoke Jazz Club / 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $38
“A nimble pianist with a gentle but bracing touch, Mr. Willis has followed a winding career path: He accompanied Jackie McLean, Dizzy Gillespie and Cannonball Adderley; played for seven years in the rock fusion group Blood Sweat & Tears; and worked in the seminal Latin jazz Fort Apache Band. In 1990, he released a strong album called “Heavy Blue,” spotlighting his own ear-catching postbop compositions. Here he reprises that title with a different quintet, featuring Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Joe Ford on saxophone, David Williams on bass and Victor Lewis on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller
Barnard College, 3009 Broadway / 8PM, $12
“Centering on the final days of the life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, Friedrich Schiller’s intense psychological study is focused on the intersection of romantic, political, and religious betrayal, revealing vivid tension between the costs of moral righteousness and those of political expediency. Gisela Cardenas, who directed Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s brilliant Katzelmacher, returns to campus to direct this evocatively modern play.
Performed by Barnard and Columbia students.”

American Ballet Theatre (Oct.18-29)
at the NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $25+
The company’s two-week season at the Koch Theatre features a variety of shorter works. Much of the repertory here is new or of recent vintage, with the exception of Jerome Robbins’s “Other Dances” (which will be danced by David Hallberg and Hee Seo on Oct. 19 and Oct. 22) and Frederick Ashton’s “Symphonic Variations.”

The novelties include a new ballet by Alexei Ratmansky, “Songs of Bukovina”—set to a folk-infused piano suite by the Ukrainian composer Leonid Desyatnikov—and “I Feel the Earth Move,” by the L.A.-based choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who has also contributed a site-specific performance piece for the theatre’s public spaces, to be performed at intermission on some nights. (NewYorker)
Tonight at 7:30: “Songs of Bukovina,” “Her Notes,” and “Thirteen Diversions.”

Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $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.”

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

Pre-Concert Discussion: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Songbook
Jazz at Lincoln Center, Rose Hall/Time Warner Center, 5th Floor / 7PM, FREE
“Jazz at Lincoln Center’s hour-long pre-concert discussions are led by musicologists and scholars as they discuss the featured artist’s music and legacy, taking an in-depth look at their contributions to the genre. This discussion looks at the music and careers of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra members, discussing their original composition and inspiration behind them. No registration or tickets required.”

If you get right on it, there are also a few tickets left for the concert itself tonight.

41st Annual Margaret Mead Film Festival (Oct.19-22)
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St. / all day, $12+
“The preeminent showcase for contemporary cultural storytelling, the 41st Annual Margaret Mead Film Festival screens a selection of titles chosen from more than 700 submissions. The festival will feature international documentaries, multimedia performances, installations, receptions throughout the Museum, intimate conversations with filmmakers and film subjects, and the presentation of the annual Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award.” (

John Herzog on “A Billion to One”
Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall St./ 12:30PM, $5
“Join us for a lunchtime program with the Museum’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus, John Herzog, on his new book about the legendary Wall Street firm his family founded.
About the Speaker
John E. Herzog, Chairman Emeritus of Herzog, Heine, Geduld, Inc., joined the firm founded in 1926 by his father in 1959. With Irwin and Buzzy Geduld, he spearheaded its expansion into the third-largest Nasdaq market maker in the country. After the sale of the firm to Merrill Lynch in 2000, John devoted himself to R.M. Smythe & Co., the family auction firm dealing in antique stocks and bonds, bank notes, coins and autographs.

After the stock market crash of 1987, John founded the Museum of American Finance to enhance public understanding of the capital markets. John is a life-long collector of financial memorabilia whose collection has been exhibited many times at the Museum.”

Continuing Events

Archtober  (Oct.01-31)
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 (LAST DAY)
“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

“More than 30 New York institutions will host free workshops, lectures, tours and exhibitions for the event, which aims to show off our city’s repositories of art, artifacts and documents.

This week, you can listen to Louis Armstrong’s personal reel-to-reel collection and see rare footage of the jazz musician at Queens College in Flushing on Wednesday.
On Thursday take a tour of the United Nations archives in Midtown, the National Archives at New York City Downtown, or the exhibition “Unlikely Historians: Materials collected by N.Y.P.D. surveillance teams 1960-1975”, also in Downtown Manhattan.

Prefer to chat about archives?
Join a discussion on diversifying the digital historical record at New York University on Friday, or head to Columbia University to learn about the archives of Human Rights organizations like Amnesty International USA, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Human Rights Watch.

For an immersive experience, the Museum of Interesting Things in Lower Manhattan will be screening vintage films on a 1965 Kodak projector, playing original vinyl records and Edison Cylinders, and explaining odd antiques from the 19th and 20th centuries on Saturday.” (NYT-Today)

Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
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 underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 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 was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  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 / West Village

Corner Bistro 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $6.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk 2 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
“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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