NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/25) + 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:

CHICK COREA TRIO (Sept. 25-29)
at Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m., $55+
“Mr. Corea, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, is equally well known as a pianist, composer and pioneer of jazz-rock fusion. His wakeful touch and crystal-clear harmonic style make him one of the music’s most recognizable and distinguished improvisers. His landmark, multidisc album “The Musician,” released last year, was captured at the Blue Note during a long string of shows in 2011, when he played with different ensembles over the course of a month. He appears this time in a simple trio, playing with two frequent collaborators: Carlitos del Puerto on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> JEWELS
>> John Lloyd Young’s Broadway
>> Juilliard Jazz Orchestra
>> La Bohème
>> Pamelia Stickney
>> The Browns of California
>> The Other Munch
Continuing Events
>> Oktoberfest NYC
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

JEWELS (LAST DAY)
New York City Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 3PM, $35+
“A cherished staple of the repertory since its 1967 debut, Jewels was inspired by a visit George Balanchine made to the jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels. Widely considered to be the first full-length abstract ballet, its three sections — the lyrical Emeralds, the jazz-inflected Rubies, and the regal Diamonds — express the breadth of Balanchine’s ability.”

John Lloyd Young’s Broadway (Sept.25-29)
Feinstein’s 54 Below / 7PM, $75+
“The Tony-winning star of Jersey Boys, both the Broadway musical and the Clint Eastwood film, brings his musical highs and puppyish eyes back to Feinstein’s/54 Below in a new set that focuses on songs from the Great White Way, including selections from Jesus Christ Superstar, The Wiz, Hair and Hamilton.” (TONY)

Juilliard Jazz Orchestra | “Kenya” by Machito
The Juilliard School, Peter Jay Sharp Theater / 7:30PM, $20
“José Madera, guest conductor John Rodriguez and George Delgado, guest percussionists”

La Bohème  (next Sept.29,12:30PM)
The Metropolitan Opera
Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $30+
“Puccini’s timeless masterpiece of love and loss features two casts of young stars. Sopranos Nicole Car (in her highly anticipated Met debut) and Ailyn Pérez share the role of the ill-fated Mimì, opposite tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Michael Fabiano as the ardent poet Rodolfo. After a celebrated Met debut as Mimì in 2017, Angel Blue returns as the spitfire Musetta, and Etienne Dupuis and Lucas Meachem appear as Marcello. James Gaffigan conducts.”

Pamelia Stickney (Sept.25-29)
The Stone at the New School /8:30PM, $20
“One has to be awfully jaded not to get a kick out of watching a skilled practitioner coax beguiling sounds from a theremin, a device that allows you to manipulate electronically induced sound waves by moving your hands through the air—in effect playing an instrument you can’t see or feel. The musical magician Stickney is joined at this residency by a host of game improvisers, including the cellist Erik Friedlander, the saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, and the percussionist Susie Ibarra.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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

Governor Jerry Brown in Conversation with Author Miriam Pawel: The Browns of California
Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE with RSVP
“Governor Jerry Brown joins Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Miriam Pawel to talk about The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty That Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation. The book uses the Brown family dynasty to trace California history and its impact on the nation.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

The Other Munch: Extended Discussion with Writer Karl Ove Knausgaard and Directors Emil & Joachim Trier
Film Society of Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza / 8PM, STAND-BY ONLY
“You’ll scream for this conversation and screening of the documentary The Other Munch, which follows Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard as he guest curates an exhibition of Edvard Munch paintings at Oslo’s Munch Museum.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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Continuing Events

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.

Time Out NY has a very comprehensive Oktoberfest guide:
Oktoberfest NYC 2018 Guide

Fear & Force: New York City’s Sons of Liberty
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, $7
“We may not like paying taxes, but we would never think to tar and feather the tax collector. Yet as many of the colonists prepared for what would be the American Revolution, there was an organized group who opposed the government through violent resistance. Come see objects preserved from pivotal moments relating to the New York Sons of Liberty, like the tearing down of the King George statue in Bowling Green Park, and throwing chests of tea into the New York Harbor.”

Candytopia (thru Nov.15)
Candytopia @ Penn Plaza, 145 W. 32nd St./ 10AM-8:30PM, $34
“This interactive candy exhibit, which has drawn the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden and Wiz Khalifa from California, has more than a dozen rooms and art installations including a swimming pool filled with about half a million giant marshmallows; unicorn-pig hybrids that fart confetti; a candy-covered Sphinx sculpture; and candy recreations of such artworks as the “Mona Lisa,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (amNY) &  (amNY)
DIVE INTO A HUGE MARSHMALLOW PIT AT CANDYTOPIA
“First it was in Los Angeles, and now it’s made its way to the east coast. Candytopia is officially open in NYC! Just like many other pop-ups, this one has uniquely designed rooms — except this one is all about candy. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to snag a ticket and enjoy the marshmallow pit and candy-filled rooms.” (bestproducts.com)

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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.
I HAVE LEFT THIS REVIEW ON MY SITE AS A KIND OF MEMORIAL.
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 WINTER 2018).
◊ Order before FEB.28, 2019 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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