NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/11) + 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, check the tab above: NYC Events-September”
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.

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

Bill Charlap Trio (Sept.11-16)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30Pm, +10:30PM, $35
“Melding spit-and-polish precision with low-simmering passion, this long-standing unit has evolved into the premier mainstream piano trio of its time. Charlap, who prizes interpretation above original composition, buffs up the ensemble’s songbook and jazz standards with an airborne momentum provided by two non-relative Washingtons: the bassist Peter and the drummer Kenny.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ‘9/11 TABLE OF SILENCE PROJECT’
>> Joey DeFrancesco
>> Me The People
>> MARQUIS HILL BLACKTET
>> FIAF Fall Open House
>>  Transformed Overnight: The Impact of 9/11
Continuing Events
>> FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC
>> Oktoberfest NYC
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

‘9/11 TABLE OF SILENCE PROJECT’
at Lincoln Center Plaza / 8:15-8:46 a.m.
“The choreographer Jacqulyn Buglisi revives her peaceful tribute to the events of Sept. 11, in which more than 100 dancers dressed in white perform a ritual around the fountain at Lincoln Center. Inspired by the visual artist Rossella Vasta’s installation of 100 ceramic plates arranged on a table to symbolize a united humanity, the work, as Ms. Buglisi sees it, is a moving meditation. At precisely 8:46 a.m. — when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north tower of the World Trade Center — the dancers reach to the sky for one minute. Spectators are invited to join in.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
watch the live stream here

Joey DeFrancesco (Sept. 11-15)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“The organ trio has exerted a hold on the public imagination ever since Jimmy Smith roared out of Philadelphia, his feet pumping bass lines on the pedals, in 1956. DeFrancesco, another Philly keyboard whiz, joins up with the guitarist Mark Whitfield and the drummer Terri Lyne Carrington to uphold the tradition, while adding a few contemporary touches.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Me The People
Laurie Beechman Theatre / 7:30PM, $35+
“Following a smash run Off Broadway in 2017, Me The People returns to New York with the world premiere of the Fire and Fury Edition featuring new songs inspired by the latest madness from our fearless leader and his merry band of spineless enablers. Book and lyrics by Nancy Holson (Emmy Award winner for The News in Revue, Bush Wars). Starring members of the original Off Broadway cast lauded by the NY Times as “fine singers and fizzy delights” (TONY)

MARQUIS HILL BLACKTET (Sept. 11-12)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $30
“Mr. Hill, a trumpeter and Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition winner, started the Blacktet when he lived in Chicago, intent on uniting generations of musical thought in a way that was particular to his hometown, but broadly appealing. The group’s most obvious M.O. is to bring elements of hip-hop into a thrashing and throbbing contemporary jazz sound, but there’s more to it than that. Having recently moved to New York, Mr. Hill continues the Blacktet now with an altered group of musicians. At Jazz Standard, that band — Josh Johnson on alto saxophone, Joel Ross on vibraphone, Junius Paul on bass and Jonathan Pinson on drums — is likely to perform selections from the forthcoming album “Modern Flows Vol. 2.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

FIAF Fall Open House
Sample FIAF’s Membership Perks
French Institute Alliance Française / 6PM, FREE
“Enjoy a free French film, attend a wine and cheese tasting, get discounts on fall events, save on French classes and FIAF Memberships, and win prizes!”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Transformed Overnight: The Impact of 9/11
Brooklyn Historical Society / 7PM, FREE
“Seventeen years after the 9/11 attacks, we reflect on how NYC and the world have changed through the eyes of three cultural creators: Tina Chang, Brooklyn’s first Poet Laureate who wrote movingly about the attacks; Clifford Chanin, 9/11 Memorial & Museum EVP & Deputy Director of Museum Programs, who contributed to the complex process of developing the Museum’s narrative; and Pat Kiernan, a journalist whose work reporting New York news spans both pre- and post-9/11.”

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Continuing Events

FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC (Sept. 5-12)

“Tooting its own horn for the sixteenth year, this enduring paean to the trumpet spreads out over more than six venues, in an omnivorous overview of contemporary brass music. Hard-blowing stylists including Ingrid Jensen, Jeremy Pelt, and Rachel Therrien are featured, along with an evening of music by the late, neglected composer Julius Eastman, whose politically informed works have taken on unexpected new life in the past few years.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Oktoberfest NYC: Where to grab a beer and celebrate (Sept.22-Oct.15)
“Oktoberfest may seem far off, but it’s less than a month away. The Bavarian festival is kicking off Sept. 22 in Munich and the city’s festivities will begin in earnest.
So, if you’re looking for some lederhosen-laden action closer to home, here are beer-and-sausage-fueled affairs in New York City.” (amNY)
Check here for a full description of each of 11 events.

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♦ 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  8.6 million, had a record 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – 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.

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Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and 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. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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.

Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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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” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

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).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
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.

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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 (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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