NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/13) + 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, 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:

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)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Doctor Nativo 
>> DONALD HARRISON, RON CARTER AND BILLY COBHAM
>> Linda Eder
>> MATT MITCHELL
>> Justin Vivian Bond: A Star is Borned
>>  There Will Be Blood: Live
>> Art Deco New York: The Architects Speak
Continuing Events
>> FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC
>> Oktoberfest NYC
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Doctor Nativo 
Guatemalan Hip-Hop Meets Traditional Mayan Music
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“A founding member of the first Mayan rap group, Balam Ajpu, Doctor Nativo’s solo work explores themes of Mayan spirituality, social justice, and folk wisdom. He brings his thrilling musical blend of reggae, cumbia, hip-hop, and Mayan traditional music to Lincoln Center for a free show celebrating Guatemalan Independence Day and the release of his debut solo album, Guatemaya.”

DONALD HARRISON, RON CARTER AND BILLY COBHAM (Sept. 11-16)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m., $30-$45
“These three jazz luminaries have performed together off and on since 2004, mostly focusing on standards and goading one another into a wide-open exchange. Mr. Harrison, an alto saxophonist from New Orleans, has long retrofitted various musical lineages from his hometown into his post-bop style, which is often also spiced with a quiet-storm-radio flavor. Mr. Carter, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, is probably jazz’s pre-eminent living bassist, having lent his powerful but elastic sound to more than 2,000 sessions. Mr. Cobham, best known as a jazz-rock drummer, exudes a restless command in almost any mode.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Linda Eder (Sept.12-14)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $90+
“Linda Eder—the Star Search songstress turned Broadway and concert star—has never been known for the subtlety of her approach, which can be boiled down to two steps: (1) Stand, and (2) Sing. But gee whiz, the lady can really belt a number. Her current set includes selections from her latest solo album, If You See Me.” (TONY)

MATT MITCHELL (Sept.11-15)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m., $20
Mr. Mitchell, a pianist, can create the illusion of complexity with just a few notes, or cause you to give up tracking his movements with a spill of square-peg harmonies. He’s one of today’s most impressive, and often daunting, performers on any instrument. If you can’t hang with heavy metal, but maybe you’d like to, let him be your gateway drug. Mr. Mitchell begins a five-night Stone residency on Tuesday with a nine-piece band, Hyperunderstanding. The groups for the rest of the week are slightly more modest: a trio on Wednesday, sextets on Thursday and Sept. 15, and a quartet — one to catch, with Chris Speed on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Chris Tordini on bass and Dan Weiss on drums — on Sept. 14.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Justin Vivian Bond: A Star is Borned (Sept.12-16)
Joe’s Pub / 9:30PM, $35
“Justin Vivian Bond, the immortal angel of downtown cabaret, returns to Joe’s Pub for another salty night of songs and off-the-cuff stories, this time toasting the upcoming remake of A Star is Born. The epic Mx. Viv and their accompanying band celebrate the songs of Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga and Judy Garland, weaving in reflections of their own childhood dreams of stardom along the way. Not to be missed.” (TONY)

There Will Be Blood: Live (Sept.12-13)
New York Philharmonic
Lincoln Center, David Geffen Hall / 7:30PM, $30+
“The Philharmonic performs Jonny Greenwood’s riveting film score as the powerful, Oscar-nominated film starring Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis is projected above the Orchestra on a giant screen.”

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

Art Deco New York: The Architects Speak
Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St./ 6:30PM, $30
“Kick off the fall season with ADSNY as we hear about some of New York’s most acclaimed Art Deco architecture straight from the architects that designed them! In this unique event, at the Center for Jewish History, architectural historian and ADSNY Vice-President Anthony W. Robins will explore the work of three of the architects who helped transform the face of New York City in the 1920s and 30s with the colorful and geometric designs we now call Art Deco––and let us hear the architects describe their buildings in their own words.”

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Continuing Events

Photoville (Sept.13-16 and 20-23)
Brooklyn’s outdoor photo garden is back
Dumbo’s Brooklyn Bridge Plaza, 4-10 p.m. Thurs/Fri;
noon-10 p.m. Sat.; noon-9 p.m. Sun
“Whatever the weather, don’t let it keep you from the spectacular outdoor exhibit that is Photoville, the annual survey of photography where more than 600 artists cram entertaining and eye-opening images into 90 exhibitions and installations. In addition to browsing your way through the 65 shipping containers making their home in Brooklyn Bridge Park for two weekends, make time for panels, artist lectures, professional seminars, hands-on workshops — all free and open to everyone. There’s also a food and beer garden courtesy of Smorgasburg. “ (Metro)

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 – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Hit the Hot Link and check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St. (btw 6/7), thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Sony Hall – 235 W 46th St. (btw 7/8), sonyhall.com, 212-997-5123
and one more, not exactly WestSide:
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,

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.

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.

See Below.
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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.

CAFFE VIVALDI HAS CLOSED,  JUNE 23 WAS THE FINAL NIGHT. VERY SAD.
As reported in the “Gothamist”:
“Caffe Vivaldi, one of the last bohemian bastions of the West Village, is set to close this weekend. During its 35 years on Jones Street, the casual cafe won the hearts of locals and celebs alike, including Oscar Isaac, Bette Midler, and Al Pacino.

Despite that friendly communal atmosphere, the owners ultimately struggled to survive under their notorious vulture landlord Steve Croman, who they say waged a harassment campaign against the restaurant, and eventually tripled their rent.”

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 FALL 2018).
◊ Order before NOV.30, 2018 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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