NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/27) + 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:

Aakash Mittal’s Awaz Trio
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Led by the “fiery alto saxophonist and prolific composer” Aakash Mittal (Minneapolis Star Tribune), the Awaz Trio sculpts sonic landscapes, pointillistic textures, and angular melodies from Indian and American improvised music. Their debut project, Nocturne, is a series of pieces that deconstructs five Hindustani evening and night ragas. The colorful dissonances, meditative silences, and punctuated rhythms that emerge paint a unique picture of the night. At times the music evokes the meditation of a world at rest, night terrors conjured by the imagination, and the slow cadence of blue light melting into darkness. Nocturne is part of the trio’s mission to create new work that explores the concept of Awaz, a Hindi-Urdu word that changes meaning between sound, noise, and voice depending on the context.”

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ANGELIQUE KIDJO
>> The 16th Annual New York Burlesque Festival.
>> John Lloyd Young’s Broadway
>> Pamelia Stickney
>> CHICK COREA TRIO
Continuing Events
>> Oktoberfest NYC
>> Fear & Force: New York City’s Sons of Liberty
>> Candytopia
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

ANGELIQUE KIDJO
at Rumsey Playfield / 7 p.m., FREE
“The seemingly ageless 58-year-old singer closes the 2018 SummerStage season performing selections from the Talking Heads’ seminal 1980 album “Remain in Light,” which she covered in full this year. Produced by Jeff Bhasker, who has collaborated with Kanye West and Mark Ronson, Ms. Kidjo’s version draws out the original’s Afrobeat influences with arrangements rooted in the musical traditions of her native Benin. West African percussion and lyric guitar riffs star in her lush takes on the familiar songs, making them even more impossible not to dance to. The activist Resistance Revival Chorus opens.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

The 16th Annual New York Burlesque Festival.
various locations & covers & times
“Burlesque superstars from around the globe gather in NYC for four days of shows and parties. This annual festival celebrating the art of the striptease marks its 16th year with a packed lineup of local stars like World Famous BOB, Gigi Bon Bon and Calamity Chang along with international guest performers. There will some big shows in Brooklyn and Manhattan, celebratory parties, a panel discussion and burlesque bazaar in Chelsea, and an awards event at the Highline Ballroom on Sunday night at which the Golden Pastie Awards will be handed out.” (NYCGO.COM)

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)

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)

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

More Smart Stuff coming soon.

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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: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

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

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove 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.

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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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