NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/01) + 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: “NYC Events-March”
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.


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

Joe McGinty & The Loser’s Lounge present:
Donna Summer, A Night at the Disco!
Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30 pm FREE, but for this one better get there early for a seat, because the folks from Losers Lounge are really good.
“Dress up like you’re going back in time to your favorite New York City night club, then dance your way to the future with New York City’s most entertaining house band. Tonight, Joe McGinty and The Loser’s Lounge turn their gaze to the ultimate disco diva, Donna Summer. Platforms and polyester optional, but highly recommended if you want to win the evening’s Best Dressed Contest.”


6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Elektra
>> Charles McPherson
>>Daniel Mendelsohn: An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and An Epic
>> Ghosts of the Tsunami: Seven Years After 3/11
Continuing Events
>>New York City Beer Week

Elektra (Mar.1-23; next performance Mar.05 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $
“Christine Goerke sings her first Elektra at the Met in Patrice Chéreau’s landmark production, a sensation at its Met premiere last spring, which the Wall Street Journal called “revolutionary … a triumph on all fronts.” Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Strauss’s shattering score, a tour de force for the singers and the orchestra alike.”

Charles McPherson (March 1-4)
Dizzy’s Club, Broadway at 60th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
“Finding a saxophonist versed in the language of bebop may not provide much in the way of revelatory thrills, but witnessing an authentic master of the art, like the altoist McPherson, can still elicit a genuine spinal chill. McPherson came of age in Charles Mingus’s ensembles of the early sixties; these days, he fronts a rough-and-ready quintet with the guitarist Yotam Silberstein and the pianist Jeb Patton.” (NewYorker)

at Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $75+
“Whether you view Desmond Child as a genius or something less kind depends on your subjective opinion of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” and Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” all of which he co-wrote. What’s indisputable is that Mr. Child is one of the most successful songwriters of the past 30 years. These are his first concerts in many years, and they should be a treat for pop scholars and karaoke fans alike.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through March 4).
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30+
“The company wraps up its winter season with a week of repertory, including “Stravinsky and Balanchine,” a splendid showcase of ballets choreographed by George Balanchine and set to music by Igor Stravinsky, including “Agon” and Symphony in Three Movements. As part of that program, on Feb. 27, Erica Pereira and Joseph Gordon make their debuts in Balanchine’s 1972 “Divertimento From ‘Le Baiser de la Fée.’” And the “Here/Now” program, which opens on Feb. 24, is topped by Alexei Ratmansky’s “Namouna, a Grand Divertissement.” It’s a delight.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)

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

Daniel Mendelsohn: An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and An Epic
Baruch Performing Arts Center / 6PM, $21
One Bernard Baruch Way (25th Street btw. Lexington & Third Aves)
“The award-winning essayist, classicist, translator, and cultural critic speaks about his latest book with BPAC Director, Ted Altschuler. Mendelsohn recounts his travels around the Mediterranean with his late father, a scientist, while reading Homer’s Odyssey, making for a book that is, according to New York Times critic Dwight Garner, classroom drama, travel writing, biographical memoir, and literary criticism. “…this is a rich introduction or reintroduction. Mendelsohn makes Homer’s epic shine in your mind. I was impressed by how lightly yet superbly he wears his learning in An Odyssey,” wrote Garner, “What catches you off guard about this memoir is how moving it is.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Ghosts of the Tsunami: Seven Years After 3/11
Japan Society, 333 E. 47th St./ 6:30PM, $14
“The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011 was one of the country’s most catastrophic natural disasters, and the impact of the disaster is still being felt even seven years later. Best-selling author and Asia Editor for The Times of London, Richard Lloyd Parry, reported from the disaster zone for six years following the devastation. Lloyd Parry joins us to discuss his latest work, Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone, a revealing investigation into the hauntings and mysteries of a town hit especially hard by the tragedy. Followed by a book signing reception.”

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus 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 – awesome!
BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

Continuing Events

New York City Beer Week
“For eight crazy nights starting February 24 (thru Mar.3), NYC Beer Week taps into the city with hundreds of events: parties, tastings, plenty of grub, the first-ever Fermentation Festival (gotta get those probiotics) and a closing awards gala that’ll honor the best suds in town. If last year’s fest was any indication of what’s to come—400 events took place over 10 days, and acclaimed composers George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein performed live—you’re in for quite the boozy treat.” (TONY)

Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Check out who is playing tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.


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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