NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/30) + 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:

The Exterminating Angel (various dates thru Nov.21)
The Metropolitan Opera / 7:30PM, $25+
“Following the rapturous response to his last opera, The Tempest, the Met presents the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, inspired by the classic Luis Buñuel film of the same name. Hailed by the New York Times at its 2016 Salzburg Festival premiere as “inventive and audacious … a major event,” The Exterminating Angel is a surreal fantasy about a dinner party from which the guests can’t escape. Tom Cairns, who wrote the libretto, directs the new production, and Adès conducts his own adventurous new opera.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ODEAN POPE SAXOPHONE CHOIR WITH RAVI COLTRANE
>> Natalie Douglas: Tributes—Bassey
>> Christine Ebersole: After the Ball
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> Pop-Up Magazine
>> Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

ODEAN POPE SAXOPHONE CHOIR WITH RAVI COLTRANE
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30PM, $20, $35
“The tenor saxophonist Odean Pope, a looming figure in his native Philadelphia, earned his stripes playing alongside Max Roach in the 1970s. But by now he’s most often thought of in association with the Saxophone Choir, a large ensemble he’s held together for the past 40 years. Surging momentum and full-blossom harmonies coexist happily in this group, which vests Mr. Pope’s compositions with a hard-bitten beauty. Its concerts at the Blue Note have become a tradition unto themselves, and typically involve one special guest. This show features Mr. Coltrane, a tenor and soprano saxophonist, performing with a 10-piece iteration of the ensemble.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Natalie Douglas: Tributes—Bassey
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 7PM, $30
“Octuple MAC Award winner Douglas has previously plumbed the catalogs of Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln and Billie Holiday, among many others. Now she pays homage to Welsh powerhouse Shirley Bassey, whose James Bond theme songs remain the gold standard.” (TONY)

Christine Ebersole: After the Ball
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $75+
“Broadway leading lady Ebersole (Grey Gardens) can really land a joke and knock out a number, moving with ease between her lustrous belt, her mock-operatic soprano and multiple other modes. On select Monday nights this fall, she spends her night off from the musical War Paint, in which she plays makeup titan Elizabeth Arden, to share standards at Feinstein’s/54 Below.” (TONY)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 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)

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

Pop-Up Magazine
Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $36+
“Take a long form magazine story, add animation, video, photography or music, then bring it to a massive stage in front of a live audience and you’ve got Pop-Up Magazine. This mixed media non fiction show is like no other kind of journalism. Book tickets to the October show at Lincoln Center to witness this innovative kind of storytelling for yourself.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream
Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St./ 7:30PM, FREE
“Trump’s Republican Convention speech and his Inaugural Address are prime examples of the role fear has taken on in American life. (In less than a month, Vegas shooting survivors have been bombarded with death threats and false flag videos have garnered millions of views.) Journalist Sasha Abramsky sits down with Eric Klinenberg, Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, to talk about an anxious nation revealed in Abramsky’s new book, Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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.

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park (6th Ave. & 42nd St.)
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Enjoy Bryant Park through the winter with the Holiday Shops food and gift boutiques (thru Jan.02), Danny Meyer’s pop-up rinkside eatery Public Fare (thru Mar.04), and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.

The Rink
The centerpiece of Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, this 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 28, 2017 – March 4, 2018
Daily, 8am-10pm
Rink hours are weather permitting.

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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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