NYC Events,”Only the Best” (11/11) + 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: “NYC Events-November
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 over town, all through the month.
The “This WEEK” tab above ain’t bad, either.

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

The Met: “Turandot” (various dates thru April 05)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $25+
“Puccini’s grand spectacle of legendary China stars Oksana Dyka and Martina Serafin in the role of the ice princess and Marcelo Álvarez as the unknown prince who must thaw her heart or die. Maria Agresta, Hei-Kyung Hong, and James Morris are among the other remarkable artists featured in this cherished Franco Zeffirelli production, led by Carlo Rizzi and Marco Armiliato.”

“Franco Zeffirelli’s over-the-top style defined the Met in the eighties and nineties, but now the famed Italian director has only one other production (besides “La Bohème”) left in the company’s repertory, a traditionalist pageant of glittering chinoiserie that he devised for Puccini’s “Turandot” thirty years ago. Oksana Dyka, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Maria Agresta star in the revival; Rizzi.” (NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Anna Bergman
>>ERIC REED QUARTET
>> “The Psalms Experience”
>>Mx Justin Vivian Bond
>>Pat Martino Trio plus Horns
>>Garth Fagan Dance
>>New York Comedy Festival
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Anna Bergman
You’re All The World To Me: A Musical Travelogue from Porter to Puccini
@ Feinstein’s /54 Below / 7PM, $55
“Internationally acclaimed singer and actress Anna Bergman celebrates love songs from her favorite places around the world in her new show You’re All The World To Me. As the daughter of an American diplomat, Anna serenades you in multiple languages and styles that range from standards and Broadway tunes, French chanson, German cabaret and Neapolitan songs to Viennese operetta and Italian opera.

American songwriters include Bernstein, Porter, Sondheim, Kern, Rodgers & Hart, Lerner, Lane & Loewe along with such European songwriters as Coward, Legrand, Lehar, and Puccini.
Anna “thrills you with the sheer aural sensation of her voice” (The Wall Street Journal).”

ERIC REED QUARTET (Nov.10-12)
at Smoke / 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“Mr. Reed, a pianist, came up in the era of the Young Lions — those fresh-faced neo-classicists who made midcentury jazz au courant again in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Ever since, he’s remained one of the more respected pianists of his ilk, that is, those following in the footsteps of straight-ahead jazz giants like Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Kirkland. Here he celebrates the release of a new disc, “A Light in the Darkness,” with a formidable quartet: Tim Green on alto saxophone, Ben Williams on bass and McClenty Hunter on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

 “The Psalms Experience”
The White Light Festival’s “Psalms Experience” is an ambitious series of hour-long concerts, covering a millennium of responses to the Biblical Psalms. It continues with eight events, held Nov. 9–11 in various locations, addressing such themes as “Gratitude,” “Lamentation,” and “Celebration of Life”: the programs range from traditional songs and chant to premières by Nico Muhly and Caroline Shaw. The participating ensembles include the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Tallis Scholars, and the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, all of whom join members of the Choir of Trinity Wall Street in a grand finale. (Russell Platt, NewYorker)

Mx Justin Vivian Bond
@ NYU Skirball Center / 7:30PM, $35
Singer, songwriter, artist, actor, one half of Kiki & Herb, Mx Justin Vivian Bond presents a “raucous and seductive evening of songs and stories.”
“The best cabaret artist of their generation.” – The New Yorker

Declared a “cabaret messiah” by Time Out/London, Bond is a trans-genre artist living in New York City. As a performer, both on and Off-Broadway, Mx Bond has received numerous accolades, winning an Obie (2001), a Bessie (2004), a Tony nomination (2007), the Ethyl Eichelberger Award (2007). V authored the Lambda Literary Award winning memoir TANGO: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels (The Feminist Press, 2011).”

Pat Martino Trio plus Horns (Nov.9-12)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./
“Martino’s roots are never far from the surface of his extravagant guitar playing, yet his recent album “Formidable” is an unabashed celebration of the bebop and blues ethos he honed in his native Philadelphia, circa the early sixties. As on the recording, the organ-and-drums base of his earthy trio will be fleshed out by two horn men, Alex Norris, on trumpet, and Adam Niewood, on saxophone.” (NewYorker)

Garth Fagan Dance (Nov. 7-12)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $
“Now in his late seventies, Fagan has recently been sharing choreographic responsibilities with his longtime star dancer, the coolly graceful Norwood Pennewell. The works of the disciple are faithful to the master’s style but show signs of fresh life and musical responsiveness. Of the four premières here, half are by Fagan (“In Conflict” and “Estrogen/Genius”), half by Pennewell (“A Moderate Cease” and “Wecoo Duende”). The company remains distinguished by veteran dancers such as Natalie Rogers—sexy, funny, and incredibly strong in her mid-fifties.” (NewYorker)

New York  Comedy Festival (through Nov.12)
“Eight days (Tuesday through Sunday). More than 200 comedians (see the examples below). Over 20 venues. This 14th edition of this annual festival is upon us, with fresh-faced newcomers and comedy veterans alike descending upon our fair city.” (NYT-KASIA PILAT)

 Continuing Events

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
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)

(11/10/17-1/1/18) The NYC perennial holiday favorite Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes® returns. Fan favorites include “New York at Christmas,” where the Rockettes® board a real double-decker bus, and the high-energy tap number “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Of course, beloved classics like “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” will also be back. rockettes.com/christmas

Elsewhere, but come on, “just Mangia,” and make this worthwhile detour:
“Savor the Bronx” – a Bronx version of Restaurant Week. (Nov.06-17)
Go check it out to get deals at the best restaurants in the Bronx.

“The Bronx’s culinary diversity get its rightful spotlight during this price-slashed, borough-specific restaurant week. For 11 days, more than 30 eateries will serve prix-fixe menus at a budget-friendly rate of just $16.41 for lunch and $20.15 for dinner. Snack your way through Latin cuisines ranging from Mexican at Xochimilco Family Restaurant to Dominican at Mamajuana Cafe, or tap into the borough’s rich Italian history at red-sauce standbys like Enzo’s of Morris Park and Tosca Café. In addition to food, Bronx-bound bargoers can throw back beers at Bronx Alehouse or the venerable Bronx Beer Hall, that storied bazaar where Robert De Niro first met Joe Pesci.” (TONY)

Canstruction (Nov.02-15)
Brookfield Place; /10AM – 8PM; FREE
“Give “food as art” new meaning beyond those food-porn Instagrams at this 24th annual cans-for-a-cause competition, pitting architecture teams against each other to create larger-than-life Pop-Art–installations using more than 120,000 cans of nonperishable food, all in the name of ending hunger (every can is donated to City Harvest). Head down to Brookfield Place to see the unveiling of these engineering spectacles, all built overnight after months of planning, and check back to see if your favorite takes home any titles in judges’ categories like Best Use of Labels, Best Meal and Structural Ingenuity. You’ll also be able to cast a ballot for the “People’s Choice” winner online. Admission is completely free, but you can do your part by bringing the suggested donation of one canned good per person.” (TONY)

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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 Spring 2018).
◊ Order before May 31 28, 2018 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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